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Enregistrement des variations climatiques par les éléments traces dans les spéléothèmes

Abstract : Calcareous deposits forming within caves, also known as speleothems, have become acknowledged paleoclimatic archives. One of their main interests is that they can be absolutely dated by Uranium-Thorium methods. However, traditionally used speleothem climatic proxies cannot be directly translated into environmental variables such as the mean annual temperature or the amount of annual rainfall. In some contexts, the variations of trace element concentrations in speleothem calcite could be linked to past climatic changes, but the robustness of trace element signals between speleothems of the same or nearby caves is still questionable.We determined by ICP-MS the concentrations of several families of chemical elements (alkaline-earth metals, uranium, rare-earth elements) in stalagmites from two caves located in Southern France (Villars cave in Dordogne and Chauvet Cave in Ardèche) spanning the last 50,000 years. The selected speleothems had already been dated and their stable isotope profiles had proven to record paleoenvironmental fluctuations occurring during three separate periods: the Marine Isotopic Stage 3 or MIS 3 (~50-30 ka), the Last Deglaciation (~20-10 ka), and the end of the Holocene (~2-0 ka).Variations of alkaline-earth metals recorded in two stalagmites from Villars Cave during MIS 3 are significant and robust. Notably, Sr concentrations follow the rapid climatic changes recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, several trace elements behave similarly during the Last Deglaciation in the Villars and the Chauvet Cave. Finally, changes of the vegetation cover above the cave are likely to have caused the synchronous fluctuations of the trace element and stable isotope contents that happened during the last two thousand years in Villars speleothems.Lastly, the partition coefficients of alkaline-earth metals, uranium and rare-earth elements were measured in different sites and conditions and proved to be very site-dependent.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 11:18:13 AM
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Clément Bourdin. Enregistrement des variations climatiques par les éléments traces dans les spéléothèmes. Sciences de la Terre. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112178⟩. ⟨tel-00863089⟩



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