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Publication Detail
Building robust age models for speleothems – A case-study using coeval twin stalagmites
© 2017 The Authors We use the uranium-series (U-Th) dating method to investigate the accuracy of a relative chronology based on laminae correlation between a pair of coeval twin stalagmites and compare their stable isotope and trace element records based on the two chronologies. U-Th dating shows that a relative chronology based on laminae correlation can be inaccurate: a hiatus in one of the stalagmites was not recognised, as well as more subtle changes in growth rates. Use of the stratigraphic correlation alone resulted in significant differences in the timing of stable isotopes and trace element peaks, with implications for their interpretation. Our results reveal the importance of a robust and direct chronology with which to interpret proxy data. Poor relative chronologies can lead to a misinterpretation of palaeoclimate data. The study reveals potential implications for speleothem records where proxy data and samples for dating were not taken in close proximity to each other and/or were correlated via laminae over distances of more than a few centimetres.
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