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Changing moisture sources over the last 330,000 years in Northern Oman from fluid-inclusion evidence in speleothems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Dominik Fleitmann*
Affiliation:
Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1-3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Stephen J. Burns
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
Ulrich Neff
Affiliation:
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Augusto Mangini
Affiliation:
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Albert Matter
Affiliation:
Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1-3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
*Corresponding author. Fax: +0049-0-31-631-48-43.Email Address: dominik.fleitmann@geo.unibe.ch (D. Fleitmann)

Abstract

Speleothems from Hoti Cave in northern Oman provide a record of continental pluvial periods over the last 330,000 yr. Periods of rapid speleothem deposition occurred from 6000 to 10,500, 78,000 to 82,000, 120,000 to 135,000, 180,000 to 200,000, and 300,000 to 330,000 yr ago, with little or no growth during the intervening periods. During each of these five pluvial periods, δD values of water extracted from speleothem fluid inclusions (δD FI) are between −60 and −20‰ (VSMOW) and δ18O values of speleothem calcite (δ18OC) are between −12 and −4‰ to (VPDB). These values are much more negative than modern rainfall (for δD) or modern stalagmites (for δ18O). Previous work on the isotopic composition of rainfall in Oman has shown that northern and southern moisture sources are isotopically distinct. Combined measurements of the δD values of fluid-inclusion water with calculated δ18O values from peak interglacial speleothems indicate that groundwater was predominantly recharged by the southern (Indian Ocean) moisture source, when the monsoon rainfall belt moved northward and reached Northern Oman during each of these periods.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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