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This study utilizes speleothem trace elements as climate proxies to reconstruct hydroclimate variability over approximately 350 years in the Southern Cook Islands. Stalagmites Pu17 and Pu4 from Pouatea cave were analyzed using high-resolution LA-ICP-MS for trace elements (Mg, Na, Sr, P, U, Y). By monitoring cave dripwater and conducting regression analysis, we found that Mg, Sr, and Na in Pouatea dripwater mostly originated from marine aerosols, while Sr and Ba were primarily from bedrock, with additional Ba coming from marine aerosols and weathered oceanic basalt leaching. Mg was identified as the most reliable element for hydroclimate reconstruction due to its predominantly marine aerosol origin. Infiltration, via dilution of marine aerosols and bedrock inputs, was identified as the main driver of trace element variations in Pouatea at a seasonal scale. Transfer functions were established between each trace element and effective infiltration was calculated, with Mg showing the strongest correlation. The reconstructed infiltration data were compared with climate indices, showing an overarching role of the SPCZ and ENSO in controlling rainfall in the South Pacific. This research demonstrates the potential of speleothem trace elements for paleohydroclimate reconstructions, improving understanding of rainfall variability in the climatically vulnerable South Pacific Islands over the past millennia.
Manganese (Mn) and rare-earth elements (REEs) in a stalagmite (SJ3) collected from Central China were analyzed, using an ICP-MS method for the precise determination of > 40 trace elements in geological samples by enriched-isotope internal standardization. Unlike speleothem Mn and REEs investigated by cathodoluminescence, which may be incorporated into crystal lattice, the Mn and REEs analyzed in SJ3 should come largely from colloidal and particle phases in groundwater and may be associated with non-carbonate inclusions. The Mn and REEs in SJ3 vary significantly during the period between 20 and 10 ka. These elements show remarkable increases since ∼ 14.5 ka, suggesting enhanced weathering of the overlying soil layer and the host rock since the onset of the last deglaciation and the strengthening of the Asian summer monsoon. In addition, the Mn and REEs in SJ3 display significant centennial fluctuations which may reflect groundwater dynamics.