Quantitative climate reconstruction for MIS 3 in Central Europe based on multi-proxy data from precisely dated speleothems (flowstones) from Bleßberg Cave, Germany
The last glacial period and in particular the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (ca. 57 - 27 ka) is, compared to the recent warm phase, the Holocene, characterised by larger climate oscillations. These are detectable in δ18O records from Greenland ice cores and other climate archives in Europe, such as pollen or tree ring records. Unfortunately, little direct proxy evidence is available from central Europe, and the climatic and environmental conditions during MIS 3 remains largely enigmatic. Speleothem records from central Europe during MIS 3 are limited due to cold climate conditions and mainly restricted to the warmer southern or alpine regions, where meltwater enabled speleothem growth.
Preliminary 230Th/U-dating of further speleothems from Bleßberg Cave (Germany) revealed two flowstones, which grew during MIS 3 and the Late Glacial. Therefore, these flowstones are the most northern continental growth of speleothems during MIS 3 in central Europe.
The main objective of this project is to construct a precisely dated multi-proxy climate record for MIS 3 and the Late Glacial based on the flowstones from Bleßberg Cave. This will provide the unique opportunity to obtain precisely dated information on terrestrial climate variability during selected phases of the last glacial period, which is currently not available for Central Europe based on speleothems. With the combination of several different proxies, such as stable isotopes and trace elements, the results from a cave monitoring program, the analysis of the δD and δ18O values of fluid inclusions and isotope-enabled climate modelling, we will be able to obtain detailed insights into environmental conditions in central Europe during MIS 3 and the Late Glacial.