We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Biomass effects on stalagmite growth and isotope ratios : a 20th century analogue from Wiltshire, England.

Baldini, J. U. L. and McDermott, F. and Baker, A. and Baldini, L. M. and Mattey, D. P. and Railsback, L. B. (2005) 'Biomass effects on stalagmite growth and isotope ratios : a 20th century analogue from Wiltshire, England.', Earth and planetary science letters., 240 (2). pp. 486-494.


Increases in calcite deposition rates combined with decreases in δ13C and δ18O in three modern stalagmites from Brown's Folly Mine, Wiltshire, England, are correlative with a well-documented re-vegetation above the mine. Increased soil PCO2 resulted in greater amounts of dissolved CaCO3 in the drip waters, which consequently increased annual calcite deposition rates. The absence of deposition prior to 1916 (28 years after the mine was closed) indicates that vegetation had not yet sufficiently developed to allow higher PCO2 values to form in the soil. Lower δ13C values through time may reflect the increased input of isotopically light biogenic carbon to the total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). δ18O decreased synchronously with δ13C, reflecting the increased importance of isotopically light winter recharge due to greater biomass-induced summer evapotranspiration. This is the first empirical demonstration that vegetation density can control stalagmite growth rates, δ13C, and δ18O, contributing critical insights into the interpretation of these climate proxies in ancient stalagmites.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:stalagmite; carbon isotopes; oxygen isotopes; fractionation;vegetation; growth rate; CALCITE DEPOSITS; HOLOCENE CLIMATE; UNITED-STATES; SPELEOTHEM; CAVE;RESOLUTION; PALEOCLIMATE; RECORD; RECONSTRUCTION; PRECIPITATION
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:December 2005
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar