Cracking the code of southwest Australian speleothem records

Friday 22 November, 2019
Mathews Building, Theatre D

This talk will summarise the key findings of a cave monitoring project that informs the interpretation of speleothem paleoclimate records covering the last millennium in southwest Western Australia.

Speleothems from Golgotha Cave in SW Western Australia have been investigated to extend our knowledge of past climate variability for this region during the last millennium. A challenge in their interpretation has been the disagreement between these records despite representing coeval growth from within the same cave. Resolving this conundrum has necessitated the characterisation of the hydrology, hydrochemistry, rainfall isotopes and development of proxy system forward models for Golgotha Cave. This talk will summarise the key findings that inform the interpretation of these records will focus on a record that grew continuously over the past eight centuries determined by counting annual chemical laminations.

Bio: Dr Pauline Treble specialises in speleothem (cave stalagmite) paleoclimatology and conducts process-based cave monitoring. She leads ANSTO’s project Natural Variability in Hydrological Systems within the Environment Theme. This project utilises isotopes in the water cycle to reconstruct past changes in rainfall and recharge preserved in high and low resolution environmental archives including speleothems and groundwater.