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Ian J. Fairchild & Andy Baker 
Speleothem Science 
From Process to Past Environments

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Speleothems (mineral deposits that formed in caves) are currentlygiving us some of the most exciting insights into environments andclimates during the Pleistocene ice ages and the subsequent Holocene rise of civilizations. The book applies system science to Quaternary environments in a new and rigorous way and givesholistic explanations the relations between the properties ofspeleothems and the climatic and cave setting in which they arefound. It is designed as the ideal companion to someoneembarking on speleothem research and, since the underlying scienceis very broad, it will also be invaluable to a wide variety ofothers. Students and professional scientists interested incarbonate rocks, karst hydrogeology, climatology, aqueousgeochemistry, carbonate geochemistry and the calibration ofclimatic proxies will find up-to-date reviews of these topicshere. The book will also be valuable to Quaternary scientistswho, up to now, have lacked a thorough overview of these importantarchives.

Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/fairchild/speleothem.
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Table of Content

Preface, xi

Acknowledgements, xiii

I Scientifi c and geological context, 1

1 Introduction to speleothems and systems, 3

1.1 What is all the fuss about?, 3

1.2 How is this book organized?, 11

1.3 Concepts and approaches of system science, 13

1.4 The speleothem factory within the karst system, 18

2 Carbonate and karst cave geology, 28

2.1 Carbonates in the Earth system over geological time, 28

2.2 Lithologies of carbonate host rocks, 34

2.3 Carbonate diagenesis and eogenetic karst, 47

2.4 Speleogenesis in mesogenetic and telogenetic karst (withcontributions from John Gunn and David J Lowe), 55

2.5 Cave infilling, 64

2.6 Conclusion, 71

3 Surface environments: climate, soil and vegetation, 73

3.1 The modern climate system, 73

3.2 Water isotopes in the atmosphere, 84

3.3 Soils of karst regions, 94

3.4 Vegetation of karst regions, 102

3.5 Synthesis: inputs to the incubator, 104

II Transfer processes in karst, 105

4 The speleothem incubator, 107

4.1 Introduction to speleophysiology, 107

4.2 Physical parameters and fl uid behaviour, 109

4.3 Water movement, 114

4.4 Air circulation, 122

4.5 Heat flux (authored by David Domínguez-Villar), 137

4.6 Synthesis: cave climatologies, 145

5 Inorganic water chemistry, 148

5.1 Sampling protocols for water chemistry, 148

5.2 The carbonate system, 152

5.3 Weathering, trace elements and isotopes, 156

5.4 Carbon isotopes, 173

5.5 Evolution of cave water chemistry: modelling sources andenvironmental signals, 180

6 Biogeochemistry of karstic environments, 187

6.1 Introduction, 187

6.2 Organic macromolecules, 188

6.3 Pollen and spores, 198

6.4 Cave faunal remains, 199

6.5 Synthesis and research gaps, 200

III Speleothem properties, 205

7 The architecture of speleothems, 207

7.1 Introduction, 207

7.2 Theoretical models of stalagmite growth and of stalagmiteand stalactite shapes, 207

7.3 Geometrical classifi cation of speleothems, 213

7.4 Mineralogy and petrology, 223

7.5 Synthesis, 241

8 Geochemistry of speleothems, 245

8.1 Analysis and the sources of uncertainty, 245

8.2 The growth interface, 249

8.3 Trace element partitioning, 255

8.4 Oxygen and carbon isotope fractionation, 263

8.5 Evolution of dripwater and speleothem chemistry along waterflowlines, 277

8.6 Process models of variability over time, 281

9 Dating of speleothems, 290

9.1 Introduction, 290

9.2 Dating techniques, 291

9.3 Age-distance models, 300

9.4 Conclusions, 301

IV Palaeoenvironments, 303

10 The instrumental era: calibration and validation ofproxy-environment relationships, 305

10.1 Available instrumental and derived series, 306

10.2 Methodologies, 311

10.3 Case studies of calibrated speleothem proxies, 316

10.4 Questions raised and future directions, 323

11 The Holocene epoch: testing the climate and environmentalproxies, 324

11.1 A brief overview of the Holocene, 325

11.2 The past millennium, 327

11.3 Holocene environmental changes: speleothem responses, 334

11.4 Questions raised and future directions, 351

12 The Pleistocene and beyond, 353

12.1 Pleistocene proxy records (ice-age climate fl uctuationsdefined and drawn), 353

12.2 Insights into pre-Quaternary palaeoenvironments, 361

12.3 Questions raised and looking to the future, 365

APPENDIX 1 Archiving speleothems and speleothem data, 368

References, 371

Index, 421

About the author

Ian Fairchild was originally a geologist, then morespecifically a sedimentologist, morphing into a physical geographerwith leanings to environmental chemistry, before putting moregeology back in the mix. Hence, he is now Professor ofGeosystems at the University of Birmingham, UK, researching both onmodern environments and interpreting those in deep time, withcarbonates, waters and climates as linking themes.

Andy Baker was trained as a physical geographer, andworked at the interface of geology, physical geography, andenvironmental engineering. He is currently a Professor atthe University of New South Wales and a chief investigator inAustralia’s National Centre for Groundwater Research andTraining.
Language English ● Format PDF ● Pages 416 ● ISBN 9781444361063 ● File size 54.3 MB ● Publisher John Wiley & Sons ● Published 2012 ● Downloadable 24 months ● Currency EUR ● ID 2390081 ● Copy protection Adobe DRM
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