Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 8, pp 1202–1208 | Cite as

High-resolution climate variability of southwest China during 57–70 ka reflected in a stalagmite δ 18O record from Xinya Cave

  • Li TingYong 
  • Yuan DaoXian 
  • Li HongChun Email author
  • Yang Yan 
  • Wang JianLi 
  • Wang XinYa 
  • Li JunYun 
  • Qin JiaMing 
  • Zhang MeiLiang 
  • Lin YuShi 


A 26-cm-long stalagmite (XY2) from Xinya Cave in northeastern Chongqing of China has been ICP-MS 230Th/U dated, showing a depositional hiatus at 2.3 cm depth from the top. The growth of the 2.3–26 cm interval determined by four dates was between 57 ka and 70 ka, with a linear growth rate of 0.023 mm/a. We have analyzed 190 samples for δ 18O and δ 13C, mostly in the 2.3–26 cm part. The δ 18O and δ 13C values between 57 ka and 70 ka reveal decadal-to-centennial climatic variability during the glacial interval of Marine Isotope Stage 4 (MIS4), exhibiting much higher resolution than that of the published Hulu and Dongge records during this interval. Speleothem δ 18O in eastern China, including our study area can be used as a proxy of summer monsoon strength, with lighter values pointing to stronger summer monsoon and higher precipitation, and vice versa. Two decreases in the δ 18O signature of XY2 record around 59.5 and 64.5 Ka are argued to correspond to the Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events 17 and 18 respectively. The Heinrich event 6 (H6) can be identified in the record as a heavy δ 18O peak around 60 ka, indicating significant weakening of the monsoon in Chongqing during the cold period. The XY2 δ 18O record shows very rapid change toward to the interstadial condition of the D-O event, but more gradual change toward to the cold stadial condition. This phenomenon found in the Greenland ice core records is rarely observed so clearly in previously published speleothem records. According to SPECMAP δ 18O record, the glacial maximum of MIS 4 was around 64.5 ka with the boundary of MIS 3/4 around 60 ka. Unlike the marine record, the speleothem record of XY2, China, exhibits much high frequency variations without an apparent glacial maximum during MIS 4. However, the timing of MIS 3/4 boundary seems to be around 60 ka when the H6 terminated, in agreement with the marine chronology. The growth period of sample XY2 during glacial times probably reflects a local karstic routing of water, rather than having climatic significance.


stalagmite U-series dating oxygen isotope records MIS4 D-O cycles H6 event Chongqing China 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li TingYong 
    • 1
  • Yuan DaoXian 
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li HongChun 
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Yang Yan 
    • 2
  • Wang JianLi 
    • 1
  • Wang XinYa 
    • 1
  • Li JunYun 
    • 1
  • Qin JiaMing 
    • 2
  • Zhang MeiLiang 
    • 2
  • Lin YuShi 
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Geographical ScienceSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Karst Dynamics Laboratory, Institute of Karst GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesGuilinChina
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesCheng-Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan, China

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