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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2012.35.13


Stratigraphy, petrography and chronology of speleothem deposition at Tana che Urla (Lucca, Italy): paleoclimatic implications

Pages 141-152


In this work we present the results of a stratigraphic and lithologic study of a flowstone from Tana che Urla Cave, Apuan Alps (central Italy) which grew intermittently between ca. 160 and 8 ka. The studied succession consists of an alternation of two different lithofacies (Lf-A, Lf-B): a brown, detrital-rich (Lf-A) and a white, inclusion-poor calcite (Lf-B). Using available growth rate data, the difference between the two lithofacies is thought to be the result of different amounts of meteoric precipitation, with Lf-A related to low growth rates at times of low precipitation during phases of climatic deterioration (stadial or glacial) and a higher flux of clastic material, and Lf-B related to high growth rates due to high infiltration under conditions of higher precipitation during wetter (interstadial/interglacial) periods, with lower clastic flux. Following this interpretation and the available chronology, the flowstone investigated shows a basal portion of Lf-A that was deposited during MIS6. The flowstone then passed from Lf-A to Lf B at the MIS6-5 transition, with Lf-B lasting for the full interglacial of MIS5e.
A long growth interruption (hiatus H1) can be correlated with the MIS5d stadial, with resumption of lithofacies Lf-B occurring during the climatic amelioration of interstadial MIS5c. The age profile of the upper part of the flowstone is poorly constrained, and is characterised by several growth interruptions, suggesting that the last glacial was more severe compared to MIS6

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