Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 73–85 | Cite as

Reconstruction of the Middle Pleistocene climate of south Mediterranean using the Wadi Sannur speleothem, eastern Desert, Egypt

  • R. I. RifaiEmail author


The Wadi Sannur speleothems record climate changes spanning 188 and 136 kyr before present. Petrographically, the studied speleothem laminae are made up entirely of fibrous calcite except for one lamina that displays microspar fabric. Time-series analysis of the data set reveals regular changes in Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca at a scale that matches the thickness of the different laminae. δ18O values of the stalactite laminae range from −7.2 to −10.1 VPDB‰ The lower δ18Ocalcite values, which are correspond to the second oldest lamina (WSS5), indicate that the drip-waters were likely affected by evaporative fractionation and that the speleothem activity has probably stopped due to the very arid conditions that followed the pluvial period. The variations of the δ13C values between −5.0 and −2.3‰ VPDB argue that the drip water composition is influenced by the interaction with the overlying grass-covered ecosystem and the degree of aridity rather than the bedrock (δ13C −0.9‰ VBDP).87Sr/86Sr ratios of the interglacial lamina are low (0.70781–0.70808), whereas the glacial lamina display higher ratios (0.70826–0.70859) in comparison with the nummulitic limestone bedrock (0.70753).


Egypt Wadi Sannur speleothems fibrous textures U-series dates Middle Pleistocene stalactite pluvial period 


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies and Research InstituteMinufiya UniversitySadat CityEgypt

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