Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

The record of paleoclimatic change from stalagmites and the determination of termination II in the south of Guizhou Province, China

  • Zhang Meiliang
  • Yuan Daoxian
  • Lin Yushi
  • Cheng Hai
  • Qin Jiaming
  • Zhang Huiling


A high-resolution climate record from 163.00 kaBP to 113.80 kaBP has been obtained through TIMS-U series dating and carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of the three large stalagmites from two caves in the south of Guizhou Province, China. The record of the oxygen isotopes from the stalagmites reveals that the undulation characteristics between the cooling event of the glacial period and the warming event of the interglacial period in the research area can compare well to those of ice cores, lake sediments, loess and deep sea sediments on the scale of ten-thousand years or millennium time scale. The climate undulation provided by the record of the stalagmites has a coherence with the global changes and a tele-connection to the paleoclimate changes in the north polar region. Our results suggest that the direct dynamics of paleo-monsoon circulation changes reflected in the record of the stalagmites might be caused by changes of the global ice volume, and in turn related to various factors, including the solar radiation strength at the mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, the southern extension of the ice-rafted event in the North Atlantic, and changes of the equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature at the low-latitudes. Using °18O values, we have calculated the temperatures and the results show that the temperature difference between the penultimate glacial period (with an average temperature of 8.1°C, and a minimum temperature range from 0.65°C to-1.43°C at stage 6) and the last interglacial period (with an average temperature of 18.24°C at sub-stage 5e) was about 10°C. This temperature difference from the record of the stalagmites corresponds in general to the record temperature variation (about 10°C) of measured ice cores. The climate records from the three stalagmites in the two caves have shown that the circulation strength of the Asian summer monsoon and the winter monsoon in the penultimate glacial period and the last inter-glacial period had a clear change.

With the TIMS-U series method, termination II of the penultimate glacial period has been precisely dated at an age of (129.28± 1.10) kaBP for the three stalagmites in the south of Guizhou Province, China. This borderline age represents the beginning of the last interglacial period or the boundary between the Middle Pleistocene and the Late Pleistocene, and corresponds to the beginning age of the last interglacial period shown by the ice cores and in the SPECMAP curve of the marine oxygen isotopes. The chronology determination of termination II is not only of stratigraphic and chronological significance, but also lays an important foundation for discussing the short time scales of climate oscillation and rapidly changing events of paleoclimate in the circulation region of the East Asian monsoon.


stalagmite paleoclimatic change termination II south of Guizhou 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Meiliang
    • 1
  • Yuan Daoxian
    • 1
  • Lin Yushi
    • 1
  • Cheng Hai
    • 2
  • Qin Jiaming
    • 1
  • Zhang Huiling
    • 1
  1. 1.Karst Dynamics LaboratoryInstitute of Karst Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesGuilinChina
  2. 2.Geography DepartmentMinnesota UniversityMNUSA

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