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D/H ratios in speleothem fluid inclusions: A guide to variations in the isotopic composition of meteoric precipitation?

Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Abstract

D/H ratios of fluid inclusion waters extracted from 230Th/234U-dated speleothems that were originally deposited under conditions of isotopic equilibrium should provide a direct estimate of the hydrogen isotopic composition of ancient meteoric waters. We present here D/H ratios for 47 fluid inclusion samples from thirteen speleothems deposited over the past 250,000 years at cave sites in Iowa, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri. At each site glacial-age waters are depleted in deuterium relative to those of interglacial age. The average interglacial/glacial shift in the hydrogen isotopic composition of meteoric precipitation over ice-free areas of east-central North America is estimated to be -12???. This shift is consistent with the present climatic models and can be explained in terms of the prevailing pattern of atmospheric circulation and an increased ocean-continent temperature gradient during glacial times which more than compensated for the increase in deuterium content of the world ocean. ?? 1979.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
D/H ratios in speleothem fluid inclusions: A guide to variations in the isotopic composition of meteoric precipitation?
Series title:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume
42
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1979
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
First page:
254
Last page:
266
Number of Pages:
13