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Continuous 500,000-year climate record from vein calcite in Devils Hole, Nevada

Science

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Abstract

Oxygen-18 (??18O) variations in a 36-centimeter-long core (DH-11) of vein calcite from Devils Hole, Nevada, yield an uninterrupted 500,000-year paleotemperature record that closely mimics all major features in the Vostok (Antarctica) paleotemperature and marine ??18O ice-volume records. The chronology for this continental record is based on 21 replicated mass-spectrometric uranium-series dates. Between the middle and latest Pleistocene, the duration of the last four glacial cycles recorded in the calcite increased from 80,000 to 130,000 years; this variation suggests that major climate changes were aperiodic. The timing of specific climatic events indicates that orbitally controlled variations in solar insolation were not a major factor in triggering deglaciations. Interglacial climates lasted about 20,000 years. Collectively, these observations are inconsistent with the Milankovitch hypothesis for the origin of the Pleistocene glacial cycles but they are consistent with the thesis that these cycles originated from internal nonlinear feedbacks within the atmosphere-ice sheet-ocean system.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Continuous 500,000-year climate record from vein calcite in Devils Hole, Nevada
Series title:
Science
Volume
258
Issue:
5080
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
255
Last page:
260
Number of Pages:
6