Speleothem paleoclimate records

I am advising and working with undergraduate students on a paleoclimate project based on samples and data from Cathedral Caverns (Alabama). Currently, we are studying freshly precipitated calcite from sand-blasted watch glasses that were placed under active drips in the cave. We are determining if a seasonal bias (winter vs. summer) exists for the calcite precipitation rates and speleothem isotopic composition (δ13C and δ18O) due to changes in cave air pCO2. The ultimate goal of this research is to improve interpretation of proxy records archived in the cave’s stalagmites.

Cathedral Caverns