A stalagmite from Rana, northern Norway, dated by the TIMS uranium-series technique, yields records of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes covering the period from late marine oxygen isotope substages (MIS) 5e to 5a, that is, 123,350 to 73,300 yr ago. Rapid growth (∼46 μm/yr) between 123,350 and 119,500 yr ago reflects climatic conditions favorable for speleothem growth. This period is characterized by century- to millennial-scale oscillations in both stable isotope records, where both the absolute values and the isotope ranges are similar to Holocene and older samples from the region. From 119,500 to 107,700 yr ago, speleothem growth was slow (∼0.7 μm/yr), and between 107,700 and 73,300 yr ago growth is barely noticeable (0.07 μm/yr). During the period of slow growth the stable isotope records show an overall enrichment trend. The transition between rapid and slow growth rate occurring sometime between 119,500 and 107,700 yr ago is believed to reflect the termination of interglacial climate in this region. The absence of detritus and corrosion features in the slowly deposited calcite suggests that the valley outside the cave remained sufficiently ice free for speleothem growth to occur until atleast 73,300 yr ago.

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Quaternary Research
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Linge, H. (Henriette), Lauritzen, S.-E. (Stein-Erik), & Lundberg, J. (2001). Stable isotope stratigraphy of a late last interglacial speleothem from Rana, Northern Norway. Quaternary Research, 56(2), 155–164. doi:10.1006/qres.2001.2254