Start Date

9-25-2013

Abstract

Speleothems are incomparable archives of paleoclimate information. Most methods to extract past climate information from speleothems are necessarily destructive; sampling must occur along the growth axis. Development of sustainable methods for sampling these nonrenewable resources, whereby the needs of science and cave conservation are balanced, ought to be a priority of the paleoclimate community. Ergo, I am studying currently practiced methods in the field of speleothem paleoclimatology. Part 1 of this two-part study entails surveying active speleothem paleoclimatology labs nationally and internationally. The results of this portion of the survey will be converted to an anonymous list of current methods in practice. These data will be written into a second survey in which stakeholders, including cave managers, will be asked which method(s) aligns best with their cave use and goals. The final output from both parts will be a peer-reviewed methodology assessment, including “best practice” guidelines for sampling, which hopefully will improve sampling and field methodology in the community as a whole. Additional outputs (e.g., interpretive educational products, brochures, or a speleothem sample archive, etc.) could be produced through collaboration with speleothem paleoclimate labs and cave and karst managers worldwide.

Additional Files

nckms_resubmission_cover_letter.pdf (40 kB)

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Sep 25th, 1:01 AM

A preliminary assessment of speleothem sampling methods for paleoclimate research

Speleothems are incomparable archives of paleoclimate information. Most methods to extract past climate information from speleothems are necessarily destructive; sampling must occur along the growth axis. Development of sustainable methods for sampling these nonrenewable resources, whereby the needs of science and cave conservation are balanced, ought to be a priority of the paleoclimate community. Ergo, I am studying currently practiced methods in the field of speleothem paleoclimatology. Part 1 of this two-part study entails surveying active speleothem paleoclimatology labs nationally and internationally. The results of this portion of the survey will be converted to an anonymous list of current methods in practice. These data will be written into a second survey in which stakeholders, including cave managers, will be asked which method(s) aligns best with their cave use and goals. The final output from both parts will be a peer-reviewed methodology assessment, including “best practice” guidelines for sampling, which hopefully will improve sampling and field methodology in the community as a whole. Additional outputs (e.g., interpretive educational products, brochures, or a speleothem sample archive, etc.) could be produced through collaboration with speleothem paleoclimate labs and cave and karst managers worldwide.