Evidence for global teleconnections in a speleothem from Sudwala Cave, S.A.

Analysis of a Pleistocene age speleothem collected from Sudwala Cave in South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains provides information about the climatic conditions associated with the onset and termination of stalagmite growth at the site.  An unusual combination of Raman and petrographic analysis has also allowed the identification of aragonite-calcite shifts potentially influencing the climate signals recorded. It has been possible to identify climatic conditions during the late deglaciation growth interval (13.85-12.79 ka) linking the region with both the Southern Hemispherically-Forced Antarctic Cold Reversal (14.1-12.8 ka), and the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.5 ka) event of Northern Hemisphere origin. Consequently, this study identifies Southern Africa as a key location for the investigation of global teleconnections during millennial-scale fluctuations. See Green et al., 2015. Quaternary Science Reviews