Timing, extent and depth of Late Pleistocene epizodic thawing of permafrost inferred from cave paleoclimatic records of Slovakia.
Investigators from institution:
Hana Demeterová, Ľubica Luhová, Stanislava Milovská, Juraj Šurka
Paleoclimate studies based on high-resolution geochemical records (deep sea and ice cores, corals, speleothems) are increasingly important in present days of rapid climate change. In recent years the novel paleoclimatic indicator was discovered – the cryogenic cave carbonate. Its use is however not straightforward and demands deep understanding of its formation – thus it is not implemented as systematically as other archives. Nevertheless, an extra benefit is its ability to record thaw of permafrost and even its depth. This strongly favours the CCC to be subject of global climate studies, as the clathrate breakdown and methane escape from thawing permafrost is nowadays considered as an important trigger of global warmings. Aim of the project is thorough understanding of mechanisms and timing of cave glaciations relative to global climate oscillations, with endeavour to turn CCC to a robust tool for mapping extent and thickness of permafrost in different periods of the Weichselian glacial.