Kvartærgeologi & Paleoklima

Fluid inclusion microthermometry in speleothems and its application to low latitude temperature reconstructions

Robbie Shone, www.shonephotography.com


The aim of this Ph.D. project is to further develop and apply a new method for reconstructing past temperatures known as fluid inclusion microthermometry in speleothems (cave formations). Speleothems are valuable terrestrial climate archives. They reside within a stable environment beneath the surface, can capture numerous physical and chemical properties in their layers, and coupled with chronology from U/Th dating, can be used to reconstruct paleoclimate records. The fluid inclusion microthermometry method is based on the physical properties of relict drip water (fluid inclusions) trapped in the speleothems. The density of the water is directly related to the cave temperature at the time when the inclusion sealed off from the environment and can be determined by observing the phase behavior during a cooling and heating cycle.

The first objective of this Ph.D. project is to further improve the accuracy of the method by identifying potential factors and mechanisms influencing the phase behavior in speleothem fluid inclusions. The second objective is to apply the method to produce terrestrial temperature records from low-latitude speleothems covering the last glacial-interglacial transition, with the goal to improve our understanding of the low-latitude response to large climatic shifts in the past.


Project Period: August 2021 – August 2025

This Ph.D. project is part of the Fluid Inclusion Microthermometry in Speleothems (FluidMICS) project, which is funded by the European Research Council.