Peter E Carlson
Stalagmites that grow near the entrances of caves are often avoided for the purposes of paleoclimate reconstruction, due to worries about fluctuating atmospheric conditions and microbiological influences interfering with calcite growth dynamics. I study how these near-entrance stalagmites might serve as high-resolution records of surface temperature. I am investigating temperatures recorded in the oxygen-isotope, trace element, and clumped-isotope compositions of a near-entrance stalagmite from Westcave Preserve in central Texas. I have also been monitoring active drip sites in Westcave since 2013 in order to characterize modern responses in drip water and calcite chemistry to changing environmental conditions.