Climate and Vegetation History of the Midcontinent from 75 to 25 ka: A Speleothem Record from Crevice Cave, Missouri, USA

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Science  04 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5395, pp. 1871-1874
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1871

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Four Missouri stalagmites yield consistent overlapping records of oxygen and carbon isotopic changes and provide a climate and vegetation history with submillennial resolution from 75 to 25 thousand years ago (ka). The thorium-230–dated records reveal that between 75 and 55 ka, the midcontinental climate oscillated on millennial time scales between cold and warm, and vegetation alternated among forest, savanna, and prairie. Temperatures were highest and prairie vegetation peaked between 59 and 55 ka. Climate cooled and forest replaced grassland at 55 ka, when global ice sheets began to build during the early part of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 3.

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