By: Ian J Fairchild and Andy Baker
432 pages, 16 plates with colour photos, illustrations, and maps; b/w photos, illustrations, and maps
Speleothems (mineral deposits that formed in caves) are currently giving us some of the most exciting insights into environments and climates during the Pleistocene ice ages and the subsequent Holocene rise of civilizations. Speleothem Science applies system science to Quaternary environments in a new and rigorous way and gives holistic explanations the relations between the properties of speleothems and the climatic and cave setting in which they are found. It is designed as the ideal companion to someone embarking on speleothem research and, since the underlying science is very broad, it will also be invaluable to a wide variety of others. Students and professional scientists interested in carbonate rocks, karst hydrogeology, climatology, aqueous geochemistry, carbonate geochemistry and the calibration of climatic proxies will find up-to-date reviews of these topics here. The book will also be valuable to Quaternary scientists who, up to now, have lacked a thorough overview of these important archives.
I: Scientific and Geological Context
1. Introduction to Speleothems and Systems
2. Carbonate and Karst Geology
3. Surface Environments: Climate, Soil and Vegetation
II: Transfer Processes in Karst
4. The Speleothem Incubator
5. Inorganic Water Chemistry
6. Biogeochemistry of Karstic Environments
III: Speleothem Properties
7. The Architecture of Speleothems
8. Geochemistry of Speleothems
9. Dating of Speleothems
10. The Instrumental Era: Calibration and Validation of Proxy-Environment Relationships
11. The Holocene Epoch: Testing the Climate and Environment Proxies
12. The Pleistocene and Beyond
Appendix 1. Archiving Speleothems and Speleothem Data
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Ian Fairchild was originally a geologist, then more specifically a sedimentologist, morphing into a physical geographer with leanings to environmental chemistry, before putting more geology back in the mix. Hence, he is now Professor of Geosystems at the University of Birmingham, UK, researching both on modern environments and interpreting those in deep time, with carbonates, waters and climates as linking themes.
Andy Baker was trained as a physical geographer, and worked at the interface of geology, physical geography, and environmental engineering. He is currently a Professor at the University of New South Wales and a chief investigator in Australia's National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.
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