Stef Vansteenberge obtained on May 25 2018 the academic degree of Doctor of Sciences with the following doctoral thesis:
Reconstruction of last interglacial & last glacial inception paleoclimate using Belgian speleothems.
How was the natural climate variability during the last interglacial and last glacial inception characterized and how is it registered in Belgian speleothems?
To better understand the drivers and effects of present day, natural (not induced by humans) climate variability, we look at periods in the past with similar climates as today. The closest period is the last interglacial, which occurred ~120 kyr ago. The geochemistry of stalagmites is an excellent archive of past climate changes. Additionally, they can be dated accurately with U/Th dating, allowing high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions.
Stalagmites, stalagmites and stalagmites!
Mostly from Belgian Cave systems (Han-sur-Lesse, Remouchamps) but also abroad (Italy, Mexico, China …)
d18O and d13C IRMS, ICP-MS, µXRF, µCT