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Authors: Zanchetta, G.* 
Di Vito, M. A.* 
Fallick, A. E.* 
Sulpizio, R.* 
Title: Stable isotopes of pedogenic carbonates from the Somma–Vesuvius area, southern Italy, over the past 18 kyr: palaeoclimatic implications
Issue Date: 2000
Series/Report no.: 8/15(2000)
Keywords: stable isotope
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Stable isotopes were measured in the carbonate and organic matter of palaeosols in the Somma–Vesuvius area, southern Italy in order to test whether they are suitable proxy records for climatic and ecological changes in this area during the past 18000 yr. The ages of the soils span from ca. 18 to ca. 3 kyr BP. Surprisingly, the Last Glacial to Holocene climate transition was not accompanied by significant change in d18O of pedogenic carbonate. This could be explained by changes in evaporation rate and in isotope fractionation between water and precipitated carbonate with temperature, which counterbalanced the expected change in isotope composition of meteoric water. Because of the rise in temperature and humidity and the progressive increase in tree cover during the Holocene, the Holocene soil carbonates closely reflect the isotopic composition of meteoric water. A cooling of about 2°C after the Avellino eruption (3.8 ka) accounts for a sudden decrease of about 1‰ in d18O of pedogenic carbonate recorded after this eruption. The d13C values of organic matter and pedogenic carbonate covary, indicating an effective isotope equilibrium between the organic matter, as the source of CO2, and the pedogenic carbonate. Carbon isotopes suggest prevailing C3 vegetation and negligible mixing with volcanogenic or atmospheric CO2.
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