Little is known about terrestrial climate dynamics in the Levant during the penultimate interglacial-glacial period. To decipher the palaeoclimatic history of the Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 6 glacial period, a well-dated stalagmite (∼194 to ∼154 ka) from Kanaan Cave on the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon was analyzed for its petrography, growth history, and stable isotope geochemistry. A resolved climate record has been recovered from this precisely U-Th dated speleothem, spanning the late MIS 7 and early MIS 6 at low resolution and the mid-MIS 6 at higher resolution. The stalagmite grew discontinuously from ∼194 to ∼163 ka. More consistent growth and higher growth rates between ∼163 and ∼154 ka are most probably linked to increased water recharge and thus more humid conditions. More distinct layering in the upper part of the speleothem suggests strong seasonality from ∼163 ka to ∼154 ka. Short-term oxygen and carbon isotope excursions were found between ∼155 and ∼163 ka. The inferred Kanaan Cave humid intervals during the mid-MIS 6 follow variations of pollen records in the Mediterranean basins and correlate well with the synthetic Greenland record and East Asian summer monsoon interstadial periods, indicating short warm/wet periods similar to the Dansgaard-Oeschger events during MIS 4-3 in the eastern Mediterranean region.
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- Millennial-scale oscillations
- Penultimate glacial
- Stable isotopes