Climate variability in the northern Levant from the highly resolved Qadisha record (Lebanon) during the Holocene optimum

Carole Nehme, Sophie Verheyden, Tobias Kluge, Fadi H. Nader, R. Lawrence Edwards, Hai Cheng, Elisabeth Eiche, Philippe Claeys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


New stalagmites from Qadisha Cave (Lebanon) located at 1720 m above sea level provide a high-resolution and well-dated record for northern Mount Lebanon. The stalagmites grew discontinuously from 9.2 to 5.7 and at 3.5 ka, and they show a tendency to move from a more negative oxygen isotope signal at ∼9.1 ka to a more positive signal at ∼5.8 ka. Such a trend reflects a change from a wetter to a drier climate at high altitudes. The δ13C signal shows rapid shifts throughout the record and a decreasing trend toward more negative values in the mid-Holocene, suggesting enhanced soil activity. In the short-term trend, Qadisha stalagmites record rapid dry/wet changes on centennial scales, with a tendency to more rapid dry events toward the mid-Holocene. Such changes are characterized by overall good agreement between both geochemical proxies and stalagmite growth and might be affected by the seasonal variations in snow cover. The Qadisha record is in good agreement with other Levantine records, showing more humid conditions from 9 to 7 ka. After 7 ka, a drier climate seems to affect sites at both low- and high-altitude areas. The Qadisha record reflects uniquely mountainous climate characteristics compared with other records, specifically the effect of snow cover and its duration regulating the effective infiltration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-194
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Research (United States)
StatePublished - Mar 3 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Geochemistry
  • Holocene
  • Qadisha
  • Snow cover
  • Speleothems


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate variability in the northern Levant from the highly resolved Qadisha record (Lebanon) during the Holocene optimum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this