Indian summer monsoon variability during the last millennium as recorded in stalagmite from Baratang Mahadev cave, Andaman Islands

Sonu Jaglan, Anil K. Gupta, Hai Cheng, Steven C. Clemens, Som Dutt, S. Balaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study presents a stable oxygen isotope record of Indian summer monsoon (ISM) variability using cave speleothem carbonate from Baratang Island (Andaman Islands) encompassing the last millennium (from 10th to 19th century CE). The studied interval encompasses two major climatic events; the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) as well as the Current Warm Period (CWP). Our data suggest generally higher precipitation during the warm MCA when the ISM was relatively strong, and low precipitation during the cold LIA with a few exceptions when wet conditions prevailed. The Baratang cave record shows greater similarity with the records from the Sahiya and Klang caves, and opposite trends relative to those from the northeastern Himalaya owing to the dipolar nature of ISM precipitation. High-frequency sub-decadal to centennial scale pulses of weakened summer monsoons are observed during 16th to 19th century CE. These phases of weak ISM are correlated with severe droughts and famines in the Indian subcontinent owing to deficient monsoon rainfall, which had pronounced effect on South Asian societies. Spectral analysis suggests a strong periodicity of 190 yr (de Vries cycle) indicating strong influence of solar insolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109908
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume557
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun for necessary infrastructure facilities. Department of Science and Technology, Government of India is thanked for the Sir J. C. Bose fellowship to AKG (SR/S2/JCB-80/2011). SJ and AKG wrote the manuscript. SD helped in manuscript preparation. HC carried out the U[sbnd]Th dating and contributed in data interpretation. SCC carried out the oxygen isotope analysis and helped in interpretations. SD and SB helped in sample collection and SJ did the subsampling. The field guides Martin and Bhaingra are thanked for their help in the field work.

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun for necessary infrastructure facilities. Department of Science and Technology, Government of India is thanked for the Sir J. C. Bose fellowship to AKG ( SR/S2/JCB-80/2011 ). SJ and AKG wrote the manuscript. SD helped in manuscript preparation. HC carried out the U Th dating and contributed in data interpretation. SCC carried out the oxygen isotope analysis and helped in interpretations. SD and SB helped in sample collection and SJ did the subsampling. The field guides Martin and Bhaingra are thanked for their help in the field work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Baratang cave
  • Current warm period
  • Indian monsoon dipole
  • Inter tropical convergence zone
  • Little Ice Age
  • Medieval climate anomaly

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