An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula

Zunli Lu*, Rosalind E M Rickaby, Hilary Kennedy, Paul Kennedy, Richard D. Pancost, Samuel Shaw, Alistair Lennie, Julia Wellner, John B. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Calcium carbonate can crystallize in a hydrated form as ikaite at low temperatures. The hydration water in ikaite grown in laboratory experiments records the δ 18O of ambient water, a feature potentially useful for reconstructing δ 18O of local seawater. We report the first downcore δ 18O record of natural ikaite hydration waters and crystals collected from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), a region sensitive to climate fluctuations. We are able to establish the zone of ikaite formation within shallow sediments, based on porewater chemical and isotopic data. Having constrained the depth of ikaite formation and δ 18O of ikaite crystals and hydration waters, we are able to infer local changes in fjord δ 18O versus time during the late Holocene. This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Holocene
  • Hydration water
  • Ikaite
  • Stable isotope


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