We present a new high resolution speleothem stable isotope record from the Villars Cave (SW-France) that covers part of marine isotope stage (MIS) 3. The Vil14 stalagmite grew between ~ 52 and 29 ka. The δ¹³C profile is used as a palaeoclimate proxy and clearly shows the interstadial substages 13, 12 and 11. The new results complement and corroborate previously published stalagmite records Vil9 and Vil27 from the same site. The Vil14 stalagmite chronology is based on 12 Th-U dating by MC-ICP-MS and 3 by TIMS. A correction for detrital contamination was done using the ²³⁰Th/²³²Th activity ratio measured on clay collected in Villars Cave. The Vil14 results reveal that the onset of Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events 13 and 12 occurred at ~ 49.8 ka and ~ 47.8 ka, respectively. Within uncertainties, this is coherent with the latest NorthGRIP time scale (GICC05-60 ka) and with speleothem records from Central Alps. Our data show an abrupt δ¹³C increase at the end of DO events 14 to 12 which coincides with a petrographical discontinuity probably due to a rapid cooling. As observed for Vil9 and Vil27, Vil14 growth significantly slowed down after ~ 42 ka and finally stopped ~ 29 ka ago where the δ¹³C increase suggests a strong climate deterioration that coincides with both North Atlantic sea level and sea surface temperature drop.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Vol. 271, Issue 1-2, p. 130-139