With the increasing recognition of the value of speleothems as high-resolution paleoclimatic archives has come the recognition of the possible influence of diagenetic processes that may modify their geochemical signatures. This paper by Perrin et al. provides criteria for distinguishing primary and secondary features in aragonite and calcite speleothems from study of the Pont-de-Ratz Cave (France). Combining analysis of mineralogical, textural and geochemical data at different scales, results highlight the importance of diagenesis in vadose speleothems and the large variety of potential syn- and post-formational modifications of spelean precipitates in cave environments. The coupled petrography and geochemical identify the nature and origin of the diverse spelean materials, information that must be assessed before extracting reliable paleoenvironmental and geochronological information.
Aragonite–calcite speleothems: identifying originaland diagenetic features by Christine Perrin, Laurent Prestimonaco, Guilhem Servelle, Romain Tilhac, Marion Maury, and Patrick Cabrol