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Keywords:

  • noble gases;
  • speleothem;
  • stalagmite;
  • temperature determination;
  • paleoclimate

[1] This paper presents a novel extraction device for water and noble gases from speleothem samples for noble gas paleotemperature determination. The “combined vacuum crushing and sieving (CVCS) system” was designed to reduce the atmospheric noble gas contents from air inclusions in speleothem samples by up to 2 orders of magnitude without adsorbing atmospheric noble gases onto the freshly produced grain surfaces, a process that had often hampered noble gas temperature (NGT) determination in the past. We also present the results from first performance tests of the CVCS system processing stalagmite samples grown at a known temperature. This temperature is reliably reproduced by the NGTs derived from Ar, Kr, and Xe extracted from the samples. The CVCS system is, therefore, suitable for routine determinations of accurate NGTs. In combination with stalagmite dating, these NGTs will allow reconstructing past regional temperature evolutions, and also support the interpretation of the often complex stable isotope records preserved in the stalagmites' calcite.