Seb F.M. Breitenbach

Seb F.M. Breitenbach
Ruhr-Universität Bochum | RUB · Department of Sediment- & Isotopengeologie

Dr.

About

176
Publications
68,088
Reads
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5,454
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2016 - October 2016
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Position
  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter / Researcher
March 2015 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Research Associate
March 2015 - March 2016
University of Cambridge
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (176)
Article
Full-text available
Identifying abrupt transitions is a key question in various disciplines. Existing transition detection methods, however, do not rigorously account for time series uncertainties, often neglecting them altogether or assuming them to be independent and qualitatively similar. Here, we introduce a novel approach suited to handle uncertainties by represe...
Article
Full-text available
Transient sediment storage and mixing of deposits of various ages during transport across alluvial piedmonts alters the clastic sedimentary record. We quantify buffering and mixing during cycles of aggradation-incision in the north piedmont of the Eastern Tian Shan. We complement existing chronologic data with 20 new luminescence ages and one cosmo...
Article
Full-text available
Northeastern (NE) India experiences extraordinarily pronounced seasonal climate, governed by the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). The vulnerability of this region to floods and droughts calls for detailed and highly resolved paleoclimate reconstructions to assess the recurrence rate and driving factors of ISM changes. We use stable oxygen and carbon is...
Article
Speleothems are well established climate archives. A wide array of geochemical proxies, including stable isotopes and trace elements are present within speleothems to reconstruct past climate variability. However, each proxy is influenced by multiple factors, often hampering robust interpretation. Sr isotope ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr) can provide useful in...
Article
Full-text available
We consider the problem of estimating causal influences between observed processes from time series possibly corrupted by errors in the time variable (dating errors) which are typical in palaeoclimatology, planetary science and astrophysics. “Causality ratio” based on the Wiener- Granger causality is proposed and studied for a paradigmatic class of...
Article
Full-text available
The winter and summer monsoons in Southeast Asia are important but highly variable sources of rainfall. Current understanding of the winter monsoon is limited by conflicting proxy observations, resulting from the decoupling of regional atmospheric circulation patterns and local rainfall dynamics. These signals are difficult to decipher in paleoclim...
Preprint
A candleform stalagmite from NE India highlights the innate complexity of speleothem records, and provides a cautionary tale for other speleothem researchers. Using a multiproxy approach, we attempted to characterise changes in Indian Summer Monsoon intensity over the formation period of our annually laminated sample, taken from a region of excepti...
Article
Full-text available
Speleothem initial uranium isotope ratios ((²³⁴U/²³⁸U)i) can be influenced by processes along the seepage water flow‐path including alpha‐recoil into porewater during ²³⁸U decay and hostrock weathering, the balance of which can reflect the infiltration rate. Thus, speleothem (²³⁴U/²³⁸U)i may provide information about past changes in rainfall amount...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speleothems (cave stalagmites) contain inorganic and organic substances that can be used to infer past changes in local and regional paleoenvironmental conditions. Specific biomarkers can be employed to elucidate the history of past fires, caused by interactions among climate, regional hydrology, vegetation, humans, and fire activity. We conducted...
Article
Full-text available
The 4.2-kiloyear event has been described as a global megadrought that transformed multiple Bronze Age complex societies, including the Indus Civilization, located in a sensitive transition zone with a bimodal (summer and winter) rainfall regime. Here we reconstruct changes in summer and winter rainfall from trace elements and oxygen, carbon, and c...
Article
Full-text available
Fossil and archaeological evidence indicates that hominin dispersals into Southwest Asia occurred throughout the Pleistocene, including the expansion of Homo sapiens populations out of Africa. While there is evidence for hominin occupations in the Pleistocene in Iran, as evidenced by the presence of Lower to Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites,...
Conference Paper
Speleothems are increasingly widely studied globally, but some regions remain poorly covered, including NW France. The cave-quarry of Caumont, located in Normandy develops in chalk limestone and contains speleothem formations from different time intervals. Chalk was extracted from this quarry for building stone since Roman times well into the 20th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Speleothems are increasingly widely studied globally, but some regions remain poorly covered, including NW France. The cave-quarry of Caumont, located in Normandy develops in chalk limestone and contains speleothem formations from different time intervals. Chalk was extracted from this quarry for building stone since Roman times well into the 20th...
Article
Patagonia is ideally situated to reconstruct past migrations of the southern westerly winds (SWWs) due to its southerly maritime location. The SWWs are an important driver of Southern Ocean upwelling and their strength and latitudinal position changed during the Holocene, leading thus to different responses of the vegetation to past climate changes...
Article
Full-text available
Recent wildfire activity in semi-arid regions like western North America exceeds the range of historical records. High-resolution paleoclimate archives such as stalagmites could illuminate the link between hydroclimate, vegetation change, and fire activity in pre-anthropogenic climate states beyond the timescale of existing tree-ring records. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Central Asia is positioned at a crossroads linking several zones important to hominin dispersal during the Middle Pleistocene. However, the scarcity of stratified and dated archaeological material and paleoclimate records makes it difficult to understand dispersal and occupation dynamics during this time period, especially in arid zones. Here we co...
Article
Full-text available
Protracted droughts lasting years to decades constitute severe threats to human welfare across the Indian subcontinent. Such events are, however, rare during the instrumental period ( ca . since 1871 CE). In contrast, the historic documentary evidence indicates the repeated occurrences of protracted droughts in the region during the preinstrumental...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of climate change on civil conflict and societal instability in the premodern world is a subject of much debate, in part because of the limited temporal or disciplinary scope of case studies. We present a transdisciplinary case study that combines archeological, historical, and paleoclimate datasets to explore the dynamic, shifting re...
Poster
Full-text available
In the region of Normandy (NW France), the cave-quarry system of Caumont opens in the chalk limestone unit where flowstone, stalactites and stalagmites precipitate in the karst system. Speleothem formation covers the Holocene and continues to modern day. We investigate the potential of stalagmite CCB-1, deposited over the last century, to preserve...
Article
Full-text available
Some of the earliest evidence for the presence of modern humans in rainforests has come from the fossil deposits of Lida Ajer in Sumatra. Two human teeth from this cave were estimated to be 73–63 thousand years old, which is significantly older than some estimates of modern human migration out of Africa based on genetic data. The deposits were inte...
Article
The analysis of irregularly sampled time series remains a challenging task requiring methods that account for continuous and abrupt changes of sampling resolution without introducing additional biases. The edit distance is an effective metric to quantitatively compare time series segments of unequal length by computing the cost of transforming one...
Preprint
Full-text available
A better understanding of ENSO dynamics is essential for modelling future climate change and its impacts on the ecosystems and lives of the inhabitants of the tropical Pacific islands, which face considerable environmental risk in the coming decades. This study reconstructs past ENSO dynamics using a multi-proxy approach applied to a stalagmite fro...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new method for the measurement of U/Pb ratios by isotope dilution multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for the dating of geologically young clean carbonates, particularly speleothems. The method is intended for materials containing little or no initial 232Th. We illustrate and validate the method wi...
Article
Patagonia is ideally situated to reconstruct past migrations of the southern westerly winds (SWWs) due to its southerly maritime location. The SWWs are an important driver of Southern Ocean upwelling and their strength and latitudinal position changed during the Holocene, leading thus to different responses of the vegetation to past climate changes...
Preprint
Full-text available
The analysis of irregularly sampled time series remains a challenging task requiring methods that account for continuous and abrupt changes of sampling resolution without introducing additional biases. The edit-distance is an effective metric to quantitatively compare time series segments of unequal length by computing the cost of transforming one...
Article
The role of seasonality is indisputable in climate and ecosystem dynamics. Seasonal temperature and precipitation variability are of vital importance for the availability of food, water, shelter, migration routes, and raw materials. Thus, understanding past climatic and environmental changes at seasonal scale is equally important for unearthing the...
Article
We highlight the potential for first row transition metals to carry paleohydrological signals in speleothems, and argue that these metals constitute valuable proxies for climate reconstructions. Metal availability to speleothems is hypothesised to be restricted by organic complexation, which strongly limits the free ion activity of transition metal...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Lignin oxidation products (LOPs) are widely used as vegetation proxies in climate archives, such as sediment and peat cores. The total LOP concentration, Σ8, provides information on the abundance of vegetation, while the ratios C/V and S/V of the different LOP groups also provide information on the type of vegetation. Recently, LOP analysis has bee...
Article
Despite its harsh and arid conditions, the Gobi Desert has played an important role in shaping Holocene populations , including the transition from hunting to herding lifeways. Here we present three newly documented rock art sites in the Gobi-Altai Mountains of south-central Mongolia, a cave (Gazar Agui 1), a rock shelter (Gazar Agui 13) and an ope...
Article
Full-text available
Though hundreds of caves are known across Mongolia, few have been subject to systematic, interdisciplinary archaeological surveys and excavations to understand Late Pleistocene and Holocene environments. Previous cave excavations in Mongolia have demonstrated their potential for preservation of archaeological and biological material, including Pala...
Article
Monsoon precipitation in East China shows distinct spatial distribution and its variability is closely linked with the changes of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). Located in the transition zone between the southern subtropical humid climate and the northern warm temperate semi-humid climate, central China is a core region for recognizing and u...
Article
Stalagmites are an extraordinarily powerful resource for the reconstruction of climatological palaeoseasonality. Here, we provide a review of different types of seasonality preserved by stalagmites and methods for extracting this information. A new drip classification scheme is introduced, which facilitates the identification of stalagmites fed by...
Preprint
Full-text available
Stalagmites are an extraordinarily powerful resource for the reconstruction of climatological palaeoseasonality. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of different types of seasonality preserved by stalagmites and methods for extracting this information. A new drip classification scheme is introduced, which facilitates the identification of stala...
Preprint
Full-text available
We describe a new method for the measurement of U/Pb ratios by isotope dilution multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for the dating of geologically young clean carbonates, particularly speleothems. The method is intended for materials containing little or no initial 232Th. We illustrate and validate the method wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lignin oxidation products (LOPs) are widely used as vegetation proxies in climate archives, such as sediment and peat cores. The total LOP concentration, Σ8, provides information on the abundance of vegetation, while the ratios C / V and S / V of the different LOP groups also provide information on the type of vegetation. Recently, LOP analysis has...
Data
Data supporting Comas-Bru et al., 2020 (ESSD): https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-2579-2020
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing the temporal uncertainty in palaeoclimate records is crucial for analysing past climate change, correlating climate events between records, assessing climate periodicities, identifying potential triggers and evaluating climate model simulations. The first global compilation of speleothem isotope records by the SISAL (Speleothem Isoto...
Article
Full-text available
Cave microclimate and geochemical monitoring is vitally important for correct interpretations of proxy time series from speleothems with regard to past climatic and environmental dynamics. We present results of a comprehensive cave-monitoring programme in Waipuna Cave in the North Island of New Zealand, a region that is strongly influenced by the S...
Article
Diagenesis of carbonate minerals is ubiquitous throughout the geologic record. Alteration is initiated immediately after deposition, or takes place in the endo- and exoskeletons as early as during the lifetime of a given carbonate-secreting biota, and can continue throughout the burial history of carbonate sediments and rocks. Variations in the dia...
Preprint
Full-text available
We consider the problem of estimating causal influences between observed processes from time series possibly corrupted by errors in the time variable (dating errors) which are typical in palaeoclimatology, planetary science and astrophysics. "Causality ratio" based on the Wiener -- Granger causality is proposed and studied for a paradigmatic class...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Characterising the temporal uncertainty in palaeoclimate records is crucial for analysing past climate change, for correlating climate events between records, for assessing climate periodicities, identifying potential triggers, and to evaluate climate model simulations. The first global compilation of speleothem isotope records by the SIS...
Article
Full-text available
Large changes in hydroclimate in the Neotropics implied by proxy evidence, such as during the Little Ice Age, have been attributed to meridional shifts of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), although alternative modes of ITCZ variability have also been suggested. Here, we use seasonally resolved stalagmite rainfall proxy data from the modern...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Cave microclimatic and geochemical monitoring is vitally important for correct interpretations of proxy time series from speleothems with regard to past climatic and environmental dynamics. We present results of a comprehensive cave monitoring programme in Waipuna Cave in the North Island of New Zealand, a region that is strongly influenc...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change in the Arctic is occurring rapidly, and projections suggest the complete loss of summer sea ice by the middle of this century¹. The sensitivity of permanently frozen ground (permafrost) in the Northern Hemisphere to warming is less clear, and its long-term trends are harder to monitor than those of sea ice. Here we use palaeoclimate...
Article
Full-text available
To date Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) dynamics have been assessed by changes in stalagmite d18O. However, stalagmite d18O is influenced by multiple environmental factors (e.g. atmospheric moisture transport, rainfall amount at the study site, ISM seasonality), precluding simple and clear reconstructions of rainfall amount or variability. This study a...
Article
Permafrost is widely present throughout the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes, and stores large amounts of carbon in the form of frozen soil organic matter. The response of permafrost regions to anthropogenic climate change remains uncertain, in part because of a lack of information on their response to past changes in global climate. Here we test...
Data
In this work we study stalagmite banding as an alternative proxy for paleohydrological conditions in stalagmites difficult to date using standard radiometric methods. A stalagmite cross-section is digitalized and the resulting matrix averaged, resulting on a high-resolution spatio-temporal record of tonality changes in the stalagmite. Assuming that...
Article
Full-text available
Significance We present a high-resolution, replicated speleothem δ ¹⁸ O record from Klang Cave in southern Thailand that characterizes rainfall variation in NCIP over the past 2,700 y. This record reveals notable dry climate conditions during the current and past warm periods, similar to the observations in SCIP, which resemble enhanced El Niño-lik...
Article
Full-text available
Although quantitative isotope data from speleothems has been used to evaluate isotope-enabled model simulations, currently no consensus exists regarding the most appropriate methodology through which to achieve this. A number of modelling groups will be running isotope-enabled palaeoclimate simulations in the framework of the Coupled Model Intercom...
Article
Full-text available
The clumped isotopic composition of carbonate-derived CO2 (denoted Δ47) is a function of carbonate formation temperature and in natural samples can act as a recorder of paleoclimate, burial, or diagenetic conditions. The absolute abundance of heavy isotopes in the universal standards VPDB and VSMOW (defined by four parameters: R¹³ VPDB, R¹⁷ VSMOW,...
Article
Full-text available
Cave air pCO 2 (carbon dioxide partial pressure) is, along with drip rate, one of the most important factors controlling speleothem carbonate precipitation. As a consequence, pCO 2 has an indirect but important control on speleothem proxy data (e.g., elemental concentrations, isotopic values). The CO 2 concentration of cave air depends on CO 2 sour...
Article
Full-text available
In climates with strongly seasonal rainfall, speleothem-based paleoclimate reconstructions are often thought to reflect wet season conditions, assuming a bias toward the season with greater water supply. This is particularly true in monsoon regions, where speleothem records are interpreted to document monsoon strength changes on multiple timescales...
Article
Full-text available
Mountainous depocentres are often the single available archives in intracontinental areas. As such, the investigation of their sedimentary dynamics is the only way to reconstruct palaeoenvironmental evolution in these peculiar regions. Here, the basin‐scale sedimentary dynamics of the Agadir‐Tissint Feija (i.e. feija is the local name for lowlands)...
Article
Central European climate is strongly influenced by North Atlantic (Westerlies) and Siberian High circulation patterns, which govern precipitation and temperature dynamics and induce heterogeneous climatic conditions, with distinct boundaries between climate zones. These climate boundaries are not stationary and shift geographically, depending on lo...
Article
Full-text available
Close coupling of Iberian hydroclimate and North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) during recent glacial periods has been identified through the analysis of marine sediment and pollen grains co-deposited on the Portuguese continental margin. While offering precisely correlatable records, these time series have lacked a directly dated, site-spe...
Article
Full-text available
As one of the most prominent seasonally recurring atmospheric circulation patterns, the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) plays a vital role for the life and livelihood of about one-third of the global population. Changes in the strength and seasonality of the ASM significantly affect the ASM region, yet the drivers of change and the varied regional respo...