Geochemical study of carbonate concretions from the aqueduct of Nimes (southern France): a climatic record for the first centuries AD?

Type Article
Date 2019-03
Language English
Author(s) Benjelloun YacineORCID1, Carlut Julie1, Helie Jean-FrancoisORCID2, 3, Chazot Gilles4, Le Callonnec Laurence5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Inst Phys Globe Paris, CNRS,UMR 7154, F-75005 Paris, France.
2 : Univ Quebec Montreal, Dept Sci Terre & Atmosphere, Montreal, PQ H3C 3P8, Canada.
3 : Univ Quebec Montreal, Ctr GEOTOP, Montreal, PQ H3C 3P8, Canada.
4 : Univ Brest, UMR Geosci Ocean 6538, IUEM, Pl Nicolas Copernic, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
5 : Sorbonne Univ, CNRS, INSU, Inst Sci Terre Paris,ISTeP, F-75005 Paris, France.
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Publishing Group), 2019-03 , Vol. 9 , N. 5209 , P. 12p.
DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-41620-4
WOS© Times Cited 5

The first centuries AD in the Mediterranean region have generally been associated with a warm, stable climate. High-resolution sedimentary archives sensitive to local environmental change are needed to switch from this general frame to the regional scale. Similarly to cave speleothems, laminated carbonate deposits can grow in the channels of aqueducts which transported water from karstic springs during the Roman period. The deposits of the aqueduct of Nimes (SE France) are exceptional since they may represent several centuries of paleoenvironmental record with a seasonal resolution. delta O-18, delta C-13 and trace elements were measured in three samples from this aqueduct. The comparison of the geochemical signals with the fine texture of the deposits evidenced the seasonal nature of the lamination observed. This allowed us to document the evolution of environment as recorded through the deposit for the period 50-275 AD. The concretions of the aqueduct of Nimes document rather stable climatic conditions for the first three centuries AD, as well as a local vegetation change possibly linked to an increased in land use.

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