Organic proxies in speleothems – New developments, advantages and limitations
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Research into organic matter in speleothems has progressed recently to encompass new analytical approaches and applications, which offer increased potential in areas such as palaeo-temperature reconstruction and high-resolution palaeo-environmental records from the Quaternary. Here we review three major areas of relevance for future work in the field – the origin, transport and transformation of the organic matter which is ultimately preserved in speleothems; the types of proxies currently available for use or in development, and their advantages and issues; and the recently developed prospect of high-resolution organic matter records derived from the analysis of organic/trace elements complexes. The continuing extension of work in these research areas offers excellent potential for organic speleothem proxies to grow as a valuable tool in palaeoenvironmental research.