Speleothem-derived Asian summer monsoon variations in Central China during 54–46 ka.
The oxygen isotope signature (δ18O) of stalagmite SI3 collected from Shizi Cave in north‐east Sichuan Province provides an Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) record in Central China for the period 54–46 ka. The SI3 δ18O record clearly shows a negative δ18O excursion centred around 49.4 ka, which was reported in Hulu Cave in East China but not identified in the speleothem records from South‐west China. As a whole, this record displays a higher coherence with the two Hulu records from East China than with the speleothem δ18O records from South‐west China, suggesting that at 54–46 ka, Central China was influenced more by the East Asian Summer Monsoon than by the Indian Summer Monsoon. It also displays a significant negative δ18O excursion at 47.5–46.6 ka, which is not clearly documented in two other speleothem δ18O records previously reported from South‐west China. This suggests that details of the Greenland interstadial 12 warrant further investigations in future in monsoonal China. The SI3 δ18O record displays more significant centennial‐scale variations than the other four speleothem δ18O records from East and South‐west China, which may be due to the fact that the study site is closer to the north‐west boundary of the ASM and more sensitive to variations of the ASM than East and South‐west China. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.