Information for possible research collaborators

Bruce Railsback, Department of Geology, University of Georgia

     In research projects using stalagmites as records of paleoclimate, my unique contribution is using the petrography of stalagmites to constrain and enrich interpretations of paleoclimate.  Specifically, I look at variation in spelean minerals, detrital non-carbonate materials, crystal forms and fabrics, and layer relationships as evidence regarding environmental change.  I further hopefully contribute by integrating those observations with isotopic and growth-rate data.  Examples of my work are listed below.

     I would be happy to consider collaborating with researchers who use stalagmites as records of paleoclimate and who want to incorporate petrographic evidence in their work.  Please feel free to contact me at


Railsback, L. Bruce, Brook, George A., Chen, Jian, Kalin, Robert, and Fleisher, Christopher J., 1994, Environmental controls on the petrology of a Late Holocene speleothem from Botswana with annual layers of aragonite and calcite: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. A64, p. 147-155.

James W. Webster, George A. Brook, L. Bruce Railsback, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards, Clark Alexander, and Philip P. Reeder, 2007, Stalagmite evidence from Belize indicating significant droughts at the time of Preclassic Abandonment, the Maya Hiatus, and the Classic Maya Collapse: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 250, p. 1-17.

Brook, George A., Scott, Louis, Railsback, L. Bruce, and Goddard, Ethan A., 2010, A 35 ka pollen and isotope record of environmental change along the southern margin of the Kalahari from a stalagmite and animal dung deposits in Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa: Journal of Arid Environments, v. 74, p. 870-884.

Railsback, L. Bruce, Fuyuan Liang, Juan Ramón Vidal Romaní, Aurora Grandal d'Anglade, Marcos Vaqueiro Rodríguez, Luisa Santos Fidalgo, Daniel Fernández Mosquera, Hai Cheng, and R. Lawrence Edwards, 2011, Petrographic and isotopic evidence for Holocene long-term climate change and shorter-term environmental shifts from a stalagmite from the Serra do Courel of northwestern Spain, and implications for climatic history across Europe and the Mediterranean: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 305, p. 172-184.

Sletten, H.R., Railsback, L.B., Liang, F., Brook, G.A., Marais, E., Hardt, B.F., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., 2013, A petrographic and geochemical record of climate change over the last 4600 years from a northern Namibia stalagmite, with evidence of abruptly wetter climate at the beginning of southern Africa's Iron Age. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 376, 149-162.

Railsback, L.B., Akers, P.D., Wang, L., Holdridge, G.A., and Voarintsoa, N.R., 2013, Layer-bounding surfaces in stalagmites as keys to better paleoclimatological histories and chronologies. International Journal of Speleology 42, 167-180.

Railsback, L.B., Xiao, H., Liang, F., Akers, P.D., Brook, G.A., Dennis, W.M., Lanier, T.E., Cheng, H., and Edwards, R.L., 2014, A stalagmite record of abrupt climate change and possible Westerlies-derived atmospheric precipitation during the Penultimate Glacial Maximum in northern China: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 393, 30-44.

Liang, F., Brook, G.A., Kotlia, B.S., Railsback, L.B., Hardt, B., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., and Kandasamy, S., 2015, Panigarh cave stalagmite evidence of climate change in the Indian Central Himalaya since AD 1256: monsoon breaks and winter southern jet depressions: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 124, p. 145-161.

Railsback, L.B., Brook, G.A., Ellwood, B.B., Liang, F., Cheng, H., and Edwards, R.L., 2015, A record of wet glacial stages and dry interglacial stages over the last 560 kyr from a standing massive stalagmite in Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , in press.

Last updated 13 August 2015.