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Because each stalagmite is ultimately fed by a unique 'plumbing system', there is always the possibility of contingent variation related to factors unique to that drip.Therefore each individual stalagmite may have different sensitivities and thresholds to change.In fact, speleothems have recently been used to determine the timing of palaeoclimate records contained within ice cores.An additional advantage of stalagmites is that they often contain annual growth banding, providing greater chronological control.
The combination of these factors has led to the recognition of the usefulness of speleothems for obtaining precisely dated records of past climate and environmental change on a variety of timescales.
Stalagmites have several characteristics that make them ideally suited to reconstructing past climates and environments.
First, they can be precisely dated using uranium series chronologies.
Rock- and mineral-composed speleothems commonly have similar morphology, determined by gravity, that is, stalactites and stalagmites.
However, both primary and secondary speleothems also display forms that are specific to them.