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Climatic variability in Mfabeni peatlands (South Africa) since the late Pleistocene
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
University of East Anglia, England.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2017 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 160, 57-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been postulated that a bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism dominated the relationship between the Northern and Southern hemisphere climates since the late Pleistocene. A key test for this proposition would be to undertake palaeoenvironmental studies on terrestrial archives in climatically sensitive regions. Southern Africas contemporary C-3 and C-4 terrestrial plant distributions display a definitive geographical pattern dictated by different growing season rainfall and temperature zones; however, the region is generally archive poor due to its overall semi-arid climate and high relief topography. The Mfabeni peatland, with a basal age of c. 47 k yrs calibrated before present (kcal yr BP), is one of the oldest continuous coastal peat deposits in Southern Africa. Molecular leaf wax isotopes (delta C-13(wax)) were generated for a 810 cm long core, and combined with previously published bulk geochemical (delta C-13(bulk), %TOC), palynological, and stratigraphic data, to reconstruct the late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironments. We interpreted environmental shifts associated with the Heinrich 4, Last Glacial Maximum, deglacial and Holocene periods, which are consistent with adjacent Indian Ocean sea surface temperature records. However, the other shorter climate perturbations during the Heinrich 5, 3, 2, 1, Antarctic cold reversal and Younger Dryas, were muted, most likely due to local hydrological overprinting on the Mfabeni record. A general anti-phase sequence was observed between the Mfabeni record and better established Northern Hemisphere events, underpinning the bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism proposed for global climate forcing since the Late Pleistocene. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2017. Vol. 160, 57-66 p.
Keyword [en]
Holocene; Pleistocene; Paleoclimatology; Southern Africa; Stable isotopes; Continental biomarkers; Peatland
National Category
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136754DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.02.009ISI: 000397374200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136754DiVA: diva2:1090547
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Link-South Africa program [348-2009-6500]; National Research Foundation; InKaba yeAfrica

Available from: 2017-04-24 Created: 2017-04-24 Last updated: 2017-04-28

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CiteExportLink to record
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