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  • 1.
    Baker, A.
    et al.
    University of Stellenbosch, South Africa .
    Routh, Joyanto
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Blaauw, M.
    Queens University of Belfast, North Ireland .
    Roychoudhury, A.N.
    University of Stellenbosch, South Africa .
    Geochemical records of palaeoenvironmental controls on peat forming processes in the Mfabeni peatland, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa since the Late Pleistocene2014In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 395, p. 95-106Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Mfabeni peatland is the only known sub-tropical coastal fen that transcends the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This ca. 10 m thick peat sequence provides a continuous sedimentation record spanning from the late Pleistocene to present (basal age c. 47 kcal yr BP). We investigated the paleaeoenvironmental controls on peat formation and organic matter source input at the Mfabeni fen by: 1) exploring geochemical records (mass accumulation rate, total organic carbon, carbon accumulation rate, delta C-13, delta N-15 and C/N ratio) to delineate primary production, organic matter source input, preservation and diagenetic processes, and 2) employ these geochemical signatures to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental conditions and prevailing climate that drove carbon accumulation in the peatland. We established that the Mfabeni peat sediments have undergone minimal diagenetic alteration. The peat sequence was divided into 5 linear sedimentation rate (LSR) stages indicating distinct changes in climate and hydrological conditions: ISR stage 1 (c. 47 to c. 32.2 kcal yr BP): predominantly cool and wet climate with C4 plant assemblages, interrupted by two short warming events. LSR stage 2 (c. 32.2 to c. 27.6 kcal yr BP): dry and windy climate followed by a brief warm and wet period with increased C4 sedge swamp vegetation. LSR stage 3 (c. 27.6 to c. 20.3 kcal yr BP): initial cool and wet period with prevailing C4 sedge plant assemblage until c. 23 kcal yr BP; then an abrupt change to dry and cool glacial conditions and steady increases in C3 grasses. LSR stage 4 (c. 203 to c. 10.4 kcal yr BP): continuation of cool and dry conditions and strong 0 grassland signature until c. 15 kcal yr BP, after which precipitation increases. LSR stage 5 (c. 10.4 kcal yr BP to present): characterised by extreme fluctuations between pervasive wet and warm to cool interglacial conditions with intermittent abrupt millennial-scale cooling/drying events and oscillations between C3 and C4 plant assemblages. In this study we reconstructed a high-resolution record of local hydrology, bulk plant assemblage and inferred climate since the Late Pleistocene, which suggest an anti-phase link between Southern African and the Northern Hemisphere, most notably during Heinrich (5 to 2) and Younger Dryas events.

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  • 2.
    Baker, Andrea
    et al.
    Department of Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
    Routh, Joyanto
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Roychoudhury, Alakendra N
    Department of Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
    Biomarker records of palaeoenvironmental variations in subtropical Southern Africa since the late Pleistocene: Evidences from a coastal peatland2016In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 451, no 1, p. 1-12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Southern Africa's unique global position has given rise to a dynamic climate influenced by large sea surface temperature gradients and seasonal fluctuations in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. Due to the semi-arid climate of the region, terrestrial palaeorecords are rare and our understanding of the long-term sensitivity of Southern African terrestrial ecosystems to climatic drivers is ambiguous. A 810 cm continuous peat core was extracted from the Mfabeni peatland with a 14C basal age of c. 47 thousand years calibrated before present (kcal yr BP), positioning it as one of the oldest known sub-tropical coastal peatlands in Southern Africa. This peat core provides an opportunity to investigate palaeoenvironmental changes in subtropical Southern Africa since the late Pleistocene. Biomarker (n-alkane, n-alkanoic acid and n-alkanol) analysis, in conjunction with previously published bulk geochemical data, was employed to reconstruct organic matter (OM) sources, rates of OM remineralisation and peatland hydrology. Our results showed that the principal OM source into the peatland was emergent and terrestrial plants with exception of shallow lake conditions when submerged macrophytes dominated (c. 44.5–42.6, 29.7, 26.1–23.1, 16.7–7.1 and 2.2 kcal yr BP). n-Alkane proxies suggest that local plant assemblages were predominantly influenced by peatland hydrology. By incorporating temperature sensitive n-alkanoic acid and n-alkanol proxies, it was possible to disentangle the local temperature and precipitation changes. We report large variations in precipitation intensities, but subdued temperature fluctuations during the late Pleistocene. The Holocene period was characterised by overall elevated temperatures and precipitation compared to the preceding glacial period, interspersed with a millennial scale cooling event. A close link between the Mfabeni archive and adjacent Indian Ocean marine core records was observed, suggesting the regional ocean surface temperatures to be the dominant climate driver in this region since the late Pleistocene.

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  • 3.
    Gayantha, Kasun
    et al.
    University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
    Routh, Joyanto
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Chandrajith, Rohana
    University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
    A multi-proxy reconstruction of the late Holocene climate evolution in Lake Bolgoda, Sri Lanka2017In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 473, p. 16-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Palaeoclimate investigations in Sri Lanka have been rarely attempted despite being located directly in the path of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. In this study, a 4.1-m undisturbed sediment core was retrieved from the Bolgoda Lake situated in the western coast of Sri Lanka, and influenced by the strong southwest monsoons. Mollusc shells in the core were dated, and the age-depth model indicated a depositional history extending from 2941 cal yr BP to the present. Grain size, major and trace elements, total organic C and N content and stable C and N isotopes were analysed in freeze-dried sediments to reconstruct the palaeoclimate changes. The multi proxy records in the core revealed four distinct zones that show distinct variations in physical and chemical conditions in the lake associated with climate change. Zone 1 (2941 to 2390 cal yr BP; 385-252 cm) indicated the climate to be warm and humid with intense precipitation. The resulting high lake level helped in organic matter preservation in bottom sediments. Zone 2 (2390 to 1782 cal yr BP; 252-140 cm) indicated an unstable dry period associated with weak precipitation. Consequently, low lake level and intense degradation of organic matter occurred in this zone. Zone 3 (1782 to 1299 cal yr BP; 140-60 cm) indicated a resurgence of intense monsoon along with warm and humid conditions. Zone 4 (1299 cal yr BP to present; 60-0 cm) indicated dry conditions with less intense monsoon, low lake level and extensive degradation of organic matter. Vascular plants were the predominant organic matter source into the lake during the late Holocene. In contrast, algal input was significant between 2390 cal yr BP and 2153 cal yr BP. The palaeoclimate evidences in this study showed an overall weakening trend of SW monsoon during the late Holocene, and this was consistent with changes happening in other locations as in southern and western India. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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  • 4.
    Vaezi, Alireza
    et al.
    Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Enghelab Square, Tehran 1417853111, Iran.
    Ghazban, Fereydoun
    Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Enghelab Square, Tehran 1417853111, Iran.
    Tavakoli, Vahid
    School of Geology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Enghelab Square, Tehran 1417853111, Iran.
    Routh, Joyanto
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Beni, Abdolmajid Naderi
    Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, Etemadzadeh St, Tehran 1411813389, Iran.
    Bianchi, Thomas S.
    Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
    Curtis, Jason H.
    Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
    Kylin, Henrik
    Research Unit, Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
    A Late Pleistocene-Holocene multi-proxy record of climate variability in the Jazmurian playa, southeastern Iran2019In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 514, p. 754-767Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present a multi-proxy record from a 5-m long sediment core from the Jazmurian playa in southeastern Iran to provide insights into globally-recognized major climatic events since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In particular, we examined how variability in the Indian Ocean Summer Monsoon (IOSM) and Mid-Latitude Westerlies (MLW) contribute to distinct environmental changes in this arid to hyper-arid region in the interior of West Asia. While interior West Asia showed cold windy conditions during the LGM and post-LGM, southeast Iran experienced quiescent conditions similar to south Asia. The presence of fine-grained sediments, low magnetic susceptibility, and a decrease in aeolian inputs from ca. 21 to 14 cal kyr BP, suggests that effects of both wind and precipitation were minimal during these quiescent conditions. Increased fluvial inputs, coupled with a low abundance of evaporite minerals in Jazmurian sediments, indicated a greater influence of the IOSM between 14 and 13.2 cal kyr BP. In contrast, the Jazmurian playa was dry and dusty between 13.2 and 11.4 cal kyr BP, as reflected by an increase in aeolian sands, and the presence of evaporite minerals. This was followed by a period of strong IOSM activity during the early Holocene, coinciding with higher fluvial input ca. 11.4 cal kyr BP. The early Holocene in southeast Iran was wetter than other analogs in south Asia because of inputs from both IOSM and MWL. Several intense dry periods with sharp increases in aeolian inputs occurred after the early Holocene, due to the southward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Precipitation sources changed from a monsoon-dominated regime to one influenced mainly by the MLW during the late-Holocene. These results show that palaeoenvironmental changes in the Jazmurian playa, located at the border of IOSM and MLW zones, were primarily governed by global and regional paleoclimatic changes.

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