Journal of Quaternary Science

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1099-1417
Publications
Article
Predominantly laminated lake sediments from a saline closed-basin lake on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau were investigated using a multi-proxy approach (14C-accelerator mass spectrometry dating, smear-slide analysis, loss on ignition, grain size, X-ray diffraction, elemental concentration, ostracod assemblages, stable isotopes of ostracod shells) to trace the regional environmental and climatic history in the Lateglacial and Holocene. Before about 15 cal. ka BP, small saline water bodies probably filled the basin under unstable cold and harsh environmental conditions. Soon after about 14.9 cal. ka BP, a relatively deep saline lake was established, probably as a result of runoff from melting snow, ice and frozen ground in the lake's catchment. Large changes in flux of aeolian material to the lake were recorded during this initial period of formation of Lake Kuhai. Highest lake levels, a low sediment accumulation rate and less saline conditions were maintained between about 12.8 and 7.1 cal. ka BP when the aeolian influx diminished significantly. After about 7.1 cal. ka BP, the aeolian influx remained at a moderate level apart from a strongly increased dust delivery to the lake between about 6.1 and 5.4 cal. ka BP and a minor short-lived period of slightly enhanced aeolian influx at about 2.7 cal. ka BP. The strongly enhanced dust input to the lake between 6.1 and 5.4 cal. ka BP represented the largest influx of aeolian material to Lake Kuhai during the entire Holocene. However, evidence for climatic deterioration during this period is not seen at most other palaeoclimate sites on the Tibetan Plateau, but instead a significant increase in aridity has been recorded at numerous sites in the northern foreland of the Tibetan Plateau and on the Chinese Loess Plateau. The large dust input to Lake Kuhai between 6.1 and 5.4 cal. ka BP probably did not result from a severe climate deterioration on the Tibetan Plateau itself, but from the pronounced aridity in its northern and eastern foreland. In contrast, the increase in dust influx about 2.7 cal. ka BP seems to correspond to a brief warming spell recorded at other sites on the Tibetan Plateau too. A slight increase in lake level and decrease in salinity after about 0.6 cal. ka BP suggests a slightly higher effective moisture during the final lake stage, accompanied by a somewhat larger dust influx. This apparent contradiction possibly results from enhanced human activities on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau during the last 600 years. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We present a high-resolution record of lacustrine sedimentation spanning ca. 30 000 to 9000 cal. a BP from Onepoto maar, northern North Island, New Zealand. The multi-proxy record of environmental change is constrained by tephrochronology and accelerator mass spectrometric 14C ages and provides evidence for episodes of rapid environmental change during the Last Glacial Coldest Period (LGCP) and Last Glacial–Interglacial Transition (LGIT) from northern New Zealand. The multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental record from Onepoto indicates that the LGCP was cold, dry and windy in the Auckland region, with vegetation dominated by herb and grass in a beech forest mosaic between ca. 28 500 and 18 000 cal. a BP. The LGCP was accompanied by more frequent fires and influx of clastic sediment indicating increased erosion during the LGCP, with a mid-LGCP interstadial identified between ca. 25 000 and 23 000 cal. a BP. Rapid climate amelioration at ca. 18 000 cal. a BP was accompanied by increased terrestrial biomass exemplified by the expansion of lowland podocarp forest, especially Dacrydium cupressinum. Increasing biomass production is reversed briefly by LGIT perturbations which are apparent in many of the proxies that span ca. 14 000–10 500 cal. a BP, suggesting generally increased wetness and higher in situ aquatic plant productivity with reduced terrestrial organic matter and terrigenous detrital influx. Furthermore, conditions at that time were probably warmer and frosts rare based on the increasing importance of Ascarina. The subsequent early Holocene is characterised by podocarp conifer forest and moist mild conditions. Postglacial sea-level rise breached the crater rim and deposited 36 m of estuarine mud after ca. 9000 cal. a BP. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Colombian biomes are reconstructed at 45 sites from the modern period extending to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The basis for our reconstruction is pollen data assigned to plant functional types and biomes at six 3000-yr intervals. A reconstruction of modern biomes is used to check the treatment of the modern pollen data set against a map of potential vegetation. This allows the biomes reconstructed at past periods to be assessed relative to the modern situation. This process also provides a check on the a priori assignment of pollen taxa to plant functional types and biomes. For the majority of the sites, the pollen data accurately reflect the potential vegetation, even though much of the original vegetation has been transformed by agricultural practices. At 18 000 ¹⁴C yr BP, a generally cool and dry environment is reflected in biome, assignments of cold mixed forests, cool evergreen forests and cool grassland–shrub; the latter extending to lower altitudes than presently recorded. This signal is strongly recorded at 15 000 and 12 000 ¹⁴C yr BP, the vegetation at these times also reflecting a relatively cool and dry environment. At 9000 ¹⁴C yr BP there is a shift to biomes thought to result from slightly cooler environmental conditions. This trend is reversed by 6000 ¹⁴C yr BP; most sites, within a range of different environmental settings, recording a shift to more xeric biome types. There is an expansion of steppe and cool mixed-forest biomes, replacing tropical dry forest and cool grassland–shrub biomes, respectively. These changes in biome assignments from the modern situation can be interpreted as a biotic response to mid-Holocene climatic aridity. At 3000 ¹⁴C yr BP the shift is mainly to biomes characteristic of slightly more mesic environmental conditions.
 
Location map showing the maximum extent of the last British Ice Sheet (adapted from Sejrup et al ., 2005), major ice streams (adapted from Bradwell et al ., 2008), trough mouth fans (Barra-Donegal Fan; SSF, Sula Sgeir Fan; RW, Rona Wedge), bathymetric features (Rockall Bank; AD, Anton Dohrn; RBS, Rosemary Bank Seabight; LB, Lousy Bank; W-T Ridge, Wyville–Thompson Ridge), core locations (MD04-2822, MD95-2006 and DAPC2) and terrestrial sites mentioned in the text (Balglass Burn; Sourlie; and TH, Tolsta Head). This figure is available in colour online at www. interscience.wiley.com/journal/jqs 
Comparison of the benthic foraminiferal d 18 O records of MD04-2822 and global stacks (plotted on their own age scales). (a) C. wuellerstorfi d 18 O record of MD04-2822 (age in years before 2000 (b2k); (b) LR04 benthic foraminiferal d 18 O stack (Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005); (c) SPECMAP benthic foraminiferal d 18 O stack (Imbrie et al ., 1984). Tie-points used in the construction of the MD04-2822 final age model are highlighted. This figure 
Comparison of the benthic foraminiferal d 18 O records of MD04-2822 and global stacks (plotted on their own age scales). (a) C. wuellerstorfi d 18 O record of MD04-2822 (age in years before 2000 (b2k); (b) LR04 benthic foraminiferal d 18 O stack (Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005); (c) SPECMAP benthic foraminiferal d 18 O stack (Imbrie et al., 1984). Tie-points used in the construction of the MD04-2822 final age model are highlighted. This figure is available in colour online at www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/jqs
Photographic images of IRD ( > 150 m m) from MD04-2822, illustrating the diagnostic BIS lithics identified in MD95-2006 by Knutz et al . (2001). Samples are selected to highlight diagnostic lithics from both MD04-2822 and neighbouring core MD95-2006 (located approximately 83 km from MD04-2822). Row 1: MD95-2006 lithological composition for the maximum extent of the last British Ice Sheet (MIS 2); Row 2: MD04-2822 lithological composition for the maximum extent of the last British Ice Sheet (MIS 2); Row 3: MD04-2822 lithological composition for MIS 4; Row 4: MD04-2822 lithological composition for MIS 6 
MD04-2822 proxies plotted on final age model (years before 2000 (b2k)): IRD flux ( > 150 m m); the presence/absence of the diagnostic BIS lithics ( > 63 m m); the benthic d 18 O record; and percentage abundance of N. pachyderma (sinistral). MIS boundaries are shown (after Imbrie et al ., 1984). Stars denote the position of IRD images illustrated in Fig. 7. This figure is available in colour online at www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/jqs 
Article
Sediment core MD04-2822 from the Rockall Trough, northeast Atlantic, provides lithological evidence for the expansion of the British Ice Sheet (BIS) onto the Hebridean margin during both the penultimate (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6/Wolstonian/Saalian) and last glaciation (Devensian/Weichselian). A composite chronology is constructed using: (i) the benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope record, matched to an orbitally tuned stacked record of global ice volume (SPECMAP); (ii) the synchronisation of the planktonic foraminiferal (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral)) and ITRAX XRF Ca records to the Greenland ice core (NGRIP) back to ca. 123 ka; and (iii) the synchronisation of the same N. pachyderma (sinistral)) and ITRAX XRF Ca records to the atmospheric methane record of the Antarctic ice core (EPICA Dome C) beyond 123 ka. The first offshore evidence for the expansion of the last BIS within MIS 4 is presented, suggesting extensive glaciation of northwestern Britain during the Devensian/Weichselian as early as 70 ka. The proximity of this long sediment core to the glaciated margin of northwestern Scotland makes it ideal to capture the ice-rafted debris (IRD) signal of the BIS for the last 175 ka, via a continuous flux record of IRD. British Geological Survey © NERC 2009. All rights reserved.
 
Article
Pollen recovered from core tops of deep-sea cores from offshore northwestern Western Australia were used to build climatic transfer functions applied to sediment samples from major rivers bordering the ocean in the same region and a deep-sea core offshore Northwest Cape. Results show for the last 100 000 years, with a gap in the record spanning the 64 000 to 46 000 years interval, that from about 100 000 to 82 000 yr BP, climatic conditions represented by rainfall, temperature and number of humid months, were significantly higher than today's values. For the entire record, the coldest period occurred about 43 000 to 39 000 yr BP but it was wetter than today, whereas the Last Glacial Maximum saw a significant reduction in summer rainfall, interpreted as a result of the absence of monsoonal activity in the region. The Holocene can be divided into two distinct phases: one peaking around 6000 cal. yr BP with highest rainfall and summer temperatures; the second one commencing at 5000 cal. yr BP and showing a progressive decrease in summer rainfall in contrast to an increase in winter rainfall, paralleled by a progressive decrease in temperatures. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Radiocarbon dates from two sites in the Andes (Ecuador and Peru) confirm that glaciers culminated a readvance after 11 000 yr BP. A moraine stage, equivalent in altitude and position relative to existing glaciers, is present in most glacierized ranges, but its age is equivocal. Broadly limiting dates from Colombia and Peru suggest that the stage may be Late-glacial, as it is younger than 12100 yr BP, but formed before the early Holocene; in southern Chile a comparable moraine stage is older than ca. 9100 yr BP. Andean glaciers appear to have advanced at least twice during the Late-glacial interval.Glacier reconstruction from these moraine limits suggests depression of the equilibrium line altitude by at least 300–400 m in the northern and north-central Andes, and possibly less than this farther south.Late-glacial climatic change occurred globally and possibly reflects North Atlantic temperature and circulation changes forced by deglaciation of the northern ice sheets, migrations north and south of the Atlantic Polar Front, and the switching off and on of a ‘dust pump’ in low midlatitudes.
 
Article
Monthly temperature and precipitation estimates for the period 15000–2000 yr BP are statistically derived from pollen analytical data obtained from a site near Echternach, Luxembourg. A continuous warming trend of over 10°C is recorded for the period 10500—8000 yr BP, along with a rise in precipitation of 500 mm. A fairly constant temperature characterised the period between 8000 and 2000 yr BP, though an episode of slight temperature decrease (-2°C) occurred at about 4500 yr BP. The most humid intervals seem to have been at around 9000–7000 and 5000–3000 yr BP (principally during the warm season: more continental influence). In contrast with results obtained from more southerly sites, the ‘Older Dryas’ climatic reversal is clearly recorded at Echternach slightly before 12000 yr BP. It is marked by a cooling in July temperature of about 4°C and a decrease in monthly precipitation of about 30 mm (40%).
 
Article
A hypothesis is presented that late Quaternary 100 000-yr glacial cycles are driven by an asymmetric thermohaline–ice-sheet oscillator that emerged in the global climate system 650 000–950 000 yr ago, perhaps when the main source of Northern Hemisphere deep-water production shifted south from the Arctic into the Nordic seas. It is hypothesised that the asymmetry is due to the increasing difficulty after 950 000 years ago of resetting an interglacial mode of the critical Nordic limb of the salinity conveyor once it switches off and an ensuing iceberg flux enters the areas of downwelling. A possible reason for both a southward shift and the resulting asymmetry is uplift of the Greenland–Scotland submarine ridge from activity of the Iceland mantle plume.
 
Article
Pollen data are the most important source of information with respect to late Quaternary vegetation history. Broad-scale palaeovegetation patterns have been subjectively inferred from mapped pollen data by previous authors. In this study, multivariate classification was applied to European pollen data for the last 13 000 yr. The resulting clusters are mapped at millennial intervals and can be equated with vegetation units. The maps portray the changing vegetation of Europe since the last glacial. They reveal the impermanence of the assemblages of species that ecologists recognise as communities. The dominant patterns in the maps also change through time, indicating important changes in palaeoenvironmental conditions and in the alignment of major environmental gradients. Human impact upon European vegetation history is seen to be relatively unimportant when the vegetation is viewed at a continental scale.
 
Article
Central Chile (32–35° S) lies at the northern border of the strong influence of the westerly circulation belt and thus exhibits a steep rainfall gradient. A new core from Laguna de Tagua Tagua (34° 30′ S) provides a sedimentologic, geochemical and palynological record of regional hydrologic balance for the last 46 000 cal. yr BP. According to our age model, relatively humid conditions occurred during glacial times before 43 500 cal. yr BP and from 40 000 to 21 500 cal. yr BP. Reduced moisture conditions and likely lower temperatures occurred from 42 400–40 100 cal. yr BP. Higher lake levels, and pollen assemblages with Valdivian rainforest taxa, imply much higher precipitation during glacial times (40 100–21 000 cal. yr BP) compared to today and, therefore, enhanced westerly activity in northern Central Chile. Afterwards, the general decrease in moisture was punctuated by two abrupt arid periods at 21 000–19 500 cal. yr BP and 17 000–15 000 cal. yr BP, and two more humid intervals: 19 500–17 000 (almost coincident with the global Last Glacial Maximum, LGM) and 13 500–11 500 cal. yr BP. The early and mid-Holocene were the most arid periods in Central Chile for the studied time interval. Millennial-scale palaeohydrological reconstructions from Tagua Tagua are consistent with regional climatic records. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Elemental (C, N, Pb) and isotopic (δ13C, δ15N) measurements of cored sediment from a small bog in northern New Mexico reveal changes in climate during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Abrupt increases in Pb concentration and δ13C values ca. 14 420 cal. YBP indicate significant runoff to the shallow lake that existed at that time. Weathering and transport of local volcanic rocks resulted in the delivery of Pb-bearing minerals to the basin, while a 13C-enriched terrestrial vegetation source increased the δ13C values of the sedimentary material. Wet conditions developed over a 300 a period and lasted for a few hundred years. The Younger Dryas period (ca. 12 700–11 500 cal. YBP) caused a reduction in terrestrial productivity reflected in decreasing C/N values, δ15N values consistently greater than 0‰ and low organic content. By contrast, aquatic productivity increased during the second half of this period, evidenced by increasing δ13C values at the time of highest abundance of algae. Dry conditions ca. 8 000–6 000 cal. YBP were characterised by low organic carbon content and high Pb concentrations, the latter suggesting enhanced erosion and aeolian transport of volcanic rock. The range in δ13C, δ15N and C/N values in the sedimentary record fall within the range of modern plants, except during the periods of runoff and drought. The sedimentary record provides evidence of natural climate variability in northern New Mexico, including short- (multi-centennial) and long-(millennial) term episodes during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
A 10 m long peat core from the Kanaka Crater (20° 25′ S, 57° 31′ E), located at 560 m elevation in Mauritius, was analyzed for microfossils. Eight radiocarbon ages show the pollen record reflects environmental and climatic change of the last ca. 38 cal ka BP. The record shows that the island was continuously covered by forest with Erica heath (Philippia) in the uplands. Cyperaceous reedswamp with Pandanus trees was abundant in the coastal lowlands as well as locally in the waterlogged crater. The record shows changes in climatic humidity (wet from 38.0 to 22.7 cal ka BP, drier from 22.7 to 10.6 cal ka BP, and wetter again from 10.6 cal ka BP to recent) as the main response to climate change. A high turnover in montane forest species is evidenced at 22.7 cal ka BP and at the start of the Holocene. The limited altitudinal ranges in the mountains of Mauritius (maximum altitude 828 m), and changing humidity being more important than changing temperature, suggests that in response to climate change a reassortment in taxonomic composition of montane forests might be equally important as displacement of forest types to new altitudinal intervals. We found weak impact of the latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and data suggest that the Indian Ocean Dipole is a more important driver for climatic change in the southwest Indian Ocean. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We used the tropical oceanic planktonic diatom species Nitzschia marina, Rhizosolenia bergonii and Azpeitia africana/Azpeitia neocrenulata, most commonly found in the surface sediments of the northeasternmost South China Sea (SCS) where the Kuroshio Current enters the SCS through the Bashi Strait north of Luzon, to analyse the influence of the the Kuroshio Current on the SCS. The impact of the Kuroshio Current seems to be relatively strong during major warm periods and, to a lesser degree, in minor warm periods during the last 115 000 years. The strongest influence took place during the main part of the Holocene and during the very late phase of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e. It is possible to distinguish two magnitudes of change in the impact of the Kuroshio Current on the SCS: large changes occurred at shifts between glacial and interglacial conditions, while smaller changes seem to have recurred in both glacial and interglacial episodes as well as during the Holocene. Climatic/oceanographic changes and sea-level variations were possibly the two most important mechanisms for the varying influences of the Kuroshio Current on the SCS. The interaction between the Kuroshio Current and monsoon-related processes may also have played a role. However, because of restricted knowledge of the present-day Kuroshio Current and the absence of a modern analogue to the ancient SCS due to the marked changes in palaeogeography, this relationship is difficult to establish. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Varve thickness time series from ODP Site 893 in the Santa Barbara Basin (off California) were analysed to determine variation in the strength of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles during the past 15 000 yr. Mean varve thickness and variance changed over time, with thicker varves before ∼8000 yr BP indicative of wetter than modern climates. A 100‐yr running standardisation was applied to correct for non‐stationarity. The contribution of ENSO‐scale variability was then estimated as the amplitude of 3–8 year bandpassed data. Results show multidecadal‐ to centennial‐scale modulation of the amplitude. On average, however, the amplitude of ENSO scale variability remained constant throughout the past 15 000 yr. We therefore conclude that, although the expression of ENSO cycles may have changed during the Holocene, there is no indication for a significant change in amplitude of interannual variability. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Quantification of modern pollen rain–vegetation–climate relationships in New Zealand has been complicated by human destruction of at least 75% of the original forest cover since ca. 750 years BP, causing contemporary pollen rain over large areas to bear little resemblance to the pre-human vegetation. We use a pre-deforestation pollen database to circumvent this complication. The relationships between the pre-deforestation pollen assemblages and six climatic variables were explored using principal components analysis and constrained regressions (redundancy analyses). Quantitative estimates of the most significant climate variable (mean annual temperature) were made at seven lowland to montane fossil pollen sites from throughout New Zealand using the modern analogue technique and a transfer function. These showed an initial increase in mean annual temperature after 18 000 cal. yr BP, a cooling at the time of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (centred on 13 500 cal. yr BP) and continuation of warming from ca. 12 000 cal. yr BP across the Younger Dryas chronozone, reaching a Holocene thermal optimum that may have been between 1.5 and 3°C warmer than present and lasted from 9000 to 7000 cal. yr BP depending on the site. Cooling to present-day temperatures was well advanced by 4000–3000 cal. yr BP. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The diatom assemblage records preserved in a sedimentary core MD012404 retrieved from the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea (ECS) imply palaeoenvironmental changes of the last 100 ka. Our statistical analyses of diatom species abundance data indicate that the assemblages dominate open ocean and warm water, coastal water and freshwater masses in the ECS. These proxy species were used to infer the long-term variation in surface hydrological conditions and palaeoclimate. Cycles of ca. 23 ka observed in the relative abundance of the tychopelagic species Paralia sulcata indicate that the increases in precipitation driven by solar insolation might have controlled the diatom assemblages in the ECS. The diatom records also indicate relatively low abundances of tropical, tychopelagic and freshwater species during millennial-scale cold events such as the Younger Dryas and Heinrich events, which have been well expressed in the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere climate. The floral patterns are interpreted as synchronous cooling and more saline sea surface conditions in the ECS caused by the enhanced Asian winter monsoon during the Northern Hemisphere cold events. The higher abundances of tropical species during deglaciation and the Holocene might have been linked to gradual increases in the inflow of the Kuroshio into the Okinawa Trough. The records also suggest a temporary reduction in tropical species from 5 to 3 ka, corresponding to the Pulleniatina Minimum Event during which the warm-water planktic foraminifer Pulleniatina obliquiloculata was rare. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The inflow of Atlantic Water to the Nordic seas from mid–late Younger Dryas to earliest Holocene (12 450–10 000 a BP) is reconstructed on the basis of a high-resolution core (LINK14) from 346 m water depth on the east Faroe shelf. We have analysed the distribution of planktic and benthic foraminifera, stable isotopes and ice-rafted debris (IRD), and calculated absolute temperatures and salinities by transfer functions. During the investigated time period there was almost continuous inflow of Atlantic Water to the Nordic seas. Deposition of IRD during the mid–late Younger Dryas and Pre-Boreal coolings indicates the presence of melting icebergs and that summer sea surface temperatures were low. The east–west temperature gradient across the Faroe–Shetland Channel was much steeper than today. The cold conditions around the Faroe Islands are attributed to stronger East Greenland and East Icelandic currents than at present. The near-continuous inflow of Atlantic Water is consistent with published evidence suggesting that deep convection took place in the Nordic seas, although the convection sites probably had shifted to a more easterly position than at present. Around the time of deposition of the Saksunarvatn Tephra c. 10 350 a BP, sea surface temperatures increased to the present level. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The Late Quaternary glaciation of Tibet has received considerable attention in the last few decades due to its influence on the regional climate, especially the Asian summer monsoon. Recently, however, it has been argued that the Tibetan ice sheet also might have played an important role in initiating global-scale palaeoclimatic changes. Controversy, however, exists on the nature of Late Quaternary ice cover over Tibet due largely to the subjectivity in the interpretation of the sparse and complex geomorphological evidence. We have examined this problem in the light of δ 18O data (a temperature proxy) of ice cores-from the Dunde ice cap on the northern flank of Tibet. Considering only the gross features in the Dunde ice-core isotopic data, we have interpreted a temperature decrease of 4°–6°C and consequent lowering of equilibrium line altitude (ELA) in the range 700–850 m during the last glacial stage (LGS). This could have caused depression of the snow line below the mean altitutde of the Tibetan plateau, resulting in an areally extensive but marginally thick ice cover. However, if one also considers the possibility that precipitation on the Tibetan plateau during LGS may have been significantly lower than at present, the ELA depression would be much less than that estimated by considering the temperature effect alone.
 
Article
Pollen and macrofossil analyses of a sediment core from Beaver Pond (60° 37' 14″ N, 154° 19' W, 579m a.s.l.) reveal a record of regional and local postglacial vegetation change in south-western Alaska. The chronology is based on five AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) 14C ages obtained from terrestrial plant macrofossils. Pollen and macrofossil records suggest that open herb and shrub tundra with e.g. Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Artemisia, Vaccinium and Salix prevailed on the landscape before ca. 14000 cal a BP. The shift from herb- to shrub-dominated tundra (Salix, subsequent Betula expansion) possibly reflects climatic warming at the beginning of the Bølling period at ca. 14700-14500 and around 13500 cal a BP. Vegetation (Betula shrub tundra) remained relatively stable until the early Holocene. Macrofossil influx estimates provide evidence for greater biomass in Betula shrub tundra during the early postglacial period than today. Charcoal accumulation rates suggest tundra fire activity was probably greater from ca. 12500 to 10500 cal a BP, similar to results from elsewhere in Alaska. The pollen and macrofossil records of Beaver Pond suggest the prevalence of low shrub tundra (shrub Betula, Betula nana, Vaccinium, Ledum palustre, Ericaceae) and tall shrub tundra (Alnus viridis ssp. crispa, Salix) between 10000 and 4000 cal a BP. This Holocene vegetation type is comparable with that of the modern treeless wet and moist tundra in south-western Alaska. The expansion of Picea glauca occurred ∼4000 cal a BP, much later than that of A. viridis (ssp. crispa), whereas in central and eastern Alaska Picea glauca expanded prior to or coincident with Alnus (viridis). At sites located only 200-400km north-east of Beaver Pond (Farewell and Wien lakes), Picea glauca and Betula forests expanded 8000-6000 cal a BP. Unfavourable climatic conditions and soil properties may have inhibited the expansion and establishment of Picea across south-west Alaska during the mid and late Holocene.
 
Map of the Pechora Lowland in northern European Russia, located between the Ural Mountains and the Timan Ridge. Sites described in this paper are marked with a star, other sites mentioned are also marked. The present interpretation of the Barents–Kara ice-sheet limits in the Early Weichselian (Harbei, Halmer and Sopkay Moraines, ca. 90 ka) and the Middle Weichselian (Markhida, Indiga and Varsh Moraines, ca. 60 ka) are shown, as well as the zones of continuous and discontinuous permafrost (after Brown et al. , 1997). Box on the inset map shows the location 
(a) Location of Lake Kormovoye just within the Laya-Adzva Moraine. Higher areas are darker. Some altitudes are given in m a.s.l. on some contours. (b) Bathymetric map of Lake Kormovoye with 1-m contour intervals. Only cores 6, 7, 8 and 9 from the deepest basin and core 10 near the inlet creek are discussed in the text 
Article
Sediment cores from lakes Kormovoye and Oshkoty in the glaciated region of the Pechora Lowland, northern Russia, reveal sediment gravity flow deposits overlain by lacustrine mud and gyttja. The sediments were deposited mainly during melting of buried glacier ice beneath the lakes. In Lake Kormovoye, differential melting of dead ice caused the lake bottom to subside at different places at different times, resulting in sedimentation and erosion occurring only some few metres apart and at shifting locations, as further melting caused inversion of the lake bottom. Basal radiocarbon dates from the two lakes, ranging between 13 and 9 ka, match with basal dates from other lakes in the Pechora Lowland as well as melting of ice-wedges. This indicates that buried glacier ice has survived for ca. 80 000 years from the last glaciation of this area at 90 ka until about 13 ka when a warmer climate caused melting of permafrost and buried glacier ice, forming numerous lakes and a fresh-looking glacial landscape. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
A synthesis of the main environmental changes that are interpreted to have occurred in Iceland during the period 13-9 ka BP is presented. Most of the evidence available relates to variations in the position of ice margins, although some limited information on vegetation history and soil stability is also referred to. Only qualitative and limited climatic inferences can be made for this period because of the lack of detailed evidence. A summary curve of the relative extent of ice cover is presented.
 
Article
A multivariable approach utilising bulk sediment, planktonic Foraminifera and siliceous phytoplankton has been used to reconstruct rapid variations in palaeoproductivity in the Peru–Chile Current System off northern Chile for the past 19 000 cal. yr. During the early deglaciation (19 000–16 000 cal. yr BP), our data point to strongest upwelling intensity and highest productivity of the past 19 000 cal. yr. The late deglaciation (16 000–13 000 cal. yr BP) is characterised by a major change in the oceanographic setting, warmer water masses and weaker upwelling at the study site. Lowest productivity and weakest upwelling intensity are observed from the early to the middle Holocene (13 000–4000 cal. yr BP), and the beginning of the late Holocene (<4000 cal. yr BP) is marked by increasing productivity, mainly driven by silicate-producing organisms. Changes in the productivity and upwelling intensity in our record may have resulted from a large-scale compression and/or displacement of the South Pacific subtropical gyre during more productive periods, in line with a northward extension of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and increased advection of Antarctic water masses with the Peru–Chile Current. The corresponding increase in hemispheric thermal gradient and wind stress induced stronger upwelling. During the periods of lower productivity, this scenario probably reversed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
A pollen diagram from Lago di Martignano, a maar lake in central Italy, provides an 11000-year record of vegetation and environment change. The earliest pollen spectra are dominated by Artemisia and Gramineae, representing late glacial steppe vegetation typical of the Mediterranean region. Broad-leaved forests were established by ca. 11 000 yr BP. Although Quercus initially dominated their canopy, a wide range of other mesophyllous trees were also present. Pollen values for sclerophyllous tree and shrub taxa characteristic of Mediterranean woodlands and scrub are initially low (<10%). After ca. 7000 yr BP, however, they begin to increase and rise to a peak of >40% of total land pollen at ca. 6700 yr BP, with Olea europaea the single most abundant taxon. Human influence upon the vegetation only becomes significant somewhat after this peak, with progressive clearance of woodland and expansion of herbaceous communities. Castanea sativa and luglans regia pollen is recorded consistently from the beginning of the rise in pollen values for taxa characteristic of Mediterranean scrub communities. Pollen values for arable crops increase progressively after ca. 5500 yr BP, following the peak pollen values for taxa characteristic of Mediterranean scrub vegetation. Late glacial and Holocene climate changes have been complex in this region, with the present character of the climate developing only during the last millennium. Rates of change of pollen spectra peak during this period.
 
Article
We present new results for relative sea-level change for southern Greenland for the interval from 9000 cal. yr BP to the present. Together with earlier work from the same region this yields a nearly complete record from the time of deglaciation to the present. Isolation and/or transgression sequences in one lake and five tidal basins have been identified using lithostratigraphic analyses, sedimentary characteristics, magnetic susceptibility, saturated induced remanent magnetisation (SIRM), organic and carbonate content, and macrofossil analyses. AMS radiocarbon dating of macrofossils and bulk sediment samples provides the timescale. Relative sea level fell rapidly and reached present-day level at ∼9300 cal. yr BP and continued falling until at least 9000 cal. yr BP. Between 8000 and 6000 cal. yr BP sea level reached its lowest level of around ∼10 m below highest astronomical tide. At around 5000 cal. yr BP, sea level had reached above 7.8 m below highest astronomical tide and slowly continued to rise, not reaching present-day sea level until today. The isostatic rebound caused rapid isolation of the basins that are seen as distinct isolation contacts in the sediments. In contrast, the late Holocene transgressions are less well defined and occurred over longer time intervals. The late Holocene sea-level rise may be a consequence of isostatic reloading by advancing glaciers and/or an effect of the delayed response to isostatic rebound of the Laurentide ice sheet. One consequence of this transgression is that settlements of Palaeo-Eskimo cultures may be missing in southern Greenland. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Understanding the impact of past climatic changes on landscape stability is crucial in order to predict and mitigate the effects of future changes. However, in arid and semi-arid environments, reconstructions are often hampered by a poor understanding of the relationship between sediment deposition and climate. We present here data from central Texas, a region that is sensitive to environmental change but has received relatively little attention. The study integrates a chronology of 29 optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from six sedimentary sites in a range of depositional contexts with a 19 000 a climate record derived from pollen extracted from the adjacent Boriack Bog. By comparing the two records, we aimed to assess the relationship between climate change and geomorphic activity. Data show that extensive aeolian and colluvial deposition occurred during the mid to late Holocene, with sedimentation generally increasing during more arid phases. However, a number of depositional events on slopes were associated with moister episodes, and sediment was also deposited in a summit setting immediately after phases of increased precipitation. Linkages between climate change and geomorphic response were therefore complex, being controlled by both sediment supply and transport energy. The climatic fluctuations identified in the Boriack Bog record highlight the sensitivity of central Texas to environmental change, while disparities in conditions recorded between it and other palaeoenvironmental sites in the southern USA emphasise the need for further work in order to enhance understanding of landscape sedimentary response to climate. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The core interval of 0–140 m of the 357-m-long pollen record from site Funza-I was analysed using multivariate analysis. This long continental record is from the high plain of Bogotá, located at 2550 m altitude in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Time control is based on a visual match with core Funza-II from the same location, which includes absolute fission-track ages, and a match with the δ¹⁸O record of ODP Site 677. We reassessed the time-frame of Funza-I compared with previous papers, and conclude that the period of ca. 650–25 kyr BP is represented.
 
Article
We present a multi-proxy reconstruction from a well-preserved vegetation surface (ca. 32 000 14C a BP) from the Fox Permafrost tunnel near Fairbanks, Alaska. A thick litter layer of plant material on the vegetation surface is consistent with the vegetation lacking evidence of disturbance. Plant macrofossils and graminoid cuticle analysis show the presence of a graminoid assemblage consistent with phytolith data. The pollen data indicate that trees were not local to the site and that Artemisia sp. was present in the region. The insect and bryophyte reconstructions are consistent with the vascular plant reconstruction, indicating the site was at least periodically wet. δ13C values from the graminoids present show a large range encompassing both the wet and dry range displayed by modern graminoids in Alaska. Sequential δ13C analyses conducted along the length of leaves attached to the vegetation surface indicate a seasonal shift towards relatively higher water use efficiency. The lower water use efficiency earlier in the growing season may have stemmed from the use of winter season meltwater by plants at the site – a scenario consistent with the site's cryostratigraphy. Our multi-proxy reconstruction contributes to the limited palaeoecological data available for graminoid-dominated vegetation present in Eastern Beringia and particularly the interior of Alaska during the mid-Wisconsinan interstadial. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
A short sediment core (162 cm), covering the period AD 920–1999, was sampled from the south basin of Lake Winnipeg for a suite of multi-proxy analyses leading towards a detailed characterisation of the recent millennial lake environment and hydroclimate of southern Manitoba, Canada. Information on the frequency and duration of major dry periods in southern Manitoba, in light of the changes that are likely to occur as a result of an increasingly warming atmosphere, is of specific interest in this study. Intervals of relatively enriched lake sediment cellulose oxygen isotope values (δ18Ocellulose) were found to occur from AD 1180 to 1230 (error range: AD 1104–1231 to 1160–1280), 1610–1640 (error range: AD 1571–1634 to 1603–1662), 1670–1720 (error range: AD 1643–1697 to 1692–1738) and 1750–1780 (error range: AD 1724–1766 to 1756–1794). Regional water balance, inferred from calculated Lake Winnipeg water oxygen isotope values (δ18Oinf-lw), suggest that the ratio of lake evaporation to catchment input may have been 25–40% higher during these isotopically distinct periods. Associated with the enriched δ18Ocellulose intervals are some depleted carbon isotope values associated with more abundantly preserved sediment organic matter (δ13COM). These suggest reduced microbial oxidation of terrestrially derived organic matter and/or subdued lake productivity during periods of minimised input of nutrients from the catchment area. With reference to other corroborating evidence, it is suggested that the AD 1180–1230, 1610–1640, 1670–1720 and 1750–1780 intervals represent four distinctly drier periods (droughts) in southern Manitoba, Canada. Additionally, lower-magnitude and duration dry periods may have also occurred from 1320 to 1340 (error range: AD 1257–1363), 1530–1540 (error range: AD 1490–1565 to 1498–1572) and 1570–1580 (error range: AD 1531–1599 to 1539–1606). Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Several tephra layers from the last millennium have been identified in distal peat and lake sediment sequences in northern Europe, forming a framework of volcanic events of great value for palaeoenvironmental investigations. Most of the tephras within this framework have an origin in Iceland, but distal layers from Jan Mayen have also been identified. The predominant transport pathway, in an easterly–southeasterly direction, has led to the deposition of these tephras in a number of terrestrial deposits in northern Europe. Ash from silicic eruptions (>63% SiO2) dominate at these sites, even though many of the documentary records in distal areas report tephra fall from several basaltic eruptions. Here we provide an overview of the distribution, shard concentration and geochemistry of these tephras to highlight the most important isochrones for addressing key dating issues. In particular, three horizons – Hekla-1 (AD 1104), Öræfajökull (AD 1362) and Askja (AD 1875) – are found at a number of different locations in northern Europe and as such are valuable tie-points for improving and validating chronological models and for synchronisation of records spanning the last 1000 years. In addition, we present new data identifying tephra from the Grímsvötn volcanic system within the Lomonosovfonna ice cap on Svalbard, demonstrating that some tephras have been transported 2000 km to as far north as 79° N along a northeasterly trajectory. This discovery highlights the potential for utilising tephrochronology as a correlation tool for palaeoarchives located in more northerly areas and the complex nature of fall-out from different eruptions. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Cosmogenic nuclide analysis, using 10Be, has been used to date a Lateglacial stillstand in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland at 16.6–13.6 kyr BP. The dates constrain the extent of the local Cairngorm Ice Cap and the larger Scottish Ice Sheet at a particular stage during deglaciation. The geomorphological and sedimentological evidence suggests that the glacial stillstand persisted for around 1 kyr. Independent 14C dating from Loch Etteridge within Strathspey shows that deglaciation proceeded rapidly after ca. 15 kyr BP. Critically this study demonstrates that glaciers last occupied the valleys of the Cairngorms immediately prior to the Lateglacial Interstadial (Bølling/Alleröd), contrary to previous assumptions that the last large-scale glaciation of the massif took place in the Loch Lomond Stadial (Younger Dryas). This later event in the Cairngorms was therefore confined to the high corries. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We present a new regional calibration of the 10Be production rate from two well-dated surfaces in southern Norway: a rock avalanche with 14C-dated wood and a precisely dated Younger Dryas moraine. Calculated 10Be production rates are 4.26 ± 0.13 and 4.65 ± 0.14 at g−1 a−1 for the Lal/Stone and Lifton scaling models, respectively. Our regional production rate for southern Norway is 5% lower than the canonical global 10Be production rate with lower uncertainties. Our 10Be production rate agrees with regional 10Be production rates from north-eastern North America and New Zealand. The 10Be production rate estimate presented here can be used to improve the precision and accuracy of exposure-dated ice-marginal features, as well as other surfaces, in northern Europe. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We use cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure age techniques at a locality close to Rannoch Moor, western Scottish Highlands, in order to establish the age and chronology of its most recent glaciation. Glacial erratics and an in situ bedrock quartz vein sampled from this site—the summit of Beinn Inverveigh—have yielded zero-erosion exposure ages of 12.9 ± 1.5 ka to 11.6 ± 1.0 ka, implying complete ice cover of the mountain during the Younger Dryas, or Loch Lomond Stadial. These results fit closely with published 14C dates that bracket the maximum (lateral) extent of ice cap outlet glaciers, and are the first internally consistent ages to specifically address this period of glaciation in Scotland. Furthermore, the dates imply that previous palaeoglaciological reconstructions for this area may have underestimated both the thickness of the former ice cap and, by implication, its volume. © British Geological Survey/Natural Environment Research Council copyright 2007. Reproduced with the permission of BGS/NERC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The extent of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) in northern Scotland is disputed. A restricted ice sheet model holds that at the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ca. 23–19 ka) the BIIS terminated on land in northern Scotland, leaving Buchan, Caithness and the Orkney Islands ice-free. An alternative model implies that these three areas were ice-covered at the LGM, with the BIIS extending offshore onto the adjacent shelves. We test the two models using cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure dating of erratic boulders and glacially eroded bedrock from the three areas. Our results indicate that the last BIIS covered all of northern Scotland during the LGM, but that widespread deglaciation of Caithness and Orkney occurred prior to rapid warming at ca. 14.5 ka. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure ages for bedrock sites around Torridon and the Applecross Peninsula in Wester Ross, northwest Scotland, provide new insights into the Lateglacial transition. Accounting for postglacial weathering, six statistically comparable exposure ages give a late Younger Dryas (G-1) exposure age of 11.8 ± 1.1 ka. Two further outliers are tentative pre-Younger Dryas exposure ages of 13.4 ± 0.5 ka in Torridon, and 17.5 ± 1.2 ka in Applecross. The Younger Dryas exposure ages have compelling implications for the deglaciation of marginal Loch Lomond Stadial ice fields in Torridon and Applecross. Firstly, they conflict with predictions of restricted ice cover and rapid retreat based on modelling experiments and climate proxies, instead fitting a model of vertically extensive and prolonged ice coverage in Wester Ross. Secondly, they indicate that >2 m of erosion took place in the upper valleys of Torridon and Applecross during the Younger Dryas, implying a dominantly warm-based glacial regime. Finally, the exposure ages have clarified that corrie (cirque) glaciers did not readvance in Wester Ross, following final deglaciation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The now acknowledged thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet raises concerns about its potential contribution to future sea level rise. In order to appreciate the full extent of its contribution to sea level rise, reconstruction of the ice sheet's most recent last deglaciation could provide key information on the timing and the height of the ice sheet at a time of rapid climate readjustment. We measured 10Be concentrations in 12 samples collected along longitudinal and altitudinal transects from Sisimiut to within 10 km of the Isunguata Sermia Glacier ice margin on the western coast of Greenland. Along the longitudinal transect, we collected three perched boulders and two bedrocks. In addition, we sampled seven perched boulders along a vertical transect in a valley within 10 km of the Isunguata Sermia Glacier ice margin. Our pilot dataset constrains the height of the ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) between 500 m and 840 m (including the 120 m relative sea level depression at the time of the LGM, 21 ka BP). From the transect we estimate the thinning of the ice sheet at the end of the deglaciation between 12.3 ± 1.5 10Be ka (n = 2) and 8.3 ± 1.2 10Be ka (n = 3) to be ∼6 cm a−1 over this time period. Direct dating of the retreat of the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet has the potential to better constrain the retreat rate of the ice margin, the thickness of the former ice sheet as well as its response to climate change. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In this paper we reconstruct hydrological variability in Lake Baikal during Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS 11) (427–362 ka BP) from oxygen isotope analysis of diatom silica. Highest δ18Odiatom values are found during MIS 11.3, highlighting the dominance of hydrological input from rivers flowing into the south and central basins of Lake Baikal, especially the Selenga River. Hydrological input from south basin rivers dominated for over 30 ka. However, there is evidence from both biogenic silica and δ18Odiatom records for an abrupt cooling event at ca. 390 ka BP. Stadial conditions at this time are coincident with an iceberg discharge event into the North Atlantic. The decline in δ18Odiatom values suggests increasing proportion of hydrological input from rivers to the north of Lake Baikal, due to greater influence of winter precipitation and snow-melt. After a period of interstadial conditions during the early stages of MIS 11.1, biogenic silica and δ18Odiatom values decline, mirroring the slow growth in Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Despite rigorous cleaning procedures, palaeoclimatic inferences need to be treated with caution due to contamination of the δ18Odiatom record; during stadial and glacial periods, contamination of the δ18Odiatom record is even more significant. © Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) copyright 2008. Reproduced with the permission of NERC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The archaeological, environmental and geological data from Hoxnian Interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11) sites from Britain are examined to elucidate the type of habitats that humans preferred during this temperate episode. The conclusion is that humans avoided lacustrine situations, but did make use of the full range of resources that fluvial environments provide. This model is strengthened by the examination of other non-archaeological Hoxnian sites. The problem of archaeological visibility in lacustrine sediment sequences is also discussed and methods of identifying other evidence of human presence are suggested that may offset the deficiencies in the lithic record. These include presence of cut-marked bone, micro-debitage and possibly charcoal in fine-grained sediments deposited in distal settings. The reasons for human selection of fluvial situations are discussed. It is concluded that these environments provide a greater diversity of animal, plant and lithic resources, but also are major route-ways through the landscape. Patterns of human site use are identified, which seem to be triggered by local changes in hydrology and drainage, themselves possibly caused by regional changes in climate. Finally, Lower Palaeolithic sites on the interfluves are discussed. Although they lack environmental or dating evidence, it is tentatively suggested that they were used during cooler episodes, when more open conditions prevailed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Top-cited authors
John Lowe
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
Svante Björck
  • Lund University
Chris S. M. Turney
  • University of Technology Sydney
J. Vandenberghe
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
John T. Andrews
  • University of Colorado Boulder