Frank Schäbitz

Frank Schäbitz
University of Cologne | UOC · Institute of Geography Education

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193
Publications
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4,366
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Publications

Publications (193)
Article
Full-text available
The oribatid mites of a high-Andean cushion peatland in southern Peru were investigated. A total of 17 oribatid mite species, belonging to eight families, could be identified in five different microhabitats. A rarefaction analysis showed a potential mite community of maximum 18 taxa per 1000 specimens for this peatland site. Ranked species abundanc...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a new method to compute plant distribution in Ethiopia under paleoclimatic conditions using fuzzy logic. Using a published map of the potential vegetation for Ethiopia we decipher the boundary conditions for the main vegetation units shown, reflecting modern climatic conditions for temperature and precipitation in this region. Fuzzy lo...
Conference Paper
Southern Ethiopia has undergone tremendous climatic changes, from dry and relatively cold during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 25–18 ka) to the African Humid Period (AHP, 15–5 ka), and back to present-day dry conditions. As a contribution to better understand the effects of climate change on vegetation and lakes, we here present a Predictive Veget...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding eastern African paleoclimate is critical for contextualizing early human evolution, adaptation, and dispersal, yet Pleistocene climate of this region and its governing mechanisms remain poorly understood due to the lack of long, orbitally-resolved, terrestrial paleoclimate records. Here we present leaf wax hydrogen isotope records of...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the complex relationship between pollen and vegetation, it is not yet clear how pollen diagrams may be interpreted with respect to changes in floristic diversity and only a few studies have hitherto investigated this problem. We compare pollen assemblages from moss samples in two southeastern European forests with the surrounding vegetation...
Article
Paleoanthropologists have long speculated about the role of environmental change in shaping human evolution in Africa. In recent years, drill cores of late Neogene lacustrine sedimentary rocks have yielded valuable high-resolution records of climatic and ecosystem change. Eastern African Rift sediments (primarily lake beds) provide an extraordinary...
Chapter
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In this chapter we summarize the main results obtained from different lakes in Southeastern Europe within the CRC 806. When a pdf file becomes available from the publisher it can be shared as a text for private use. Meanwhile, it's possible to have a peek into sample pages of the book that encompasses results from the CRC806 as a whole - also avai...
Article
There is ongoing debate concerning whether or not changes in the eastern African climate, both long-term and short-term, affected the evolution, dispersal, cultural development, and technological innovations of Homo sapiens – and if so, in what way. We present the wavelet spectral analysis results of a ∼620 kyr record of environmental change from t...
Article
Full-text available
During the past 25 ka, southern Ethiopia has undergone tremendous climatic changes, from dry and relatively cold during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 25–18 ka) to the African Humid Period (AHP, 15–5 ka), and back to present-day dry conditions. As a contribution to better understand the effects of climate change on vegetation and lakes, we here pre...
Article
The hypothesis of a connection between the onset (or intensification) of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, the stepwise increase in African aridity (and climate variability), and an important mammalian (including hominin) species turnover is a textbook example of the initiation of a scientific idea and its propagation in science. It is, however, also...
Article
Despite eastern Africa being a key location in the emergence of Homo sapiens and their subsequent dispersal out of Africa, there is a paucity of long, well-dated climate records in the region to contextualize this history. To address this issue, we dated a ∼293 m long composite sediment core from Chew Bahir, south Ethiopia, using three independent...
Article
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Reconstructions of climatic and environmental conditions can contribute to current debates about the factors that influenced early human dispersal within and beyond Africa. Here we analyse a 200,000-year multi-proxy paleoclimate record from Chew Bahir, a tectonic lake basin in the southern Ethiopian rift. Our record reveals two modes of climate cha...
Article
Significance Our results identify the prime driver of climate variation in Africa’s low latitudes over the past 620 ky—the key time frame for the evolution of our species. Warming and cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean paced by insolation changes modulated the tropical Walker circulation, driving opposing wet–dry states in eastern and western Af...
Article
The Chew Bahir Drilling Project (CBDP) aims to test possible linkages between climate and hominin evolution in Africa through the analysis of sediment cores that have recorded environmental changes in the Chew Bahir basin (CHB). In this statistical project we used recurrence plots (RPs) together with a recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) to di...
Article
Full-text available
Establishing robust environmental proxies at newly investigated terrestrial sedimentary archives is a challenge, because straightforward climate reconstructions can be hampered by the complex relationship between climate parameters and sediment composition, proxy preservation or (in)sufficient sample material. We present a minimally invasive hypers...
Article
Full-text available
The Upper Pleistocene geoarchives in the south‐eastern Carpathian Basin are represented predominantly by loess–palaeosol records. In 2015, a 10 m sediment core composed of clay‐rich lacustrine sediments was recovered by vibracoring a dry lake basin located between the Vršac Mountains (Serbia) and the Banat Sands in the south‐eastern Carpathian Basi...
Article
Full-text available
We present new mineralogical and geochemical data from modern sediments in the Chew Bahir basin and catchment, Ethiopia. Our goal is to better understand the role of modern sedimentary processes in chemical proxy formation in the Chew Bahir paleolake, a newly investigated paleoclimatic archive, to provide environmental context for human evolution a...
Article
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Northern Africa’s past climate is characterized by a prolonged humid period known as the African Humid Period (AHP), giving origin to the “Green Sahara” and supporting human settlements into areas that are now desert. The spatial and temporal extent of climate change associated with the AHP is, however, subject to ongoing debate. Uncertainties aris...
Article
Full-text available
Comparison is a cognitive process and a method of acquiring geographical knowledge widely promoted within school systems in Germany, France and England. Comparison is an everyday practice, but it is also one of the methods systematically used by geographers and serves various scientific purposes. However, little is known about the functions, extent...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Stable oxygen isotopes (δ¹⁸Ocell) that are incorporated in cellulose of organic matter of plants accumulated by cushion peatlands on the Puna Plateau are a useful tool to investigate past environmental changes in the southern central Andes. Contemporaneous changes in the composition of δ¹⁸Ocell became evident in the high‐elev...
Conference Paper
This paper reports on the application of advanced hyperspectral analysis to support the nondestructive study of samples from long sediment cores (up to 280 m coring depth) collected under the Hominin Sites and Paleolake Drilling Program (HSPDP) in the Chew Bahir region of southern Ethiopia. For this purpose, the bidirectional reflectance of 35 core...
Article
Full-text available
For this study, a two-meter-long core was retrieved from a peat-accumulating fen area in the Unterzeller Bachtal in Dasing (Bavaria, Germany) and analyzed with a palaeoecological focus. The aim of this project is the investigation of the evolution of the natural and cultural landscape, the reconstruction of the local fen development and the influen...
Article
Full-text available
The Chew Bahir Drilling Project (CBDP) aims to test possible linkages between climate and evolution in Africa through the analysis of sediment cores that have recorded environmental changes in the Chew Bahir basin. In this statistical project we consider the Chew Bahir palaeolake to be a dynamical system consisting of interactions between its diffe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Eastern African hydroclimate in the early Holocene created a lush landscape in what is commonly referred to as the African Humid Period (AHP: ∼15 to 5 ka). The termination of the AHP was characterised by a climatic shift towards drier conditions. This resulted in the desiccation of many lakes and may have pressured hunter-gather societies to move t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The sediments of the Chew Bahir playa lake in southern Ethiopia were cored down to 280 m depth in the context of HSPDP (Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project) and CRC (Collaborative Research Center) 806 "Our way to Europe" projects. The main aim is to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental conditions during the development of anatomically moder...
Article
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High-elevation cushion peatlands are promising archives for paleoenvironmental studies in their extreme habitat of the Central Andean highlands between ∼4000 and 4800 m a.s.l. The Cerro Tuzgle cushion peatland (CTP, 24°09′ S, 66°24′ W), located in the NW Argentine Andes, is formed by the vascular cushion plants Oxychloe andina (O. andina) and Zamei...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How do we convert variabilities and trends in hundreds of potential parameters that are typically analyzed in the framework of a scientific drilling project to actual climate proxies? Using the case study from the Chew Bahir core from the southern Ethiopian Rift, we will show that deciphering climate information from lake sediments is challenging,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Investigations on short (≤18.8 m) sediment cores retrieved along a NW-SE transect across the Chew Bahir (CB) basin, Southern Ethiopian Rift, have shown that they can provide valuable climate information (Förster et al., 2012). The relationship between mineralogical and geochemical properties of the core samples is closely linked to the hydroclimate...
Article
Multiproxy investigations of lacustrine sediments from Laguna Azul (52 °S) document multi-millennial Holocene influences of Southern Hemispheric Westerlies (SHW) on the hydroclimatic variability of south-eastern Patagonia. During the last 4000 years, this hydroclimatic variability is overprinted by centennial warm/dry periods. A cool/wet period fro...
Article
de Naturwissenschaftliche Bildung impliziert ein angemessenes Verständnis zentraler Begrifflichkeiten, die den Weg der Erkenntnisgewinnung in den mathematisch‐naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern kennzeichnen. Im Rahmen der Nature‐of‐Science‐Forschung konnte ein Konsens über wesentliche Merkmale von Begriffen wie „Experiment“, „Theorie“, „Modell“ und „G...
Article
Multi-proxy analyses of an 8 m sediment core from Lake Hayk, a closed, freshwater lake in the north-central highlands of Ethiopia, provide a record of changing lake level and inferred regional climatic change for the last 15.6 cal ka years. Between ca. 15.6–15.2 cal ka BP, a lowstand was synchronous with Heinrich Event 1 and an intense drought acro...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological findings, numerical human dispersal models and genome analyses suggest several time windows in the past 200 kyr (thousands of years ago) when anatomically modern humans (AMH) dispersed out of Africa into the Levant and/or Arabia. From close to the key hominin site of Omo-Kibish, we provide near continuous proxy evidence for environme...
Article
We used a change point analysis on a late Pleistocene–Holocene lake-sediment record from the Chew Bahir basin in the southern Ethiopian Rift to determine the amplitude and duration of past climate transitions. The most dramatic changes occurred over 240 yr (from ~15,700 to 15,460 yr) during the onset of the African Humid Period (AHP), and over 990...
Article
The nature and amplitude of past environmental changes and their postulated correlation with steps in the evolution of humans, with their cultural and technological developments, and with their expansion out of Africa, are all subject to continuing debate. We present a change point analysis of a Late Quaternary high-resolution lake-sediment record...
Article
Full-text available
For the first time, an isolated cushion-plant peat hillock was investigated, a so far neglected feature of high-Andean spring ecosystems. These small hillocks typically cluster around springs within the upper catchment areas of larger cushion-plant peatlands at altitudes ranging from 4000 m to 5000 m a.s.l. The size of the investigated peat hillock...
Article
A 12 m long sediment sequence was recovered from the eastern Dendi Crater lake, located on the central Ethiopian Plateau and in the region of the Blue Nile headwaters. 24 AMS radiocarbon dates from bulk organic carbon samples indicate that the sediment sequence spans the last ca. 12 cal kyr BP. Sedimentological and geochemical data from the sedimen...
Article
A new diatom, Arcanodiscus platti gen. nov. et sp. nov., is described from the Argentinian Patagonia with a novel combination of features. Frustules are robust, strongly silicifi ed, with large and thick central hyaline area and thick valve mantle, under the valve edge often with external parallel undulations. Valves without labiate or strutted pro...
Article
Full-text available
Two new diatom species, Cyclostephanos salsae and Placoneis patagonica found in plankton, superfi cial sediments and quaternary lacustrine sediment samples from Laguna Cháltel, Southern Argentina, are described. The detailed morphology of these two taxa is examined using both light (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The main morphological...
Article
Corbetti caldera is the southernmost large volcanic system in Ethiopia, and has been categorized at the highest level of uncertainty in terms of hazard and risk. Until now, the number and frequency of past explosive eruptions at Corbetti has been unknown, due to limited studies of frequently incomplete and patchy outcrop sequences. Here we use volc...
Article
Full-text available
Corbetti caldera is the southernmost large volcanic system in Ethiopia, and has been categorized at the highest level of uncertainty in terms of hazard and risk. Until now, the number and frequency of past explosive eruptions at Corbetti has been unknown, due to limited studies of frequently incomplete and patchy outcrop sequences. Here we use volc...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructions of dust flux have been used to produce valuable global records of changes in atmospheric circulation and aridity. These studies have highlighted the importance of atmospheric dust in marine and terrestrial biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling. By investigating a 10 800-year-long paleoclimate archive from the Eastern Carpathians (Rom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Temperature, precipitation and wind intensity of South America respond to the air-pressure gradient between polar and subtropical latitudes as well as to sea-surface temperatures of adjacent oceans, the extent of sea-ice and continental ice masses and to the pathway of the Southern Hemispheric Westerlies (SHW). The resulting variations of the regio...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous volcanoes in the Afar Triangle and adjacent Ethiopian Rift Valley have erupted during the Quaternary, depositing volcanic ash (tephra) horizons that have provided crucial chronology for archaeological sites in eastern Africa. However, late Pleistocene and Holocene tephras have hitherto been largely unstudied and the more recent volcanic hi...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructions of dust flux have been used to produce valuable global records of changes in atmospheric circulation and aridity. These studies have highlighted the importance of atmospheric dust in marine and terrestrial biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling. By investigating a 10 800-year long paleoclimate archive from the Eastern Carpathians (Rom...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous volcanoes in the Afar Triangle and adjacent Ethiopian Rift Valley have erupted during the Quaternary, depositing volcanic ash (tephra) horizons that have provided crucial chronology for archaeological sites in eastern Africa. However, late Pleistocene and Holocene tephras have hitherto been largely unstudied and the more recent volcanic hi...
Article
The Lower Rhine embayment, Germany, is currently one of the most active sectors of the Cenozoic rift system of western and central Europe. Historical records denote at least 21 earthquakes with epicentral intensities >=7, and instrumental records show a concentration of seismicity at the major bounding Peel Boundary, Erft, Feldbiss and Rurrand faul...
Article
A 12 m long composite sediment sequence from Dendi crater lakes, located on the central Ethiopian Plateau, was recovered during a field campaign in March and April 2012. The sediment sequence was analysed with sedimentological and geochemical methods including XRF scanning, grain size measurements, and the determination of total organic carbon (TOC...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of the impact of climate-driven environmental change on prehistoric human populations is hampered by the scarcity of continuous paleoenvironmental records in the vicinity of archaeological sites. Here we compare a continuous paleoclimatic record of the last 20 ka before present from the Chew Bahir basin, southwest Ethiopia, with t...
Poster
Full-text available
The Collaborative Research Centre “Our Way to Europe: Culture-Environment Interaction and Human Mobility in the Late Quaternary” was established in 2009 and is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). It is devoted to the history of mankind and related changing environmental conditions since the origin of anatomically modern humans. Wit...
Article
The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to wh...
Article
Full-text available
High-altitude cushion peatlands are versatile archives for high-resolution palaeoenvironmental studies, due to their high accumulation rates, range of proxies, and sensitivity to climatic and/or human-induced changes. Especially within the Central Andes, the knowledge about climate conditions during the Holocene is limited. In this study, we presen...
Article
We welcome the comment by Wright and Forman (2016) on our paper as a useful opportunity to stimulate the discussion around interdisciplinary comparative approaches using palaeoenviron- mental and archaeological data. The authors of the comment ques- tion our interpretation of the archaeological record, and the concept of a Holocene refugium in the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In search of the environmental context of the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens and our close relatives within and beyond the African continent, the ICDP-funded Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has recently cored five fluvio-lacustrine archives of climate change in East Africa. The sediment cores collected in Ethiopia and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Upper Pleistocene geoarchives in the Pannonian Basin are predominantly composed of loess-paleosol sequences accompanied by only few fluvial archives dating to this time frame. In 2015 a 10 m sediment core was recovered within an extensive loess area by means of vibracoring, with the recovered sedimentary succession mainly composed of limnic sedimen...
Poster
Full-text available
Upper Pleistocene geoarchives in the Pannonian Basin are predominantly composed of loess-paleosol sequences accompanied by only few fluvial archives dating to this time frame. In 2015 a 10 m sediment core was recovered within an extensive loess area by means of vibracoring, with the recovered sedimentary succession mainly composed of limnic sedimen...