Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-s65px Total loading time: 0.339 Render date: 2021-03-04T07:25:53.278Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Climatic and sea level controls on Late Quaternary eolian activity on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Andrew S. Carr
Affiliation:
Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Geography Department, Winter St., University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
David S.G. Thomas
Affiliation:
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK
Mark D. Bateman
Affiliation:
Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Geography Department, Winter St., University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Corresponding

Abstract

Located at the interface between the temperate westerly and sub-tropical climate systems, South Africa's winter rainfall zone (WRZ) is a key location in understanding Late Quaternary atmospheric circulation dynamics. Inactive eolian deposits in the WRZ, comprising pan-fringing lunette and coastal dunes, were investigated to establish their depositional ages and utility as paleoenvironmental indicators. The resulting optical luminescence chronology reveals episodic lunette accretion at 60,000–45,000 yr, 12,000–13,000 yr, 2800–2600 yr, 1200 yr, and <1000 yr, with coastal dune ages clustering at 4100–4700 yr.

Episodes of lunette and coastal dune accretion on the Agulhas Plain are temporally distinct, reflecting differing fundamental controls on their activity. Comparisons to previously published data also reveal that the lunettes differ in age from more ancient coastal eolianites. Lunette deposition is asynchronous between locations, reflecting the topographic and hydrological setting of the individual pans. In near-coastal settings, with limited surface recharge, lunette accretion appears to be at least partially controlled by sea level induced changes in groundwater levels. Those pans with more significant surface recharge (particularly from fluvial systems) may produce less ambiguous paleoenvironmental records, with pan status more strongly reflecting regional hydrological conditions. Lunette orientation is indicative of strong westerly winds during both the Pleistocene and Holocene. Lunette accretion would have been promoted by reduced on-shore moisture transport during the summer months, enhancing rainfall seasonality. Such conditions would have been promoted by increased continentality as the Agulhas Bank was exposed during low sea level stands.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
University of Washington

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Aitken, M., (1985). Thermoluminescence Dating. Academic Press, London.359 pp.Google Scholar
Barwis, J.H., Tankard, A.J., (1983). Pleistocene shoreline deposition and sea-level history at Swartklip, South Africa. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 53, 12811294.Google Scholar
Bateman, M.D., Holmes, P.J., Carr, A.S., Horton, B.P., Jaiswal, M.K., (2004). Eolianite and barrier dune construction spanning the last two glacial–interglacial cycles from the southern Cape coast, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 16811698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baxter, A.J., (1996). Late Quaternary environments of the Sandveld, Western Cape Province, South Africa.. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
Birch, G.F., De Plessis, A., Willis, J.P., (1978). Off-shore and on-land geological and geophysical investigations in the Wilderness Lakes region. Transactions of the Geological Society of South Africa 81, 339352.Google Scholar
Bowler, J.M., (1980). Australian salt lakes: a paleohydrological approach. Hydrobiologica 82, 431444.Google Scholar
Bowler, J.M., (1986). Spatial Variability and hydrologic evolution of Australian Lake basins. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 54, 2141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brooke, B.P., (2001). The distribution of carbonate eolianite. Earth Science Reviews 55, 135164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butzer, K.W., (2004). Coastal eolian sands, paleosols, and Pleistocene geoarchaeology of the Southwestern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 31, 17431781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butzer, K.W., Helgren, D.M., (1972). Late Cenozoic evolution of the Cape Coast between Kynsna and Cape St. Francis, South Africa. Quaternary Research 2, 143169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carr, A.S., (2004). Late Quaternary environmental change on the Agulhas Plain, Winter Rainfall Zone, South Africa.. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
Cockcroft, M.J., Wilkinson, M.J., Tyson, P.D., (1987). The application of a present-day climatic model to the Late Quaternary in Southern-Africa. Climatic Change 10, 161181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, A.L., Tyson, P.D., (1995). Sea surface temperature fluctuations during the Holocene off the south coast of Africa: implications for terrestrial climate and rainfall. The Holocene 5, 304312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, A.L., Parkington, J.E., Brundrit, G.G., van der Merwe, N.J., (1992). A Holocene marine climatic record in mollusc shells from the southwest African coast. Quaternary Research 38, 379385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Compton, J.S., (2001). Holocene sea-level fluctuations inferred from the evolution of depositional environments of the southern Langebaan Lagoon salt marsh, South Africa. The Holocene 11, 395405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Compton, J.S., Franceschini, G., (2005). Holocene geoarchaeology of the Sixteen Mile Beach barrier dunes in the Western Cape. Quaternary Research 66, 99107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cowling, R.M., Witkowski, E.T.F., (1994). Convergence and non-convergence of plant traits in climatically and edaphically matched sites in Mediterranean Australia and South Africa. Australian Journal of Ecology 19, 220232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cowling, R.M., Cartwright, C.R., Parkington, J.E., Allsopp, J.C., (1999). Fossil wood charcoal assemblages from Elands Bay Cave, South Africa: implications for Late Quaternary vegetation and climates in the winter-rainfall fynbos biome. Journal of Biogeography 26, 367378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deacon, J., Lancaster, N., (1988). Late Quaternary Paleoenvironments of Southern Africa. Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
Deacon, H.J., Deacon, J., Scholtz, A., Thackeray, J.F., Brink, J.S., Vogel, J.C., (1984). Correlation of paleoenvironmental data from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits at Boomplaas cave, southern Cape. Vogel, J.C., Late Cainozoic Paleoenvironments of The Southern Hemisphere A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.339352.Google Scholar
Dingle, R.V., Birch, G.F., Bremner, J.M., DeDecker, R.H., Du Plessis, A., Engelbrecht, J.C., Fincham, M.J., Fitton, B.W., Flemming, B.W., Gentle, R.I., Goodland, S.W., Martin, A.K., Mills, E.G., Moir, G.J., Parker, R.J., Robson, S.H., Rogers, J., Salmon, D.A., Siesser, W.G., Simpson, S.W., Summerhayes, C.P., Westall, F., Winter, A., Woodborne, M.W., (1987). Deep-sea sedimentary environments around southern Africa (South-east Atlantic and South-West Indian Oceans). Annals of the South African Museum 98, 127.Google Scholar
Faure, H., Walter, R.C., Grant, D.R., (2002). The coastal oasis: ice age springs on emerged continental shelves. Global and Planetary Change 33, 4756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaines, S.M., (2003). The morphology, sedimentology and palaeoenvironmental significance of two pan-lunette clusters in the southwestern cape of South Africa.. Unpublished MSc Thesis, University of Cape Town..Google Scholar
Goudie, A.S., Thomas, D.S.G., (1985). Pans in southern Africa with particular reference to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 29, 119.Google Scholar
Hesp, P., Illenberger, W., Rust, I., McLachlan, A., Hyde, R., (1989). Some aspects of transgressive dunefields geomorphology and dynamics. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. Supplement 73, 111123.Google Scholar
Illenberger, W.K., (1996). The geomorphologic evolution of the Wilderness dune cordons, South Africa. Quaternary International 33, 1120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Illenberger, W.K., Rust, I., Vogel, J.C., (1997). Luminescence dating of coastal dunes of the southern Cape.XIII Biennial conference of the Southern African Society for Quaternary research (SASQUA), Book of Abstracts.67.Google Scholar
Irving, S.J., (1998). Late Quaternary paleoenvironments at Vankervelsvlei, near Kynsna, South Africa.. Unpublished MSc thesis, University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
Klein, R.G., (1991). Size variation in the Cape Dune Molerat (Bathyergus-Suillus) and Late Quaternary climatic change in the southwestern Cape Province, South Africa. Quaternary Research 36, 243256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kocurek, G., Lancaster, N., (1999). Aeolian sediment states: theory and Mojave Desert Kelso Dunefield example. Sedimentology 46, 505516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kocurek, G., Robinson, N.I., Sharp, J.M., (1999). The response of the water table in coastal eolian systems to changes in sea level. Sedimentary Geology 139, 113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lambeck, K., Chappell, J., (2001). Sea-level change through the last glacial cycle. Science 292, 679686.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lancaster, N., (1978). Composition and formation of southern Kalahari pan margin dunes. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 22, 148169.Google Scholar
Lawson, M., (1998). Environmental Change in South Africa: A luminescence-based chronology of late Quaternary lunette dune development.. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
Malan, J.A., (1990). The stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Bredasdorp Group, southern Cape Province.. Unpublished MSc Thesis, University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
Marker, M.E., Holmes, P.J., (1995). Lunette dunes in the northeast Cape, South Africa as geomorphic indicators of paleoenvironmental change. Catena 24, 259273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meadows, M.E., Baxter, A.J., (1999). Late Quaternary Paleoenvironments of the southwestern Cape, South Africa: a regional synthesis. Quaternary International 57–8, 193206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, G.H., Beaumont, P.B., Deacon, H.J., Brooks, A.S., Hare, P.E., Jull, A.J.T., (1999). Earliest modern humans in southern Africa dated by Isoleucine epimerisation in ostrich egg shell. Quaternary Science Reviews 18, 15371548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murray, A.S., Wintle, A.G., (2000). Luminescence dating of quartz using an improved single-aliquot regenerative-dose protocol. Radiation Measurements 32, 5773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nash, D.J., (1997). Groundwater as a geomorphological agent in drylands. Thomas, D.S.G., Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands Wiley, Chichester.319348.Google Scholar
Prescott, J.R., Hutton, J.T., (1994). Cosmic ray contributions to dose rates for luminescence and ESR dating: large depths and long-term variations. Radiation Measurements 23, 497500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, D., Berger, L.R., (1997). Last interglacial human footprints from South Africa. South African Journal of Science 93, 349350.Google Scholar
Scholtz, A., (1986). Palynological and palaeobotanical studies in the southern Cape.. Unpublished MA Thesis, University of Stellenbosch.Google Scholar
Siesser, W.G., (1970). Carbonate components and mineralogy of the South African Coastal limestones and limestones of the Agulhas Bank. Transactions of the Geological Society of South Africa 73, 4963.Google Scholar
Stevenson, C., Lee-Thorp, J.A., Holmgren, K., (1999). A 3000 year isotope record from a stalagmite in cold air cave, Makapansgat Valley, Northern Province. South African Journal of Science 95, 4648.Google Scholar
Talma, A.S., Vogel, J.C., (1992). Late Quaternary paleotemperatures derived from a speleothem from Cango Caves, Cape Province, South Africa. Quaternary Research 37, 203213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, D.S.G., Shaw, P.A., (2002). Late Quaternary environmental change in central southern Africa, synthesis, issues and prospects. Quaternary Science Reviews 21, 783797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, D.S.G., Holmes, P.J., Bateman, M.D., Marker, M.E., (2002). Geomorphic evidence for late Quaternary environmental change from the eastern Great Karoo margin, South Africa. Quaternary International 89, 151164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thwaites, R.N., Cowling, R.M., (1988). Soil–Vegetation relationships on the Agulhas plain, South Africa. Catena 15, 333345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tinley, K.L., (1985). Coastal dunes of South Africa. South African National Scientific Programmes Report vol. 109, CSIR, Pretoria.Google Scholar
Walsh, B.N., (1968). Some notes on the incidence of drift sands along the Caledon, Bredasdorp and Riversdale coastline of South Africa. Bulletin-Department of Forestry vol. 44, Government Printer, Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 4th March 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Climatic and sea level controls on Late Quaternary eolian activity on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Climatic and sea level controls on Late Quaternary eolian activity on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Climatic and sea level controls on Late Quaternary eolian activity on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *