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Climatic and volcanic forcing revealed in a 50,000-year diatom record from Lake Massoko, Tanzania

  • Philip Barker (a1), David Williamson (a2), Françoise Gasse (a2) and Elisabeth Gibert (a3)

Abstract

The interactions between climatic and volcanic forcing on diatom communities contained in a 50,000-year sedimentary sequence from Lake Massoko, Tanzania, were examined. At the century scale, 19 discrete tephra inputs to the lake isolated the sedimentary nutrient supply and shifted the diatom communities to those tolerant of low phosphorus levels, whereas at the millennial scale, diatom-inferred shifts in precipitation–evaporation based on conductivity optima and diatom life-form ratios were broadly similar to lake-level reconstructions from Lake Rukwa, Lake Malawi, and others in the region. Some fluctuations of Lake Massoko are consistent with the precession-driven changes in insolation, but the major climate shifts do not relate directly to orbital forcing of summer insolation south of the equator and show more consistency with records from the equatorial and northern tropics that receive rainfall from the passing of the intertropical convergence zone. Sea surface temperatures are strongly correlated to multimillennial-scale climate patterns over this region of Africa.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author.E-mail address: p.barker@lancs.ac.uk (P. Barker).

References

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Climatic and volcanic forcing revealed in a 50,000-year diatom record from Lake Massoko, Tanzania

  • Philip Barker (a1), David Williamson (a2), Françoise Gasse (a2) and Elisabeth Gibert (a3)

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