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Patterns of aeolian deposition in subtropical Australia through the last glacial and deglacial periods

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 February 2021

Richard J. Lewis*
School of Physical Science, Environment Institute, Sprigg Geobiology Centre and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS), University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, 5005, SA, Australia
John Tibby
Geography, Environment and Population and Sprigg Geobiology Centre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, 5005, SA, Australia
Lee J. Arnold
School of Physical Science, Environment Institute, Sprigg Geobiology Centre and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS), University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, 5005, SA, Australia
Patricia Gadd
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW, 2232, Australia
Geraldine Jacobsen
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW, 2232, Australia
Cameron Barr
Geography, Environment and Population and Sprigg Geobiology Centre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, 5005, SA, Australia
Peter M. Negus
Queensland Department of Environment and Science, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane, Queensland, 4001, Australia
Michela Mariani
School of Geography, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
Daniel Penny
School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, NSW2006, Australia
David Chittleborough
School of Physical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia5005, Australia School of Science and Engineering, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland4556
Edward Moss
School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, NSW2006, Australia
*Corresponding author email address:


Debate about the nature of climate and the magnitude of ecological change across Australia during the last glacial maximum (LGM; 26.5–19 ka) persists despite considerable research into the late Pleistocene. This is partly due to a lack of detailed paleoenvironmental records and reliable chronological frameworks. Geochemical and geochronological analyses of a 60 ka sedimentary record from Brown Lake, subtropical Queensland, are presented and considered in the context of climate-controlled environmental change. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of dune crests adjacent to prominent wetlands across North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) returned a mean age of 119.9 ± 10.6 ka; indicating relative dune stability soon after formation in Marine Isotope Stage 5. Synthesis of wetland sediment geochemistry across the island was used to identify dust accumulation and applied as an aridification proxy over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. A positive trend of dust deposition from ca. 50 ka was found with highest influx occurring leading into the LGM. Complexities of comparing sedimentary records and the need for robust age models are highlighted with local variation influencing the accumulation of exogenic material. An inter-site comparison suggests enhanced moisture stress regionally during the last glaciation and throughout the LGM, returning to a more positive moisture balance ca. 8 ka.

Thematic Set: Southern Hemisphere Last Glacial Maximum (SHeMax)
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021

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Patterns of aeolian deposition in subtropical Australia through the last glacial and deglacial periods
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