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Over the past decade, a growing interest has developed on the archaeology, palaeontology, and palaeoenvironments of the Arabian Peninsula. It is now clear that hominins repeatedly dispersed into Arabia, notably during pluvial interglacial periods when much of the peninsula was characterised by a semiarid grassland environment. During the intervening glacial phases, however, grasslands were replaced with arid and hyperarid deserts. These millennial-scale climatic fluctuations have subjected bones and fossils to a dramatic suite of environmental conditions, affecting their fossilisation and preservation. Yet, as relatively few palaeontological assemblages have been reported from the Pleistocene of Arabia, our understanding of the preservational pathways that skeletal elements can take in these types of environments is lacking. Here, we report the first widespread taxonomic and taphonomic assessment of Arabian fossil deposits. Novel fossil fauna are described and overall the fauna are consistent with a well-watered semiarid grassland environment. Likewise, the taphonomic results suggest that bones were deposited under more humid conditions than present in the region today. However, fossils often exhibit significant attrition, obscuring and fragmenting most finds. These are likely tied to wind abrasion, insolation, and salt weathering following fossilisation and exhumation, processes particularly prevalent in desert environments.
Reconstructions of prehistoric vegetation composition help establish natural baselines, variability, and trajectories of forest dynamics before and during the emergence of intensive anthropogenic land use. Pollen–vegetation models (PVMs) enable such reconstructions from fossil pollen assemblages using process-based representations of taxon-specific pollen production and dispersal. However, several PVMs and variants now exist, and the sensitivity of vegetation inferences to PVM selection, variant, and calibration domain is poorly understood. Here, we compare the reconstructions, parameter estimates, and structure of a Bayesian hierarchical PVM, STEPPS, both to observations and to REVEALS, a widely used PVM, for the pre–Euro-American settlement-era vegetation in the northeastern United States (NEUS). We also compare NEUS-based STEPPS parameter estimates to those for the upper midwestern United States (UMW). Both PVMs predict the observed macroscale patterns of vegetation composition in the NEUS; however, reconstructions of minor taxa are less accurate and predictions for some taxa differ between PVMs. These differences can be attributed to intermodel differences in structure and parameter estimates. Estimates of pollen productivity from STEPPS broadly agree with estimates produced for use in REVEALS, while comparison between pollen dispersal parameter estimates shows no significant relationship. STEPPS parameter estimates are similar between the UMW and NEUS, suggesting that STEPPS parameter estimates are transferable between floristically similar regions and scales.
Tectonic hazards have profoundly influenced Māori relationships with, and understandings of, the environment, with oral histories and ethnographic records referencing recurring encounters with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis across Aotearoa-New Zealand. This research works alongside members of the Māori kin-group Ngāti Kuri to deliberate and compare active oral histories with two ethnographic records that potentially refer to ancestral experience with past tsunami(s) in the Kaikōura region. It applies an inductive-based methodology informed by “collaborative storytelling,” with the intent to appreciate the manner in which Ngāti Kuri interpret their past and present. The research affirms past catastrophic saltwater inundations and potential tectonic disturbances in the Kaikōura region. It also affirms that ethnographic records are not necessarily full or accurate accounts of historical events. The accounts presented here contribute to the reclaiming of Ngāti Kuri histories and point to new plural learning opportunities about coseismic tsunami hazard and history across the region.
Some lateral moraines contain a rich record of Holocene glacial expansion. Previous workers have used such evidence to document glacial fluctuations in western Canada, Alaska, and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, but similar studies in Patagonia are uncommon. Here we report on the late Holocene behavior of Stoppani Glacier, a 75 km2 glacier sourced in the Cordillera Darwin, southernmost Patagonia. Based on radiocarbon-dated wood and organic material contained in the glacier's northeast lateral moraine, we infer that Stoppani Glacier advanced shortly before 3.8–3.6, at 3.2–2.8, 2.3–2.1, and 0.3–0.2, and possibly sometime before 1.4–1.3 and 0.8–0.7 cal ka BP. These advances culminated at 0.3–0.2 cal ka BP, when the glacier constructed a prominent end moraine, marking its greatest extent of the past 4000 years. Although the timing of several of the advances overlap with the age range of glacial expansion recognized elsewhere in Patagonia, some do not. Asynchronous behavior observed in the glacial record may arise from the type of evidence (e.g., lateral stratigraphy vs. end moraine) used to document glacial fluctuations or variations in climate or glacial response times. A significant difference between the Stoppani record and some other Patagonian records is that the former indicates general expansion of ice over the last 4000 years, whereas the latter indicate a net decrease in extent over that period.
The Holocene evolution of climate in easternmost Fennoscandia and adjoining regions is poorly known, compared with regions to the west. To address this, a 224-cm-long sediment core from Lake Medvedevskoe, situated on the Central Upland of the Karelian Isthmus, northwestern Russia, was examined to investigate variations in the Holocene climate. Analyses indicate that the dry and cold late Pleistocene climate was replaced by the warmer and more humid early Holocene climate after ca. 10.5 cal ka BP. During the early Holocene, the lake transitioned from an oligotrophic to a mesotrophic state, characterized by a “Corynocera ambigua/Microtendipes pedellus-type” phase, which has been found in other lakes across Fennoscandia. Taxonomic shifts in the chironomid and cladoceran communities associated with climatic amelioration were identified at ca. 10.6 and 9.17 cal ka BP using breakpoint analysis. Reconstructed July temperatures indicate climatic patterns comparable to those seen in eastern Fennoscandia. The warm period between ca. 9.5 and 5.5 cal ka BP (T July 14.5–15°C) was interrupted by a slight cooling between ca. 8.5 and 8.1 cal ka BP, possibly relating to the 8.2 event, with peak temperature reached at ca. 7.8 cal ka BP. Neoglacial cooling started after ca. 5.5 cal ka BP, the median reconstructed July temperature dropped to 2–3°C cooler than present (mean T July 13.5°C) before recovering in recent time.
This paper presents geochemical and grain-size records since the early Holocene in core ECS0702 with a fine chronology frame obtained from the Yangtze River subaqueous delta front. Since ~9500 cal yr BP, the proxy records of chemical weathering from the Yangtze River basin generally exhibit a Holocene optimum in the early Holocene, a weak East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) period during the middle Holocene, and a relatively strong EASM period in the late Holocene. The ~8.2 and ~4.4 cal ka BP cooling events are recorded in core ECS0702. The flooding events reconstructed by the grain-size parameters since the early Holocene suggest that the floods mainly occurred during strong EASM periods and the Yangtze River mouth sandbar caused by the floods mainly formed in the early and late Holocene. The Yangtze River-mouth sandbars since the early Holocene shifted from north to south, affected by tidal currents and the Coriolis force, and more importantly, controlled by the EASM. Our results are of great significance for enriching both the record of Holocene climate change in the Yangtze River basin and knowledge about the formation and evolution progress of the deltas located in monsoon regions.
Approximately 74 ka, Toba caldera in Sumatra, Indonesia, erupted in one of the most catastrophic supereruptions in Earth's history. Resurgent uplift of the caldera floor raised Samosir Island 700 m above Lake Toba, exposing valuable lake sediments. To constrain sediment chronology, we collected 173 discrete paleomagnetic 8 cm3 cubes and 15 radiocarbon samples from six sections across the island. Bulk organic 14C ages provide an initial chronostratigraphic framework ranging from ~12 to 46 ka. Natural and laboratory magnetizations were studied using alternating field demagnetization. A generally well-defined primary magnetization is isolated using principal component analysis. Comparison of inclination, and to a lesser degree declination, across independently dated sections suggests paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) is recorded. Average inclination of −6° is more negative than a geocentric axial dipole would predict, but consistent with an eastward extension of the negative inclination anomaly observed in the western equatorial Pacific. The 14C- and PSV-derived age model constrains resurgent uplift, confirming faster uplift rates to the east and slower rates to the west, while suggesting that fault blocks moved differentially from each other within a generally trapdoor-type configuration.
This study was carried out on sediment cores collected with a gravity corer from Laguna Cháltel, an almost circular crater lake located in Patagonia, Argentina (49.9°S, 71°W). The main magnetic carrier was Ti-magnetite in the pseudo–single domain range. A model using magnetic grain size and concentration, previously applied to Laguna Potrok Aike to infer lake-level changes, was used for Laguna Cháltel. The main requirement to apply the model is uniform magnetic mineralogy, which is the case for Laguna Cháltel. After magnetic data were compared with previously studied lake levels, it was found that the magnetic proxies that best follow hydrologic changes are ARM/SIRM (anhysteretic remanent magnetisation/saturation of isothermal remanent magnetisation) and ARM. The concentration proxy (ARM measured with a 100 mT alternating field and 0.05 mT direct field) was also used as wind indicator. High wind strength was found at around 3650 cal yr BP, and low wind strength for the last century. ARM/SIRM and ARM were used to infer the strength of fluvial runoff into the lake for a core collected close to the shore and near a tributary. The results show that the magnetic model is promising for inferring lake-level variations, particularly in Patagonian lakes.
During the last glacial termination, a warming trend was generally interrupted by rapid millennium-scale cold reversals, such as the Greenland (Isotope) Stadial 1 (GS-1) and GS-2a events. To understand how glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) responded to these rapid climate events, this study constrained the timing and extent of three glacial events during the late-glacial period. Specifically, using a cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating method, we dated three prominent glacial moraines (PM1, PM2, PM3) back to 15,850 ± 980, 14,140 ± 880, and 12,430 ± 790 yr in the Pagele valley, southern TP, corresponding to GS-2a, Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1), and GS-1, respectively. By simulating glacial extents forced by different climate scenarios, the study constrained the temperature decreases relative to present to be 2.6°C–2.9°C, ~1.6°C, and 1.4°C–1.5°C during the GS-2a, GI-1, and GS-1 periods in the region, with precipitation values of 60%–80%, ~100%, and 80%–90% of present value, respectively. Considering information from oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the study suggested that on the TP, the glacial events during the last glacial termination were well connected with the millennium-scale climate events in the North Atlantic region through the westerlies, while the Indian summer monsoon played a positive role in sustaining the glaciers under the warming climate trend.
We used a combination of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age estimates, and stratigraphic data from cores collected along the southern margin of the Green Bay Lobe (GBL) of the Laurentide Ice Sheet to provide new information on the timing and dynamics of the end of advance of the GBL and the dynamics of the ice sheet while very near its maximum position. Coring at multiple sites along the margin of the GBL indicate that ice had reached a stable position near its maximum extent by 24.7 ka; that ice advanced several kilometers to the Marine Isotope Stage 2 maximum position sometime shortly after 21.2 ka; and that ice remained at or beyond that position through the time interval represented by an OSL age estimate of 19.2 ± 3.2 ka. The timeline developed from these chronological data is internally consistent with, and further refines, AMS radiocarbon ages and OSL age estimates previously published for the southern margin of the GBL. It also provides new chronological control on the expansion of the GBL from its late Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 extent to its MIS 2 maximum.