Pluvial periods in Southern Arabia over the last 1.1 million-years

Nicholson, Samuel L. and Pike, Alistair W. G. and Hosfield, Rob and Roberts, Nick and Sahy, Diana and Woodhead, Jon and Cheng, Hai and Edwards, R. Lawrence and Affolter, Stephane and Leuenberger, Markus and Burns, Stephen J. and Matter, Albert and Fleitmann, Dominik. (2020) Pluvial periods in Southern Arabia over the last 1.1 million-years. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 229. ARTN 106112.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/85377/

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Past climates and environments experienced by the Saharo-Arabian desert belt are of prime importance for palaeoclimatic and palaeoanthropological research. On orbital timescales transformations of the desert into a grassland landscape in response to higher precipitation provided "windows of opportunity" for hominin dispersal from Africa into Eurasia. On long timescales, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions for the region are predominantly derived from marine sediments and available terrestrial records from the Arabian Peninsula are limited to 450 ka before present (BP). Here, we present a new stalagmite-based palaeoclimate record from Mukalla Cave in Yemen which extends back to similar to 1.1 million years BP or Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 31, as determined by Uranium-lead dating. Stalagmite Y99 grew only during peak interglacial periods and warm substages back to similar to 1.1 Ma. Stalagmite calcite oxygen isotope (delta O-18) values show that every past interglacial humid period was wetter than the Holocene, a period in which large lakes formed in the now arid areas of southern Arabia. Carbon isotope (delta C-13) values indicate habitable grassland environments developed during these pluvial periods. A total of 21 pluvial periods with precipitation of more than 300 mm yr(-1) occurred since similar to 1.1 Ma and thus numerous opportunities for hominin dispersals occurred throughout the Pleistocene. New determinations of hydrogen (delta D-Fl) and oxygen (delta O-18(Fl)) isotopes in stalagmite fluid inclusion water demonstrates that enhanced precipitation in Southern Arabia was brought by the African and Indian Summer Monsoons. When combined with sub-annual calcite analysis of delta O-18 and delta C-13, these data reveal a distinct wet (summer) and dry (winter) seasonality. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Quartärgeologie (Fleitmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Fleitmann, Dominik
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Jan 2022 07:22
Deposited On:27 Jan 2022 07:22

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