Multi-decadal atmospheric and marine climate variability in southern Iberia during the mid- to late-Holocene

Schirrmacher, Julien; Weinelt, Mara; Blanz, Thomas; Andersen, Nils; Salgueiro, Emília; Schneider, Ralph R.

To assess the regional multi-decadal to multi-centennial climate variability along the southern Iberian Peninsula during the mid- to late-Holocene record of paleo-environmental indicators from marine sediments were established for two sites in the Alboran Sea (ODP-161-976A) and the Gulf of Cádiz (GeoB5901-2). High-resolution records of organic geochemical properties and planktic foraminiferal assemblages are used to decipher precipitation and vegetation changes as well as hydrological conditions with respect to sea surface temperature (SST) and marine primary productivity (MPP). As a proxy for precipitation change, records of plant-derived n-alkane composition suggest a series of five distinct dry episodes in southern Iberia at 5.4±0.3 ka cal BP, from 5.1 to 4.9±0.1 ka cal BP, from 4.8 to 4.7±0.1 ka cal BP, from 4.4 to 4.3±0.1 ka cal BP, and at 3.7±0.1 ka cal BP. During each dry episode the vegetation suffered from reduced water availability. Interestingly, the dry phase from 4.4 to 4.3±0.1 ka cal BP is followed by a rapid shift towards wetter conditions revealing a more complex pattern in terms of its timing and duration than was described for the 4.2 ka event in other regions. The series of dry episodes as well as closely connected hydrological variability in the Alboran Sea were probably driven by NAO-like (North Atlantic Oscillation) variability. In contrast, surface waters in the Gulf of Cádiz appear to have responded more directly to North Atlantic cooling associated with Bond events. In particular, during Bond events 3 and 4, a pronounced increase in seasonality with summer warming and winter cooling is found.

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Schirrmacher, Julien / Weinelt, Mara / Blanz, Thomas / et al: Multi-decadal atmospheric and marine climate variability in southern Iberia during the mid- to late-Holocene. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Julien Schirrmacher et al.

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