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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/2629

Title: Low latitude moisture regime changes over the last 14,000 years recorded by diatomaceous sediments from dry tropical Australia.
Authors: Wust, RA
Shemesh, A
Ridd, P
Stephenson, J
Jacobsen, GE
Smith, A
Keywords: Australia
Diatomaceous Earth
Sediments
Tropical Regions
Diatoms
Quaternary Period
Issue Date: Jul-2007
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Wust, R. A., Shemesh, A., Ridd, P., Stephenson, J., Jacobsen, G. E., & Smith, A. (2007). Low latitude moisture regime changes over the last 14,000 years recorded by diatomaceous sediments from dry tropical Australia. International Union for Quaternary Research XVII Congress (INQUA) – “The Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary”, 28th July – 3rd August 2007. Cairns, Australia: Cairns Convention Centre. In Quaternary International, 167-168, 456.
Abstract: A diatomaceous sediment deposit from Long Pocket, NE Queensland, Australia, provides new evidence for rapid climatic changes. Here we present a rare sediment record from the dry tropics that spans the last ~14,000 cal yrs. The 5.5 m thick deposit is composed of purely diatomaceous debris with little atmospheric influx. The site is unique as a basaltic flow isolated and formed the area ~13,600 cal yrs BP. Geochemical data and isotope analysis of the diatoms reveal that primary productivity was high during the onset of the deposit with little changes until the mid Holocene, when abrupt moisture regime changes occurred ~6000 years ago. Oxygen isotope data of the diatoms indicates further that changes in moisture source took place progressively. However, trace elemental data shows that marked changes in atmospheric flux composition occurred ~3800 yrs BP, most likely representing the timing of the onset (strengthening) of the monsoon system. Interestingly, the timing of some of the changes expressed in our record by the geochemical data coincides with Bond-cycles described from the North Atlantic. With our data, we hypothesise that the monsoon system was ineffective for latitudes 17º S during the early Holocene and that moisture was primarily derived from short range trajectories, such as the Coral Sea. Around ~3800 yrs BP abrupt climate changes led to the present system that is dominated by a wet summer monsoon. Our record shows that the dry tropics received more precipitation during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene than during the late Holocene. These findings are similar to findings from the wet tropical NE-Australia. However, our record shows a marked collapse of the ocean/atmospheric system in the low latitudes and possibly an intensification of ENSO during the latter part of the Holocene.
URI: http://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/2629
ISSN: 1040-6182
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