Browsing by Author "Cohen, TJ"
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- ItemAnother piece of the Southern Hemispheric puzzle: developing a high-resolution climate record for multiple glacial cycles in eastern Australia(International Union For Quaternary Research (INQUA), 2015-08-01) Kermode, SJ; Shulmeister, J; Mueller, D; Goralewski, J; Gadd, PS; Chang, J; Heijnis, H; Cohen, TJUnderstanding likely climate change and subsequent environmental responses is critical to our long term ability to manage and mitigate such changes. Investigations of previous responses to notable (either abrupt or large scale) climate change provides boundary conditions and targets that can be used to both validate and parameterize the climate models used to predict future change. High-resolution records from the Southern Hemisphere lag considerably behind available data from the Northern hemisphere, and are particularly sparse in Australia. Given that most (>80%) of Australia’s population, industry and agriculture lie in the mid-latitudes between Southern Queensland and Tasmania, one might expect that past climate changes from this region are well understood, but this is not the case. Long, high resolution records are needed to address this gap. An 11 m core has been collected from a permanent swamp/lagoon (Mountain Lagoon), in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, which appears to span at least one complete glacial cycle. This is potentially the most continuous record recovered from this part of SE Australia. Much of the record is at least moderately organic and preliminary sedimentary and Itrax data indicate that significant environmental changes are recorded. Multi-proxy investigations including pollen, diatoms, charcoal and phytoliths are planned and the chronology will be underpinned using OSL and radiocarbon dating. The focus of the investigation will be to develop climatologies for the Sydney region during the last glacial cycle. The Mountain Lagoon project will consequently contribute to understanding how climate systems in SE Australia respond to large scale global change on Milankovitch time scales. By determining the climate response in Australia to these changes we will help predict future response in rainfall and temperature to human-induced and natural climate change.
- ItemThe application of pollen radiocarbon dating and bayesian age-depth modeling for developing robust geochronological frameworks of wetland archives(Cambridge University Press for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona, 2022-04-27) Cadd, H; Sherborne-Higgins, B; Becerra-Valdivia, L; Tibby, J; Barr, C; Forbes, MS; Cohen, TJ; Tyler, JJ; Vandergoes, MJ; Francke, A; Lewis, RJ; Jacobsen, GE; Marjo, CE; Turney, CSM; Arnold, LJWetland sediments are valuable archives of environmental change but can be challenging to date. Terrestrial macrofossils are often sparse, resulting in radiocarbon (14C) dating of less desirable organic fractions. An alternative approach for capturing changes in atmospheric 14C is the use of terrestrial microfossils. We 14C date pollen microfossils from two Australian wetland sediment sequences and compare these to ages from other sediment fractions (n = 56). For the Holocene Lake Werri Berri record, pollen 14C ages are consistent with 14C ages on bulk sediment and humic acids (n = 14), whilst Stable Polycyclic Aromatic Carbon (SPAC) 14C ages (n = 4) are significantly younger. For Welsby Lagoon, pollen concentrate 14C ages (n = 21) provide a stratigraphically coherent sequence back to 50 ka BP. 14C ages from humic acid and >100 µm fractions (n = 13) are inconsistent, and often substantially younger than pollen ages. Our comparison of Bayesian age-depth models, developed in Oxcal, Bacon and Undatable, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the different programs for straightforward and more complex chrono-stratigraphic records. All models display broad similarities but differences in modeled age-uncertainty, particularly when age constraints are sparse. Intensive dating of wetland sequences improves the identification of outliers and generation of robust age models, regardless of program used. © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
- ItemThe benefits of a multidisciplinary team model for groundwater-surface water investigations, Thirlmere Lakes, NSW.(National Centre for Groundwater Research And Training, & Australian Chapter International Association Of Hydrogeologists, 2019-11-25) Cowley, KL; Cohen, TJ; Forbes, MS; Barber, E; Allenby, J; Andersen, MS; Anibas, C; Glamore, W; Chen, SY; Johnson, F; Timms, W; David, K; McMillan, T; Cendón, DI; Peterson, MA; Hughes, CE; Krogh, MThe Thirlmere Lakes Research Program (TLRP) is a four-year collaborative multidisciplinary program designed to gain a whole-of-system understanding of the hydro-dynamics of a complex lake environment. The program was established from concerns that proximal aquifer interference activities were factors in recent lake level declines. Five research teams were established to investigate five adjacent lakes set within an entrenched meander bend located south-west of Sydney. The project involved lithological, geochemical and geochronological analysis from lake beds and surrounding slopes to understand lake evolution and determine potential past lake-drying events. Further geological understanding of the lake area was obtained from resistivity imaging (RI), ground penetrating radar (GPR), and analysis of rock cores that were drilled from two deep bores adjacent the lakes. Development of water balance budgets involved fine-scale on-site meteorological measurements including on-site evapotranspiration monitoring, combined with high-resolution bathymetry from RTK GPS, LiDAR surveying and drone photogrammetry. Groundwater-surface water interactions were measured using lake-bed multilevel temperature and pressure arrays, hydraulic head measurements and fine-scale isotope, major ion and environmental tracer time-series analysis. Preliminary findings indicate that the five lakes have been separated for over ~100,000 years and that the lakes themselves contain sediment that is possibly up to 250,000 years old. Assessing the modern dynamics we show that current lake level declines during a period of low rainfall are largely evaporation dominated. One lake however appears to have greater water storage in adjacent sediments providing compensatory inflows. In a second lake, there are indications of localised connectivity with shallow (≤18m) groundwater, but no evidence of connectivity with deeper aquifers. Geological surveys indicate a clay layer 6-8 m below the lakes and spatial variations in both sediment and rock geology. The influence of these geological features, including structures projecting towards the lakes, on groundwater storage and flow is the focus of ongoing research as is temporal variability and lake interactions at different lake levels. The benefits of the multidisciplinary team model include refining the research targeting areas of uncertainty and to enhance and calibrate each team’s results. This approach will provide a comprehensive whole-of-system model of the evolution and hydro-dynamics of a complex lake system. © The Authors
- ItemThe canary or the coalmine? Isotopic evidence of drying climate versus groundwater outflow as the cause for recent losses from Thirlmere Lakes, NSW(National Centre for Groundwater Research And Training, & Australian Chapter International Association Of Hydrogeologists, 2019-11-24) Peterson, MA; Cendón, DI; Hughes, CE; Crawford, J; Hankin, SI; Krogh, M; Cowley, KL; Cohen, TJ; Andersen, MS; Anibas, C; Glamore, W; Chen, SY; Timms, W; McMillan, TThe Thirlmere Lakes Research Program (TLRP) is a collaboration investigating water loss mechanisms in recent drying of five adjacent lakes, located 75 km south-west of Sydney. Some stakeholders and previous studies have perceived a correlation with local longwall coal mining history and suspect deep fracture outflow. Others suggest the lakes are simply responding to a drier climate, serving as the canary in the broader climate-change ‘coal mine’. ANSTO has applied recurrent isotopic and chemical monitoring of the lakes and adjacent groundwater over two years to unravel some of the mystery of their recent water losses. Each lake behaved uniquely, but they shared some common trends. Steady enrichment of stable water isotopes, 2H and 18O, indicates the dominance of evaporation, with minimal losses to groundwater or through transpiration. Lake Cl/Br ratios were very low and clustered in three groups, two trending away from initial ratios indicative of groundwater input. 3H and 14C show recent rainfall and/or runoff as the main contributors to lake waters, with apparent ages in the adjacent shallow groundwater up to several decades. High levels of 222Rn from shallow bores suggest a close association between the peats enclosing the lakes and 238 U from ancient erosion, or proximity of an underlying shale lens. The only deep piezometer (72-84 m) near the lakes showed negligible contributions from the lakes or recent surface water. The trends in isotopic and chemical parameters infer that evaporation is sufficient to explain recent water losses from most of these perched lakes. Trends in some lakes hint that these had previous inputs from groundwater. While the historical variability of groundwater input to the lakes remains unknown, there is no current evidence of major losses to groundwater. Thirlmere Lakes will exist only intermittently under dry climate conditions. © The Authors
- ItemClimate variability over the last 35,000 years recorded in marine and terrestrial archives in the Australian region: an OZ-INTIMATE compilation(Elsevier Science Ltd., 2013-08-15) Reeves, JM; Barrows, TT; Cohen, TJ; Kiem, AS; Bostock, HC; Fitzsimmons, KE; Jansen, JD; Kemp, J; Krause, C; Phipps, SJ; Petherick, LMThe Australian region spans some 600 of latitude and 500 of longitude and displays considerable regional climate variability both today and during the Late Quaternary. A synthesis of marine and terrestrial climate records, combining findings from the Southern Ocean, temperate, tropical and arid zones, identifies a complex response of climate proxies to a background of changing boundary conditions over the last 35,000 years. Climate drivers include the seasonal timing of insolation, greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere, sea level rise and ocean and atmospheric circulation changes. Our compilation finds few climatic events that could be used to construct a climate event stratigraphy for the entire region, limiting the usefulness of this approach. Instead we have taken a spatial approach, looking to discern the patterns of change across the continent. The data identify the clearest and most synchronous climatic response at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (21 +/- 3 ka), with unambiguous cooling recorded in the ocean, and evidence of glaciation in the highlands of tropical New Guinea, southeast Australia and Tasmania. Many terrestrial records suggest drier conditions, but with the timing of inferred snowmelt, and changes to the rainfall/runoff relationships, driving higher river discharge at the LGM. In contrast, the deglaciation is a time of considerable south-east to north-west variation across the region. Warming was underway in all regions by 17 ka. Post-glacial sea level rise and its associated regional impacts have played an important role in determining the magnitude and timing of climate response in the north-west of the continent in contrast to the southern latitudes. No evidence for cooling during the Younger Dryas chronozone is evident in the region, but the Antarctic cold reversal clearly occurs south of Australia. The Holocene period is a time of considerable climate variability associated with an intense monsoon in the tropics early in the Holocene, giving way to a weakened monsoon and an increasingly El Nino-dominated ENSO to the present. The influence of ENSO is evident throughout the southeast of Australia, but not the southwest. This climate history provides a template from which to assess the regionality of climate events across Australia and make comparisons beyond our region.© 2013, Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemClumped isotope analysis of central Australian carbonates: a potential palaeoclimate proxy for Australia’s arid interior(Australasian Quaternary Association Inc., 2022-12-06) Nixon, F; Tyler, JJ; Priestley, SC; Cohen, TJ; Klaebe, RM; Crossey, L; Karlstrom, KE; Polyak, V; Asmerom, Y; Love, AJ; Hua, Q; Wade, B; Pollard, T; Drysdale, R; Hall, PAQuantitative records of past temperature variability in arid environments are crucial for validating climate models and their ability to capture the full range of the Earth’s climatic regions. However, arid zone temperature reconstructions are rare, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia. The clumped isotope thermometer provides a novel approach to potentially address this demand by allowing the estimation of carbonate precipitation temperature independent of environmental water isotopic composition. Two types of carbonate materials offer potential for clumped isotope temperature reconstructions in arid central Australia: fossil mollusk shells deposited within the shoreline sediments of now dry lakes, and tufa deposits formed in mound springs fed by continuous discharge of Great Artesian Basin groundwater. Here we present preliminary clumped isotope analyses from tufa and shell samples from central Australia. We also discuss the use of micro-XRF scanning and XRD to evaluate sample suitability for both clumped isotope analysis and U-series dating. Air temperatures inferred from tufa Δ47 measurements suggest mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) ~5°C cooler than present between 12-9 ka, which supports palaeoclimate model based estimates for central Australia. Average air temperatures inferred from mollusk shells indicate MAAT at least 15°C cooler than present during 70-35 ka, suggesting a larger MAAT reduction than previously estimated. Carbonate δ18O appears to have been largely driven by changes in environmental water δ18O for lakes but not for mound springs, reflecting different hydrological controls on the two water sources. Agreement between temperatures and palaeoclimate models suggest clumped isotope analysis may function as a valuable quantitative palaeotemperature proxy in central Australia. Analysis of additional tufa and shell samples along with an investigation of the genesis of different tufa is ongoing.
- ItemClumped isotope analysis of Central Australian carbonates: a potential palaeoclimate proxy for Australia’s arid interior(American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2022-12-13) Nixon, F; Tyler, JJ; Priestley, SC; Cohen, TJ; Klaebe, RM; Crossey, LJ; Karlstrom, KE; Polak, VJ; Asmerom, Y; Love, AJ; Hua, Q; Wade, B; Pollard, T; Drysdale, RN; Hall, PAQuantitative records of past temperature variability in arid environments are crucial for validating climate models and their ability to capture the full range of the Earth’s climatic regions. However, arid zone temperature reconstructions are rare, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia. The clumped isotope thermometer provides a novel approach to potentially address this demand by allowing the estimation of carbonate precipitation temperature independent of environmental water isotopic composition. Two types of carbonate materials offer potential for clumped isotope temperature reconstructions in arid central Australia: fossil mollusk shells deposited within the shoreline sediments of now dry lakes, and tufa deposits formed in mound springs fed by continuous discharge of Great Artesian Basin groundwater. Here we present preliminary clumped isotope analyses from tufa and shell samples from central Australia. We also discuss the use of micro-XRF scanning and XRD to evaluate sample suitability for both clumped isotope analysis and U-series dating. Air temperatures inferred from tufa Δ47 measurements suggest mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) ~5°C cooler than present between 12-9 ka, which supports palaeoclimate model based estimates for central Australia. Average air temperatures inferred from mollusk shells indicate MAAT at least 15°C cooler than present during 70-35 ka, suggesting a larger MAAT reduction than previously estimated. Carbonate δ18O appears to have been largely driven by changes in environmental water δ18O for lakes but not for mound springs, reflecting different hydrological controls on the two water sources. Agreement between temperatures and palaeoclimate models suggest clumped isotope analysis may function as a valuable quantitative palaeotemperature proxy in central Australia. Analysis of additional tufa and shell samples along with an investigation of the genesis of different tufa is ongoing.
- ItemClumped isotope analysis of central Australian carbonates: a potential palaeoclimate proxy for Australia’s arid interior(Australasian Quaternary Association Inc., 2022-12-06) Nixon, F; Tyler, JJ; Priestley, SC; Cohen, TJ; Klaebe, RM; Crossey, LJ; Karlstrom, KE; Polyak, VJ; Asmerom, Y; Love, A; Hua, Q; Wade, B; Pollard, T; Drysdale, RN; Hall, PAQuantitative records of past temperature variability in arid environments are crucial for validating climate models and their ability to capture the full range of the Earth’s climatic regions. However, arid zone temperature reconstructions are rare, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia. The clumped isotope thermometer provides a novel approach to potentially address this demand by allowing the estimation of carbonate precipitation temperature independent of environmental water isotopic composition. Two types of carbonate materials offer potential for clumped isotope temperature reconstructions in arid central Australia: fossil mollusk shells deposited within the shoreline sediments of now dry lakes, and tufa deposits formed in mound springs fed by continuous discharge of Great Artesian Basin groundwater. Here we present preliminary clumped isotope analyses from tufa and shell samples from central Australia. We also discuss the use of micro-XRF scanning and XRD to evaluate sample suitability for both clumped isotope analysis and U-series dating. Air temperatures inferred from tufa Δ47 measurements suggest mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) ~5°C cooler than present between 12-9 ka, which supports palaeoclimate model based estimates for central Australia. Average air temperatures inferred from mollusk shells indicate MAAT at least 15°C cooler than present during 70-35 ka, suggesting a larger MAAT reduction than previously estimated. Carbonate δ18O appears to have been largely driven by changes in environmental water δ18O for lakes but not for mound springs, reflecting different hydrological controls on the two water sources. Agreement between temperatures and palaeoclimate models suggest clumped isotope analysis may function as a valuable quantitative palaeotemperature proxy in central Australia. Analysis of additional tufa and shell samples along with an investigation of the genesis of different tufa is ongoing.
- ItemComparing interglacials in eastern Australia: a multi-proxy investigation of a new sedimentary record(Elsevier, 2021-01-01) Forbes, MS; Cohen, TJ; Jacobs, Z; Marx, SK; Barber, E; Dodson, JR; Zamora, A; Cadd, H; Franke, A; Constantine, M; Mooney, SD; Short, J; Tibby, J; Parker, A; Cendón, DI; Peterson, MA; Tyler, JJ; Swallow, E; Haines, HA; Gadd, PS; Woodward, CAThe widespread formation of organic rich sediments in south-east Australia during the Holocene (Marine Isotope Stage [MIS] 1) reflects the return of wetter and warmer climates following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Yet, little is known about whether a similar event occurred in the region during the previous interglacial (MIS 5e). A 6.8 m sediment core (#LC2) from the now ephemeral Lake Couridjah, Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Australia, provides insight into this question. Organic rich sediments associated with both MIS 1 and 5e are identified using 14C and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating techniques. Also apparent are less organic sedimentary units representing MIS 6, 5d and 2 and a large depositional hiatus. Sediment δ13C values (−34 to −26‰) suggests that C3 vegetation dominates the organic matter source through the entire sequence. The pollen record highlights the prevalence of sclerophyll trees and shrubs, with local hydrological changes driving variations in the abundance of aquatic and lake-margin species. The upper Holocene sediment (0–1.7 m) is rich in organic matter, including high concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC; 20–40%), fine charcoal and macrophyte remains. These sediments are also characterised by a large proportion of epiphytic diatoms and a substantial biogenic component (chironomids and midges). These attributes, combined with low δ13C and δ15N values, and C:N ratios of approximately 20, indicate a stable peat system in a swamp like setting, under the modern/Holocene climate. In comparison, the lower organic rich unit (MIS 5e-d) has less TOC (5–10%), is relatively higher in δ13C and δ15N, and is devoid of macrophyte remains and biogenic material. Characterisation of the organic matter pool using 13C-NMR spectroscopy identified a strong decomposition signal in the MIS 5e organic sediments relative to MIS 1. Thus the observed shifts in δ13C, δ15N and C:N data between the two periods reflects changes in the organic matter pool, driven by decompositional processes, rather than environmental conditions. Despite this, high proportions of aquatic pollen taxa and planktonic diatoms in the MIS 5e–d deposits, and their absence in the Holocene indicates that last interglacial Lake Couridjah was deeper and, or, had more permanent water, than the current one. ©2020 Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemContinental aridification and the vanishing of Australia's megalakes(Geological Society of America, 2011-02) Cohen, TJ; Nanson, GC; Jansen, JD; Jones, BG; Jacobs, Z; Treble, PC; Price, DM; May, JH; Smith, AM; Ayliffe, LK; Hellstrom, JCThe nature of the Australian climate at about the time of rapid megafaunal extinctions and humans arriving in Australia is poorly understood and is an important element in the contentious debate as to whether humans or climate caused the extinctions. Here we present a new paleoshoreline chronology that extends over the past 100 k.y. for Lake Mega-Frome, the coalescence of Lakes Frome, Blanche, Callabonna and Gregory, in the southern latitudes of central Australia. We show that Lake Mega-Frome was connected for the last time to adjacent Lake Eyre at 50–47 ka, forming the largest remaining interconnected system of paleolakes on the Australian continent. The final disconnection and a progressive drop in the level of Lake Mega-Frome represents a major climate shift to aridification that coincided with the arrival of humans and the demise of the megafauna. The supply of moisture to the Australian continent at various times in the Quaternary has commonly been ascribed to an enhanced monsoon. This study, in combination with other paleoclimate data, provides reliable evidence for periods of enhanced tropical and enhanced Southern Ocean sources of water filling these lakes at different times during the last full glacial cycle. © 2011, Geological Society of America
- ItemDetermining the impact of the Holocene highstand at the coastal-fluvial interface, Shoalhaven River, south-eastern Australia(Wiley Blackwell, 2013-10-01) Kermode, SJ; Gibling, MR; Jones, BG; Cohen, TJ; Price, DM; Daley, JSWith enhanced rates of sea-level rise predicted for the next century, the upstream extent of sea-level influence across coastal plains is a topic of public importance. Australian coastal rivers provide a testing ground for exploring this issue because the area is tectonically stable, was not glaciated, and experienced a Holocene highstand between 7.4 and 2ka of up to 1.5m above Australian Height Datum (AHD). In the Shoalhaven River of New South Wales, investigation of a confined bedrock reach at Wogamia, 32km inland, has identified a unit of dark, cohesive silt and sand with marine diatoms, shell fragments, and enhanced pyrite content, interpreted as estuarine. The unit is up to 13m thick, thickens downstream, and is overlain by fluvial channel and floodplain deposits. The estuarine unit on-laps a remnant Pleistocene terrace and extends to approximately +2.2m AHD. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon ages suggest that estuarine deposition commenced prior to 7.8kacal bp, predating the highstand by similar to 500years, and that marine influence in the area continued to 5.3 +/- 0.7ka. During this period, a delta probably persisted at Wogamia, where a narrow upstream reach opens out, and subsequently advanced to fill the broad Shoalhaven coastal embayment. Although the effect of sea-level rise depends on many factors, the results suggest that, during a highstand at or above present sea level, a strong marine influence may extend for tens of kilometres inland and penetrate confined bedrock reaches landward of coastal embayments. © 2013, Wiley-Blackwell.
- ItemErosion and the sediment conveyor in central Australia(Geological Society of Australia, 2016-02-29) Jansen, JD; Chappell, J; Struck, M; Eccleshall, SV; Fujioka, T; Codilean, AT; Fülöp, RH; Fink, D; Cohen, TJ; Nanson, GCWhy are the Neogene sedimentary fills across central Australia generally thin and discontinuous? One long-standing explanation is that sluggish tectonism and intensified aridity have combined to suppress rates of erosion and sediment production yielding a landscape crowded with inherited, preMiocene forms. Quantifying rates of sediment production, residence time and transport is possible with numerous methods, but the recent growth of cosmogenic nuclide (CN) analysis has provided unprecedented quantitative insights to rates of landscape evolution. Measurements of in situ produced cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al integrate rates of surface processes over million-year timescales—the last part of the Neogene in which aridity has strengthened across the continental interior. We present a compilation of ~600 published and unpublished 10Be and 26Al measurements from central Australia with a focus on the Neogene Eyre Basin and its periphery. Outlying and inlying bedrock uplands serve as engines of sediment production via erosion of bedrock. Surrounding the bedrock outcrops are vast sediment conveyors of varying efficiency and tempo: hillslopes, pediments, and alluvial fans are interim storage/burial zones for sediment in transit to the network of low-gradient rivers, dunes, and playas towards base level. Interactions between fluvial and aeolian processes are especially pertinent to sediment flux in the Eyre Basin. Major rivers such as the Cooper and Finke traverse dunefields in their lower reaches where quantities of alluvia are recirculated into dunes and vice versa. Tracking the trajectories of sediment from source-to-sink (including aeolian recirculation) remains a major challenge, but is central to unravelling the sedimentary dynamics of central Australia's Neogene basins. Based on the CN compilation we estimate 1) spatially averaged erosion rates at the scale of a hillslope or river catchment; 2) pointbased erosion rates on bedrock surfaces; 3) residence time of sediment in hillslope regolith and alluvial fans; and 4) cumulative burial history of sediments in transit. Catchment-scale erosion rates (n~100) are consistently low (<10 m/Myr) and include some of the lowest rates ever measured (~0.3 m/Myr); however, a small group of catchments in the Flinders Ras yield higher erosion rates (~30–60 m/Myr). Bedrock hillslopes (n~200) tend to erode even slower (<5 m/Myr), with a subset of Flinders Ras sites again being the exception (~10–30 m/Myr) and suggesting the influence of recent tectonism. Several CN depth-profiles measured on hillslopes and alluvial fans indicate sediment residence times >0.5 Myr, and high-resolution sampling along three hillslopes with differing morphology (linear, convex, and concave) reveals major variations in sediment production and transport rates that hint at the long-term evolution. In the rivers, fluvial sediments show a weak tendency to increase cumulative burial history downstream (1–2 Myr), consistent with the expanding accommodation space for storage and burial. Dune sediments sampled in the Simpson and Tirari dunefields (n~16) contain cumulative burial histories (up to 1.5 Myr) similar to that of the intersecting rivers. This points to an intimate mix of fluvial and aeolian processes in areas approaching base level. Curiously, these sediments occur in the lowest part of the continent and contain the longest histories of cumulative burial, yet do not form part of the thickest sedimentary fills in the Eyre Basin.
- ItemThe evolution of Thirlmere lakes: a long-term sedimentary record of climate and fire dynamics in the Sydney Basin(Australasian Quaternary Association Inc., 2018-12-10) Cohen, TJ; Marx, SK; Barber, E; Forbes, MS; Gadd, PS; Tyler, JJ; Haines, HA; Woodward, C; Zamora, A; Mooney, SD; Constantine, MThe Thirlmere lakes are located 40 km from the coast and are at ~300 m elevation and fall within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The series of five lakes sit within a narrow and sinuous former river valley within the Hawkesbury sandstone with surrounding dry sclerophyll forest. Recent declines in water levels have prompted the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to fund research about the history of Thirlmere lakes, the sub-surface characteristics and the potential frequency of past drying. This research builds on some existing work and has highlighted the extraordinary potential for the region for a long-term archive for palaeoenvironmental research.To date we have taken multiple vibracores across three lakes to depths of 7 m and we have supplemented this with some preliminary deep drilling to depths of 14 m. Our initial chronology is based on radiocarbon and OSL and we have employed a raft of geochemical and palaeoecological techniques to investigate changes through time. The lakes contain excellent organic preservation with deposition of the ‘modern’ peat environments commencing ~11 ka across two of the lakes investigated. This phase is represented by the upper 2 -3 m of organic rich peat (50% TOC). The underlying sediments are a mix of weakly bedded organic clays and oxidised clay facies that represent lake-wide drying intervals, a sequence that is repeated down profile. All five lakes are separated by alluvial sills that are comprised of medium to well-sorted sands, interbedded with organic ‘marker’ horizons that indicate these separate lakes were once joined, prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. The sandy sills that separate the lakes are derived from tributary alluvial fans accumulating progressively over the Holocene and effectively blocking and separating the lakes into their current configuration. This paper provides a preliminary overview of the chrono-stratigraphic history of Thirlmere lakes. © The Authors
- ItemExploring sediment dynamics from source to sink in the Murray-Darling basin using cosmogenic 14C, 10Be, and 26Al(Australasian Quaternary Association Inc., 2018-12-10) Fülöp, RH; Codilean, AT; Marx, SK; Cohen, TJ; Fink, D; Yang, B; Smith, AM; Wilcken, KM; Fujioka, T; Wacker, L; Dunai, TJThe relatively short half-life of 14C, namely, 5730 years, means that, compared to the other cosmogenic nuclides, it is substantially more sensitive to short term variations in process rates. Both the erosion of steep mountains and the dynamics of sediment transport, storage and recycling occur over timescales that are too short to be detectable by the cosmogenic nuclides that are currently used routinely, namely 10Be and 26Al. In situ 14C on the other hand is ideally suited for these short timescales, and used in combination with 26Al and 10Be, it will allow for rapid fluctuations in process rates and/or the relatively short timescales that characterise sediment transfer and storage to be measured accurately. The above make in situ 14C an important addition to the cosmogenic radionuclide toolkit. We present results of in situ cosmogenic 14C system blank and calibration sample measurements obtained with the recently established ANSTO/UOW in situ 14C extraction system. The 14C extraction scheme follows the design of the University of Cologne, which exploits the phase transformation of quartz to crystobalite to quantitatively extract the carbon as CO2. Offline high-temperature furnace extraction allows a relative rapid sample throughput and can accommodate samples ranging between 0.5 to 4 grams of clean quartz. Following extraction and isolation, the CO2gas is graphitised using a micro-furnace and then measured using AMS similarly to routine small radiocarbon samples. We also present results of 14C, 26Al, and 10Be analyses from sediment samples collected from Australia’s largest river system, the Murray-Darling basin. We use the downstream changes in the ratios of the three radionuclides in samples collected at key locations along the rivers to quantify sediment mixing and sediment storage times in the river basin. Substantial 26Al/10Be ‘burial’ signal is observed in downstream Murray and Darling samples, while in situ 14C suggests complex burial-exposure histories in these samples. This could have implication of interpreting geochemical proxies at the outlet of Murray-Darling Basin for identification of paleoclimate driven sediment sources (i.e. Monsoon vs. Westerlies). © The Authors
- ItemIntegration of ice-core, marine and terrestrial records for the Australian Last Glacial Maximum and Termination: a contribution from the OZ INTIMATE group(Wiley, 2006-10) Turney, CSM; Haberle, SG; Fink, D; Kershaw, AP; Barbetti, M; Barrows, TT; Black, M; Cohen, TJ; Corrège, T; Hesse, PP; Hua, Q; Johnston, R; Morgan, VI; Moss, PT; Nanson, GC; van Ommen, TD; Rule, S; Williams, NJ; Zhao, JX; D'Costa, D; Feng, YX; Gagan, MK; Mooney, SD; Xia, QThe degree to which Southern Hemisphere climatic changes during the end of the last glacial period and early Holocene (30-8 ka) were influenced or initiated by events occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is a complex issue. There is conflicting evidence for the degree of hemispheric ‘teleconnection’ and an unresolved debate as to the principle forcing mechanism(s). The available hypotheses are difficult to test robustly, however, because the few detailed palaeoclimatic records in the Southern Hemisphere are widely dispersed and lack duplication. Here we present climatic and environmental reconstructions from across Australia, a key region of the Southern Hemisphere because of the range of environments it covers and the potentially important role regional atmospheric and oceanic controls play in global climate change. We identify a general scheme of events for the end of the last glacial period and early Holocene but a detailed reconstruction proved problematic. Significant progress in climate quantification and geochronological control is now urgently required to robustly investigate change through this period. © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- ItemLake Quaternary mega-lakes fed by the northern and southern river systems of central Australia: varying moisture sources and increased continental aridity(Elsevier Science BV, 2012-10-15) Cohen, TJ; Nanson, GC; Jansen, JD; Jones, BG; Jacobs, Z; Larsen, JR; May, JH; Treble, PC; Price, DM; Smith, AMOptically stimulated and thermoluminescence ages from relict shorelines, along with accelerator mass spectrometer C-14 ages from freshwater molluscs reveal a record of variable moisture sources supplied by northern and southern river systems to Lake Mega-frome in southern central Australia during the late Quaternary. Additional lacustrine, palynological and terrestrial proxies are used to reconstruct a record that extends back to 105 ka, confirming that Lakes Mega-frome and Mega-Eyre were joined to create the largest system of palaeolakes on the Australian continent as recently as 50-47 ka. The palaeohydrological record indicates a progressive shift to more arid conditions, with marked drying after 45 ka. Subsequently, lake Mega-Frome has filled independently at 33-31 ka and at the termination of the Last Glacial Maximum to volumes some 40 times those of today. Further sequentially declining filling episodes (to volumes 25-10 those of today) occurred immediately prior to the Younger Dryas stadial, in the mid Holocene and during the medieval climatic anomaly. Southern hemisphere summer insolation maxima are a poor predictor of palaeolake-filling episodes. An examination of multiple active moisture sources suggests that palaeolake phases were driven independently of insolation and at times by some combination of enhanced Southern Ocean circulation and strengthened tropical moisture sources. © 2012, Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemLate quaternary aeolian and fluvial interactions on the Cooper Creek Fan and the association between linear and source-bordering dunes, Strzelecki Desert, Australia(Elsevier, 2010-02) Cohen, TJ; Nanson, GC; Larsen, JR; Jones, BG; Price, DM; Coleman, M; Pietsch, TJThe Innamincka Dome and associated low-gradient fan in the Strzelecki Desert is the product of Cenozoic crustal warping that has aided formation of an extensive array of palaeochannels, source-bordering transverse dunes and superimposed linear dunes. These dunes have impeded the course of Cooper Creek and provided a repository of evidence for Quaternary climate change as well as the interactive processes between transverse and linear dune formation. At Turra, Gidgealpa and sites nearby are extensive fluvial and aeolian sand bodies that date from marine isotope stages (MIS) 8–3 and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and are now surrounded or buried by overbank mud. The sandy alluvium was deposited on the downstream slope of the dome by large channels transporting abundant bedload, subsequently blown northward to form transverse dunes from what were probably seasonally-exposed bars in a palaeo-Cooper system. Thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages demonstrate that the base of the dune complex is at least MIS 7 in age (~250 ka) but that it has been subsequently reworked by wind with additional sand blown from the river. Source-bordering dunes formed during a period of enhanced river flow and sand supply from ~120 to 100 ka, with another short episode of the same at ~85–80 ka and from ~68 to 53. The LGM was associated with enhanced flows and the supply of dune sediment, from 28 to 18 ka. Pronounced river flow and dune activity occurred in the early to mid Holocene, but there is no evidence of dunes being supplied from Cooper Creek since the LGM. The dunes forming the oldest basal sand units appear to be largely transverse in form and are aligned roughly parallel to adjacent east–west trending palaeochannels. Linear dunes have formed from and over these, and yield basal ages ranging from MIS 5 or MIS 4 but continuing to accrete and rework through to the Holocene. The study results in one of the few detailed chronological investigations of the interaction between transverse and linear dunes. It is apparent that long-distance sand transport has played no significant role in dune formation here for the linear dunes show no significant downwind decline in ages. Linear dunes appear to have accreted vertically from underlying transverse dunes. A wind-rift vertical accretion model with only minor lengthwise extension is the dominant mode of linear dune formation in this section of the Strzelecki Desert, the bulk of dune sediment being sourced from adjacent swales since the LGM. © 2010, Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemLate quaternary palaeoenvironmental change in the Australian drylands(Elsevier, 2013-08-15) Fitzsimmons, KE; Cohen, TJ; Hesse, PP; Jansen, JD; Nanson, GC; May, JH; Barrows, TT; Haberlah, D; Hilgers, A; Kelly, T; Larsen, JR; Lomax, J; Treble, PCIn this paper we synthesise existing palaeoenvironmental data from the arid and semi-arid interior of the Australian continent for the period 40–0 ka. Moisture is the predominant variable controlling environmental change in the arid zone. Landscapes in this region respond more noticeably to changes in precipitation than to temperature. Depending on their location, arid zone records broadly respond to tropical monsoon-influenced climate regimes, the temperate latitude westerly systems, or a combination of both. The timing and extent of relatively arid and humid phases vary across the continent, in particular between the westerly wind-controlled temperate latitudes, and the interior and north which are influenced by tropically sourced precipitation. Relatively humid phases in the Murray-Darling Basin on the semi-arid margins, which were characterised by large rivers most likely fed by snow melt, prevailed from 40 ka to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and from the deglacial to the mid Holocene. By contrast, the Lake Eyre basin in central Australia remained relatively dry throughout the last 40 ka, with lake high stands at Lake Frome around 35–30 ka, and parts of the deglacial period and the mid-Holocene. The LGM was characterised by widespread relative aridity and colder conditions, as evidenced by extensive desert dune activity and dust transport, lake level fall, and reduced but episodic fluvial activity. The climate of the deglacial period was spatially divergent. The southern part of the continent experienced a brief humid phase around ∼17–15 ka, followed by increased dune activity around ∼14–10 ka. This contrasts with the post-LGM persistence of arid conditions in the north, associated with a lapsed monsoon and reflected in lake level lows and reduced fluvial activity, followed by intensification of the monsoon and increasingly effective precipitation from ∼14 ka. Palaeoenvironmental change during the Holocene was also spatially variable. The early to mid-Holocene was, however, generally characterised by moderately humid conditions, demonstrated by lake level rise, source-bordering dune activity, and speleothem growth, persisting at different times across the continent. Increasingly arid conditions developed into the late Holocene, particularly in the central arid zone. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemLowland river responses to intraplate tectonism and climate forcing quantified with luminescence and cosmogenic 10Be(Elesevier Science BV, 2013-03-15) Jansen, JD; Nanson, GC; Cohen, TJ; Fujioka, T; Fabel, D; Larsen, JR; Codilean, AT; Price, DM; Bowman, HH; May, JH; Gliganic, LAIntraplate tectonism has produced large-scale folding that steers regional drainage systems, such as the 1600 km-long Cooper Ck, en route to Australia's continental depocentre at Lake Eyre. We apply cosmogenic Be-10 exposure dating in bedrock, and luminescence dating in sediment, to quantify the erosional and depositional response of Cooper Ck where it incises the rising Innamincka Dome. The detachment of bedrock joint-blocks during extreme floods governs the minimum rate of incision (17.4 +/- 6.5 mm/ky) estimated using a numerical model of episodic erosion calibrated with our 10Be measurements. The last big-flood phase occurred no earlier than similar to 112-121 ka. Upstream of the Innamincka Dome long-term rates of alluvial deposition, partly reflecting synclinal-basin subsidence, are estimated from 47 luminescence dates in sediments accumulated since similar to 270 ka. Sequestration of sediment in subsiding basins such as these may account for the lack of Quaternary accumulation in Lake Eyre, and moreover suggests that notions of a single primary depocentre at base-level may poorly represent lowland, arid-zone rivers. Over the period similar to 75-55 ka Cooper Ck changed from a bedload-dominant, laterally-active meandering river to a muddy anabranching channel network up to 60 km wide. We propose that this shift in river pattern was a product of base-level rise linked with the slowly deforming syncline-anticline structure, coupled with a climate-forced reduction in discharge. The uniform valley slope along this subsiding alluvial and rising bedrock system represents an adjustment between the relative rates of deformation and the ability of greatly enhanced flows at times during the Quaternary to incise the rising anticline. Hence, tectonic and climate controls are balanced in the long term. © 2013, Elsevier Ltd.
- ItemMillion-year lag times in a post-orogenic sediment conveyor(American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2020-06-19) Fülöp, RH; Codilean, AT; Wilcken, KM; Cohen, TJ; Fink, D; Smith, AM; Yang, B; Levchenko, VA; Wacker, L; Marx, SK; Stomsoe, N; Fujioka, T; Dunai, TJUnderstanding how sediment transport and storage will delay, attenuate, and even erase the erosional signal of tectonic and climatic forcings has bearing on our ability to read and interpret the geologic record effectively. Here, we estimate sediment transit times in Australia’s largest river system, the Murray-Darling basin, by measuring downstream changes in cosmogenic 26Al/10Be/14C ratios in modern river sediment. Results show that the sediments have experienced multiple episodes of burial and reexposure, with cumulative lag times exceeding 1 Ma in the downstream reaches of the Murray and Darling rivers. Combined with low sediment supply rates and old sediment blanketing the landscape, we posit that sediment recycling in the Murray-Darling is an important and ongoing process that will substantially delay and alter signals of external environmental forcing transmitted from the sediment’s hinterland. Copyright © 2020 The Authors