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See detailA new multi-proxy record of environmental change over the last 1000 years on Chiloé Island: Lake Pastahué, south-central Chile (42°S)
Troncoso Castro, J. M.; Vergara, C.; Alvarez, D. et al

in Holocene (2019), 29(3), 421-431

Knowledge of past environmental and climatic conditions of lake ecosystems on Chiloé Island on a millennial scale is limited. Hence, this study fills a gap in our understanding of this part of southern ... [more ▼]

Knowledge of past environmental and climatic conditions of lake ecosystems on Chiloé Island on a millennial scale is limited. Hence, this study fills a gap in our understanding of this part of southern Chile. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the environmental and climatic history of the last 1000 years of Lake Pastahué through a multi-proxy sediment core analysis. The 1-m-long core was subsampled every centimeter for the organic matter, magnetic susceptibility, grain-size distribution, and biological indicator (pollen, chironomids) analyses. The age model was constructed from 210Pb, 137Cs, and 14C activity. Pollen results revealed a North Patagonian forest composition represented by Nothofagus, Weinmannia, Drimys, Tepualia, Myrtaceae, Poaceae, and Pteridophyta. The abundance of Rumex and Pinus in the most recent part of the pollen assemblage reflects a clear anthropogenic impact. The sedimentological parameters and chironomid assemblage show similar variations, which highlight changes in the trophic state of the lake. The changes observed in all proxies suggest the influence of climate events such as the ‘Medieval Climate Anomaly’ (MCA) and ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA). The variations observed since the beginning of the 20th century could be the result of the combined effect of anthropogenic activities and the increase in temperature recorded in south-central Chile and Patagonia. © The Author(s) 2018. [less ▲]

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See detailHistorical Nankai-Suruga megathrust earthquakes recorded by tsunami and terrestrial mass movement deposits on the Shirasuka coastal lowlands, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Garrett, Ed; Fujiwara, Osamu; Riedesel, Svenja et al

in Holocene (2018)

Geological investigations of coastal sediment sequences play a key role in verifying earthquake and tsunami characteristics inferred from historical records. In this paper, we present a multi-proxy ... [more ▼]

Geological investigations of coastal sediment sequences play a key role in verifying earthquake and tsunami characteristics inferred from historical records. In this paper, we present a multi-proxy investigation of a coastal lowland site facing the Nankai-Suruga megathrust and appraise evidence for tsunamis and earthquake-triggered terrestrial mass movements occurring over the last 800 years. Combining a high-resolution chronology with X-ray computed tomography and analyses of particle size, diatoms, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs and aerial photographs, we present the most compelling geological evidence of the 1361 CE Kōan (also known as Shōhei) tsunami reported to date from any site along the megathrust. This finding is consistent with either of two recent hypotheses: a single larger rupture of both the Nankai and Tōnankai regions or two smaller ruptures separated by a few days. Enhancing the site chronology using Bayesian age modelling, we verify evidence for inundation during the 1498 CE Meiō tsunami. While previous investigations identified evidence for historically recorded tsunamis in 1605, 1707 and 1854 CE and a storm surge in 1680 or 1699 CE, we encountered a thick sand layer rather than discrete extreme wave deposits in this interval. The overprinting of evidence highlights the potential for geological records to underestimate the frequency of these events. A terrestrial mass movement also deposited a sand layer at the site; radionuclide dating and aerial photographs provide independent confirmation that this may have been triggered by intense shaking in 1944 CE during the most recent great Nankai-Suruga megathrust earthquake. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil erosion in relation to land-use changes in the sediments of Amik Lake near Antioch antique city during the last 4 kyr
El Ouahabi, Meriam ULiege; Hubert, Aurelia ULiege; Lebeau, Héléne et al

in Holocene (2017)

The Amik Basin in the Eastern Mediterranean region occupied since 6000-7000 BC has sustained a highly variable anthropic pressure culminating during the Late Roman Period when the Antioch city reached its ... [more ▼]

The Amik Basin in the Eastern Mediterranean region occupied since 6000-7000 BC has sustained a highly variable anthropic pressure culminating during the Late Roman Period when the Antioch city reached its golden age. The present 6m long sedimentary record of the Amik Lake occupying the central part of the Basin constrains major paleo-environmental changes over the last 4000 years using a multi-proxy analyses (grain-size, magnetic susceptibility and XRF geochemistry). An age model is provided by combining short-lived radionuclides with radiocarbon dating. A lake/marsh prevailed during the last 4kyrs with a level increase at the beginning of the Roman Period possibly related to optimum climatic condition and water channelling. The Bronze/Iron Ages are characterized by a strong terrigenous input linked to deforestation, exploitation of mineral resources and the beginning of upland cultivation. The Bronze/Iron Age transition marked by the collapse of the Hittite Empire is clearly documented. Erosion continues during the Roman Period and nearly stopped during the Early Islamic Period in conjunction with a decreasing population and soil depletion on the calcareous highland. The soil-stripped limestone outcrops triggered an increase in CaO in the lake water, and a general decrease in ZrO2 released in the landscape that lasts until the present day. During the Islamic Period, pastoralism on the highland sustained continued soil erosion of the ophiolitic Amanus Mountains. The modern Period is characterized by a higher pressure particularly on the Amanus Mountains linked to deforestation, road construction, ore exploitation and the drying of the lake for agriculture practices. [less ▲]

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See detailLacustrine record of last millennia eruptions in Northern Chilean Patagonia (45–47°S)
Fagel, Nathalie ULiege; Alvarez, D.; Namur, Olivier ULiege et al

in Holocene (2017), 27(8), 1227-1251

Due to its tectonic setting, the Andean Southern Volcanism Zone (SSVZ) is characterized by frequent volcanic activity. Chilean Patagonia lake sediments represent powerful archives of historical and past ... [more ▼]

Due to its tectonic setting, the Andean Southern Volcanism Zone (SSVZ) is characterized by frequent volcanic activity. Chilean Patagonia lake sediments represent powerful archives of historical and past eruptions since the deglaciation. The lacustrine tephra record is investigated in 10 Holocene sedimentary cores collected in five lakes located along a 45–47° transect through Northern Chilean Patagonia. All the tephras identified by visual observation and strong magnetic susceptibility signal have been characterized for the major chemical composition of their glass shards by microprobe analyses, bulk mineralogical content by x-ray diffraction analyses and grain-size distribution by laser diffraction. Special care has been given to the chronostratigraphical framework in order to determine the age interval for each tephra layer and further to correlate the lacustrine records. The sedimentary age models are based on 210Pb data and calibrated radiocarbon dates measured on macroremains or reservoir effect-corrected bulk sediment. To present a more complete tephrochronological record, 28 microtephras have been confirmed by their mineralogical signature. Our lacustrine tephra record is compared with the Holocene eruptions registered in both surface deposits and continental, lacustrine and peat bog, environments. The different lacustrine eruption records are discussed according to their origin, age and location (distance from volcanoes, wind direction and dispersion of eruption produced). Our data confirm that Chilean Ande SSVZ tephras are mainly derived from historical and past Hudson eruptions. However, the peculiar low-K2O signature of the glass shards observed in one tephra layer from the Northernmost lake, Lake Thompson, confirms an influence from some other SSVZ volcanoes with low-abundance magma type, such as Maca and Cay. Our tephrochronological data compliment the database for volcanic activity in Chile bringing new information essential for the running discussion on the temporal distribution of eruptions over the Holocene. © 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh spatial resolution of late-Holocene human activities in the moist forests of central Africa using soil charcoal and charred botanical remains
Morin, Julie ULiege; Biwolé, Achille; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege et al

in Holocene (2016), 26(12), 1954-1967

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities ... [more ▼]

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities have hardly been investigated with satisfactory accuracy. In this study, we propose to characterize past human activities at local scale by using a systematic quantitative and qualitative methodology based on soil charcoal and charred botanical remains. A total of 88 equidistant test-pits were excavated along six transects in two contrasting forest types in southern Cameroon. Charred botanical remains were collected by water-sieving and sorted by type (wood charcoals, oil palm endocarps, and unidentified seeds). A total of 50 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C dates were also obtained. Results showed that charred macroremains were found at multiple places in the forest, suggesting scattered human activities, which were distributed into two main periods (Phase A: 2300-1300 BP – Phase B: 580 BP to the present). Charred botanical remains indicated two types of land use: (i) domestic, with oil palm endocarps most often associated with potsherds (villages) and (ii) agricultural, with charcoal as probable remnant of slash-and-burn cultivation (fields). Oil palm endocarp abundance decreased with distance from the identified human settlements. Our methodology allowed documenting, at high resolution, the spatial and temporal patterns of human activities in central African moist forests and could be applied to other tropical contexts. [less ▲]

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See detailPalynology and ostracodology at the Roman port of ancient Ostia (Rome, Italy)
Sadori, Laura; Mazzini, Ilaria; Pepe, Caterina et al

in Holocene (2016), 26(9), 1502-1512

New detailed palynological and ostracodological analyses together with texture data from a sediment core drilled in Ostia Antica confirm the existence of the ancient Ostia harbour and its location by the ... [more ▼]

New detailed palynological and ostracodological analyses together with texture data from a sediment core drilled in Ostia Antica confirm the existence of the ancient Ostia harbour and its location by the Tiber River. Using the different proxies analysed in this work and chronologically framing the sediment record with three AMS radiocarbon dates, four phases have been singled out: pre-harbour, harbour bay under fluvial influence, more protected harbour basin and post-harbour phase. Ostracodology is used to reconstruct the marine versus freshwater influence in the basin. Palynology is used to reconstruct the plant landscape and the surrounding environment. Phases with low pollen concentration and expansions of NPPs suggest soil erosion and are alternated with quieter ones, where human impact was very clear. Deciduous oaks typical of coastal plain forests are the main taxon during the harbour phases. The occurrence of riparian trees increases in periods with low pollen concentration, high NPPs and very high pine percentages. These should be the periods in which important sediment inputs inside the harbour basin arrived and could be the expression of intense flooding phases. The comparison between the ostracod assemblages recovered in the two cores and has led to speculate a complex harbour structure. A separation could explain the micropalaeontological differences between the cores. Thus, we suggest that a pier must have been built in order to protect the inner harbour from the marine influence and to unload the goods transported by the big ships. [less ▲]

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See detailLate Holocene climate variability on the eastern flank of the Patagonian Andes (Chile): A δ18O record from mollusks in Lago Cisnes (47°S)
Álvarez, D.; Fagel, Nathalie ULiege; Araneda, A. et al

in Holocene (2015), 25(8), 1220-1230

Stable isotopes in mollusk shells have been widely used for hydrological balance reconstructions. However, their use is restricted to lakes that preserve the calcareous material of the shells. Lago Cisnes ... [more ▼]

Stable isotopes in mollusk shells have been widely used for hydrological balance reconstructions. However, their use is restricted to lakes that preserve the calcareous material of the shells. Lago Cisnes is located in Patagonia (47°S) and shows a continuous record of three species of mollusk during the past 5000 years. The isotopic records of δ18O in Pisidium sp., Lymnaea sp., and Biomphalaria sp. show discrepancies among them, which can be explained by the differential effect that evaporation has on the habitat where each species lives. Between 1800 and 500 cal. yr BP, the three species show similar isotopic variations, suggesting that climatic condition affecting in the same way the different microhabitats in the lake. Around 1700 cal. yr BP, an enrichment of 18O on mollusks shells indicates drier conditions that prevails until 1100 cal. yr BP. Later on, isotopic signal tends to decrease, suggesting a humid period between 750 and 500 cal. yr BP. Such humid conditions lasted until 170 cal. yr BP, which were evidenced only by Biomphalaria sp. and Pisidium sp. Climate variability during the late Holocene in Lago Cisnes is in agreement with marine records from northern Patagonia, which would suggest westerlies weakening during a northward migration after 1100 cal. yr BP and/or an important temperature control on the evaporation, where low temperatures could decrease the evaporation driven by the westerlies. Additional records in this area would be requested to clarify the westerlies effects on the east flank of the Andes. © The Author(s) 2015. [less ▲]

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See detailHolocene floodplain deposition and scale effects in a typical European upland catchment : A case study from the Amblève catchment, Ardennes (Belgium)
Notebaert, Bastiaan; Verstraeten, Gert; Houbrechts, Geoffrey ULiege et al

in Holocene (2013), 23(8), 1184-1197

This study quantifies Holocene alluvial sediment deposition in the Belgian Amblève catchment (1080 km2), situated in the Ardennes uplands. An extended coring data set is used for a quantitative ... [more ▼]

This study quantifies Holocene alluvial sediment deposition in the Belgian Amblève catchment (1080 km2), situated in the Ardennes uplands. An extended coring data set is used for a quantitative description and a quantification of the alluvial depositions. The floodplains fall into three main types: the upper and lower floodplains and the steep reaches. Total Holocene alluvial sediment deposition amounts to 32 Tg, or 0.029 Tg/km2. Dating of sediments using iron slag as tracer shows that on average 42% of contemporary storage was accumulated during the last 600 years. Radiocarbon dating of fluvial deposits at eight sites in the catchment confirms that the majority of the sediment is relatively recent. The increased sedimentation rates for this period are related to anthropogenic land use, possibly enhanced by climatic variations. A fluvial sediment budget was constructed for this 600 yr time period and shows that export from the catchment has about the same importance as storage in the floodplains, while lateral reworking of existing floodplain deposits only affects half the quantity of sediments. Overall, floodplain sediment storage in the Amblève catchment, comparable with other upland catchments, is of lesser importance compared with catchments dominated by loess. This can mainly be explained by lower sediment supply resulting from less intense anthropogenic land use, despite the higher sediment transport efficiency through the fluvial system. Floodplain sediment storage is scale-dependent, with initially a sharp increase in catchment area-specific sediment deposition, followed by a steady decrease with increasing catchment area. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiproxy evidence of `Little Ice Age' palaeoenvironmental changes in a peat bog from northern Poland
De Vleeschouwer, François ULiege; Piotrowska, Natalia; Sikorski, Jaroslaw et al

in Holocene (2009), 19(4), 625-637

`Little Ice Age' (LIA) climatic deteriorations have been abundantly documented in various archives such as ice, lake sediments and peat bog deposits. Palaeoecological analyses of peat samples have ... [more ▼]

`Little Ice Age' (LIA) climatic deteriorations have been abundantly documented in various archives such as ice, lake sediments and peat bog deposits. Palaeoecological analyses of peat samples have identified these climatic deteriorations using a range of techniques, for example palynology, plant macrofossils, testate amoebae or carbon isotopic analyses. The use of inorganic geochemistry and the reconstruction of dust fluxes has remained a challenge in tracing the nature of LIA climatic changes. Although the idea of enhanced erosion conditions and storminess is commonly discussed, the conditions for dust deposition in peatlands over Europe during the LIA are rarely favourable, because the natural forest cover over Europe was much more important than nowadays, preventing dust deposition. This intense forest canopy masks the deposition of dust in peatlands. In northern Poland, near the Baltic shore, the S[l]owi[n]skie B[l]ota area was deforested around AD 1100, ie, just before the LIA, and therefore constitutes a key area for the reconstruction of LIA climatic change. With the support of a well-constrained chronology, climatic fluctuations are recorded in an ombrotrophic bog using inorganic geochemistry, plant macrofossils and carbon isotopic analyses. The reconstruction of LIA climatic changes is in good agreement with other records from Poland and NE Europe. However, a c. 50-year discrepancy can be observed between various records. This discrepancy is possibly due to progressive time-dependent cooling gradient from north to south Europe. [less ▲]

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