Periodic input of dust over the Eastern Carpathians during the Holocene linked with Saharan desertification and human impact
Jack Longman1, Daniel Veres2, Vasile Ersek1, Ulrich Salzmann1, Katalin Hubay3, Marc Bormann4, Volker Wennrich5, and Frank Schäbitz41Department of Geography, Northumbria University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, United Kingdom 2Romanian Academy, Institute of Speleology, Clinicilor 5, Cluj-Napoca, Romania 3Hungarian Academy of Science - Institute for Nuclear Research, Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies, H-4026 Debrecen, Bem ter 18/C, Hungary 4Institute of Geography Education, University of Cologne, 50931 Köln, Germany 5Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, 50674 Köln, Germany
Received: 17 Jan 2017 – Accepted for review: 25 Jan 2017 – Discussion started: 25 Jan 2017
Abstract. Reconstructions of dust flux have been used to produce valuable global records of changes in atmospheric circulation and aridity. These studies have highlighted the importance of atmospheric dust in marine and terrestrial biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling. By investigating a 10 800-year long paleoclimate archive from the Eastern Carpathians (Romania) we present the first peat record of changing dust deposition over the Holocene for the Carpathian-Balkan region. Using qualitative (XRF core scanning) and quantitative (ICP-OES) measurements of lithogenic (Fe, K, Si, Ti) elements, we identify 11 periods of major dust deposition between: 9500–9100, 8400–8100, 7720–7250, 6350–6000, 5450–5050, 4130–3770, 3450–2850, 2100–1450, 800–620, and 60 cal yr BP to present. In addition, we used testate amoeba assemblages preserved within the peat to infer local palaeohydroclimate conditions. Our record highlights several discrepancies between eastern and western European dust depositional records, and the impact of highly complex hydrological regimes in the Carpathian region. After 6100 cal yr BP, we find that the geochemical indicators of dust flux become uncoupled from the local hydrology. This coincides with the appearance of millennial-scale cycles in the dust input and changes in geochemical composition of dust. We suggest this is indicative of a shift in dust provenance from local/regional (likely loess-related) to distal (Saharan) sources which coincide with the end of the African Humid Period and the onset of Saharan desertification.
Longman, J., Veres, D., Ersek, V., Salzmann, U., Hubay, K., Bormann, M., Wennrich, V., and Schäbitz, F.: Periodic input of dust over the Eastern Carpathians during the Holocene linked with Saharan desertification and human impact, Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2017-6, in review, 2017.