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Sample records for pleistocene eolian features

  1. Late Pleistocene eolian features in southeastern Maryland and Chesapeake Bay region indicate strong WNW-NW winds accompanied growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Markewich, H.W.; Litwin, R.J.; Pavich, M.J.; Brook, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    Inactive parabolic dunes are present in southeastern Maryland, USA, along the east bank of the Potomac River. More elongate and finer-grained eolian deposits and paha-like ridges characterize the Potomac River-Patuxent River upland and the west side of Chesapeake Bay. These ridges are streamlined erosional features, veneered with eolian sediment and interspersed with dunes in the low-relief headwaters of Potomac- and Patuxent-river tributaries. Axis data for the dunes and ridges indicate formation by WNW-NW winds. Optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon age data suggest dune formation from ??? 33-15??ka, agreeing with the 30-13??ka ages Denny, C.S., Owens, J.P., Sirkin, L., Rubin, M., 1979. The Parsonburg Sand in the central Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland and Delaware. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 1067-B, 16??pp. suggested for eolian deposits east of Chesapeake Bay. Age range and paleowind direction(s) for eolian features in the Bay region approximate those for late Wisconsin loess in the North American midcontinent. Formation of midcontinent loess and Bay-region eolian features was coeval with rapid growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and strong cooling episodes (??18O minima) evident in Greenland ice cores. Age and paleowind-direction coincidence, for eolian features in the midcontinent and Bay region, indicates strong mid-latitude WNW-NW winds for several hundred kilometers south of the Laurentide glacial terminus that were oblique to previously simulated anticyclonic winds for the last glacial maximum.

  2. Global map of eolian features on Mars.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, A.W.; Doyle, K.B.; Helm, P.J.; Weisman, M.K.; Witbeck, N.E.

    1985-01-01

    Ten basic categories of eolian features on Mars were identified from a survey of Mariner 9 and Viking orbiter images. The ten features mapped are 1) light streaks (including frost streaks), 2) dark streaks, 3) sand sheets or splotches, 4) barchan dunes, 5) transverse dunes, 6) crescentic dunes, 7) anomalous dunes, 8) yardangs, 9) wind grooves, and 10) deflation pits. The features were mapped in groups, not as individual landforms, and recorded according to their geographic positions and orientations on maps of 1:12.5 million or 1:25 million scale. -from Authors

  3. Late Pleistocene eolian-alluvial interference in the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomar, Francisco; Del Valle, Laura; Fornós, Joan J.; Gómez-Pujol, Lluís; Anechitei-Deacu, Valentina; Timar-Gabor, Alida

    2016-04-01

    This study deals with alluvial fan and aeolian sediments interference. Although initially they are two different environments, with different processes and resulting forms, very often their interaction produces deposits that share characteristics and features from both environments, as well as, maintain inherited elements from one to each other. In this sense, the aeolian-alluvial interference is the geomorphological expression of the coincidence, disruption and/or overlapping of aeolian and alluvial environments. Climate appears to be one of the most important controls on the role and magnitude of each environment in terms of sediment supply, precipitation, runoff or aeolian transport. In this study, eight major sedimentary facies have been described involving the succession of coastal, aeolian, colluvial and alluvial environments. Carbonate sandstones, breccias, conglomerates and fine-grained deposits are the main component of these sequences. OSL dating of aeolian levels indicate that their deposition took place during the Late Pleistocene, establishing a paleoclimatic evolution of Balearic coastal areas during the last 125 ka. The sedimentological and chronological analysis of these deposits allows reconstructing the coastal environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene at the Balearic archipelago. Keywords: Alluvial sedimentation, eolian sedimentation, alluvial-eolian interference, sea level, Late Pleistocene, Balearic Islands.

  4. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility of Eolian sediments in Altun Shan: implications for Altyn Tagh Fault tectonics since Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, R.

    2015-12-01

    Ancient windblown (eolian) dust, such as in Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), are treasured for understanding the evolution of aridity and influence by Plateau(mountain)uplift on climate change. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) is an effective tool in tracking atmospheric direction under weak to moderate speed currents to reconstruct the paleomonsoon model was studied in recent years. Whilst it is sometimes directly or indirectly associated with the effects of tectonic process and developed as a results of burial diagenesis process for these eolian sediments. Here we firstly investigated AMS in a Red clay sequence (eolian deposits during Miocene to Pliocene) accumulated in the margin of Altun Mountains, which has the similar mineral content as that in CLP. The average north-west orientations of minimum magnetic susceptibility (Kmin) axes is tilting towards the active Althy Tagh Fault direction and the average direction of intermediate magnetic susceptibility (Kint) axes is close to be vertical and compacted by the gravity as a second force. The average maximum magnetic susceptibility (Kmax) is perpendicular to either tectonic or gravity directions. Considering there is no obvious metamorphic effects and plastic deformation of particles, we attribute these two stresses determined the transition of petrofabrics from the deposition to tectonics, by the intensified Pleistocene activity of Altyn Tagh Fault.

  5. Eolian features produced by the December 1977 windstorm, southern San Joaquin Valley, California.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sakamoto-Arnold, C. M.

    1981-01-01

    High wind velocities created eolian features and effects of a magnitude not previously reported in the literature. 3 principal mechanisms of sediment movement by wind were studied by examining the size distribution of deposits in telephone poles (saltation and suspension), feeder pens and abandoned buildings (saltation and suspension), and gravel ripples (surface creep). -Author

  6. Pin stripe lamination: A distinctive feature of modern and ancient eolian sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fryberger, S.G.; Schenk, C.J.

    1988-01-01

    Pin stripe laminations are a distinctive feature of modern and ancient eolian sediments. In sets of eolian ripple (or translatent) strata they represent deposition of silt and very fine sand in the troughs of the advancing wind ripples. In sets of avalanche strata they probably result from the downward settling of fine sand and silt within the moving avalanche to the interface of moving and unmoving sands. Wind tunnel experiments suggest that pin stripe laminations can also form in grainfall deposits. The textural segregation associated with deposition of the fine layers in most cases leads to early cementation along and near the finest sand and silt comprising the pin stripe lamination. The pin stripe effect seen in outcrops is usually due to resistance to weathering along such cemented zones. The cementation of the pin stripe laminations can occur early in the history of diagenesis and thus may provide clues to the post-depositional history of the rock. Pin stripe laminations in many instances represent the sequestering of the small population of ultrafine sediment present in most eolian depositional systems. They may prove useful in the recognition of ancient eolian sediments. ?? 1988.

  7. Eolian Features Provide a Glimpse of Candor Chasma Mineralology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image of Candor Chasma's eastern end was taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) at 0655 UTC (2:55 a.m. EDT) on March 24, 2007. CRISM's image captured 544 colors covering 0.36-3.92 micrometers, and shows features as small as 100 meters (330 feet) across. The region covered is roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) at its narrowest point. Designed to look for a variety of materials on the walls and floor of Candor Chasma, this CRISM observation is somewhat unique in that it is extended along an extended path across the chasma floor to capture extra territory at the expense of spatial resolution.

    Candor Chasma is a deep, elongated, steep-sided depression some 813 kilometers (505 miles) in length. It is one of two large chasmata that make up the northern end of the Valles Marineris system. The top image, which illustrates the long path CRISM's cameras scanned to extend the observation in the along-track direction, shows the CRISM image on top of a mosaic of images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on Mars Odyssey. The lower two false-color images offer a glimpse of the topography and mineralogy contained within this large chasma. These views were constructed by draping the CRISM images over topography, and viewing the surface in perspective from the northeast. The southern part of CRISM's swath (to the left) covers interior layered deposits along with low ridges (far left) that are an erosional remnant of the chasma wall. The northern end (to the right) reveals the older, eroded chasma wall material, as well as the chasma floor. White lines in the images represent gaps in the data due to the stretching of the image.

    The erosive Martian wind appears to have removed dust and debris covering monohydrated sulfate-rich mineral deposits (bright green). Wind-abraded ridges of layered sediments (image center) reveal these deposits more readily, while ridges to the north and south also appear to retain more of a

  8. Late Pleistocene Climatic Changes in the Western Mediterranean Inferred from Temperature, Productivity and Eolian Input Records: Implications for Human Dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambach, B.; Rosell Mele, A.; Martinez-Garcia, A.

    2009-12-01

    The relation between climate and hominid dispersal has yet a number of unsettled issues, largely due to the lack of regional climate records in areas with significant hominid remains. Scientific evidence from the Mediterranean region indicates that humans evolved into their present form during key climatic intervals as indicated by the records of the earliest Europeans from Atapuerca (Spain) and Dmanisi (Georgia). However, it remains unclear which route was used by the early hominids to populate Europe (via the strait of Gibraltar or the Levantine Corridor). In this sense, it is still not clear if the climatic conditions during this period were favorable for hominid crossing via the strait of Gibraltar or not. To gain a better insight into the Iberian peninsular climate during the late Pleistocene, a marine sediment core from the Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean, is used to reconstruct climate relevant variables related to surface ocean and atmospheric circulation by applying a set of organic geochemical proxies (biomarkers). In a first approach we present high resolution data (2 ky) for the interval from 0 to 500 ky. The results of this multi-biomarker analysis give new insights into past ocean climate conditions as well as into the processes that occurred onshore during this period. The reconstruction of sea surface temperatures is done by the analysis of alkenones (UK37-index). Total chlorins concentration is used as proxy for paleoproductivity. Terrestrial eolian inputs and vegetation changes are determined by the analysis of n-alkyl compounds (long chain n-alkanes, n-alkenols and n-alkanoic acids) which are major components of leaf waxes from terrestrial higher plants. Like mineral aerosols, these compounds are wind-transported from local vegetation sources to adjacent oceans where the particles settle and are preserved in ocean sediments with very little diagenetic alteration. These biomarkers offer a promising tool for reconstructing terrestrial vegetation

  9. High resolution shallow geologic characterization of a late Pleistocene eolian environment using ground penetrating radar and optically stimulated luminescence techniques: North Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallinson, D.; Mahan, S.; Moore, Christine

    2008-01-01

    Geophysical surveys, sedimentology, and optically-stimulated luminescence age analyses were used to assess the geologic development of a coastal system near Swansboro, NC. This area is a significant Woodland Period Native American habitation and is designated the "Broad Reach" archaeological site. 2-d and 3-d subsurface geophysical surveys were performed using a ground penetrating radar system to define the stratigraphic framework and depositional facies. Sediment samples were collected and analyzed for grain-size to determine depositional environments. Samples were acquired and analyzed using optically stimulated luminescence techniques to derive the depositional age of the various features. The data support a low eolian to shallow subtidal coastal depositional setting for this area. Li-DAR data reveal ridge and swale topography, most likely related to beach ridges, and eolian features including low-relief, low-angle transverse and parabolic dunes, blowouts, and a low-relief eolian sand sheet. Geophysical data reveal dominantly seaward dipping units, and low-angle mounded features. Sedimentological data reveal mostly moderately-well to well-sorted fine-grained symmetrical to coarse skewed sands, suggesting initial aqueous transport and deposition, followed by eolian reworking and bioturbation. OSL data indicate initial coastal deposition prior to ca. 45,000 yBP, followed by eolian reworking and low dune stabilization at ca. 13,000 to 11,500 yBP, and again at ca. 10,000 yBP (during, and slightly after the Younger Dryas chronozone).

  10. Distinctive sedimentary features of cold-climate eolian deposits, North Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ahlbrandt, T.S.; Andrews, S.

    1978-01-01

    Cold-climate eolianites contain diagnostic sedimentary features that contrast with the sedimentary features of warm-climate eolianites. Distinctive tensional, compressional, and dissipation sedimentary structures related to freezing, thawing and snow melting characterize eolian dune-sand deposits in North Park, Colorado. The North Park dunes have few of the characteristics considered to be diagnostic eolian indicators. A significant difference is the heterogeneous texture and composition of the sand. The migration rate of these active dunes is slow (???1.7 m/year) due to freezing of moisture in the sand or to burial of the sand by snow during half of the year, even though the dunes occur in a unimodal, high-energy wind environment. Bioturbation is common in both active and inactive dunes, although the dunes occur at a high elevation ({reversed tilde} 2500m) in a cold climate (3.0??C mean annual temperature). The distinctive sedimentary features observed in this cold-climate (snow-related) dune field should aid in the interpretation of eolianites and the paleoclimates in which they formed. ?? 1978.

  11. North-south asymmetry of eolian features in Martian polar regions - Analysis based on crater-related wind markers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, P.

    1981-01-01

    Crater-related wind markers in the north and south polar regions of Mars are analyzed in a study of possible north-south asymmetries in wind activity. Features including crater splotches and associated streaks, and depositional, erosional, frost and frost-sediment streaks were identified and analyzed as wind direction indicators on Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 images of areas poleward of + or - 40 deg latitude. The wind streaks reveal eolian activity at present to be strongest in the north in winter and in the south in spring, due to the hemispherical asymmetry in climate. The alignment of the more massive intercrater dune fields with the presently strongest wind may reflect a longer-term asymmetry in spring flows, as the reorientation times of the dunes exceeded the period of climate asymmetry cycles. Finally, a wider distribution of dune latitudes in the southern polar region is noted to be suggestive of the greater effectiveness of windflow from the south pole.

  12. Eolian features in the Western Desert of Egypt and some applications to Mars.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    El-Baz, F.; Breed, C.S.; Grolier, M.J.; McCauley, J.F.

    1979-01-01

    Relations of landform types to wind regimes, bedrock composition, sediment supply, and topography are shown by field studies and satellite photographs of the Western Desert. This desert provides analogs of Martian wind-formed features and sand dunes, alternating light and dark streaks, knob 'shadows' and yardangs. Surface particles have been segregated by wind into dunes, sand sheets, and light streaks, that can be differentiated by their grain size distributions, surface shapes, and colors. Throughgoing sand of mostly fine to medium grain size is migrating S in longitudinal dune belts and barchan chains whose long axes lie parallel to the prevailing W winds, but topographic variations such as scarps and depressions strongly influence the zones of deposition and dune morphology. -from Authors

  13. Late Pleistocene-early Holocene karst features, Laguna Madre, south Texas: A record of climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Prouty, J.S.

    1996-09-01

    A Pleistocene coquina bordering Laguna Madre, south Texas, contains well-developed late Pleistocene-early Holocene karst features (solution pipes and caliche crusts) unknown elsewhere from coastal Texas. The coquina accumulated in a localized zone of converging longshore Gulf currents along a Gulf beach. The crusts yield {sup 14}C dates of 16,660 to 7630 B.P., with dates of individual crust horizons becoming younger upwards. The karst features provide evidence of regional late Pleistocene-early Holocene climate changes. Following the latest Wisconsinan lowstand 18,000 B.P. the regional climate was more humid and promoted karst weathering. Partial dissolution and reprecipitation of the coquina formed initial caliche crust horizons; the crust later thickened through accretion of additional carbonate laminae. With the commencement of the Holocene approximately 11,000 B.P. the regional climate became more arid. This inhibited karstification of the coquina, and caliche crust formation finally ceased about 7000 B.P.

  14. Late Holocene eolian fossilization of Podzols in Northeastern Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsch, Florian; Raab, Thomas; Schneider, Anna; Wechler, Klaus-Peter

    2016-04-01

    The North European lowland has been formed by glacial and periglacial processes in the Late Pleistocene. Multiple reshaping since the Late Glacial considerably changed the landscape up to and including especially historic times. Sediment sequences and (fossilized) soils can improve our understanding of Late Quaternary landscape development, but mapping of buried soils and surfaces is often limited to single outcrops. Ongoing archaeological rescue excavations in the pre-field of the open-cast mine Cottbus-Nord (northeastern Germany) with dense excavation trenches in an about 10 ha dune and drift sand area reveal multilayered sediment sequences with fossilized soils and sediments from the Late Pleistocene to the Late Holocene. Archaeological findings ranging from Mesolithic flint stones to an about 200 year old ceramics in eolian sediments covering plow horizons and wheel tracks suggest that eolian relocation of sandy material was intensive about 200 years ago. Still unpublished OSL dating underline the intense eolian activity. Recent studies showed that between the 15Th to the 19Th century an iron smelter 5 km to the west of our study site was supplied with charcoal, which was produced in a forest 5 km east to our study site. Our current findings about Late Holocene eolian activity raise the question if this eolian reshaping of the landscape is connected with the operation of the iron smelter either directly by transport or bog iron ore winning or indirectly by population pressure caused by the prospering iron smelter. Our ongoing research indicates, that already for historic land-use off-site effects causing further landscape changes have to be considered.

  15. Summary of 1990 eolian characterization studies, Hanford Site, Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Gaylord, D.R.; Stetler, L.D.; Smith, G.D.; Mars, R.W.

    1993-12-01

    A study of eolian activity was initiated to improve understanding of past climate change and the likely effect of wind on engineered protective barriers at the Hanford Site. Eolian features from a Holocene sand dune field located in the southeastern portion of the Hanford Site were investigated using a variety of field and laboratory techniques including stratigraphic examinations of hand-dug pits, textural and compositional analyses of dune sand and potential source detritus, and air photo interpretations. These investigations were undertaken to evaluate the provenance and eolian dynamics of the sand dunes. Interpretations of sand dune migration using archival air photo stereopairs document a 20% reduction in the volume of active sand dunes (measured from an approximate 15-km{sup 2} test area) between 1948 and 1987. Changes in annual precipitation appear to have influenced active dune migration strongly.

  16. Bahamian Pleistocene model for some Mississippian oolites

    SciTech Connect

    Bain, R.J. )

    1989-08-01

    San Salvador Island, unlike most Bahamian islands, is a narrow isolated platform surrounded by deep ocean. Therefore, sedimentary deposits on San Salvador must be explained in terms of processes and settings on this narrow, isolated shelf. Pleistocene oolite occurs between Illinoian and Wisconsinan paleosols. Dune ridges of up to 120 ft are composed of Pleistocene cross-bedded oolitic grainstone, whereas interdunal deposits are bioclastic packstone and wackestone containing abundant Chione cancellata. In lower dunal deposits, bioclastic content increases and the degree of sorting decreases. A fenestral porosity zone occurs approximately 5 ft above present-day sea level. In several ridges, oolite drapes over older paleosol-capped bioclastic ridges. During the Sangamonian, sea water flooded the platform, however some remnant Aftonian ridges remained above sea level. As cold water from the surrounding deep ocean warmed on the shelf, ooids were generated and were washed onto beaches and blown into dunes. Remnant ridges restricted water movement and acted as nucleii for eolian ooid dunes. As sea level continued to rise, ooids were replaced by lagoonal bioclastic deposits. Ooid production was restricted to the swash zone along beaches resulting in the mixture of ooids and bioclastic sand in later Sangamonian deposits. Numerous Mississippian oolites display features similar to the Pleistocene oolite of San Salvador Island. Possible comparisons include thick lenses of Ste. Genevieve and Bangor limestones, paleosols in the Ste. Genevieve halo-shaped bodies of Greenbrier oolite, and the relationship of nearly all olites with bioclastic facies.

  17. Morphometric analysis of molars in a Middle Pleistocene population shows a mosaic of ‘modern’ and Neanderthal features

    PubMed Central

    Martinón-Torres, María; Spěváčková, Petra; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Bruner, Emiliano; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Bermúdez de Castro, José María

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies of upper first molar (M1) crown shape have shown significant differences between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis that were already present in the European Middle Pleistocene populations, including the large dental sample from Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (SH). Analysis of other M1 features such as the total crown base area, cusp proportions, cusp angles and occlusal polygon have confirmed the differences between both lineages, becoming a useful tool for the taxonomic assignment of isolated teeth from Late Pleistocene sites. However, until now the pattern of expression of these variables has not been known for the SH sample. This fossil sample, the largest collection from the European Middle Pleistocene, is generally interpreted as being from the direct ancestors of Neanderthals, and thus is a reference sample for assessing the origin of the Neanderthal morphologies. Surprisingly, our study reveals that SH M1s present a unique mosaic of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens features. Regarding the cusp angles and the relative occlusal polygon area, SH matches the H. neanderthalensis pattern. However, regarding the total crown base area and relative cusps size, SH M1s are similar to H. sapiens, with a small crown area, a strong hypocone reduction and a protocone enlargement, although the protocone expansion in SH is significantly larger than in any other group studied. The SH dental sample calls into question the uniqueness of some so-called modern traits. Our study also sounds a note of caution on the use of M1 occlusal morphology for the alpha taxonomy of isolated M1s. PMID:23914934

  18. Late Quaternary eolian and alluvial response to paleoclimate, Canyonlands, southeastern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, M.C.; Reynolds, R.L.; Goldstein, H.; Roberts, H.M.; Yount, J.C.; Axford, Y.; Cummings, L.S.; Shearin, N.

    2005-01-01

    In upland areas of Canyonlands National Park, Utah, thin deposits and paleosols show late Quaternary episodes of eolian sedimentation, pedogenesis, and climate change. Interpretation of the stratigraphy and optically stimulated luminescence ages of eolian and nearby alluvial deposits, their pollen, and intercalated paleosols yields the following history: (1) Eolian deposition at ca. 46 ka, followed by several episodes of alluviation from some time before ca. 40 ka until after 16 ka (calibrated). (2) Eolian deposition from ca. 17 ka to 12 ka, interrupted by periods of pedogenesis, coinciding with late Pleistocene alluviation as local climate became warmer and wetter. (3) A wetter period from 12 to 8.5 ka corresponding to the peak of summer monsoon influence, during which soils formed relatively quickly by infiltration of eolian silt and clay, and trees and grasses were more abundant. (4) A drier period between ca. 8.5 and 6 ka during which sheetwash deposits accumulated and more desertlike vegetation was dominant; some dunes were reactivated at ca. 8 ka. (5) Episodic eolian and fluvial deposition during a wetter, cooler period that began at ca. 6 ka and ended by ca. 3-2 ka, followed by a shift to drier modern conditions; localized mobilization of dune sand has persisted to the present. These interpretations are similar to those of studies at the Chaco dune field, New Mexico, and the Tusayan dune field, Arizona, and are consistent with paleoclimate interpretations of pollen and packrat middens in the region. A period of rapid deposition and infiltration of eolian dust derived from distant igneous source terranes occurred between ca. 12 and 8 ka. Before ca. 17 ka, and apparently back to at least 45 ka, paleosols contain little or no such infiltrated dust. After ca. 8 ka, either the supply of dust was reduced or the more arid climate inhibited translocation of dust into the soils. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  19. Spatial and temporal patterns of late Quaternary eolian deposition, eastern Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madole, R.F.

    1995-01-01

    Three sand units are recognized on the basis of bedforms, topographic expression, and soil development. Preliminary age limits for the three units, based on 26 numerical ages, are 22.5-9 ka, 8-1 ka, and 1.0-0.15 ka. The middle unit is the product of multiple episodes of eolian activity that are not yet accurately dated. Loess is widespread but thin (generally < 2.4 m). Three units - middle Pleistocene, late Pleistocene, and Holocene - are recognized on the basis of differences in soil-profile development and stratigraphic position. -from Author

  20. Eolian cover sands: a sedimentologic model and paleoenvironmental implications

    SciTech Connect

    Lea, P.D.

    1985-01-01

    In periglacial areas, accumulations of eolian sand commonly form low-relief blankets without well-developed dunes. Internally, these sandsheet deposits exhibit subhorizontal lamination rather than high-angle cross-bedding. Such cover sands of late-Pleistocene age mantle extensive areas in northern Europe, but have been reported more rarely from North America. The processes by which cover sands, as opposed to dunes, accumulate have not yet been determined conclusively. Wind ripples and sand dunes do not form a continuum; flow separation and avalanching and negligible in the former and vital in the latter. Accretion of a sand patch into a mound sufficient to cause flow separation and dune growth requires a consistently available supply of loose sand. In cover-sand areas, sand may be immobilized prior to dune development by several factors: (1) a sparse vegetation cover, (2) moist ground conditions, (3) snow cover, and (4) a shallow permafrost table and/or an ice-cemented active layer. Detailed sedimentologic studies may allow discrimination among these various controls. The importance of the individual controlling factors can vary seasonally in a given deposit, as well as between deposits in different paleogeographic settings. However, all factors imply more mesic conditions than those associated with many dune deposits. The association of cover sands with paraboloid dunes is also consistent with somewhat moist conditions. The relatively mesic nature of cover sands controls their Pleistocene distribution; they become decreasingly important relative to dunes in maritime-to-continental transects across Alaska and northern Europe.

  1. Millennial-scale varnish microlamination dating of late Pleistocene geomorphic features in the drylands of western USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Tanzhuo; Broecker, Wallace S.

    2013-04-01

    Varnish microlamination (VML) dating is a climate-based correlative age determination technique used to correlate and date various geomorphic features in deserts. In this study, we establish a generalized late Pleistocene (18-74 ka) millennial-scale microlamination sequence in fine-grained, fast-accumulating rock varnish for the drylands of western USA, radiometrically calibrate the sequence and correlate it with the δ18O record in the GISP2 Greenland ice core. We then use this climate-correlated varnish microstratigraphy to estimate surface exposure ages for radiometrically dated late Pleistocene geomorphic features in the study region. The VML dating of debris flow deposits on the Sehoo recessional shorelines of Lake Lahontan at the Jessup embayment of central Nevada yields a minimum-limiting age of 14.95-15.95 ka, in good agreement with a calibrated 14C age of 15.22 ± 0.12 ka for the timing of the lake recession. The VML dating of a giant ejecta block on the rim of Meteor Crater in northern Arizona yields a minimum-limiting age of 49.15 ka, closely matching a thermoluminescence (TL) age of 49 ± 3 ka and slightly younger than a recently updated cosmogenic 36Cl age of 56.0 ± 2.4 ka for the meteor impact event. The VML dating of distal Q2c fan surfaces on Hanaupah Canyon alluvial fan in Death Valley, California, yields a minimum-limiting age of 73.55 ka, in accord with cosmogenic 36Cl depth-profile ages of 66 + 22/-14 ka and 72 + 24/- 20 ka for the same fan deposits. The close agreement between the VML age estimates and the independently derived radiometric ages for these geomorphic features attests to the validity and reliability of millennial-scale VML dating. To further assess its potential in desert geomorphological research, we use the VML method to study alluvial-fan responses to millennial-scale climatic changes. The VML dating of a small tributary fan in Death Valley reveals two episodes of fan aggradation, one ceasing at 73.55-86.75 ka during the dry

  2. Observations Regarding Small Eolian Dunes and Large Ripples on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.

    2001-01-01

    Eolian bedforms occur at the interface between a planetary surface and its atmosphere; they present a proxy record of the influence of climate, expressed in sediment transport, over that surface. High resolution images (1.5 - 12 m/pixel) from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera provide glimpses of the most recent events shaping the martian landscape. Thousands of images exhibit small transverse dunes or large eolian ripples that have crest-to-crest spacings of 10 to 60 m, heights of a few to 10 m. Bedforms of the size and patterns seen in the Mars photographs are rarely described among Earth's eolian landforms; in terms of size and morphology, most of these fall between traditional definitions of "ripples" and "dunes". Dunes are composed chiefly of materials transported by saltation, ripples are smaller forms moved along by the impact of saltating grains (traction). The largest reported eolian ripples on Earth (granule ripples, megaripples) are typically smaller than the bedforms observed on Mars; likewise, most dunes are typically larger. The small dunes and large ripples on Mars come in a variety of relative albedos, despite an early MGS impression that they are all of high albedo. Some ripples occur on the surfaces of sand dunes; these are most likely true granule ripples. However, most of these bedforms occur in troughs, pits, craters, and on deflated plains. Despite impressions early in the MGS mission, they do not occur everywhere (e.g., they are rare on the northern plains) but they do occur at a range of elevations from the highest volcanoes to the deepest basins. Where they occur on a hard substrate among larger sand dunes, the big dunes have over-ridden the smaller bedforms, indicating that the smaller features are older and perhaps indurated or very coarse-grained. At other locales, the small bedforms have been mantled by material settled from suspension, in other cases they are being exhumed and may be lithified. Still other examples are

  3. Correlation of Plio Pleistocene Tephra in Ethiopian and Kenyan rift basins: Temporal calibration of geological features and hominid fossil records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Katoh, Shigehiro; Beyene, Yonas; Suwa, Gen

    2005-10-01

    The 200-m-thick fossiliferous Konso Formation and overlying terrace deposits, which crop out at the end of the southern sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), contain more than 30 distal tephra layers. Local and regional tephra correlations of more than 20 tephra units were established using major and trace element data of discrete and purified bulk glass samples within the Konso study area. Eleven correlative marker tuffs were recognized in stratigraphic sections of both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sediments in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The Turoha, Hope, Ivory, Bright White, and Boleshe Tuffs in the Konso Formation, and the Upper White Tuff in the overlying terrace deposits are securely correlated with the KBS, Akait, Lokapetamoi, Chari, Lower Nariokotome, and Silbo Tuffs of the Omo-Turkana Basin, using least mobile major elements (CaO, Fe 2O 3*, and TiO 2) and geochronology. Preliminary correlations are also suggested between the Konso Formation distal tephra and proximal units of the Quaternary caldera-forming silicic centers in the central sector of the MER. The strongly peralkaline tuffs of the Konso Formation are compositionally similar to proximal eruptions mostly located along the Quaternary axial rift zone of the southern, central, and northern sectors of the MER. The tephra correlation provides information about the temporal and spatial features of the volcanic and tectonic processes recorded in the evolving basins. Thickness and sedimentation rate were determined for both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sections, measured between the Turoha (=KBS; 1.91 ± 0.03 Ma) and the Bright White (=Chari; 1.40 ± 0.02 Ma) Tuffs. Although the lithostratigraphic sequence at the Konso study area is younger, sedimentation rate within the Konso Formation was comparable to that of the Koobi Fora Formation, higher in the Nachukui Formation, and lower in the Shungura Formation. Local and regional differences in thickness and

  4. In situ weathering vs eolian additions to soils: A proposed solution from lava tubes and cumulic soils, Owens Valley, Calif

    SciTech Connect

    Lafarge, D.W.; Burke, R.M. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-04-01

    Natural dust traps in the form of open conduits to lava tubes, collapsed lava tubes, cinder cone depressions, and range-front half grabens create favorable environments for the accumulation of eolian materials through extended periods of geologic time. The radiometrically dated basalt flows in the Big Pine Lava Field, CA provide minimum and maximum constraining dates for accumulation rates of such eolian materials, which are also added, at least partially, to regional soils developed on moraines and alluvial fans. 1.2 meters of well sorted silts to fine sands are located within a lava tube formed in a flow emanating from the northern cone of the Stooges Range along the range front of the Inyo Mountains. This non-basaltic material records a minimum eolian accumulation rate of 4.8 mm/ka, whereas a somewhat thicker section in the subaerially exposed collapsed portion of the tube system suggests an accumulation rate of 8.0 mm/ka. Across Owens Valley along the Sierra Nevada range front, a cumulic soil described to a depth of 363+ cm is formed in a geomorphically youthful half graben near Crater Mountain (CM). This site records a bimodal particle size distribution of eolian silts and coarse sands, with locally derived very coarse sands and fine pebble gravels from juxtaposed granitic bedrock. Two plausible explanations for the cumulic, bimodal nature of the soil, with accompanying clay bulges are: (1) episodic sources for eolian dust induced by desiccation of pluvial Owens Lake, which would be in phase with Pleistocene climatic changes; or (2) continual input of the eolian component with episodic additions of the coarse-grained granitic materials brought about by periods of tectonism along the Sierra Nevada range front fault, thus not related to paleoclimate. Prevailing southerly winds suggested for times of peak dust availability, and the model of soil forming intervals proposed by Chadwick and Davis (1990) favor the first of these two explanations for the CM.

  5. A late quaternary record of eolian silt deposition in a maar lake, St. Michael Island, western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Ager, T.A.; Been, J.; Bradbury, J.P.; Dean, W.E.

    2003-01-01

    Recent stratigraphic studies in central Alaska have yielded the unexpected finding that there is little evidence for full-glacial (late Wisconsin) loess deposition. Because the loess record of western Alaska is poorly exposed and not well known, we analyzed a core from Zagoskin Lake, a maar lake on St. Michael Island, to determine if a full-glacial eolian record could be found in that region. Particle size and geochemical data indicate that the mineral fraction of the lake sediments is not derived from the local basalt and is probably eolian. Silt deposition took place from at least the latter part of the mid-Wisconsin interstadial period through the Holocene, based on radiocarbon dating. Based on the locations of likely loess sources, eolian silt in western Alaska was probably deflated by northeasterly winds from glaciofluvial sediments. If last-glacial winds that deposited loess were indeed from the northeast, this reconstruction is in conflict with a model-derived reconstruction of paleowinds in Alaska. Mass accumulation rates in Zagoskin Lake were higher during the Pleistocene than during the Holocene. In addition, more eolian sediment is recorded in the lake sediments than as loess on the adjacent landscape. The thinner loess record on land may be due to the sparse, herb tundra vegetation that dominated the landscape in full-glacial time. Herb tundra would have been an inefficient loess trap compared to forest or even shrub tundra due to its low roughness height. The lack of abundant, full-glacial, eolian silt deposition in the loess stratigraphic record of central Alaska may be due, therefore, to a mimimal ability of the landscape to trap loess, rather than a lack of available eolian sediment. ?? 2003 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. New optically stimulated luminescence ages provide evidence of MIS3 and MIS2 eolian activity on Black Mesa, northeastern Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellwein, A.L.; Mahan, S.A.; McFadden, L.D.

    2011-01-01

    Eolian deposition on the semiarid southern Colorado Plateau has been attributed to episodic aridity during the Quaternary Period. However, OSL ages from three topographically controlled (e.g. falling) dunes on Black Mesa in northeastern Arizona indicate that eolian sediments there were deposited in deep tributary valleys as early as 35-30. ka, with most sand deposited before 20. ka. In contrast, the oldest OSL ages for sand sheets fall within the Pleistocene-Holocene climatic transition (~. 12-8. ka). Thus most eolian sediment accumulated on Black Mesa under climatic conditions that were in general cooler, moister, and more variable than today, not more arid, pointing to a considerable increase in sediment supply. ?? 2010 University of Washington.

  7. Non-dune eolian sand in Indian mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, William F.

    1980-02-01

    Indian mounds, near Careyville, Florida, about 2.0 m high, are located on hillsides and hilltops 10 to 20 m above the floodplain of the nearest river (Choctawhatchee). Each mound is composed largely of quartz sand, with a scattering of artefacts and stream pebbles (not in layers), but with no visible bedding. Probability plots showed 25 Gaussian distributions, 18 having the 'dune hump', three having the 'surf break' and nine being doubly-truncated or having other patterns of unknown or uncertain origin. The surf breaks probably were inherited from pre-Pleistocene marine terraces in the area. The pebbles and the sand were not introduced by the same agency. The sand probability plots, taken as a set, indicate an eolian origin. The rough symmetry of the mounds, and the lack of cross-bedding, argue against a migrating dune origin. On a variability plot (showing the variability of the means versus the variability of the standard deviations), one suite of samples fell clearly within the 'dune' number field, a second suite in the overlap area between 'dune' and 'beach', and a third suite, taken immediately adjacent to a creek bed, plotted in the overlap area between 'beach' and 'coastal plain stream'. The pebbles, of common Southern Appalachian types, are attributed to the activities of the inhabitants, perhaps children. The sand is thought to have been carried by the wind, perhaps from nearby river sand bars, or from areas burned either by lightning-set wildfires or as part of "slash-and-burn" agriculture. The mounds are thought to represent clearings (for huts), and hence good trapping devices for wind-borne sand.

  8. Mineralogy of Eolian Sands at Gale Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achilles, C. N.; Vaniman, D. T.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T. F.; Rampe, E. B.; Ming, D. W.; Chipera, S. J.; Morris, R. V.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Fendrich, K. V.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Yen, A. S.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Treiman, A. H.; Craig, P. I.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Crisp, J. A.; Morookian, J. M.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has been exploring outcrop and regolith in Gale crater since August 6, 2012. During this exploration, the mission has collected 10 samples for mineralogical analysis by X-ray diffraction (XRD), using the CheMin instrument. The CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity uses a CCD detector and a Co-anode tube source to acquire both mineralogy (from the pat-tern of Co diffraction) and chemical information (from energies of fluoresced X-rays). A detailed description of CheMin is provided in [1]. As part of the rover checkout after landing, the first sample selected for analysis was an eolian sand deposit (the Rocknest "sand shadow"). This sample was selected in part to characterize unconsolidated eolian regolith, but primarily to prove performance of the scoop collection system on the rover. The focus of the mission after Rocknest was on the consolidated sediments of Gale crater, so all of the nine subsequent samples were collected by drilling into bedrock com-posed of lithified sedimentary materials, including mudstone and sandstone. No scoop samples have been collected since Rocknest, but at the time this abstract was written the mission stands poised to use the scoop again, to collect active dune sands from the Bagnold dune field. Several abstracts at this conference outline the Bagnold dune campaign and summarize preliminary results from analyses on approach to the Namib dune sampling site. In this abstract we review the mineralogy of Rocknest, contrast that with the mineralogy of local sediments, and anticipate what will be learned by XRD analysis of Bagnold dune sands.

  9. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  10. Eolian sedimentation on earth and Mars - Some comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smalley, I. J.; Krinsley, D. H.

    1979-01-01

    Eolian sediments on earth are mostly formed from quartz. The quartz particles originally came from a granitic source. With respect to eolian sediments on Mars, it appears that an entirely different set of criteria must apply, but some critical parameters can be usefully compared. Impact experiments with basalt in eolian abrasion devices suggest that basalt sand-sized particles fragment rapidly to produce silt and clay-sized detritus. Cohesive forces must be more effective on Mars since the gravitational contribution to the bond/weight ratio is lower. Compared to the terrestrial situation, both larger and smaller particles can be expected to make significant contributions to eolian sediments on Mars. The low gravity and the high speed of moving particles and the relative weak rock material of which they are composed will allow large-scale fine particle production.

  11. Pennsylvanian to Jurassic eolian transportation systems in the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, F.

    1988-01-01

    The direction of sediment transport in eolian sandstones of Pennsylvanian to Jurassic age was interpreted from crossbedding resultants (vector means) obtained from studies of eolian rocks in the western U.S., supplemented by data from the few eolian units of eastern North America. These were compiled from the published or unpublished (theses) literature, from unpublished field data contributed by colleagues, or from measurements made for this study. In addition, new paleogeographic maps were compiled to evaluate the influence of geographic features on the atmospheric circulation patterns that are inferred from the crossbedding studies. Regionally, the crossbedding indicates northeasterly, northerly, or northwesterly winds (present coordinates) from Pennsylvanian through most of Middle Jurassic time. A rather abrupt change in wind directions occurred in late Middle Jurassic time (late part of the Callovian Age) when westerly wind patterns developed. By the Late Jurassic the winds shifted to southwesterly. Calculations of the consistency factor (vector mean strength) made from region-wide analyses of the resultants indicate fairly unidirectional winds from the Pennsylvanian through the Early Jurassic. Middle Jurassic circulation was more varied, judging from crossbedding studies in the lower part of the Entrada Sandstone. Crossbedding in Upper Jurassic eolian rocks of Wyoming and South Dakota yielded a random pattern but Upper Jurassic rocks farther south on the Colorado Plateau and adjoining areas show a return to a fairly unidirectional pattern. Comparing the resultants with their reconstructed paleogeographic setting shows surprisingly little influence of major geographic features on overall circulation patterns. However, the greatest amount of local variation occurred at or near highly indented shorelines where the temperature contrast between land and water produces local wind currents that may vary appreciably from regional circulation patterns. Although they

  12. Holocene eolian activity in the Minot dune field, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Stafford, Thomas W.; Been, J.; Mahan, S.A.; Burdett, J.; Skipp, G.; Rowland, Z.M.

    1997-01-01

    Stabilized eolian sand is common over much of the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada, including a subhumid area of ??? 1500 km2 near Minot, North Dakota. Eolian landforms consist of sand sheets and northwest-trending parabolic dunes. Dunes and sand sheets in the Minot field are presently stabilized by a cover of prairie grasses or oak woodland. Stratigraphic studies and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of paleosols indicate at least two periods of eolian sand movement in the late Holocene. Pedologic data suggest that all of the dune field has experienced late Holocene dune activity, though not all parts of the dune field may have been active simultaneously. Similar immobile element (Ti, Zr, La, Ce) concentrations support the interpretation that eolian sands are derived from local glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine sediments. However, glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial source sediments have high Ca concentrations from carbonate minerals, whereas dune sands are depleted in Ca. Because noneolian-derived soils in the area are calcareous, these data indicate that the Minot dune field may have had extended periods of activity in the Holocene, such that eolian abrasion removed soft carbonate minerals. The southwest-facing parts of some presently stabilized dunes were active during the 1930s drought, but were revegetated during the wetter years of the 1940s. These observations indicate that severe droughts accompanied by high temperatures are the most likely cause of Holocene eolian activity.

  13. Liquefaction features interpreted as seismites in the Pleistocene fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the Neuquén Basin (Northern Patagonia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moretti, M.; Ronchi, A.

    2011-04-01

    Superbly exposed soft-sediment deformation structures in Pleistocene fluvio-lacustrine deposits along the southern border of the depression area called Bajo de Añelo (Departamento de Añelo, Neuquén Basin) have been analysed. In the study area, five stratigraphic sections were measured in detail: facies distributions and stacking patterns show that these sediments result from the interaction between fluvial and lacustrine systems, represented by cross-bedded and rippled strata, and varved deposits. The lateral extent of the deformation is some hundred metres and the deformed bed involves the lower-mid part of the 30-metre-thick succession. Deformation affects about 1.5 m of coarse-grained sand, fine-grained sand and rare gravel alternations. The base and top of the deformed layer are defined by planar surfaces: undeformed beds of similar thickness, lithology and facies to the deformed layer occur above and below. Deformation is represented by a complex vertical succession of disturbed layers: each layer shows a general load-structure morphology. It can be described as a multilayered unstable density gradient system: in each bed a partial gravitational re-adjustment occurred after liquefaction. Unequal loading related to lateral variation of both bed thickness and grain packing and porosity is a probable additional driving force that can be described in the undeformed beds. Trigger mechanism recognition for the observed liquefaction features can be based on the study of the geometry of deformed beds and on facies analysis results. Two key factors drive our interpretation: (1) the occurrence of undeformed beds below and above the deformed bed; (2) deformed and undeformed beds showing the same sedimentological features. These field data allow us to exclude the action of internal erosive and/or sedimentary processes (such as overloading, wave action, etc.) as possible trigger agents for liquefaction since deformation is totally absent in beds with similar sedimentary

  14. Observations on Ventifacts and Wind-Polished Boulders in Pleistocene Coversands, Ice-Marginal New Jersey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demitroff, M. N.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of New Jersey Pine Barrens' paleoenvironment biome has been problematic. The region's Pleistocene environment has been interpreted as cool and moist, with boreal forest. A competing interpretation envisioned cold, dry, semidesert conditions. Pebble- to boulder-sized ventifacts with a wide suite of erosional forms provide evidence for strong Pleistocene wind action, which occurred when the land was sparsely vegetated allowing an abundance of abradants to be easily entrained and transported. Although commonplace, ventifact presence and utility in paleoenvironmental reconstruction is ignored. Most ventifacts occur on upland surfaces and attest to stability in this part of the region's otherwise low-relief landscape, and their subsequent disarrangement provides clues to geomorphic processes and landscape evolution. Ventifacts progressed downslope along upper valley-side slopes largely by gravitational mass movement, particularly under periglacial conditions. Development of eolian features such as pavement einkante, scallops, and weathering pit modification can evolve only where sustained wind velocities are very high and sand sources are abundant. Pine Barrens ventifacts provide evidence that desert-like conditions prevailed. Some ventifact surfaces are covered with a silica glaze or an iron-enriched metal film, or both, indicating multiple episodes of wind abrasion. Coating study holds much promise for future dating and climate reconstruction investigations.

  15. Regional features of variations in paleoproductivity of the Sea of Okhotsk in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosin, A. A.; Gorbarenko, S. A.

    2016-03-01

    Variations in the content of chlorin (a derivate of chlorophyll a) in 11 cores of bottom sediments from different parts of the Sea of Okhotsk are studied. The data show variations in paleoproductivity of this sea for the past 160000 years from the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 6 until recently. A common pattern of the variation in paleoproductivity is established for the entire Sea of Okhotsk. During the interglacials (MIS 5e and 1), productivity increased, and in glacial periods, it decreased, probably due to the longer lasting marine ice cover throughout the year. The features of variations in productivity through time are recorded in the eastern part of the sea, which is more prone to the influence of inflowing Pacific waters.

  16. Late Quaternary eolian dust in surficial deposits of a Colorado Plateau grassland: Controls on distribution and ecologic effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.L.; Reheis, M.C.; Neff, J.C.; Goldstein, H.; Yount, J.

    2006-01-01

    In a semi-arid, upland setting on the Colorado Plateau that is underlain by nutrient-poor Paleozoic eolian sandstone, alternating episodes of dune activity and soil formation during the late Pleistocene and Holocene have produced dominantly sandy deposits that support grass and shrub communities. These deposits also contain eolian dust, especially in paleosols. Eolian dust in these deposits is indicated by several mineralogic and chemical disparities with local bedrock, but it is most readily shown by the abundance of titaniferous magnetite in the sandy deposits that is absent in local bedrock. Magnetite and some potential plant nutrients (especially, P, K, Na, Mn, and Zn) covary positively with depth (3-4 m) in dune-crest and dune-swale settings. Magnetite abundance also correlates strongly and positively with abundances of other elements (e.g., Ti, Li, As, Th, La, and Sc) that are geochemically stable in these environments. Soil-property variations with depth can be ascribed to three primary factors: (1) shifts in local geomorphic setting; (2) accumulation of relatively high amounts of atmospheric mineral dust inputs during periods of land-surface stability; and (3) variations in dust flux and composition that are likely related to changes in dust-source regions. Shifts in geomorphic setting are revealed by large variations in soil texture and are also expressed by changes in soil chemical and magnetic properties. Variable dust inputs are indicated by both changes in dust flux and changes in relations among magnetic, chemical, and textural properties. The largest of these changes is found in sediment that spans late Pleistocene to early Holocene time. Increased dust inputs to the central Colorado Plateau during this period may have been related to desiccation and shrinkage of large lakes from about 12 to 8 ka in western North America that exposed vast surfaces capable of emitting dust. Soil properties that result from variable dust accumulation and redistribution

  17. Middle to Late Pleistocene coastal deposits of Eivissa (Western Mediterranean): Chronology and evolution.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Valle, Laura; Pomar, Francisco; Fornós, Joan J.; Gómez-Pujol, Lluís; Anechitei-Deacu, Valentina; Timar-Gabor, Alida

    2016-04-01

    This study deals with the sedimentary and stratigraphical description of Pleistocene deposits from seven coastal areas of Eivissa (Balearic Islands). Twenty two sedimentary facies have been described involving the succession of eolian, colluvial and edaphic environments. Carbonate sandstones, breccias and silty deposits are the main component of these sequences. Despite the extensive eolian systems outcropping along the coast of Eivissa, there are very few studies performed to chronological framework of these deposits. Luminescence measurements were carried out using an automated RisØ TL/OSL-DA-20 reader in the Luminescence Dating Laboratory of Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) under low intensity red light. OSL dating of nineteen eolian levels indicate that their deposition took place between the Middle and Late Pleistocene, establishing a paleoclimatic evolution of Eivissa Island since 755 ka to 70 Ka. Eolian activity in the Eivissa Island can be correlated with regression episodes which took place during cold periods associated with different isotopic stages, concretely the MIS 18, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4. Similar results have been obtained from many sites along the western Mediterranean Sea such as Mallorca (Pomar i Cuerda, 1979; Nielsen et al, 2004; Fornós et al, 2009), Sardinia (Andreucci et al, 2009; Pascucci et al, 2014), Liguria (Pappalardo et al., 2013). Keywords: Eolian dunes, Pleistocene, Climatic evolution, Eivissa. References - Andreucci, S.; Pascucci, V.; Murray, A. S.; Clemmensen, L. B. 2009. Late Pleistocene coastal evolution of San Giovanni di Sinis, west Sardinia (Western Mediterranean). Sedimentary Geology, 216: 104- 116 - Fornós, J.J.; Clemmensen, L.B.; Gómez-Pujol, L.; Murray, A. 2009. Late Pleistocene carbonate aeolianites on Mallorca, Western Mediterranean: a luminescence chronology. Quaternary Science reviews 28: 2697-2709. -Nielsen, K.A.; Clemmensen, L.B.; Fornós, J.J. 2004. Middle Pleistocene magnetostratigraphy and

  18. Eolian inputs of lead to the North Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, C.E.; Halliday, A.N.; Rea, D.K.; Owen, R.M.

    2000-04-01

    The authors evaluate the importance of natural eolian Pb to the dissolved oceanic Pb budget by measuring the isotopic composition of Pb in 35 Holocene and late Quaternary sediment samples from the North Pacific and in 10 samples of Chinese loess. When the Pacific is divided into sediments provinces based on published {var_epsilon}{sub Nd} and sedimentological data, Pb from the central North Pacific tends to be the most radiogenic and homogeneous due to the dominance of eolian Chinese loess. Lead from the marginal North Pacific and the sparsely sampled regions south of 5{degree}N are less radiogenic and more variable owing to hemipelagic inputs from various volcanic arcs and older continental crust located around the Pacific Rim. {sup 208}Pb/{sup 204}Pb ratios provide the most distinctive provenance information due to the relatively high ratios in Chinese loess. The Chinese loess samples come from 3 localities and span up to 2 Myr of time. Acetic-acid leachate, bulk loess, and loess silicate fractions were analyzed separately. Leachate Pb is considerably less radiogenic than silicate Pb. The isotopic composition of the silicate component closely matches the sediment data from the central North Pacific, confirming the dominance of eolian loess in this region. The authors divided up a suite of published hydrogenous Pb-isotope data from the Pacific Ocean according to their locations within the three independently defined sediment provinces. These data define three distinct fields differentiated primarily by their {sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb ratios, which increase going form the Central to Southern to Marginal provinces. This relationship with sediment province strongly suggests that natural eolian and probably hemipelagic inputs significantly impact the seawater Pb budget. Direct support for the dominance of eolian Chinese loess in the central North Pacific dissolved Pb budget comes from the close match between loess leachate Pb and the Central Province hydrogenous Pb data

  19. Eolian dust input to the Subarctic North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serno, Sascha; Winckler, Gisela; Anderson, Robert F.; Hayes, Christopher T.; McGee, David; Machalett, Björn; Ren, Haojia; Straub, Susanne M.; Gersonde, Rainer; Haug, Gerald H.

    2014-02-01

    Eolian dust is a significant source of iron and other nutrients that are essential for the health of marine ecosystems and potentially a controlling factor of the high nutrient-low chlorophyll status of the Subarctic North Pacific. We map the spatial distribution of dust input using three different geochemical tracers of eolian dust, 4He, 232Th and rare earth elements, in combination with grain size distribution data, from a set of core-top sediments covering the entire Subarctic North Pacific. Using the suite of geochemical proxies to fingerprint different lithogenic components, we deconvolve eolian dust input from other lithogenic inputs such as volcanic ash, ice-rafted debris, riverine and hemipelagic input. While the open ocean sites far away from the volcanic arcs are dominantly composed of pure eolian dust, lithogenic components other than eolian dust play a more crucial role along the arcs. In sites dominated by dust, eolian dust input appears to be characterized by a nearly uniform grain size mode at ∼4 μm. Applying the 230Th-normalization technique, our proxies yield a consistent pattern of uniform dust fluxes of 1-2 g/m2/yr across the Subarctic North Pacific. Elevated eolian dust fluxes of 2-4 g/m2/yr characterize the westernmost region off Japan and the southern Kurile Islands south of 45° N and west of 165° E along the main pathway of the westerly winds. The core-top based dust flux reconstruction is consistent with recent estimates based on dissolved thorium isotope concentrations in seawater from the Subarctic North Pacific. The dust flux pattern compares well with state-of-the-art dust model predictions in the western and central Subarctic North Pacific, but we find that dust fluxes are higher than modeled fluxes by 0.5-1 g/m2/yr in the northwest, northeast and eastern Subarctic North Pacific. Our results provide an important benchmark for biogeochemical models and a robust approach for downcore studies testing dust-induced iron fertilization of

  20. Environmental history recorded in eolian deposits under stone pavements, eastern Mojave Desert, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, Stephen; Fuchs, Markus; Dietze, Elisabeth; Lomax, Johanna; Kleber, Arno; Dietze, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of arid landscapes is challenged by the limited availability of appropriate environmental archives. A widespread surface feature of arid landscapes - stone pavement - traps eolian fines and can form an accretionary archive, growing with time and thereby recording essential information about the conditions under which it evolves. Based on a regional example in the eastern Mojave Desert, USA, seven stone pavement-covered soil-sediment sections on 560 and 270 ka old basalt flows are condensed to a correlation framework, comprising five distinct, successive sedimentological units. An OSL-based chronology enables correlation of this new sediment archive with other environmental archives from the region. Three of the stratigraphic units are of accretionary nature and the top of each unit is mantled by a new generation of stone pavement. These stratigraphic units were deposited between >32.3-20.4 ka, 20.4-16.5 ka and younger than 16.5 ka, appearing to be strongly coupled with the history of the nearby ancient Lake Mojave and enhancing our knowledge of the eolian activity in this area. End-member modelling analysis of sampled grain-size distributions allows identification of a local detritus component, four separate eolian components and two distinct clay enrichment components, contributing different quantities of sediment sources to the five stratigraphic units. These findings improve current concepts about the evolution of stone pavements and their role as conveyers of information about environmental conditions in arid landscapes. Stone pavement-covered accretionary sediment deposits are a new key archive that allows quantifying the relative importance of dust accretion, slope processes, soil formation and vegetation cover.

  1. Evidence of an eolian ice-rich and stratified permafrost in Utopia Planitia, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Séjourné, A.; Costard, F.; Gargani, J.; Soare, R. J.; Marmo, C.

    2012-01-01

    Western Utopia Planitia (UP) is dotted with scalloped depressions, small-sized polygons and pingo-like mounds. Within the planetary science community, there seems to be a general agreement that these relatively recent landscape features are indicative of an ice-rich permafrost. However, questions about the concentration of ice-content and the origin of the permafrost remain unanswered. The scalloped depressions (∼100 m to few km in diam.) are thought to be the product of degradation of ground-ice by thawing or sublimation. Indeed, most of the scalloped depressions display bright bands on their floors. These have been described as possible exposed sedimentary layers, markers of recessional ponded water or slumped material by previous works. As the depressions could represent probes of the permafrost, therefore the study of the inner bands could help to investigate the permafrost. Here, we evaluate the disparate hypotheses of band origin using several HiRISE images and a HiRISE DEM. We show that the depressions have an inner stepped-profile. This profile is reminiscent of exhumed and tilted sedimentary layers of different cohesion. Using ArcGIS, we estimate the dip of several layers (n=52). The stratification is complex comprising layers of ∼2-4 m thick having different shallow dips with generally a north or south plunge sense. This geometry of tilted layers is typical on Earth of fluviatile or eolian sedimentation. In the last few years, several evidences on Mars, among them the subkilometer-scale smoothing of the topography and climatic simulations, suggested that the northern mid-latitudes have been influenced by eolian processes. The inferred complex stratification inside scalloped depressions may support an eolian origin of the permafrost in UP. In periglacial regions on Earth where thermokarst lakes are formed by extensive thawing of ground-ice, ice-rich permafrost are composed of fluvial or eolian sediments containing ∼15-80% of ice by volume. By analogy

  2. A pleistocene sand sea on the Alaskan arctic coastal plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, L.D.

    1981-01-01

    A ridge and thermokarst-basin landscape that is strikingly portrayed in Landsat winter imagery consists of large Pleistocene dunes that have been modified by younger eolian activity and thermokarst processes. This is the most extensive area of large stabilized dunes yet reported in the North American Arctic; the landscape is of particular interest because it has been proposed as a first-order analogfor martian fretted terrain. Recognition ofthe large dunes permits a new interpretation for linear and curvilinear trends visible in Landsat summer imagery.

  3. A Pleistocene Sand Sea on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, L. David

    1981-01-01

    A ridge and thermokarst-basin landscape that is strikingly portrayed in Landsat winter imagery consists of large Pleistocene dunes that have been modified by younger eolian activity and thermokarst processes. This is the most extensive area of large stabilized dunes yet reported in the North American Arctic; the landscape is of particular interest because it has been proposed as a first-order analog for martian fretted terrain. Recognition of the large dunes permits a new interpretation for linear and curvilinear trends visible in Landsat summer imagery.

  4. Eolian sediment responses to late Quaternary climate changes: Temporal and spatial patterns in the Sahara

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swezey, C.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents a compilation of eolian-based records of late Quaternary climate changes in the Sahara. Although the data are relatively sparse, when viewed as a whole, they reveal a general pattern of widespread eolian sediment mobilization prior to 11,000 cal. years BP, eolian sediment stabilization from 11,000 to 5000 cal. years BP, and a return to widespread eolian sediment mobilization after 5000 cal. years BP. Furthermore, an eolian-based record from southern Tunisia reveals the existence of millennial-scale changes in eolian sediment behavior. These millennial-scale variations provide examples of eolian sediment responses to climate changes at a scale intermediate between seasonal and orbital ('Milankovitch') changes, and they are also coincident with abrupt atmospheric and oceanic changes. The general synchroneity of the eolian stratigraphic records and their coincidence with various oceanic and atmospheric changes suggest that global forcing mechanisms have influenced late Quaternary eolian sediment behavior in the Sahara. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

  5. Eolian Soft-Sediment Deformation Records on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, M. A.; Okubo, C. H.; Bruhn, R. L.

    2014-12-01

    Eolian (wind-blown) dune deposits are widespread on Earth and Mars, with soft-sediment deformation preserved in cross-bedded sandstone deposits comprising important records of past environmental conditions. Exceptional 3-D exposures of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument of northern Arizona, contain distinctive intervals of decameter- scale soft-sediment contortions, up-turned dune sets, brittle strain, massive layers with breccia blocks, and associated geomorphic mounds. Both field studies and remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (airplane or kite) images respectively provide "ground truth" and "bird's-eye" perspectives of the deformation. The nature of the continuous folds within stratigraphically constrained beds indicates confining layers breached by rapid fluid expulsion, strain softening, and cataclastic flow of partially lithified sandstone under water-saturated conditions (i.e., a relatively high-water table), consistent with theoretical and laboratory studies of deformation in saturated sand. Loose grain packing and high porosity and permeability in eolian sands allow for water-filled pores, which are conducive for soft-sediment deformation. The likely driver for this observed deformation was liquefaction-induced ground failure from strong ground motion, such as long-duration surface waves of a large earthquake. These eolian examples preserve complex geologic stories and serve as paleoenvironmental records. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) HiRISE images of exposed layer contortions and soft-sediment deformation in Candor Chasma are remarkably similar to the Jurassic examples. The Jurassic analog examples provide baseline criteria to help interpret high-water table conditions and subsequent strong ground motion in the late Hesperian to early Amazonian sediments on the floor of Candor Chasma and other chasmata of Valles Marineris.

  6. Diagenesis Along Fractures in an Eolian Sandstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Rampe, E. B.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T. F.; Chipera, S. J.; Downs, R.; Morris, R. V.; Morrison, S. M.; Vaniman, D. T.; Gellert, R.; Sutter, B.; Treiman, A. H.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has been exploring sedimentary deposits in Gale crater since August 2012. The rover has traversed up section through approx.100 m of sedimentary rocks deposited in fluvial, deltaic, lacustrine, and eolian environments (Bradbury group and overlying Mount Sharp group). The Stimson formation lies unconformable over a lacustrine mudstone at the base of the Mount Sharp group and has been interpreted to be a cross-bedded sandstone of lithified eolian dunes. Mineralogy of the unaltered Stimson sandstone consists of plagioclase feldspar, pyroxenes, and magnetite with minor abundances of hematite, and Ca-sulfates (anhydrite, bassanite). Unaltered sandstone has a composition similar to the average Mars crustal composition. Alteration "halos" occur adjacent to fractures in the Stimson. Fluids passing through these fractures have altered the chemistry and mineralogy of the sandstone. Silicon and S enrichments and depletions in Al, Fe, Mg, Na, K, Ni and Mn suggest aqueous alteration in an open hydrologic system. Mineralogy of the altered Stimson is dominated by Ca-sulfates, Si-rich X-ray amorphous materials along with plagioclase feldspar, magnetite, and pyroxenes, but less abundant in the altered compared to the unaltered Stimson sandstone and lower pyroxene/plagioclase feldspar. The mineralogy and geochemistry of the altered sandstone suggest a complicated history with several (many?) episodes of aqueous alteration under a variety of environmental conditions (e.g., acidic, alkaline).

  7. Organic matter in eolian dusts over the Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simoneit, B. R. T.

    1977-01-01

    The elemental and mineralogical composition and the microfossil and detritus content of particulate fallout from the lower troposphere over the Atlantic Ocean have been extensively documented in earlier work, and it was possible to ascribe terrigenous source areas to such fallout. A brief review of the organic geochemistry of eolian dusts is also presented here. The lipids of eolian dusts sampled from the air mass over the eastern Atlantic from about 35 deg N to 30 deg S were analyzed here. These lipids consisted mainly of normal alkanes, carboxylic acids and alcohols. The n-alkanes were found to range from n-C23 to n-C35 with high CPI values and maximizing at n-C27 in the North Atlantic, at n-C29 in the equatorial Atlantic and at n-C31 in the South Atlantic. The n-fatty acids had mostly bimodal distributions, ranging from n-C12 to n-C30 (high CPI), with maxima at n-C16 and in the northern samples at n-C24 and in the southern samples at n-C26. The n-alcohols ranged from n-C12 to n-C32, with high CPI values and maxima mainly at n-C28. The compositions of these lipids indicated that their terrigenous sources were comprised mainly of higher plant vegetation and desiccated lacustrine mud flats on the African continent.

  8. Surface and subsurface features of the upper Pleistocene Beaumont Formation as studied in a proposed super collider site in Liberty and Hardin counties, southeastern Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Aronow, S.

    1994-12-31

    In 1987 an area in Hardin and Libery Counties in southeastern Texas was a much-studied candidate site for the ill-fated Superconducting Super Collider. The site is on the outcrop of the upper Pleistocene Beaumont Formation, which locally was deposited by a sequence of meandering, avulsing, suspended-load, paleo-Trinity River courses, now preserved as a well-defined to poorly defined depositional topography. Test holes in meanderbelt ridges showed that channel and point-bar silty fine to very fine sands are almost everywhere covered by approximately 10 to 40 ft ({approximately}3 to 12 m) of CH and CL overbank clays. Where completely penetrated, sand bodies are approximately 20 to 50 ft ({approximately}6 to 15 m) thick. Pedogenic calcareous deposits and slickensides at depths well below any influence from present-day surface processes are probably parts of lower horizons of truncated now-buried soils generated during the accumulation of the Beaumont, or on the surface of the underlying Lissie Formation. The relationship of one of the paleo-meanderbelts to the uplifted topographic surface of the Hull salt dome suggests that the rise of the surface postdated deposition of the Beaumont.

  9. Erosion and transport of eolian materials on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krinsley, D.

    1983-01-01

    An abrasion chamber was constructed to produce grain to grain impacts and to eliminate, as far as possible, grain to wall impact. Quartz, basalt, olivine, and volcanic ash were used as abrasives to determine particle longevity on Mars during eolian abrasion. The various abrasion velocities, measured velocity or particles, calculated velocity of collision, time during which abrasion took place, the charge (material) in grams, and the percent remaining after completion are tabulated. The tests show that if coarse sand-sized particles of the composition presumably present on Mars are moved at the wind velocities given, almost complete destruction can occur in geologically insignificant time periods. Grain to rock collisions are not necessary for almost complete destruction; grain to grain collisions are sufficient.

  10. On the Origin of the Crestone Crater: Low-Latitude Periglacial Features in San Luis Valley, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwans, E.; Meng, T. M.; Prudhomme, K.; Morgan, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    Located within the northern boundary of the Great Sand Dunes National Park is the Crestone Crater, a elliptical bowl-shaped feature consisting of a raised rim surrounding a central depression. The elongate crater has an approximate diameter of 100 m and reaches a depth of 10 m at its center relative to its rim, which rises 10 m above the elevation of the surrounding surface. Its precise origin is largely unknown and has perplexed regional geologists and residents of Crestone, Colorado for more than 80 years. This project used on-site and remote geophysical methods to characterize the processes that led to the geomorphologic surface expression observed today. Formation hypotheses examined encompass extraterrestrial, eolian, and periglacial processes. Field methods included a new gravity survey and reanalysis of gravity data collected in a previous student investigation of the feature. Additionally, a recent LiDAR dataset spanning San Luis Valley was examined to analyze the main structure, similar features in the area, and surrounding eolian and alluvial surfaces. An extraterrestrial origin, as suggested by numerous previous investigators, was deemed unlikely due to the non-unique gravity signature of the crater, its topographic similarity to many other like features identified in San Luis Valley, as well as its failure to excavate below the elevation of the surrounding surface. Furthermore, the expression of confirmed eolian landforms in San Luis Valley indicates that eolian processes alone would not produce such a prominent form in the level of vegetation observed. Proximal glacial deposits in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains show that the windblown sand in which all these features are clustered is adjacent to areas of past glaciations, and thus would have been affected by freeze-thaw cycles and thin, localized permafrost. Ice extent maps provided by the Colorado Geological Survey, as well as research on the timing of the formation of the Great Sand Dunes reinforce

  11. Eolian deposits in the Neoproterozoic Big Bear Group, San Bernardino Mountains, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John H.

    2005-01-01

    Strata interpreted to be eolian are recognized in the Neoproterozoic Big Bear Group in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California, USA. The strata consist of medium- to large-scale (30 cm to > 6 m) cross-stratified quartzite considered to be eolian dune deposits and interstratified thinly laminated quartzite that are problematically interpreted as either eolian translatent climbing ripple laminae, or as tidal-flat deposits. High index ripples and adhesion structures considered to be eolian are associated with the thinly laminated and cross-stratified strata. The eolian strata are in a succession that is characterized by flaser bedding, aqueous ripple marks, mudcracks, and interstratified small-scale cross-strata that are suggestive of a tidal environment containing local fluvial deposits. The eolian strata may have formed in a near-shore environment inland of a tidal flat. The Neoproterozoic Big Bear Group is unusual in the western United States and may represent a remnant of strata that were originally more widespread and part of the hypothetical Neoproterozoic supercontinent of Rodinia. The Big Bear Group perhaps is preserved only in blocks that were downdropped along Neoproterozoic extensional faults. The eolian deposits of the Big Bear Group may have been deposited during arid conditions that preceded worldwide glacial events in the late Neoproterozoic. Possibly similar pre-glacial arid events are recognized in northern Mexico, northeast Washington, Australia, and northwest Canada.

  12. Eolian transport of geogenic hexavalent chromium to ground water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, W.W.; Clark, D.; Imes, J.L.; Councell, T.B.

    2010-01-01

    A conceptual model of eolian transport is proposed to address the widely distributed, high concentrations of hexavalent chromium (Cr+6) observed in ground water in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Concentrations (30 to more than 1000 μg/L Cr+6) extend over thousands of square kilometers of ground water systems. It is hypothesized that the Cr is derived from weathering of chromium-rich pyroxenes and olivines present in ophiolite sequence of the adjacent Oman (Hajar) Mountains. Cr+3 in the minerals is oxidized to Cr+6 by reduction of manganese and is subsequently sorbed on iron and manganese oxide coatings of particles. When the surfaces of these particles are abraded in this arid environment, they release fine, micrometer-sized, coated particles that are easily transported over large distances by wind and subsequently deposited on the surface. During ground water recharge events, the readily soluble Cr+6 is mobilized by rain water and transported by advective flow into the underlying aquifer. Chromium analyses of ground water, rain, dust, and surface (soil) deposits are consistent with this model, as are electron probe analyses of clasts derived from the eroding Oman ophiolite sequence. Ground water recharge flux is proposed to exercise some control over Cr+6 concentration in the aquifer.

  13. Sources of Fe in eolian and soil detritus at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Vaniman, D.; Chipera, S.; Bish, D.

    1997-12-31

    Eolian deposits and adjacent soil horizons at Exile Hill near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provide a desert environment where the origins of exotic eolian materials can be discerned. Petrographic, chemical, X-ray diffraction, and electron microprobe data allow an assessment of Fe mineral sources. Fe-rich minerals in local rhyolitic tuff bedrock consist of distinctive biotite and amphibole phenocrysts and groundmass Mn-hematites. Although the local tuffs contain only 1% FeO, detrital components of eolian and soil deposits have {approximately}3% FeO. Exotic minerals from distant sources provide most of the excess Fe in the surficial deposits. The exotic Fe sources are principally smectite, low-Mn hematite, low-F biotite, and high-Fe amphibole not found in local tuffs. Iron contents and the exotic Fe fraction increase with decreasing grain size, such that the clay fractions have {approximately}5--6% FeO, almost all of which is in exotic smectites. The distant origin of these smectites is evident in their high Fe content and distinct Sc/FeO enrichment trends, which differ from the strong local Sc/FeO control defined by coarser soil detritus. Approximate crustal average lanthanide composition in soil and eolian smectites rule out any significant contribution of local smectite derived from tuff alteration. The eolian and soil smectites instead inherit their high Fe content from eolian biotite.

  14. BISON ANTIQUUS OCCURRENCE AND PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE STRATIGRAPHY, CANADA DEL BUEY, PAJARITO PLATEAU, NEW MEXICO

    SciTech Connect

    RENEAU, STEVEN L.; DRAKOS, PAUL G.; MORGAN, GARY S.

    2007-02-12

    A Bison. (probable Bison antiguus) distal humerus fragment was found within a Pleistocene colluvial deposit on a hillslope above Canada del Buey near White Rock, New Mexico. The Bison fossil is preserved within a buried soil with an inferred age of ca. 50-100 ka, based on soil properties and on stratigraphic position below a deposit of ca. 50-60 ka EI Cajete pumice. This represents the second oldest dated Bison in New Mexico, and one of the few occurrences of this genus in the northern mountains of the state. It is also only the second record of a Pleistocene vertebrate from Los Alamos County, and is a rare occurrence of a pre-25 ka Bison fossil in good stratigraphic context. Hillslopes in the study area are underlain by a sequence of truncated Pleistocene and Holocene soils that are inferred to represent colluvial deposition and soil formation followed by erosion in the mid Pleistocene (buried soil 'b3'), the late Pleistocene (buried soil 'b2'), and the mid-to-late Holocene (buried soil 'b1'). The surface soil is developed in depOSits that overlie 600-800 year-old Ancestral Puebloan sites. Colluvium is dominated by relatively fine-grained (fine to very fine sand) slopewash colluvium deposited by overland flow, but also includes rocky colluvium on hillslopes below mesas. The fine-grained colluvium is likely derived mainly from reworking of eolian deposits. Episodic colluvial deposition appears to, at least in part, accompany and follow episodic eolian events, with intervening periods dominated by erosion and the development of truncated soils.

  15. Synthesis of late Paleozoic and Mesozoic eolian deposits of the Western Interior of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blakey, R.C.; Peterson, F.; Kocurek, G.

    1988-01-01

    Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic eolian deposits include rock units that were deposited in ergs (eolian sand seas), erg margins and dune fields. They form an important part of Middle Pennsylvanian through Upper Jurassic sedimentary rocks across the Western Interior of the United States. These sedimentary rock units comprise approximately three dozen major eolian-bearing sequences and several smaller ones. Isopach and facies maps and accompanying cross sections indicate that most eolian units display varied geometry and complex facies relations to adjacent non-eolian rocks. Paleozoic erg deposits are widespread from Montana to Arizona and include Pennsylvanian formations (Weber, Tensleep, Casper and Quadrant Sandstones) chiefly in the Northern and Central Rocky Mountains with some deposits (Hermosa and Supai Groups) on the Colorado Plateau. Lower Permian (Wolfcampian) erg deposits (Weber, Tensleep, Casper, Minnelusa, Ingleside, Cedar Mesa, Elephant Canyon, Queantoweap and Esplanade Formations) are more widespread and thicken into the central Colorado Plateau. Middle Permian (Leonardian I) erg deposits (De Chelly and Schnebly Hill Formations) are distributed across the southern Colorado Plateau on the north edge of the Holbrook basin. Leonardian II erg deposits (Coconino and Glorieta Sandstones) are slightly more widespread on the southern Colorado Plateau. Leonardian III erg deposits formed adjacent to the Toroweap-Kaibab sea in Utah and Arizona (Coconino and White Rim Sandstones) and in north-central Colorado (Lyons Sandstone). Recognized Triassic eolian deposits include major erg deposits in the Jelm Formation of central Colorado-Wyoming and smaller eolian deposits in the Rock Point Member of the Wingate Sandstone and upper Dolores Formation, both of the Four Corners region. None of these have as yet received a modern or thorough study. Jurassic deposits of eolian origin extend from the Black Hills to the southern Cordilleran arc terrain. Lower Jurassic intervals

  16. Synthesis of late Paleozoic and Mesozoic eolian deposits of the Western Interior of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakey, Ronald C.; Peterson, Fred; Kocurek, Gary

    1988-04-01

    Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic eolian deposits include rock units that were deposited in ergs (eolian sand seas), erg margins and dune fields. They form an important part of Middle Pennsylvanian through Upper Jurassic sedimentary rocks across the Western Interior of the United States. These sedimentary rock units comprise approximately three dozen major eolian-bearing sequences and several smaller ones. Isopach and facies maps and accompanying cross sections indicate that most eolian units display varied geometry and complex facies relations to adjacent non-eolian rocks. Paleozoic erg deposits are widespread from Montana to Arizona and include Pennsylvanian formations (Weber, Tensleep, Casper and Quadrant Sandstones) chiefly in the Northern and Central Rocky Mountains with some deposits (Hermosa and Supai Groups) on the Colorado Plateau. Lower Permian (Wolfcampian) erg deposits (Weber, Tensleep, Casper, Minnelusa, Ingleside, Cedar Mesa, Elephant Canyon, Queantoweap and Esplanade Formations) are more widespread and thicken into the central Colorado Plateau. Middle Permian (Leonardian I) erg deposits (De Chelly and Schnebly Hill Formations) are distributed across the southern Colorado Plateau on the north edge of the Holbrook basin. Leonardian II erg deposits (Coconino and Glorieta Sandstones) are slightly more widespread on the southern Colorado Plateau. Leonardian III erg deposits formed adjacent to the Toroweap-Kaibab sea in Utah and Arizona (Coconino and White Rim Sandstones) and in north-central Colorado (Lyons Sandstone). Recognized Triassic eolian deposits include major erg deposits in the Jelm Formation of central Colorado-Wyoming and smaller eolian deposits in the Rock Point Member of the Wingate Sandstone and upper Dolores Formation, both of the Four Corners region. None of these have as yet received a modern or thorough study. Jurassic deposits of eolian origin extend from the Black Hills to the southern Cordilleran arc terrain. Lower Jurassic intervals

  17. Temporal labyrinths of eastern Eurasian Pleistocene humans

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiu-Jie; Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Liu, Wu; Xing, Song; Trinkaus, Erik

    2014-01-01

    One of the morphological features that has been identified as uniquely derived for the western Eurasian Neandertals concerns the relative sizes and positions of their semicircular canals. In particular, they exhibit a relatively small anterior canal, a relatively larger lateral one, and a more inferior position of the posterior one relative to the lateral one. These discussions have not included full paleontological data on eastern Eurasian Pleistocene human temporal labyrinths, which have the potential to provide a broader context for assessing Pleistocene Homo trait polarities. We present the temporal labyrinths of four eastern Eurasian Pleistocene Homo, one each of Early (Lantian 1), Middle (Hexian 1), and Late (Xujiayao 15) Pleistocene archaic humans and one early modern human (Liujiang 1). The labyrinths of the two earlier specimens and the most recent one conform to the proportions seen among western early and recent modern humans, reinforcing the modern human pattern as generally ancestral for the genus Homo. The labyrinth of Xujiayao 15 is in the middle of the Neandertal variation and separate from the other samples. This eastern Eurasian labyrinthine dichotomy occurs in the context of none of the distinctive Neandertal external temporal or other cranial features. As such, it raises questions regarding possible cranial and postcranial morphological correlates of Homo labyrinthine variation, the use of individual “Neandertal” features for documenting population affinities, and the nature of late archaic human variation across Eurasia. PMID:25002467

  18. Red/violet contrast reversal on Mars - Significance for eolian sediments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, P.; Veverka, J.

    1986-01-01

    Viking Orbiter images of Mars are analyzed to define relationships between the observed contrast reversals (CR) and specific surface features. The link between CR phenomena and surface composition was first detected in contrast comparisons between UV and visible wavelength Mariner 9 data. Viking data, taken through red and violet filters, showed that the CRs occurred only with crater splotches and splotch-related streaks and in bright depositional and dark erosional streaks, both being low-albedo markings presumably caused by eolian forces. The splotch phenomena is confined mainly to the Oxia Palus region, although there are other regions where splotches and streaks commingle. Laboratory tests to mimic the CR characteristics showed that CRs are a common phenomena of different size fractions of iron oxides, e.g., goethite, where particles under 5 microns have been removed. The splotches, including dune formations, are therefore believed to indicate the presence of particles in the 100-800 microns diam range. Finer particles ride on the tops of the dust storms, and are continually removed from the surface by saltation.

  19. Wind erosion under cold climate: A Pleistocene periglacial mega-yardang system in Central Europe (Western Pannonian Basin, Hungary)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebe, Krisztina; Csillag, Gábor; Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Zsófia; Fodor, László; Thamó-Bozsó, Edit; Müller, Pál; Braucher, Régis

    2011-11-01

    Mega-yardangs are known to form under extremely arid, warm or in some instances moderate climates. Here we report on the mega-yardang field of the Pannonian Basin (Hungary), which was uniquely formed under periglacial, probably semi-arid conditions, and discuss its implications on factors controlling yardang formation in general. The yardang field is composed of advanced, streamlined forms and of less aerodynamic ridges separated by well-developed corridors. The length of the largest features exceeds 60 km, their height varies around 150 m. Together with ventifacts, deflation hollows and wind-blown sand areas, the yardang field is part of an integrated eolian feature system driven by northerly to northwesterly winds. Dating of ventifact surfaces with in situ produced cosmogenic nuclides places the onset of significant wind erosion to the Early Pleistocene (1.5 Ma). OSL-dated young loess, from which well-developed yardangs were sculpted, and wind-blown sands show that eolian action continued until the early Holocene. The long temporal range of wind erosion compared to average yardang formation rates and the rarity of advanced yardang forms indicate intermittent and relatively short, most probably millennial-scale deflation periods. Since the Early Holocene the system has been inactive, and demonstrates that yardangs can persist in a recognizable form for several millennia even under less arid conditions. The main control on yardang formation appears to be the existence of strong unidirectional winds, in the Pannonian Basin facilitated mainly by the channeling effect of topographic lows in the surrounding mountain chains. Yardangs can form even under semi-arid climates; however, the rarity of these occurrences suggests that this requires a special association of environmental conditions. Yardang formation is facilitated by homogeneous lithology, namely by widespread weakly consolidated, sandy sediments. The distribution of yardang fields is controlled by vertical

  20. Chronology and geochemistry of late Holocene eolian deposits in the Brandon Sand Hills, Manitoba, Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfe, S.A.; Muhs, D.R.; David, P.P.; McGeehin, J.P.

    2000-01-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometry and conventional radiocarbon age determinations of organic matter from paleosols indicate that the Brandon Sand Hills area of southern Manitoba has been subjected to recurrent intervals of eolian activity in the past 5000 years. Although precise regional correlations are precluded by dating uncertainties, periods of most notable paleosol development occurred around 2300 to 2000, 1400 to 1000, and 600 to 500 cal yr BP with eolian activity occurring before and after each of these periods. Episodes of eolian activity may correspond to periods of regional drought, whereas paleosols mark periods of increased moisture availability and stabilization by vegetation. The geochemistry of the eolian sands, paleosols and source sediments indicates that partial leaching of carbonates occurs from pedogenesis during humid climatic phases, and that this is probably the primary mechanism of carbonate depletion of eolian sands in this area. Recent trends in sand dune activity from historic aerial photography and early explorers' accounts indicate that the few active dunes that presently exist have stabilized at a rate of 10-20% per decade, despite several severe droughts in the 20th century. This may be attributed to pre-settlement droughts that were more severe than those in historic times although regional dune stabilization may also be related, in part, to the spread of forest cover in the past few hundred years. Crown copyright (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. An Upper Pleistocene to Holocene limnic record from the Carpathian Basin near Vrsac (Vojvodina, Serbia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeeden, Christian; Hambach, Ulrich; Fisher, Peter; Obreht, Igor; Schulte, Philipp; Bösken, Janina; Wennrich, Voelker; Schäbitz, Frank; Klasen, Nicole; Gavrilov, Milivoj; Veres, Daniel; Markovic, Slobodan; Vött, Andreas; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Upper Pleistocene geoarchives in the Pannonian Basin are predominantly composed of loess-paleosol sequences accompanied by only few fluvial archives dating to this time frame. In 2015 a 10 m sediment core was recovered within an extensive loess area by means of vibracoring, with the recovered sedimentary succession mainly composed of limnic sediments. Coring was conducted within a depression northwest of Vrsac and east of the Banat Sands in the eastern Carpathian Basin (North-Eastern Serbia) in a region still lacking in paleoenvironmental records but which must have played a crucial role in the spread of modern human into Europe along the main rivers valley tributary to the Danube. Radiocarbon dating places the upper half of the core within the last ca. 20 ka, whereas luminescence dating is on going. Sedimentological analyses give evidence of phases of eolian sediment input within a predominantly limnic depositional environment. Aeolian sediment input has been altered, and early diagenesis is expected to have superimposed the eolian sediment. In addition, levels of carbonate precipitation can be observed in the core, some intervals being very rich in clay and decalcified; both show strong alteration of original sediment. No indications for fluvial input are apparent, suggesting a continuous sedimentation during the Upper Pleistocene and into the Holocene. Here preliminary results are presented including core images and description, XRF scans, grain-size data and an age model in progress. Based on these findings a detailed interpretation on the sedimentary system and (paleo)environmental processes involved are given.

  2. Mars Eolian Geology at Airphoto Scales: The Large Wind Streaks of Western Arabia Terra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.

    2001-01-01

    More than 27,000 pictures at aerial photograph scales (1.5-12 m/pixel) have been acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) since September 1997. The pictures are valuable for testing hypotheses about geologic history and processes of Mars. Of particular interest are eolian features connected to surface albedo patterns. This work is focused on low-albedo wind streaks, some over 100 km long, in western Arabia Terra. Each streak is widest where it originates at an impact crater (typically 25-150 km diameter). The streaks taper downwind. Within the associated craters there is a lower-albedo surface that, in nearly all observed cases, includes barchan dunes indicative of transport in the same direction as the wind streaks. Upwind of the dunes there is usually an outcrop of layered material that might have served as a source for dune sand. MOC images show that the west Arabia streaks consist of a smooth-surfaced, multiple-meters-thick, mantle (smooth at 1.5 m/pixel) that appears to be superposed on local surfaces. No dunes are present, indicating that down-streak transport of sediment via saltation and traction have not occurred. Two models might explain the observed properties: (1) the streaks consist of dark silt- and clay-sized grains deflated from the adjacent crater interiors and deposited from suspension or (2) they are remnants (protected in the lee of impact crater rims) of a formerly much larger, regional covering of low albedo, smooth-surfaced mantle. The latter hypothesis is based on observation of low albedo mantled surfaces occurring south of west Arabia in Terra Meridiani. For reasons yet unknown, a large fraction of the martian equatorial regions are covered by low albedo, mesa-forming material that lies unconformably atop eroded layered and cratered terrain. Both hypotheses are being explored via continued selective targeting of new MOC images as well as analyses of the new data.

  3. Quaternary eolian dunes in the Savannah River valley, Jasper County, South Carolina, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swezey, Christopher S.; Schultz, Arthur P.; González, Wilma Alemán; Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Doar, William R.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Mahan, Shannon A.; McGeehin, John P.

    2013-09-01

    Sand hills in the Savannah River valley in Jasper County (South Carolina, USA) are interpreted as the remnants of parabolic eolian dunes composed of sand derived from the Savannah River and stabilized by vegetation under prevailing climate conditions. Optically stimulated luminescence ages reveal that most of the dunes were active ca. 40 to 19 ka ago, coincident with the last glacial maximum (LGM) through early deglaciation. Modern surface winds are not sufficient for sustained eolian sand transport. When the dunes were active, winds blew at velocities of at least 4 m/s from west to east, and some vegetation was present. The ratio of annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration (P:PE) was less than the modern ratio of 1.23 and may have been < 0.30, caused by stronger winds (which would have resulted in greater evaporation) and/or reduced precipitation. The Savannah River dunes are part of a larger assemblage of eolian dunes that were active in the eastern United States during and immediately after the LGM, suggesting that eolian sediment behavior in this region has been controlled by regional forcing mechanisms during the Quaternary.

  4. Late Holocene eolian activity in the mineralogically mature Nebraska Sand Hills

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Stafford, Thomas W.; Swinehart, J.B.; Cowherd, S.D.; Mahan, S.A.; Bush, C.A.; Madole, R.F.; Maat, P.B.

    1997-01-01

    The age of sand dunes in the Nebraska Sand Hills has been controversial, with some investigators suggesting a full-glacial age and others suggesting that they were last active in the late Holocene. New accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon ages of unaltered bison bones and organic-rich sediments suggest that eolian sand deposition occurred at least twice in the past 3000 14C yr B.P. in three widely separated localities and as many as three times in the past 800 14C yr at three other localities. These late Holocene episodes of eolian activity are probably the result of droughts more intense than the 1930s "Dust Bowl" period, based on independent Great Plains climate records from lake sediments and tree rings. However, new geochemical data indicate that the Nebraska Sand Hills are mineralogically mature. Eolian sands in Nebraska have lower K-feldspar (and K2O, Rb, and Ba) contents than most possible source sediments and lower K-feldspar contents than dunes of similar age in Colorado. The most likely explanation for mineralogical maturity is reduction of sand-sized K-feldspar to silt-sized particles via ballistic impacts due to strong winds over many cycles of eolian activity. Therefore, dunes of the Nebraska Sand Hills must have had a long history, probably extending over more than one glacial-interglacial cycle, and the potential for reactivation is high, with or without a future greenhouse warming. ?? 1997 University of Washington.

  5. Pleistocene succession of the central interior United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frye, J.C.

    1973-01-01

    The Quaternary of the continental interior of the United States is characterized by deposits from glacial ice, with associated outwash and eolian deposits, and by alluvial deposits produced by the same climatic pulses. Erosional incision of valleys occurred early in the glacial pulse, outwash deposition during the waning phase of the pulse, and soil formation during times of relative stability between the glacial pulses. These features of deposition, erosion, and soil formation are presented in a series of curves. One way the marine record could be correlated with that of the continental interior is to compare and match the physical records of both environments. ?? 1973.

  6. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of a dry to wet eolian depositional system, Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F.; Calvin, W.; Clark, B. C.; Fike, D. A.; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Haldemann, A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Jolliff, B. L.; Knoll, A. H.; Malin, M.; McLennan, S. M.; Parker, T.; Soderblom, L.; Sohl-Dickstein, J. N.; Squyres, S. W.; Tosca, N. J.; Watters, W. A.

    2005-11-01

    Outcrop exposures of sedimentary rocks at the Opportunity landing site (Meridiani Planum) form a set of genetically related strata defined here informally as the Burns formation. This formation can be subdivided into lower, middle, and upper units which, respectively, represent eolian dune, eolian sand sheet, and mixed eolian sand sheet and interdune facies associations. Collectively, these three units are at least 7 m thick and define a "wetting-upward" succession which records a progressive increase in the influence of groundwater and, ultimately, surface water in controlling primary depositional processes. The Burns lower unit is interpreted as a dry dune field (though grain composition indicates an evaporitic source), whose preserved record of large-scale cross-bedded sandstones indicates either superimposed bedforms of variable size or reactivation of lee-side slip faces by episodic (possibly seasonal) changes in wind direction. The boundary between the lower and middle units is a significant eolian deflation surface. This surface is interpreted to record eolian erosion down to the capillary fringe of the water table, where increased resistance to wind-induced erosion was promoted by increased sediment cohesiveness in the capillary fringe. The overlying Burns middle unit is characterized by fine-scale planar-laminated to low-angle-stratified sandstones. These sandstones accumulated during lateral migration of eolian impact ripples over the flat to gently undulating sand sheet surface. In terrestrial settings, sand sheets may form an intermediate environment between dune fields and interdune or playa surfaces. The contact between the middle and upper units of the Burns formation is interpreted as a diagenetic front, where recrystallization in the phreatic or capillary zones may have occurred. The upper unit of the Burns formation contains a mixture of sand sheet facies and interdune facies. Interdune facies include wavy bedding, irregular lamination with

  7. Origins of relief along contacts between eolian sandstones and overlying marine strata

    SciTech Connect

    Eschner, T.B.; Kocurek, G.

    1988-08-01

    Origins of large-scale relief along eolian-marine unit contacts, which form significant stratigraphic traps for hydrocarbons, can be recognized as inherited, reworked, and/or erosional. The Permian Rotliegende-Weissliegende Sandstone and Yellow Sands of Europe may best exemplify inherited relief in that dunes are preserved largely intact. Reworked relief, which shows significant destruction of original dune topography but with remnants of the bedforms preserved, is shown by relict Holocene dunes of coastal Australia, the Jurassic Entrada Sandstone of the San Juan basin, and the Pennsylvanian-Permian Minnelusa Formation of Wyoming. Erosional relief results from post-eolian processes and is exemplified by the Jurassic Entrada Sandstone of northeastern Utah. 11 figs., 1 tab.

  8. Rates, timing, and cyclicity of Holocene eolian activity in north-central United States: Evidence from varved lake sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dean, W.E.

    1997-01-01

    Most of the sediment components that accumulated in Elk Lake, northwestern Minnesota, during the Holocene are autochthonous or biogenic, delivered to the sediment-water interface on a seasonal schedule, preserved in distinct annual laminae (varves). The main allochthonous component is detrital clastic material, as measured by bulk-sediment concentrations of aluminum, sodium, potassium, titanium, and quartz, that enters the lake mostly as eolian dust. The eolian clastic influx to Elk Lake was considerably greater during the mid-Holocene (8-4 ka) than it has been for the past 4000 yr, when periods of increased eolian activity correspond to the time of the Little Ice Age and the dust bowl. Geochemical records of eolian activity exhibit distinct cyclicities with dominant periodicities of 400 and 84 yr.

  9. Loess record of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition on the northern and central Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.A.; Miao, X.; Hanson, P.R.; Johnson, W.C.; Jacobs, P.M.; Goble, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Various lines of evidence support conflicting interpretations of the timing, abruptness, and nature of climate change in the Great Plains during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Loess deposits and paleosols on both the central and northern Great Plains provide a valuable record that can help address these issues. A synthesis of new and previously reported optical and radiocarbon ages indicates that the Brady Soil, which marks the boundary between late Pleistocene Peoria Loess and Holocene Bignell Loess, began forming after a reduction in the rate of Peoria Loess accumulation that most likely occurred between 13.5 and 15 cal ka. Brady Soil formation spanned all or part of the B??lling-Aller??d episode (approximately 14.7-12.9 cal ka) and all of the Younger Dryas episode (12.9-11.5 cal ka) and extended at least 1000 years beyond the end of the Younger Dryas. The Brady Soil was buried by Bignell Loess sedimentation beginning around 10.5-9 cal ka, and continuing episodically through the Holocene. Evidence for a brief increase in loess influx during the Younger Dryas is noteworthy but very limited. Most late Quaternary loess accumulation in the central Great Plains was nonglacigenic and was under relatively direct climatic control. Thus, Brady Soil formation records climatic conditions that minimized eolian activity and allowed effective pedogenesis, probably through relatively high effective moisture. Optical dating of loess in North Dakota supports correlation of the Leonard Paleosol on the northern Great Plains with the Brady Soil. Thick loess in North Dakota was primarily derived from the Missouri River floodplain; thus, its stratigraphy may in part reflect glacial influence on the Missouri River. Nonetheless, the persistence of minimal loess accumulation and soil formation until 10 cal ka at our North Dakota study site is best explained by a prolonged interval of high effective moisture correlative with the conditions that favored Brady Soil formation. Burial

  10. Quantifying the seasonal variations in fluvial and eolian sources of terrigenous material to Cariaco Basin, Venezuela

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmore, Aurora C.; Thunell, Robert C.; Styles, Richard; Black, David; Murray, Richard W.; Martinez, Nahysa; Astor, Yrene

    2009-02-01

    The varved sediments that accumulate in the Cariaco Basin provide a detailed archive of the region's climatic history, including a record of the quantity of fluvial and wind-transported material. In this study, we examine the sedimentological characteristics (clay mineralogy and grain size) of both surface sediments and sinking lithogenic material collected from sediment trap samples over a three-year period from 1997 to 2000. Data from biweekly sediment trap samples show a tri-modal particle size distribution, with prominent peaks at 2, 22 and 80 μm, indicating sediment contributions from both eolian and fluvial sources. The clay mineralogy of the water column samples collected from 1997 to 1999 also shows distinctive characteristics of eolian and fluvial material. An examination of surface sediment samples from the Cariaco Basin indicates that the Unare River is the main source of riverine sediments to the eastern sub-basin. By combining these sedimentological proxies, we estimate that ˜10% of the terrigenous material delivered to the Cariaco Basin is eolian, while ˜90% is fluvial. This represents an annual dust accumulation rate of ˜0.59 mg/cm 2/yr. Since aerosols are closely linked to climate variability, the ability to quantify paleo-dust fluxes using sedimentological characteristics will be a useful tool for future paleoclimate studies looking at sub-Saharan aridity and latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

  11. Geochemical evidence for an Eolian sand dam across the North and South Platte rivers in Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Swinehart, James B.; Loope, David B.; Been, Josh; Mahan, Shannon; Bush, Charles A.

    2000-01-01

    Geochemical and geomorphic data from dune fields in southwestern Nebraska provide new evidence that the Nebraska Sand Hills once migrated across the North and South Platte rivers and dammed the largest tributary system to the Missouri River. The Lincoln County and Imperial dune fields, which lie downwind of the South Platte River, have compositions intermediate between the Nebraska Sand Hills (quartz-rich) and northeastern Colorado dunes (K-feldspar-rich). The most likely explanation for the intermediate composition is that the Lincoln County and Imperial dunes are derived in part from the Nebraska Sand Hills and in part from the South Platte River. The only mechanism by which the Nebraska Sand Hills could have migrated this far south is by complete infilling of what were probably perennially dry North Platte and South Platte river valleys. Such a series of events would have required an extended drought, both for activation of eolian sand and decreased discharges in the Platte River system. A nearby major tributary of the North Platte River is postulated to have been blocked by eolian sand about 12,000 14C yr B.P. We propose that an eolian sand dam across the Plattes was constructed at about this same time.

  12. Eolian additions to late Quaternary alpine soils, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Benedict, J.B.

    2006-01-01

    Surface horizons of many alpine soils on Quaternary deposits in high-mountain settings are enriched in silt. The origin of these particles has been debated, particularly in the Rocky Mountain region of North America. The most common explanations are frost shattering of coarser particles and eolian additions from distant sources. We studied soil A horizons on alpine moraines of late-glacial (Satanta Peak) age in the Colorado Front Range. Surface horizons of soils on these moraines are enriched in silt and have a particle size distribution that resembles loess and dust deposits found elsewhere. The compositions of sand and silt fractions of the soils were compared to possible local source rocks, using immobile trace elements Ti, Nb, Zr, Ce, and Y. The sand fractions of soils have a wide range of trace element ratios, similar to the range of values in the local biotite gneiss bedrock. In contrast, silt fractions have narrower ranges of trace element ratios that do not overlap the range of these ratios in biotite gneiss. The particle size and geochemical results support an interpretation that silts in these soils are derived from airborne dust. Eolian silts were most likely derived from distant sources, such as the semiarid North Park and Middle Park basins to the west. We hypothesize that much of the eolian influx to soils of the Front Range occurred during an early to mid-Holocene warm period, when sediment availability in semiarid source basins was at a maximum.

  13. Geochemical and mineralogical evidence from eolian sediments for northwesterly mid-Holocene paleowinds, central Kansas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arbogast, A.F.; Muhs, D.R.

    2000-01-01

    A prominent (4500 km2) dune field in the Great Plains is the Great Bend Sand Prairie of south-central Kansas. Dunes here overlie late Quaternary alluvium and were reactivated extensively in the late Holocene. Geomorphic and soil evidence suggests that the most likely eolian sand source is the Arkansas River valley to the northwest. Nevertheless, orientations of stabilized dunes indicate that the most recent dune-forming winds came from the south or southwest, in agreement with modern wind data. Mineralogy and trace element concentrations in eolian sands of the Great Bend Sand Prairie are similar to those to the Arkansas River, which permits the Arkansas River as a sediment source. Ca and Sr abundances, which reflect small amounts of carbonate minerals, are higher in Arkansas River sand compared to eolian sands and show a systematic depletion away from the Arkansas River to the southeast. These trends are likely due to carbonate mineral depletion downwind from abrasion and size reduction. Thus, paleowinds probably were northwesterly during initial deposition. Northwesterly winds occur today when dry, Pacific-derived air is dominant. We hypothesize that the residence time of this air mass was much greater while dunes initially formed, possibly during a warmer and drier mid-Holocene period.

  14. Pleistocene sediments of Lake Baikal: Lithology and stratigraphic correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akulov, N. I.; Mashchuk, I. M.; Akulova, V. V.

    2015-01-01

    The Cenozoic sediments of Lake Baikal penetrated by boreholes and investigated by the manned submersible Pisces, as well as coeval deposits cropping out in beach scarps, recovered by mine workings, and drilled in the coastal zone were the object of this investigation. The main attention was paid to Pleistocene bottom sediments penetrated by Borehole BDP-99-2. The investigations included the detailed analysis of the lithology (grain-size composition, immersion mineralogy of light and heavy fractions, X-ray structural analysis of clayey fraction) and palynological assemblages to specify facies features of Cenozoic sediments, correlate all their known stratigraphic units constituting the sedimentary section of the lake with their analogs in the onshore part of the Baikal rift zone, and compile the composite Cenozoic section. The following features of these sediments are noted: (1) as a whole, Pleistocene sediments are characterized by the hydromica-smectite composition of their clayey fraction with an insignificant share of kaoline; (2) the heavy fraction is dominated by the terrigenous epidote-amphibole association poorly resistant to weathering; (3) Pleistocene sediments of the lake contain siderite, vivianite, pyrite, and goethite concretions and micrometeorites, in addition to well-known ferromanganese nodules; (4) the presence of relict palynomorphs in Pleistocene sediments of Baikal is determined by their erosion from Miocene and Pliocene cavernous clays cropping out on underwater slopes of the Posol'skaya Bank and subsequent reburial along with Pleistocene palynological assemblages.

  15. Provenance of Palouse Loess and Relation to Late Pleistocene Glacial Outburst Flooding, Washington State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweeney, M. R.; Busacca, A. J.; Gaylord, D. R.; Zender, C. S.

    2002-12-01

    The eolian system of the Pacific Northwest is a product of long-term deflation of expansive sedimentary units by prevailing winds throughout the Quaternary. The Palouse loess is a deposit of wind-blown silt that covers approximately 10,000 sqare km up to 75 m thick. Late Quaternary units of the loess become finer texturally and thinner to the northeast, suggesting that they were derived from sedimentary basins south and west. The source of the loess has been inferred and hypothesized but never directly determined. A geochemical study of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene L1 unit of the Palouse loess and its possible sources was conducted to determine its provenance. There are two sedimentary units that lie upwind of the loess that may have contributed sediment via eolian deflation: 1) sand- and silt-rich slackwater sediment derived from late-Pleistocene outburst flooding of glacial Lake Missoula, and 2) sand- and silt-rich sediment from the Miocene-Pliocene Ringold Formation. Both are very similar in mineral composition, being derived from plutonic, metamorphic, and volcanic rocks of the western United States and southern British Columbia. Major and trace element data determined by x-ray fluorescence (XRF) of silt to very fine sand from loess and potential source sediments was used to pinpoint the exact source of the loess. A one-to-one relationship of major and trace elements exists between eolian and flood sediments, whereas Ringold Formation sediments have elevated Ti, P, Mg, and Ca oxides and lower K oxide values as well as scattered trace element values relative to Palouse loess. These trends may be due to the presence of basalt lithic grains in flood sediment that have been broken down and distributed throughout the loess. The Ringold Formation lacks appreciable amounts of basalt. The geochemical data from this study demonstrates that flood sediment is the dominant source of eolian material for the Palouse loess. The spatial distribution of the possible source

  16. Modern sedimentary facies of the open Pacific coast and Pleistocene analogs from Montery Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dupre, W.R.; Clifton, H.E.; Hunter, R.E.; Field, Michael E.; Field, Michael E.; ,

    1980-01-01

    Depositional processes and sedimentary structures of wave-dominated Pacific coastal environments vary systematically with water depth. The depth-limited open-coast facies identifiable by their sedimentary structures are the inner shelf, barred or nonbarred nearshore, beach, and coastal dune facies. These facies are most commonly preserved in shallowing-upward progradational sequences. The vertical sequence of sedimentary structures preserved in marine terrace deposits in the northern Monterey Bay region is very similar to that predicted on the basis of the modern facies. Few marine sediments deposited during the marine transgression that accompanied rising sea level were preserved. Most of the the marine and eolian sediments form a progradational sequence deposited mainly during intervals of falling sea level. In contrast, the sediments that form the adjacent fluvial terraces were deposited mainly during periods of rising sea level and became entrenched during the subsequent lowering of sea level. In combination, these fluvial, marine, and eolian deposits provide a record of a complete eustatic cycle. The recognition of the role of changing sea level in controlling patterns of coastal sedimentation and landform development during the Quaternary allows the development of a generalized model for Quaternary sedimentation along a wave-dominated coastline. The application of this model has aided in the interpretation of older Pleistocene sediments in the region (e.g. the Aromas Sand). It also has resulted in the recognition of at least eleven glacio-eustatic cycles preserved in the stratigraphic record of the Monterey Bay area during the Quaternary.

  17. Characterizing the eolian sediment component in the lacustrine record of Laguna Potrok Aike (southeastern Patagonia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohlendorf, C.; Gebhardt, C.

    2013-12-01

    Southern South America with its extended dry areas was one of the major sources for dust in the higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere during the last Glacial, as was deduced from fingerprinting of dust particles found in Antarctic ice cores. The amount of dust that was mobilized is mostly related to strength and latitudinal position of the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds (SWW). How exactly SWW shifted between glacial and interglacial times and what consequences such shifts had for ocean and atmospheric circulation changes during the last deglaciation is currently under debate. Laguna Potrok Aike (PTA) as a lake situated in the middle of the source area of dust offers the opportunity to arrive at a better understanding of past SWW changes and their associated consequences for dust transport. For this task, a sediment record of the past ~51 ka is available from a deep drilling campaign (PASADO). From this 106 m long profile, 76 samples representing the different lithologies of the sediment sequence were selected to characterize an eolian sediment component. Prior to sampling of the respective core intervals, magnetic susceptibility was measured and the element composition was determined by XRF-scanning on fresh, undisturbed sediment. After sampling and freeze drying, physical, chemical and mineralogical sediment properties were determined before and after separation of each sample into six grainsize classes for each fraction separately. SEM techniques were used to verify the eolian origin of grains. The aim of this approach is to isolate an exploitable fingerprint of the eolian sediment component in terms of their grain size, physical properties, geochemistry and mineralogy. Thereby, the challenging aspect is that such a fingerprint should be based on high-resolution down-core scanning techniques, so time-consuming techniques such as grain-size measurements by laser detection can be avoided. A first evaluation of the dataset indicates that magnetic

  18. Record of the Dansgaard-Oechger events in European eolian deposits.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousseau, D.; Antoine, P.; Hatte, C.; Moine, O.; Zoeller, L.; Lang, A.; Fuchs, M.; Sima, A.; Gerasimenko, N.; Markovic, S.

    2006-12-01

    Loess deposits are covering a wide part of Northern Europe, an area expanding from the coasts of Brittany to the Russian plain. Since ten years or so, efforts have been concentrated in selecting European loess sequences along a main W-E transect at roughly 49°N of latitude, from Northern France to Ukraine. First it has been demonstrated that the main eolian deposition over Europe occurred during the time interval comprised between 38 and 15 kyrs. Second, the high-resolution study of the sequences indicates the alternation of well- developed soils, embryonic or tundra gley paleosols and loess deposits. The succession of these different units show a particular pattern which is correlated with the DO sequence including Greenland IS 8 to 2, even if other shorter intervals, not labeled as DO events, are expressed in the eolian deposits. This correlation is supported by i) OSL and AMS dates on the organic matter preserved in the loess units, ii) mollusk assemblages variations, iii) δ13C on organic matter preserved in the loess, and iv) grain size analysis. We present here the last results of our investigation showing that the DO events preserved in the European loess sequences correspond to interval of low eolian regime, showing higher moisture than during the deposition of the dust. The duration of the DO events also influence the nature of the associated units (paleosol, tundra gleys or embryonic soils, loess) whereas the Heinrich events in between DO events are intervals of dry and windy conditions expressed by coarser material.

  19. Implication of eolian delivery and accumulation of highly reactive iron to the Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, B. K.; Owens, J. D.; Lyons, T. W.

    2014-12-01

    Iron, although abundant in the Earth's crust, is present at low concentrations in sea water and is a limiting nutrient for phytoplankton. Eolian dust (loess) is a major source of this micronutrient, and its deposition has important implications for the global CO2 budget. In this study, we explore distributions of potentially bioreactive Fe, the soluble fraction required by phytoplankton for photosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation, in deep-sea sediments in the North and South Atlantic Oceans. We used a state-of-the-art Fe speciation technique to characterize Fe inputs from different source regions, specifically North Africa and Patagonia to address the patterns and implications across glacial-interglacial time scales. In many open-ocean regions the input of new iron to the surface waters is dominated by the atmospheric deposition of soluble iron in eolian dusts. Multiple records have shown dust accumulation is correlated with glacial-interglacial cycles - glacial periods are substantially dustier. Furthermore, the delivery of eolian dust to the North and South Atlantic Oceans are from two very different source regions and soil types. We analyzed IODP cores from these two regions and our preliminary data shows similar pattern of iron distribution from both the North and South Atlantic Oceans. To date we have found no simple global pattern of bioavailable iron distribution during glacial and interglacial periods. We have analyzed a range of size distributions to isolate the dust-dominated fraction and the data shows no size effects in bioavailable form of iron distribution. We will explore the role of deep-water dust dissolution and sedimentary redox implications and its role on the bioreactive Fe record in marine cores.

  20. Vegetation, substrate, and eolian sediment transport at Teesto Wash, Navajo Nation, 2009-2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Redsteer, Margaret Hiza; Amoroso, Lee

    2012-01-01

    On the Navajo Nation, southwestern United States, warming temperatures and recent drought have increased eolian (windblown) sediment mobility such that large, migrating sand dunes affect grazing lands, housing, and road access. We present an assessment of seasonal variations in sand transport, mobility, and ground cover (vegetation and substrate) within a 0.2-km2 study area near Teesto Wash, southern Navajo Nation, as part of a multiyear study measuring the effects of drought on landscape stability. Sand mobility in the study area decreased substantially as one year (2010) with near-normal monsoon rainfall somewhat abated a decade-long drought, temporarily doubling vegetation cover. The invasive annual plant Russian thistle (Salsola sp.), in particular, thrived after the monsoon rains of 2010. Vegetation that grew during that year with adequate rain died off rapidly during drier conditions in 2011 and 2012, and the proportion of bare, open sand area increased steadily after summer 2010. We infer that isolated seasonal increases in rainfall will not improve landscape stability in the long term because sustained increase in perennial plants, which are more effective than annual plants at stabilizing sand against wind erosion, requires multiple consecutive seasons of adequate rain. On the basis of climate projections, a warmer, drier climate and potentially enhanced sediment supply from ephemeral washes may further increase eolian sediment transport and dune activity, worsening the present challenges to people living in this region. Connections between climate, vegetation cover, and eolian sediment erodibility in this region also are highly relevant for studies in other regions worldwide with similar environmental characteristics.

  1. Soil abrasion and eolian dust production: Implications for iron partitioning and solubility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackie, D. S.; Peat, J. M.; McTainsh, G. H.; Boyd, P. W.; Hunter, K. A.

    2006-12-01

    Eolian dust is a source of iron for phytoplankton in many ocean areas, and there are complex pathways of atmospheric processing from soil to ocean. Overlooked parts of the pathways are the impact of large (>10 μm) grains (including a role as proxies for the behavior of smaller grains) and the effect of multiple cycles of uplift and abrasion in the dust source region. Partitioning (readily released, acid-leachable and refractory) and dissolution rates of iron were determined for an artificial dust (produced by abrading an Australian soil), untreated soil, abraded soil (after production of the artificial dust), and a natural Australian eolian dust sample taken during a dust storm. Readily released iron is not created during abrasion, and therefore the amount of readily released iron in a dust or dust-derived soil depends on processing events since the dust or soil last experienced an abrasion event. Our study develops a method for the partitioning of iron within airborne dusts and appears to be the first to consider the effect of multiple uplift events on iron partitioning.

  2. Sulfate-rich eolian and wet interdune deposits, erebus crater, meridiani Planum, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Metz, J.M.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Rubin, D.M.; Lewis, K.W.; Squyres, S. W.; Bell, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates three bedrock exposures at Erebus crater, an ?? 300 m diameter crater approximately 4 km south of Endurance crater on Mars. These outcrops, called Olympia, Payson, and Yavapai, provide additional evidence in support of the dune-interdune model proposed for the formation of the deposits at the Opportunity landing site in Meridiani Planum. There is evidence for greater involvement of liquid water in the Olympia outcrop exposures than was observed in Eagle or Endurance craters. The Olympia outcrop likely formed in a wet interdune and sand sheet environment. The facies observed within the Payson outcrop, which is likely stratigraphically above the Olympia outcrop, indicate that it was deposited in a damp-wet interdune, sand sheet, and eolian dune environment. The Yavapai outcrop, which likely stratigraphically overlies the Payson outcrop, indicates that it was deposited in primarily a sand sheet environment and also potentially in an eolian dune environment. These three outcrop exposures may indicate an overall drying-upward trend spanning the stratigraphic section from its base at the Olympia outcrop to its top at the Yavapai outcrop. This contrasts with the wetting-upward trend seen in Endurance and Eagle craters. Thus, the series of outcrops seen at Meridiani by Opportunity may constitute a full climatic cycle, evolving from dry to wet to dry conditions. ?? 2009, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  3. Variations in productivity and eolian fluxes in the northeastern Arabian Sea during the past 110 ka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourmand, Ali; Marcantonio, Franco; Schulz, Hartmut

    2004-04-01

    High-resolution (one to two samples/ka) radionuclide proxy records from core 93KL in the northeastern Arabian Sea provide evidence for millennial climate variability over the past 110 ka. We interpret 230Th-normalized 232Th fluxes as a proxy for eolian input, and authigenic uranium concentrations as a proxy for past productivity. We attribute orbital and suborbital variations in both proxies to changes in the intensity of the southwest Indian Ocean monsoon. The highest 230Th-normalized 232Th fluxes occur at times that are consistent with the timing of the Younger Dryas, Heinrich events 1-7 and cold Dansgaard-Oeschger stadial events recorded in the GISP2 ice core. Such high dust fluxes may be due to a weakened southwest monsoon in conjunction with strengthened northwesterlies from the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia. Authigenic uranium concentrations, on the other hand, are highest during warm Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials when the southwest monsoon is intensified relative to the northwesterly winds. Our results also indicate that on orbital timescales maximum average eolian fluxes coincide with the timing of marine isotopic stage (MIS) 2 and 4, while minimum fluxes occur during MIS 1, 3 and 5. Although the forcing mechanism(s) controlling suborbital variabilities in monsoonal intensity is still debated, our findings suggest an atmospheric teleconnection between the low-latitude southwest monsoon and North Atlantic climate.

  4. Eolian depositional phases during the past 50 ka and inferred climate variability for the Pampean Sand Sea, western Pampas, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripaldi, Alfonsina; Forman, Steven L.

    2016-05-01

    The Pampean Sand Sea, which occurs from the Argentinian Pampas to the eastern Andean piedmont, hosts presently stabilized dune fields spanning the late Quaternary. This study integrates previous results and presents new geomorphic, stratigraphic, sedimentological, and chronologic data for nineteen >2 m-thick eolian successions for the San Luis paleo-dune field, western Pampas, to better constrain the depositional history. Six eolian depositional phases are identified spanning the past 50 ka, interposed with paleosols and/or bounded by erosive surfaces. Age control was from 61 OSL ages of small aliquots of quartz grains from eolian stratigraphic units. The inferred timing of eolian phases are at ca. 70 ± 10 yr, 190 ± 20 yr, 12 to 1 ka, 22 to 17 ka, 29 to 24 ka, and 40 to 32 ka. A maximum span for periods of pedogenesis at ca. 12 to 17 ka, 22 to 24 ka, and 29 to 32 ka was provided by bounding OSL ages, which broadly overlap with high stands of pluvial lakes and glacier advances in the central Andes. We infer that the added precipitation may reflect expansion of the Southern Hemisphere monsoon, associated with Northern Hemisphere Heinrich events, leading to episodes of significantly wetter conditions (>350 mm MAP) to at least 35° S. Most of the Holocene (12 ka to 0.8 ka) was characterized by sand sheet deposit under drier than present conditions (100-450 mm MAP), associated with Monte-type vegetation (shrub steppe). The latest two eolian depositional phases, occurred at ca. 190 and 70 yr ago, during the historic period with European settlement and are related to anthropogenic landscape disturbance, though the youngest phase was concomitant with 1930s drought. Wet conditions dominated since ca. AD 1970 with new lakes and rivers forming across this eolian terrain; an incongruous environmental response in reference to drier conditions for most of the Holocene.

  5. Pleistocene extinctions: haunting the survivors.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael

    2007-08-01

    For many years, the megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene have been assumed to have affected only those species that became extinct. However, recent analyses show that the surviving species may also have experienced losses in terms of genetic and ecological diversity. PMID:17686436

  6. Polymorphism in pleistocene land snails.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1966-04-01

    Under suitable conditions the colors and patterns of the shells of land snails may be preserved for thousands of years. In a late Pleistocene population of Limicolaria martensiana all the major color forms that occur in modern living snails may be distinguished, and the basic polymorphism is at least 8,000 to 10,000 year old. PMID:17830234

  7. Pleistocene plants from North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Edward Wilber

    1926-01-01

    The field work upon which this report is based was done in 1906 and 1907 as a part of the cooperative study of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, under the direction of the late William Bullock Clark. Associated with the writer in this work were L. W. Stephenson, B. L. Miller, Jr., and J. E. Pogue. Preliminary accounts of the plants collected were published in 1907 and 1909. As has been frequently emphasized, the study of the Pleistocene floras in this country is in an exceedingly backward state as measured by the volume and precision of our knowledge of Pleistocene floras in Europe. Researches in Pleistocene geology in North America have been confined almost entirely to glaciology, and the problem of the correlation of the glacial deposits with those outside the glaciated area has not been solved, nor is there any general agreement regarding the genesis of the Pleistocene deposits south of the terminal moraines. The present account of what is known of the Pleistocene flora of North Carolina and the conclusions that may be legitimately derived from it is offered in the hope that it may stimulate an interest in a neglected field of research and form a small part of the evidence upon which to base future more comprehensive conclusions and generalizations. A word of explanation regarding the illustrations is required. Nearly all of them have been made from leaves preserved as carbonaceous films in the peaty clays. These specimens were carefully washed out, and blue prints were made directly from them. Outlines and as much of the venation as could be seen were inked on the blue prints, which were then bleached. This procedure made it possible to handle a much larger amount of material and prevented any possible damage to the exceedingly fragile specimens, which were mounted on cards or between glass. The accompanying drawings were made from tracings of the original nature prints.

  8. Eolian deposition of glacial flour dust to the Gulf of Alaska during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moy, C. M.; Crusius, J.; Nichols, J. E.; Schroth, A. W.; Peteet, D. M.; Giosan, L.; Kenna, T. C.; Eglinton, T. I.

    2012-12-01

    Iron is an important micronutrient that limits the growth of phytoplankton in much of the global ocean. In the Gulf of Alaska (GoA), we have a limited knowledge of the processes that transport iron, and in particular, the role eolian dust plays in delivering iron to the ocean surface. In order to better understand both modern and past mechanisms of dust deposition in the GoA, we combine satellite, meteorological, and geochemical data from peat cores collected on Middleton Island (59.43°N, 146.34°W). Middleton Island is located on the edge of the continental shelf and is well-located to monitor the flux of particulate material into adjacent Fe-limited waters. Widespread dust events have been observed in MODIS satellite imagery emanating from exposed floodplains within the Copper River valley and adjacent glaciated river valleys in southcentral Alaska (AK). These events are most common in the fall when high pressure in the AK interior and low pressure in the central GoA establish a pressure gradient that drives anomalously strong northerly winds that entrain fine-grained glacial sediments exposed along Copper River floodplains. MODIS imagery indicates that dust reaches beyond the continental shelf, and in many instances, dust plumes have been observed passing over Middleton Island (100 km SSW of the Copper River delta). To better constrain dust deposition to the GoA during the Holocene, we collected cores from an extensive peatland on Middleton Island. Loss-on-ignition and profiling XRF data indicate significant variations in inorganic or clastic components within the organic peat matrix during the last 5,300 cal yr BP. Clastic content varies between 2 and 45% and is particularly elevated during the last 1,500 years of the record. Ti variations closely mirrors clastic content, and because these cores were collected near the island's topographic high point, we infer that all inorganic constituents are likely delivered as dust, with potential secondary contributions

  9. Paleoclimate cycles and tectonic controls on fluvial, lacustrine, and eolian strata in upper Triassic Chinle Formation, San Juan basin

    SciTech Connect

    Dubiel, R.F. )

    1989-09-01

    Sedimentologic study of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation in the San Juan basin (SJB) indicates that Late Triassic paleoclimate and tectonic movements influenced the distribution of continental lithofacies. The Shinarump, Monitor Butte, and Petrified Forest Members in the lower part of the Chinle consist of complexly interfingered fluvial, floodplain, marsh, and lacustrine rocks; the Owl Rock and Rock Point Members in the upper part consists of lacustrine-basin and eolian sandsheet strata. Facies analysis, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, and paleoclimate models demonstrate that the Late Triassic was dominated by tropical monsoonal circulation, which provided abundant precipitation interspersed with seasonally dry periods. Owl Rock lacustrine strata comprise laminated limestones that reflect seasonal monsoonal precipitation and larger scale, interbedded carbonates and fine-grained clastics that represent longer term, alternating wet and dry climatic cycles. Overlying Rock Point eolian sand-sheet and dune deposits indicate persistent alternating but drier climatic cyclicity. Within the Chinle, upward succession of lacustrine, alternating lacustrine/eolian sand-sheet, and eolian sand-sheet/dune deposits reflects an overall decrease in precipitation due to the northward migration of Pangaea out of low latitudes dominated by monsoonal circulation.

  10. Late-Pleistocene (MIS 3-2) palaeoenvironments as recorded by sediments, palaeosols, and ground-squirrel nests at Duvanny Yar, Kolyma lowland, northeast Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanina, O. G.; Gubin, S. V.; Kuzmina, S. A.; Maximovich, S. V.; Lopatina, D. A.

    2011-08-01

    A detailed study of the Duvanny Yar section in the Kolyma Lowland (Yakutia) provides the most extensive knowledge to date about late-Pleistocene soil formation processes and environments in the North-East Siberian Arctic. Late-Quaternary palaeoenvironmental changes were reconstructed using paleopedological data and a range of palaeoecological bio-indicators (palynomorphs, plant macrofossils and insects). The frozen sediments representing marine isotope stage 3 (MIS-3), which encompasses the Karginsky interstadial, include profiles of four palaeosols of different ages. The oldest palaeosol is early Karginskian, and three overlying soil horizons represent a late-Karginskian pedocomplex. Palaeopedological data indicate a change of from synlithogenic soil formation processes to epigenic ones during these intervals. The intervening periods of synlithogenic pedogenesis were accompanied by active accumulation of eolian deposits. The Earlier Karginskian period of pedogenesis occurred in the absence of eolian sedimentation and when summer conditions were warm. The wide spectrum of peaty and peaty-gley soils observed in the late-Karginskian deposits developed under conditions of progressive cooling. The structure and content of fossil rodent burrows dated to approximately 30 000 yr BP from frozen late-Pleistocene deposits at Duvanny Yar indicate an arid and severe climate, a depth of active layer of 60-80 cm, and a wide distribution of disturbed habitats with pioneer and steppe vegetation.

  11. Mapping the Potential for Eolian Surface Activity in Grasslands of the High Plains using Landsat Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gutmann, Ethan Dain

    2002-01-01

    There are over 100,000 square kilometers of eolian sand dunes and sand sheets in the High Plains of the central United States. These land-forms may be unstable and may reactivate again as a result of land-use, climate change, or natural climatic variability. The main goal of this thesis was to develop a model that could be used to map an estimate of future dune activity. Multi-temporal calibrated Landsats 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and 7 Enhanced Thematic Map per Plus (ETM+) NDVI imagery were used in conjunction with the CENTURY vegetation model to correlate vegetation cover to climatic variability. This allows the creation of a predicted vegetation map which, combined with current wind and soil data, was used to create a potential sand transport map for range land in the High Plains under drought conditions.

  12. Large-scale patterns of eolian sediment transport on Venus - Predictions for Magellan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.; Wall, Stephen D.; Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.; Greeley, Ronald

    1990-01-01

    The atmosphere of Venus is likely to exert a major influence on the surface. Arecibo and Venera 15/16 observations of the population of impact craters with bright halos give direct evidence of surface modification, on the scale of centimeters, to smooth the surface on time scales of 50 - 250 my. Both chemical and mechanical modifications probably occur. Diurnal winds in the planetary boundary layer can transport particles. Using boundary layer theory, including the effects of topography, surface stresses and resulting transport and deposition of sand-size particles are calculated. Regional slopes are sites of largest surface stresses. Sand will be generally transported downhill, although there is a preferential net transport from east to west, in the same direction as the atmospheric superrotation. It is predicted here that streaks may be seen in the Magellan radar images which will indicate directions of net eolian transport on the surface of Venus.

  13. Controls on the height and spacing of eolian ripples and transverse dunes: A numerical modeling investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.

    2009-04-01

    Ripples and transverse dunes in areas of abundant sand supply increase in height and spacing as a function of time, grain size, and excess shear velocity. How and why each of these factors influence ripple and transverse dune size, however, is not precisely known. In this paper, the controls on the height and spacing of ripples and transverse dunes in areas of abundant sand supply are investigated using a numerical model for the formation of eolian bedforms from an initially flat surface. This bedform evolution model combines the basic elements of Werner's [Werner, B.T., 1995. Eolian dunes: Computer simulations and attractor interpretation. Geology 23, 1107-1110.] cellular automaton model of dune formation with a model for boundary layer flow over complex topography. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between bed shear stress and slope on the windward (stoss) side of evolving bedforms. Nonlinear boundary layer model results indicate that bed shear stresses on stoss slopes increase with increasing slope angle up to approximately 20°, then decrease with increasing slope angle as backpressure effects become limiting. In the bedform evolution model, the linear boundary layer flow model of Jackson and Hunt [Jackson, P.S., Hunt, J.C.R., 1975. Turbulent wind flow over a low hill. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 101, 929-955.], generalized to 3D, is modified to include the nonlinear relationship between bed shear stress and slope. Bed shear stresses predicted by the modified Jackson and Hunt flow model are then used to predict rates of erosion and deposition iteratively through time within a mass-conservative framework similar to Werner [Werner, B.T., 1995. Eolian dunes: Computer simulations and attractor interpretation. Geology 23, 1107-1110.]. Beginning with a flat bed, the model forms ripples that grow in height and spacing until a dynamic steady-state condition is achieved in which bedforms migrate downwind without further growth

  14. Sandstone geometry, porosity and permeability distribution, and fluid migration in eolian system reservoirs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lupe, Robert; Ahlbrandt, Thomas S.

    1975-01-01

    Upper Paleozoic to Mesozoic eolian blanket sandstones of the Colorado Plateau and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and southern Wyoming are texturally complex. As petroleum reservoirs they commonly have poor performance histories. They contain the sediments of a depositional system comprised of three closely associated depositional subenvironments: dune, interdune, and extradune. Sediments of each subenvironment have different textural properties which resulted from different depositional processes. Dune sediments are usually more porous and permeable than interdune or extradune sediments and may be better quality reservoirs than interdune or extradune sediments. Interdune sediments are here restricted to those nondune sediments deposited in the relatively flat areas between dunes. Extradune sediments (a new term) include all deposits adjacent to a dune field and are mainly subaqueous deposits. Dune sediments may be enveloped by extradune sediments as the depositional system evolves resulting in a texturally inhomogeneous reservoir having poor fluid migration properties. This model of textural inhomogeneity in eolian blanket sandstones. was applied to the Weber (Tensleep) Sandstone in Brady, Wertz, and Lost Soldier fields, Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Data were obtained from both outcrop and subsurface and included environmental interpretation, textural analysis, and plotting of the distribution of depositional subenvironments. As predicted from the model, the texture of dune sediments in Brady field differed markedly from interdune and extradune sediments. The predicted geometric distribution of subenvironments was confirmed in Lost Soldier and Wertz fields. However, secondary cementation and fracturing there has obscured the original porosity and permeability contrasts. The porosity and permeability distribution, a characteristic depending partly on depositional processes, could impede fluid migration in the reservoir and significantly reduce recovery of

  15. Elemental Gains/Losses Associated with Alteration Fractures in an Eolian Sandstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Gellert, R.; Sutter, B.; Berger, J. A.; Thompson, L. M.; Schmidt, M. E.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has traversed up section through approximately 100 m of sedimentary rocks deposited in fluvial, deltaic, lacustrine, and eolian environments (Bradbury group and overlying Mount Sharp group). The Stimson formation unconformably overlies a lacustrine mudstone at the base of the Mount Sharp group and has been interpreted to be a cross-bedded sandstone of lithified eolian dunes. Unaltered Stimson sandstone has a basaltic composition similar to the average Mars crustal composition, but is more variable and ranges to lower K and higher Al. Fluids passing through alteration "halos" adjacent to fractures have altered the chemistry and mineralogy of the sandstone. Elemental mass gains and losses in the alteration halos were quantified using immobile element concentrations, i.e., Ti (taus). Alteration halos have elemental gains in Si, Ca, S, and P and large losses in Al, Fe, Mn, Mg, Na, K, Ni, and Zn. Mineralogy of the altered Stimson is dominated by Ca-sulfates, Si-rich X-ray amorphous materials along with plagioclase feldspar, magnetite, and pyroxenes. The igneous phases were less abundant in the altered sandstone with a lower pyroxene/plagioclase feldspar. Large elemental losses suggest acidic fluids initially removed these elements (Al mobile under acid conditions). Enrichments in Si, Ca, and S suggest secondary fluids (possibly alkaline) passed through these fractures leaving behind X-ray amorphous Si and Ca-sulfates. The mechanism for the large elemental gains in P is unclear. The geochemistry and mineralogy of the altered sandstone suggests a complicated diagenetic history with multiple episodes of aqueous alteration under a variety of environmental conditions (e.g., acidic, alkaline).

  16. Middle Jurassic incised valley fill (eolian/estuarine) and nearshore marine petroleum reservoirs, Powder River basin

    SciTech Connect

    Ahlbrandt, T.S.; Fox, J.E.

    1997-07-01

    Paleovalleys incised into the Triassic Spearfish Formation (Chugwater equivalent) are filled with a vertical sequence of eolian, estuarine, and marine sandstones of the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian age) Canyon Springs Sandstone Member of the Sundance Formation. An outcrop exemplifying this is located at Red Canyon in the southern Black Hills, Fall River County, South Dakota. These paleovalleys locally have more than 300 ft of relief and are as much as several miles wide. Because they slope in a westerly direction, and Jurassic seas transgressed into the area from the west there was greater marine-influence and more stratigraphic complexity in the subsurface, to the west, as compared to the Black Hills outcrops. In the subsurface two distinctive reservoir sandstone beds within the Canyon Springs Sandstone Member fill the paleovalleys. These are the eolian lower Canyon Springs unit (LCS) and the estuarine upper Canyon Springs unit (UCS), separated by the marine {open_quotes}Limestone Marker{close_quotes} and estuarine {open_quotes}Brown Shale{close_quotes}. The LCS and UCS contain significant proven hydrocarbon reservoirs in Wyoming (about 500 MMBO in-place in 9 fields, 188 MMBO produced through 1993) and are prospective in western South Dakota, western Nebraska and northern Colorado. Also prospective is the Callovian-age Hulett Sandstone Member which consists of multiple prograding shoreface to foreshore parasequences, as interpreted from the Red Canyon locality. Petrographic, outcrop and subsurface studies demonstrate the viability of both the Canyon Springs Sandstone and Hulett Sandstone members as superior hydrocarbon reservoirs in both stratigraphic and structural traps. Examples of fields with hydrocarbon production from the Canyon Springs in paleovalleys include Lance Creek field (56 MMBO produced) and the more recently discovered Red Bird field (300 MBO produced), both in Niobrara County, Wyoming.

  17. Canyon Creek: A late Pleistocene vertebrate locality in interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Florence R.; Hamilton, Thomas D.; Hopkins, David M.; Repenning, Charles A.; Haas, Herbert

    1981-09-01

    The Canyon Creek vertebrate-fossil locality is an extensive road cut near Fairbanks that exposes sediments that range in age from early Wisconsin to late Holocene. Tanana River gravel at the base of the section evidently formed during the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range. Younger layers and lenses of fluvial sand are interbedded with arkosic gravel from Canyon Creek that contains tephra as well as fossil bones of an interstadial fauna about 40,000 years old. Solifluction deposits containing ventifacts, wedge casts, and rodent burrows formed during a subsequent period of periglacial activity that took place during the maximum phase of Donnelly Glaciation about 25,000-17,000 years ago. Overlying sheets of eolian sand are separated by a 9500-year-old paleosol that may correlate with a phase of early Holocene spruce expansion through central Alaska. The Pleistocene fauna from Canyon Creek consists of rodents (indicated by burrows), Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Equus lambei (Yukon wild ass), Camelops hesternus (western camel), Bison sp. cf. B. crassicornis (large-horned bison), Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli (mountain sheep), Canis sp. cf. C. lupus (wolf), Lepus sp. cf. L. othus or L. arcticus (tundra hare), and Rangifer sp. (caribou). This assemblage suggests an open landscape in which trees and tall shrubs were either absent or confined to sheltered and moist sites. Camelops evidently was present in eastern Beringia during the middle Wisconsin interstadial interval but may have disappeared during the following glacial episode. The stratigraphic section at Canyon Creek appears to demonstrate that the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range is at least in part of early Wisconsin age and was separated from the succeeding Donnelly Glaciation by an interstadial rather than interglacial episode.

  18. Canyon Creek: A late Pleistocene vertebrate locality in interior Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weber, F.R.; Hamilton, T.D.; Hopkins, D.M.; Repenning, C.A.; Haas, H.

    1981-01-01

    The Canyon Creek vertebrate-fossil locality is an extensive road cut near Fairbanks that exposes sediments that range in age from early Wisconsin to late Holocene. Tanana River gravel at the base of the section evidently formed during the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range. Younger layers and lenses of fluvial sand are interbedded with arkosic gravel from Canyon Creek that contains tephra as well as fossil bones of an interstadial fauna about 40,000 years old. Solifluction deposits containing ventifacts, wedge casts, and rodent burrows formed during a subsequent period of periglacial activity that took place during the maximum phase of Donnelly Glaciation about 25,000-17,000 years ago. Overlying sheets of eolian sand are separated by a 9500-year-old paleosol that may correlate with a phase of early Holocene spruce expansion through central Alaska. The Pleistocene fauna from Canyon Creek consists of rodents (indicated by burrows), Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Equus lambei (Yukon wild ass), Camelops hesternus (western camel), Bison sp. cf. B. crassicornis (large-horned bison), Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli (mountain sheep), Canis sp. cf. C. lupus (wolf), Lepus sp. cf. L. othus or L. arcticus (tundra hare), and Rangifer sp. (caribou). This assemblage suggests an open landscape in which trees and tall shrubs were either absent or confined to sheltered and moist sites. Camelops evidently was present in eastern Beringia during the middle Wisconsin interstadial interval but may have disappeared during the following glacial episode. The stratigraphic section at Canyon Creek appears to demonstrate that the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range is at least in part of early Wisconsin age and was separated from the succeeding Donnelly Glaciation by an interstadial rather than interglacial episode. ?? 1981.

  19. Vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene eolianites on Antiparos (Cyclades, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickel, L.; Draganits, E.; Gier, S.; Zuschin, M.

    2010-05-01

    Yellowish calcarenites have been mapped at many localities along the NW coast of Antiparos. These sandstones, which form dm to 5 m thick layers unconformably resting on greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic rocks of the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides, have been traced from below sea-level up to an elevation of approximately 80 m. Generally, the bedding and internal laminae are oriented parallel to the slope of the underlying crystalline rocks without forming any morphological terraces. Cross-bedding, with dip-angles >35°, has only rarely been recorded. Petrographically, the rocks are dominated by marine bioclasts including mainly corallinacean red algae, benthic foraminifers and fragments of gastropods and bivalves with siliciclastic components forming less than 20% of the rock, cemented by calcite. Grains are well-rounded and well-sorted, with grain sizes ranging from medium sand to granule sizes. Based on the areal distribution of the sedimentary structures (e.g. pin-stripe lamination, high-angle cross-bedding), the occurrence of terrestrial gastropod shells and the correlation with almost identical sandstones elsewhere in the Mediterranean, they most likely have both an eolian origin and a Pleistocene age. At several localities, vertebrate tracks and trackways have been found in the sandstones; this is the first report of vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene sandstones of the Aegean. However, comparable trackways, both in age and size, have been reported on Mallorca and Sardinia. Tracks have been found on both exposed bedding surfaces and in cross-section, where tracks are concentrated along certain horizons; the tracks are about 11 cm wide and 4 cm deep. On bedding surfaces, at least two distinguishable trackways have been observed but, due to their overlapping and weathering, the differentiation between manus and pes impressions is challenging. This, and the relatively short length of individual trackways - the longest traceable

  20. Pleistocene and pre-Pleistocene Begonia speciation in Africa.

    PubMed

    Plana, Vanessa; Gascoigne, Angus; Forrest, Laura L; Harris, David; Pennington, R Toby

    2004-05-01

    This paper presents a historical biogeographic analysis of African Begonia based on combined internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and trnL intron sequences. Age range estimates for Begonia in Africa ranged from only 1.5 Ma for some terminal nodes to 27 Ma for basal nodes when the ages of Réunion (2 Ma) andMayotte (5.4 Ma) were used to date the split between Begonia salaziensis and Begonia comorensis. Assuming a more recent origin age for Begonia salaziensis (2 Ma) provided age estimates in other parts of the phylogeny which agreed with patterns observed in other African organisms. A large proportion of the Begonia diversity seen today in Africa is of pre-Pleistocene origin. Species of Pleistocene origin are concentrated in species-rich groups such as sections Loasibegonia, Scutobegonia, and Tetraphila, which have their centre of diversity in western Central Africa. Phylogenetically isolated taxa such as Begonia longipetiolata, Begonia iucunda, and Begonia thomeana date to the late Miocene, a period of extended aridification on the African continent that had severe effects on African rain forest species. A general pattern is identified where phylogenetically isolated species occur outside the main identified rain forest refuges. Endemic species on the island of São Tomé such as Begonia baccata, Begonia molleri, and Begonia subalpestris appear to be palaeoendemics. Of these species, the most recent age estimate is for B. baccata, which is dated at ca. 3 Ma. Therefore, São Tomé appears to have functioned as an important (if previously unrecognised) pre-Pleistocene refuge. On the mainland, areas such as the Massif of Chaillu in Gabon, southern Congo (Brazzaville), and far western areas of Congo (Kinshasa) have played similar roles to São Tomé.

  1. Middle Jurassic incised valley fill (eolian/estuarine) and nearshore marine petroleum reservoirs, Powder River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ahlbrandt, T.S.; Fox, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    Paleovalleys incised into the Triassic Spearfish Formation (Chugwater equivalent) are filled with a vertical sequence of eolian, estuarine, and marine sandstones of the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian age) Canyon Springs Sandstone Member of the Sundance Formation. An outcrop exemplifying this is located at Red Canyon in the southern Black Hills, Fall River County, South Dakota. These paleovalleys locally have more than 300 ft of relief and are as much as several miles wide. Because they slope in a westerly direction, and Jurassic seas transgressed into the area from the west there was greater marine-influence and more stratigraphic complexity in the subsurface, to the west, as compared to the Black Hills outcrops. In the subsurface two distinctive reservoir sandstone beds within the Canyon Springs Sandstone Member fill the paleovalleys. These are the eolian lower Canyon Springs unit (LCS) and the estuarine upper Canyon Springs unit (UCS), separated by the marine "Limestone Marker" and estuarine "Brown Shale". The LCS and UCS contain significant proven hydrocarbon reservoirs in Wyoming (about 500 MMBO in-place in 9 fields, 188 MMBO produced through 1993) and are prospective in western South Dakota, western Nebraska and northern Colorado. Also prospective is the Callovian-age Hulett Sandstone Member which consists of multiple prograding shoreface to foreshore parasequences, as interpreted from the Red Canyon locality. Petrographic, outcrop and subsurface studies demonstrate the viability of both the Canyon Springs Sandstone and Hulett Sandstone members as superior hydrocarbon reservoirs in both stratigraphic and structural traps. Examples of fields with hydrocarbon production from the Canyon Springs in paleovalleys include Lance Creek field (56 MMBO produced) and the more recently discovered Red Bird field (300 MBO produced), both in Niobrara County, Wyoming. At Red Bird field the primary exploration target was the Pennsylvanian "Leo sands" of the Minnelusa Formation, and

  2. Late Pleistocene paleoclimatology of the central equatorial Pacific: Sea surface response to the southeast Trade Winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisias, Nicklas G.; Rea, David K.

    1988-02-01

    Proxy indicators of sea surface temperature and equatorial divergence based on radiolarian assemblage data, and of trade wind intensity based on eolian grain size data show similar aspects of variability during the late Pleistocene: All indicators fluctuate at higher frequencies than the 100,000-year glacial-interglacial cycle, display reduced amplitude variations since 300,000 years ago, exhibit a change in the record character at about 300,000 years ago (the mid-Brunhes climatic event), and have higher amplitude variations in sediments 300,000-850,000 years old. Time series analyses were conducted to determine the spectral character of each record (δ18O of planktonic foraminifer, sea surface temperature values, equatorial divergence indicators, and wind intensity indicators) and to quantify interrecord coherence and phase relationships. The record was divided at the 300,000-year clear change in climatic variability (nonstationarity). The δ18O-based time scale is better lower in the core so our spectral analyses concentrated on the interval from 402,000-774,000 years. The δ18O spectra show 100,000- and 41,000-year power in the younger portion, 0-300,000 years, and 100,000-, 41,000- and 23,000-year power in the older interval, all highly coherent and in phase with the SPECMAP average stacked isotope record. Unlike the isotope record the dominant period in both the eolian grain size and equatorial divergence indicators is 31,000 years. This period is also important in the sea surface temperature signal where the dominant spectral peak is 100,000 years. The 31,000-year spectral component is coherent and in phase between the eolian and divergence records, confirming the link between atmospheric and ocean surface circulation for the first time in the paleoclimate record. Since the 31,000-year power appears in independent data sets within this core and also appears in other equatorial records [J. Imbrie personal communication, 1987], we assume it to be real and

  3. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W

    2016-01-26

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate.

  4. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W

    2016-01-26

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  5. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

    PubMed Central

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E.; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W.

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  6. Pleistocene lake level changes in Western Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borodavko, P. S.

    2009-04-01

    cane sedges and horsetails dominant. The benthic fauna is poor, and only single pecimens of molluscs and amphipods are met. The ichtyofauna is represented by Oreoleuciscus Pewzowi. Previous and modern investigations of these lakes, their morphologies and deposits, allow to specify periods of extension of the lakes and palaeogeographical conditions. Two clear extension periods can be determined in the Mongolian Great Lakes Basin, corresponding to Mid-and Late Pleistocene transgressions. During the Mid-Pleistocene transgression the current Lakes Har-Us Nur, Dorgon Nur, Hara Nur, Airag Nur and Hyargas were integrated to a united lake, with a maximal level at 1265 m. and total water area about 23 158 km2 . The maximal thickness of Mid-Pleistocene lake deposits is 70 m. Late Pleistocene lake sediments are investigated in sections near Dzabhan River and Hyargas Nuur shorelines. They consist of laminated sand, clay and gravel with cryogenic structures at the base and upper part of sections. The mean thickness of Late Pleistocene lake deposits is 20-35 m. The main characteristics of Late Pleistocene lake features are represented by a very bright "lake relief" — obvious steps of shorelines, gravel bands, bars and spits. The specific structure of Late Pleistocene lake cross-sections allows to separate two transgressions within this period. In the first half of the Holocene a minor regression of several meters occurred. Elements of the modern time aeolian relief were still inundated on the north shore of Lake Har-Us Nur. Researches funded by RFBR (Grant 08-05-00037-a) References 1. Geomorfologiya Mongol'skoi Narodnoi Respubliki (Geomorphology of the Mongolian People Republic). M.: Nauka, pp. 135-148. 2. Ozera MNR i ikh mineral'nye resursy (Lakes of MPR and their mineral resources), 1991. Moscow, Nauka, 136 p. 3. Sevastyanov, D.V., Shuvalov, V.F. and Neustrueva, I. Yu. (Eds.), 1994. Limnologiya i paleolimnologiya Mongolii (Limnology and Palaeolimnology of Mongolia). St

  7. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1997-08-22

    It has been suggested that European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals, and prehistoric modern humans had a greater sexual dimorphism than modern humans. Analysis of body size variation and cranial capacity variation in the large sample from the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain showed instead that the sexual dimorphism is comparable in Middle Pleistocene and modern populations. PMID:9262474

  8. Early diagenesis of eolian dune and interdune sands at White Sands, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, C.J.; Fryberger, S.G.

    1988-01-01

    The degree of early diagenesis in eolian dune and interdune sands at White Sands, New Mexico, is largely a function of the relationship between sand location and the water table. Most active and vegetation-stabilized dune sands are in the vadose zone, whereas interdune sands are in the capillary fringe and phreatic zones. Crystallographically controlled dissolution of the framework gypsum grains results in elongate, prismatic etch pits on sand grains from the capillary fringe and phreatic zones, whereas dissolution of sand grains in the vadose zone is slight, causing minute irregularities on grain surfaces. Vadose water percolating through the sand is manifest as meniscus layers. Consequently, dune sands in the vadose zone are cemented mainly by meniscus-shaped gypsum at grain contacts. Pendant cements formed on the lower margins of some sand grains. Cementation in the capillary fringe and the phreatic zone is more extensive than the vadose regardless of strata type. Typically, well-developed gypsum overgrowths form along the entire edge of a grain, or may encompass the entire grain. Complex diagenetic histories are suggested by multiple overgrowths and several episodes of dissolution on single grains, attesting to changing saturation levels with respect to gypsum in the shallow ground water. These changes in saturation are possibly due to periods of dilution by meteoric recharge, alternating with periods of concentration of ions and the formation of cement due to evaporation through the capillary fringe. ?? 1988.

  9. Reservoir characterization and geostatistical modeling of an eolian reservoir for simulation, East Painter reservoir field, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Singdahlsen, D.S. )

    1991-06-01

    The East Painter structure is a doubly plunging, asymmetric anticline formed on the hanging wall of a back-thrust imbricate near the leading edge of the Absaroka Thrust. The Jurassic Nugget Sandstone is the productive horizon in the East Painter structure. The approximately 900-ft-thick Nugget is a stratigraphically complex and heterogeneous unit deposited by eolian processes in a complex erg setting. The high degree of heterogeneity iwthin the Nugget results from variations in grain size, sorting, mineralogy, and degree and distribution of lamination. The Nugget is comprised of dune, transitional toeset, and interdune facies, each exhibiting different porosity and permeability distributions. Gacies architecture results in both vertical and horizontal stratification of the reservoir. Adequate representation of reservoir heterogeneity is the key to successful modeling of past and future production performance. In addition, a detailed geologic model, based on depositional environment, must be integrated into the simulation to ensure realistic results. Geostatistics provide a method for modeling the spatial reservoir property distirbution while honoring all data values at their sample location. Conditional simulation is a geostatistical technique that generates several equally probably realizations that observe the data and spatial constraints imposed upon them while including fractal variability. Flow simulations of multiple reservoir realizations can provide a probability distribution of reservoir performance that can be used to evaluate risk associated with a project caused by the imcomplete sampling of the reservoir property distribution.

  10. Short-term soil loss by eolian erosion in response to different rain-fed agricultural practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, Smadar; Katra, Itzhak; Zaady, Eli

    2016-04-01

    Eolian (wind) erosion is a widespread process and a major form of soil degradation in arid and semi-arid regions. The present study examined changes in soil properties and eolian soil loss at a field scale in response to different soil treatments in two rain-fed agricultural practices. Field experiments with a boundary-layer wind tunnel and soil analysis were used to obtain the data. Two practices with different soil treatments (after harvest), mechanical tillage and stubble grazing intensities, were applied in the fallow phase of the rotation (dry season). The mechanical tillage and the stubble grazing had an immediate and direct effects on soil aggregation but not on the soil texture, and the contents of soil water, organic matter, and CaCO3. Higher erosion rates, that was measured as fluxes of total eolian sediment and particulate matter <10 μm (PM10), were recorded under mechanical tillage and grazing intensities compared with the undisturbed topsoil of the control plots. The erosion rates were higher in grazing plots than in tillage plots. The calculated soil fluxes in this study indicate potentially rapid soil degradation due to loss of fine particles by wind. The finding may have implications for long-term management of agricultural soils in semi-arid areas.

  11. Iwo Eleru's place among Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene populations of North and East Africa.

    PubMed

    Stojanowski, Christopher M

    2014-10-01

    The Iwo Eleru site in Nigeria preserves the only terminal Pleistocene fossil from tropical West Africa. The peoples of this region contributed to significant population movements throughout the continent during the Holocene. As such, characterizing the phenotype of Late Pleistocene West African populations is critical for disentangling the evolutionary signatures of a highly complex African population history and structure. Previous research approached the calvaria's morphology from a paleoanthropological perspective, noting its mosaic of archaic and modern neurocranial features and distinctiveness from Pleistocene fossil taxa and contemporary modern human samples. In this paper, I compare Iwo Eleru with contemporary Late Pleistocene Africans and also consider the specimen's affinities with Holocene populations of the central and western Sahara, Nile Valley, and East Africa. Craniometric data were recorded for 22 neurocranial dimensions and subjected to principal components analysis and Mahalanobis distance estimation. Multidimensional scaling of distances indicated that Iwo Eleru fell outside the observed range of variation of other terminal Pleistocene supra-equatorial African populations, confirming previous results that documented its divergence from Neanderthals, Upper Paleolithic Europeans, and modern Africans. The calvaria was also distinct from Holocene Saharan, Nile Valley, and East African populations, which suggests limited West African input into the Sahara during the African Humid Period. Results presented here bolster previous research that suggested Iwo Eleru's anatomy reflected either admixture with archaic humans or the long-term survival of populations with more archaic neurocranial anatomy until the end of the Pleistocene.

  12. Pleistocene drainage incision in the upper Mississippi Valley Driftless Area

    SciTech Connect

    Knox, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    The deep dissection of the Wisconsin Driftless Area and topographically similar, but glaciated areas in adjacent states is generally acknowledged to have occurred during the Pleistocene, but the precise chronology has been poorly understood. The distribution of pre-Illinoian glacial outwash gravels on uplands and valley side benches near the Mississippi River, on the western margin of the Wisconsin Driftless Area, indicates that the major incision (50-60 m) of drainage had occurred during the very early Pleistocene. Deposits in cut-off valley meanders, a common feature in the lower reaches of Driftless Area rivers, provide a basis for relative dating of the valley incision. The cut-offs appear to have evolved episodically when, at various times during the Pleistocene, glacial debris blocked the drainages of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers causing massive alluviation of side valley tributaries. A radiocarbon date of 21,910 +/- 350 year B.P., representing a buried soil horizon at 22 m depth and about 9 m above the bedrock floor of a cut-off valley meander and 18 m above the bedrock floor of the adjacent present-day valley, supports stratigraphic interpretations that suggest modest valley incision into bedrock probably occurred during the Illinoian and may have also occurred during the early Wisconsinan.

  13. Plio-pleistocene African climate

    SciTech Connect

    deMenocal, P.B.

    1995-10-06

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated. 65 refs., 6 figs.

  14. Plio-Pleistocene African Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demenocal, Peter B.

    1995-10-01

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated.

  15. Late Pleistocene wind-action and periglacial phenomena in sandy terrain, New Jersey Pine Barrens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demitroff, M. N.; Cicali, M.

    2013-12-01

    Examination of the Pinelands past permafrost environment will add insight to the relatively scant record of the Mid-Atlantic region's periglacial realm, a place where cold, dry, and windy conditions predominated during the recent glacials. This area is especially important to the understanding of mid-latitudinal climate change dynamics in ice-marginal locations - areas greatly affected by diurnal, seasonal, and long-term climate perturbations. We provide examples from a well-preserved pine-forest reserve on coastal plain (39-40° N) that experienced multiple episodes of permafrost aggradation and degradation during the last 200,000 years. While a large number of publications describe an array of relict periglacial phenomena from low-relief areas in Europe's sand belt (UK-Russia), much less is known about the ice-marginal continental mass of North America. High-resolution geodetically corrected airborne LiDAR data enhanced with alternate views through the use of early aerial photo imagery is provided and analyzed to produce bare earth landforms revealing perspective eolian structures. Fieldwork at sand mine operations adjacent to relict dune fields offered sectional views of what lies beneath wind-affected land surfaces. This region was found to have been sparsely vegetated land akin to polar barrens during cold epochs. Coversand is the dominant eolian depositional form, with parabolic dune fields scattered along downwind banks of larger watercourses. Eolian systems interact with the local paleohydrology. Wind-erosional features include ventifacts, blowouts, and, on occasion, yardangs. Sand-filled frost cracks attest to aridity during permafrost aggradation and deep-seasonal frost. These periglacial macrostructures often deform into furrows and sediment-filled pots upon permafrost degradation. The sites are easily accessible providing ample opportunities for frozen ground and climate change studies.

  16. Stratigraphic and lithologic characteristics of Pleistocene fluvial deposits in the Danube and Sava riparian area near Belgrade (Serbia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenadić, D.; Gaudenyi, T.; Bogićević, K.; Tošović, R.

    2016-07-01

    The Quaternary sediments in the Danube and Sava riparian area near Belgrade have a considerable thickness. Several categories of deposits (fluvial-lacustrine, fluvial and aeolian) of Pliocene and Quaternary age have been identified. Their thickness, granulometric composition and paleontological features change depending on the distance from the recent Danube and Sava riverbeds. The Pleistocene fluvial deposits are underlain by sediments of the Late Miocene (Sarmatian and Pannonian) or the Plio-Pleistocene age, and are overlain by fluvial-palustrine deposits of the Pleistocene age and recent alluvial deposits. Pleistocene fluvial deposits that form a major part of the Quaternary sediments, have a great significance, since they are proved to be excellent collectors of ground water. Although these deposits are at lower altitudes in the area of Srem, they could be correlated with the high Danube and Morava terraces in Serbia and Drava in Croatia on the basis of their lithologic and paleontological features.

  17. Radiocarbon studies of latest Pleistocene and Holocene lava flows of the Snake River Plain, Idaho: Data, lessons, interpretations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuntz, M.A.; Spiker, E. C.; Rubin, M.; Champion, D.E.; Lefebvre, R.H.

    1986-01-01

    Latest Pleistocene-Holocene basaltic lava fields of the Snake River Plain, Idaho, have been dated by the radiocarbon method. Backhoe excavations beneath lava flows typically yielded carbon-bearing, charred eolian sediment. This material provided most of the samples for this study; the sediment typically contains less than 0.2% carbon. Charcoal fragments were obtained from tree molds but only from a few backhoe excavations. Contamination of the charred sediments and charcoal by younger carbon components is extensive; the effects of contamination were mitigated but appropriate pretreatment of samples using acid and alkali leaches. Twenty of the more than 60 lava flows of the Craters of the Moon lava field have been dated; their ages range from about 15,000 to about 2000 yr B.P. The ages permit assignment of the flows to eight distinct eruptive periods with an average recurrence interval of about 2000 yr. The seven other latest Pleistocene-Holocene lava fields were all emplaced in short eruptive bursts. Their 14C ages (yr B.P.) are: Kings Bowl (2222?? 100), Wapi (2270 ?? 50), Hells Half Acre (5200 ?? 150), Shoshone (10,130 ?? 350), North Robbers and South Robbers (11.980 ?? 300), and Cerro Grande (13,380 ?? 350). ?? 1986.

  18. Middle Pleistocene Hominin Teeth from Longtan Cave, Hexian, China

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Song; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Zhang, Yingqi; Fan, Xiaoxiao; Zheng, Longting; Huang, Wanbo; Liu, Wu

    2014-01-01

    Excavations at the Longtan Cave, Hexian, Anhui Province of Eastern China, have yielded several hominin fossils including crania, mandibular fragments, and teeth currently dated to 412±25 ka. While previous studies have focused on the cranial remains, there are no detailed analyses of the dental evidence. In this study, we provide metric and morphological descriptions and comparisons of ten teeth recovered from Hexian, including microcomputed tomography analyses. Our results indicate that the Hexian teeth are metrically and morphologically primitive and overlap with H. ergaster and East Asian Early and mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins in their large dimensions and occlusal complexities. However, the Hexian teeth differ from H. ergaster in features such as conspicuous vertical grooves on the labial/buccal surfaces of the central incisor and the upper premolar, the crown outline shapes of upper and lower molars and the numbers, shapes, and divergences of the roots. Despite their close geological ages, the Hexian teeth are also more primitive than Zhoukoudian specimens, and resemble Sangiran Early Pleistocene teeth. In addition, no typical Neanderthal features have been identified in the Hexian sample. Our study highlights the metrical and morphological primitive status of the Hexian sample in comparison to contemporaneous or even earlier populations of Asia. Based on this finding, we suggest that the primitive-derived gradients of the Asian hominins cannot be satisfactorily fitted along a chronological sequence, suggesting complex evolutionary scenarios with the coexistence and/or survival of different lineages in Eurasia. Hexian could represent the persistence in time of a H. erectus group that would have retained primitive features that were lost in other Asian populations such as Zhoukoudian or Panxian Dadong. Our study expands the metrical and morphological variations known for the East Asian hominins before the mid-Middle Pleistocene and warns about the

  19. Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Longtan Cave, Hexian, China.

    PubMed

    Xing, Song; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Zhang, Yingqi; Fan, Xiaoxiao; Zheng, Longting; Huang, Wanbo; Liu, Wu

    2014-01-01

    Excavations at the Longtan Cave, Hexian, Anhui Province of Eastern China, have yielded several hominin fossils including crania, mandibular fragments, and teeth currently dated to 412 ± 25 ka. While previous studies have focused on the cranial remains, there are no detailed analyses of the dental evidence. In this study, we provide metric and morphological descriptions and comparisons of ten teeth recovered from Hexian, including microcomputed tomography analyses. Our results indicate that the Hexian teeth are metrically and morphologically primitive and overlap with H. ergaster and East Asian Early and mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins in their large dimensions and occlusal complexities. However, the Hexian teeth differ from H. ergaster in features such as conspicuous vertical grooves on the labial/buccal surfaces of the central incisor and the upper premolar, the crown outline shapes of upper and lower molars and the numbers, shapes, and divergences of the roots. Despite their close geological ages, the Hexian teeth are also more primitive than Zhoukoudian specimens, and resemble Sangiran Early Pleistocene teeth. In addition, no typical Neanderthal features have been identified in the Hexian sample. Our study highlights the metrical and morphological primitive status of the Hexian sample in comparison to contemporaneous or even earlier populations of Asia. Based on this finding, we suggest that the primitive-derived gradients of the Asian hominins cannot be satisfactorily fitted along a chronological sequence, suggesting complex evolutionary scenarios with the coexistence and/or survival of different lineages in Eurasia. Hexian could represent the persistence in time of a H. erectus group that would have retained primitive features that were lost in other Asian populations such as Zhoukoudian or Panxian Dadong. Our study expands the metrical and morphological variations known for the East Asian hominins before the mid-Middle Pleistocene and warns about the

  20. Environmental Influences on Pleistocene Hominid Dental Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, David L.

    1970-01-01

    Considers natural and cultural environmental factors likely to have been responsible for reduction in size of hominid teeth and simplification of their morphology during the Pleistocene. Cites fossil evidence and postulates selective mechanisms. (EB)

  1. Eolian sand transport pathways in the southwestern United States: Importance of the Colorado River and local sources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Reynolds, R.L.; Been, J.; Skipp, G.

    2003-01-01

    Geomorphologists have long recognized that eolian sand transport pathways extend over long distances in desert regions. Along such pathways, sediment transport by wind can surmount topographic obstacles and cross major drainages. Recent studies have suggested that three distinct eolian sand transport pathways exist (or once existed) in the Mojave and Sonoran Desert regions of the southwestern United States. One hypothesized pathway is colian sand transport from the eastern Mojave Desert of California into western Arizona, near Parker, and would require sand movement across what must have been at least a seasonally dry Colorado River valley. We tested this hypothesis by mineralogical, geochemical and magnetic analyses of eolian sands on both sides of the Colorado River, as well as sediment from the river itself. Results indicate that dunes on opposite sides of the Colorado River are mineralogically distinct: eastern California dunes are feldspar-rich whereas western Arizona dunes are quartz-rich, derived from quartz-rich Colorado River sediments. Because of historic vegetation changes, little new sediment from the Colorado River is presently available to supply the Parker dunes. Based on this study and previous work, the Colorado River is now known to be the source of sand for at least three of the major dune fields of the Sonoran Desert of western Arizona and northern Mexico. On the other hand, locally derived alluvium appears to be a more important source of dune fields in the Mojave Desert of California. Although many geomorphologists have stressed the importance of large fluvial systems in the origin of desert dune fields, few empirical data actually exist to support this theory. The results presented here demonstrate that a major river system in the southwestern United States is a barrier to the migration of some dune fields, but essential to the origin of others. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  2. 200,000 years of climate change recorded in eolian sediments of the High Plains of eastern Colorado and western Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Swinehart, James B.; Loope, David B.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Been, Josh; Lageson, David R.; Lester, Alan; Trudgill, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    Loess and eolian sand cover vast areas of the western Great Plains of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado (Fig. 1). In recent studies of Quaternary climate change, there has been a renewed interest in loess and eolian sand. Much of the attention now given to loess stems from new studies of long loess sequences that contain detailed records of Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, thought to be a terrestrial equivalent to the foraminiferal oxygen isotope record in deep-sea sediments (Fig. 2). Loess is also a direct record of atmospheric circulation, and identification of loess paleowinds in the geologic record can test atmospheric general circulation models. Until recently, eolian sand on the Great Plains had received little attention from Quaternary geologists. The past decade has seen a proliferation of studies of Great Plains dune sands, and many studies, summarized below, indicate that landscapes characterized by eolian sand have had dynamic histories. On this field trip, we will visit some key eolian sand and loess localities in eastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska (Fig. 1). Stratigraphic studies at some of these localities have been conducted for more than 50 years, but others have been systematically studied only in the past few years. Many of the data which appear in this guidebook have been derived from previous studies (Swinehart and Diffendal, 1990; Madole, 1994; Loope and others, 1995; Maat and Johnson, 1996; Muhs and others, 1996, 1997a, 1999; Mason and others, 1997; Aleinikoff and others, 1999), but some are presented here for the first time.

  3. Erosional remnants and adjacent unconformities along an eolian-marine boundary of the Page Sandstone and Carmel Formation, Middle Jurassic, south-central Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, L.S.; Blakey, R.C. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-09-01

    Sandstone ridges along the marine-eolian boundary of the Middle Jurassic Page Sandstone (eolian) with the lower Carmel Formation (restricted marine) in south-central Utah have been identified as erosional remnants consisting of strata of siliciclastic sabkha and eolian origin. The ridges lie within two distinct units of the Thousand Pockets Tongue of the Page. Two equally plausible models explain the genesis of these ridges. One model involves (1) early cementation of eolian and sabkha strata, (2) wind erosion leading to development of yardangs and unconformities, (3) yardang tilting due to evaporite dissolution, and (4) renewed deposition and burial. The alternative model explains ridge development through (1) subsidence, with tilting, of eolian and sabkha strata into evaporites due to loading from linear dunes, (2) evaporite dissolution and unconformity development, and (3) renewed deposition and burial. These models provide important clues about the nature of a missing part of the rock record. Reconstruction of units that were deposited but later eroded improves paleogeographic interpretation and here indicates that the Carmel paleo-shoreline was considerably farther to the northwest than previously believed.

  4. Eolian-fluvial interaction in the Page Sandstone (Middle Jurassic) in south-central Utah, USA — a case study of erg-margin processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Lawrence S.; Blakey, Ronald C.

    1997-03-01

    Channel- and lens-shaped deposits of non-eolian red sandstone are enclosed within the eolian Leche-e Member of the Page Sandstone in south-central Utah. Detailed analysis of lithology and geometry, and regional correlation of the red sandstone deposits suggests that the channel-shaped scours and in-filling deposits were formed by ephemeral stream processes, in contrast to earlier interpretations that suggested a marine estuarine origin. We hypothesize that ephemeral streams transporting volcanic debris flowed toward the north and northeast along the western edge of the Page erg. Local avulsion, possibly caused by eolian damming of an adjacent drainage, led to stream flow into low areas of the Page erg. Entrainment of loose eolian sand, combined with fluid loss via infiltration, led to a rapid increase in sediment/fluid ratio during flow events, initially resulting in sandy debris flow deposition. Subsequent floods entrained less material from the underlying, more cohesive, debris flow deposits, had a lower sediment/water ratio, and hence left deposits containing some evidence of flow turbulence. Eventually, stream drainage avulsed again, probably back to a more northerly course into the Carmel sea, fluvial deposition within the erg ceased, and eolian deposits covered the now intercalated fluvial complex.

  5. Optimal Complexity in Reservoir Modeling of an Eolian Sandstone for Carbon Sequestration Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, S.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, X.

    2011-12-01

    Geologic Carbon Sequestration (GCS) is a proposed means to reduce atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). Given the type, abundance, and accessibility of geologic characterization data, different reservoir modeling techniques can be utilized to build a site model. However, petrophysical properties of a formation can be modeled with simplifying assumptions or with greater detail, the later requiring sophisticated modeling techniques supported by additional data. In GCS where cost of data collection needs to be minimized, will detailed (expensive) reservoir modeling efforts lead to much improved model predictive capability? Is there an optimal level of detail in the reservoir model sufficient for prediction purposes? In Wyoming, GCS into the Nugget Sandstone is proposed. This formation is a deep (>13,000 ft) saline aquifer deposited in eolian environments, exhibiting permeability heterogeneity at multiple scales. Based on a set of characterization data, this study utilizes multiple, increasingly complex reservoir modeling techniques to create a suite of reservoir models including a multiscale, non-stationary heterogeneous model conditioned to a soft depositional model (i.e., training image), a geostatistical (stationary) facies model without conditioning, a geostatistical (stationary) petrophysical model ignoring facies, and finally, a homogeneous model ignoring all aspects of sub-aquifer heterogeneity. All models are built at regional scale with a high-resolution grid (245,133,140 cells) from which a set of local simulation models (448,000 grid cells) are extracted. These are considered alternative conceptual models with which pilot-scale CO2 injection is simulated (50 year duration at 1/10 Mt per year). A computationally efficient sensitivity analysis (SA) is conducted for all models based on a Plackett-Burman Design of Experiment metric. The SA systematically varies key parameters of the models (e.g., variogram structure and principal axes of intrinsic

  6. A low-order dynamical model of global climatic variability over the full Pleistocene

    SciTech Connect

    Maasch, K.A.; Saltzman, B. )

    1990-02-20

    A previously formulated dynamical model of the late Pleistocene ice ages (based on the hypothesis that the global CO{sub 2} system can provide the instability to drive a natural oscillation involving feedbacks between the cryosphere, atmosphere, and ocean) is extended to include (1) additive earth orbital forcing (summer insolation changes at 65{degree}N) and (2) tectonic forcing in the form of a postulated variation in the multiplicative parameters (rate constants) of the model system. The structural (e.g., bifurcation) properties of the model are examined in detail to reveal the regions of parameter space wherein the geologically inferred features of the full Pleistocene can be simulated, including the observed chronology, the phase relationships between ice, CO{sub 2}, and North Atlantic Deep Water formation, and the mid-Pleistocene transition.

  7. Cougars' key to survival through the Late Pleistocene extinction: insights from dental microwear texture analysis.

    PubMed

    Desantis, Larisa R G; Haupt, Ryan J

    2014-01-01

    Cougars (Puma concolor) are one of only two large cats in North America to have survived the Late Pleistocene extinction (LPE), yet the specific key(s) to their relative success remains unknown. Here, we compare the dental microwear textures of Pleistocene cougars with sympatric felids from the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California that went extinct at the LPE (Panthera atrox and Smilodon fatalis), to clarify potential dietary factors that led to the cougar's persistence through the LPE. We further assess whether the physical properties of food consumed have changed over time when compared with modern cougars in southern California. Using dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA), which quantifies surface features in three dimensions, we find that modern and Pleistocene cougars are not significantly different from modern African lions in any DMTA attributes, suggesting moderate durophagy (i.e. bone processing). Pleistocene cougars from La Brea have significantly greater complexity and textural fill volume than Panthera atrox (inferred to have primarily consumed flesh from fresh kills) and significantly greater variance in complexity values than S. fatalis. Ultimately, these results suggest that cougars already used or adopted a more generalized dietary strategy during the Pleistocene that may have been key to their subsequent success.

  8. Cougars’ key to survival through the Late Pleistocene extinction: insights from dental microwear texture analysis

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.; Haupt, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Cougars (Puma concolor) are one of only two large cats in North America to have survived the Late Pleistocene extinction (LPE), yet the specific key(s) to their relative success remains unknown. Here, we compare the dental microwear textures of Pleistocene cougars with sympatric felids from the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California that went extinct at the LPE (Panthera atrox and Smilodon fatalis), to clarify potential dietary factors that led to the cougar's persistence through the LPE. We further assess whether the physical properties of food consumed have changed over time when compared with modern cougars in southern California. Using dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA), which quantifies surface features in three dimensions, we find that modern and Pleistocene cougars are not significantly different from modern African lions in any DMTA attributes, suggesting moderate durophagy (i.e. bone processing). Pleistocene cougars from La Brea have significantly greater complexity and textural fill volume than Panthera atrox (inferred to have primarily consumed flesh from fresh kills) and significantly greater variance in complexity values than S. fatalis. Ultimately, these results suggest that cougars already used or adopted a more generalized dietary strategy during the Pleistocene that may have been key to their subsequent success. PMID:24759373

  9. Low Albedo Surfaces and Eolian Sediment: Mars Orbiter Camera Views of Western Arabia Terra Craters and Wind Streaks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.

    2001-01-01

    High spatial resolution (1.5 to 12 m/pixel) Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera images obtained September 1997 through June 2001 indicate that the large, dark wind streaks of western Arabia Terra each originate at a barchan dune field on a crater floor. The streaks consist of a relatively thin coating of sediment deflated from the dune fields and their vicinity. This sediment drapes a previous mantle that more thickly covers nearly all of western Arabia Terra. No dunes or eolian bedforms are found within the dark wind streaks, nor do any of the intracrater dunes climb up crater walls to provide sand to the wind streaks. The relations between dunes, wind streak, and subjacent terrain imply that dark-toned grains finer than those which comprise the dunes are lifted into suspension and carried out of the craters to be deposited on the adjacent terrain. Such grains are most likely in the silt size range (3.9-62.5 micrometers). The streaks change in terms of extent, relative albedo, and surface pattern over periods measured in years, but very little evidence for recent eolian activity (dust plumes, storms, dune movement) has been observed.

  10. Episodic Eolian Sand Deposition in the Past 4000 Years in Cape COD National Seashore, Massachusetts, USA in Response to Possible Hurricane/storm and Anthropogenic Disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, Steven

    2015-02-01

    The eolian sand depositional record for a dune field within Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts is posit as a sensitive indicator of environmental disturbances in the late Holocene from a combination of factors such as hurricane/storm and forest fire occurrence, and anthropogenic activity. Stratigraphic and sedimentologic observations, particularly the burial of spodosol-like soils, and associated 14C and OSL ages that are concordant indicate at least six eolian depositional events at ca. 3750, 2500, 1800, 960, 430 and <250 years ago. The two oldest events are documented at just one locality and thus, the pervasiveness of this eolian activity is unknown. However, the four younger events are identified in three or more sites and show evidence for dune migration and sand sheet accretion. The timing of eolian deposition, particularly the initiation age, corresponds to documented periods of increased storminess/hurricane activity in the North Atlantic Ocean at ca. 2.0 to 1.6, and 1.0 ka and also a wetter coastal climate, which suppressed the occurrence of forest fire. Thus, local droughts are not associated with periods of dune movement in this mesic environment. Latest eolian activity on outer Cape Cod commenced in the past 300 to 500 years and may reflect multiple factors including broad-scale landscape disturbance with European colonization, an increased incidence of forest fires and heightened storminess. Eolian systems of Cape Cod appear to be sensitive to landscape disturbance and prior to European settlement may reflect predominantly hurricane/storm disturbance, despite generally mesic conditions in past 4 ka.

  11. Use of OSL dating to establish the stratigraphic framework of Quaternary eolian sediments, Anton scarp upper trench, Northeastern Colorado High Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahan, S.A.; Noe, D.C.; McCalpin, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    This paper contains the results of the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating used to establish stratigraphic ages and relationships of eolian sediments in a trench in northeastern Colorado, USA. This trench was located in the upper face of the Anton scarp, a major topographic lineament trending NW-SE for a distance of 135 km, in anticipation of intersecting near-surface faulting. The trench was 180 m long, 4.5-6.0 m deep, and exposed 22 m of stratigraphic section, most of which dipped gently west and was truncated by gulley channeling at the face of the scarp. No direct evidence of faulting was found in the upper trench. The stratigraphy from the trench was described, mapped and dated using OSL on quartz and potassium feldspar, and 14C obtained from woody material. OSL dating identified two upper loess units as Peoria Loess and Gilman Canyon Loess, deposited between 16 and 30 ka ago. The bottom layers of the trench were substantially older, giving OSL ages in excess of 100 ka. These older ages are interpreted as underestimates, owing to saturation of the fast component of OSL. Using OSL and 14C dating, we can constrain the erosion and down cutting of the scarp face as occurring between 16 and 5.7 ka. As the trenching investigation continues in other parts of the scarp face, the results of this preliminary study will be of importance in relating the ages of the strata that underlie different parts of the scarp, and in determining whether Quaternary faulting was a mechanism that contributed to the formation of this regional geomorphic feature.

  12. Middle and later Pleistocene hominins in Africa and Southwest Asia

    PubMed Central

    Rightmire, G. Philip

    2009-01-01

    Approximately 700,000 years ago, Homo erectus in Africa was giving way to populations with larger brains accompanied by structural adjustments to the vault, cranial base, and face. Such early Middle Pleistocene hominins were not anatomically modern. Their skulls display strong supraorbital tori above projecting faces, flattened frontals, and less parietal expansion than is the case for Homo sapiens. Postcranial remains seem also to have archaic features. Subsequently, some groups evolved advanced skeletal morphology, and by ca. 200,000 years ago, individuals more similar to recent humans are present in the African record. These fossils are associated with Middle Stone Age lithic assemblages and, in some cases, Acheulean tools. Crania from Herto in Ethiopia carry defleshing cutmarks and superficial scoring that may be indicative of mortuary practices. Despite these signs of behavioral innovation, neither the Herto hominins, nor others from Late Pleistocene sites such as Klasies River in southern Africa and Skhūl/Qafzeh in Israel, can be matched in living populations. Skulls are quite robust, and it is only after ≈35,000 years ago that people with more gracile, fully modern morphology make their appearance. Not surprisingly, many questions concerning this evolutionary history have been raised. Attention has centered on systematics of the mid-Pleistocene hominins, their paleobiology, and the timing of dispersals that spread H. sapiens out of Africa and across the Old World. In this report, I discuss structural changes characterizing the skulls from different time periods, possible regional differences in morphology, and the bearing of this evidence on recognizing distinct species. PMID:19581595

  13. Late Pleistocene oscillations of the Drau Glacier (southern Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karnitschar, Christina; Reitner, Jürgen; Draganits, Erich

    2016-04-01

    The Drau Glacier was the largest Pleistocene glacier in the southeastern part of the Alps and significantly shaped the landscape in this region. The study area is located at the termination of the Drau Glacier in the southern part of Austria (Carinthia). The investigation aims to decipher glacial dynamics during the Late Pleistocene glacial advance, stabilisation and final recession of this glacier based on geological/geomorphological mapping, interpretation of airborne laser scan (ALS) topographic data and lithostratigraphic investigations of glacial and periglacial sediments. Special emphasis is laid on the reconstruction of the maximum extent of the glaciation (LGM). Based on previous mapping by Bobek (1959) and Ucik (1996-1998) more details have been gained for the paleogeographic reconstruction based on glacial and non-glacial erosion and accumulation features. These include traces of pre-Upper Pleistocene glaciation, drumlins, terminal moraines and kettle holes. Paleogeographic reconstruction was done with correlation of different outcrops based on lithostratigraphy and ALS topography. Sequences of gravel related to glacial advance covered by till, followed by periglacial sediments allowed detailed reconstruction of the glacial sequence in this area and the complex succession of various extents of the Drau Glacier. References Bobek, Hans. 1959: Der Eisrückgang im östlichen Klagenfurter Becken. In: Mitteilungen der österreichischen geographischen Gesellschaft, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1996: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 141, S. 340, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1997: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 141, S. 325-326, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1998: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 142, S. 333-334, Wien.

  14. Synchronous extinction of North America's Pleistocene mammals.

    PubMed

    Faith, J Tyler; Surovell, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    The late Pleistocene witnessed the extinction of 35 genera of North American mammals. The last appearance dates of 16 of these genera securely fall between 12,000 and 10,000 radiocarbon years ago (approximately 13,800-11,400 calendar years B.P.), although whether the absence of fossil occurrences for the remaining 19 genera from this time interval is the result of sampling error or temporally staggered extinctions is unclear. Analysis of the chronology of extinctions suggests that sampling error can explain the absence of terminal Pleistocene last appearance dates for the remaining 19 genera. The extinction chronology of North American Pleistocene mammals therefore can be characterized as a synchronous event that took place 12,000-10,000 radiocarbon years B.P. Results favor an extinction mechanism that is capable of wiping out up to 35 genera across a continent in a geologic instant.

  15. Guatemalan forest synthesis after Pleistocene aridity

    PubMed Central

    Leyden, Barbara W.

    1984-01-01

    Sediments from two lakes in the Peten Department, Guatemala, provide palynological evidence from Central America of late Pleistocene aridity and subsequent synthesis of mesic forests. Late Glacial vegetation consisted of marsh, savanna, and juniper scrub. An early Holocene temperate forest preceded a mesic tropical forest with Brosimum (ramon). Thus “primeval” rain forests of Guatemala are no older than 10,000 to 11,000 years and are considerably younger in the Peten due to Mayan disturbances. Among dated Neotropical sites, the Peten has the most mesic vegetation yet shown to have supplanted xeric vegetation present during the Pleistocene. The arid late Glacial-humid early Holocene transition appears to have been pantropical in the lowlands. The Peten was not a Pleistocene refugium for mesophytic taxa, as has been suggested. Thus genesis of extant rain forests in northern Central America and southern Mexico remains unexplained. Images PMID:16593498

  16. Surficial geology and stratigraphy of Pleistocene Lake Manix, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, Marith C.; Redwine, Joanna R.; Wan, Elmira; McGeehin, John P.; VanSistine, D. Paco

    2014-01-01

    Pluvial Lake Manix and its surrounding drainage basin, in the central Mojave Desert of California, has been a focus of paleoclimate, surficial processes, and neotectonic studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since about 2004. The USGS initiated studies of Lake Manix deposits to improve understanding of the paleoclimatic record and the shifts in atmospheric circulation that controlled precipitation in the Mojave Desert. Until approximately 25,000 years ago, Lake Manix was the terminus of the Mojave River, which drains northeasterly from the San Bernardino Mountains; the river currently terminates in the Soda Lake and Silver Lake playas. Pleistocene Lake Manix occupied several subbasins at its maximum extent. This map focuses on the extensive exposures created by incision of the Mojave River and its tributaries into the interbedded lacustrine and alluvial deposits within the central (Cady) and northeastern (Afton) subbasins of Lake Manix, and extends from the head of Afton Canyon to Manix Wash. The map illuminates the geomorphic development and depositional history of the lake and alluvial fans within the active tectonic setting of the eastern California shear zone, especially interactions with the left-lateral Manix fault. Lake Manix left an extraordinarily detailed but complex record of numerous transgressive-regressive sequences separated by desiccation and deposition of fan, eolian, and fluvial deposits, and punctuated by tectonic movements and a catastrophic flood that reconfigured the lake basin. Through careful observation of the intercalated lacustrine and fan sequences and by determining the precise elevations of unit contacts, this record was decoded to understand the response of the lake and river system to the interplay of climatic, geomorphic, and tectonic forces. These deposits are exposed in steep badland topography. Mapping was carried out mostly at scales of 1:12,000, although the map is presented at 1:24,000 scale, and employs custom unit

  17. Centennial eolian cyclicity in the Great Plains, USA: A dominant pattern of wind transport over the past 4000 years?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwalb, Antje; Dean, Walter E.; Fritz, C. Sherilyn; Geiss, Christoph E.; Kromer, Bernd

    2010-01-01

    Proxy evidence at decadal resolution from Late Holocene sediments from Pickerel Lake, northeastern South Dakota, shows distinct centennial cycles (400-700 years) in magnetic susceptibility; contents of carbonate, organic carbon, and major elements; abundance in ostracodes; and delta18O and delta13C values in calcite. Proxies indicate cyclic changes in eolian input, productivity, and temperature. Maxima in magnetic susceptibility are accompanied by maxima in aluminum and iron mass accumulation rates (MARs), and in abundances of the ostracode Fabaeformiscandona rawsoni. This indicates variable windy, and dry conditions with westerly wind dominance, including during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Maxima in carbonates, organic carbon, phosphorous, and high delta13C values of endogenic calcite indicate moister and less windy periods with increased lake productivity, including during the Little Ice Age, and alternate with maxima of eolian transport. Times of the Maunder, Sporer and Wolf sunspot minima are characterized by maxima in delta18O values and aluminum MARs, and minima in delta13C values and organic carbon content. We interpret these lake conditions during sunspot minima to indicate decreases in lake surface water temperatures of up to 4-5 degrees C associated with decreases in epilimnetic productivity during summer. We propose that the centennial cycles are triggered by solar activity, originate in the tropical Pacific, and their onset during the Late Holocene is associated with insolation conditions driven by precession. The cyclic pattern is transmitted from the tropical Pacific into the atmosphere and transported by westerly winds into the North Atlantic realm where they strengthen the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during periods of northern Great Plains wind maxima. This consequently leads to moister climates in Central and Northern Europe. Thus, Pickerel Lake provides evidence for mechanisms of teleconnections including an atmospheric link

  18. Pleistocene speciation in the genus Populus (salicaceae).

    PubMed

    Levsen, Nicholas D; Tiffin, Peter; Olson, Matthew S

    2012-05-01

    The macroevolutionary consequences of recent climate change remain controversial, and there is little paleobotanical or morphological evidence that Pleistocene (1.8-0.12 Ma) glacial cycles acted as drivers of speciation, especially among lineages with long generation times, such as trees. We combined genetic and ecogeographic data from 2 closely related North American tree species, Populus balsamifera and P. trichocarpa (Salicacaeae), to determine if their divergence coincided with and was possibly caused by Pleistocene climatic events. We analyzed 32 nuclear loci from individuals of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa to produce coalescent-based estimates of the divergence time between the 2 species. We coupled the coalescent analyses with paleodistribution models to assess the influence of climate change on species' range. Furthermore, measures of niche overlap were used to investigate patterns of ecological differentiation between species. We estimated the divergence date of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa at approximately 75 Ka, which corresponds closely with the onset of Marine Isotope Stage 4 (∼76 Ka) and a rapid increase in global ice volume. Significance tests of niche overlap, in conjunction with genetic estimates of migration, suggested that speciation occurred in allopatry, possibly resulting from the environmental effects of Pleistocene glacial cycles. Our results indicate that the divergence of keystone tree species, which have shaped community diversity in northern North American ecosystems, was recent and may have been a consequence of Pleistocene-era glaciation and climate change.

  19. Pleistocene Speciation in the Genus Populus (Salicaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Levsen, Nicholas D.; Tiffin, Peter; Olson, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    The macroevolutionary consequences of recent climate change remain controversial, and there is little paleobotanical or morphological evidence that Pleistocene (1.8–0.12 Ma) glacial cycles acted as drivers of speciation, especially among lineages with long generation times, such as trees. We combined genetic and ecogeographic data from 2 closely related North American tree species, Populus balsamifera and P. trichocarpa (Salicacaeae), to determine if their divergence coincided with and was possibly caused by Pleistocene climatic events. We analyzed 32 nuclear loci from individuals of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa to produce coalescent-based estimates of the divergence time between the 2 species. We coupled the coalescent analyses with paleodistribution models to assess the influence of climate change on species' range. Furthermore, measures of niche overlap were used to investigate patterns of ecological differentiation between species. We estimated the divergence date of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa at approximately 75 Ka, which corresponds closely with the onset of Marine Isotope Stage 4 (∼76 Ka) and a rapid increase in global ice volume. Significance tests of niche overlap, in conjunction with genetic estimates of migration, suggested that speciation occurred in allopatry, possibly resulting from the environmental effects of Pleistocene glacial cycles. Our results indicate that the divergence of keystone tree species, which have shaped community diversity in northern North American ecosystems, was recent and may have been a consequence of Pleistocene-era glaciation and climate change. PMID:22213709

  20. The Plio-Pleistocene scimitar-toothed felid genus Homotherium Fabrini, 1890 (Machairodontinae, Homotherini): diversity, palaeogeography and taxonomic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antón, M.; Salesa, M. J.; Galobart, A.; Tseng, Z. J.

    2014-07-01

    The systematics of the Plio-Pleistocene scimitar toothed felid Homotherium have remained problematic after more than a century of fossil findings in Eurasia, Africa and the Americas. Ranging in age between around 4 million and 10,000 years, fossils of this genus display considerable variation, but the distribution of that variation has largely failed to fit a consistent pattern that would allow a clear distinction between species, especially in the Eurasiatic record. The study of undescribed mandibular and cranial fossils of Homotherium from Pleistocene sites in Spain and Alaska provides new insights into the morphological variability within this widespread genus. The results of our study and comparison of the new material with the published fossils of Homotherium confirm the difficulty in dividing the sample into clear-cut species. The new mandible from Incarcal (Spain) shows in a more dramatic way than before how the sample from that Spanish site encompasses the range of variability observed in the Villafranchian and Pleistocene Eurasiatic record, while older, possibly Ruscinian fossils of Homotherium from East Europe display less reduced lower premolars and probably correspond to a different species. The Alaskan fossils, on the other hand, add to the variability in mandibular and cranial morphology of the late Pleistocene North American record. We find no evidence to allow a species-level division within the Villafranchian-Pleistocene Homotherium sample from Eurasia, which for now is best classified as a single variable species, Homotherium latidens, but there are indications of evolution within the lineage, such as the presence of a pocketed anterior margin of the mandibular masseteric fossa, a feature found in the younger fossils of middle or late Pleistocene age but consistently absent in older specimens. A comparable pattern is found in the American record, where the same mandibular feature is observed in late Pleistocene fossils, although in that continent

  1. Taphonomic aspects of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo Júnior, Hermínio Ismael de; Dominato, Victor Hugo; Bertoni-Machado, Cristina; Avilla, Leonardo dos Santos

    2013-10-01

    Pleistocene vertebrates from Itaboraí Basin have not been taphonomically studied prior to this work, limiting the understanding of the deposition and preservation of the only Pleistocene vertebrate accumulation known for the state of Rio de Janeiro. In this work, the taphonomic signatures of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí are identified and interpreted in order to increase the knowledge about the formation of this fossil association and the paleoecology of the region of Rio de Janeiro during the late Pleistocene. Our analysis shows that the thanatocoenosis was exposed to the biostratinomic processes during a small time span; that it is parautochthonous; and experienced short transport distances by normal fluvial streams and floods. Subsequently, the fossiliferous horizon was quickly covered by the superjacent soil. Yet, the skeletal elements were fractured and deformed during the sedimentary compaction. The differential preservation of megamammal bones is associated to the bone resistance against those destructive processes and to the specific anatomical features. Comparison between Itaboraí and other Brazilian Pleistocene vertebrate accumulations shows that the Itaboraí fossil accumulation was less affected by taphonomic processes, although it is also a time-averaged fossil concentration. Finally, some of the taphonomic features indicate an arid paleoclimate.

  2. Muzzle of South American Pleistocene ground sloths (Xenarthra, Tardigrada).

    PubMed

    Bargo, M Susana; Toledo, Néstor; Vizcaíno, Sergio F

    2006-02-01

    Sloths are among the most characteristic elements of the Cainozoic of South America and are represented, during the Pleistocene, by approximately nine genera of gigantic ground sloths (Megatheriidae and Mylodontidae). A few contributions have described their masticatory apparatus, but almost no attention has been paid to the reconstruction of the muzzle, an important feature to consider in relation to food intake, and particularly relevant in sloths because of the edentulous nature of the muzzle and its varied morphology. The relationship between dietary habits and shape and width of the muzzle is well documented in living herbivores and has been considered an important feature for the inference of alimentary styles in fossils, providing an interesting methodological tool that deserves to be considered for xenarthrans. The goal of this study was to examine models of food intake by reconstructing the appearance and shape of the muzzle in five species of Pleistocene ground sloths (Megatherium americanum, Glossotherium robustum, Lestodon armatus, Mylodon darwini, and Scelidotherium leptocephalum) using reconstructions of the nasal cartilages and facial muscles involved in food intake. The preservation of the nasal septum, and the scars for muscular attachment in the rostral part of the skulls, allow making a conservative reconstruction of muzzle anatomy in fossil sloths. Wide-muzzled ground sloths (Glossotherium and Lestodon) had a square, nonprehensile upper lip and were mostly bulk-feeders. The lips, coupled with the tongue, were used to pull out grass and herbaceous plants. Narrow-muzzled sloths (Mylodon, Scelidotherium, and Megatherium) had a cone-shaped and prehensile lip and were mixed or selective feeders. The prehensile lip was used to select particular plants or plant parts.

  3. Palaeomagnetism of the Laowogou and Hongya Pliocene/Pleistocene sections, Nihewan Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liddicoat, Joseph; Baoquan, Cai; Shaohua, Zheng; Deng, Chenglong; Zhu, Rixiang; Zhang, Rui; Ao, Hong; Pan, Yongxin

    2010-05-01

    The Nihewan Formation is exposed fluvio-lacustrine sediment in the Nihewan Basin about 150 km northwest of Beijing, China. The formation is of interest because it contains vertebrate mammal fossils that have been studied by geologists, palaeontologists, geochronologists, and palaeoanthropologists since the 1920s (Barbour, 1925; Teilhard de Chardin and Piveteau, 1930; many others). Laowogou (40˚08'59"N, 114˚39'31"E) and Hongya (40˚08'07"N, 114˚39'57.1"E), which are less than a km apart on the west side of the Huliu River, are two localities that are used in those investigations. Palaeomagnetic polarity has been measured in the sections and shows that they record similar polarity episodes. Near the base of each section above eolian red clay is normal polarity that Deng et al. (2008) interpret to be the in the Gauss Normal Chron (>2.581 Ma, Gradstein et al., 2004), and the underlying reverse polarity to be the Kaena Reverse Subchron (3.116-3.032 Ma, Gradstein et al., 2004)) in that Chron. About 30 m higher in the sections are 30 m of normal polarity that Deng et al. (2008) assign to the Olduvai Normal Subchron (1.945-1.778 Ma, Gradstein et al., 2004)). However, because Pliocene vertebrate mammal fossils (Huaxiamys downsi-Chardinomys yusheensis and Mimomys-Ungaromys assemblage zones) are in that interval at Laowogou (Cai et al., 2008), an alternate interpretation for the age of those sediments is that they were deposited during the upper Gauss Normal Chron. Regardless of the age presently assigned to the 30 m of normal polarity in the Laowogou and Hongya sections, magnetostratigraphy is a desired chronologic method for dating localities that contain important Pliocene and Pleistocene mammalian fauna in North China, and specifically in the Nihewan Basin.

  4. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  5. Carbon cycle instability as a cause of the late Pleistocene ice age oscillations - Modeling the asymmetric response

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saltzman, Barry; Maasch, Kirk A.

    1988-01-01

    A dynamical model of the Pleistocene ice ages is presented, which incorporates many of the qualitative ideas advanced recently regarding the possible role of ocean circulation, chemistry, temperature, and productivity in regulating long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide variations. This model involves one additional term (and free parameter) beyond that included in a previous model (Saltzman and Sutera, 1987), providing the capacity for an asymmetric response. It is shown that many of the main features exhibited by the delta(O-18)-derived ice record and the Vostok core/delta(C-13)-derived carbon dioxide record in the late Pleistocene can be deduced as a free oscillatory solution of the model.

  6. Taxonomic affinities and evolutionary history of the Early Pleistocene hominids of Java: dentognathic evidence.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Baba, Hisao; Aziz, Fachroel; Indriati, Etty; Schrenk, Friedemann; Jacob, Teuku

    2005-12-01

    Temporal changes, within-group variation, and phylogenetic positions of the Early Pleistocene Javanese hominids remain unclear. Recent debate focused on the age of the oldest Javanese hominids, but the argument so far includes little morphological basis for the fossils. To approach these questions, we analyzed a comprehensive dentognathic sample from Sangiran, which includes most of the existing hominid mandibles and teeth from the Early Pleistocene of Java. The sample was divided into chronologically younger and older groups. We examined morphological differences between these chronological groups, and investigated their affinities with other hominid groups from Africa and Eurasia. The results indicated that 1) there are remarkable morphological differences between the chronologically younger and older groups of Java, 2) the chronologically younger group is morphologically advanced, showing a similar degree of dentognathic reduction to that of Middle Pleistocene Chinese H. erectus, and 3) the chronologically older group exhibits some features that are equally primitive as or more primitive than early H. erectus of Africa. These findings suggest that the evolutionary history of early Javanese H. erectus was more dynamic than previously thought. Coupled with recent discoveries of the earliest form of H. erectus from Dmanisi, Georgia, the primitive aspects of the oldest Javanese hominid remains suggest that hominid groups prior to the grade of ca. 1.8-1.5 Ma African early H. erectus dispersed into eastern Eurasia during the earlier Early Pleistocene, although the age of the Javanese hominids themselves is yet to be resolved. Subsequent periods of the Early Pleistocene witnessed remarkable changes in the Javanese hominid record, which are ascribed either to significant in situ evolution or replacement of populations.

  7. Pleistocene structures and geomorphology in the southern and central Vienna Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salcher, B.; Decker, K.; Meurers, B.; Hölzel, M.; Wagreich, M.

    2009-04-01

    The active Vienna Basin Transfer Fault system is related to the formation of several Pleistocene basins with depths of up to 170 m (e.g. Mitterndorf and Lassee Basin) and areas covering up to 270 km². Detailed fault and geometric information of these Pleistocene basin's as well as the impact of faulting on the recent geomorphology of the Vienna basin is very limited. Evidences are derived from sparse outcrop and geophysical data. Geophysical surveys covering the first 300 m below ground are limited to data from drillings and to data of few geoelectric measurements. In this study we present a technique using conventional Bouguer gravity data derived from hydrocarbon exploration surveys to obtain precise fault data and show the linkage between normal faults and geomorphology Different first order derivates of gravity data are used to precisely determine shallow fault locations. The obtained fault locations are validated against geophysical and geological data such as 2 D, 3 D seismic, geoelectric, drill log information and outcrop data. Using this technique a new and considerably more accurate model of Austria's largest Pleistocene Basin, the Mitterndorf Basin, was developed, demonstrating the kinematic (sinistral, pull apart basin) impact on the basin geometry and on fault activity during the Pleistocene. We also show the impact of Plio- to Pleistocene tectonics in a more regional framework, along the Danube in the southern and central Vienna Basin and the evolution of the Eisenstadt Basin at the transition to the Pannonian Basin. Results demonstrate the major impact of faults on landscape development. The precise constrain of near surface faults allowed to link diverse geomorphologic features to a tectonic origin such as scarps, grabens, valleys and erosional gullies. We suggest that this technique would be suitable for many continental basins where shallow lithological density contrasts do occur (i.e. marine to fluvial sediments).

  8. Two middle Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles from the Valle Grande, Jemez Mountains, northern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fawcett, Peter J.; Heikoop, Jeff; Goff, Fraser; Anderson, R. Scott; Donohoo-Hurley, L.; Geissman, John William; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Allen, Craig D.; Johnson, Catrina M.; Smith, Susan J.; Fessenden-Rahn, Julianna

    2006-01-01

    A long-lived middle Pleistocene lake formed in the Valle Grande, a large moat valley of the Valles caldera in northern New Mexico, when a post-caldera eruption (South Mountain rhyolite) dammed the drainage out of the caldera. The deposits of this lake were cored in May 2004 (GLAD5 project, hole VC-3) and 81 m of mostly lacustrine silty mud were recovered. A tentative chronology has been established for VC-3 with a basal tephra Ar-Ar date of 552 +/- 3 ka, a correlation of major climatic changes in the core with other long Pleistocene records (deep sea oxygen isotope records and long Antarctic ice core records), and the recognition of two geomagnetic field polarity events in the core which can be correlated with globally recognized events. This record spans a critical interval of the middle Pleistocene from MIS 14 (552 ka) to MIS 10 (~360 ka), at which time the lacustrine sediments filled the available accommodation space in the caldera moat. Multiple analyses, including core sedimentology and stratigraphy, sediment density and rock magnetic properties, organic carbon content and carbon isotope ratios, C/N ratios, and pollen content reveal two glacial/interglacial cycles in the core (MIS 14 to MIS 10). This record includes glacial terminations V and VI and complete sections spanning interglacials MIS 13 and MIS 11. In the VC-3 record, both of these interglacials are relatively long compared with the intervening glacials (MIS 14 and MIS 12), and interglacial MIS 13 is significantly muted in amplitude compared with MIS 11. These features are similar to several other mid-Pleistocene records. The glacial terminations are quite abrupt in this record with notable changes in sedimentation, organic carbon content, C/N ratios and watershed vegetation type. Termination V is the largest climate change evident in this part of the middle Pleistocene. The glacial inceptions tend to be more gradual, on the order of a few thousand years.

  9. Middle Pleistocene infill of Tibetan Plateau margin rivers, Zanskar, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munack, Henry; Blöthe, Jan; Korup, Oliver; Fülöp, Réka-Hajnalka; Codilean, Alexandru T.; Fink, David

    2015-04-01

    The Indus, one of Asia's premier rivers, drains the NW Himalaya and the Transhimalayan ranges that fringe the western Tibetan Plateau margin. There, upstream of the western Himalayan syntaxis, river valleys alternate between deeply incised bedrock gorges and broad alluviated reaches, while average denudation rates decrease by an order of magnitude towards the Tibetan Plateau margin to rates of ~10 mm ka-1. Vast fill terrace staircases, the highest of them located up to 400 m above current river level, and intercalated lake sediments indicate alternating phases of incision and aggradation within the region, underlining the high landform preservation potential in the rain shadow of the High Himalaya. However, despite a broad interest in a better understanding of mechanisms that modulate plateau erosion, age constraints on the generation of these impressive features are sparse, though indicate mainly Pleistocene formation ages. We present new age constraints from the More Plains section in the headwaters of the Zanskar River, a major tributary to the upper Indus. The vast sedimentary successions of the More Plains originally belonged to a former endorheic basin that has been tapped by the Zanskar River, today revealing exposures of >250 m of sedimentary fill that continues to smother a previously dissected alpine headwater landscape. We combine 10Be surface exposure dating and catchment-averaged denudation rates, morphometric analysis and field observation to constrain the late Quaternary history of this section. Analysis of a 10Be depth profile on top of the More Plains, together with the dating of nearby amalgamated surface samples, indicate a surface exposure of ~170 +/- 20 ka such that deposition of this valley fill ceased during a Middle Pleistocene cold stage (MIS 6). Using GIS-based algorithms we estimate that ~3.6 km3 was removed from this section by fluvial erosion, requiring a specific sediment yield of >130 t km-2 yr-1 averaged over the past 170 ka. This

  10. Palaeogeography of the Caspian Sea marine Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanina, Tamara; Svitoch, Aleksander; Makshaev, Radik; Khomchenko, Denis

    2016-04-01

    Vertical succession of the fossil molluscs of Didacna genus along the Pleistocene sequence of the Caspian Sea area allows for detailed subdivision of the sediments. Zone, i.e. the Caspian Sea Pleistocene, is the highest stratigraphical unit of the regional Quaternary stratigraphic scale. It corresponds to the biozone of Didacna Eichwald subgenus. Based on the fossil groups of Didacna molluscs, the deposits are subdivided into the Baku, Urundzhik-Singil', lower and upper Khazarian, Khvalinian, and post-Khvalinian horizons. Further subdision is based on the changes in Didacna assemblages. Three big transgressive epochs are distinguished in the Pleistocene history of the Caspian Sea that were separated by deep and long regressions. These are the Baku, early Khazarian and Khvalinian transgressions. In transgressive sea basins, the sea level reached the height of 40-50 m and was regulated by the outflow of the Caspian waters into the Black Sea via the Manych depression. The areas of transgressive basins were similar. At the Caucasian coast, the extent of the Baku and early Khazarian transgressions exceeded that of the Khvalinian transgression, while in the Northern Caspian Sea Region the latter was slightly more extensive than the preceding ones. The Urundzhik, late Khazarian and New Caspian transgressions represented sea-level rise of lower rank. All of them were recorded within big regressive epochs being usually related to warm (interglacial) climatic conditions: Singil' (Likhvin), Mikulino and Holocene, respectively. Like at present, the Pleistocene Caspian Sea represented a self-regulating system. Maximal extent of ancient sea basins was dependent upon the height of the Manych sill (that was the main regulating factor), the amount of precipitation, river runoff, and decrease in evaporation. Minimal extent of the sea basin was dependent upon the area and capacity of its southern and middle depressions. At the same time, the rest states (extents) of the Caspian Sea

  11. Mid-Late Pleistocene OSL chronology in western Amazonia and implications for the transcontinental Amazon pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetti, Dilce F.; Cohen, Marcelo C. L.; Tatumi, Sonia H.; Sawakuchi, André O.; Cremon, Édipo H.; Mittani, Juan C. R.; Bertani, Thiago C.; Munita, Casimiro J. A. S.; Tudela, Diego R. G.; Yee, Márcio; Moya, Gabriela

    2015-12-01

    underlying the Mid-Late Pleistocene strata characterized herein. The combination of data from this work with previously published provenance studies supports main Andean sediment sources only in the Mid-Late Pleistocene. It is proposed that before this time, the Amazon River was restricted to eastern Amazonia, being separated from western Amazonian drainage basins due to the presence of the Purus Arch. Erosion and/or subsidence of this geological feature would have promoted the connection of these drainage systems, ultimately with the expressive record of the transcontinental Amazon pathway into the Atlantic Ocean in the Mid-Late Pleistocene.

  12. Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; Carsten, J. L.; Cooper, B.; Deen, R. G.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hardgrove, C. J.; Harker, D. E.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herrera, P. N.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Jandura, L.; Ming, D. W.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

  13. Assemblage characteristics of clay minerals and its implications to evolution of eolian dust input to the Parece Vela Basin since 1.95 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ming, Jie; Li, Anchun; Huang, Jie; Wan, Shiming; Meng, Qingyong; Jiang, Fuqing; Yan, Wenwen

    2014-01-01

    To understand the provenance and evolution of eolian input in the last 1.95 Ma in the Parece Vela Basin in the eastern Philippine Sea, the clay mineral assemblage of a gravity core PV090510 from the basin was investigated using paleogeomagnetic dating and X-ray diffraction. The assemblage of the core mainly consisted of smectite (˜46%) and illite (˜40%), with some chlorite (˜10%) and kaolinite (˜4%). Analysis of the provenance of these minerals suggested that smectite was mainly derived from volcanic rocks of the Mariana Arc, while illite, chlorite, and kaolinite were mainly transported as eolian dust by the East Asian monsoon from central Asia. We used the ratio of (illite+chlorite+kaolinite)/smectite as a proxy for Asian eolian input to the Parece Vela Basin since 1.95 Ma. This ratio followed glacial and interglacial cycles and was consistent with the intensity of the East Asian monsoon and aridity of central Asia since 1.95 Ma. The changes of the ratio reflected three different stages of the East Asian monsoon and provenance climate.

  14. An Early Pleistocene Till, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barendregt, R. W.; Roed, M.; Smith, S.; Sanborn, P.; Greenough, J.; Layer, P. W.; Huscroft, C.; Mathewes, R.; Benowitz, J.; Tessler, D.

    2011-12-01

    During construction of a road cut related to the Westside Road Interchange Project in West Kelowna, British Columbia, a till was encountered below one of the Lambly Creek valley basalts. The basalts are composed of a number of flows, ranging in age from 0.97 +- 0.05 Ma to 1.62 +-0.25 Ma based on new and available 40Ar/39Ar dating of basalt ground mass. Paleomagnetic data from all major units at the study site fall within one of the normal subchrons of the late Matuyama Reversed Chron and are in general agreement with the radiometric dates. Chemical signatures of the basalt are nearly identical to similar flows belonging to the Chilcotin Group of plateau lavas. This newly identified Chilcotin flow, combined with coeval flows at other locations imply that Chilcotin volcanism was more active during the Quaternary than previously thought. The underlying till is up to four metres thick and is mantled by a minimal Ah horizon in a paleosol. The till overlies laminated and cross bedded fluvial silty sand up to five metres thick that displays injection features and minor faulting. A layer of stratified gravel underlain by gray banded clay of unknown thickness underlies the sand. The till represents the earliest evidence of glaciation in the Okanagan Valley. Till fabric analysis indicates a southeasterly flow of this glacier. The present study site has yielded radiometric ages and polarities similar to those described by Mathews and Rouse for the Dog Creek locality, 320 km to the northwest in south-central British Columbia, where basalts occur below and above glacial deposits. The newly identified glacial till, here referred to as the Westbank First Nations till, is discussed in relation to other Early Pleistocene glaciations in the Cordillera and to the global paleoclimate record. Key Words: Early Pleistocene glaciations, Cordilleran glaciations in western Canada, magnetostratigraphy of glacial sediments, Lambly Creek basalt, Chilcotin Group, Ar/Ar ages of basalts

  15. Latest Early Pleistocene remains of Lynx pardinus (Carnivora, Felidae) from the Iberian Peninsula: Taxonomy and evolutionary implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boscaini, Alberto; Alba, David M.; Beltrán, Juan F.; Moyà-Solà, Salvador; Madurell-Malapeira, Joan

    2016-07-01

    The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a critically endangered felid that, during the last fifty years, has been subject to an intensive conservation program in an attempt to save it from extinction. This species is first recorded at ca. 1.7-1.6 Ma (late Villafranchian, late Early Pleistocene) in NE Iberian Peninsula, roughly coinciding with the large faunal turnover that occurred around the middle to late Villafranchian boundary. Here we describe the largest collection of L. pardinus remains available to date from the Iberian late Early Pleistocene (Epivillafranchian), including localities from the Vallparadís Section (Vallès-Penedès Basin, NE Iberian Peninsula) and Cueva Victoria (Cartagena, SE Iberian Peninsula). The morphology and biometry of the studied material attests to the widespread occurrence of L. pardinus in the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula since the latest Early Pleistocene, i.e., about 0.5 million years earlier than it was generally accepted (i.e., at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene). Based on the features observed in the large sample studied in this paper, we conclude that Lynx spelaeus is a junior synonym of L. pardinus and further propose to assign all the Epivillafranchian and younger fossil lynxes from SW Europe to the extant species L. pardinus. Due to the arrival of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) into Europe at the beginning of the Late Pleistocene, the attribution of specimens younger than MIS 5e to either this species or L. pardinus solely on morphological grounds has proven equivocal. Here we discuss the main diagnostic features of both species of European lynxes and further review their evolutionary history and paleobiogeography throughout the Pleistocene.

  16. Deciphering magnetoclimatological patterns of late Early to early Middle Pleistocene loess-paleosol sequences in the western Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xisheng; Yang, Zhenyu; Chen, Yun; Hu, Jianyong; Tang, Ling; Sheng, Mei; Løvlie, Reidar

    2015-07-01

    A detailed environmental magnetic investigation in conjunction with geochemical, bulk grain size and redness analyses of late Early to early Middle Pleistocene loess-paleosol sequences at the Jiuzhoutai and Caotan loess sections has been carried out, aimed to explore the reliability of magnetic parameters as paleoclimatic proxies in the western Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The results show that magnetic enhancement of early- to mid-Pleistocene loess-paleosol sequences at both sites is not solely due to the neoformation of ultrafine magnetic particles through pedogenesis, but in the case of several loess layers (e.g., L8 and L9) is more attributed to the significant input of coarse-grained magnetic minerals associated with the advance of desert margin and/or with significant changes in local sediment input. Since the magnetoclimatological signals studied here are obviously controlled by both pedogenesis and wind vigor, measurements of magnetic susceptibility (χ) and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), both of which are responsive to both ultrafine pedogenic magnetic particles and eolian coarse-grained pseudo-single domain/multi-domain magnetic particles, could not provide unambiguous interpretation of the magnetic response to the East Asian summer monsoon intensity. In contrast, anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) and the percentage of frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility (χfd%), which are notably responsive to ultrafine magnetic particles, can aptly trace changes in the concentration of pedogenic magnetic particles and can therefore be used as reliable proxies of pedogenic intensity. The magnetic grain size dependent proxies, e.g., ARM/χ and ARM/Ms (Ms, saturation magnetization), geochemical indices (e.g., chemical index of alteration, Zr/Rb and Al/Si ratios), and bulk grain size records all exhibit concordant variations and are more straightforward proxies for addressing the East Asian monsoon variability. Therefore the combination

  17. A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Brown, P; Sutikna, T; Morwood, M J; Soejono, R P; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wayhu; Due, Rokus Awe

    2004-10-28

    Currently, it is widely accepted that only one hominin genus, Homo, was present in Pleistocene Asia, represented by two species, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Both species are characterized by greater brain size, increased body height and smaller teeth relative to Pliocene Australopithecus in Africa. Here we report the discovery, from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia, of an adult hominin with stature and endocranial volume approximating 1 m and 380 cm3, respectively--equal to the smallest-known australopithecines. The combination of primitive and derived features assigns this hominin to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The most likely explanation for its existence on Flores is long-term isolation, with subsequent endemic dwarfing, of an ancestral H. erectus population. Importantly, H. floresiensis shows that the genus Homo is morphologically more varied and flexible in its adaptive responses than previously thought. PMID:15514638

  18. Structural cross sections, Plio-Pleistocene Series, southeastern Texas Continental Shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    The Plio-Pleistocene Series in the western Gulf Coast basin comprises a thick wedge of terrigenous clastic sediment that produces modest volumes of hydrocarbons from offshore leases along the outer shelf and upper slope. Sandstone reservoirs within this wedge have yielded more than 40 million bbl of oil and 2.5 Tcf of gas. They initially contained about 1.6 billion bbl of oil equivalent, or nearly two-thirds of the estimated total recoverable reserves beneath the Texas Outer Continental Shelf. To interpret the structural and stratigraphic framework of the area, the authors used publicly available electric logs, paleontological reports, and published information, in addition to proprietary data released by operators and approximately 2,000 miles of multichannel seismic profiles. In this book biostratigraphic zones of the Plio-Pleistocene Series, locations of major oil and gas fields and trends, and areas of tectonic features and salt structures are included.

  19. A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Brown, P; Sutikna, T; Morwood, M J; Soejono, R P; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wayhu; Due, Rokus Awe

    2004-10-28

    Currently, it is widely accepted that only one hominin genus, Homo, was present in Pleistocene Asia, represented by two species, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Both species are characterized by greater brain size, increased body height and smaller teeth relative to Pliocene Australopithecus in Africa. Here we report the discovery, from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia, of an adult hominin with stature and endocranial volume approximating 1 m and 380 cm3, respectively--equal to the smallest-known australopithecines. The combination of primitive and derived features assigns this hominin to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The most likely explanation for its existence on Flores is long-term isolation, with subsequent endemic dwarfing, of an ancestral H. erectus population. Importantly, H. floresiensis shows that the genus Homo is morphologically more varied and flexible in its adaptive responses than previously thought.

  20. Paleoearthquakes and Eolian-dominated fault sedimentation along the Hubbell Spring fault zone near Albuquerque, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Personius, S.F.; Mahan, S.A.

    2003-01-01

    The Hubbell Spring fault zone forms the modern eastern margin of the Rio Grande rift in the Albuquerque basin of north-central New Mexico. Knowledge of its seismic potential is important because the fault zone transects Kirtland Air Force Base/Sandia National Laboratories and underlies the southern Albuquerque metropolitan area. No earthquakes larger than ML 5.5 have been reported in the last 150 years in this region, so we excavated the first trench across this fault zone to determine its late Quaternary paleoseismic history. Our trench excavations revealed a complex, 16-m-wide fault zone overlain by four tapered blankets of mixed eolian sand and minor colluvium that we infer were deposited after four large-magnitude, surface-rupturing earthquakes. Although the first (oldest) rupture event is undated, we used luminescence (thermoluminescence and infrared-stimulated luminescence) ages to determine that the subsequent three rupture events occurred about 56 ?? 6, 29 ?? 3, and 12 ?? 1 ka. These ages yield recurrence intervals of 27 and 17 k.y. between events and an elapsed time of 12 k.y. since the latest surface-rupturing paleoearthquake. Slip rates are not well constrained, but our preferred average slip rate since rupture event 2 (post-56 ka) is 0.05 mm/yr, and interval slip rates between the last three events are 0.06 and 0.09 mm/yr, respectively. Vertical displacements of 1-2 m per event and probable rupture lengths of 34-43 km indicate probable paleoearthquake magnitudes (Ms or Mw) of 6.8-7.1. Future earthquakes of this size likely would cause strong ground motions in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.

  1. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin. PMID:26018668

  2. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M.; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin. PMID:26018668

  3. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  4. First Asian record of Panthera (Leo) fossilis (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) in the Early Pleistocene of Western Siberia, Russia.

    PubMed

    Sotnikova, Marina V; Foronova, Irina V

    2014-08-01

    A lion-like pantherine felid is described as Panthera (Leo) fossilis from the late Early Pleistocene sediments of the Kuznetsk Basin (Western Siberia, Russia). The find of P. fossilis first recorded in Asia considerably extends the current notion of the eastward expansion of the most ancient lions. The Siberian lion is geologically the oldest form and is dimensionally among the largest members of the group of fossil lions on the Eurasian continent. Although known by mandibular remains only, it is readily distinguished from Panthera (Leo) spelaea by a heavy built mandibular corpus with rectangular profile in the cheek teeth area, a deep, well-outlined and narrow anterior section of the masseteric fossa, and a large p4 supported by a big unreduced anterior root. The Siberian lion shares these features with the European Middle Pleistocene P. fossilis and the American Late Pleistocene P. (Leo) atrox, which suggests their close relationship. P. atrox originated from P. fossilis and was isolated in North America south of the Late Pleistocene ice sheets. This explains why the American lion has retained more primitive features than the coeval Eurasian cave lion P. (L.) spelaea.

  5. Extreme habitats that emerged in the Pleistocene triggered divergence of weedy Youngia (Asteraceae) in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Koh; Chung, Kuo-Fang; Huang, Chiun-Jr; Kono, Yoshiko; Kokubugata, Goro; Peng, Ching-I

    2012-05-01

    Weeds with broad distributions and large morphological variation are challenging for systematists and evolutionarily intriguing because their intensive dispersal would likely prevent local morphological differentiation. Study on weeds will help to understand divergence in plants unlikely to be affected by geographical and ecological barriers. We studied Youngia japonica based on nrDNA and cpDNA sequences. This is a widespread native in Asia and invasive worldwide; nevertheless, three subspecies (japonica, longiflora, and formosana) and an undescribed variant occur in Taiwan. Bayesian and the most parsimonious phylogenies revealed that subspecies longiflora is a different linage and independently arrived in Taiwan during the Pleistocene via land connection to the Asian Continent. Bayesian time estimation suggested that Youngia in Taiwan diverged in the lower Pleistocene or more recently. Extreme habitats that emerged in the Pleistocene, i.e., cold mountain ranges for subspecies formosana and xeric, raised coral reefs for the undescribed Youngia variant probably had triggered the divergence. Components of Youngia in Taiwan are not monophyletic; a coalescent-based test suggested incomplete lineage sorting. Nevertheless, the samples within each taxon share unique morphological features suggesting a common gene pool and each taxon has different dominant ITS and/or cpDNA types; these conditions suggest ongoing process toward monophyly via coalescent processes and support the delimitation of intraspecific taxa.

  6. Re-evaluating the origins of late Pleistocene fire areas on Santa Rosa Island, California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rick, Torben C.; Wah, John S.; Erlandson, Jon M.

    2012-09-01

    At the close of the Pleistocene, fire regimes in North America changed significantly in response to climate change, megafaunal extinctions, anthropogenic burning and, possibly, even an extraterrestrial impact. On California's Channel Islands, researchers have long debated the nature of late Pleistocene "fire areas," discrete red zones in sedimentary deposits, interpreted by some as prehistoric mammoth-roasting pits created by humans. Further research found no evidence that these red zones were cultural in origin, and two hypotheses were advanced to explain their origin: natural fires and groundwater processes. Radiocarbon dating, X-ray diffraction analysis, and identification of charcoal from six red zones on Santa Rosa Island suggest that the studied features date between ~ 27,500 and 11,400 cal yr BP and resulted from burning or heating, not from groundwater processes. Our results show that fire was a component of late Pleistocene Channel Island ecology prior to and after human colonization of the islands, with no clear evidence for increased fire frequency coincident with Paleoindian settlement, extinction of pygmy mammoths, or a proposed Younger Dryas impact event.

  7. Geochemical constraints on the regolith hypothesis for the middle Pleistocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Martin; Clark, Peter U.; Raisbeck, Grant M.; Yiou, Françoise

    2004-11-01

    The transition from 41- to 100-kyr glacial cycles and concomitant increase in global ice volume ˜1 Ma remain an enigmatic feature of late Cenozoic climate. Here, we examine the petrology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of the silicate fraction of tills spanning the past 2 Ma from the north-central United States to evaluate the hypothesis that this so-called middle Pleistocene transition (MPT) occurred by erosion of regolith and subsequent exposure of underlying Canadian Shield bedrock by the Laurentide ice sheet. These data indicate that late Pliocene tills are depleted in crystalline lithologies, unstable minerals, and major-element oxides derived from plagioclase and ferromagnesians and are enriched in kaolinite, quartz, iron oxides, TiO 2-bearing resistates, and meteoric 10Be. In contrast, early and middle Pleistocene tills show enrichment in crystalline lithologies, stable minerals, and major oxides derived from plagioclase and ferromagnesians and depletion in meteoric 10Be, whereas late Pleistocene tills show major-element concentrations that are most similar to that of fresh shield bedrock. Marine isotope records of Sr, Os, and Hf show significant changes around the MPT that are consistent with the removal of a regolith and the exhumation of fresh silicate bedrock. These results indicate that ice sheets initially expanded on highly weathered bedrock and progressively exhumed a fresher rock source, thereby supporting the hypothesis that a change in the composition of the substrate underlying ice sheets best explains the origin of the MPT.

  8. Evidence for latest Pleistocene to Holocene movement on the Santa Cruz Island fault, California

    SciTech Connect

    Pinter, N.; Sorlien, C. )

    1991-09-01

    Timing of the latest movement on the Santa Cruz Island fault, a dramatic physiographic feature of the southern boundary of the California Transverse Ranges, is demonstrated to be latest Pleistocene to Holocene in age. Faulting of dated terrace gravels confirms that the most recent rupture on the fault is no older than 11.78 {plus minus}0.1 ka. This represents an order of magnitude increase over the recency suggested by previous work and requires proportional increases in estimates of the minimum slip rate and seismic hazard posed by the fault. Uplifted latest Pleistocene to Holocene fill terraces are consistent with models of high rates of uplift and high sediment supply. Numerical solution of the interaction of sea-level rise with uplift at the west end of Santa Cruz Island predicts that the youngest strata in the faulted terrace sequence are about 6.1 ka. Reevaluation of high-resolution seismic sections just west of the island supports the latest Pleistocene to Holocene timing of the most recent rupture on the fault. The Santa Cruz Island fault apparently represents an active seismogenic element of southern California, the recent and high rate of activity of which have not been previously recognized.

  9. Denali fault slip rates and Holocene-late Pleistocene kinematics of central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matmon, A.; Schwartz, D.P.; Haeussler, P.J.; Finkel, R.; Lienkaemper, J.J.; Stenner, H.D.; Dawson, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The Denali fault is the principal intracontinental strike-slip fault accommodating deformation of interior Alaska associated with the Yakutat plate convergence. We obtained the first quantitative late Pleistocene-Holocene slip rates on the Denali fault system from dating offset geomorphic features. Analysis of cosmogenic 10Be concentrations in boulders (n = 27) and sediment (n = 13) collected at seven sites, offset 25-170 m by the Denali and Totschunda faults, gives average ages that range from 2.4 ± 0.3 ka to 17.0 ± 1.8 ka. These offsets and ages yield late Pleistocene-Holocene average slip rates of 9.4 ± 1.6, 12.1 ± 1.7, and 8.4 ± 2.2 mm/yr-1 along the western, central, and eastern Denali fault, respectively, and 6.0 ± 1.2 mm/yr-1 along the Totschunda fault. Our results suggest a westward decrease in the mean Pleistocene-Holocene slip rate. This westward decrease likely results from partitioning of slip from the Denali fault system to thrust faults to the north and west. 2006 Geological Society of America.

  10. Backed tools in Middle Pleistocene central Africa and their evolutionary significance.

    PubMed

    Barham, Lawrence

    2002-11-01

    The fashioning of stone inserts for composite tools by blunting flakes and blades is a technique usually associated with Late Pleistocene modern humans. Recent reports from two sites in south central Africa (Twin Rivers and Kalambo Falls) suggest that this backed tool technology originated in the later Middle Pleistocene with early or "archaic" Homo sapiens. This paper investigates these claims critically from the perspective of the potential mixing of Middle and Later Stone Age deposits at the two sites and the possible creation of misleading assemblages. The review shows that backed tools form a statistically minor, but technologically significant feature of the early Middle Stone Age of south central Africa. They first appear in the Lupemban industry at approximately 300 ka and remain an element of the Middle Stone Age technological repertoire of the region. Comparisons are made with early backed tool assemblages of east Africa and with the much younger Howiesons Poort industry of southern Africa. The paper concludes that Lupemban tools lack the standardization of the Howiesons Poort backed pieces, but form part of a regionally distinctive and diverse assemblage of heavy and light duty tools. Some modern-like behaviours appear to have emerged by the later Middle Pleistocene in south central Africa.

  11. Did a drought crisis lead to cultural changes in Eolian Islands during the Bronze Age? New data from archaeological excavations and carbon isotopes analysis of archaeobotanical remains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorentino, Girolamo; Caracuta, Valentina; Martinelli, Maria Clara; Quarta, Gianluca; Calcagnile, Lucio

    2010-05-01

    Agricultural potential is commonly regarded as a key factor for the development of pre-modern complex societies in Mediterranean regions. For this reason, the assessment of paleo-rainfall regimes is considered fundamental to understand the influence of short-term climate fluctuations on ancient human communities, especially in those areas characterised by critical environmental conditions such as Eolian archipelagos. Usually, plant remains in archaeological contexts are used to assess agricultural practices and any strategies adopted by ancient populations to face climate changes. Within this work we intend to extend the traditional archaeobotanical approach by using carbon isotope analysis of ancient plant remains in order to infer paleorainfall trends. For this purpose fourty samples of plant remains recovered from Bronze Age archaeological contexts recently excavated in Filicudi and Salina islands, Eolian archipelagos, were selected to be submitted to AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) radiocarbon dating, archaeobotanaical and carbon stable isotopes analyses. This approach allowed the reconstruction in the analyzed samples of the variation of the carbon isotope composition, expressed through the δ13C term, in a diachronic scale as obtained by the combined radiocarbon dating analyses performed on the same archaeological material. The obtained results show clear chronological pattern of variation of the δ13C term in the plant tissues which find correspondence with other climatic proxy records and from which paleoclimatic information have been inferred. From the archaeological point of view, the obtained results allow the evaluation of the influence of climate on the dynamics of population of Eolian island by reconsidering archaeological indicators coming from the recent excavations carried out in the sites of Filicudi and Salina.

  12. Drainage reversals in Mono Basin during the late pliocene and Pleistocene

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, M.C.; Stine, S.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A. M.

    2002-01-01

    Mono Basin, on the eastern flank of the central Sierra Nevada, is the highest of the large hydrographically closed basins in the Basin and Range province. We use geomorphic features, shoreline deposits, and basalt-filled paleochannels to reconstruct an early to middle Pleistocene record of shorelines and changing spillways of Lake Russell in Mono Basin. During this period of time, Lake Russell repeatedly attained altitudes between 2205 and 2280 m-levels far above the present surface of Mono Lake (~1950 m) and above its last overflow level (2188 m). The spill point of Lake Russell shifted through time owing to late Tertiary and Quaternary faulting and volcanism. During the early Pleistocene, the lake periodically discharged through the Mount Hicks spillway on the northeastern rim of Mono Basin and flowed northward into the Walker Lake drainage basin via the East Walker River. Paleochannels recording such discharge were incised prior to 1.6 Ma, possibly between 1.6 and 1.3 Ma, and again after 1.3 Ma (ages of basaltic flows that plugged the paleochannels). Faulting in the Adobe Hills on the southeastern margin of the basin eventually lowered the rim in this area to below the altitude of the Mount Hicks spillway. Twice after 0.76 Ma, and possibly as late as after 0.1 Ma, Lake Russell discharged southward through the Adobe Hills spillway into the Owens-Death Valley system of lakes. This study supports a pre-Pleistocene aquatic connection through Mono Basin between the hydrologically distinct Lahontan and Owens-Death Valley systems, as long postulated by biologists, and also confirms a probable link during the Pleistocene for species adapted to travel upstream in fast-flowing water.

  13. The role of stochastic noise in the abrupt climatic transitions of the pleistocene

    SciTech Connect

    Matteucci, G.

    1991-01-01

    Analyses of marine [delta][sup 18]O records suggest that the variations of the Earth's orbital parameters have induced and provided the timing of the Pleistocene climatic oscillations. This dissertation analyses some statistical properties of the Pleistocene climate by estimating the Probability Density Function (PDF) of the [delta][sup 18]O record. The results allow to define statistically what were the [open quotes]typical conditions[close quotes] (in a probabilistic sense) of the Quaternary, to identify the modes of the PDF as the mean glacial and interglacial climatic states, and to clarify the meaning and the abruptness of the climatic transitions. A zero-dimensional Energy Balance Model is developed. The nonlinearity of the ice albedo-temperature feedback leads to multiple steady-state equilibria. The role of stochastic perturbations and their interaction with the orbital forcing in producing the periodic and abrupt climatic transitions of the late Pleistocene are illustrated. A stochastic sensitivity analysis is used to clarify the results, especially the selective amplification of the orbitally-induced 100 kyr cycle, and the predictability of the system on the time scales of the orbital cycles. From the analysis of GCM simulations and observational zonally- averaged data a one-dimensional EBM is then developed. The strong nonlinearity of this model and the occurrence of multiple equilibria is caused by the presence of the Thin Ice Cap Instability. A discussion of the features that stochastic perturbations would introduce, follows. Finally a GCM sensitivity study to atmospheric CO[sub 2] shows how the effects of varying CO[sub 2] concentrations can be included in simple EBMs. The role that stochastic perturbations, orbital forcing, and the known past concentrations of atmospheric CO[sub 2] have played in producing the abrupt climatic transitions of the late Pleistocene is discussed.

  14. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela

    2014-05-01

    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with

  15. The Thermal Evolution of the Western Equatorial Pacific During the Midde and Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medina, M. A.; Lea, D. W.; Spero, H. J.

    2004-12-01

    Magnesium/calcium data from planktonic foraminifera in the equatorial Pacific sediment cores suggested that tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST's) were about 3 deg.C colder than modern conditions during glacial episodes of the last 500 thousand years (ky). We have extended the Western Equatorial Pacific (WEP) Globigerinoides ruber Mg/Ca and d18O records, from the Ontong Java Plateau, Ocean Drilling Program Hole 806B (0 19.11'N, 159 21.69'E, 2520m), back to 1.3 ma. For temperature conversion we used a G. ruber calibration based on core-tops from the tropical Pacific (Lea and Martin, 1996), which yields the following relationship: Mg/Ca(mmol/mol)= 0.30exp[0.089 X SST deg. C)]. Our SST record shows that the previously observed 3 deg C-colder SST's than modern conditions during glacial episodes are generally the rule for the entire 1.3 ma period. Glacial-interglacial temperature differences as great as 4 deg. C are observed, even in the Early Pleistocene (1-1.8 ma). Preliminary observations suggest the presence of ~40 Ky SST cycles during the Early Pleistocene, of similar amplitude to the dominant SST cycles seen in Late Pleistocene Tropical records. Early Pleistocene WEP SST's, as suggested by our record, oscillated between 26 and 30 deg. C. MIS 11 stands out as the most prominent feature of the WEP SST record. The potential bias on temperature estimates due to the influence of changes in lysocline depth (Farrell and Prell, 1989) and decrease preservation with depth (Lea et al., 2000) is ± 0.8 deg.C. Preliminary point to point comparison between the SST and the d18O records shows that Mg/Ca-based temperatures lead over d18O by about 3 ky as previously determined by Lea et al. (2000).

  16. Increased late Pleistocene erosion rates during fluvial aggradation in the Garhwal Himalaya, northern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherler, Dirk; Bookhagen, Bodo; Wulf, Hendrik; Preusser, Frank; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-10-01

    The response of surface processes to climatic forcing is fundamental for understanding the impacts of climate change on landscape evolution. In the Himalaya, most large rivers feature prominent fill terraces that record an imbalance between sediment supply and transport capacity, presumably due to past fluctuations in monsoon precipitation and/or effects of glaciation at high elevation. Here, we present volume estimates, chronological constraints, and 10Be-derived paleo-erosion rates from a prominent valley fill in the Yamuna catchment, Garhwal Himalaya, to elucidate the coupled response of rivers and hillslopes to Pleistocene climate change. Although precise age control is complicated due to methodological problems, the new data support formation of the valley fill during the late Pleistocene and its incision during the Holocene. We interpret this timing to indicate that changes in discharge and river-transport capacity were major controls. Compared to the present day, late Pleistocene hillslope erosion rates were higher by a factor of ∼2-4, but appear to have decreased during valley aggradation. The higher late Pleistocene erosion rates are largely unrelated to glacial erosion and could be explained by enhanced sediment production on steep hillslopes due to increased periglacial activity that declined as temperatures increased. Alternatively, erosion rates that decrease during valley aggradation are also consistent with reduced landsliding from threshold hillslopes as a result of rising base levels. In that case, the similarity of paleo-erosion rates near the end of the aggradation period with modern erosion rates might imply that channels and hillslopes are not yet fully coupled everywhere and that present-day hillslope erosion rates may underrepresent long-term incision rates.

  17. Late Pleistocene deposits at Wing, Rutland.

    PubMed

    Hall, A R

    1980-05-01

    The context, lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of a series of Pleistocene deposits from Wing, Rutland, in the East Midlands of England are described. The sequence of till, lake clays, compressed wood and moss peats and peaty silts is shown to occupy a small, closed basin cut deeply into the Jurassic bedrock. The basin appears to have been excavated by ice responsible for the deposition of Chalky Jurassic Till in the area, and this till lines the floor and sides of the basin. Pollen and plant macrofossil analyses have provided a long and continuous record of vegetational and environmental history at the site and the deposits have been dated by pollen analysis to the Last (Ipswichian) Interglacial and early Devensian Glacial stages (pollen zones Ip IIb to e De). With certain reservations, the sequence is compared and correlated with other interglacial deposits in Britain.

  18. The Role of Eolian Sediment in the Preservation of Archeologic Sites Along the Colorado River Corridor in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Rubin, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, the natural hydrologic and sedimentary systems along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon reach have changed substantially (see, for example, Andrews, 1986; Johnson and Carothers, 1987; Webb and others, 1999b; Rubin and others, 2002; Topping and others, 2003; Wright and others, 2005; Hazel and others, 2006b). The dam has reduced the fluvial sediment supply at the upstream boundary of Grand Canyon National Park by about 95 percent. Regulation of river discharge by dam operations has important implications for the storage and redistribution of sediment in the Colorado River corridor. In the absence of floods, sediment is not deposited at elevations that regularly received sediment before dam closure. Riparian vegetation has colonized areas at lower elevations than in predam time when annual floods removed young vegetation (Turner and Karpiscak, 1980). Together, these factors have caused a systemwide decrease in the size and number of subaerially exposed fluvial sand deposits since the 1960s, punctuated by episodic aggradation during the exceptional high-flow intervals in 1983-84, 1996, and 2004 and by sediment input from occasional tributary floods (Beus and others, 1985; Schmidt and Graf, 1987; Kearsley and others, 1994; Hazel and others, 1999; Schmidt and others, 2004; Wright and others, 2005). When the Bureau of Reclamation sponsored the creation of the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies (GCES) research initiative in 1982, research objectives included physical and biologic resources, whereas the effects of dam operations on cultural resources were not addressed (Fairley and others, 1994; Fairley, 2003). In the early 1980s, it was widely believed that because few archeologic sites were preserved within the river's annual-flood zone, cultural features would not be greatly affected by dam operations. Recent studies, however, indicate that alterations in the flow and sediment load of the Colorado River by Glen Canyon Dam

  19. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-01

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50–120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106–94, 89–73, 59–47 and 45–29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard–Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  20. The petrography of some Illinois pleistocene and recent sands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, R.E.

    1967-01-01

    Some Recent and Pleistocene sands of Illinois and the nearby Missouri River were separated into three groups by petrographic characteristics that reflect source material. The sands derived largely or entirely from the glacial material of Illinois and the upper Mississippi, Wabash, and Lake Michigan drainage basins contain types of feldspars and rock fragments that indicate derivation from the Precambrian metamorphic rocks of the Canadian Shield. The sands of the Ohio River at the southern boundary of Illinois contain relatively large amounts of polycrystalline quartz and nonfeldspathic rock fragments that may have been derived from Paleozoic sedimentary rocks largely of Appalachian derivation, from glacial drift of the eastern states, or from both sources. A significant portion of the Missouri River sands and the Mississippi River sands below the mouth of the Missouri River consists of feldspars and rock fragments derived from the Cretaceous and Tertiary igneous rocks of the western United States. The volcanic rock fragments are especially indicative of a western source. Petrographic characteristics of 23 samples of these sands were determined. The sources of the sands were interpreted principally from their rock fragments and light minerals, especially the feldspars, taking into account the variation in composition with changing grain size. Much of the plagioclase was untwinned, but certain varietal features proved useful in its identification. ?? 1967.

  1. Parabolic features and the erosion rate on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strom, Robert G.

    1993-01-01

    The impact cratering record on Venus consists of 919 craters covering 98 percent of the surface. These craters are remarkably well preserved, and most show pristine structures including fresh ejecta blankets. Only 35 craters (3.8 percent) have had their ejecta blankets embayed by lava and most of these occur in the Atla-Beta Regio region; an area thought to be recently active. parabolic features are associated with 66 of the 919 craters. These craters range in size from 6 to 105 km diameter. The parabolic features are thought to be the result of the deposition of fine-grained ejecta by winds in the dense venusian atmosphere. The deposits cover about 9 percent of the surface and none appear to be embayed by younger volcanic materials. However, there appears to be a paucity of these deposits in the Atla-Beta Regio region, and this may be due to the more recent volcanism in this area of Venus. Since parabolic features are probably fine-grain, wind-deposited ejecta, then all impact craters on Venus probably had these deposits at some time in the past. The older deposits have probably been either eroded or buried by eolian processes. Therefore, the present population of these features is probably associated with the most recent impact craters on the planet. Furthermore, the size/frequency distribution of craters with parabolic features is virtually identical to that of the total crater population. This suggests that there has been little loss of small parabolic features compared to large ones, otherwise there should be a significant and systematic paucity of craters with parabolic features with decreasing size compared to the total crater population. Whatever is erasing the parabolic features apparently does so uniformly regardless of the areal extent of the deposit. The lifetime of parabolic features and the eolian erosion rate on Venus can be estimated from the average age of the surface and the present population of parabolic features.

  2. Latest Pleistocene Deposition and Erosion on the New Jersey Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, B. A.; Alexander, C.; Stackhouse, S.; Turner, R.; Nordfjord, S.; Austin, J.; Goff, J.; Gulick, S.; Fulthorpe, C.

    2007-12-01

    The New Jersey margin is an ideal location for the study of sedimentary response to glacioeustatic forcing because this passive continental edge is both wide and stable. Although the region has been intensively imaged and mapped geophysically, it is still far from being understood stratigraphically because of a lack of samples to constrain timing and paleo-depositional environment. This study examines the timing and nature of latest Pleistocene erosion and deposition on the shelf, using grab samples and core recovered using the AHC-800 (Active Heave Compensation - 800 m) drilling system. The latest Pleistocene shelf is characterized by (1) downcutting and erosion by rivers associated with subaerial exposure during glacial retreat of sea level; (2) deposition at the shelf edge during sea level fall associated with formation of an outer shelf wedge; and (3) deposition in estuarine environments as sea level rose. Foraminiferal and sediment textural analyses of cores samples ground truth previous seismic reflection-based interpretations of incision and paleochannel formation. Grab samples analyzed for foraminiferal content and grain size identify environment of deposition within three main bathymetric features: sand ridges, sand ribbons, and glacial scours. Radiometric dating (14C) further constrains the timing of intervals of erosion and deposition. We relate our results to other studies and suggest a complex, spatially variable shelf response to glacial advance and retreat. K-Ar analyses of hornblende crystals provide constraints on sediment sources. Two assemblages exist: one consistent with ages of Proterozoic age plutons in the New Jersey area, and another, younger, indicating mixing. K-Ar dates show a clear difference between and Holocene (930- 970 +/- 20 Ma) sedimentary assemblages and sediments older than 30 k.y, (850-880 Ma +/- 20-30 Ma). Holocene hornblend crystal ages are consistent with Grenvillian aged plutons common to the source region (e

  3. Assessing the Pleistocene hemispheric climate links through correlating loess, marine and ice-core records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Near continuous loess-soil records in China cover the past 22 million years. Here, we compare various independent climate proxies from the terrestrial, marine and ice-core domains to re-evaluate the regional and global significance of the China loess with special emphases to the Quaternary portion. The results confirm that the intensity of loess deposition in China is closely coupled with the northern high latitude climate from the over-orbital to millennial scales, and that loess accumulation rates (LAR) and loess particle-size reflect many features of the northern high latitude ice conditions. Consequently, correlating the loess and marine records could offer the possibility for addressing the hemispheric climate links. Our loess-marine correlations show that both records are broadly coupled during the Pleistocene. However, numerous decoupled features exist between the two records. Marine oxygen isotope record shows a general trend of increased ice-volume during the Pleistocene. This trend has no clear reflection in the loess LAR and grain-size data. A prominent change at ~ 430 ka, referred to as the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE), is clearly documented in both marine and EPICA ice records while its reflections in loess are rather ambiguous. Both marine and EPICA data show a cooler-than-average interglacial for the marine-oxygen isotope stage 13 (MIS-13) while a series of terrestrial records show a warm-extreme interglacial for the northern hemisphere. During a number of glacial intervals, such as MIS-16, MIS 14, MIS-12 and MIS-3, interglacial-level of loess grain-size are observed while they have no obvious reflections in the marine and EPICA ice records. Based on a multi-proxy approach, we argue that these decoupled features between the loess and marine records are attributable to the asymmetrical behaviors of the Pleistocene climates between the southern and northern hemispheres.

  4. Deciphering magnetoclimatological patterns of early-to-mid Pleistocene loess in the western Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xisheng

    2015-04-01

    A detail environmental magnetic investigation in conjunction with geochemical, grain size and redness analyses of the early-to-mid Pleistocene loess-paleosol sequences at the Jiuzhoutai and Caotan loess sections has been carried out, aimed to explore reliable paleoclimatic proxies in the western Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The results show that magnetic enhancement of loess-paleosol sequences in the western CLP is not only solely due to the neoformation of ultrafine magnetic particles through pedogenesis, but at some depth intervals is more attributed to significant input of coarse-grained magnetic minerals associated with advance of desert and/or significant input of local sources. Since magnetoclimatological patterns studied here are obviously controlled both by pedogenesis and wind vigor, magnetic susceptibility (X) and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), both of which are responsive to both the ultrafine pedogenic magnetic particles and the eolian coarse-grained pseudo-single domain/multi-domain magnetic particles, could not provide unambiguous interpretation of the magnetic response to the East Asian summer monsoon intensity. By contrast, anhysteric remanent magnetization (ARM) and frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility (Xfd%), which are notably responsive to ultrafine magnetic particles, can aptly trace changes in the concentration of pedogenic magnetic particles and therefore can be used as reliable proxies of pedogenic intensity. The magnetic grain-size dependent proxies, e.g., ARM/X and ARM/Ms (Ms, saturation magnetization), geochemical indices (e.g., chemical index of alteration, Zr/Rb and Al/Si ratios), and grain size records exhibit concordant variations and appear to be more straightforward proxies for addressing the East Asian monsoon variability. Therefore the combination of multi-parameter mineral magnetic, geochemical and grain-size analyses is enormously helpful to distinguish, delimit and correlate the units, and further to

  5. Significance of Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene stratigraphy to development of Buena Vista field, San Joaquin Valley, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kuespert, J.G.

    1987-05-01

    Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene depositional patterns of upper Etchegoin and lower San Joaquin Formation sand and shale units in the Buena vista field area were controlled by changes in clastic input, eustatic sea level, structural growth, and circulation patterns in the south end of the San Joaquin Valley. Wireline and drill-strip logs, core depositions, paleontology, and petrographic data from these units suggest the interpretation of a series of shallow to marginal marine deposits with distinctive morphologic features and production characteristics. Late Pliocene marginal marine drainage systems transported clastics from southerly sources as structural and/or eustatic changes shoaled the southern area. An erosional hiatus and shallow marine transgression marked the extent of Plio-Pleistocene shoaling and rapid early Pleistocene foundering. Later Pleistocene changes in sediment supply and structural growth isolated the area from marine conditions as the basin filled with nonmarine sediments. Early field development was influenced by the areal distribution and reservoir characteristics of these sands as well as by the timing of such development activity. Depositional models derived from these data are useful in constructing paleogeographic models with regional hydrocarbon significance.

  6. A new find of a Middle Pleistocene mandible from Bilzingsleben, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlcek, E.; Mania, D.; Mania, U.

    The Middle Pleistocene site at Bilzingsleben is being excavated by the Forschungsstelle Bilzingsleben, FSU Jena. It is a living floor with structures of settlement and a great number of Lower Palaeolithic cultural remains. So far, 28 human skull fragments have been discovered, which can be reconstructed into two individual skulls. Recently, the right mandible has also been discovered (Bilzingsleben E7). Morphological comparisons indicate that there is a great similarity to the mandibles of HI and BI of Sinanthropus. A strong likeness to Arago II and XIII was also discovered. There are various different archaic features which assign the Bilzingsleben mandible and the two skulls to the advanced Homo erectus.

  7. A terminal Pleistocene child cremation and residential structure from eastern Beringia.

    PubMed

    Potter, Ben A; Irish, Joel D; Reuther, Joshua D; Gelvin-Reymiller, Carol; Holliday, Vance T

    2011-02-25

    The dearth of human remains and residential sites has constrained inquiry into Beringian lifeways at the transition of the late Pleistocene-early Holocene. We report on human skeletal remains and a residential structure from central Alaska dated to ~11,500 calendar years ago. The remains are from a ~3-year-old child who was cremated in a pit within a semisubterranean house. The burial-cremation and house have exceptional integrity and preservation and exhibit similarities and differences to both Siberian Upper Paleolithic and North American Paleoindian features.

  8. A terminal Pleistocene child cremation and residential structure from eastern Beringia.

    PubMed

    Potter, Ben A; Irish, Joel D; Reuther, Joshua D; Gelvin-Reymiller, Carol; Holliday, Vance T

    2011-02-25

    The dearth of human remains and residential sites has constrained inquiry into Beringian lifeways at the transition of the late Pleistocene-early Holocene. We report on human skeletal remains and a residential structure from central Alaska dated to ~11,500 calendar years ago. The remains are from a ~3-year-old child who was cremated in a pit within a semisubterranean house. The burial-cremation and house have exceptional integrity and preservation and exhibit similarities and differences to both Siberian Upper Paleolithic and North American Paleoindian features. PMID:21350175

  9. Eolian deposits of the southwestern margin of the Botucatú paleoerg: Reconstruction of the Gondwana landscape in Central Northern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peri, V. Gisel; Naipauer, Maximiliano; Pimentel, Marcio; Barcelona, Hernan

    2016-06-01

    The Mesozoic Botucatú paleoerg at the southwestern margin of Gondwana includes a succession of eolian dunes cross-strata which are presently exposed in Otumpa Hills (Central Northern Argentina). Here, the architectural facies, petrology, and provenance of those rocks were studied in order to investigate depositional environments and paleoclimates. The stratigraphic sequence included basal eolian two-dimensional crescentic dunes (Slp) overlain by three-dimensional crescentic dunes of smaller scale (Smt). These were correlated with the Upper Member Rivera of the Tacuarembó Formation (Uruguay), or its equivalent in Brazil, the Botucatú Formation. These outcrops partially mark the southwestern margin of the Botucatú paleoerg along the Chaco-Paraná Basin boundary. The paleocurrents from the W, NW, and SW and the U-Pb ages of detrital zircons indicate a main Pampean cratonic and secondary Andean magmatic arc (180 Ma) source. A detrital zircon of 180 Ma by U-Pb limits a maximum depositional age at 180 Ma (Toarcian) for facies Slp. Upwards, the phreatic silcrete and calcrete indicate semiarid conditions during the Paleocene, which are correlated with the Queguay Formation of Uruguay. A saprolite paleoweathering profile, recording wet tropical-hyper-tropical climate at the Early Eocene and representing the Gondwana landscape and climate conditions, crowns the sequence. This study represents the first provenance and surface texture analysis of minerals from the Botucatú paleoerg and was instrumental to unravel past environmental and sedimentary conditions.

  10. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carretero, José-Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Pablos, Adrián; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Quam, Rolf M; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Aranburu, Arantza; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Poza-Rey, Eva; Sala, Nohemi; García, Nuria; Alcázar de Velasco, Almudena; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-09-15

    Current knowledge of the evolution of the postcranial skeleton in the genus Homo is hampered by a geographically and chronologically scattered fossil record. Here we present a complete characterization of the postcranium of the middle Pleistocene paleodeme from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) and its paleobiological implications. The SH hominins show the following: (i) wide bodies, a plesiomorphic character in the genus Homo inherited from their early hominin ancestors; (ii) statures that can be found in modern human middle-latitude populations that first appeared 1.6-1.5 Mya; and (iii) large femoral heads in some individuals, a trait that first appeared during the middle Pleistocene in Africa and Europe. The intrapopulational size variation in SH shows that the level of dimorphism was similar to modern humans (MH), but the SH hominins were less encephalized than Neandertals. SH shares many postcranial anatomical features with Neandertals. Although most of these features appear to be either plesiomorphic retentions or are of uncertain phylogenetic polarity, a few represent Neandertal apomorphies. Nevertheless, the full suite of Neandertal-derived features is not yet present in the SH population. The postcranial evidence is consistent with the hypothesis based on the cranial morphology that the SH hominins are a sister group to the later Neandertals. Comparison of the SH postcranial skeleton to other hominins suggests that the evolution of the postcranium occurred in a mosaic mode, both at a general and at a detailed level. PMID:26324920

  11. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carretero, José-Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Pablos, Adrián; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Quam, Rolf M; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Aranburu, Arantza; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Poza-Rey, Eva; Sala, Nohemi; García, Nuria; Alcázar de Velasco, Almudena; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-09-15

    Current knowledge of the evolution of the postcranial skeleton in the genus Homo is hampered by a geographically and chronologically scattered fossil record. Here we present a complete characterization of the postcranium of the middle Pleistocene paleodeme from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) and its paleobiological implications. The SH hominins show the following: (i) wide bodies, a plesiomorphic character in the genus Homo inherited from their early hominin ancestors; (ii) statures that can be found in modern human middle-latitude populations that first appeared 1.6-1.5 Mya; and (iii) large femoral heads in some individuals, a trait that first appeared during the middle Pleistocene in Africa and Europe. The intrapopulational size variation in SH shows that the level of dimorphism was similar to modern humans (MH), but the SH hominins were less encephalized than Neandertals. SH shares many postcranial anatomical features with Neandertals. Although most of these features appear to be either plesiomorphic retentions or are of uncertain phylogenetic polarity, a few represent Neandertal apomorphies. Nevertheless, the full suite of Neandertal-derived features is not yet present in the SH population. The postcranial evidence is consistent with the hypothesis based on the cranial morphology that the SH hominins are a sister group to the later Neandertals. Comparison of the SH postcranial skeleton to other hominins suggests that the evolution of the postcranium occurred in a mosaic mode, both at a general and at a detailed level.

  12. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carretero, José-Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Pablos, Adrián; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Quam, Rolf M.; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Aranburu, Arantza; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Poza-Rey, Eva; Sala, Nohemi; García, Nuria; Alcázar de Velasco, Almudena; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Current knowledge of the evolution of the postcranial skeleton in the genus Homo is hampered by a geographically and chronologically scattered fossil record. Here we present a complete characterization of the postcranium of the middle Pleistocene paleodeme from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) and its paleobiological implications. The SH hominins show the following: (i) wide bodies, a plesiomorphic character in the genus Homo inherited from their early hominin ancestors; (ii) statures that can be found in modern human middle-latitude populations that first appeared 1.6–1.5 Mya; and (iii) large femoral heads in some individuals, a trait that first appeared during the middle Pleistocene in Africa and Europe. The intrapopulational size variation in SH shows that the level of dimorphism was similar to modern humans (MH), but the SH hominins were less encephalized than Neandertals. SH shares many postcranial anatomical features with Neandertals. Although most of these features appear to be either plesiomorphic retentions or are of uncertain phylogenetic polarity, a few represent Neandertal apomorphies. Nevertheless, the full suite of Neandertal-derived features is not yet present in the SH population. The postcranial evidence is consistent with the hypothesis based on the cranial morphology that the SH hominins are a sister group to the later Neandertals. Comparison of the SH postcranial skeleton to other hominins suggests that the evolution of the postcranium occurred in a mosaic mode, both at a general and at a detailed level. PMID:26324920

  13. Early Pleistocene third metacarpal from Kenya and the evolution of modern human-like hand morphology.

    PubMed

    Ward, Carol V; Tocheri, Matthew W; Plavcan, J Michael; Brown, Francis H; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2014-01-01

    Despite discoveries of relatively complete hands from two early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba) and partial hands from another (Australopithecus afarensis), fundamental questions remain about the evolution of human-like hand anatomy and function. These questions are driven by the paucity of hand fossils in the hominin fossil record between 800,000 and 1.8 My old, a time interval well documented for the emergence and subsequent proliferation of Acheulian technology (shaped bifacial stone tools). Modern and Middle to Late Pleistocene humans share a suite of derived features in the thumb, wrist, and radial carpometacarpal joints that is noticeably absent in early hominins. Here we show that one of the most distinctive features of this suite in the Middle Pleistocene to recent human hand, the third metacarpal styloid process, was present ∼1.42 Mya in an East African hominin from Kaitio, West Turkana, Kenya. This fossil thus provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for the evolution of a key shared derived characteristic of modern human and Neandertal hand morphology and suggests that the distinctive complex of radial carpometacarpal joint features in the human hand arose early in the evolution of the genus Homo and probably in Homo erectus sensu lato. PMID:24344276

  14. Early Pleistocene third metacarpal from Kenya and the evolution of modern human-like hand morphology.

    PubMed

    Ward, Carol V; Tocheri, Matthew W; Plavcan, J Michael; Brown, Francis H; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2014-01-01

    Despite discoveries of relatively complete hands from two early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba) and partial hands from another (Australopithecus afarensis), fundamental questions remain about the evolution of human-like hand anatomy and function. These questions are driven by the paucity of hand fossils in the hominin fossil record between 800,000 and 1.8 My old, a time interval well documented for the emergence and subsequent proliferation of Acheulian technology (shaped bifacial stone tools). Modern and Middle to Late Pleistocene humans share a suite of derived features in the thumb, wrist, and radial carpometacarpal joints that is noticeably absent in early hominins. Here we show that one of the most distinctive features of this suite in the Middle Pleistocene to recent human hand, the third metacarpal styloid process, was present ∼1.42 Mya in an East African hominin from Kaitio, West Turkana, Kenya. This fossil thus provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for the evolution of a key shared derived characteristic of modern human and Neandertal hand morphology and suggests that the distinctive complex of radial carpometacarpal joint features in the human hand arose early in the evolution of the genus Homo and probably in Homo erectus sensu lato.

  15. Early Pleistocene third metacarpal from Kenya and the evolution of modern human-like hand morphology

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Carol V.; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Plavcan, J. Michael; Brown, Francis H.; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2014-01-01

    Despite discoveries of relatively complete hands from two early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba) and partial hands from another (Australopithecus afarensis), fundamental questions remain about the evolution of human-like hand anatomy and function. These questions are driven by the paucity of hand fossils in the hominin fossil record between 800,000 and 1.8 My old, a time interval well documented for the emergence and subsequent proliferation of Acheulian technology (shaped bifacial stone tools). Modern and Middle to Late Pleistocene humans share a suite of derived features in the thumb, wrist, and radial carpometacarpal joints that is noticeably absent in early hominins. Here we show that one of the most distinctive features of this suite in the Middle Pleistocene to recent human hand, the third metacarpal styloid process, was present ∼1.42 Mya in an East African hominin from Kaitio, West Turkana, Kenya. This fossil thus provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for the evolution of a key shared derived characteristic of modern human and Neandertal hand morphology and suggests that the distinctive complex of radial carpometacarpal joint features in the human hand arose early in the evolution of the genus Homo and probably in Homo erectus sensu lato. PMID:24344276

  16. Extent of Pleistocene lakes in the western Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, Marith C.

    1999-01-01

    During the Pliocene to middle Pleistocene, pluvial lakes in the western Great Basin repeatedly rose to levels much higher than those of the well-documented late Pleistocene pluvial lakes, and some presently isolated basins were connected. Sedimentologic, geomorphic, and chronologic evidence at sites shown on the map indicates that Lakes Lahontan and Columbus-Rennie were as much as 70 m higher in the early-middle Pleistocene than during their late Pleistocene high stands. Lake Lahontan at its 1400-m shoreline level would submerge present-day Reno, Carson City, and Battle Mountain, and would flood other now-dry basins. To the east, Lakes Jonathan (new name), Diamond, Newark, and Hubbs also reached high stands during the early-middle(?) Pleistocene that were 25-40 m above their late Pleistocene shorelines; at these very high levels, the lakes became temporarily or permanently tributary to the Humboldt River and hence to Lake Lahontan. Such a temporary connection could have permitted fish to migrate from the Humboldt River southward into the presently isolated Newark Valley and from Lake Lahontan into Fairview Valley. The timing of drainage integration also provides suggested maximum ages for fish to populate the basins of Lake Diamond and Lake Jonathan. Reconstructing and dating these lake levels also has important implications for paleoclimate, tectonics, and drainage evolution in the western Great Basin. For example, shorelines in several basins form a stair-step sequence downward with time from the highest levels, thought to have formed at about 650 ka, to the lowest, formed during the late Pleistocene. This descending sequence indicates progressive drying of pluvial periods, possibly caused by uplift of the Sierra Nevada and other western ranges relative to the western Great Basin. However, these effects cannot account for the extremely high lake levels during the early middle Pleistocene; rather, these high levels were probably due to a combination of increased

  17. Arctic ocean sediment texture and the Pleistocene climate cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, D.L.; Morris, T.H.

    1985-01-01

    Arctic Ocean sediment texture accurately reflects the Plio-Pleistocene climate cycle. The precision of paleoclimate interpretation is improved when deglaciation is recognized as a distinct climate stage, overlapping both glacial and interglacial stages, and for the later Pleistocene, perhaps never completed. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy and foraminifera productivity are out of phase but can be understood in the context of the transitional nature of the glacial, deglacial and interglacial climate stages of the Arctic Ocean.

  18. A regional geochronological study of late pleistocene permafrost

    SciTech Connect

    Kostyukevich, V.V. . Geochemistry Lab.)

    1993-01-01

    The use of radiocarbon dating in geocryological investigations makes it possible to establish a chronology for permafrost-geological development during the Late Pleistocene. Both global and regional time scales for the formation of Late Pleistocene permafrost have been worked out over the past 15--20 years at the Permafrost Institute of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. He presents here results from study areas of northwestern Siberia and of North, Central and West Yakutia.

  19. Principles of pleistocene stratigraphy, applied to the Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Fillon, R.H.; Healy-Williams, N.; Ledbetter, M.T.; Thunell, R.C.; Williams, D.F.

    1984-01-01

    This study of one of the world's major oil provinces is an examination of advances made in the past decade in high resolution stratigraphy of Pleistocene marine sediments. Topics covered include magnetostratigraphy, planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy, oxygen isotope stratigraphy, tephrochronology and a review and updating of terrestrial-marine correlations during the Pleistocene. The emphasis is on the Gulf of Mexico, but the techniques described can be applied to other marine sedimentary basins.

  20. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Hayward, Matthew W; Ripple, William J; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V Louise

    2016-01-26

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator-prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes.

  1. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Hayward, Matthew W; Ripple, William J; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V Louise

    2016-01-26

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator-prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes. PMID:26504224

  2. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival.

    PubMed

    Pires, Mathias M; Koch, Paul L; Fariña, Richard A; de Aguiar, Marcus A M; dos Reis, Sérgio F; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2015-09-01

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. PMID:26336175

  3. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Ripple, William J.; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V. Louise

    2016-01-01

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator–prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes. PMID:26504224

  4. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Mathias M.; Koch, Paul L.; Fariña, Richard A.; de Aguiar, Marcus A. M.; dos Reis, Sérgio F.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2015-01-01

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. PMID:26336175

  5. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival.

    PubMed

    Pires, Mathias M; Koch, Paul L; Fariña, Richard A; de Aguiar, Marcus A M; dos Reis, Sérgio F; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2015-09-01

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions.

  6. New insights into Eastern Beringian mortuary behavior: A terminal Pleistocene double infant burial at Upward Sun River

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Ben A.; Irish, Joel D.; Reuther, Joshua D.; McKinney, Holly J.

    2014-01-01

    Here we report on the discovery of two infant burials dating to ∼11,500 calibrated years (cal) B.P. at the Upward Sun River site in central Alaska. The infants were interred in a pit feature with associated organic and lithic grave goods, including the earliest known North American hafted bifaces with decorated antler foreshafts. Skeletal and dental analyses indicate that Individual 1 died shortly after birth and Individual 2 was a late-term fetus, making these the youngest-aged late Pleistocene individuals known for the Americas and the only known prenate, offering, to our knowledge, the first opportunity to explore mortuary treatment of the youngest members of a terminal Pleistocene North American population. This burial was situated ∼40 cm directly below a cremated 3-y-old child previously discovered in association with a central hearth of a residential feature. The burial and cremation are contemporaneous, and differences in body orientation, treatment, and associated grave goods within a single feature and evidence for residential occupation between burial episodes indicate novel mortuary behaviors. The human remains, grave goods, and associated fauna provide rare direct data on organic technology, economy, seasonality of residential occupations, and infant/child mortality of terminal Pleistocene Beringians. PMID:25385599

  7. New insights into Eastern Beringian mortuary behavior: a terminal Pleistocene double infant burial at Upward Sun River.

    PubMed

    Potter, Ben A; Irish, Joel D; Reuther, Joshua D; McKinney, Holly J

    2014-12-01

    Here we report on the discovery of two infant burials dating to ∼11,500 calibrated years (cal) B.P. at the Upward Sun River site in central Alaska. The infants were interred in a pit feature with associated organic and lithic grave goods, including the earliest known North American hafted bifaces with decorated antler foreshafts. Skeletal and dental analyses indicate that Individual 1 died shortly after birth and Individual 2 was a late-term fetus, making these the youngest-aged late Pleistocene individuals known for the Americas and the only known prenate, offering, to our knowledge, the first opportunity to explore mortuary treatment of the youngest members of a terminal Pleistocene North American population. This burial was situated ∼40 cm directly below a cremated 3-y-old child previously discovered in association with a central hearth of a residential feature. The burial and cremation are contemporaneous, and differences in body orientation, treatment, and associated grave goods within a single feature and evidence for residential occupation between burial episodes indicate novel mortuary behaviors. The human remains, grave goods, and associated fauna provide rare direct data on organic technology, economy, seasonality of residential occupations, and infant/child mortality of terminal Pleistocene Beringians.

  8. New insights into Eastern Beringian mortuary behavior: a terminal Pleistocene double infant burial at Upward Sun River.

    PubMed

    Potter, Ben A; Irish, Joel D; Reuther, Joshua D; McKinney, Holly J

    2014-12-01

    Here we report on the discovery of two infant burials dating to ∼11,500 calibrated years (cal) B.P. at the Upward Sun River site in central Alaska. The infants were interred in a pit feature with associated organic and lithic grave goods, including the earliest known North American hafted bifaces with decorated antler foreshafts. Skeletal and dental analyses indicate that Individual 1 died shortly after birth and Individual 2 was a late-term fetus, making these the youngest-aged late Pleistocene individuals known for the Americas and the only known prenate, offering, to our knowledge, the first opportunity to explore mortuary treatment of the youngest members of a terminal Pleistocene North American population. This burial was situated ∼40 cm directly below a cremated 3-y-old child previously discovered in association with a central hearth of a residential feature. The burial and cremation are contemporaneous, and differences in body orientation, treatment, and associated grave goods within a single feature and evidence for residential occupation between burial episodes indicate novel mortuary behaviors. The human remains, grave goods, and associated fauna provide rare direct data on organic technology, economy, seasonality of residential occupations, and infant/child mortality of terminal Pleistocene Beringians. PMID:25385599

  9. Quantifying the astronomical contribution to Pleistocene climate change: A non-linear, statistical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crucifix, Michel; Wilkinson, Richard; Carson, Jake; Preston, Simon; Alemeida, Carlos; Rougier, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    The existence of an action of astronomical forcing on the Pleistocene climate is almost undisputed. However, quantifying this action is not straightforward. In particular, the phenomenon of deglaciation is generally interpreted as a manifestation of instability, which is typical of non-linear systems. As a consequence, explaining the Pleistocene climate record as the addition of an astronomical contribution and noise-as often done using harmonic analysis tools-is potentially deceptive. Rather, we advocate a methodology in which non-linear stochastic dynamical systems are calibrated on the Pleistocene climate record. The exercise, though, requires careful statistical reasoning and state-of-the-art techniques. In fact, the problem has been judged to be mathematically 'intractable and unsolved' and some pragmatism is justified. In order to illustrate the methodology we consider one dynamical system that potentially captures four dynamical features of the Pleistocene climate : the existence of a saddle-node bifurcation in at least one of its slow components, a time-scale separation between a slow and a fast component, the action of astronomical forcing, and the existence a stochastic contribution to the system dynamics. This model is obviously not the only possible representation of Pleistocene dynamics, but it encapsulates well enough both our theoretical and empirical knowledge into a very simple form to constitute a valid starting point. The purpose of this poster is to outline the practical challenges in calibrating such a model on paleoclimate observations. Just as in time series analysis, there is no one single and universal test or criteria that would demonstrate the validity of an approach. Several methods exist to calibrate the model and judgement develops by the confrontation of the results of the different methods. In particular, we consider here the Kalman filter variants, the Particle Monte-Carlo Markov Chain, and two other variants of Sequential Monte

  10. Milankovitch insulation forcing and cyclic formation of large-scale glacial, fluvial, and eolian landforms in central Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beget, J. E.

    1993-01-01

    Continuous marine and ice-core proxy climate records indicate that the Earth's orbital geometry modulates long-term changes. Until recently, little direct evidence has been available to demonstrate correlations between Milankovitch cycles and large-scale terrestrial landforms produced during worldwide glaciations. In central Alaska large areas of loess and sand fill valleys and basins near major outwash streams. The streams themselves are bordered by sets of outwash terraces, and the terraces grade up valley into sets of moraines. The discovery of the Stampede tephra (approximately 175,000 yr ago) reworked within push moraines of the Lignite Creek glaciation suggests that this event correlates with the glaciation of marine isotope stage 6. A new occurrence of the Old Crow tephra (approximately 140,000 yr ago) on the surface of the oldest outwash terrace of the Tanana River, correlated with Delta glaciation, suggests this event also occurred at this time. The penultimate Healy glaciation apparently correlates with marine isotope stage 4, while radiocarbon dates indicate the latest Pleistocene moraines correlate with marine isotope stage 2. Recognition of the importance of orbital forcing to the cyclical formation of glacial landforms and landscapes can help in interpretations of remotely sensed glacial and proglacial land forms.

  11. Pleistocene history of Iberomys, an endangered endemic rodent from southwestern Europe.

    PubMed

    Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; López-García, Juan Manuel; Galindo-Pellicena, María Angeles; García-Perea, Rosa; Gisbert, Julio; Rofes, Juan; Ventura, Jacint

    2014-08-01

    The extant Cabrera's vole, Microtus cabrerae, differs in morphology and evolutionary history from the other species of Microtus. This arvicoline has unique derived features in the cranium, mandible and dentition. Probably its most conspicuous features are its large size, the high skull in lateral view, the long and distally broad nasals, and the triangle shape of the anteroconid complex, with a marked labio-lingual asymmetry of the occlusal surface of the first lower molars. In this study, we propose a phylogenetic lineage that includes Cabrera's vole in what until now has been the Microtus subgenus Iberomys. Paleontological information and several life history traits support the elevation of Iberomys to the rank of genus. Genus Iberomys comprises species that have appeared in succession during the Quaternary: in the Early Pleistocene, the extinct I. huescarensis in the Middle Pleistocene, the extinct I. mediterraneus and in the Late Pleistocene, the extant I. cabrerae. Interestingly, the extant species shows several biological singularities, such as multiple polymorphic copies of the SRY male-specific gene in both males and females, and the lowest basal metabolic rate in relation to weight among arvicoline species. Likewise, its habitat requirement is unique among the Iberian arvicolines. Accordingly, the biological and paleontological data that we present in this work support the elevation of its taxonomic rank to that of genus. This study also suggests a modification of nomenclature: Microtus (Iberomys) brecciensis is replaced with I. mediterraneus and the common name of the extant M. (I.) cabrerae changed from 'topillo' to 'iberon' to improve conservation and protection actions. PMID:25236417

  12. A Late Pleistocene sea level stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spratt, Rachel M.; Lisiecki, Lorraine E.

    2016-04-01

    Late Pleistocene sea level has been reconstructed from ocean sediment core data using a wide variety of proxies and models. However, the accuracy of individual reconstructions is limited by measurement error, local variations in salinity and temperature, and assumptions particular to each technique. Here we present a sea level stack (average) which increases the signal-to-noise ratio of individual reconstructions. Specifically, we perform principal component analysis (PCA) on seven records from 0 to 430 ka and five records from 0 to 798 ka. The first principal component, which we use as the stack, describes ˜ 80 % of the variance in the data and is similar using either five or seven records. After scaling the stack based on Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) sea level estimates, the stack agrees to within 5 m with isostatically adjusted coral sea level estimates for Marine Isotope Stages 5e and 11 (125 and 400 ka, respectively). Bootstrapping and random sampling yield mean uncertainty estimates of 9-12 m (1σ) for the scaled stack. Sea level change accounts for about 45 % of the total orbital-band variance in benthic δ18O, compared to a 65 % contribution during the LGM-to-Holocene transition. Additionally, the second and third principal components of our analyses reflect differences between proxy records associated with spatial variations in the δ18O of seawater.

  13. Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Aubert, M; Brumm, A; Ramli, M; Sutikna, T; Saptomo, E W; Hakim, B; Morwood, M J; van den Bergh, G D; Kinsley, L; Dosseto, A

    2014-10-01

    Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world. PMID:25297435

  14. Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Aubert, M; Brumm, A; Ramli, M; Sutikna, T; Saptomo, E W; Hakim, B; Morwood, M J; van den Bergh, G D; Kinsley, L; Dosseto, A

    2014-10-01

    Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.

  15. Periglacial process and Pleistocene environment in northern China

    SciTech Connect

    Guo Xudong; Liu Dongsheng ); Yan Fuhua )

    1991-03-01

    In the present time, five kinds of periglacial phenomena have been defined: ice wedges, periglacial involutions, congelifolds, congeliturbations, and loess dunes. From the stratigraphical and geochronological data, the periglacial process is divided into six stages. (1) Guanting periglacial stage, characterized by the congeliturbative deposits that have developed in early Pleistocene Guanting loess-like formation. Paleomagnetic dating gives 2.43 Ma B.P. (2) Yanchi periglacial stage, characterized by the congelifold that has developed in middle Pleistocene Yanchi Lishi loess formation. Paleomagnetic dating gives 0.50 Ma B.P. (3) Zhaitang periglacial stage (II), characterized by the periglacial involutions that have developed in lower middle Pleistocene Lishi loess formation. Paleomagnetic dating gives 0.30 Ma B.P. (4) Zhaitang periglacial state (I), characterized by the ice (soil) wedge that has developed in upper-middle Pleistocene Lishi loess formation. Paleomagnetic dating gives 0.20 Ma B.P. (5) Qiansangyu periglacial stage (II), characterized by the ice (sand) wedges that has developed in late Pleistocene Malan loess formation. Paleomagnetic dating gives 0.13 Ma B.P. (6) Qiansangyu periglacial stage (I), characterized by the ice (soil) wedge that has developed in late Pleistocene Malan loess-like formation. Thermoluminescent dating gives 0.018 Ma B.P. Spore-pollen composition analysis shows that the savannah steppe environment prevailed in northern China during Pleistocene periglacial periods. These fossilized periglacial phenomena indicate a rather arid and windy periglacial environment with a mean annual temperature estimated some 12-15C colder than that in the present.

  16. Onset of major Pleistocene glaciations in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muttoni, G.; Carcano, C.; Garzanti, E.; Ghielmi, M.; Piccin, A.; Pini, R.; Rogledi, S.; Sciunnach, D.

    2003-04-01

    Since alligators patrolled Greenland swamps in the Eocene, the Earth's climate underwent significant cooling, which culminated in the Pleistocene Ice Age with recurring glaciations in vast regions of the Alps, Eurasia and North America, and overgrowth of polar icecaps in Antarctica and Greenland. During main Pleistocene glacial penetrations, the Alpine icecap invaded the low gradients of the Central Europe uplands and Italian Po plain. Peri-glacial sedimentary basins such as the Po Basin are natural collectors of past biological and climatic changes involving the waxing and waning of major icecaps. We have found in a 200m-thick core from the central Po plain near Milan stratigraphic evidence for a major glacial pulsation of the nearby Alpine icecap, which occurred in correspondence of a seismically traceable unconformity of regional relevance, termed the "Red Unconformity" (RU) in Eni/Agip terminology. The RU is associated with a major reorganization of vegetation cover and Alpine drainage pattern. The age of the RU was constrained magnetostratigraphically to the the first major Pleistocene glacio-eustatic low-stand at 0.87Ma (Oxygen Isotope Stage 22). This corresponds to the end of the "Mid Pleistocene Revolution" (MPR), a marked reorganization of northern hemisphere glaciation pattern which took place in the late Early Pleistocene. We suggest that the MPR/MIS 22 was associated with the onset of the first major Pleistocene glaciation in the Alps. Noticing the similarity in number of major Pleistocene glacieustatic low-stands starting with MIS 22, and the four-fold Alpine glacial subdivision of Penck and Brückner (1909), we conclude that "Penck and Brückner in 1909 may not have been, after all, that wrong" (Kukla and Cilek, 1996).

  17. Multiarchive paleoseismic record of late Pleistocene and Holocene strong earthquakes in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, A.; Ferry, M.; Monecke, K.; Schnellmann, M.; Giardini, D.

    2005-05-01

    A multiarchive approach has been applied to the investigation of the late Pleistocene and Holocene record of strong earthquakes in Switzerland. The geological archives used for this study include active faults, lake deposits, slope instabilities, and caves. In the Basle area, eight trenches were opened across the Basle-Reinach fault, nearby rockfall deposits were systematically investigated, sediment cores were taken from two lakes, and nine caves were studied. In Central Switzerland, five lakes were investigated by means of high-resolution seismic lines and sediment cores. Furthermore, three caves were studied in Central Switzerland. Altogether, the investigations are based on more than 350 km of high-resolution reflection seismic lines, 450 m of core samples, 260 m of trenches, and 245 radiocarbon age determinations. The measured co-seismic displacements along the Basle-Reinach fault supply independent information for the magnitude of the AD 1356 Basle earthquake exclusively based on geological evidence. Deformation features related to three well-documented strong historic earthquake shocks were identified. Deformation features of the AD 1774 Altdorf and AD 1601 Unterwalden earthquakes can be used to calibrate paleoseismic evidence in Central Switzerland. Altogether, traces of 13 earthquakes could be found in the two study areas, all of them with magnitudes Mw ˜ 6 or greater. For the first time, the earthquake catalogue for Switzerland can be extended back beyond historic records, into the late Pleistocene, spanning 15,000 years.

  18. Heat Flow and the Pleistocene Ice Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klenner, R.; Gosnold, W.

    2012-04-01

    Several observations lead us to suggest that the geothermal gradient measurements near the Pleistocene ice margin require re-analysis to account for the effects of micro-climates at the drill holes, including modification of the temperature gradients by recent climate change and by post-glacial warming. Post-glacial climatic changes affect temperature gradients in the upper two kilometers of the crust and this has not been consistently accounted for in previously published heat flow values. Human and natural drivers affecting our climate lead us to suggest that the geothermal gradients in shallow boreholes have been significantly underestimated of present day heat flow. In most cases, heat flow increases with depth in northern hemisphere periglacial regions in Eurasia and North America. This includes temperature gradients increasing with depth in thick clastic rocks in the Williston Basin where compaction causes an increase in thermal conductivity. Using a pollen analyses in upland lakes in southern Manitoba indicate that MJJA surface temperatures are 13 ° C higher than they were 12,500 ka. Conductive heat flow models using the pollen temperature history as a forcing signal for surface temperature produce temperature vs. depth profiles with increasing gradients that are similar to profiles observed in the Williston Basin. Other observational evidence includes heat flow calculated from radioactivity in Minnesota is systematically higher than borehole measurements. This evidence leads us to believe the temperature has increased 15° C since the last glaciation and temperature gradients are underestimated by 25-40%. This study proposes corrections for post-glacial warming using conductive heat flow models based on 15 degrees of warming and for recent warming.

  19. N zooming into the Mediterranean outflow fossil moat during the 1.2-1.8 million years period (Early-Pleistocene) - An approach by radiogenic and stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebreiro, Susana M.; Antón, Laura; Reguera, M. Isabel; Fernández, Marta; Conde, Estefanía; Barrado, Ana I.; Yllera, Abel

    2015-12-01

    The fossil Alvarez Cabral erosive Moat contains hemipelagite, contourite and turbidite facies where oceanography changes in the Mediterranean outflow are archived over the 1.2-1.8 Myr time period. Here we used Pb and Sr radiogenic isotopes to trace water masses and sediment source changes, for the first time in twenty glacial-interglacial (G-I) cycles of the Early-Pleistocene interval, and the last Glacial Maximum through Holocene cycle (including the Younger Dryas and Heinrich Stadial-1). A mixing line of Pb isotopes gives reliable low radiogenic 208Pb/204Pb, 206Pb/204Pb, and 206Pb/207Pb typical of Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) in one end-member and the signature of high radiogenic isotopes of Atlantic Waters (AW) towards the second end-member. The 87Sr/86Sr isotopes also display two end-members of the mixing line between eolian transport/dust source (0.71) and fluvial transport/weathering source (0.73) previously proposed in the Gulf of Cadiz. Combination of Pb and Sr radiogenic isotopes with O and C stable isotopes of planktonic and benthic foraminifera, and the response of foraminifera benthos over the Early-Pleistocene interval, reveals a direct link between water masses circulation and shifts in G-I. We found a persistent cyclic pattern of MOW circulation and fluvial deposition during glaciations and AW and aeolian influence during interglaciations. On site U1386B/C, the upper-MOW was less ventilated but productive and with high flux of organic flux matter during glacials, while Atlantic Waters were better ventilated, enriched in O, but less productive during interglacials. We infer that shifts in ocean and atmospheric processes in the Gulf of Cadiz were strongly controlled by Earth's obliquity (41 kyr-cycle) and 35°NH insolation during the Early-Pleistocene. We propose a correlation in changes in phase-relationship between precession and obliquity. In general terms, physical properties of fine sediments (glacials) show lower NGR, low reflectance and

  20. Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction.

    PubMed

    Guthrie, R Dale

    2003-11-13

    About 70% of North American large mammal species were lost at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. The causes of this extinction--the role of humans versus that of climate--have been the focus of much controversy. Horses have figured centrally in that debate, because equid species dominated North American late Pleistocene faunas in terms of abundance, geographical distribution, and species variety, yet none survived into the Holocene epoch. The timing of these equid regional extinctions and accompanying evolutionary changes are poorly known. In an attempt to document better the decline and demise of two Alaskan Pleistocene equids, I selected a large number of fossils from the latest Pleistocene for radiocarbon dating. Here I show that horses underwent a rapid decline in body size before extinction, and I propose that the size decline and subsequent regional extinction at 12,500 radiocarbon years before present are best attributed to a coincident climatic/vegetational shift. The present data do not support human overkill and several other proposed extinction causes, and also show that large mammal species responded somewhat individualistically to climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene.

  1. Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifer.

    PubMed

    van Geen, Alexander; Bostick, Benjamín C; Pham, Thi Kim Trang; Vi, Mai Lan; Nguyen-Ngoc, Mai; Phu, Dao Manh; Pham, Hung Viet; Radloff, Kathleen; Aziz, Zahid; Mey, Jacob L; Stahl, Mason O; Harvey, Charles F; Oates, Peter; Weinman, Beth; Stengel, Caroline; Frei, Felix; Kipfer, Rolf; Berg, Michael

    2013-09-12

    Groundwater drawn daily from shallow alluvial sands by millions of wells over large areas of south and southeast Asia exposes an estimated population of over a hundred million people to toxic levels of arsenic. Holocene aquifers are the source of widespread arsenic poisoning across the region. In contrast, Pleistocene sands deposited in this region more than 12,000 years ago mostly do not host groundwater with high levels of arsenic. Pleistocene aquifers are increasingly used as a safe source of drinking water and it is therefore important to understand under what conditions low levels of arsenic can be maintained. Here we reconstruct the initial phase of contamination of a Pleistocene aquifer near Hanoi, Vietnam. We demonstrate that changes in groundwater flow conditions and the redox state of the aquifer sands induced by groundwater pumping caused the lateral intrusion of arsenic contamination more than 120 metres from a Holocene aquifer into a previously uncontaminated Pleistocene aquifer. We also find that arsenic adsorbs onto the aquifer sands and that there is a 16-20-fold retardation in the extent of the contamination relative to the reconstructed lateral movement of groundwater over the same period. Our findings suggest that arsenic contamination of Pleistocene aquifers in south and southeast Asia as a consequence of increasing levels of groundwater pumping may have been delayed by the retardation of arsenic transport.

  2. Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifer

    PubMed Central

    van Geen, Alexander; Bostick, Benjamín C.; Trang, Pham Thi Kim; Lan, Vi Mai; Mai, Nguyen-Ngoc; Manh, Phu Dao; Viet, Pham Hung; Radloff, Kathleen; Aziz, Zahid; Mey, Jacob L.; Stahl, Mason O.; Harvey, Charles F.; Oates, Peter; Weinman, Beth; Stengel, Caroline; Frei, Felix; Kipfer, Rolf; Berg, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Groundwater drawn daily from shallow alluvial sands by millions of wells over large areas of South and Southeast Asia exposes an estimated population of over 100 million to toxic levels of arsenic (1). Holocene aquifers are the source of widespread arsenic poisoning across the region (2, 3). In contrast, Pleistocene sands deposited in this region more than ~12,000 years ago mostly do not host groundwater with high levels of arsenic. Pleistocene aquifers are increasingly used as a safe source of drinking water (4) and it is therefore important to understand under what conditions low levels of arsenic can be maintained. Here we reconstruct the initial phase of contamination of a Pleistocene aquifer near Hanoi, Vietnam. We demonstrate that changes in groundwater flow conditions and the redox state of the aquifer sands induced by groundwater pumping caused the lateral intrusion of arsenic contamination over 120 m from Holocene aquifer into a previously uncontaminated Pleistocene aquifer. We also find that arsenic adsorbs onto the aquifer sands and that there is a 16–20 fold retardation in the extent of the contamination relative to the reconstructed lateral movement of groundwater over the same period. Our findings suggest that arsenic contamination of Pleistocene aquifers in South and Southeast Asia as a consequence of increasing levels of groundwater pumping have been delayed by the retardation of arsenic transport. PMID:24025840

  3. The correlation between the magnetic paleoclimatic record of the Chinese eolian sequences and the marine benthic oxygen isotope record during the past 6 Myr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, J.; King, J. W.

    2012-12-01

    Global cooling in the Cenozoic, leading to the growth of large continental ice sheets in both hemispheres, may have been caused by the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the positive feedbacks initiated by it. However, the details remain to be clarified. An ideal place to study detailed sedimentary and climatic processes associated with Tibetan uplift is the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), which is immediately adjacent to northeastern Tibet. Here we review recent progresses in correlating the magnetic susceptibility record of the eolian sequences on the CLP with the benthic oxygen isotope records over the past 6 Myr. Magnetic susceptibility of the eolian sequences on the CLP and the benthic oxygen isotope reflect intensity of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and global ice volume, respectively. We then present new results about correlation patterns between the magnetic grain size records and the benthic oxygen isotope records over the past 6 Myr. We found a good correlation between the magnetic susceptibility record and the benthic oxygen isotope record in the past 6 Myr except during 4.5-2.7 Ma. We attributed this lack of correlation between these two records at the interval to closure of the Panama Seaway and uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. We also found that the 400-kyr eccentricity signals intensified at around 4 Ma in the Chinese eolian sequences. This intensification synchronizes with intensification of the 400-kyr signals in ice volume records. We proposed that the EASM system and ice volume probably crossed a rainfall amount threshold and a low temperature threshold, respectively, crossing which the two systems have a clipped response to insolation forcing. Thus, 400-kyr signals got intensified in these two kinds of sedimentary records. We hypothesize that uplift of the Tibetan Plateau is the required forcing for pushing these two systems to cross these two thresholds at ~4 Ma. In addition to the 400-kyr cycles, we also examined the 100-kyr cycles in the

  4. Characterization of Fundamental Luminescence Properties of the Mars Soil Simulant JSC Mars-1 and Their Relevance to Absolute Dating of Martian Eolian Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepper, Kenneth; McKeever, Stephen W. S.

    2000-04-01

    This report explores the potential for luminescence dating techniques to provide absolute age determinations of eolian sediments on the surface of Mars, including those incorporated in the martian polar ice caps. Fundamental thermally and optically stimulated luminescence properties of bulk samples of JSC Mars-1 soil simulant are reported and their relevance to the development of dating procedures is discussed. The radiation-induced luminescence signals (both thermoluminescence, TL, and optically stimulated luminescence, OSL) from JSC Mars-1 are found to have a wide dynamic dose-response range, with the luminescence increasing linearly to the highest doses used (936 Gy), following irradiation with 90Sr/ 90Y beta particles. The signals are also susceptible to solar resetting, with the OSL signals decreasing to <10% of their original levels within the first 20 min of exposure to sunlight. The TL signal also decays rapidly, being reduced to ˜15% within the first 20 min, but reaches a stable, nonzero level at long bleaching times. Neither the TL nor the OSL signals exhibit fading (i.e., loss of signal after irradiation before TL or OSL readout), nor do they exhibit significant sensitivity changes upon repeated irradiation and readout. These three properties (wide dynamic range, solar bleaching, and signal stability) form a stable base for future investigation of the material for luminescence dating and form a preliminary step toward development of dating protocols for terrestrial analogs of Mars surface materials. We conclude that luminescence dating, properly developed, holds the potential to be a valuable tool for absolute dating of martian eolian sediments

  5. Pleistocene leopards in the Iberian Peninsula: New evidence from palaeontological and archaeological contexts in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis, Alfred; Tormo, Carmen; Sauqué, Víctor; Sanchis, Vicent; Díaz, Rebeca; Ribera, Agustí; Villaverde, Valentín

    2015-09-01

    This study analyses the fossil record of leopards in the Iberian Peninsula. According to the systematic and morphometric features of new remains, identified mainly in Late Pleistocene palaeontological and archaeological sites of the Mediterranean region, they can be attributed to Panthera pardus Linnaeus 1758. The findings include the most complete leopard skeleton from the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most complete in Europe, found in a chasm (Avenc de Joan Guitón) south of Valencia. The new citations and published data are used to establish the leopard's distribution in the Iberian Peninsula, showing its maximum development during the Late Pleistocene. Some references suggest that the species survived for longer here (Lateglacial-Early Holocene) than in other parts of Europe. Finally, the contexts of appearance and origin of leopard remains are described and the processes of interaction with prehistoric human groups are assessed.

  6. Carbon cycle instability as a cause of the late Pleistocene ice age oscillations - Modeling the asymmetric response

    SciTech Connect

    Saltzman, B.; Maasch, K.A. )

    1988-06-01

    A dynamical model of the Pleistocene ice ages is presented, which incorporates many of the qualitative ideas advanced recently regarding the possible role of ocean circulation, chemistry, temperature, and productivity in regulating long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide variations. This model involves one additional term (and free parameter) beyond that included in a previous model (Saltzman and Sutera, 1987), providing the capacity for an asymmetric response. It is shown that many of the main features exhibited by the delta(O-18)-derived ice record and the Vostok core/delta(C-13)-derived carbon dioxide record in the late Pleistocene can be deduced as a free oscillatory solution of the model. 35 refs.

  7. The Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Affinities of Bunopithecus sericus, a Fossil Hylobatid from the Pleistocene of China

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz, Alejandra; Pilbrow, Varsha; Villamil, Catalina I.; Korsgaard, Jessica G.; Bailey, Shara E.; Harrison, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Fossil hylobatids are rare, but are known from late Miocene and Pleistocene sites throughout East Asia. The best-known fossil hylobatid from the Pleistocene of China is a left mandibular fragment with M2-3 (AMNH 18534), recovered from a pit deposit near the village of Yanjinggou in Wanzhou District, Chongqing Province. Matthew and Granger described this specimen in 1923 as a new genus and species, Bunopithecus sericus. Establishing the age of Bunopithecus has proved difficult because the Yanjinggou collection represents a mixed fauna of different ages, but it likely comes from early or middle Pleistocene deposits. Although the Bunopithecus specimen has featured prominently in discussions of hylobatid evolution and nomenclature, its systematic status has never been satisfactorily resolved. The present study reexamines the taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of Bunopithecus by carrying out a detailed comparative morphometric study of its lower molars in relation to a large sample of modern hylobatids. Our results show that differences in M2 and M3 discriminate extant hylobatids fairly well, at least at the generic level, and that AMNH 18534 is not attributable to Hylobates, Nomascus or Symphalangus. Support for a close relationship between Bunopithecus and Hoolock is more equivocal. In most multivariate analyses, Bunopithecus presents a unique morphological pattern that falls outside the range of variation of any hylobatid taxon, although its distance from the cluster represented by extant hoolocks is relatively small. Our results support the generic distinction of Bunopithecus, which most likely represents an extinct crown hylobatid, and one that may possibly represent the sister taxon to Hoolock. PMID:26154175

  8. One Species, Three Pleistocene Evolutionary Histories: Phylogeography of the Italian Crested Newt, Triturus carnifex

    PubMed Central

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Salvi, Daniele; Maura, Michela; Bologna, Marco A.; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Phylogeographic patterns of temperate species from the Mediterranean peninsulas have been investigated intensively. Nevertheless, as more phylogeographies become available, either unique patterns or new lines of concordance continue to emerge, providing new insights on the evolution of regional biotas. Here, we investigated the phylogeography and evolutionary history of the Italian crested newt, Triturus carnifex, through phylogenetic, molecular dating and population structure analyses of two mitochondrial gene fragments (ND2 and ND4; overall 1273 bp). We found three main mtDNA lineages having parapatric distribution and estimated divergence times between Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. One lineage (S) was widespread south of the northern Apennine chain and was further geographically structured into five sublineages, likely of Middle Pleistocene origin. The second lineage (C) was widespread throughout the Padano–Venetian plain and did not show a clear phylogeographic structure. The third lineage (N) was observed in only two populations located on western Croatia/Slovenia. Results of analysis of molecular variance suggested that partitioning populations according to the geographic distribution of these lineages and sublineages explains 76% of the observed genetic variation. The phylogeographic structure observed within T. carnifex and divergence time estimates among its lineages, suggest that responses to Pleistocene environmental changes in this single species have been as diverse as those found previously among several codistributed temperate species combined. Consistent with the landscape heterogeneity, physiographic features, and palaeogeographical evolution of its distribution range, these responses encompass multiple refugia along the Apennine chain, lowland refugia in large peri-coastal plains, and a ‘cryptic’ northern refugium. PMID:22848590

  9. PALEOECOLOGY. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris; Hughen, Konrad A; Brook, Barry W; McDonald, H Gregory; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-08-01

    The mechanisms of Late Pleistocene megafauna extinctions remain fiercely contested, with human impact or climate change cited as principal drivers. We compared ancient DNA and radiocarbon data from 31 detailed time series of regional megafaunal extinctions and replacements over the past 56,000 years with standard and new combined records of Northern Hemisphere climate in the Late Pleistocene. Unexpectedly, rapid climate changes associated with interstadial warming events are strongly associated with the regional replacement or extinction of major genetic clades or species of megafauna. The presence of many cryptic biotic transitions before the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary revealed by ancient DNA confirms the importance of climate change in megafaunal population extinctions and suggests that metapopulation structures necessary to survive such repeated and rapid climatic shifts were susceptible to human impacts. PMID:26250679

  10. Dental evidence on the hominin dispersals during the Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    Martinón-Torres, M.; Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.; Gómez-Robles, A.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Carbonell, E.; Lordkipanidze, D.; Manzi, G.; Margvelashvili, A.

    2007-01-01

    A common assumption in the evolutionary scenario of the first Eurasian hominin populations is that they all had an African origin. This assumption also seems to apply for the Early and Middle Pleistocene populations, whose presence in Europe has been largely explained by a discontinuous flow of African emigrant waves. Only recently, some voices have speculated about the possibility of Asia being a center of speciation. However, no hard evidence has been presented to support this hypothesis. We present evidence from the most complete and up-to-date analysis of the hominin permanent dentition from Africa and Eurasia. The results show important morphological differences between the hominins found in both continents during the Pleistocene, suggesting that their evolutionary courses were relatively independent. We propose that the genetic impact of Asia in the colonization of Europe during the Early and Middle Pleistocene was stronger than that of Africa. PMID:17684093

  11. Pleistocene survival of an archaic dwarf baleen whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boessenecker, Robert W.

    2013-04-01

    Pliocene baleen whale assemblages are characterized by a mix of early records of extant mysticetes, extinct genera within modern families, and late surviving members of the extinct family Cetotheriidae. Although Pleistocene baleen whales are poorly known, thus far they include only fossils of extant genera, indicating Late Pliocene extinctions of numerous mysticetes alongside other marine mammals. Here a new fossil of the Late Neogene cetotheriid mysticete Herpetocetus is reported from the Lower to Middle Pleistocene Falor Formation of Northern California. This find demonstrates that at least one archaic mysticete survived well into the Quaternary Period, indicating a recent loss of a unique niche and a more complex pattern of Plio-Pleistocene faunal overturn for marine mammals than has been previously acknowledged. This discovery also lends indirect support to the hypothesis that the pygmy right whale ( Caperea marginata) is an extant cetotheriid, as it documents another cetotheriid nearly surviving to modern times.

  12. PALEOECOLOGY. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris; Hughen, Konrad A; Brook, Barry W; McDonald, H Gregory; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-08-01

    The mechanisms of Late Pleistocene megafauna extinctions remain fiercely contested, with human impact or climate change cited as principal drivers. We compared ancient DNA and radiocarbon data from 31 detailed time series of regional megafaunal extinctions and replacements over the past 56,000 years with standard and new combined records of Northern Hemisphere climate in the Late Pleistocene. Unexpectedly, rapid climate changes associated with interstadial warming events are strongly associated with the regional replacement or extinction of major genetic clades or species of megafauna. The presence of many cryptic biotic transitions before the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary revealed by ancient DNA confirms the importance of climate change in megafaunal population extinctions and suggests that metapopulation structures necessary to survive such repeated and rapid climatic shifts were susceptible to human impacts.

  13. Applying modern measurements of Pleistocene loads to model lithospheric rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beard, E. P.; Hoggan, J. R.; Lowry, A. R.

    2011-12-01

    The remnant shorelines of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville provide a unique opportunity for building a dataset from which to infer rheological properties of the lower crust and upper mantle. Multiple lakeshores developed over a period of around 30 kyr which record the lithosphere's isostatic response to a well-constrained load history. Bills et al. (1994) utilized a shoreline elevation dataset compiled by Currey (1982) in an attempt to model linear (Maxwell) viscosity as a function of depth beneath the basin. They estimated an effective elastic thickness (Te) for the basin of 20-25 km which differs significantly from the 5-15 km estimates derived from models of loading on geologic timescales (e.g., Lowry and Pérez-Gussinyé, 2011). We propose that the discrepancy in Te modeled by these two approaches may be resolved with dynamical modeling of a common rheology, using a more complete shoreline elevation dataset applied to a spherical Earth model. Where Currey's (1982) dataset was compiled largely from observations of depositional shoreline features, we are developing an algorithm for estimating elevation variations in erosional shorelines based on cross-correlation and stacking techniques similar to those used to automate picking of seismic phase arrival times. Application of this method to digital elevation models (DEMs) will increase the size and accuracy of the shoreline elevation dataset, enabling more robust modeling of the rheological properties driving isostatic response to unloading of Lake Bonneville. Our plan is to model these data and invert for a relatively small number of parameters describing depth- and temperature-dependent power-law rheology of the lower crust and upper mantle. These same parameters also will be used to model topographic and Moho response to estimates of regional mass variation on the longer loading timescales to test for inconsistencies. Bills, B.G., D.R. Currey, and G.A. Marshall, 1994, Viscosity estimates for the crust and upper

  14. Magnetostratigraphy and Reversal Pattern of Pleistocene Lake Sediments from Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirscher, U.; Bachtadse, V.; Bruch, A. A.; Gabrielyan, I.

    2011-12-01

    The Pleistocene geology of Armenia is dominated by the widespread occurrence of sediments recording recurring rapid and drastic changes of the environmental conditions during at least the last 2 million years. These sediments, predominantly diatomites, contain a huge variety of various fossil remains allowing the reconstruction of flora, fauna as well as the climatic conditions especially during dispersal of early man into Eurasia ~1.8 Ma ago. A detailed magnetostratigraphic study has been carried out in the Vorotan river area near the town of Sisian, southern Armenia, in order to establish a temporal correlation of six outcrops of paleo-lake sediments and to provide a timeframe for paleoenvironmental studies. A total number of 443 oriented drill cores was sampled at 6 sections with a sampling spacing between 5 and 20 cm. Detailed palaeomagnetic experiments revealed the presence of a characteristic direction of the remanent magnetization pointing either up and to the north or south and down. The resulting paleopole plots at 257.5°/81.6°. The profiles were interpreted to represent a clustering around the Jaramillo normal polarity subchron within the Matuyama reversed polarity chron, which is indicated by resulting normal polarity magnetic directions. They led to a roughly estimated duration of this lake sedimentation of roughly 350 kyrs. The high quality of the data and the high resolution sampling allows the construction of detailed Apparent Polar Wander (APW) Paths which yield additional information on the behavior of the Earth magnetic field during these field reversals. The pattern of the APW path is characterized by a complex and rather chaotic succession of transitional pole positions which are confined to broad bands across the Americas and the Eastern Pacific. Relative paleointensities were calculated using susceptibility as a normalizer. The usual decrease of relative intensity during the reversal is not visible, instead an intense fluctuation is

  15. Nuclear DNA sequences from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Matthias; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; de Filippo, Cesare; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald; Viola, Bence; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Pääbo, Svante

    2016-03-24

    A unique assemblage of 28 hominin individuals, found in Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, has recently been dated to approximately 430,000 years ago. An interesting question is how these Middle Pleistocene hominins were related to those who lived in the Late Pleistocene epoch, in particular to Neanderthals in western Eurasia and to Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals so far known only from southern Siberia. While the Sima de los Huesos hominins share some derived morphological features with Neanderthals, the mitochondrial genome retrieved from one individual from Sima de los Huesos is more closely related to the mitochondrial DNA of Denisovans than to that of Neanderthals. However, since the mitochondrial DNA does not reveal the full picture of relationships among populations, we have investigated DNA preservation in several individuals found at Sima de los Huesos. Here we recover nuclear DNA sequences from two specimens, which show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were related to Neanderthals rather than to Denisovans, indicating that the population divergence between Neanderthals and Denisovans predates 430,000 years ago. A mitochondrial DNA recovered from one of the specimens shares the previously described relationship to Denisovan mitochondrial DNAs, suggesting, among other possibilities, that the mitochondrial DNA gene pool of Neanderthals turned over later in their history. PMID:26976447

  16. An Early Pleistocene hominin mandible from Atapuerca-TD6, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Carbonell, E.; Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Allue, E.; Bastir, M.; Benito, A.; Cáceres, I.; Canals, T.; Díez, J. C.; van der Made, J.; Mosquera, M.; Ollé, A.; Pérez-González, A.; Rodríguez, J.; Rodríguez, X. P.; Rosas, A.; Rosell, J.; Sala, R.; Vallverdú, J.; Vergés, J. M.

    2005-01-01

    We present a mandible recovered in 2003 from the Aurora Stratum of the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina site (Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain). The specimen, catalogued as ATD6-96, adds to the hominin sample recovered from this site in 1994–1996, and assigned to Homo antecessor. ATD6-96 is the left half of a gracile mandible belonging to a probably female adult individual with premolars and molars in place. This mandible shows a primitive structural pattern shared with all African and Asian Homo species. However, it is small and exhibits a remarkable gracility, a trait shared only with the Early and Middle Pleistocene Chinese hominins. Furthermore, none of the mandibular features considered apomorphic in the European Middle and Early Upper Pleistocene hominin lineage are present in ATD6-96. This evidence reinforces the taxonomic identity of H. antecessor and is consistent with the hypothesis of a close relationship between this species and Homo sapiens. PMID:15824320

  17. Diagenesis in coastal carbonates related to Pleistocene sea level, Bermuda Platform

    SciTech Connect

    Vollbrecht, R.; Meischner, D.

    1996-01-01

    Pleistocene glacioeustatic sea-level oscillation on the stable Bermuda Platform is expressed in a succession of shallow-water carbonates interrupted by lowstand unconformities. In Bermuda, the maximum highstands of the last 400,000 yr ranged within 10 m around the present level. Coastal carbonates of various highstands are exposed along the present shoreline. These carbonates were penetrated by meteoric and marine pore waters during lowstands and highstands following on deposition. Two representative Pleistocene shoreline sections were studied to see whether early diagenesis has recorded these pore-water changes. The sediments of both sections show multiple generations of cement. Optical and scanning electron microscopy, cathodoluminescence microscopy, X-ray diffraction, microprobe studies and stable-isotope analyses were used to determine the diagenetic environments involved. Regardless of the degree of substrate cementation, freshwater alteration was mainly vadose whereas marine cementation was either phreatic or vadose or both. Early diagenetic oscillation is easier recorded in coastal successions than in lagoonal sediments, mainly because marine cementation is more active nearshore.Because the coastal environment is prone to wave destruction, the potential for preserving these diagenetic features is usually low. Data published on tectonically unstable areas suggest that early diagenetic oscillation may characterize stable coastlines.

  18. Nuclear DNA sequences from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Matthias; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; de Filippo, Cesare; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald; Viola, Bence; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Pääbo, Svante

    2016-03-24

    A unique assemblage of 28 hominin individuals, found in Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, has recently been dated to approximately 430,000 years ago. An interesting question is how these Middle Pleistocene hominins were related to those who lived in the Late Pleistocene epoch, in particular to Neanderthals in western Eurasia and to Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals so far known only from southern Siberia. While the Sima de los Huesos hominins share some derived morphological features with Neanderthals, the mitochondrial genome retrieved from one individual from Sima de los Huesos is more closely related to the mitochondrial DNA of Denisovans than to that of Neanderthals. However, since the mitochondrial DNA does not reveal the full picture of relationships among populations, we have investigated DNA preservation in several individuals found at Sima de los Huesos. Here we recover nuclear DNA sequences from two specimens, which show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were related to Neanderthals rather than to Denisovans, indicating that the population divergence between Neanderthals and Denisovans predates 430,000 years ago. A mitochondrial DNA recovered from one of the specimens shares the previously described relationship to Denisovan mitochondrial DNAs, suggesting, among other possibilities, that the mitochondrial DNA gene pool of Neanderthals turned over later in their history.

  19. Ice shelves in the Pleistocene Arctic Ocean inferred from glaciogenic deep-sea bedforms.

    PubMed

    Polyak, L; Edwards, M H; Coakley, B J; Jakobsson, M

    2001-03-22

    It has been proposed that during Pleistocene glaciations, an ice cap of 1 kilometre or greater thickness covered the Arctic Ocean. This notion contrasts with the prevailing view that the Arctic Ocean was covered only by perennial sea ice with scattered icebergs. Detailed mapping of the ocean floor is the best means to resolve this issue. Although sea-floor imagery has been used to reconstruct the glacial history of the Antarctic shelf, little data have been collected in the Arctic Ocean because of operational constraints. The use of a geophysical mapping system during the submarine SCICEX expedition in 1999 provided the opportunity to perform such an investigation over a large portion of the Arctic Ocean. Here we analyse backscatter images and sub-bottom profiler records obtained during this expedition from depths as great as 1 kilometre. These records show multiple bedforms indicative of glacial scouring and moulding of sea floor, combined with large-scale erosion of submarine ridge crests. These distinct glaciogenic features demonstrate that immense, Antarctic-type ice shelves up to 1 kilometre thick and hundreds of kilometres long existed in the Arctic Ocean during Pleistocene glaciations.

  20. Giant trees from the Middle Pleistocene of Northern Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Marc; Boonchai, Nareerat; Ferguson, David K.; Jia, Hui; Songtham, Wickanet

    2013-04-01

    Giant fossil trees from the Middle Pleistocene of Thailand are described. The longest log is measured at 72.2 m. Morphological analysis suggests that the original trees towered to more than 100 m, in a wet tropical forest. As contemporaneous archaic pebble tools were reported in the same area, the subtropical rainforest was no impenetrable ecological barrier to a population of Homo erectus.

  1. Significance of Two New Pleistocene Plant Records from Western Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, Michael H.; Velichkevich, Felix Y.; Andrieu-Ponel, Valerie; Woltz, Phillipe

    2000-09-01

    The first records of extinct Caulinia goretskyi (Dorofeev) Dorofeev (synonym Najas goretskyi Dorofeev) in western Europe and of Potamogeton occidentalis M.H. Field sp. nov. were obtained from plant macrofossil analyses of Middle Pleistocene temperate stage deposits exposed at Trez Rouz, Brittany, France. Palynological assemblages recovered suggest correlation with the Holsteinian Stage. This discovery greatly expands the western limit of the paleogeographical distribution of Caulinia goretskyi. The record of Potamogeton occidentalis indicates an affinity with the eastern Asiatic flora, as the fruits resemble those of the extant Potamogeton maackianus A. Bennett. Other extinct Pleistocene species related to P. maackianus have been described, and it is possible to follow the development of this group through the Pleistocene in the European fossil record. These new finds illustrate the importance of a complete paleobotanical approach (both plant macrofossil and palynological analyses). The plant macrofossil assemblages not only provide detailed insight into local vegetation and environment, because they are often not transported long distances (in temperate areas) and can frequently be identified to species level; they can also offer the opportunity to investigate Pleistocene evolutionary trends.

  2. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration across the mid-Pleistocene transition.

    PubMed

    Hönisch, Bärbel; Hemming, N Gary; Archer, David; Siddall, Mark; McManus, Jerry F

    2009-06-19

    The dominant period of Pleistocene glacial cycles changed during the mid-Pleistocene from 40,000 years to 100,000 years, for as yet unknown reasons. Here we present a 2.1-million-year record of sea surface partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2), based on boron isotopes in planktic foraminifer shells, which suggests that the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (pco2) was relatively stable before the mid-Pleistocene climate transition. Glacial Pco2 was approximately 31 microatmospheres higher before the transition (more than 1 million years ago), but interglacial Pco2 was similar to that of late Pleistocene interglacial cycles (<450,000 years ago). These estimates are consistent with a close linkage between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global climate, but the lack of a gradual decrease in interglacial Pco2 does not support the suggestion that a long-term drawdown of atmospheric CO2 was the main cause of the climate transition.

  3. Biostratigraphy of marine Pliocene-Pleistocene deposits, Simi Valley, California

    SciTech Connect

    Groves, L.T.; Squires, R.L.

    1988-03-01

    Richly fossiliferous, marine deltaic deposits exposed in the northern Simi Valley, southern California, are important biostratigraphically because they straddle the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary. These deposits consist of fine to coarse-grained sandstone with interbedded conglomerate. The best exposure is in Gilibrand Quarry, where 250 m are exposed in a continuous section with four main fossiliferous zones rich in mollusks. Most of these mollusks are complete and display growth series that represent a life assemblage with minimal postmortem transport. An erosional surface is present between the second and third fossiliferous beds in the quarry. Beds below the erosional surface contain mollusks indicative of Pliocene age. These mollusks are the pectinid Patinopecten healeyi and the epitoniid gastropod Opalia varicostata. Beds above the erosional surface contain a calcareous nannofossil assemblage that suggests a Pleistocene age. These species are Coccolithus pelagicus, Helicosphaera carteri, and Dictyococcites productus. (An absence of discoaster species and Emiliana huxleyi would place this assemblage in the early or medial Pleistocene.) The name lower Saugus Formation is assigned to all of these marine Pliocene-Pleistocene deposits because W.S. W. Kew in 124 originally named and mapped these strata as Saugus Formation. Confusion will be avoided by discontinuing usage of the names Fernando Formation, Pico Formation, and Sunshine Ranch Member of the Saugus Formation in this area for these strata. The lower Saugus Formation in the Simi Valley is faunally similar and time-correlate with the San Diego Formation in San Diego County.

  4. Age determination of late Pleistocene marine transgression in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Szabo, B. J.

    1982-01-01

    Dating molluscs from sediments representing the Kotzebuan marine transgression in Alaska yields an average uranium-series age of 104,000 ?? 22,000 yrs B.P. This and other selected Pleistocene marine deposits of western Alaska are tentatively correlated with radiometrically dated units of eastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada. ?? 1982.

  5. Stratigraphy of the Upper Pleistocene Miami Limestone of Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, R.A.

    1993-03-01

    The upper Pleistocene Miami Limestone is probably the most stratigraphically-complex formation in the Cenozoic of Florida. The Miami overlies and vertically/laterally grades into the upper Pleistocene Ft. Thompson Formation to the west in southeast Palm Beach County (west of I-95); to the west in Broward County (west of the Turnpike); and to the north in south Broward County (along U.S. 27). The Miami overlies and very locally vertically grades into the Ft. Thompson in all of Dade County. The Miami overlies and vertically/laterally grades into the upper Pleistocene Anastasia Formation to the north and east in southeast Palm Beach County (east of I-95), and to the northeast in east Broward County (east of the Turnpike). The Miami laterally grades into the upper Pleistocene Key Largo Limestone to the southeast in extreme southeast Dade County, and overlies and locally vertically grades into the Key Largo in the Lower Keys, south Monroe County. The Miami unconformably overlies the Pliocene Tamiami Formation and pinches out to the west in northeast mainland Monroe and southeast Collier Counties, and also pinches out to the north in east-central Palm Beach County. In all areas, the Miami Limestone is either overlain unconformably by very discontinuous undifferentiated surficial sediments or forms land surface.

  6. Late Pleistocene adult mortality patterns and modern human establishment

    PubMed Central

    Trinkaus, Erik

    2011-01-01

    The establishment of modern humans in the Late Pleistocene, subsequent to their emergence in eastern Africa, is likely to have involved substantial population increases, during their initial dispersal across southern Asia and their subsequent expansions throughout Africa and into more northern Eurasia. An assessment of younger (20–40 y) versus older (>40 y) adult mortality distributions for late archaic humans (principally Neandertals) and two samples of early modern humans (Middle Paleolithic and earlier Upper Paleolithic) provides little difference across the samples. All three Late Pleistocene samples have a dearth of older individuals compared with Holocene ethnographic/historical samples. They also lack older adults compared with Holocene paleodemographic profiles that have been critiqued for having too few older individuals for subsistence, social, and demographic viability. Although biased, probably through a combination of preservation, age assessment, and especially Pleistocene mobility requirements, these adult mortality distributions suggest low life expectancy and demographic instability across these Late Pleistocene human groups. They indicate only subtle and paleontologically invisible changes in human paleodemographics with the establishment of modern humans; they provide no support for a life history advantage among early modern humans. PMID:21220336

  7. Late Pleistocene vegetation of Kings Canyon, Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Kenneth

    1983-01-01

    Seven packrat midden samples make possible a comparison between the modern and late Pleistocene vegetation in Kings Canyon on the western side of the southern Sierra Nevada. One modern sample contains macrofossils and pollen derived from the present-day oak-chaparral vegetation. Macrofossils from the six late Pleistocene samples record a mixed coniferous forest dominated by the xerophytic conifers Juniperus occidentalis, Pinus cf. ponderosa, and P. monophylla. The pollen spectra of these Pleistocene middens are dominated by Pinus sp., Taxodiaceae-Cupressaceae-Taxaceae (TCT), and Artemisia sp. Mesophytic conifers are represented by low macrofossil concentrations. Sequoiadendron giganteum is represented by a few pollen grains in the full glacial. Edaphic control and snow dispersal are the most likely causes of these mixed assemblages. The dominant macrofossils record a more xeric plant community than those that now occur on similar substrates at higher elevations or latitudes in the Sierra Nevada. These assemblages suggest that late Wisconsin climates were cold with mean annual precipitation not necessarily greater than modern values. This conclusion supports a model of low summer ablation allowing for the persistence of the glaciers at higher elevations during the late Wisconsin. The records in these middens also suggest that S. giganteum grew at lower elevations along the western side of the range and that P. monophylla was more widely distributed in cismontane California during the Pleistocene.

  8. Pleistocene paleosols in the loess and loess-like sediments of the central part of the russian plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakimenko, E. Y.

    The Central part of the Russian Plain is a key region because of the complex interrelation of the Pleistocene glacials and interglacials. Fossil soils are not continuous in this region due to cryoturbation, erosion and other later processes. Morphological, chemical and micromorphological features of the Upper (Eemian) and Middle (Treenian) Pleistocene paleosols were investigated in the sections of loess and loess-like sediments on the plateau on the right bank of the River Oka. The Eemian soils studied have a humic (A1) horizon with typical biogenic multiordered microstructure and illuvial (B) horizon. The soil morphology is similar to that of the modern Grey-forest soils, which are widespread in this region. The Middle and Upper Pleistocene paleosols are separated by the Moscow (Warta) loess, but sometimes the Eemian fossil soil lies directly on the podzolic layer of the Treenian soil. The investigated Treenian paleosol exposed in the loess has no humic horizon and is very similar to the modern spodosol, indicating colder forest conditions in the region during this interglacial.

  9. Late Pleistocene age and archaeological context for the hominin calvaria from GvJm-22 (Lukenya Hill, Kenya)

    PubMed Central

    Tryon, Christian A.; Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Faith, J. Tyler; Ekshtain, Ravid; Nivens, Joelle; Patterson, David; Mbua, Emma N.; Spoor, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Kenya National Museums Lukenya Hill Hominid 1 (KNM-LH 1) is a Homo sapiens partial calvaria from site GvJm-22 at Lukenya Hill, Kenya, associated with Later Stone Age (LSA) archaeological deposits. KNM-LH 1 is securely dated to the Late Pleistocene, and samples a time and region important for understanding the origins of modern human diversity. A revised chronology based on 26 accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates on ostrich eggshells indicates an age range of 23,576–22,887 y B.P. for KNM-LH 1, confirming prior attribution to the Last Glacial Maximum. Additional dates extend the maximum age for archaeological deposits at GvJm-22 to >46,000 y B.P. (>46 kya). These dates are consistent with new analyses identifying both Middle Stone Age and LSA lithic technologies at the site, making GvJm-22 a rare eastern African record of major human behavioral shifts during the Late Pleistocene. Comparative morphometric analyses of the KNM-LH 1 cranium document the temporal and spatial complexity of early modern human morphological variability. Features of cranial shape distinguish KNM-LH 1 and other Middle and Late Pleistocene African fossils from crania of recent Africans and samples from Holocene LSA and European Upper Paleolithic sites. PMID:25730861

  10. Re-interpretation of the Meikirch pollen record, Swiss Alpine Foreland, and implications for Middle Pleistocene chronostratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preusser, Frank; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Fiebig, Markus; Schlüchter, Christian

    2005-09-01

    The Meikirch drilling site in the Swiss Midlands north of Bern is re-interpreted using a combination of sedimentological logging, pollen analyses and luminescence dating. The sedimentary sequence comprises about 70 m of lacustrine deposits, overlain by about 39 m of coarse glacial outwash interpreted to represent at least two independent ice advances. Pollen analyses of the apparently complete limnic sequence reveal a basal late glacial period followed by three warm phases that are interrupted by two stadial periods (Meikirch complex). The warm periods were previously correlated with the Holsteinian and Eemian Interglacials. According to luminescence dating, and with consideration of evidence for Middle Pleistocene climate patterns at other central European sites, a correlation of the Meikirch complex with marine isotope stage (MIS) 7 is now proposed. If this correlation is correct, it implies the presence of three intervals with interglacial character during MIS 7. However, the late Middle Pleistocene vegetational features of the Meikirch complex show significant differences when compared with the pollen record from the Velay region, central France. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are distinct Middle Pleistocene patterns of atmospheric circulation over central Europe and a different distribution of vegetation refugia compared to the Eemian Interglacial and the Holocene. Copyright

  11. A Pleistocene coastal alluvial fan complex produced by Middle Pleistocene glacio-fluvial processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamson, Kathryn; Woodward, Jamie; Hughes, Philip; Giglio, Federico; Del Bianco, Fabrizio

    2014-05-01

    A coarse-grained alluvial fan sequence at Lipci, Kotor Bay, in western Montenegro, provides a sedimentary record of meltwater streams draining from the Orjen Massif (1,894 m a.s.l.) to the coastal zone. At Lipci sedimentary evidence and U-series ages have been used alongside offshore bathymetric imagery and seismic profiles to establish the size of the fan and constrain the nature and timing of its formation. Establishing the depositional history of such coastal fans is important for our understanding of cold stage sediment flux from glaciated uplands to the offshore zone, and for exploring the impact of sea level change on fan reworking. There is evidence of at least four phases of Pleistocene glaciation on the Orjen massif, which have been U-series dated and correlated to MIS 12, MIS 6, MIS 5d-2 and the Younger Dryas. A series of meltwater channels delivered large volumes of coarse- and fine-grained limestone sediment from the glaciated uplands into the Bay of Kotor. At the southern margin of the Orjen massif, a series of large (>700 m long) alluvial fans has developed. Some of these extend offshore for up to 600 m. Lipci fan lies downstream of end moraines in the valley immediately above, which were formed by an extensive outlet glacier of the Orjen ice cap during MIS 12. The terrestrial deposits are part of the fan apex (50 m a.s.l.) that lies at the foot of a steep bedrock channel, but the majority of the fan is now more than 25 m below sea level. The terrestrial fan sediments are strongly cemented by multiple generations of calcite precipitates: the oldest U-series ages are infinite indicating that the fan is >350 ka in age. These ages are in agreement with alluvial sedimentary evidence and U-series ages from other fluvial units on Mount Orjen. The terrestrial portion of the Lipci fan surface contains several channels. These are well preserved due to cementation with calcium carbonate. Submarine imagery indicates that the now submerged portion of the fan also

  12. Late Pleistocene stratigraphy of a carbonate platform margin, Exumas, Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aalto, K. R.; Dill, Robert F.

    1996-05-01

    Detailed field studies of the southern Exuma Cays on the eastern margin of the Great Bahama Bank show a complex history of late Pleistocene island construction. Pleistocene rocks include island core eolianites, overlain at island margins by fossil patch reefs and reef sands, which in turn are overlain by, and/or grade laterally into, talus breccia cones derived from the erosion of island core eolianite at paleo-seacliffs situated at approximately 5-6 m above present mean high tide. Laminated pedogenic calcrete widely caps Pleistocene rocks. Minor zones of penetrative subsurface calcretization, developed in association with root growth, occur along permeable horizons, including: contacts between talus units or crossbed sets, along tension joints, and (possibly) at the Pleistocene reef-eolianite contact. Among Pleistocene eolianite samples studied in thin-section, the relative proportions of ooids-intraclasts+grapestones-skeletal grains-peloids are approximately 48:39:6:7. Marginal to the Exuma Sound and on the Brigantine Cays, a greater proportion of ooids have peloidal nuclei and cortices with numerous laminae, which may reflect ooid derivation from shelf margin and broad platform interior regions that were characterized by high wave energy during ooid formation. Between these two areas, ooids are more commonly superficial and have cortices with few laminae and nuclei composed of subrounded micrite or pelmicrite intraclasts. Such ooid nuclei are most likely derived from storm erosion of partially cemented seafloor muds. Some skeletal-rich eolianite in this region may reflect local sediment input from platform margin reefs, or may be part of an older(?) stratigraphic unit.

  13. Early hominin speciation at the Plio/Pleistocene transition.

    PubMed

    Cameron, D W

    2003-01-01

    Over the last half-decade or so, there has been an explosion in the recognition of hominin genera and species. We now have the late Miocene genera Orrorin and Sahelanthropus, the mid Pliocene genus Kenyanthropus, three new Pliocene species of Australopithecus (A. anamensis, A. garhi and A. bahrelghazali) and a sub species of Ardipithecus (Ar. r. kadabba) to contend with. Excepting also the more traditional species allocated to Paranthropus, Australopithecus and early Homo we are approaching around 15 species over 5 million years (excluding hominin evolution over the last one million years). Can such a large number of hominin species be justified? An examination of extant hominid (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, and Pan paniscus) anatomical variability indicates that the range of fossil hominin variability supports the recognition of this large number of fossil species. It is also shown that not all hominins are directly related to the emergence of early Homo and as such have become extinct. Indeed the traditional australopithecine species 'A'. anamensis, 'A'. afarensis and 'A'. garhi are considered here to belong to a distinct genus Praeanthropus. They are also argued not be hominins, but rather an as yet undefined hominid group from which the more derived hominins evolved. The first hominin is represented by A. africanus or a hominin very much like it. The Paranthropus clade is defined by a derived heterochronic condition of peramorphosis, associated with sequential progenesis (contraction of successive growth stages) in brain and dental development, but a mixture of peramorphic and paedomorphic features in its craniofacial anatomy. Conversely, Kenyanthropus and Homo both share a pattern of peramorphosis, associated with sequential hypermorphosis (prolongation of successive growth stages) in brain development, and paedomorphosis processes in cranial, facial and dental development. This suggests, that these two clades share an important synapomorphy not

  14. Early hominin speciation at the Plio/Pleistocene transition.

    PubMed

    Cameron, D W

    2003-01-01

    Over the last half-decade or so, there has been an explosion in the recognition of hominin genera and species. We now have the late Miocene genera Orrorin and Sahelanthropus, the mid Pliocene genus Kenyanthropus, three new Pliocene species of Australopithecus (A. anamensis, A. garhi and A. bahrelghazali) and a sub species of Ardipithecus (Ar. r. kadabba) to contend with. Excepting also the more traditional species allocated to Paranthropus, Australopithecus and early Homo we are approaching around 15 species over 5 million years (excluding hominin evolution over the last one million years). Can such a large number of hominin species be justified? An examination of extant hominid (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, and Pan paniscus) anatomical variability indicates that the range of fossil hominin variability supports the recognition of this large number of fossil species. It is also shown that not all hominins are directly related to the emergence of early Homo and as such have become extinct. Indeed the traditional australopithecine species 'A'. anamensis, 'A'. afarensis and 'A'. garhi are considered here to belong to a distinct genus Praeanthropus. They are also argued not be hominins, but rather an as yet undefined hominid group from which the more derived hominins evolved. The first hominin is represented by A. africanus or a hominin very much like it. The Paranthropus clade is defined by a derived heterochronic condition of peramorphosis, associated with sequential progenesis (contraction of successive growth stages) in brain and dental development, but a mixture of peramorphic and paedomorphic features in its craniofacial anatomy. Conversely, Kenyanthropus and Homo both share a pattern of peramorphosis, associated with sequential hypermorphosis (prolongation of successive growth stages) in brain development, and paedomorphosis processes in cranial, facial and dental development. This suggests, that these two clades share an important synapomorphy not

  15. Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians

    PubMed Central

    Curnoe, Darren; Xueping, Ji; Herries, Andy I. R.; Kanning, Bai; Taçon, Paul S. C.; Zhende, Bao; Fink, David; Yunsheng, Zhu; Hellstrom, John; Yun, Luo; Cassis, Gerasimos; Bing, Su; Wroe, Stephen; Shi, Hong; Parr, William C. H.; Shengmin, Huang; Rogers, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Background Later Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia remains poorly understood owing to a scarcity of well described, reliably classified and accurately dated fossils. Southwest China has been identified from genetic research as a hotspot of human diversity, containing ancient mtDNA and Y-DNA lineages, and has yielded a number of human remains thought to derive from Pleistocene deposits. We have prepared, reconstructed, described and dated a new partial skull from a consolidated sediment block collected in 1979 from the site of Longlin Cave (Guangxi Province). We also undertook new excavations at Maludong (Yunnan Province) to clarify the stratigraphy and dating of a large sample of mostly undescribed human remains from the site. Methodology/Principal Findings We undertook a detailed comparison of cranial, including a virtual endocast for the Maludong calotte, mandibular and dental remains from these two localities. Both samples probably derive from the same population, exhibiting an unusual mixture of modern human traits, characters probably plesiomorphic for later Homo, and some unusual features. We dated charcoal with AMS radiocarbon dating and speleothem with the Uranium-series technique and the results show both samples to be from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: ∼14.3-11.5 ka. Conclusions/Significance Our analysis suggests two plausible explanations for the morphology sampled at Longlin Cave and Maludong. First, it may represent a late-surviving archaic population, perhaps paralleling the situation seen in North Africa as indicated by remains from Dar-es-Soltane and Temara, and maybe also in southern China at Zhirendong. Alternatively, East Asia may have been colonised during multiple waves during the Pleistocene, with the Longlin-Maludong morphology possibly reflecting deep population substructure in Africa prior to modern humans dispersing into Eurasia. PMID:22431968

  16. Evidence for an eolian origin for the silt-enriched soil mantles on the glaciated uplands of eastern Upper Michigan, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schaetzl, R.J.; Loope, W.L.

    2008-01-01

    We provide textural, geochemical, and mineralogical data on a thin, silty deposit that unconformably mantles glaciated uplands in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Previous research on this deposit, which we hypothesize to be loess, is nonexistent. The uplands were islands or narrow peninsulas within one or more glacial lakes. We compare the distribution, likely source and nature of the 20-60??cm thick silty mantle by using the loess formation model of Mason et al. [Mason, J.A., Nater, E.A., Zanner, C.W., Bell, J.C., 1999. A new model of topographic effects on the distribution of loess. Geomorphology 28, 223-236], which focuses on the generation of eolian silt by saltating sand across upwind, barren surfaces. Parabolic dunes, with arms open to the NW, are common on former lake floors upwind of the silt-mantled uplands, attesting to the strength and direction of paleowinds. The abrupt termination of the dunes at the footslopes of the uplands, associated with silt deposition on upland soil surfaces in downwind locations, are both consistent with the model of Mason et al. [Mason, J.A., Nater, E.A., Zanner, C.W., Bell, J.C., 1999. A new model of topographic effects on the distribution of loess. Geomorphology 28, 223-236]. Sediments on former lake floors contain abundant strata of fine/medium sand and silt, and thus are likely sources for the silt and dune sand. The cap, dune and lake sediments are similar along many different geochemical axes, whereas the substrate sediment, i.e., the drift below the cap, is unique. Cap sediments, normally containing roughly 30% silt, are enriched in quartz and depleted in Ti and Zr, relative to dune sediment. The dune sediment, a more residual eolian deposit, is enriched in Ti and Zr, relative to the cap, probably due to its greater abundance of heavy minerals. Therefore, we conclude that the silty cap is loess that was deflated from abandoned lake floors after nearby glacial lakes drained, probably contemporaneously with dune

  17. Rapid estimation of depositional ages of eolian dune sands using a portable OSL reader and polymineralic coarse grain standardized luminescence growth curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munyikwa, K.; Brown, S.

    2011-12-01

    Two developments in luminescence dating studies over the last few years have the potential to contribute significantly to the abbreviation of the usually lengthy and laborious dating protocols, at least for reconnaissance exercises. One of these developments has been the introduction of portable optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) readers that can be used to perform measurements in the field. Apart from portability, an additional advantage for some of the portable systems is the ability to make luminescence measurements directly on bulk polymineralic samples, negating the need for lengthy mineral separation procedures. The second development stems from studies which have looked at the use of standardized luminescence growth curves for paleodose estimation. These studies have shown that normalized growth curves constructed using different samples from the same region are generally similar for doses below about 50 Gy and can be used to reliably approximate equivalent doses by simply obtaining a measurement of the normalized natural signal. The use of such standardized growth curves shortens the dating procedure significantly because it eliminates the need for constructing individual growth curves for each sample, which is the practice in regular OSL dating. In this study we merge these two recent developments by using a portable OSL reader developed by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) to prepare standardized growth curves for quartz and feldspar from polymineralic sands from postglacial eolian dunes in Alberta, Canada. To differentiate the signal yielded by the feldspar from that given out by the quartz grains, we stimulate the bulk sample by first using IRSL followed by post-IR blue OSL stimulation. For the growth curve, artificial doses of 5, 20, 15, 25, 30, 40, 50, 70 and 100 Gy are administered on aliquots of the bulk samples using a Cs-137 irradiation source. A test dose of 4 Gy is used for the normalization of all aliquots

  18. Contrasting Holocene vs. Late Pleistocene dynamics of sediment deposition in Laguna Potrok Aike, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohlendorf, C.; Gebhardt, C.; Hahn, A.; Kliem, P.; Zolitschka, B.; Science Team

    2010-12-01

    In the maar lake Laguna Potrok Aike (52°S, 70°W; 116 m asl.; diameter: 3.5 km, water depth: 100 m) in southern Patagonia, Argentina, in total 510 m of lacustrine sediments were recovered in the framework of the ICDP project PASADO (Potrok Aike Maar Lake Sediment Archive Drilling Project). Quadruplicate and triplicate cores down to a maximum depth of 101.5 m below lake floor were taken with a total core recovery of 94.4 % from two drillsites located 700 m apart in the central profundal plain of the lake. Seismic refraction data reveal a funnel-shaped structure originating from phreatomagmatic maar explosions embedded in the sandstone rocks of the surrounding Santa Cruz Formation. The funnel is filled by lacustrine sediments of up to 370 m in thickness with seismic velocities (sv) of 1500-2350 m s-1 which are underlain by a unit of probably volcanoclastic origin (sv >2400 m s-1). Seismic reflection data of the uppermost 100 m of the sediments reveal stratified lacustrine sediments and a rather dynamic development of the lake: on top of pelagic sediments, a desiccation horizon is found, with sand dunes in the eastern part of the lake basin. These are overlain by a series of paleo shorelines documenting the history of lake level rise in this early new lake. While this new lake formed in the central and eastern part of the maar depression, the western part was filled by stacked coarse-grained, delta-type sediments probably deriving from the only inlet that at present is sporadically active. After this early filling of the new lake, a stage of rapid lake level rise is observed in the seismic reflection data. Seismic findings are currently verified by the analyses of a 106.08 m long composite profile created by splicing of the three drilled cores of Site 2. According to a first age model, the sedimentary record from Laguna Potrok Aike reaches back to approx. 56,000 cal. BP and exhibits contrasting lithologies downcore especially in the Pleistocene part of the record

  19. Diet of Paranthropus boisei in the early Pleistocene of East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Cerling, Thure E.; Mbua, Emma; Kirera, Francis M.; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo; Grine, Frederick E.; Leakey, Meave G.; Sponheimer, Matt; Uno, Kevin T.

    2011-01-01

    The East African hominin Paranthropus boisei was characterized by a suite of craniodental features that have been widely interpreted as adaptations to a diet that consisted of hard objects that required powerful peak masticatory loads. These morphological adaptations represent the culmination of an evolutionary trend that began in earlier taxa such as Australopithecus afarensis, and presumably facilitated utilization of open habitats in the Plio-Pleistocene. Here, we use stable isotopes to show that P. boisei had a diet that was dominated by C4 biomass such as grasses or sedges. Its diet included more C4 biomass than any other hominin studied to date, including its congener Paranthropus robustus from South Africa. These results, coupled with recent evidence from dental microwear, may indicate that the remarkable craniodental morphology of this taxon represents an adaptation for processing large quantities of low-quality vegetation rather than hard objects. PMID:21536914

  20. The human cranial remains from Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Muñoz, A; Alonso, O; Gallego, J

    1999-01-01

    In this article we study the cranial remains of the late Lower Pleistocene human fossils from Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain), assigned to the new species Homo antecessor. The cranial remains belong to at least five individuals, both juveniles and adults. The most outstanding feature is the totally modern human morphology of the very complete face ATD6-69, representing the earliest occurrence of the modern face in the fossil record. The Gran Dolina fossils show in the face a suite of modern human apomorphies not found in earlier hominids nor in contemporary or earlier Homo erectus fossils. There are also traits in the Gran Dolina fossils shared with both Neandertals and modern humans, which reinforce the hypothesis that Neandertals and modern humans form a clade, and that the Gran Dolina fossils are a common ancestor to both lineages. PMID:10496996

  1. Diet of Paranthropus boisei in the early Pleistocene of East Africa.

    PubMed

    Cerling, Thure E; Mbua, Emma; Kirera, Francis M; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo; Grine, Frederick E; Leakey, Meave G; Sponheimer, Matt; Uno, Kevin T

    2011-06-01

    The East African hominin Paranthropus boisei was characterized by a suite of craniodental features that have been widely interpreted as adaptations to a diet that consisted of hard objects that required powerful peak masticatory loads. These morphological adaptations represent the culmination of an evolutionary trend that began in earlier taxa such as Australopithecus afarensis, and presumably facilitated utilization of open habitats in the Plio-Pleistocene. Here, we use stable isotopes to show that P. boisei had a diet that was dominated by C(4) biomass such as grasses or sedges. Its diet included more C(4) biomass than any other hominin studied to date, including its congener Paranthropus robustus from South Africa. These results, coupled with recent evidence from dental microwear, may indicate that the remarkable craniodental morphology of this taxon represents an adaptation for processing large quantities of low-quality vegetation rather than hard objects. PMID:21536914

  2. Exposure of late Pleistocene Mississippi River meander-belt facies at Mt. Pleasant, Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Autin, W.J.; Davison, A.T.; Miller, B.J.; Day, W.J.; Schumacher, B.A.

    1988-09-01

    Exposure of a sedimentary sequence along a Mississippi River bluff at Mt. Pleasant, Louisiana, provides insight into the construction of the Prairie Terraces. This site serves as a type section for a late Pleistocene meander belt of the Mississippi River, and stratigraphic features have been traced beneath the Prairie Terraces in southeastern Louisiana. A 23.35-m measured section reveals upper units of Peoria loess and mixed loess. The described meander-belt facies are of a probable Wisconsin age and are here named the Mt. Pleasant Bluff alloformation. This age designation is based on position in the stratigraphic section, degree of preservation of sedimentary facies, character and degree of development of the upper paleosol, preservation of constructional topography beneath the loess, and correlation of this sequence to nearby sites with Wisconsin-age radiocarbon dates.

  3. Accelerator-mass spectrometer (AMS) radiocarbon dating of Pleistocene lake sediments in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, R.S.; Toolin, L.J.; Forester, R.M.; Spencer, R.J.

    1990-01-01

    Pleistocene lake sediments in the Great Basin typically contain little organic carbon, and thus are difficult to date reliably by conventional radioccarbon methods. Paleoenvironmental data are abundant in these sediments, but are of limited value without adequate age controls. With the advent of accelerator-mass spectrometer (AMS) radiocarbon dating, it is now possible to date these paleolacustrine sediments. AMS dates were obtained on sediment cores from the Bonneville, Franklin, and Lahontan Basins. In the Bonneville Basin, the AMS-based chronology compares well with other chronologies constructed from dated shore-zone features. In the Bonneville and Franklin basins, AMS dates delimit unconformities not apparent by other means. We found that dispersed organic carbon from sediments deposited during relatively freshwater intervals provided apparently reliable AMS radiocarbon dates. Carbonate microfossils from the Lahontan Basin also produced results that appear reasonable, while bulk carbonate yielded erroneous results. ?? 1990.

  4. Wind directions predicted from global circulation models and wind directions determined from eolian sandstones of the western United States-A comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parrish, Judith T.; Peterson, F.

    1988-01-01

    Wind directions for Middle Pennsylvanian through Jurassic time are predicted from global circulation models for the western United States. These predictions are compared with paleowind directions interpreted from eolian sandstones of Middle Pennsylvanian through Jurassic age. Predicted regional wind directions correspond with at least three-quarters of the paleowind data from the sandstones; the rest of the data may indicate problems with correlation, local effects of paleogeography on winds, and lack of resolution of the circulation models. The data and predictions suggest the following paleoclimatic developments through the time interval studied: predominance of winter subtropical high-pressure circulation in the Late Pennsylvanian; predominance of summer subtropical high-pressure circulation in the Permian; predominance of summer monsoonal circulation in the Triassic and earliest Jurassic; and, during the remainder of the Jurassic, influence of both summer subtropical and summer monsoonal circulation, with the boundary between the two systems over the western United States. This sequence of climatic changes is largely owing to paleogeographic changes, which influenced the buildup and breakdown of the monsoonal circulation, and possibly owing partly to a decrease in the global temperature gradient, which might have lessened the influence of the subtropical high-pressure circulation. The atypical humidity of Triassic time probably resulted from the monsoonal circulation created by the geography of Pangaea. This circulation is predicted to have been at a maximum in the Triassic and was likely to have been powerful enough to draw moisture along the equator from the ocean to the west. ?? 1988.

  5. Thermal Decomposition of Calcium Perchlorate/Iron-Mineral Mixtures: Implications of the Evolved Oxygen from the Rocknest Eolian Deposit in Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruck, A. M.; Sutter, B.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P.

    2014-01-01

    A major oxygen release between 300 and 500 C was detected by the Mars Curiosity Rover Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument at the Rocknest eolian deposit. Thermal decomposition of perchlorate (ClO4-) salts in the Rocknest samples are a possible explanation for this evolved oxygen release. Releative to Na-, K-, Mg-, and Fe-perchlorate, the thermal decomposition of Ca-perchlorate in laboratory experiments released O2 in the temperature range (400-500degC) closest to the O2 release temperatures observed for the Rocknest material. Furthermore, calcium perchlorate could have been the source of Cl in the chlorinated-hydrocarbons species that were detected by SAM. Different components in the Martian soil could affect the decomposition temperature of calcium per-chlorate or another oxychlorine species. This interaction of the two components in the soil could result in O2 release temperatures consistent with those detected by SAM in the Rocknest materials. The decomposition temperatures of various alkali metal perchlorates are known to decrease in the presence of a catalyst. The objective of this work is to investigate catalytic interactions on calcium perchlorate from various iron-bearing minerals known to be present in the Rocknest material

  6. Influence of climate and eolian dust on the major-element chemistry and clay mineralogy of soils in the northern Bighorn basin, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, M.C.

    1990-01-01

    Soil chronosequences in the northern Bighorn basin permit the study of chronologic changes in the major-element chemistry and clay mineralogy of soils formed in different climates. Two chronosequences along Rock Creek in south-central Montana formed on granitic alluvium in humid and semiarid climates over the past two million years. A chronosequence at the Kane fans in north-central Wyoming formed on calcareous alluvium in an arid climate over the past 600,000 years. Detailed analyses of elemental chemistry indicate that the soils in all three areas gradually incorporated eolian dust that contained less zirconium, considered to be chemically immobile during weathering, than did the alluvium. B and C horizons of soils in the wettest of the chronosequences developed mainly at logarithmic rates, suggesting that leaching, initially rapid but decelerating, dominated the dust additions. In contrast, soils in the most arid of the chronosequences developed at linear rates that reflect progressive dust additions that were little affected by leaching. Both weathering and erosion may cause changes with time to appear logarithmic in A horizons of soils under the moist and semiarid climatic regimes. Clay minerals form with time in the basal B and C horizons and reflect climatic differences in the three areas. Vermiculite, mixed-layer illite-smectite, and smectite form in the soils of the moist-climate chronosequence; smectite forms in the semiarid-climate chronosequence; and smectite and palygorskite form in the arid-climate chronosequence. ?? 1990.

  7. Intrepretation of surface features and surface processes on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gad-El-hak, M.; Howard, A.; Morton, J. B.; Pierce, D.

    1975-01-01

    Eolian erosion and deposition on earth was studied in order to interpret the eolian land forms of Mars. Emphasis of the wind tunnel studies was on the flow field around models of eolian forms. Areas of the wind tunnel studies include: simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer; velocity profile measurements around different models in the desert boundary layer, and estimating shear stress distributions on the model surfaces; flow visualization techniques; streamline mapping using tuft photographs; and roughness contrasts.

  8. Pleistocene to recent dietary shifts in California condors.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, C P; Waldbauer, J R; Fox-Dobbs, K; Newsome, S D; Koch, P L; Smith, D R; Church, M E; Chamberlain, S D; Sorenson, K J; Risebrough, R

    2005-11-15

    We used carbon and nitrogen isotopes to investigate changes in the diet of California condors from the Pleistocene to the recent. During the Pleistocene, condors from California fed on both terrestrial megafauna and marine mammals. Early accounts reported condors feeding on the carcasses of marine mammals, but by the late 1700s, condor diets had shifted predominantly to terrestrial animals, following the commercial harvesting of marine mammals and the development of cattle ranching on land. At present, dairy calves provided by humans significantly augment condor diet, constituting an artificial support of the current population. Reestablishing a marine mammal component in the condor diet may be an effective strategy for fostering viable condor populations independent of direct human subsidies.

  9. Two contemporaneous mitogenomes from terminal Pleistocene burials in eastern Beringia

    PubMed Central

    Tackney, Justin C.; Potter, Ben A.; Raff, Jennifer; Powers, Michael; Watkins, W. Scott; Warner, Derek; Reuther, Joshua D.; Irish, Joel D.; O’Rourke, Dennis H.

    2015-01-01

    Pleistocene residential sites with multiple contemporaneous human burials are extremely rare in the Americas. We report mitochondrial genomic variation in the first multiple mitochondrial genomes from a single prehistoric population: two infant burials (USR1 and USR2) from a common interment at the Upward Sun River Site in central Alaska dating to ∼11,500 cal B.P. Using a targeted capture method and next-generation sequencing, we determined that the USR1 infant possessed variants that define mitochondrial lineage C1b, whereas the USR2 genome falls at the root of lineage B2, allowing us to refine younger coalescence age estimates for these two clades. C1b and B2 are rare to absent in modern populations of northern North America. Documentation of these lineages at this location in the Late Pleistocene provides evidence for the extent of mitochondrial diversity in early Beringian populations, which supports the expectations of the Beringian Standstill Model. PMID:26504230

  10. Statistical detection of the mid-Pleistocene transition

    SciTech Connect

    Maasch, K.A. )

    1988-01-01

    Statistical methods have been used to show quantitatively that the transition in mean and variance observed in delta O-18 records during the middle of the Pleistocene was abrupt. By applying these methods to all of the available records spanning the entire Pleistocene, it appears that this jump was global and primarily represents an increase in ice mass. At roughly the same time an abrupt decrease in sea surface temperature also occurred, indicative of sudden global cooling. This kind of evidence suggests a possible bifurcation of the climate system that must be accounted for in a complete explanation of the ice ages. Theoretical models including internal dynamics are capable of exhibiting this kind of rapid transition. 50 refs.

  11. Pleistocene deposition and structure: Galveston South OCS, offshore Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, S.E.; Watkins, J.S.

    1989-03-01

    Mapping of four Pleistocene sequences in the Galveston South and northern East Breaks areas shows three depopods containing over 1000 m of sediment. Depopods A, B, and C are located in (A) East Breaks Block 108, (B) Galveston South Blocks 244-245, and (C) Galveston South Blocks 219-220. Depopod A shifts slightly landward with time because of salt withdrawal. The later position of the depopod coincides with the shelf break for that unit as indicated by sigmoidal progradation. The other two depopods shift slightly basinward and are centered on faults with rollover. All depopods contain hydrocarbon indicators. Faults dominate the southern portion of the region. The faults cut the present shelf edge at 30/degrees/, suggesting that the Pleistocene shelf edge lay roughly 30/degrees/ to the present one. Salt diapirs evident in the southern part of the area formed because of sediment loading at the shelf edge. The diapirism dies out northward on the shelf.

  12. Two contemporaneous mitogenomes from terminal Pleistocene burials in eastern Beringia.

    PubMed

    Tackney, Justin C; Potter, Ben A; Raff, Jennifer; Powers, Michael; Watkins, W Scott; Warner, Derek; Reuther, Joshua D; Irish, Joel D; O'Rourke, Dennis H

    2015-11-10

    Pleistocene residential sites with multiple contemporaneous human burials are extremely rare in the Americas. We report mitochondrial genomic variation in the first multiple mitochondrial genomes from a single prehistoric population: two infant burials (USR1 and USR2) from a common interment at the Upward Sun River Site in central Alaska dating to ∼11,500 cal B.P. Using a targeted capture method and next-generation sequencing, we determined that the USR1 infant possessed variants that define mitochondrial lineage C1b, whereas the USR2 genome falls at the root of lineage B2, allowing us to refine younger coalescence age estimates for these two clades. C1b and B2 are rare to absent in modern populations of northern North America. Documentation of these lineages at this location in the Late Pleistocene provides evidence for the extent of mitochondrial diversity in early Beringian populations, which supports the expectations of the Beringian Standstill Model. PMID:26504230

  13. Mid Pleistocene foraminiferal mass extinction coupled with phytoplankton evolution.

    PubMed

    Kender, Sev; McClymont, Erin L; Elmore, Aurora C; Emanuele, Dario; Leng, Melanie J; Elderfield, Henry

    2016-06-17

    Understanding the interaction between climate and biotic evolution is crucial for deciphering the sensitivity of life. An enigmatic mass extinction occurred in the deep oceans during the Mid Pleistocene, with a loss of over 100 species (20%) of sea floor calcareous foraminifera. An evolutionarily conservative group, benthic foraminifera often comprise >50% of eukaryote biomass on the deep-ocean floor. Here we test extinction hypotheses (temperature, corrosiveness and productivity) in the Tasman Sea, using geochemistry and micropalaeontology, and find evidence from several globally distributed sites that the extinction was caused by a change in phytoplankton food source. Coccolithophore evolution may have enhanced the seasonal 'bloom' nature of primary productivity and fundamentally shifted it towards a more intra-annually variable state at ∼0.8 Ma. Our results highlight intra-annual variability as a potential new consideration for Mid Pleistocene global biogeochemical climate models, and imply that deep-sea biota may be sensitive to future changes in productivity.

  14. Mid Pleistocene foraminiferal mass extinction coupled with phytoplankton evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kender, Sev; McClymont, Erin L.; Elmore, Aurora C.; Emanuele, Dario; Leng, Melanie J.; Elderfield, Henry

    2016-06-01

    Understanding the interaction between climate and biotic evolution is crucial for deciphering the sensitivity of life. An enigmatic mass extinction occurred in the deep oceans during the Mid Pleistocene, with a loss of over 100 species (20%) of sea floor calcareous foraminifera. An evolutionarily conservative group, benthic foraminifera often comprise >50% of eukaryote biomass on the deep-ocean floor. Here we test extinction hypotheses (temperature, corrosiveness and productivity) in the Tasman Sea, using geochemistry and micropalaeontology, and find evidence from several globally distributed sites that the extinction was caused by a change in phytoplankton food source. Coccolithophore evolution may have enhanced the seasonal `bloom' nature of primary productivity and fundamentally shifted it towards a more intra-annually variable state at ~0.8 Ma. Our results highlight intra-annual variability as a potential new consideration for Mid Pleistocene global biogeochemical climate models, and imply that deep-sea biota may be sensitive to future changes in productivity.

  15. Pleistocene entrenched valley/canyon systems, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Steffens, G.S.

    1986-09-01

    The Mississippi Submarine Canyon is the seaward extension of the late Wisconsin entrenched alluvial valley. Geophysical and geologic data provide evidence for the continuity of the Mississippi entrenched valley, the Timbalier channel, and the submarine canyon. The Mississippi entrenched valley/canyon system is one of several systems recognized in the Pleistocene section of offshore Louisiana. Most of these systems were produced by the ancestral Mississippi River. They typically exhibit a three-gradient profile with their maximum erosional relief at the preexisting shelf margin. The canyons extend onto the pre-existing shelf for 20 to 50 mi, with erosion commonly exceeding 1000 ft. All of these systems delivered large quantities of sediment to the Pleistocene slope and abyssal plain. The fan deposits are the products of sediment passing through and being removed from the entrenched valley/canyon systems.

  16. On the Pleistocene extinctions of Alaskan mammoths and horses.

    PubMed

    Solow, Andrew R; Roberts, David L; Robbirt, Karen M

    2006-05-01

    The fossil record has been used to shed light on the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions in North America and elsewhere. It is therefore important to account for variability due to the incompleteness of the fossil record and error in dating fossil remains. Here, a joint confidence region for the extinction times of horses and mammoths in Alaska is constructed. The results suggest that a prior claim that the extinction of horses preceded the arrival of humans cannot be made with confidence.

  17. Early Pleistocene aquatic resource use in the Turkana Basin.

    PubMed

    Archer, Will; Braun, David R; Harris, Jack W K; McCoy, Jack T; Richmond, Brian G

    2014-12-01

    Evidence for the acquisition of nutritionally dense food resources by early Pleistocene hominins has implications for both hominin biology and behavior. Aquatic fauna may have comprised a source of highly nutritious resources to hominins in the Turkana Basin at ∼1.95 Ma. Here we employ multiple datasets to examine the issue of aquatic resource use in the early Pleistocene. This study focuses on four components of aquatic faunal assemblages (1) taxonomic diversity, (2) skeletal element proportion, (3) bone fragmentation and (4) bone surface modification. These components are used to identify associations between early Pleistocene aquatic remains and hominin behavior at the site of FwJj20 in the Koobi Fora Fm. (Kenya). We focus on two dominant aquatic species: catfish and turtles. Further we suggest that data on aquatic resource availability as well as ethnographic examples of aquatic resource use complement our observations on the archaeological remains from FwJj20. Aquatic food items provided hominins with a valuable nutritional alternative to an exclusively terrestrial resource base. We argue that specific advantages afforded by an aquatic alternative to terrestrial resources include (1) a probable reduction in required investment of energy relative to economic return in the form of nutritionally dense food items, (2) a decrease in the technological costs of resource acquisition, and (3) a reduced level of inter-specific competition associated with carcass access and an associated reduction of predation risk relative to terrestrial sources of food. The combined evidence from FwJj20 suggests that aquatic resources may have played a substantial role in early Pleistocene diets and these resources may have been overlooked in previous interpretations of hominin behavior.

  18. Biostratigraphic expression of pleistocene sequence boundaries, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.E. ); Neff, E.D. ); Johnson, G.W. ); Krantz, D.E. )

    1993-04-01

    The quaternary section west of the Mississippi River delta consists of thousands of meters of terrigenous sediments, but the stratigraphic and paleoclimatic history recorded in these sequences is often distorted as a result of salt and shale diapirism. Quaternary sequences of the western Gulf of Mexico often reflect highly variable sediment accumulation rates within and between isolated salt-withdrawal basins and missing section resulting from unconformities and extensive faulting. The sedimentary record of Ocean Drilling Program's Core 625B (northeast Gulf of Mexico) contains significant unconformaties that represent a record of sea-level change during the Pleistocene. The core may thus serve as a standard for timing of sea-level changes of the Western Gulf. Utilizing primarily relative abundances of the warm-water Globorotalia menardii complex and cool water G. inflata, we have subdivided the pre-zone W Pleistocene of Core 625B into 17 subzones, resulting in an average duration of approximately 100,000 years per unit. Based on graphic correlation, subzonal boundaries are largely coeval between sites and can provide high-resolution biostratigraphic subdivision of the Pleistocene of industrial wells on an operational basis. Also, the subzonation delineates anomalous paleotops that are reworked, erosionally truncated at sequence boundaries or delta-depressed as a result of localized sediment influx. Graphic correlation of subzonal boundaries coupled with available biostratigraphic and magnetostrategraphic datums has demonstrated the near synchronomy of subzonal boundaries and their utility in the subdivision of the Pleistocene. Using graphic correlation, the paleontologist can build viable exploration models that can be used to predict the occurrence of hydrocarbon reservoir sands. 87 refs., 13 figs.

  19. Magnetostratigraphy Of The Pleistocene Arda River Section (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monesi, E.; Muttoni, G.; Scardia, G.

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the magnetic properties of the Pleistocene sediments exposed in the Arda river section in southern Po plain, northern Italy. This site contains a complete record of the transition occurring in the greater Po basin between marine sedimentation typical of the Early Pleistocene and continental sedimentation typical of the Middle-Late Pleistocene. The study of the magnetic mineralogy shows a dominance of Magnetite as the main magnetic mineral in almost the whole sequence except for the top where it changes into Hematite and for two minor intervals at the base and the middle of the sequence where the signal is carried mainly by sulphides. Five magnetic polarity reversals were recognized and used to construct an age model of sedimentation for the whole sequence, which was found to span in substantial stratigraphic continuity between ~2.5 Ma in the Matuyama chron across the Olduvai subchron, the Jaramillo subchron to the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary at 0.78 Ma, the correct interpretation of these magnetostratigraphic data has been proven by biostratigraphic data collected at the same time as the paleomagnetic sampling. According to this age model, the age of continentalization occurred in this area between the top of the Jaramillo (0.99 Ma) and the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (0.78 Ma) and during the late Early Pleistocene climate revolution (EPR). Using magneto-lithostratigraphic data from other sections from the literature outcropping nearby, we reconstructed the timing of continentalization of the greater Po basin area during the EPR. The comparison between data coming form different sections in the Po basin prove a slight diachrony in the marine-continental transtition occurring from the western to the eastern part of the plain due to the gradual infilling by continental sediments. This age for the continentalization of the northern italian area combines well with the age of the best-dated sites with evidence of the earliest peopling of Europe.

  20. Cranial size variation and lineage diversity in early Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeremiah E

    2014-03-01

    A recent article in this journal concluded that a sample of early Pleistocene hominin crania assigned to genus Homo exhibits a pattern of size variation that is time dependent, with specimens from different time periods being more different from each other, on average, than are specimens from the same time period. The authors of this study argued that such a pattern is not consistent with the presence of multiple lineages within the sample, but rather supports the hypothesis that the fossils represent an anagenetically evolving lineage (i.e., an evolutionary species). However, the multiple-lineage models considered in that study do not reflect the multiple-species alternatives that have been proposed for early Pleistocene Homo. Using simulated data sets, I show that fossil assemblages that contain multiple lineages can exhibit the time-dependent pattern of variation specified for the single-lineage model under certain conditions, particularly when temporal overlap among fossil specimens attributed to the lineages is limited. These results do not reject the single-lineage hypothesis, but they do indicate that rejection of multiple lineages in the early Pleistocene Homo fossil record is premature, and that other sources of variation, such as differences in cranial shape, should be considered. PMID:24588348

  1. Arctic East Siberia had a lower latitude in the Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Woelfli, Willy; Baltensperger, Walter

    2007-06-01

    Remains of mammoths in Arctic East Siberia, where there is not sufficient sunlight over the year for the growth of the plants on which these animals feed, indicate that the latitude of this region was lower before the end of the Pleistocene than now. Reconstructing this geographic pole shift, we introduce a massive object, which moved in an extremely eccentric orbit and was hot from tidal work and solar radiation. Evaporation produced a disk-shaped cloud of ions around the Sun. This cloud partially shielded the solar radiation, producing the cold and warm periods characterizing the Pleistocene. The shielding depends on the inclination of Earth's orbit, which has a period of 100,000 years. The cloud builds up to a point where inelastic particle collisions induce its collapse The resulting near-periodic time dependence resembles that of Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The Pleistocene ended when the massive object had a close encounter with the Earth, which suffered a one per mil extensional deformation. While the deformation relaxed to an equilibrium shape in one to several years, the globe turned relative to the rotation axis: The North Pole moved from Greenland to the Arctic Sea. The massive object split into fragments, which evaporated. PMID:17625673

  2. Recurring middle Pleistocene outburst floods in east-central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Froese, D.G.; Smith, D.G.; Westgate, J.A.; Ager, T.A.; Preece, S.J.; Sandhu, A.; Enkin, R.J.; Weber, F.

    2003-01-01

    Recurring glacial outburst floods from the Yukon-Tanana Upland are inferred from sediments exposed along the Yukon River near the mouth of Charley River in east-central Alaska. Deposits range from imbricate gravel and granules indicating flow locally extending up the Yukon valley, to more distal sediments consisting of at least 10 couplets of planar sands, granules, and climbing ripples with up-valley paleocurrent indicators overlain by massive silt. An interglacial organic silt, occurring within the sequence, indicates at least two flood events are associated with an earlier glaciation, and at least three flood events are associated with a later glaciation which postdates the organic silt. A minimum age for the floods is provided by a glass fission track age of 560,000 ?? 80,000 yr on the GI tephra, which occurs 8 m above the flood beds. A maximum age of 780,000 yr for the floods is based on normal magnetic polarity of the sediments. These age constraints allow us to correlate the flood events to the early-middle Pleistocene. And further, the outburst floods indicate extensive glaciation of the Yukon-Tanana Upland during the early-middle Pleistocene, likely representing the most extensive Pleistocene glaciation of the area. ?? 2003 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Geochemistry of formation water, Pliocene-Pleistocene reservoirs, offshore Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Land, L.S.; MacPherson, G.L. )

    1989-09-01

    The total dissolved solids content of formation water from Pliocene-Pleistocene reservoirs, offshore Louisiana, is dominated by NaCl derived from the dissolution and recrystallization of diapiric salt. Other solutes, and the water itself, are derived from primary pore water (originally seawater, subsequently modified by sulfate reduction and methanogenesis) from mineralogically immature late Cenozoic marine clastics. {sup 18}O values between 0 and +2 {per thousand} (SMOW), coupled with nonradiogenic {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios, demonstrate that the water has undergone little interaction with detrital silicates (smectite or detrital feldspars) prior to emplacement in the reservoirs. Water from Pliocene-Pleistocene reservoir rocks contrasts with water from nearby, onshore Miocene reservoirs, which is largely derived from more mineralogically mature Cenozoic clastic sediments. Low Ca, Ba, Li, B, and Br in both Miocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene water samples from offshore Louisiana indicate little contribution from Ca-rich water characteristic of deep-seated Mesozoic reservoirs. A few samples of formation water associated with diapiric salt structures could contain up to about 10% solutes derived from deep-seated Mesozoic sources, however.

  4. Fragilariopsis diatom evolution in Pliocene and Pleistocene Antarctic shelf sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Riesselman, Christina; Winter, Diane; Scherer, Reed

    2012-01-01

    The late Pliocene – early Pleistocene sediment record in the AND-1B core from the McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, displays a rich diversity and high abundance of diatoms, including several new morphologies within the genus Fragilariopsis. These new morphologies exhibit similarities to the extinct late Miocene/early Pliocene species Fragilariopsis aurica Gersonde and Fragilariopsis praecurta Gersonde, as well as to the modern sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis ritscheri Hustedt and Fragilariopsis obliquecostata van Heurck. From the diverse morphologies present, we use light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to identify and describe the characteristics of three new taxa, Fragilariopsis laqueata Riesselman, Fragilariopsis bohatyi Sjunneskog et Riesselman, and Fragilariopsis robusta Sjunneskog, which are common in the diatom-bearing intervals from ~3.2 to 1.95 Ma. Comparisons with extant and extinct species are made to assess possible environmental affinities, evolutionary relationships, and potential for future biostratigraphic utility. This complex of newmorphologies diversified as conditions cooled during the Pliocene, then went into decline as heavy sea ice conditions of the Pleistocene were established. Only the lineage of F. robusta appears to continue into the late Pleistocene, where it is interpreted to have evolved into F. obliquecostata.

  5. Enamel thickness trends in Plio-Pleistocene hominin mandibular molars.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Matthew M; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Gaunitz, Charleen; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2015-08-01

    Enamel thickness continues to be an important morphological character in hominin systematics and is frequently invoked in dietary reconstructions of Plio-Pleistocene hominin taxa. However, to date, the majority of published data on molar enamel thickness of Pliocene and early Pleistocene hominins derive from naturally fractured random surfaces of a small number of specimens. In this study we systematically analyze enamel thickness in a large sample of Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominins (n = 99), extant hominoids (n = 57), and modern humans (n = 30). Based on analysis of 2D mesial planes of section derived from microtomography, we examine both average and relative enamel thickness, and the distribution of enamel across buccal, occlusal, and lingual components of mandibular molars. Our results confirm the trend of increasing enamel thickness during the Pliocene that culminates in the thick enamel of the robust Australopithecus species, and then decreases from early Homo to recent modern humans. All hominin taxa share a regional average enamel thickness pattern of thick occlusal enamel and greater buccal than lingual enamel thickness. Pan is unique in exhibiting the thinnest average enamel thickness in the occlusal basin. Statistical analysis indicates that among Pliocene hominins enamel thickness is a weak taxonomic discriminator. The data underlying these results are included in a table in the Supplementary Online Material. PMID:26024565

  6. Resistivity imaging of Pleistocene alluvial aquifers in a contractional tectonic setting: A case history from the Po plain (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mele, M.; Bersezio, R.; Giudici, M.; Inzoli, S.; Cavalli, E.; Zaja, A.

    2013-06-01

    In this work we present the hydrogeophysical imaging of a key sector of the Quaternary Po foreland basin (northern Italy), focussing on the reconstruction of clastic aquifers and aquitards in a complex tectono-sedimentary subsurface architecture. The study area includes the relic reliefs of Casalpusterlengo and Zorlesco, two smooth morphological features involving uplifted and gently folded Pleistocene marine to alluvial sediments, plausibly linked to the buried Northern Apennines thrust and fold belt. The geophysical data include 35 Direct Current Vertical Electrical Soundings collected over a 37 km2 wide area, acquired with Schlumberger array and maximum half-spacing of 500 m. 1-D resistivity-depth profiles were computed for each VES. An integrated hydrostratigraphic approach was applied, to constrain the interpretation of the geophysical data along several cross-sections, including the comparison of resistivity soundings to stratigraphic logs, borehole electric logs and the pore-water properties. The resistivity interfaces, traceable with the same laterally continuous vertical polarity, were used to develop an electrostratigraphic model in order to portray the stacking of electrostratigraphic units down to 200 m below ground surface. Their vertical associations show a general upward increase of electrical resistivity. This assemblage mimics the regional coarsening upwards depositional trend, from the conductive units of the Plio-Pleistocene marine-to-transitional depositional systems to the resistive units of the Middle-Late Pleistocene fluvial and alluvial plain depositional systems. Middle Pleistocene depositional systems host an alternation of North-dipping, high-to-intermediate permeability aquifer systems (70-180 Ωm, thickness of 5-70 m) separated by low permeability aquitards (20-50 Ωm, thickness up to 40 m). These units pinch out against the Casalpusterlengo and Zorlesco relic reliefs, where they cover the uplifted and folded regional aquitard (20-50

  7. The bony labyrinth of the middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Lorenzo, Carlos; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2016-01-01

    We performed 3D virtual reconstructions based on CT scans to study the bony labyrinth morphology in 14 individuals from the large middle Pleistocene hominin sample from the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins represent early members of the Neandertal clade and provide an opportunity to compare the data with the later in time Neandertals, as well as Pleistocene and recent humans more broadly. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins do not differ from the Neandertals in any of the variables related to the absolute and relative sizes and shape of the semicircular canals. Indeed, the entire Neandertal clade seems to be characterized by a derived pattern of canal proportions, including a relatively small posterior canal and a relatively large lateral canal. In contrast, one of the most distinctive features observed in Neandertals, the low placement of the posterior canal (i.e., high sagittal labyrinthine index), is generally not present in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins. This low placement is considered a derived feature in Neandertals and is correlated with a more vertical orientation of the ampullar line (LSCm < APA), posterior surface of the petrous pyramid (LSCm > PPp), and third part of the facial canal (LSCm < FC3). Some variation is present within the Atapuerca (SH) sample, however, with a few individuals approaching the Neandertal condition more closely. In addition, the cochlear shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins is low, indicating a reduction in the height of the cochlea. Although the phylogenetic polarity of this feature is less clear, the low shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins may be a derived feature. Regardless, cochlear height subsequently increased in Neandertals. In contrast to previous suggestions, the expanded data in the present study indicate no difference across the genus Homo in the angle of inclination of the cochlear basal turn (COs < LSCm). Principal components

  8. The bony labyrinth of the middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Lorenzo, Carlos; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2016-01-01

    We performed 3D virtual reconstructions based on CT scans to study the bony labyrinth morphology in 14 individuals from the large middle Pleistocene hominin sample from the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins represent early members of the Neandertal clade and provide an opportunity to compare the data with the later in time Neandertals, as well as Pleistocene and recent humans more broadly. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins do not differ from the Neandertals in any of the variables related to the absolute and relative sizes and shape of the semicircular canals. Indeed, the entire Neandertal clade seems to be characterized by a derived pattern of canal proportions, including a relatively small posterior canal and a relatively large lateral canal. In contrast, one of the most distinctive features observed in Neandertals, the low placement of the posterior canal (i.e., high sagittal labyrinthine index), is generally not present in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins. This low placement is considered a derived feature in Neandertals and is correlated with a more vertical orientation of the ampullar line (LSCm < APA), posterior surface of the petrous pyramid (LSCm > PPp), and third part of the facial canal (LSCm < FC3). Some variation is present within the Atapuerca (SH) sample, however, with a few individuals approaching the Neandertal condition more closely. In addition, the cochlear shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins is low, indicating a reduction in the height of the cochlea. Although the phylogenetic polarity of this feature is less clear, the low shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins may be a derived feature. Regardless, cochlear height subsequently increased in Neandertals. In contrast to previous suggestions, the expanded data in the present study indicate no difference across the genus Homo in the angle of inclination of the cochlear basal turn (COs < LSCm). Principal components

  9. Pleistocene and Holocene geomorphological development in the Algarve, southern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chester, David K.

    2012-06-01

    A detailed chronological framework for Pleistocene and Holocene geomorphology and landscape evolution in the Algarve is proposed. With regards to the Pleistocene, attention has focused on the origin, dating and stratigraphy of the Ludo Formation. Subsuming the classifications of earlier writers, it is now proposed that during the Pliocene a marine transgression occurred across a tectonically controlled basin that was constrained by the mountains of the Algarve interior to the north. Fluvial sands were then deposited in a regressive phase during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene, while braided streams operating under semi-arid conditions subsequently laid down sands and gravels in the middle and upper Pleistocene. Lying unconformably over the Ludo Formation is an alluvial deposit (Odiáxere gravels and Loulé sands) of late Pleistocene/early Holocene date that is found within the river valleys of the Algarve. In the early-Holocene (ca.10, 000-ca.7000 BP) and early late-Holocene (ca.5000-ca.3000 BP), the situation in the Algarve was one of climatic amelioration (i.e., warmer and wetter conditions), rising sea levels, vegetation colonization, soil development and towards the end of this period trenching of the Odiáxere gravels and Loulé sands. From ca.3000 BP evidence is abundant that humans became important geomorphological agents either acting on their own or in combination with climatic factors. From around 5000 BP, conditions became dryer and, between ca.3000 BP and ca.700 BP, clearance of land by pre-Roman, Roman, and especially Islamic agricultural settlers caused widespread erosion and the deposition of extensive spreads of topsoil dominated sediment within river valleys (i.e., the Holocene terrace) and in coastal estuaries. A period followed up to 1900 CE when agricultural practices were less damaging to the soil, erosion was reduced and the Holocene terrace - together with coastal and estuarine deposits - was incised. In the past century and under

  10. Aminostratigraphic correlations and paleotemperature implications, Pliocene-Pleistocene high-sea-level deposits, northwestern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufman, Darrell S.; Brigham-Grette, Julie

    Multiple periods of Late Pliocene and Pleistocene high sea level are recorded by surficial deposits along the coastal plains of northwestern Alaska. Analyses of the extent of amino acid epimerization in fossil molluscan shells from the Nome coastal plain of the northern Bering Sea coast, and from the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain of the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea coasts, allow recognition of at least five intervals of higher-than-present relative sea level. Three Late Pliocene transgressions are represented at Nome by the complex and protracted Beringian transgression, and on the Arctic Coastal Plain by the Colvillian, Bigbendian, and Fishcreekian transgressions. These were followed by a lengthy period of non-marine deposition during the Early Pleistocene when sea level did not reach above its present position. A Middle Pleistocene high-sea-level event is represented at Nome by the Anvilian transgression, and on the Arctic Coastal Plain by the Wainwrightian transgression. Anvilian deposits at the type locality are considerably younger than previously thought, perhaps as young as Oxygen-Isotope Stage 11 (˜410,000 BP). Finally, the last interglacial Pelukian transgression is represented discontinuously along the shores of northwestern Alaska. Amino acid epimerization data, together with previous paleomagnetic measurements, radiometric-age determinations, and paleontologic evidence provide geochronological constraints on the sequence of marine deposits. They form the basis of regional correlations and offer a means of evaluating the post-depositional thermal history of the high-sea-level deposits. Provisional correlations between marine units at Nome and the Artic Coastal Plain indicate that the temperature difference that separates the two sites today had existed by about 3.0 Ma. Since that time, the effective diagenetic temperature was lowered by about 3-4°C at both sites, and the mean annual temperature was lowered considerably more. This temperature decrease was

  11. Continuity or discontinuity in the European Early Pleistocene human settlement: the Atapuerca evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-09-01

    The nature, timing, pattern, favourable circumstances and impediments of the human occupation of the European continent during the Early Pleistocene are hot topics in Quaternary studies. In particular, the problem of the (dis) continuity of the settlement of Europe in this period is an important matter of discussion, which has been approached in the last decade from different points of view. The Gran Dolina (TD) and Sima del Elefante (TE) cave sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, (Spain) include large and quasi-continuous stratigraphic sequences that stretch back from at least 1.2 million years ago (Ma) to the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. The archaeological and paleontological record from these sites can help to test different hypotheses about the character of the human settlement in this region and period. Furthermore, the TD6 level has yielded a large collection of human fossil remains attributed to Homo antecessor. According to different geochronological methods, as well as to paleomagnetic and biostratigraphical analyses, these hominins belong to an age range of 0.96-0.80 Ma. Unfortunately, the finding in 2007 of some human fossil remains in the TE9 level, dated to about 1.22 Ma, was not enough to conclude whether H. antecessor had deep roots in the European Early Pleistocene. A set of derived features of H. antecessor shared with both the Neanderthal lineage and modern humans suggests that this species is related, and not far, from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If we assume that there was a lineal biological relationship between the TE9 and TD6 hominins, we should reconsider many of the conclusions achieved in previous paleontological and genetic studies. In addition, we would be obliged to build a highly complicated paleogeographical scenario for the origin of the MRCA. Although continuity in the settlement of Europe during the entire late Early Pleistocene is not discarded (e.g. in refuge areas), it seems that

  12. Pleistocene and Holocene Iberian flora: a complete picture and review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Sampériz, Penélope

    2010-05-01

    A detailed analysis of the location and composition of Iberian vegetation types during the whole Pleistocene and Holocene periods shows a complex patched landscape with persistence of different types of ecosystems, even during glacial times. In addition, recent, high-resolution palaeoecological records are changing the traditional picture of post-glacial vegetation succession in the Iberian Peninsula. The main available charcoal and pollen sequences include, coniferous and deciduous forest, steppes, shrublands, savannahs and glacial refugia during the Pleistocene for Meso-thermophytes (phytodiversity reservoirs), in different proportions. This panorama suggests an environmental complexity that relates biotic responses to climate changes forced by Milankovitch cycles, suborbital forcings and by the latitudinal and physiographic particularities of the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, many factors are critical in the course of vegetational developments and strong regional differences are observed since the Early Pleistocene. Currently, the flora of Iberia is located in two biogeographical/climatic regions: the Eurosiberian and the Mediterranean. The first one includes northern and northwestern areas of the peninsula, where post-glacial responses of vegetation are very similar to Central Europe, although with some particularities due to its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean region. The second one comprises the main territory of Iberia and shows more complex patterns and singularities, now and in the past. Steppe landscapes dominated extensive areas over all the territory during the cold spells of the Quaternary, especially during the Late Pleistocene up to the Last Glacial Maximum, but differences in composition of the dominant taxa (Compositae versus Artemisia) are observed since the Early Pleistocene, probably related to moisture regional gradients. Coastal shelves and intramountainous valleys, even in continental areas, are spots of floristic

  13. Pleistocene Lake Bonneville as an analog for extraterrestrial lakes and oceans: Chapter 21

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chan, M.A.; Jewell, P.; Parker, T.J.; Ormo, J.; Okubo, Chris; Komatsu, G.

    2016-01-01

    Geomorphic confirmation for a putative ancient Mars ocean relies on analog comparisons of coastal-like features such as shoreline feature attributes and temporal scales of process formation. Pleistocene Lake Bonneville is one of the few large, geologically young, terrestrial lake systems that exemplify well-preserved shoreline characteristics that formed quickly, on the order of a thousand years or less. Studies of Lake Bonneville provide two essential analog considerations for interpreting shorelines on Mars: (1) morphological variations in expression depend on constructional vs erosional processes, and (2) shorelines are not always correlative at an equipotential elevation across a basin due to isostasy, heat flow, wave setup, fetch, and other factors. Although other large terrestrial lake systems display supporting evidence for geomorphic comparisons, Lake Bonneville encompasses the most integrated examples of preserved coastal features related to basin history, sediment supply, climate, and fetch, all within the context of a detailed hydrograph. These collective terrestrial lessons provide a framework to evaluate possible boundary conditions for ancient Mars hydrology and large water body environmental feedbacks. This knowledge of shoreline characteristics, processes, and environments can support explorations of habitable environments and guide future mission explorations.

  14. Transport and mixing of eolian sand from local sources resulting in variations in grain size in a gypsum dune field, White Sands, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Richard P.; Gill, Thomas E.; Jones, Slade B.

    2016-03-01

    The White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico (USA), provides a unique opportunity to study sources and eolian transport of sand. End member mixing analysis provides unbiased correlation of the grain size distributions of populations that mix sands from four different local source surface types. Textural differences between sources allow local transport paths to be deduced. In total, 1214 surface samples from 10 dunes and 2 downwind-oriented transects were collected. Neither elevation on the dune, lee or stoss location nor distance downwind correlated with mean grain size, coarsest 10% (D90), or sorting. Instead, grain size distributions are controlled by mixing of locally sourced sand populations. Adjacent dunes can have different mean grain sizes, resulting from different local source populations. Local within-dune and between-dune variability resulting from different sand sources dominates any larger-scale trends across and within dunes. Four sand populations are identified, based on microscopically observable differences in grain size, shape and angularity. Each correlates with high loading of a different statistical factor, derived from End Member Mixing Analysis. End Member 1 (EM1) correlates with well-sorted populations of finer-grained, equant, rounded sands. EM2 correlates with samples that contain moderately sorted populations containing angular blades and crystal aggregates associated with erosional interdunes. EM3 is associated with samples of moderately to poorly sorted fine-grained sand containing fine sand-sized gypsum needles collected from areas of vegetated interdunes, and EM4 is associated with moderately well sorted coarse- and very coarse-grained sands collected from granule ripples. These results suggest that downwind mixing of different populations and segregation by different depositional processes influence grain size distributions in the dune field, rather than by dune-scale or erg-scale transport and sorting.

  15. Detection of Evolved Carbon Dioxide in the Rocknest Eolian Bedform by the Sample Analysis at Mars(SAM) Instrument at the Mars Curiosity Landing Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutter, B.; Archer, D.; McAdam, A.; Franz, H.; Ming, D. W.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P.; Stern, J.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument detected four releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) that ranged from 100 to 700 C from the Rocknest eolian bedform material (Fig. 1). Candidate sources of CO2 include adsorbed CO2, carbonate(s), combusted organics that are either derived from terrestrial contamination and/or of martian origin, occluded or trapped CO2, and other sources that have yet to be determined. The Phoenix Lander s Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) detected two CO2 releases (400-600, 700-840 C) [1,2]. The low temperature release was attributed to Fe- and/or Mg carbonates [1,2], per-chlorate interactions with carbonates [3], nanophase carbonates [4] and/or combusted organics [1]. The high temperature CO2 release was attributed to a calcium bearing carbonate [1,2]. No evidence of a high temperature CO2 release similar to the Phoenix material was detected in the Rocknest materials by SAM. The objectives of this work are to evaluate the temperature and total contribution of each Rocknest CO2 release and their possible sources. Four CO2 releases from the Rocknest material were detected by SAM. Potential sources of CO2 are adsorbed CO2, (peak 1) and Fe/Mg carbonates (peak 4). Only a fraction of peaks 2 and 3 (0.01 C wt.%) may be partially attributed to combustion of organic contamination. Meteoritic organics mixed in the Rocknest bedform could be present, but the peak 2 and 3 C concentration (approx.0.21 C wt. %) is likely too high to be attributed solely to meteoritic organic C. Other inorganic sources of C such as interactions of perchlorates and carbonates and sources yet to be identified will be evaluated to account for CO2 released from the thermal decomposition of Rocknest material.

  16. Quaternary Stratigraphy, Drainage-Basin Development, and Geomorphology of the Lake Manix Basin, Mojave Desert: Guidebook for Fall Field Trip, Friends of the Pleistocene, Pacific Cell, October 4-7, 2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, Marith C.; Miller, David M.; Redwine, Joanna L.

    2007-01-01

    The 2007 field trip of the Pacific Cell, Friends of the Pleistocene, visited features of the Quaternary geology and geomorphology of the Lake Manix basin in the Mojave Desert. This report is the guidebook for this trip and includes some discussion of relations observable along the road and at various field trip stops. The Mojave River originates in the San Bernardino Mountains and in high-water years flows north and east to its terminus in Silver Lake playa north of Baker, Calif. Along this course, the river passes through or near several basins that were internally drained prior to integration by the Mojave River, including the Victorville, Harper, Manix, and Soda Lake basins. Sediments in the Lake Manix basin record Mojave River discharge and lake fluctuations that began during the middle Pleistocene and continued through most of the late Pleistocene.

  17. "15 Minutes Of Fame": exploring the temporal dimension of middle pleistocene lithic technology.

    PubMed

    Hallos, J

    2005-08-01

    This paper addresses the spatial and temporal dimensions of knapping routines through analysis of refit data. Many reconstructions of lithic tool production utilising refit data concentrate upon 'how' a piece of stone is taken apart, and less often consider the 'when' and 'where'. Lower Palaeolithic artefacts are frequently viewed as belonging to simplistic technical systems in which tools were made and used as and when required, showing little temporal depth. Modern knappers can replicate the components of the Acheulean toolkit, such as a biface, in around 15 minutes. The predominant use of local raw materials and the relatively simple reduction sequences observed on many Middle Pleistocene sites has given rise to the view that Acheulean hominins possessed an immediate approach to technology, and that artefacts did not stay in the technological system very long. In contrast, other researchers have stressed the increased planning abilities of hominins in relation to their stone tool-making and using routines. Increased planning abilities are often cited as a diagnostic feature of modern human cognition. As such, tracing the emergence of these abilities is an important avenue of research in human evolution. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the process of lithic production was organised on several Middle Pleistocene sites in northwest Europe. By comparing refitting sequences from several primary context sites, the different stages of reduction present at these locations can be reconstructed. Since refit sets record the work carried out in one place and time by an individual, they can be used to reconstruct the spatial and temporal dimension of these past technological activities. The analysis shows fragmentation of reduction sequences was a common occurrence, suggesting a more dynamic approach to tool-making and using activities than has previously been recognised. The analysis provides a description of these artefact dynamics, and discusses the underlying

  18. "15 Minutes Of Fame": exploring the temporal dimension of middle pleistocene lithic technology.

    PubMed

    Hallos, J

    2005-08-01

    This paper addresses the spatial and temporal dimensions of knapping routines through analysis of refit data. Many reconstructions of lithic tool production utilising refit data concentrate upon 'how' a piece of stone is taken apart, and less often consider the 'when' and 'where'. Lower Palaeolithic artefacts are frequently viewed as belonging to simplistic technical systems in which tools were made and used as and when required, showing little temporal depth. Modern knappers can replicate the components of the Acheulean toolkit, such as a biface, in around 15 minutes. The predominant use of local raw materials and the relatively simple reduction sequences observed on many Middle Pleistocene sites has given rise to the view that Acheulean hominins possessed an immediate approach to technology, and that artefacts did not stay in the technological system very long. In contrast, other researchers have stressed the increased planning abilities of hominins in relation to their stone tool-making and using routines. Increased planning abilities are often cited as a diagnostic feature of modern human cognition. As such, tracing the emergence of these abilities is an important avenue of research in human evolution. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the process of lithic production was organised on several Middle Pleistocene sites in northwest Europe. By comparing refitting sequences from several primary context sites, the different stages of reduction present at these locations can be reconstructed. Since refit sets record the work carried out in one place and time by an individual, they can be used to reconstruct the spatial and temporal dimension of these past technological activities. The analysis shows fragmentation of reduction sequences was a common occurrence, suggesting a more dynamic approach to tool-making and using activities than has previously been recognised. The analysis provides a description of these artefact dynamics, and discusses the underlying

  19. Miocene-Pleistocene Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironment in the Meade Basin, Kansas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snell, K. E.; Uno, K. T.; Fetrow, A. C.; Burgess, C.; Lukens, W. E.; Fox, D. L.; Fox-Dobbs, K.; Polissar, P. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Meade Basin in southwestern Kansas preserves a unique record of paleovegetation and small mammal faunal change from the Miocene to the Pleistocene. Many of the paleosols preserved in this basin contain paleosol carbonate nodules, thick calcretes and abundant organic-rich horizons, which makes it ideally suited for a multiproxy study that explores the role of paleoenvironmental change in driving floral and faunal change. Here we focus on the carbonate samples where we measured carbon and oxygen isotopes (δ13Cc and δ18Oc, respectively); used clumped isotope thermometry (Δ47) to estimate soil temperature and soil water δ18O; and assessed the preservation state and additional paleoenvironmental features of the samples using optical and cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy. The carbon isotope record matches previous studies from the region and shows an increase in the relative abundance of C4 biomass on the landscape since the late Miocene. The Δ47 temperatures and the δ18O of soil water, while variable, show no significant change in average values through time. The textural and luminescenece characteristics suggest some samples have undergone moderate to extensive diagenetic alteration from groundwater fluids, perhaps causing some of the variability in the geochemical records. Soil depth may also account for some of the variability. Overall, these data suggest that temperature is unlikely to be the dominant factor driving paleovegetation and faunal change in this region from the Miocene to Pleistocene. In addition, these data highlight the importance of assessing preservation for all carbonate samples, regardless of whether or not the samples have been deeply buried.

  20. The Oldowan industry of Peninj and its bearing on the reconstruction of the technological skills of Lower Pleistocene hominids.

    PubMed

    de la Torre, Ignacio; Mora, Rafael; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; de Luque, Luis; Alcalá, Luis

    2003-02-01

    The Oldowan technology has traditionally been assumed to reflect technical simplicity and limited planning by Plio-Pleistocene hominids. The analysis of the Oldowan technology from a set of 1.6-1.4 Ma sites (ST Site Complex) in Peninj adds new information regarding the curated behavior of early hominids. The present work introduces new data to the few published monographic works on East African Oldowan technology. Its relevance lies in its conclusions, since the Peninj Oldowan assemblages show complex technological skills for Lower Pleistocene hominids, which are more complex than has been previously inferred for the Oldowan stone tool industry. Reduced variability of tool types and complex use of cores for flaking are some of the most remarkable features that identify the Oldowan assemblages from Peninj. Hominids during this period seem to have already been experimenting with pre-determination of the flaked products from cores, a feature presently assumed to appear later in time. Planning and template structuring of flaked products are integral parts of the Oldowan at Peninj.

  1. Environmental, ecological, and paleoanthropological implications of the late Pleistocene mammalian fauna from Equus Cave, northern Cape Province, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Richard G.; Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn; Beaumont, Peter B.

    1991-07-01

    The late Pleistocene deposits of Equus Cave, northern Cape Province, South Africa, have provided more than 30,000 taxonomically identifiable mammal bones from 48 species. Context, associations, and features of the bone assemblage implicate brown hyenas as the main accumulators. The fauna is significant mainly because (1) it supplements previous evidence that regional climate was cooler and possibly also somewhat moister during part(s) of the late Pleistocene, but deviated less from the historic norm than in areas farther south; (2) it shows that Bond's springbok, which became extinct in the early Holocene, differed from the surviving common springbok not only in important morphological respects but also in reproductive pattern; and (3) it sustains earlier suggestions that an abundance of carnivores, a paucity of small hard bones, and increase in the cranial/postcranial ratio with species size, and exclusively attritional mortality profiles are features that tend to differentiate assemblages accumulated by brown hyenas from those accumulated by people. In addition, pending firmer dating, the fragmentary human fossils from Equus Cave may support an exclusively African origin for anatomically modern humans.

  2. An Investigation of Transgressive Deposits in Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville using GPR and UAV-produced DEMs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schide, K.; Jewell, P. W.; Oviatt, C. G.; Jol, H. M.

    2015-12-01

    Lake Bonneville was the largest of the Pleistocene pluvial lakes that once filled the Great Basin of the interior western United States. Its two most prominent shorelines, Bonneville and Provo, are well documented but many of the lake's intermediate shoreline features have yet to be studied. These transgressive barriers and embankments mark short-term changes in the regional water budget and thus represent a proxy for local climate change. The internal and external structures of these features are analyzed using the following methods: ground penetrating radar, 5 meter auto-correlated DEMs, 1-meter DEMs generated from LiDAR, high-accuracy handheld GPS, and 3D imagery collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle. These methods in mapping, surveying, and imaging provide a quantitative analysis of regional sediment availability, transportation, and deposition as well as changes in wave and wind energy. These controls help define climate thresholds and rates of landscape evolution in the Great Basin during the Pleistocene that are then evaluated in the context of global climate change.

  3. Acinonyx pardinensis (Carnivora, Felidae) from the Early Pleistocene of Pantalla (Italy): predatory behavior and ecological role of the giant Plio-Pleistocene cheetah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherin, Marco; Iurino, Dawid Adam; Sardella, Raffaele; Rook, Lorenzo

    2014-03-01

    The site of Pantalla (central Italy) yielded a rich late Villafranchian (Early Pleistocene) faunal assemblage, which includes some well-preserved large mammal skulls. We describe here two nearly complete crania and a left hemimandible of Acinonyx pardinensis from this locality, representing the most complete cranial material of this species in Europe. These finds allowed us to define more clearly the craniodental morphology of A. pardinensis. Similarly to the forms from North Africa and China, the giant cheetah from Pantalla has a more generalized skull than the living Acinonyx jubatus, showing some primitive, pantherine-like features such as the less domed dorsal outline of the cranium, the more developed sagittal and nuchal crests and the less bowed zygomatic arches. High-resolution CT scans of the specimens were used to obtain the first 3D model of a cranium with articulated mandible of A. pardinensis. Starting from the insertion areas on this model we reconstructed the jaw muscles of the Pantalla felid, confirming its affinities with pantherine felines. In the light of the musculoskeletal skull anatomy and the average body mass (about 80 kg), it is likely that A. pardinensis could kill large prey through a hunting strategy more similar to pantherine cats than to the living cheetah.

  4. Pleistocene dynamics of the Pacific South Equatorial Countercurrent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuernberg, D.; Raddatz, J.; Rippert, N.; Tiedemann, R.

    2014-12-01

    The Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) with extremely high sea-surface-temperatures (SST) is a key area for global climate. It also acts as a crossroad for mode and intermediate water masses such as the South Equatorial Countercurrent (SECC) transporting water masses originating from higher latitudes. The SECC flows above the main thermocline and strongly interacts with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). To constrain changes in sea-surface and subsurface water mass dynamics affecting thermocline depth, we reconstruct SST, subSST and salinity conditions using combined δ18O and Mg/Ca signals of surface (Globigerinoides ruber, Globigerinoides sacculifer) and subsurface dwelling (Globorotalia tumida) planktonic foraminifera. Our study is based on RV SONNE SO-225 piston cores retrieved from Manihiki plateau, which is located at the southeastern margin of the WPWP (between ~ 5°S-15°S and 170-160°W). The proxy records cover the last ~ 3 Myr SSTMg/Ca remained nearly constant throughout the entire Pleistocene varying between ~30 to 32 (°C), while the subSSTMg/Ca reconstructions reveal pronounced variations from ~10 to 16 (°C). Our results imply that the WPWP thermocline depth has undergone significant vertical movements throughout the Pleistocene. Notably, thermocline depth is continuously decreasing from the early to the late Pleistocene, and coincides with the change from the 41 kyr to a dominant 100 kyr climate periodicity between 1 and 1.7 Ma. We hypothesize that the repeated change in thermocline depth is due to either 1) changes in mode or intermediate water masses advection from Southern Ocean sources via "ocean tunneling", 2) changes in the tropical Pacific wind regime, and/or 3) changes in the Western Pacific Monsoon sytem.

  5. Pleistocene microvertebrates from fissure-fillings in Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Suteethorn, Varavudh

    Microvertebrates (and among them specially, rodents) have contributed to the elaboration of precise biochronological time scales and to the reconstitution of Pleistocene paleoenvironments in several parts of the world (North America, Africa, Europe and Japan). They have been demonstrated to be highly sensitive to climatic changes since they are very sensitive to vegetation changes. Up to now, no data is available for Southeast Asia and very few information is available concerning the nature of climatic changes which affected that part of the tropical world during the Pleistocene. In the past few years, we have discovered several fissure fillings in Thailand yielding numerous remains of microvertebrates which have been extracted by dissolution in acetic acid solution. These deposits are the result of the feeding activity of predators, like owls or diurnal raptors, whose pellets are accumulated in caves or fissures. Eleven localities, located in Central (2), Eastern (1), Western (2) and Peninsular Thailand (6) have been investigated so far. Several rodent species, belonging to 9 genera of Murinae (rats and mice) and 9 genera of Sciuridae (squirrels) have been identified in these localities. The most important differences with the extant representatives often concern the size of the teeth of these fossil species. The meaning of these size differences is not yet clearly understood since they can be attributed either to significant time differences between localities (microevolution) or as the result of size variations related to climatic changes (clinical variations). More data will have to be collected to calibrate the temporal frame. Already, important modification of the geographic distribution of some species have been discovered which testify that during the Pleistocene, significative climatic changes have affected Southeast Asia. For example, Exilisciurus, a squirrel which is presently restricted to Borneo has been recognized in Peninsular Thailand. Also, Iomys

  6. Late Pleistocene oscillations of Lake Owens, eastern California

    SciTech Connect

    Orme, A.J. . Dept. of Geography); Orme, A.R. . Dept. of Geography)

    1993-04-01

    Just before diversion of the Owens River drainage to Los Angeles in 1912--13, Owens Lake had a maximum depth of 14m and covered 290 km[sup 2] at a water-surface elevation of 1,095m. Indeed throughout most of Holocene time, the lake formed the sump for the Owens River drainage, its level fluctuating in response to variable inflow and evaporation. In late Pleistocene time, however, Lake Owens' spilled south towards Lake Searles' on reaching an elevation of 1,145m, at which level the lake was 64m deep and covered 694 km[sup 2]. Aided by radiometric dating, stratigraphic and sedimentological analyses of beach ridges and associated deposits around its northeast margin reveal complex oscillations of Lake Owens between 13,000 and 9,000 years B.P.. Following an earlier high stand, lake level fell until around 13,000 B.P. it rose again to at least 1138m, probably linked to late Wisconsinan glacier melt in the Sierra Nevada. Across the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, lake level fell to around 1100m and then rose to about 1,120m around 9,600 B.P., before falling away during Holocene time. This pattern is consistent with fluctuations in glacier budgets and meltwater regimes, and with late Pleistocene-early Holocene climatic oscillations postulated elsewhere in the region. Correlation with lake-level fluctuations observed at other localities around Owens Lake is complicated by tectonism, but the above sequence invites comparison with the detailed record obtained from Searles Lake farther south.

  7. An investigation of palaeodietary variability in European Pleistocene canids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, Lucy O. H.; Schreve, Danielle C.

    2014-07-01

    Temporal and interspecific dietary variability were investigated in three canid taxa, Canis lupus, Canis mosbachensis and Canis etruscus, across a range of British and mainland European wolf assemblages from the Early Pleistocene to Recent periods. Using established cranio-dental indicators to reveal dietary specialisations towards bone eating, flesh slicing, and non-flesh food crushing, inferences were made concerning the proportions of flesh to non-flesh foods in the diet, and hence the level of carnivory adopted by each taxon. Significant temporal differences were found in the diet and frequency of tooth wear of C. lupus from MIS 3, 5a and 7 in Britain. Relative body size comparisons based on lower carnassial length also revealed variation in body size for the Pleistocene age groups, correlating with differences in diet. Stepwise Discriminant Function Analyses revealed large-bodied MIS 5a C. lupus to be hypercarnivorous and specialised in fast flesh slicing and to some extent bone consumption, whereas relatively smaller-bodied MIS 3 and 7 C. lupus were both less carnivorous and more specialised in crushing non-meat foods. Modern wolves from central Sweden are smaller than those of MIS 5a and hypercarnivorous, although with greater specialisation towards crushing of non-meat foods. Temporal variations in diet were related to changes in prey diversity, competition from other carnivores, openness of the environment, and ultimately climate, and reflect the cranio-dental plasticity of C. lupus. In contrast, no temporal differences in diet were found in age groups of C. mosbachensis and C. etruscus, which may relate to more stable overall conditions in comparison to the later Pleistocene. The cranio-dental characteristics of the smaller-bodied mesocarnivore C. etruscus indicate adaptations to non-meat food crushing, whereas in the similarly small C. mosbachensis, enhanced flesh slicing capabilities and reduced crushing abilities indicate that it was more carnivorous

  8. Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the central Mississippi River valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Arsdale, Roy B.; Cupples, William B.; Csontos, Ryan M.

    2014-06-01

    Within the northern Mississippi embayment the ancestral Mississippi River flowed south through the Western Lowlands and the ancestral Ohio River flowed through the Eastern Lowlands for most of the Pleistocene. Previous investigators have mapped and dated the terraces of their respective braid belts. This current research investigates the three-dimensional aspect of the Quaternary alluvium north of Memphis, Tennessee, through the interpretation of 3374 geologic well logs that are 91.4 m (300 ft) deep. The braid belts are capped by a thin silt/clay horizon (Pleistocene loess) that overlies gravelly sand, which in turn overlies sandy gravel. The base of the Pleistocene alluvium beneath the Ash Hill (27.3-24.6 ka), Melville Ridge (41.6-34.5 ka), and Dudley (63.5-50.1 ka) terraces of the Western Lowland slope southerly by 0.275 m/km and all have an average basal elevation of 38 m. Near Beedeville, Arkansas, the bases of these terraces descend 20 m across a northeast-striking down-to-the-southeast fault that coincides with the western margin of the Cambrian Reelfoot rift. The maximum depth of flow (lowest elevation of base of alluvium) occurred in the Eastern Lowlands and appears to have been the downstream continuation of the ancestral Ohio River Cache valley course in southern Illinois. In traversing from west to east in the Eastern Lowlands, the Sikeston braid belt (19.7-17.8 ka) has a basal elevation averaging 7 m, the Kennett braid belt (16.1-14.4 ka) averages 13 m, the Morehouse (12 ka) braid belt averages 24 m, and the Holocene (≤ 10 ka) Mississippi River floodplain has the highest average basal elevation at 37 m. Along this easterly traverse the base of the Quaternary alluvium rises and the age of alluvium decreases. The eastward thinning of the floodplain alluvium in the Eastern Lowlands appears to be caused by decreasing Mississippi River discharge as it transitioned from the Wisconsinan glacial maximum to the Holocene. The base of the Holocene Mississippi

  9. Early Pleistocene Glacial Cycles and the Integrated Summer Insolation Forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huybers, Peter

    2006-07-01

    Long-term variations in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation are generally thought to control glaciation. But the intensity of summer insolation is primarily controlled by 20,000-year cycles in the precession of the equinoxes, whereas early Pleistocene glacial cycles occur at 40,000-year intervals, matching the period of changes in Earth's obliquity. The resolution of this 40,000-year problem is that glaciers are sensitive to insolation integrated over the duration of the summer. The integrated summer insolation is primarily controlled by obliquity and not precession because, by Kepler's second law, the duration of the summer is inversely proportional to Earth's distance from the Sun.

  10. North Siberian lakes: A methane source fueled by Pleistocene carbon

    SciTech Connect

    Zimov, S.A.; Davidov, S.P.; Prosiannikov, S.F.; Trumbore, S.

    1997-08-08

    The sizes of major sources and sinks of atmospheric methane (CH{sub 4}), an important greenhouse gas, are poorly known. CH{sub 4} from north Siberian lakes contributes {approximately}1.5 teragrams CH{sub 4} year{sup -1} to observed winter increases in atmospheric CH{sub 4} concentration at high northern latitudes. CH{sub 4} emitted from these lakes in winter had a radiocarbon age of 27,200 years and was derived largely from Pleistocene-aged carbon.

  11. Differentiation of pleistocene deposits in northeastern Kansas by clay minerals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tien, P.-L.

    1968-01-01

    Seventy-four samples from eight stratigraphic sections of lower Pleistocene glacial and glaciofluvial deposits in Doniphan County, extreme northeastern Kansas, were analyzed using X-ray diffraction techniques. Clay-mineral assemblages of the <2 ?? fraction of these deposits are nearly identical, consisting of a mixed-layer clay mineral associated with minor amounts of kaolinite and illite. An attempt was made to differentiate units of till and nontill deposits by using the relative intensities of 001 reflections of "mixed-layer mineral," kaolinite, and illite. At least two tills were recognizable. Associated nontill deposits, could not be differentiated from one another, although the nontills are easily distinguished from tills. ?? 1968.

  12. What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul?

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, C. N.; Alroy, J.; Beeton, N. J.; Bird, M. I.; Brook, B. W.; Cooper, A.; Gillespie, R.; Herrando-Pérez, S.; Jacobs, Z.; Miller, G. H.; Prideaux, G. J.; Roberts, R. G.; Rodríguez-Rey, M.; Saltré, F.; Turney, C. S. M.; Bradshaw, C. J. A.

    2016-01-01

    During the Pleistocene, Australia and New Guinea supported a rich assemblage of large vertebrates. Why these animals disappeared has been debated for more than a century and remains controversial. Previous synthetic reviews of this problem have typically focused heavily on particular types of evidence, such as the dating of extinction and human arrival, and have frequently ignored uncertainties and biases that can lead to misinterpretation of this evidence. Here, we review diverse evidence bearing on this issue and conclude that, although many knowledge gaps remain, multiple independent lines of evidence point to direct human impact as the most likely cause of extinction. PMID:26865301

  13. Early Pleistocene glacial cycles and the integrated summer insolation forcing.

    PubMed

    Huybers, Peter

    2006-07-28

    Long-term variations in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation are generally thought to control glaciation. But the intensity of summer insolation is primarily controlled by 20,000-year cycles in the precession of the equinoxes, whereas early Pleistocene glacial cycles occur at 40,000-year intervals, matching the period of changes in Earth's obliquity. The resolution of this 40,000-year problem is that glaciers are sensitive to insolation integrated over the duration of the summer. The integrated summer insolation is primarily controlled by obliquity and not precession because, by Kepler's second law, the duration of the summer is inversely proportional to Earth's distance from the Sun. PMID:16794041

  14. What caused extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna of Sahul?

    PubMed

    Johnson, C N; Alroy, J; Beeton, N J; Bird, M I; Brook, B W; Cooper, A; Gillespie, R; Herrando-Pérez, S; Jacobs, Z; Miller, G H; Prideaux, G J; Roberts, R G; Rodríguez-Rey, M; Saltré, F; Turney, C S M; Bradshaw, C J A

    2016-02-10

    During the Pleistocene, Australia and New Guinea supported a rich assemblage of large vertebrates. Why these animals disappeared has been debated for more than a century and remains controversial. Previous synthetic reviews of this problem have typically focused heavily on particular types of evidence, such as the dating of extinction and human arrival, and have frequently ignored uncertainties and biases that can lead to misinterpretation of this evidence. Here, we review diverse evidence bearing on this issue and conclude that, although many knowledge gaps remain, multiple independent lines of evidence point to direct human impact as the most likely cause of extinction. PMID:26865301

  15. Discovery of Homo sp. tooth associated with a mammalian cave fauna of Late Middle Pleistocene age, northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tougard, C; Jaeger, J J

    1998-07-01

    In the context of a Thai-French paleontological project, a single human tooth, a right upper fourth premolar, has been discovered in Northern Thailand among mammalian fossil remains excavated from the "Thum Wiman Nakin" cave. Based on the fauna associated with the human tooth and the Uranium/Thorium datings from the overlying calcite beds, we attribute this site to the Late Middle Pleistocene. The human tooth was compared with teeth of Chinese and Javanese Homo erectus, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens as well as teeth of apes (Orang-utan). The tooth has archaic features of the crown which are similar to Homo erectus. It also has derived features of the root which makes it aligns with Neanderthals and modern humans. Consequently, it has been tentatively attributed to Homo sp. Homo remains have not been previously reported from Thailand, and the specimen described here is therefore the first and oldest fossil human remain from this country.

  16. Paleoseismic investigation along Nalagarh Thrust: Evidence of Late Pleistocene earthquake in Pinjaur Dun, Northwestern sub-Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip, G.; Suresh, N.; Bhakuni, S. S.; Gupta, V.

    2011-03-01

    The present article is the first time reporting of a paleoearthquake that occurred during Late Pleistocene time along the Nalagarh Thrust (NT) in the Pinjaur Dun in northwestern sub-Himalaya. Using CORONA satellite photographs, multi-spectral IRS satellite data, and aerial photographs, a prominent active fault has been identified at Nalagarh in Pinjaur Dun. This fault in the alluvial fan is located very close to the NT which borders the topographic front of the Tertiary rocks against Quaternary deposits. A trench excavation survey was carried out at Nalagarh for detailed paleoseismic studies across this thrust fault. Displacing all the lithologic units of the fan sequence, the fault plane has an average dip of 30° due ENE and a vertical displacement of 1.6 m and slip of ˜2.5 m along the fault. The lithological units, consisting of alternating sand and gravel, show back tilting and asymmetrical tight folding. Based on Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) ages, the oldest litho-unit in the trench is 85.83 ± 7.2 ka and the youngest is 67.05 ± 8.4 ka. The OSL age of the sample collected from the easterly exposure of the fault shows an age of 20 ka. The faulting and associated induced deformation features suggest occurrence of a Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquake along NT in the Nalagarh region of the Pinjaur Dun following the deposition of the Quaternary sedimentary units. The Late Pleistocene fault substantiates the seismic potential of Pinjaur Dun and calls for more exhaustive study of paleoearthquakes in this fast developing industrial belt and highly populous mountainous region.

  17. A Human Deciduous Tooth and New 40Ar/39Ar Dating Results from the Middle Pleistocene Archaeological Site of Isernia La Pineta, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Peretto, Carlo; Arnaud, Julie; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manzi, Giorgio; Nomade, Sébastien; Pereira, Alison; Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Berto, Claudio; Sala, Benedetto; Lembo, Giuseppe; Muttillo, Brunella; Gallotti, Rosalia; Thun Hohenstein, Ursula; Vaccaro, Carmela; Coltorti, Mauro; Arzarello, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Isernia La Pineta (south-central Italy, Molise) is one of the most important archaeological localities of the Middle Pleistocene in Western Europe. It is an extensive open-air site with abundant lithic industry and faunal remains distributed across four stratified archaeosurfaces that have been found in two sectors of the excavation (3c, 3a, 3s10 in sect. I; 3a in sect. II). The prehistoric attendance was close to a wet environment, with a series of small waterfalls and lakes associated to calcareous tufa deposits. An isolated human deciduous incisor (labelled IS42) was discovered in 2014 within the archaeological level 3 coll (overlying layer 3a) that, according to new 40Ar/39Ar measurements, is dated to about 583-561 ka, i.e. to the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 15. Thus, the tooth is currently the oldest human fossil specimen in Italy; it is an important addition to the scanty European fossil record of the Middle Pleistocene, being associated with a lithic assemblage of local raw materials (flint and limestone) characterized by the absence of handaxes and reduction strategies primarily aimed at the production of small/medium-sized flakes. The faunal assemblage is dominated by ungulates often bearing cut marks. Combining chronology with the archaeological evidence, Isernia La Pineta exhibits a delay in the appearance of handaxes with respect to other European Palaeolithic sites of the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, this observation matches the persistence of archaic morphological features shown by the human calvarium from the Middle Pleistocene site of Ceprano, not far from Isernia (south-central Italy, Latium). In this perspective, our analysis is aimed to evaluate morphological features occurring in IS42. PMID:26457581

  18. A Human Deciduous Tooth and New 40Ar/39Ar Dating Results from the Middle Pleistocene Archaeological Site of Isernia La Pineta, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Peretto, Carlo; Arnaud, Julie; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manzi, Giorgio; Nomade, Sébastien; Pereira, Alison; Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Berto, Claudio; Sala, Benedetto; Lembo, Giuseppe; Muttillo, Brunella; Gallotti, Rosalia; Thun Hohenstein, Ursula; Vaccaro, Carmela; Coltorti, Mauro; Arzarello, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Isernia La Pineta (south-central Italy, Molise) is one of the most important archaeological localities of the Middle Pleistocene in Western Europe. It is an extensive open-air site with abundant lithic industry and faunal remains distributed across four stratified archaeosurfaces that have been found in two sectors of the excavation (3c, 3a, 3s10 in sect. I; 3a in sect. II). The prehistoric attendance was close to a wet environment, with a series of small waterfalls and lakes associated to calcareous tufa deposits. An isolated human deciduous incisor (labelled IS42) was discovered in 2014 within the archaeological level 3 coll (overlying layer 3a) that, according to new 40Ar/39Ar measurements, is dated to about 583-561 ka, i.e. to the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 15. Thus, the tooth is currently the oldest human fossil specimen in Italy; it is an important addition to the scanty European fossil record of the Middle Pleistocene, being associated with a lithic assemblage of local raw materials (flint and limestone) characterized by the absence of handaxes and reduction strategies primarily aimed at the production of small/medium-sized flakes. The faunal assemblage is dominated by ungulates often bearing cut marks. Combining chronology with the archaeological evidence, Isernia La Pineta exhibits a delay in the appearance of handaxes with respect to other European Palaeolithic sites of the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, this observation matches the persistence of archaic morphological features shown by the human calvarium from the Middle Pleistocene site of Ceprano, not far from Isernia (south-central Italy, Latium). In this perspective, our analysis is aimed to evaluate morphological features occurring in IS42.

  19. A Human Deciduous Tooth and New 40Ar/39Ar Dating Results from the Middle Pleistocene Archaeological Site of Isernia La Pineta, Southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Peretto, Carlo; Arnaud, Julie; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manzi, Giorgio; Nomade, Sébastien; Pereira, Alison; Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Berto, Claudio; Sala, Benedetto; Lembo, Giuseppe; Muttillo, Brunella; Gallotti, Rosalia; Thun Hohenstein, Ursula; Vaccaro, Carmela; Coltorti, Mauro; Arzarello, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Isernia La Pineta (south-central Italy, Molise) is one of the most important archaeological localities of the Middle Pleistocene in Western Europe. It is an extensive open-air site with abundant lithic industry and faunal remains distributed across four stratified archaeosurfaces that have been found in two sectors of the excavation (3c, 3a, 3s10 in sect. I; 3a in sect. II). The prehistoric attendance was close to a wet environment, with a series of small waterfalls and lakes associated to calcareous tufa deposits. An isolated human deciduous incisor (labelled IS42) was discovered in 2014 within the archaeological level 3 coll (overlying layer 3a) that, according to new 40Ar/39Ar measurements, is dated to about 583–561 ka, i.e. to the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 15. Thus, the tooth is currently the oldest human fossil specimen in Italy; it is an important addition to the scanty European fossil record of the Middle Pleistocene, being associated with a lithic assemblage of local raw materials (flint and limestone) characterized by the absence of handaxes and reduction strategies primarily aimed at the production of small/medium-sized flakes. The faunal assemblage is dominated by ungulates often bearing cut marks. Combining chronology with the archaeological evidence, Isernia La Pineta exhibits a delay in the appearance of handaxes with respect to other European Palaeolithic sites of the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, this observation matches the persistence of archaic morphological features shown by the human calvarium from the Middle Pleistocene site of Ceprano, not far from Isernia (south-central Italy, Latium). In this perspective, our analysis is aimed to evaluate morphological features occurring in IS42. PMID:26457581

  20. Eolian Signal of the Onset of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in North America Re-Deposited and Preserved As Paleo-Cave Sediments, Southwestern Colorado, U.S.a.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, J. E.; Soreghan, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Molas Formation is a loessite consisting of reddish silt of Early Pennsylvanian (Bashkirian) age. U-Pb age spectra of accessory zircons indicate long-distance (>2000 km) transport from the Grenville province in northeastern North America plus sources from the peri-Gondwanan terranes in southeastern North America and local sources in the Ancestral Rocky Mountains uplift. These eolian sediments formed a blanket deposit <30 m thick above a paleokarst landscape in southwestern Colorado, infilling solution valleys and burying karst towers developed on the underlying Mississippian (Tournaisian-Visean) Leadville Limestone. The loessite is an eolian signal for the probable onset of glaciation at multiple locations in tectonically uplifted mountainous areas in North America. However, the loessite is easily eroded and has low preservation potential. Prior to lithification, significant amounts of the loess were remobilized and transported into the underlying karst system. As paleo-cave deposits, encased in limestone and dolostone, the silt-rich deposits have a higher preservation potential, and the eolian signal of the onset of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age in North America is still recognizable. However, the following signal modification processes need to be understood: (1) source area weathering and pedogenesis; (2) land-atmosphere transfer processes; (3) deposition effects of paleotopography, vegetation and moisture conditions, and infiltration into open fractures and/or the matrix of colluvium; (4) remobilization by surface runoff into open fractures and/or groundwater piping/sapping processes in loess soils; (5) transport into vadose and phreatic karst passageways by episodic ("streamflood") hydrologic events, forming event deposits (debrites, inundites, and jointites); (6) breakout dome collapse (forming interbedded cave sediments, karst breccias, and speleothems); (7) lithification and diagenesis; (8) post-lithification modification including pervasive hydrothermal

  1. A Late Pleistocene-Holocene wetland megafan in the Brazilian Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetti, D. F.; Zani, H.; Cohen, M. C. L.; Cremon, É. H.

    2012-12-01

    Despite the growing interest in megafans, definitions provided for this type of environmental setting have not yet been widely agreed upon. A record of sedimentary facies distribution in both space and time including a larger number of analogs is particularly needed for improving megafan facies models. This work focuses on a large fan-like feature from an Amazonian wetland in northern Brazil. Morphological data based on remote sensing, as well as sedimentary facies and radiocarbon analyses, were integrated to propose that this feature is related to a megafan system active during the Late Pleistocene to Holocene. The megafan displays a divergent drainage network, gently-dipping slope, and concave-up and convex-up longitudinal and transverse profiles, respectively. Near surface deposits correspond to fining and coarsening upward sands related to active channels and overbank sand sheets/terminal fan lobes. Sediments are interbedded with abandoned channel/floodplain and lake/pond muds. Morphostructural analyses and drainage anomalies revealed a geological setting affected by reactivation of pre-existing faults contemporaneous with sediment accumulation. Establishment of a megafan system in this wetland most likely occurred within a slightly tectonically subsiding basin under favorable climatic conditions. During wet seasons, high water discharge would have favored sediment transport from highlands into this depositional site. High summer temperatures and drought under a monsoonal regime kept the water levels low. The described megafan could serve as an analog for contemporary tropical wetland megafans formed under a monsoonal climate regime.

  2. Multiple sources supply eolian mineral dust to the Atlantic sector of coastal Antarctica: Evidence from recent snow layers at the top of Berkner Island ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bory, Aloys; Wolff, Eric; Mulvaney, Robert; Jagoutz, Emil; Wegner, Anna; Ruth, Urs; Elderfield, Harry

    2010-03-01

    The Sr and Nd isotopic composition of dust extracted from recent snow layers at the top of Berkner Island ice sheet (located within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf at the southern end of the Weddell Sea) enables us, for the first time, to document dust provenance in Antarctica outside the East Antarctic Plateau (EAP) where all previous studies based on isotopic fingerprinting were carried out. Berkner dust displays an overall crust-like isotopic signature, characterized by more radiogenic 87Sr/ 86Sr and much less radiogenic 143Nd/ 144Nd compared to dust deposited on the EAP during glacial periods. Differences with EAP interglacial dust are not as marked but still significant, indicating that present-day Berkner dust provenance is distinct, at least to some extent, from that of the dust reaching the EAP. The fourteen snow-pit sub-seasonal samples that were obtained span a two-year period (2002-2003) and their dust Sr and Nd isotopic composition reveals that multiple sources are at play over a yearly time period. Southern South America, Patagonia in particular, likely accounts for part of the observed spring/summer dust deposition maxima, when isotopic composition is shifted towards "younger" isotopic signatures. In the spring, possible additional inputs from Australian sources would also be supported by the data. Most of the year, however, the measured isotopic signatures would be best explained by a sustained background supply from putative local sources in East Antarctica, which carry old-crust-like isotopic fingerprints. Whether the restricted East Antarctic ice-free areas produce sufficient eolian material has yet to be substantiated however. The fact that large (> 5 μm) particles represent a significant fraction of the samples throughout the entire time-series supports scenarios that involve contributions from proximal sources, either in Patagonia and/or Antarctica (possibly including snow-free areas in the Antarctic Peninsula and other areas as well). This also

  3. Latest Pleistocene Sediment Wedge on the New Jersey Outer Continental Shelf - Forced Regressive Paleo-Hudson Delta?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santra, M.; Goff, J. A.; Steel, R. J.

    2011-12-01

    The offlapping sediment wedge on the outer shelf off New Jersey that overlies the regional reflector R-horizon shows many of the characteristic features of a progradational succession deposited during falling sea level (forced regression). This interpretation is consistent with the estimated latest Pleistocene age of the wedge - a well-established period of large-scale eustatic sea level fall. The sediment wedge occupies the outer shelf of New Jersey south of the Hudson Shelf Valley, extending down to the shelf edge. The sediment wedge appears to be strongly strike-oriented. The absence of any record of time-equivalent fluvial/distributary channels on the proximal part of the sediment wedge led some previous workers to the interpretation that the wedge was a product of redistribution of sediment on the shelf rather than a deltaic feature supplied by a fluvial source. The absence of fluvial and coastal plain deposits capping the proximal end of the wedge is actually a characteristic feature of forced regressive deposits and does not preclude a fluvial source for the sediments constituting the wedge. Reinterpretation of high-resolution (1-12 kHz), deep-towed and hull-mounted CHIRP seismic data collected on the New Jersey outer shelf in 2001, 2002 and 2006 shows possible terminal distributary channel deposits and mass transport deposits preserved in the distal part of the wedge that have not been described previously. These channel-like features are restricted in their distribution and their preservation in the sedimentary record is possibly due to punctuated sea-level rise within the overall falling trajectory of sea level that preceded the last glacial maximum (LGM). The presence of these channels and the mass transport complexes point to a direct fluvial feeder, which supplied the sediments to build the sediment wedge on New Jersey outer continental shelf. Detailed mapping of the sediment wedge using the CHIRP data shows that the sediment wedge is composed of

  4. Mid Pleistocene foraminiferal mass extinction coupled with phytoplankton evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kender, Sev; McClymont, Erin L.; Elmore, Aurora C.; Emanuele, Dario; Leng, Melanie J.; Elderfield, Henry

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the interaction between climate and biotic evolution is crucial for deciphering the sensitivity of life. An enigmatic mass extinction occurred in the deep oceans during the Mid Pleistocene, with a loss of over 100 species (20%) of sea floor calcareous foraminifera. An evolutionarily conservative group, benthic foraminifera often comprise >50% of eukaryote biomass on the deep-ocean floor. Here we test extinction hypotheses (temperature, corrosiveness and productivity) in the Tasman Sea, using geochemistry and micropalaeontology, and find evidence from several globally distributed sites that the extinction was caused by a change in phytoplankton food source. Coccolithophore evolution may have enhanced the seasonal ‘bloom' nature of primary productivity and fundamentally shifted it towards a more intra-annually variable state at ∼0.8 Ma. Our results highlight intra-annual variability as a potential new consideration for Mid Pleistocene global biogeochemical climate models, and imply that deep-sea biota may be sensitive to future changes in productivity. PMID:27311937

  5. Intensified deep Pacific inflow and ventilation in Pleistocene glacial times.

    PubMed

    Hall, I R; McCave, I N; Shackleton, N J; Weedon, G P; Harris, S E

    2001-08-23

    The production of cold, deep waters in the Southern Ocean is an important factor in the Earth's heat budget. The supply of deep water to the Pacific Ocean is presently dominated by a single source, the deep western boundary current east of New Zealand. Here we use sediment records deposited under the influence of this deep western boundary current to reconstruct deep-water properties and speed changes during the Pleistocene epoch. In physical and isotope proxies we find evidence for intensified deep Pacific Ocean inflow and ventilation during the glacial periods of the past 1.2 million years. The changes in throughflow may be directly related to an increased production of Antarctic Bottom Water during glacial times. Possible causes for such an increased bottom-water production include increasing wind strengths in the Southern Ocean or an increase in annual sea-ice formation, leaving dense water after brine rejection and thereby enhancing deep convection. We infer also that the global thermohaline circulation was perturbed significantly during the mid-Pleistocene climate transition between 0.86 and 0.45 million years ago.

  6. Brain ontogeny and life history in Pleistocene hominins.

    PubMed

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Neubauer, Simon; Gunz, Philipp

    2015-03-01

    A high level of encephalization is critical to the human adaptive niche and emerged among hominins over the course of the past 2 Myr. Evolving larger brains required important adaptive adjustments, in particular regarding energy allocation and life history. These adaptations included a relatively small brain at birth and a protracted growth of highly dependent offspring within a complex social environment. In turn, the extended period of growth and delayed maturation of the brain structures of humans contribute to their cognitive complexity. The current palaeoanthropological evidence shows that, regarding life history and brain ontogeny, the Pleistocene hominin taxa display different patterns and that one cannot simply contrast an 'ape-model' to a 'human-model'. Large-brained hominins such as Upper Pleistocene Neandertals have evolved along their own evolutionary pathway and can be distinguished from modern humans in terms of growth pattern and brain development. The life-history pattern and brain ontogeny of extant humans emerged only recently in the course of human evolution. PMID:25602066

  7. Intensified deep Pacific inflow and ventilation in Pleistocene glacial times.

    PubMed

    Hall, I R; McCave, I N; Shackleton, N J; Weedon, G P; Harris, S E

    2001-08-23

    The production of cold, deep waters in the Southern Ocean is an important factor in the Earth's heat budget. The supply of deep water to the Pacific Ocean is presently dominated by a single source, the deep western boundary current east of New Zealand. Here we use sediment records deposited under the influence of this deep western boundary current to reconstruct deep-water properties and speed changes during the Pleistocene epoch. In physical and isotope proxies we find evidence for intensified deep Pacific Ocean inflow and ventilation during the glacial periods of the past 1.2 million years. The changes in throughflow may be directly related to an increased production of Antarctic Bottom Water during glacial times. Possible causes for such an increased bottom-water production include increasing wind strengths in the Southern Ocean or an increase in annual sea-ice formation, leaving dense water after brine rejection and thereby enhancing deep convection. We infer also that the global thermohaline circulation was perturbed significantly during the mid-Pleistocene climate transition between 0.86 and 0.45 million years ago. PMID:11518963

  8. Brain ontogeny and life history in Pleistocene hominins

    PubMed Central

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Neubauer, Simon; Gunz, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    A high level of encephalization is critical to the human adaptive niche and emerged among hominins over the course of the past 2 Myr. Evolving larger brains required important adaptive adjustments, in particular regarding energy allocation and life history. These adaptations included a relatively small brain at birth and a protracted growth of highly dependent offspring within a complex social environment. In turn, the extended period of growth and delayed maturation of the brain structures of humans contribute to their cognitive complexity. The current palaeoanthropological evidence shows that, regarding life history and brain ontogeny, the Pleistocene hominin taxa display different patterns and that one cannot simply contrast an ‘ape-model’ to a ‘human-model’. Large-brained hominins such as Upper Pleistocene Neandertals have evolved along their own evolutionary pathway and can be distinguished from modern humans in terms of growth pattern and brain development. The life-history pattern and brain ontogeny of extant humans emerged only recently in the course of human evolution. PMID:25602066

  9. Seismic stratigraphy, Pleistocene climate, and Tertiary sea level changes

    SciTech Connect

    Lowrie, A.

    1985-02-01

    The Quaternary is characterized by 2 climatic signatures: that of the last 800,000 yr, the upper Pleistocene climatic signature (UPCS), and that of the period from 900,000 to 1,800,000 yr ago, the middle Pleistocene climatic signature (MPCS). Glacial cycles within the UPSC are about 100,000 yr long with interglacials of 10,000-12,000 yr duration and a full glacial period of 20,000-30,000 yr. The cycles of the MPSC range from 20,000 to 40,000 yr duration. Interaction between the 3 planetary orbital parameters of eccentricity, tilt, and precession are believed to cause the observed climatic signatures. From DSDP cores, 8 major Miocene hiatuses have been described. There is a roughly equal duration of hiatuses and deposition, with periods ranging from 0.5 to 2 m.y. +/- 0.5 m.y. The deep-ocean hiatuses correlate well with the seismically determined lowered sea levels of P. Vail. The hiatuses are interpreted to be caused by increased activity of ocean-bottom currents, in turn initiated by increased glacial activity. Thus, it is geologically reasonably that within each period of increased glacial activity there are 100,000-yr long UPSC-type cycles. The UPCS cycles have been tentatively identified in seismic data on the Louisiana, east Greenland, and Caribbean shelves and on the Indus Cone. Miocene glacial cycles should be sought in seismic data using innovative data processing techniques.

  10. Pleistocene chronostratigraphy in Estonia, southeastern sector of the Scandinavian glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalm, Volli

    2006-05-01

    Pleistocene chronostratigraphy in Estonia is based on 29 studied sites/sections, the dating of which covers a span from approximately 200 ka BP to the Pleistocene—Holocene chronostratigraphic boundary, and a local varved clay chronology for eastern Estonia, which enables tentative correlation of Lateglacial (LG) events to Finnish and Swedish varve chronologies. Analysis of existing and unpublished data was used to review the current Pleistocene chronostratigraphy and particularly the history of Weichselian Cold Stage in Estonia. OSL ages from fluvial deposits that included the Kõrveküla (Holsteinian) or Rõngu (Eemian) continental interglacial deposits revealed that the pre-Weichselian interglacial deposits were glacially dislocated during the Weichselian. Available OSL/TL and 14C dates and new 14C AMS ages of mammoth bones indicate ice-free conditions between 105 and 68 ka BP and a comparatively mild Middle Weichselian between 43 and 22 ka BP. The LG chronology indicates in general rapid (average 110 m/yr) deglaciation of the territory between ca 14.7 and 12.7 ka BP. The duration of the Late Weichselian glaciation in Estonia ranged between 7.3 and 9.3 ka.

  11. Phylogeography and pleistocene evolution in the North American black bear.

    PubMed

    Wooding, S; Ward, R

    1997-11-01

    To determine the extent of phylogeographic structuring in North American black bear (Ursus americanus) populations, we examined mitochondrial DNA sequences (n = 118) and restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles (n = 258) in individuals from 16 localities. Among the bears examined, 19 lineages falling into two highly divergent clades were identified. The clades differ at 5.0% of nucleotide positions, a distance consistent with an origin 1.8 MYA, and have different but overlapping geographical distributions. Areas of clade cooccurrence show that eastern and western populations are currently mixing, but regional differences in lineage distribution suggest that mixing has begun only recently. The long-term population history of black bears appears to be characterized predominantly by long-term regional isolation followed by recent contact and hybridization. Congruence between the pattern of diversity observed in black bears and patterns of forest refuge formation during the Pleistocene supports earlier speculation that Pleistocene forest fragmentations underlie a common pattern in the phylogeography of North American forest taxa. PMID:9364767

  12. Mid Pleistocene foraminiferal mass extinction coupled with phytoplankton evolution.

    PubMed

    Kender, Sev; McClymont, Erin L; Elmore, Aurora C; Emanuele, Dario; Leng, Melanie J; Elderfield, Henry

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the interaction between climate and biotic evolution is crucial for deciphering the sensitivity of life. An enigmatic mass extinction occurred in the deep oceans during the Mid Pleistocene, with a loss of over 100 species (20%) of sea floor calcareous foraminifera. An evolutionarily conservative group, benthic foraminifera often comprise >50% of eukaryote biomass on the deep-ocean floor. Here we test extinction hypotheses (temperature, corrosiveness and productivity) in the Tasman Sea, using geochemistry and micropalaeontology, and find evidence from several globally distributed sites that the extinction was caused by a change in phytoplankton food source. Coccolithophore evolution may have enhanced the seasonal 'bloom' nature of primary productivity and fundamentally shifted it towards a more intra-annually variable state at ∼0.8 Ma. Our results highlight intra-annual variability as a potential new consideration for Mid Pleistocene global biogeochemical climate models, and imply that deep-sea biota may be sensitive to future changes in productivity. PMID:27311937

  13. The British Lower Palaeolithic of the early Middle Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosfield, Robert

    2011-06-01

    The archaeology of Britain during the early Middle Pleistocene (MIS 19-12) is represented by a number of key sites across eastern and southern England. These sites include Pakefield, Happisburgh 1, High Lodge, Warren Hill, Waverley Wood, Boxgrove, Kent's Cavern, and Westbury-sub-Mendip, alongside a 'background scatter' lithic record associated with the principal river systems (Bytham, pre-diversion Thames, and Solent) and raised beaches (Westbourne-Arundel). Hominin behaviour can be characterised in terms of: preferences for temperate or cool temperate climates and open/woodland mosaic habitats (indicated by mammalian fauna, mollusca, insects, and sediments); a biface-dominated material culture characterised by technological diversity, although with accompanying evidence for distinctive core and flake (Pakefield) and flake tool (High Lodge) assemblages; probable direct hunting-based subsistence strategies (with a focus upon large mammal fauna); and generally locally-focused spatial and landscape behaviours (principally indicated by raw material sources data), although with some evidence of dynamic, mobile and structured technological systems. The British data continues to support a 'modified short chronology' to the north of the Alps and the Pyrenees, with highly sporadic evidence for a hominin presence prior to 500-600 ka, although the ages of key assemblages are subject to ongoing debates regarding the chronology of the Bytham river terraces and the early Middle Pleistocene glaciations of East Anglia.

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faith, J. Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (> 5 kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000 yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.

  15. Electrical Resistivity Study of a Pleistocene Riverbed in Saltville, VA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, R. B.; Whisonant, R. C.

    2008-05-01

    A shallow capacitively coupled resistivity survey was performed in Saltville, VA, in an area of suspected buried Pleistocene river deposits. Previous excavations in the sediments beneath the Saltville valley floor had been performed to recover late Pleistocene megafaunal remains and possible Clovis-age human artifacts. These digs encountered a zone, one to two meters deep, of gravel-sized rock fragments, including some boulders up to 75 cm. in diameter. These large clasts are rounded, show some imbrication (shingle-like overlapping indicative of current flow), and have been interpreted as river channel deposits. Carbon 14 dates from the megafaunal bones within and just above the gravel bed yielded dates of 14,500 years BP. Resistivity signals in a number of locations were consistent with cobbles and boulders deposited in a river channel. These signals are generally bowl- shaped areas with large circular (2-d scans) anomalies near the center, and smaller circular anomalies tapering out towards both sides. The bowl-shaped anomalies are within 3 meters of the surface. With several lines imaged in this survey a rough path of the riverbed, along with a number of branchings is traceable in the survey area. An exploratory hole confirmed the presence of a layer of rounded cobbles and boulders 1.3 meters deep beneath one of the survey lines.

  16. Dynamics of Pleistocene population extinctions in Beringian brown bears.

    PubMed

    Barnes, I; Matheus, P; Shapiro, B; Jensen, D; Cooper, A

    2002-03-22

    The climatic and environmental changes associated with the last glaciation (90,000 to 10,000 years before the present; 90 to 10 ka B.P.) are an important example of the effects of global climate change on biological diversity. These effects were particularly marked in Beringia (northeastern Siberia, northwestern North America, and the exposed Bering Strait) during the late Pleistocene. To investigate the evolutionary impact of these events, we studied genetic change in the brown bear, Ursus arctos, in eastern Beringia over the past 60,000 years using DNA preserved in permafrost remains. A marked degree of genetic structure is observed in populations throughout this period despite local extinctions, reinvasions, and potential interspecies competition with the short-faced bear, Arctodus simus. The major phylogeographic changes occurred 35 to 21 ka B.P., before the glacial maximum, and little change is observed after this time. Late Pleistocene histories of mammalian taxa may be more complex than those that might be inferred from the fossil record or contemporary DNA sequences alone. PMID:11910112

  17. Pleistocene changes in the fauna and flora of South america.

    PubMed

    Vuilleumier, B S

    1971-08-27

    In recent years, the view that Pleistocene climatic events played a major role in the evolution of the biotas of southern, primarily tropical continents has begun to displace the previously held conviction that these areas remained relatively stable during the Quaternary. Studies of speciation patterns of high Andean plant and avian taxa (7-14) have led to the conclusion that Pleistocene climatic events were the factors that ultimately shaped the patterns now observed in the paramo-puna and the related Patagonian flora and fauna. The final uplift of the Andes at the end of the Tertiary automatically limits the age of the high Andean habitats and their biotas to the Quaternary. Within this period, the number of ecological fluctuations caused by the glaciations could easily have provided the mechanism behind the patterns now present in these habitats (Appendix, 1; Figs. 1 and 2; Table 1). In glacial periods, when vegetation belts, were lowered, organisms in the paramo-puna habitat were allowed to expand their ranges. In interglacial periods, these taxa were isolated on disjunct peaks, where differentiation could occur. At times of ice expansion, glacial tongues and lakes provided local barriers to gene exchange, whereas in warm, interglacial times, dry river valleys were a major deterrent to the interbreeding of populations on different mountains (Fig. 2; Table 2). A preliminary analysis of about 10 to 12 percent of the total South American avifauna (14), subsequent to the study of the high Andean biota, suggested that the birds of all the major habitats of the continent possess, with about equal frequency, similar stages of speciation. This correspondence in levels of evolution indicated that the avifauna of vegetation zones which were thought to have been more stable (for example, tropical rainforests) are as actively speciating as are those of the more recent paramo-puna habitats. More intensive work on lowland tropical taxa (16, 19-21) and recent work on montane

  18. Pleistocene oceanographie changes indicated by deep sea benthic foraminifera in the northern Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rai, Ajai K.; Srinivasan, M. S.

    1994-12-01

    An attempt has been made to understand the Pleistocene bottom water history in response to the paleoclimatic changes in the northern Indian Ocean employing quantitative analyses of deep sea benthic foraminifera at the DSDP sites 219 and 238. Among the 150 benthic foraminifera recorded a few species show dominance with changing percent frequencies during most of the sequence. The dominant benthic foraminiferal assemblages suggest that most of the Pleistocene bottom waters at site 219 and Early Pleistocene bottom waters at site 238 are of North Indian Deep Water (NIDW) origin. However, Late Pleistocene assemblage at site 238 appears to be closely associated with a water mass intermediate between North Indian Deep Water (NIDW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Uvigerina proboscidea is the most dominant benthic foraminiferal species present during the Pleistocene at both the sites. A marked increase in the relative abundance of U. proboscidea along with less diverse and equitable fauna during Early Pleistocene suggests a relative cooling, an intensified oceanic circulation and upwelling of nutrient rich bottom waters resulting in high surface productivity. At the same time, low sediment accumulation rate during Early Pleistocene reveals increased winnowing of the sediments possibly due to more corrosive and cold bottom waters. The Late Pleistocene in general, is marked by relatively warm and stable bottom waters as reflected by low abundance of U. proboscidea and more diverse and equitable benthic fauna. The lower depth range for the occurrence of Bulimina aculeate in the Indian Ocean is around 2300 m, similar to that of many other areas. B. aculeata also shows marked increase in its abundance near the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary while a sudden decrease in the relative abundance of Stilostomella lepidula occurs close to the Early/Late Pleistocene boundary.

  19. Paleoclimatic modeling and phylogeography of least killifish, Heterandria formosa: insights into Pleistocene expansion-contraction dynamics and evolutionary history of North American Coastal Plain freshwater biota

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Climatic and sea-level fluctuations throughout the last Pleistocene glacial cycle (~130-0 ka) profoundly influenced present-day distributions and genetic diversity of Northern Hemisphere biotas by forcing range contractions in many species during the glacial advance and allowing expansion following glacial retreat ('expansion-contraction’ model). Evidence for such range dynamics and refugia in the unglaciated Gulf-Atlantic Coastal Plain stems largely from terrestrial species, and aquatic species Pleistocene responses remain relatively uninvestigated. Heterandria formosa, a wide-ranging regional endemic, presents an ideal system to test the expansion-contraction model within this biota. By integrating ecological niche modeling and phylogeography, we infer the Pleistocene history of this livebearing fish (Poeciliidae) and test for several predicted distributional and genetic effects of the last glaciation. Results Paleoclimatic models predicted range contraction to a single southwest Florida peninsula refugium during the Last Glacial Maximum, followed by northward expansion. We inferred spatial-population subdivision into four groups that reflect genetic barriers outside this refuge. Several other features of the genetic data were consistent with predictions derived from an expansion-contraction model: limited intraspecific divergence (e.g. mean mtDNA p-distance = 0.66%); a pattern of mtDNA diversity (mean Hd = 0.934; mean π = 0.007) consistent with rapid, recent population expansion; a lack of mtDNA isolation-by-distance; and clinal variation in allozyme diversity with higher diversity at lower latitudes near the predicted refugium. Statistical tests of mismatch distributions and coalescent simulations of the gene tree lent greater support to a scenario of post-glacial expansion and diversification from a single refugium than to any other model examined (e.g. multiple-refugia scenarios). Conclusions Congruent results from diverse data

  20. Simulation of lake ice and its effect on the late-Pleistocene evaporation rate of Lake Lahontan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.

    1991-01-01

    A model of lake ice was coupled with a model of lake temperature and evaporation to assess the possible effect of ice cover on the late-Pleistocene evaporation rate of Lake Lahontan. The simulations were done using a data set based on proxy temperature indicators and features of the simulated late-Pleistocene atmospheric circulation over western North America. When a data set based on a mean-annual air temperature of 3?? C (7?? C colder than present) and reduced solar radiation from jet-stream induced cloud cover was used as input to the model, ice cover lasting ??? 4 months was simulated. Simulated evaporation rates (490-527 mm a-1) were ??? 60% lower than the present-day evaporation rate (1300 mm a-1) of Pyramid Lake. With this reduced rate of evaporation, water inputs similar to the 1983 historical maxima that occurred in the Lahontan basin would have been sufficient to maintain the 13.5 ka BP high stand of Lake Lahontan. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag.

  1. Pleistocene sand ramp deposits in the Aegean (Cyclades, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draganits, E.; Zuschin, M.; Gier, S.; Bickel, L.

    2010-05-01

    Yellowish calcarenite is found abundantly on Despotiko, a small, unpopulated island in the central Aegean. Up to several meters thick layers of this sandstone is found as discordant cover above greenschist to amphibolite grade metamorphic rocks of the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides. In some cases reddish soil is found below the sandstone. The calcarenite preferably fills preexisting relief of the underlying crystalline, therefore the thickest occurrences are found in the intermittent creeks. The sandstone can be traced from below sea-level up to around 90 m altitudes with abundant occurrences, but is most common at the north and northwest coast of the island. Generally, the sandstone layers and the internal lamination are parallel or at shallow angles to the slopes of the underlying crystalline without forming any morphological terraces. In some cases continuous layers of the sandstone can be traced for more than 20 m altitude. Cross-bedding has been observed in very rare cases and dips steeply towards the SE. The calcarenite (locally called "lithos poros") is strongly dominated by marine bioclasts (Corallinaceae, foraminifera, gastropod and bivalve fragments, etc.) with only minor siliciclastic components hardly exceeding 20%. The grains well-rounded and well-sorted with rain sizes range between medium sand to granule sizes. Based on the sandstone distribution in a high range of altitudes, sedimentary structures (e.g. pin-stripe lamination, high-angle cross bedding, rhizoliths, occurrence of terrestrial gastropod shells and correlation with almost identical sandstones in the Mediterranean) we conclude an aeolian origin and probably Pleistocene age of this sandstone. Horizons containing dm-sized, angular metamorphic clasts within well-rounded and well-sorted aeolian layers point to interaction of wind-blown and talus processes. Therefore these sediments are interpreted as sand ramps that formed during increased aeolian activity during the

  2. Hominin evolution and gene flow in the Pleistocene Africa.

    PubMed

    Ovchinnikov, Igor V

    2013-01-01

    Africa demonstrates a complex process of the hominin evolution with a series of adaptive radiations during several millions of years that led to diverse morphological forms. Recently, Hammer et al. (2011) and Harvati et al. (2011) provided integrated morphological and genetic evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and unknown archaic hominins in Africa as recently as 35,000 years ago. However, a genetic evidence of hybridization between hominin lineages during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene epochs is unknown and the direct retrieval of DNA from extinct lineages of African hominins remains elusive. The availability of both nuclear and mitochondrial genome sequences from modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans allows collecting nuclear DNA sequences of mitochondrial origin (numts) inserted into the nuclear genome of the ancestral hominin lineages and drawing conclusions about the hominin evolution in the remote past. The mtDNA and numt analysis uncovered a deep division of mtDNA lineages that existed in African hominins in the Middle Pleistocene. The first cluster included the human and Neanderthal-like mtDNA sequences while the second consisted of DNA sequences that are known today as mtAncestor-1, a nuclear fossil of the mtDNA, and the Denisova mtDNA isolated from a bone and a tooth found in southern Siberia. The two groups initially diverged 610,000-1,110,000 years ago. Approximately 220,000 years after the primary split, the Denisova - mtAncestor-1 mtDNA lineages mixed with the mtDNA pool of an ancestral population of Neanderthals and modern humans. This admixture after the profound division is demonstrated by the transposition of the Denisova-like mtDNA sequence into the nuclear genome of an ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans. This finding suggests the matrilineal genetic structure among the Middle Pleistocene hominins as well as the existence of gene flow between African hominin lineages. Through paleogenomic analyses, it is impossible to

  3. The Mid-Pleistocene Transition In The Tropical Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medina-Elizalde, M. A.; Lea, D. W.

    2005-12-01

    During the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT) at ~950 kyr B.P., the climate of the Earth underwent profound changes. As suggested by foraminiferal oxygen isotopic records, high latitude climate switched from 41,000 years (kyr) to ~100 kyr dominant cycles at this time. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the MPT which involve high latitude northern hemisphere processes. Recent paleoclimate reconstructions, however, indicate that the tropics also experienced climate changes resembling those at high latitude but also with their own unique patterns, which cannot be fully explained by current hypotheses. A sea surface temperature (SST) record based on planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca from the western equatorial Pacific (WEP) warm pool ODP Hole 806B reveals that glacial-interglacial (G-I) oscillations in SST also shifted from a period of 41 kyr to 100 kyr during the MPT. This observation is in agreement with the SST records from core MD97-2140, a site to the northwest of Hole 806B, and from ODP Hole 846 in the eastern equatorial Pacific cold tongue, which also show a shift in the dominant periodicity. Hole 806B SST average (27.8°C) and range (3°C) remained the same over the MPT with typical glacial and interglacial SSTs of 26°C and 29°C, respectively. Hole 806B SST lead foraminiferal d18O by 4± 3 kyr over the MPT in agreement with paired records from core MD97-2140 and Hole 846. SST cycles across the MPT have similar magnitude and are synchronous in both the western and the eastern equatorial Pacific but preceded changes in continental ice volume. Today, eastern equatorial Pacific SSTs are strongly influenced by wind-driven thermocline depth changes. In contrast, in the WEP, where the thermocline is very deep, SSTs are less likely to be affected by thermocline depth changes. The nature of tropical SST variability over the mid-Pleistocene transition is remarkably similar to late Pleistocene climate observations and implicates atmospheric greenhouse

  4. Hominin evolution and gene flow in the Pleistocene Africa.

    PubMed

    Ovchinnikov, Igor V

    2013-01-01

    Africa demonstrates a complex process of the hominin evolution with a series of adaptive radiations during several millions of years that led to diverse morphological forms. Recently, Hammer et al. (2011) and Harvati et al. (2011) provided integrated morphological and genetic evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and unknown archaic hominins in Africa as recently as 35,000 years ago. However, a genetic evidence of hybridization between hominin lineages during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene epochs is unknown and the direct retrieval of DNA from extinct lineages of African hominins remains elusive. The availability of both nuclear and mitochondrial genome sequences from modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans allows collecting nuclear DNA sequences of mitochondrial origin (numts) inserted into the nuclear genome of the ancestral hominin lineages and drawing conclusions about the hominin evolution in the remote past. The mtDNA and numt analysis uncovered a deep division of mtDNA lineages that existed in African hominins in the Middle Pleistocene. The first cluster included the human and Neanderthal-like mtDNA sequences while the second consisted of DNA sequences that are known today as mtAncestor-1, a nuclear fossil of the mtDNA, and the Denisova mtDNA isolated from a bone and a tooth found in southern Siberia. The two groups initially diverged 610,000-1,110,000 years ago. Approximately 220,000 years after the primary split, the Denisova - mtAncestor-1 mtDNA lineages mixed with the mtDNA pool of an ancestral population of Neanderthals and modern humans. This admixture after the profound division is demonstrated by the transposition of the Denisova-like mtDNA sequence into the nuclear genome of an ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans. This finding suggests the matrilineal genetic structure among the Middle Pleistocene hominins as well as the existence of gene flow between African hominin lineages. Through paleogenomic analyses, it is impossible to

  5. Late-Pleistocene precipitation δ18O interpolated across the global landmass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jasechko, Scott

    2016-08-01

    Global water cycles, ecosystem assemblages, and weathering rates were impacted by the ˜4°C of global warming that took place over the course of the last glacial termination. Fossil groundwaters can be useful indicators of late-Pleistocene precipitation isotope compositions, which, in turn, can help to test hypotheses about the drivers and impacts of glacial-interglacial climate changes. Here, a global catalog of 126 fossil groundwater records is used to interpolate late-Pleistocene precipitation δ18O across the global landmass. The interpolated data show that extratropical late-Pleistocene terrestrial precipitation was near uniformly depleted in 18O relative to the late Holocene. By contrast, tropical δ18O responses to deglacial warming diverged; late-Pleistocene δ18O was higher-than-modern across India and South China but lower-than-modern throughout much of northern and southern Africa. Groundwaters that recharged beneath large northern hemisphere ice sheets have different Holocene-Pleistocene δ18O relationships than paleowaters that recharged subaerially, potentially aiding reconstructions of englacial transport in paleo ice sheets. Global terrestrial late-Pleistocene precipitation δ18O maps may help to determine 3-D groundwater age distributions, constrain Pleistocene mammal movements, and better understand glacial climate dynamics.

  6. Dama roberti, a new species of deer from the early Middle Pleistocene of Europe, and the origins of modern fallow deer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breda, Marzia; Lister, Adrian M.

    2013-06-01

    The ancestry of the modern fallow deer, Dama dama, has been tentatively traced back to Pliocene/Early Pleistocene forms referred to 'Pseudodama', characterized by unpalmated three- or four-point antlers. By the late Middle Pleistocene, Dama with palmated antlers appears, as Dama dama clactoniana. However, fallow deer from the interim period, the early Middle Pleistocene, are poorly-known. A new specimen from Pakefield (Suffolk, UK), represented by a portion of cranium with a substantial part of both antlers plus a mandible and scapula, is the most complete medium-sized deer specimen from the British early Middle Pleistocene (ca 700 ka). The position and orientation of the basal tine, together with dental characters and mandibular morphology, are typical of fallow deer. The narrow palmation is reminiscent of D. dama clactoniana, but the lack of palmation tines is unique. Moreover, the lack of second (and third) tines in an adult specimen differs from both D. dama dama and D. d. clactoniana, being a primitive character shared with the last representatives of 'Pseudodama' which, on the other hand, has a circular beam lacking any palmation. This combination of features justifies the erection of a new species provisionally placed within the genus Dama, Dama roberti n. sp. Another specimen, from Soleilhac (Auvergne, France), represented by portions of the two antlers, a mandible and a tibia, shares antler morphology with the Pakefield specimen and can be ascribed to the same new species. Isolated antler and dental remains from coeval British sites are tentatively ascribed to D. roberti n. sp. The new species has implications for the ancestry of modern fallow deer.

  7. A Pleistocene ice core record of atmospheric O2 concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolper, D. A.; Bender, M. L.; Dreyfus, G. B.; Yan, Y.; Higgins, J. A.

    2016-09-01

    The history of atmospheric O2 partial pressures (PO2) is inextricably linked to the coevolution of life and Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Reconstructions of past PO2 rely on models and proxies but often markedly disagree. We present a record of PO2 reconstructed using O2/N2 ratios from ancient air trapped in ice. This record indicates that PO2 declined by 7 per mil (0.7%) over the past 800,000 years, requiring that O2 sinks were ~2% larger than sources. This decline is consistent with changes in burial and weathering fluxes of organic carbon and pyrite driven by either Neogene cooling or increasing Pleistocene erosion rates. The 800,000-year record of steady average carbon dioxide partial pressures (PCO2) but declining PO2 provides distinctive evidence that a silicate weathering feedback stabilizes PCO2 on million-year time scales.

  8. Assessing the causes of late Pleistocene extinctions on the continents.

    PubMed

    Barnosky, Anthony D; Koch, Paul L; Feranec, Robert S; Wing, Scott L; Shabel, Alan B

    2004-10-01

    One of the great debates about extinction is whether humans or climatic change caused the demise of the Pleistocene megafauna. Evidence from paleontology, climatology, archaeology, and ecology now supports the idea that humans contributed to extinction on some continents, but human hunting was not solely responsible for the pattern of extinction everywhere. Instead, evidence suggests that the intersection of human impacts with pronounced climatic change drove the precise timing and geography of extinction in the Northern Hemisphere. The story from the Southern Hemisphere is still unfolding. New evidence from Australia supports the view that humans helped cause extinctions there, but the correlation with climate is weak or contested. Firmer chronologies, more realistic ecological models, and regional paleoecological insights still are needed to understand details of the worldwide extinction pattern and the population dynamics of the species involved.

  9. A complete human pelvis from the Middle Pleistocene of Spain.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Lorenzo, C; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; García, N; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1999-05-20

    The Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, has yielded around 2,500 fossils from at least 33 different hominid individuals. These have been dated at more than 200,000 years ago and have been classified as ancestors of Neanderthals. An almost complete human male pelvis (labelled Pelvis 1) has been found, which we associate with two fragmentary femora. Pelvis 1 is robust and very broad with a very long superior pubic ramus, marked iliac flare, and a long femoral neck. This pattern is probably the primitive condition from which modern humans departed. A modern human newborn would pass through the birth canal of Pelvis 1 and this would be even larger in a female individual. We estimate the body mass of this individual at 95 kg or more. Using the cranial capacities of three specimens from Sima de los Huesos, the encephalization quotients are substantially smaller than in Neanderthals and modern humans. PMID:10353247

  10. Geochemistry and radiometric dating of a Middle Pleistocene peat

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, P.J.; Atkinson, T.C.; Richards, D.A.; Bottrell, S.H.; Cliff, R.A.

    1997-10-01

    Uranium, lead, and sulphur data for a Middle Pleistocene interglacial peat deposit from Norfolk, UK, suggest that uptake of these elements was synchronous and confined to a single early diagenetic episode, probably coeval with peat formation. Sulphur isotope data indicate that reducing conditions have been maintained within the deposit throughout its history. Both uranium and lead concentration profiles show a marked discontinuity near the middle of the bed, probably indicating an environmental change, possibly emergence. The lead isotope data are compatible with a single lead component below the discontinuity and two components above. Groundwater is thought to be the dominant source of lead with an additional airfall component present in the upper peat. The uranium and lead concentration profiles below the discontinuity and the sulfur isotope profile throughout the peat support the view that these elements were sequestered from upwelling groundwaters. 35 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs.

  11. Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions

    PubMed Central

    Brook, Barry W.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2002-01-01

    Understanding of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions has been advanced recently by the application of simulation models and new developments in geochronological dating. Together these have been used to posit a rapid demise of megafauna due to over-hunting by invading humans. However, we demonstrate that the results of these extinction models are highly sensitive to implicit assumptions concerning the degree of prey naivety to human hunters. In addition, we show that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well before the end of the last Ice Age (unlike the North American situation), estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and megafauna remain imprecise. Contrary to recent claims, the existing data do not prove the “blitzkrieg” model of overkill. PMID:12417761

  12. The consequences of pleistocene climate change on lowland neotropical vegetation

    SciTech Connect

    De Oliveira, P.E.; Colinvaux, P.A. )

    1994-06-01

    Palynological reconstructions indicate that lowland tropical America was subject to intense cooling during the last ice-age. The descent of presently montane taxa into the lowlands of Amazonia and Minas Gerais indicate temperature depressions ranging from 5[degrees]C to 9[degrees]C cooler-than-present. The strengthened incursion of southerly airmasses caused a reassortment of vegetation throughout Amazonia. Presently allopatric species are found to have been sympatric as novel forest assemblages and formed and dissolved. Modest drying, perhaps a 20% reduction in precipitation, accounts for all the records that show a Pleistocene expansion of savanna. No evidence is found to support the fragmentation of Amazonian forests during glacial times, and the hypothesis of forest refuges as an explanation of tropical speciation is rejected on empirical grounds.

  13. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Thais M F; Olivares, Adriana Itati; Kerber, Leonardo; Dutra, Rodrigo P; Avilla, Leonardo S

    2016-06-01

    Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu) is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs). Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests), occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor). The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles.

  14. Freshwater Fossil Pearls from the Nihewan Basin, Early Early Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    Li, Su-Ping; Yao, Pei-Yi; Li, Jin-Feng; Ferguson, David Kay; Min, Long-Rui; Chi, Zhen-Qing; Wang, Yong; Yao, Jian-Xin; Sha, Jin-Geng

    2016-01-01

    Fossil blister pearls attached to the shells of an Anodonta mollusk from China, early Early Pleistocene, are reported here for the first time. The pearls were investigated in detail using a variety of methods. Micro-CT scanning of the fossil pearls was carried out to discover the inner structure and the pearl nucleus. Using CTAn software, changes in the gray levels of the biggest pearl, which reflect the changing density of the material, were investigated. The results provide us with some clues on how these pearls were formed. Sand grains, shell debris or material with a similar density could have stimulated the development of these pearls. X-ray diffraction analysis of one fossil pearl and the shell to which it was attached reveals that only aragonite exists in both samples. The internal structures of our fossil shells and pearls were investigated using a Scanning Electron Microscope. These investigations throw some light on pearl development in the past. PMID:27760154

  15. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Thais M F; Olivares, Adriana Itati; Kerber, Leonardo; Dutra, Rodrigo P; Avilla, Leonardo S

    2016-06-01

    Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu) is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs). Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests), occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor). The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles. PMID:27276377

  16. General features

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, R.E.

    1990-01-01

    The San Andreas fault system, a complex of faults that display predominantly large-scale strike slip, is part of an even more complex system of faults, isolated segments of the East Pacific Rise, and scraps of plates lying east of the East Pacific Rise that collectively separate the North American plate from the Pacific plate. This chapter briefly describes the San Andreas fault system, its setting along the Pacific Ocean margin of North America, its extent, and the patterns of faulting. Only selected characteristics are described, and many features are left for depictions on maps and figures.

  17. Preservation potential of ancient plankton DNA in Pleistocene marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Boere, A C; Rijpstra, W I C; De Lange, G J; Sinninghe Damsté, J S; Coolen, M J L

    2011-09-01

    Recent studies have shown that ancient plankton DNA can be recovered from Holocene lacustrine and marine sediments, including from species that do not leave diagnostic microscopic fossils in the sediment record. Therefore, the analysis of this so-called fossil plankton DNA is a promising approach for refining paleoecological and paleoenvironmental information. However, further studies are needed to reveal whether DNA of past plankton is preserved beyond the Holocene. Here, we identified past eukaryotic plankton members based on 18S rRNA gene profiling in eastern Mediterranean Holocene and Pleistocene sapropels S1 (~9 ka), S3 (~80 ka), S4 (~105 ka), and S5 (~125 ka). The majority of preserved ~400- to 500-bp-long 18S rDNA fragments of microalgae that were studied in detail (i.e. from haptophyte algae and dinoflagellates) were found in the youngest sapropel S1, whereas their specific lipid biomarkers (long-chain alkenones and dinosterol) were also abundant in sediments deposited between 80 and 124 ka BP. The late-Pleistocene sediments mainly contained eukaryotic DNA of marine fungi and from terrestrial plants, which could have been introduced via the river Nile at the time of deposition and preserved in pollen grains. A parallel analysis of Branched and Isoprenoid Tetraethers (i.e. BIT index) showed that most of the organic matter in the eastern Mediterranean sediment record was of marine (e.g. pelagic) origin. Therefore, the predominance of terrestrial plant DNA over plankton DNA in older sapropels suggests a preferential degradation of marine plankton DNA.

  18. Early Pleistocene origin of reefs around Lanai, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webster, Jody M.; Clague, David A.; Faichney, Iain D.E.; Fullagar, Paul D.; Hein, James R.; Moore, James G.; Paull, Charles K.

    2010-01-01

    A sequence of submerged terraces (L1–L12) offshore Lanai was previously interpreted as reefal, and correlated with a similar series of reef terraces offshore Hawaii island, whose ages are known to be <500 ka. We present bathymetric, observational, lithologic and 51 87Sr/86Sr isotopic measurements for the submerged Lanai terraces ranging from −300 to −1000 m (L3–L12) that indicate that these terraces are drowned reef systems that grew in shallow coral reef to intermediate and deeper fore-reef slope settings since the early Pleistocene. Age estimates based on 87Sr/86Sr isotopic measurements on corals, coralline algae, echinoids, and bulk sediments, although lacking the precision (∼±0.23 Ma) to distinguish the age–depth relationship and drowning times of individual reefs, indicate that the L12–L3 reefs range in age from ∼1.3–0.5 Ma and are therefore about 0.5–0.8 Ma older than the corresponding reefs around the flanks of Hawaii. These new age data, despite their lack of precision and the influence of later-stage submarine diagenesis on some analyzed corals, clearly revise the previous correlations between the reefs off Lanai and Hawaii. Soon after the end of major shield building (∼1.3–1.2 Ma), the Lanai reefs initiated growth and went through a period of rapid subsidence and reef drowning associated with glacial/interglacial cycles similar to that experienced by the Hawaii reefs. However, their early Pleistocene initiation means they experienced a longer, more complex growth history than their Hawaii counterparts.

  19. Dental Ontogeny in Pliocene and Early Pleistocene Hominins

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Tanya M.; Tafforeau, Paul; Le Cabec, Adeline; Bonnin, Anne; Houssaye, Alexandra; Pouech, Joane; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manthi, Fredrick; Ward, Carol; Makaremi, Masrour; Menter, Colin G.

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, our understanding of the evolution of human growth and development derived from studies of fossil juveniles that employed extant populations for both age determination and comparison. This circular approach has led to considerable debate about the human-like and ape-like affinities of fossil hominins. Teeth are invaluable for understanding maturation as age at death can be directly assessed from dental microstructure, and dental development has been shown to correlate with life history across primates broadly. We employ non-destructive synchrotron imaging to characterize incremental development, molar emergence, and age at death in more than 20 Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus and South African early Homo juveniles. Long-period line periodicities range from at least 6–12 days (possibly 5–13 days), and do not support the hypothesis that australopiths have lower mean values than extant or fossil Homo. Crown formation times of australopith and early Homo postcanine teeth fall below or at the low end of extant human values; Paranthropus robustus dentitions have the shortest formation times. Pliocene and early Pleistocene hominins show remarkable variation, and previous reports of age at death that employ a narrow range of estimated long-period line periodicities, cuspal enamel thicknesses, or initiation ages are likely to be in error. New chronological ages for SK 62 and StW 151 are several months younger than previous histological estimates, while Sts 24 is more than one year older. Extant human standards overestimate age at death in hominins predating Homo sapiens, and should not be applied to other fossil taxa. We urge caution when inferring life history as aspects of dental development in Pliocene and early Pleistocene fossils are distinct from modern humans and African apes, and recent work has challenged the predictive power of primate-wide associations between hominoid first molar emergence and

  20. Extended megadroughts in the southwestern United States during Pleistocene interglacials

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fawcett, P.J.; Werne, J.P.; Anderson, R. Scott; Heikoop, J.M.; Brown, E.T.; Berke, M.A.; Smith, S.J.; Goff, F.; Donohoo-Hurley, L.; Cisneros-Dozal, L. M.; Schouten, S.; Damste, J.S.S.; Huang, Y.; Toney, J.; Fessenden, J.; Woldegabriel, G.; Atudorei, V.; Geissman, J.W.; Allen, C.D.

    2011-01-01

    The potential for increased drought frequency and severity linked to anthropogenic climate change in the semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States (US) is a serious concern. Multi-year droughts during the instrumental period and decadal-length droughts of the past two millennia were shorter and climatically different from the future permanent, dust-bowl-like-megadrought conditions, lasting decades to a century, that are predicted as a consequence of warming. So far, it has been unclear whether or not such megadroughts occurred in the southwestern US, and, if so, with what regularity and intensity. Here we show that periods of aridity lasting centuries to millennia occurred in the southwestern US during mid-Pleistocene interglacials. Using molecular palaeotemperature proxies to reconstruct the mean annual temperature (MAT) in mid-Pleistocene lacustrine sediment from the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, we found that the driest conditions occurred during the warmest phases of interglacials, when the MAT was comparable to or higher than the modern MAT. A collapse of drought-tolerant C 4 plant communities during these warm, dry intervals indicates a significant reduction in summer precipitation, possibly in response to a poleward migration of the subtropical dry zone. Three MAT cycles-1/42-C in amplitude occurred within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and seem to correspond to the muted precessional cycles within this interglacial. In comparison with MIS 11, MIS 13 experienced higher precessional-cycle amplitudes, larger variations in MAT (4-6??C) and a longer period of extended warmth, suggesting that local insolation variations were important to interglacial climatic variability in the southwestern US. Comparison of the early MIS 11 climate record with the Holocene record shows many similarities and implies that, in the absence of anthropogenic forcing, the region should be entering a cooler and wetter phase. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights

  1. Extended megadroughts in the southwestern United States during Pleistocene interglacials.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Peter J; Werne, Josef P; Anderson, R Scott; Heikoop, Jeffrey M; Brown, Erik T; Berke, Melissa A; Smith, Susan J; Goff, Fraser; Donohoo-Hurley, Linda; Cisneros-Dozal, Luz M; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Huang, Yongsong; Toney, Jaime; Fessenden, Julianna; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Atudorei, Viorel; Geissman, John W; Allen, Craig D

    2011-02-24

    The potential for increased drought frequency and severity linked to anthropogenic climate change in the semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States (US) is a serious concern. Multi-year droughts during the instrumental period and decadal-length droughts of the past two millennia were shorter and climatically different from the future permanent, 'dust-bowl-like' megadrought conditions, lasting decades to a century, that are predicted as a consequence of warming. So far, it has been unclear whether or not such megadroughts occurred in the southwestern US, and, if so, with what regularity and intensity. Here we show that periods of aridity lasting centuries to millennia occurred in the southwestern US during mid-Pleistocene interglacials. Using molecular palaeotemperature proxies to reconstruct the mean annual temperature (MAT) in mid-Pleistocene lacustrine sediment from the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, we found that the driest conditions occurred during the warmest phases of interglacials, when the MAT was comparable to or higher than the modern MAT. A collapse of drought-tolerant C(4) plant communities during these warm, dry intervals indicates a significant reduction in summer precipitation, possibly in response to a poleward migration of the subtropical dry zone. Three MAT cycles ∼2 °C in amplitude occurred within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and seem to correspond to the muted precessional cycles within this interglacial. In comparison with MIS 11, MIS 13 experienced higher precessional-cycle amplitudes, larger variations in MAT (4-6 °C) and a longer period of extended warmth, suggesting that local insolation variations were important to interglacial climatic variability in the southwestern US. Comparison of the early MIS 11 climate record with the Holocene record shows many similarities and implies that, in the absence of anthropogenic forcing, the region should be entering a cooler and wetter phase.

  2. Evaluating drivers of Pleistocene eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyez, K. A.; Ravelo, A. C.; Mix, A. C.

    2016-08-01

    Sea surface temperature (SST) of the eastern equatorial Pacific is a key component of tropical oceanic and atmospheric circulation with global teleconnections. Forcing factors such as local and high-latitude insolation changes, ice sheet size and albedo feedbacks, and greenhouse gas radiation have been proposed as controls of long-term eastern tropical Pacific SST, though the precise role each mechanism plays is not fully known on glacial-interglacial or longer timescales. Here proposed mechanisms are evaluated by comparing orbital-scale records of eastern Pacific SST with forcing variability over the past 1.5 Ma. The primary SST records are a compilation of new and existing data from Ocean Drilling Program Site 1239 at the northeastern margin of the modern eastern Pacific cold tongue and Site 846 SST within the cold tongue. Using time series analysis, we test previously proposed mechanisms for control of long-term tropical SST change and SST gradients in the eastern Pacific. We find that within statistical uncertainties, in the precession band eastern Pacific SST is consistent with direct forcing by equatorial radiation changes in the tropical cold season (summer-fall) rather than inversely correlated as previously suggested. In the obliquity band high-latitude solar forcing leads or is in phase with eastern equatorial Pacific SST, while in the eccentricity band atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are closely associated with cold tongue SST. Pleistocene eastern Pacific SST gradients indicate that the gradient on the northern margin of the cold tongue strengthened through the mid-Pleistocene transition, a result compatible with the cold tongue becoming more focused at ~900-650 ka.

  3. Hominin Footprints from Early Pleistocene Deposits at Happisburgh, UK

    PubMed Central

    Ashton, Nick; Lewis, Simon G.; De Groote, Isabelle; Duffy, Sarah M.; Bates, Martin; Bates, Richard; Hoare, Peter; Lewis, Mark; Parfitt, Simon A.; Peglar, Sylvia; Williams, Craig; Stringer, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Investigations at Happisburgh, UK, have revealed the oldest known hominin footprint surface outside Africa at between ca. 1 million and 0.78 million years ago. The site has long been recognised for the preservation of sediments containing Early Pleistocene fauna and flora, but since 2005 has also yielded humanly made flint artefacts, extending the record of human occupation of northern Europe by at least 350,000 years. The sediments consist of sands, gravels and laminated silts laid down by a large river within the upper reaches of its estuary. In May 2013 extensive areas of the laminated sediments were exposed on the foreshore. On the surface of one of the laminated silt horizons a series of hollows was revealed in an area of ca. 12 m2. The surface was recorded using multi-image photogrammetry which showed that the hollows are distinctly elongated and the majority fall within the range of juvenile to adult hominin foot sizes. In many cases the arch and front/back of the foot can be identified and in one case the impression of toes can be seen. Using foot length to stature ratios, the hominins are estimated to have been between ca. 0.93 and 1.73 m in height, suggestive of a group of mixed ages. The orientation of the prints indicates movement in a southerly direction on mud-flats along the river edge. Early Pleistocene human fossils are extremely rare in Europe, with no evidence from the UK. The only known species in western Europe of a similar age is Homo antecessor, whose fossil remains have been found at Atapuerca, Spain. The foot sizes and estimated stature of the hominins from Happisburgh fall within the range derived from the fossil evidence of Homo antecessor. PMID:24516637

  4. Dental ontogeny in pliocene and early pleistocene hominins.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Tafforeau, Paul; Le Cabec, Adeline; Bonnin, Anne; Houssaye, Alexandra; Pouech, Joane; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manthi, Fredrick; Ward, Carol; Makaremi, Masrour; Menter, Colin G

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, our understanding of the evolution of human growth and development derived from studies of fossil juveniles that employed extant populations for both age determination and comparison. This circular approach has led to considerable debate about the human-like and ape-like affinities of fossil hominins. Teeth are invaluable for understanding maturation as age at death can be directly assessed from dental microstructure, and dental development has been shown to correlate with life history across primates broadly. We employ non-destructive synchrotron imaging to characterize incremental development, molar emergence, and age at death in more than 20 Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus and South African early Homo juveniles. Long-period line periodicities range from at least 6-12 days (possibly 5-13 days), and do not support the hypothesis that australopiths have lower mean values than extant or fossil Homo. Crown formation times of australopith and early Homo postcanine teeth fall below or at the low end of extant human values; Paranthropus robustus dentitions have the shortest formation times. Pliocene and early Pleistocene hominins show remarkable variation, and previous reports of age at death that employ a narrow range of estimated long-period line periodicities, cuspal enamel thicknesses, or initiation ages are likely to be in error. New chronological ages for SK 62 and StW 151 are several months younger than previous histological estimates, while Sts 24 is more than one year older. Extant human standards overestimate age at death in hominins predating Homo sapiens, and should not be applied to other fossil taxa. We urge caution when inferring life history as aspects of dental development in Pliocene and early Pleistocene fossils are distinct from modern humans and African apes, and recent work has challenged the predictive power of primate-wide associations between hominoid first molar emergence and certain

  5. Miocene to Pleistocene Exhumation of the Southern European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reverman, R.; Fellin, M.; Herman, F.; Willett, S.

    2011-12-01

    We apply apatite fission-track, (U-Th-Sm)/He dating, 4He/3He diffusion profiles, and OSL thermochronology to construct a complete thermal history and constrain the exhumation and topographic evolution of the Adamello complex in the Southern European Alps. The Adamello complex is an Eocene-Oligocene pluton emplaced at a depth of 7 km, now exposed and dissected by deep valleys with a local relief of more than 2 km, which drain into larger fluvial systems overdeepened during the Messinian salinity crisis. Our aim is to determine which major erosional event during the Miocene-to-Pleistocene evolution of the Alps most affected the topographic development of the Adamello complex. We quantify exhumation rates using multiple methods: age-elevation relationships, estimates based on exhumation of a fossil partial retention zone, and cooling histories. We then compare these estimates with those predicted from a 3-D heat conduction model including topographic relief and erosion (Pecube; Braun, 2002) paired with the Neighborhood Algorithm, which is a two stage mathematical procedure that finds models, or parameters, which minimize the misfit to the data (Sambridge, 1999a,b). The predicted tectono-geomorphic history is tested for feasibility through comparison with known timing of tectonic and erosional events. Our apatite fission-track and (U-Th-Sm)/He results indicate that relief development alone cannot account for the episodic history and suggest a possible coupling between tectonics and erosion in the late Miocene, where the establishment of major drainages coincides with a period of increased rock uplift. The initial results from even lower temperature methods, 4He/3He diffusion profiles and OSL thermochronology, suggest an increase in exhumation rates in the Plio-Pleistocene, most likely associated with glacial reshaping.

  6. Hominin footprints from early Pleistocene deposits at Happisburgh, UK.

    PubMed

    Ashton, Nick; Lewis, Simon G; De Groote, Isabelle; Duffy, Sarah M; Bates, Martin; Bates, Richard; Hoare, Peter; Lewis, Mark; Parfitt, Simon A; Peglar, Sylvia; Williams, Craig; Stringer, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Investigations at Happisburgh, UK, have revealed the oldest known hominin footprint surface outside Africa at between ca. 1 million and 0.78 million years ago. The site has long been recognised for the preservation of sediments containing Early Pleistocene fauna and flora, but since 2005 has also yielded humanly made flint artefacts, extending the record of human occupation of northern Europe by at least 350,000 years. The sediments consist of sands, gravels and laminated silts laid down by a large river within the upper reaches of its estuary. In May 2013 extensive areas of the laminated sediments were exposed on the foreshore. On the surface of one of the laminated silt horizons a series of hollows was revealed in an area of ca. 12 m(2). The surface was recorded using multi-image photogrammetry which showed that the hollows are distinctly elongated and the majority fall within the range of juvenile to adult hominin foot sizes. In many cases the arch and front/back of the foot can be identified and in one case the impression of toes can be seen. Using foot length to stature ratios, the hominins are estimated to have been between ca. 0.93 and 1.73 m in height, suggestive of a group of mixed ages. The orientation of the prints indicates movement in a southerly direction on mud-flats along the river edge. Early Pleistocene human fossils are extremely rare in Europe, with no evidence from the UK. The only known species in western Europe of a similar age is Homo antecessor, whose fossil remains have been found at Atapuerca, Spain. The foot sizes and estimated stature of the hominins from Happisburgh fall within the range derived from the fossil evidence of Homo antecessor.

  7. The Pliocene-Pleistocene sedimentary tectonic history of NW California

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, L.; Moley, K.; Aalto, K.R. . Dept. of Geology); Renne, P.R. . Berkeley Geochronology Center)

    1993-04-01

    A thick sequence of Late Miocene to Pleistocene sediments thought to represent deposition in a Neogene forearc basin are preserved in the structural basin referred to as the Eel River basin' located offshore of NW California and SE Oregon. The southern portion of this structural basin comes on land in the vicinity of Eureka where the marine and fluvial Wildcat Group is exposed. Basal Wildcat Group sediments are fluvial and littorial. Marine sandstones of the Wildcat Group contain K-spar concentrations of 5.5% and are believed to represent a fresh source. [sup 40]Ar/[sup 39]Ar laser probe analyses of Wildcat Group micas yield dates of 52--57, 66--75, 128.5 and 299--303 Ma. The presence of Idaho detritus throughout the Neogene Wildcat Group indicates that the Klamath Mountains remained low during the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Younger fluvial sediments in this region contain primarily locally derived detritus indicating local uplift of the Klamath Mountains. To the north, at Crescent City, thin remnants of the near-shore Saint George Formation and the eastern estuarine and fluvial Wimer Formation are lowermost Pliocene in age (5 ma). The presence of the highly erodible Wilmer Formation on uplifted plateaus in an area of extreme rainfall suggest that these sediments represent only the lowermost portion of an originally much thicker sequence. Consequently, the sediments confined to the present day Eel River basin do not represent the lateral extent of the original forearc basin. Sandstones and conglomerates of the Saint George and Wimer Formation indicate a local Klamath provenance derivation.

  8. Extended megadroughts in the southwestern United States during Pleistocene interglacials.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Peter J; Werne, Josef P; Anderson, R Scott; Heikoop, Jeffrey M; Brown, Erik T; Berke, Melissa A; Smith, Susan J; Goff, Fraser; Donohoo-Hurley, Linda; Cisneros-Dozal, Luz M; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Huang, Yongsong; Toney, Jaime; Fessenden, Julianna; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Atudorei, Viorel; Geissman, John W; Allen, Craig D

    2011-02-24

    The potential for increased drought frequency and severity linked to anthropogenic climate change in the semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States (US) is a serious concern. Multi-year droughts during the instrumental period and decadal-length droughts of the past two millennia were shorter and climatically different from the future permanent, 'dust-bowl-like' megadrought conditions, lasting decades to a century, that are predicted as a consequence of warming. So far, it has been unclear whether or not such megadroughts occurred in the southwestern US, and, if so, with what regularity and intensity. Here we show that periods of aridity lasting centuries to millennia occurred in the southwestern US during mid-Pleistocene interglacials. Using molecular palaeotemperature proxies to reconstruct the mean annual temperature (MAT) in mid-Pleistocene lacustrine sediment from the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, we found that the driest conditions occurred during the warmest phases of interglacials, when the MAT was comparable to or higher than the modern MAT. A collapse of drought-tolerant C(4) plant communities during these warm, dry intervals indicates a significant reduction in summer precipitation, possibly in response to a poleward migration of the subtropical dry zone. Three MAT cycles ∼2 °C in amplitude occurred within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and seem to correspond to the muted precessional cycles within this interglacial. In comparison with MIS 11, MIS 13 experienced higher precessional-cycle amplitudes, larger variations in MAT (4-6 °C) and a longer period of extended warmth, suggesting that local insolation variations were important to interglacial climatic variability in the southwestern US. Comparison of the early MIS 11 climate record with the Holocene record shows many similarities and implies that, in the absence of anthropogenic forcing, the region should be entering a cooler and wetter phase. PMID:21350483

  9. Environmental evolutions of the Alzette valley (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) since Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naton, H.-G.; Ruffaldi, P.; Meyrick, R.; Maquil, R.; Colbach, R.; Kausch, B.; Baes, R.; Stead, A.; Le Brun-Ricalens, F.; Brou, L.; Schoellen, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Alzette River rises within France, approximately 4 km south of the French-Luxembourg border, and has a total length of 73 kilometres before joining the Sauer which is a left-bank tributary of the Moselle River. During the construction of the "Nordstrooss" motorway (going north from Luxembourg city towards Ettelbruck) a viaduct was built that crosses the wide alluvial plain (about 1 km) of the Alzette River valley near Lorentzweiler. A lot of drillings were also made for geotechnical purposes by the Geological survey of Luxembourg (SGL). The drillings were able to provide informations about the sediments preserved in the Alzette River valley floor. This information has allowed the construction of a cross-profile through the valley showing the stratigraphy of the quaternary deposits, and illustrating that it was the result of a rather complex evolution (aggradation and incision periods leading to terraces formation, input of slope deposits at the valley margins, possible eolian input, …). A multidisciplinary research project thus started, aiming to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of the Alzette region during the late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. The drilling results make it possible to reconstruct the geometry of the quaternary sedimentary units of the Alzette valley. Three stepped alluvial units are recognized along the cross profile: the lower one (Az0) corresponds with the maximal incision of the Alzette. It is preserved in the western part of the floodplain, with base being located at about 212 m a.s.l.. In the eastern part of the valley the contact between the fluvial deposits and the substratum is located at about 215 m a.s.l.: these deposits may also be allocated to a lower terrace Az1 (relative height : +3 m). A third alluvial unit Az2 was recognized in two drillings, with bedrock located at about 224 m a.s.l. (+12 m). The channel migration in the valley and the assumed meandering dynamics (suggested by the weakness of the longitudinal slope) led

  10. A 220 ka terrestrial δ18O and deuterium excess biomarker record from an eolian permafrost paleosol sequence, NE-Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuthorn, Mario; Zech, Michael; Detsch, Florian; Rozanski, Kazimierz; Zech, Roland; Zöller, Ludwig; Zech, Wolfgang; Glaser, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    The natural abundances of stable oxygen (18O/16O) and hydrogen isotopes (D/H) are valuable proxies of climate changes in the past. Yet, to date no continuous δ18O and only few δD records are available from loess-paleosol sequences. Taking advantage of a recently developed method based on compound-specific δ18O analyzes of hemicellulose sugar biomarkers in soils (Zech and Glaser, 2009), we here present a first terrestrial δ18O biomarker record from an eolian permafrost paleosol sequence in NE-Siberia that covers the last ~220 ka. The δ18O values of the hemicellulose biomarkers arabinose and xylose range from 22.5 to 32.8‰ and from 21.3 to 31.9‰, respectively, and reveal systematic glacial - interglacial shifts. The modern topsoil and the interglacial paleosols exhibit more positive δ18O values, whereas the glacial paleosols are characterized by more negative δ18O values. This is in agreement with the δD record obtained for sedimentary n-alkane leaf wax biomarkers. We present a conceptual model for interpreting the combined δ18O and δD biomarker record. Based on this model, we suggest that both our δ18O and the δD record primarily reflect the temperature-controlled isotopic composition of paleoprecipitation modified by evaporative isotope enrichment of leaf water during transpiration. Considering fractionation factors during sugar and n-alkane biomarker biosynthesis allows reconstructing the leaf water isotopic composition and the deuterium excess of the leaf water. The deuterium excess may serve as proxy for evaporative enrichment and allows calculating relative humidity using a Craig-Gordon model. Accordingly, relative humidity in NE-Siberia was higher during marine isotope stage (MIS) 6 compared to MIS 2, 4 and 5d and thus could help explaining the much larger extent of the Late Saalian glaciation compared to the Weichselian glaciations. Using the Craig-Gordon model, we also calculated δ18O of the plant source water (δ18Osource water), which can

  11. First record of coralline demosponges in the Pleistocene: implications for reef ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millet, J.; Kiessling, W.

    2009-12-01

    We report the first discovery of coralline sponges from Pleistocene reef limestones of Vanuatu. Sponges of the genus Acanthochaetetes were identified from two reef terraces of Middle and Late Pleistocene age. As these sponges document cryptic habitats in modern coral reefs, they may be index fossils of cryptic habitats in the Pleistocene as well, thereby providing clues on growth conditions in fossil reefs. The small size of the discovered specimens may be attributed to the transient nature of their cryptic habitats, either due to reef growth or the occurrence of an unusual event.

  12. Effects of Pleistocene glaciations and rivers on the population structure of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Natasha; Nater, Alexander; van Schaik, Carel P.; Willems, Erik P.; van Noordwijk, Maria A.; Goossens, Benoit; Morf, Nadja; Bastian, Meredith; Knott, Cheryl; Morrogh-Bernard, Helen; Kuze, Noko; Kanamori, Tomoko; Pamungkas, Joko; Perwitasari-Farajallah, Dyah; Verschoor, Ernst; Warren, Kristin; Krützen, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Sundaland, a tropical hotspot of biodiversity comprising Borneo and Sumatra among other islands, the Malay Peninsula, and a shallow sea, has been subject to dramatic environmental processes. Thus, it presents an ideal opportunity to investigate the role of environmental mechanisms in shaping species distribution and diversity. We investigated the population structure and underlying mechanisms of an insular endemic, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Phylogenetic reconstructions based on mtDNA sequences from 211 wild orangutans covering the entire range of the species indicate an unexpectedly recent common ancestor of Bornean orangutans 176 ka (95% highest posterior density, 72–322 ka), pointing to a Pleistocene refugium. High mtDNA differentiation among populations and rare haplotype sharing is consistent with a pattern of strong female philopatry. This is corroborated by isolation by distance tests, which show a significant correlation between mtDNA divergence and distance and a strong effect of rivers as barriers for female movement. Both frequency-based and Bayesian clustering analyses using as many as 25 nuclear microsatellite loci revealed a significant separation among all populations, as well as a small degree of male-mediated gene flow. This study highlights the unique effects of environmental and biological features on the evolutionary history of Bornean orangutans, a highly endangered species particularly vulnerable to future climate and anthropogenic change as an insular endemic. PMID:21098261

  13. The Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the Southern Middle Atlas Fault Zone (SMAFZ) front of Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laville, E.; Delcaillau, B.; Charroud, M.; Dugué, O.; Ait Brahim, L.; Cattaneo, G.; Deluca, P.; Bouazza, A.

    2007-06-01

    The South Middle Atlas front constitutes a northeast-trending shear zone, located north of the Neogene Missour basin and east of the Taza Guercif basin. This paper analyses the Southern Middle Atlas Fault Zone (SMAFZ) deformation since the Pliocene. The set of structures observed suggests that reverse and thrust faulting along the central part of the SMAFZ are combined with left-lateral slip along N S striking faults of its south-western termination and right-lateral faulting along E NE striking faults of the east northeast termination. Thrusts and oblique thrust-related anticlines of the two lateral ramps partly accommodate north-west directed motion of the African plate. The Thrusts probably resulted from rejuvenation of Jurassic normal faults; they were active during the Upper Miocene Pliocene and the Pleistocene. The geometries of positive inversion structures and buttressing effects are clearly dependent on the geometry and sedimentology of the original basin-controlling fault system and on the presence of a décollement level. Field mapping is integrated with Landsat imagery and a digital elevation model to investigate the morphotectonic evolution of the south-eastern range front of the Middle Atlas. Geomorphological features provide significant information on the processes that govern lateral propagation of active anticlines. Both suggest that the deformation front may have been active since Pliocene.

  14. A New Horned Crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene Hominid Sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Brochu, Christopher A.; Njau, Jackson; Blumenschine, Robert J.; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2010-01-01

    Background The fossil record reveals surprising crocodile diversity in the Neogene of Africa, but relationships with their living relatives and the biogeographic origins of the modern African crocodylian fauna are poorly understood. A Plio-Pleistocene crocodile from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represents a new extinct species and shows that high crocodylian diversity in Africa persisted after the Miocene. It had prominent triangular “horns” over the ears and a relatively deep snout, these resemble those of the recently extinct Malagasy crocodile Voay robustus, but the new species lacks features found among osteolaemines and shares derived similarities with living species of Crocodylus. Methodology/Principal Findings The holotype consists of a partial skull and skeleton and was collected on the surface between two tuffs dated to approximately 1.84 million years (Ma), in the same interval near the type localities for the hominids Homo habilis and Australopithecus boisei. It was compared with previously-collected material from Olduvai Gorge referable to the same species. Phylogenetic analysis places the new form within or adjacent to crown Crocodylus. Conclusions/Significance The new crocodile species was the largest predator encountered by our ancestors at Olduvai Gorge, as indicated by hominid specimens preserving crocodile bite marks from these sites. The new species also reinforces the emerging view of high crocodylian diversity throughout the Neogene, and it represents one of the few extinct species referable to crown genus Crocodylus. PMID:20195356

  15. Optically stimulated luminescence age controls on late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal lithosomes, North Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallinson, D.; Burdette, K.; Mahan, S.; Brook, G.

    2008-01-01

    Luminescence ages from a variety of coastal features on the North Carolina Coastal Plain provide age control for shoreline formation and relative sea-level position during the late Pleistocene. A series of paleoshoreline ridges, dating to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a and MIS 3 have been defined. The Kitty Hawk beach ridges, on the modern Outer Banks, yield ages of 3 to 2??ka. Oxygen-isotope data are used to place these deposits in the context of global climate and sea-level change. The occurrence of MIS 5a and MIS 3 shorelines suggests that glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) of the study area is large (ca. 22 to 26??m), as suggested and modeled by other workers, and/or MIS 3 sea level was briefly higher than suggested by some coral reef studies. Correcting the shoreline elevations for GIA brings their elevation in line with other sea-level indicators. The age of the Kitty Hawk beach ridges places the Holocene shoreline well west of its present location at ca. 3 to 2??ka. The age of shoreline progradation is consistent with the ages of other beach ridge complexes in the southeast USA, suggesting some regionally contemporaneous forcing mechanism. ?? 2007 University of Washington.

  16. Late Pleistocene valley fills source sediment flux of Tibetan Plateau margin rivers, Zanskar, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blöthe, J. H.; Munack, H.; Korup, O.; Fulop, R. H.; Codilean, A.; Fink, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Indus and its tributaries, one of Asia's largest river systems, drain the NW Himalaya and the Transhimalayan ranges that border the western Tibetan Plateau margin. From the internally drained low-relief areas of the Tibetan Plateau, local relief increases towards the Western Himalayan Syntaxis, where it exceeds 7 km. Simultaneously, average denudation rates rise from as little as 10 mm ka-1 at the Tibetan Plateau margin to rates of >1000 mm ka-1 close to the western Himalayan Syntaxis. In this rugged bedrock landscape, river valleys frequently alternate between deeply incised gorges and broad alluviated reaches. Vast fill terrace staircases of up to 400 m height above current river levels, and intercalated lake sediments point to repeated phases of incision and aggradation within the region. Despite a broad interest in a better understanding of mechanisms that modulate plateau erosion, age constraints on the generation of these impressive features remain sparse, though indicate mainly Pleistocene formation ages. Here we present new data from the More Plains section, a vast sedimentary fill, located in the headwaters of the Zanskar River, the largest tributary to the upper Indus. The vast sedimentary successions of the More Plains originally belonged to a former endorheic basin that has been tapped by the Zanskar River, today revealing a sedimentary exposures of >250 m thickness. We combine morphometric analysis and field based observations with 10Be surface exposure dating and basin-wide denudation rates to constrain the late Quaternary history of this setting. Analysis of a 10Be depth profile on top of the More Plains section indicate a surface exposure age of ~125 +/- 15 ka, which is supported by ages from nearby amalgamated surface samples. Grounding on a morphometric approach, we estimate that ~1.65-1.95 km3 were removed from this section by fluvial erosion since aggradation ceased, requiring a specific sediment yield of 85-100 t km-2 yr-1 averaged over the

  17. Reconstructing the climate states of the Late Pleistocene with the MIROC climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Wing-Le; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; O'ishi, Ryouta; Takahashi, Kunio

    2014-05-01

    The Late Pleistocene was a period which lasted from the Eemian interglacial period to the start of the warm Holocene and was characterized mostly by widespread glacial ice. It was also a period which saw modern humans spread throughout the world and other species of the same genus, like the Neanderthals, become extinct. Various hypotheses have been put forward to explain the extinction of Neanderthals, about 30,000 years ago. Among these is one which involves changes in past climate and the inability of Neanderthals to adapt to such changes. The last traces of Neanderthals coincide with the end of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) which was marked by large fluctuations in temperature and so-called Heinrich events, as suggested by geochemical records from ice cores. It is thought that melting sea ice or icebergs originating from the Laurentide ice sheet led to a large discharge of freshwater into the North Atlantic Ocean during the Heinrich events and severely weakened the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, with important environmental ramifications across parts of Europe such as sharp decreases in temperature and reduction in forest cover. In order to assess the effects of past climate change on past hominin migration and on the extinction of certain species, it is first important to have a good understanding of the past climate itself. In this study, we have used three variants of MIROC (The Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate), a global climate model, for a time slice experiment within the Late Pleistocene: two mid-resolution models (an atmosphere model and a coupled atmosphere-ocean model) and a high-resolution atmosphere model. To obtain a fuller picture, we also look at a cool stadial state as obtained from a 'freshwater hosing' coupled-model experiment, designed to mimic the effects of freshwater discharge in the North Atlantic. We next use the sea surface temperature response from this experiment to drive the atmosphere models. We discuss

  18. Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial stratigraphy of southern Baja California, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antinao, José Luis; McDonald, Eric; Rhodes, Edward J.; Brown, Nathan; Barrera, Wendy; Gosse, John C.; Zimmermann, Susan

    2016-08-01

    A late Pleistocene to Holocene alluvial stratigraphy has been established for the basins of La Paz and San José del Cabo, in the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Six discrete alluvial units (Qt1 through Qt6) were differentiated across the region using a combination of geomorphologic mapping, sedimentological analysis, and soil development. These criteria were supported using radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence and cosmogenic depth-profile geochronology. Major aggradation started shortly after ∼70 ka (Qt2), and buildup of the main depositional units ended at ∼10 ka (Qt4). After deposition of Qt4, increasing regional incision of older units and the progressive development of a channelized alluvial landscape coincide with deposition of Qt5 and Qt6 units in a second, incisional phase. All units consist of multiple 1-3 m thick alluvial packages deposited as upper-flow stage beds that represent individual storms. Main aggradational units (Qt2-Qt4) occurred across broad (>2 km) channels in the form of sheetflood deposition while incisional stage deposits are confined to channels of ∼0.5-2 km width. Continuous deposition inside the thicker (>10 m) pre-Qt5 units is demonstrated by closely spaced dates in vertical profiles. In a few places, disconformities between these major units are nevertheless evident and indicated by partly eroded buried soils. The described units feature sedimentological traits similar to historical deposits formed by large tropical cyclone events, but also include characteristics of upper-regime flow sedimentation not shown by historical sediments, like long (>10 m) wavelength antidunes and transverse ribs. We interpret the whole sequence as indicating discrete periods during the late Pleistocene and Holocene when climatic conditions allowed larger and more frequent tropical cyclone events than those observed historically. These discrete periods are associated with times when insolation at the tropics was

  19. Geology and Volcanology of Kima'Kho Mountain, Northern British Columbia: A Pleistocene Glaciovolcanic Edifice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, M.; Porritt, L. A.; Edwards, B. R.; Russell, K.

    2014-12-01

    Kima'Kho Mountain is a 1.8 Ma (40Ar/39Ar of 1.82 +/- 40 ka) Pleistocene an alkali-olivine basaltic tuya situated in northern British Columbia. The volcanic edifice rises 460 m from its base and comprises a central vent, dominated by lapilli-tuff and minor pillow lava and dykes; and a surrounding plateau underlain by a sequence of dipping beds of basaltic tuff-breccia and capped by a series of flat-lying, subaerial lava flows. We present a 1:10,000 geological map for Kima'Kho Mountain building on the preliminary work of Ryane et al. (2010). We use the volcanic stratigraphy to explore the implications of three unique features. (1) The central cone comprises massive to crudely-bedded lapilli tuffs containing abundant armoured lapilli - cores of highly-vesicular pyroclasts coated with blocky to cuspate vitric ash. These units suggest an explosive origin from within an ice-enclosed lake, and deposited by wet, dilute pyroclastic surge events. (2) The entire stratigraphic sequence hosts at least two "passage zones" (cf. Jones, 1969); the presence and geometry of these passage zones constrain ice thicknersses at the time of eruption and inform on the englacial lake dynamics. (3) Lastly, our field-based stratigraphic relationships are at odds with the classic tuya model (i.e. an effusive onset to the eruption, forming pillow basalts, followed by explosive activity). Our field mapping suggests an alternative model of tuya architecture, involving a highly-energetic, sustained explosive onset creating a tephra cone that become emergent followed by effusive eruption to create lavas and a subaqueous lava-fed delta. Jones, J. G. Intraglacial volcanoes of the Laugarvatn region, south-west Iceland-I. Geological Society of London Quarterly Journal 124, 197-211 (1969). Ryane, C., Edwards, B. R. & Russell, J. K. The volcanic stratigraphy of Kima'Kho Mountain: A Pleistocene tuya, northwestern British Columbia. Geological Survey of Canada, Current Research 2011-104, 12p, doi:10

  20. Push moraines in the upper valley of Santa Cruz river, southwest Argentina. Structural analysis and relationship with Late Pleistocene paleoclimate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goyanes, Gabriel; Massabie, Armando

    2015-01-01

    The upper cliff of the Santa Cruz River was used to assess the proglacial environments of the Argentino Glacier outlet of Late Pleistocene age. These cliffs show glaciolacustrine, fluvioglacial and till deposits, where only the first one are deformed. Glacial landforms in the area and these structures suggest that the ice mass advanced, topographically controlled, towards the east from the Patagonian Ice Sheet pushing up the proglacial sediments. The spatial arrangement of thrusts and overturned folds, the drumlins-flutes moraine directions and the end moraines shape, allow inferring the dynamic and the Argentino glacier profile. Detailed analyses of the glaciotectonic structures indicate that these have two origins: load in the north with stress transfer to the southeast, and push from the west. Through the analysis of deformed sediments, their thickness and their sedimentary and structural features, three zones of deformations were recognized. Each of these zones was associated to glacial advances because of changes of the regional climate conditions.

  1. Pb isotopic variability in the modern-Pleistocene Indus River system measured by ion microprobe in detrital K-feldspar grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alizai, Anwar; Clift, Peter D.; Giosan, Liviu; VanLaningham, Sam; Hinton, Richard; Tabrez, Ali R.; Danish, Muhammad; Edinburgh Ion Microprobe Facility (EIMF)

    2011-09-01

    The western Himalaya, Karakoram and Tibet are known to be heterogeneous with regard to Pb isotope compositions in K-feldspars, which allows this system to be used as a sediment provenance tool. We used secondary ion mass spectrometry to measure the isotopic character of silt and sand-sized grains from the modern Sutlej and Chenab Rivers, together with Thar Desert sands, in order to constrain their origin. The rivers show a clear Himalayan provenance, contrasting with grains from the Indus Suture Zone, but with overlap to known Karakoram compositions. The desert dunes commonly show 207Pb/ 204Pb and 206Pb/ 204Pb values that are much higher than those seen in the rivers, most consistent with erosion from Nanga Parbat. This implies at least some origin from the trunk Indus, probably reworked by summer monsoon winds from the SW, a hypothesis supported by bulk Nd and U-Pb zircon dating. Further data collected from Holocene and Pleistocene sands shows that filled and abandoned channels on the western edge of the Thar Desert were sourced from Himalayan rivers before and at 6-8 ka, but that after that time the proportion of high isotopic ratio grains rose, indicating increased contribution from the Thar Desert dunes prior to ˜4.5 ka when flow ceased entirely. This may be linked to climatic drying, northward expansion of the Thar Desert, or changes in drainage style including regional capture, channel abandonment, or active local Thar tributaries. Our data further show a Himalayan river channel east of the present Indus, close to the delta, in the Nara River valley during the middle Holocene. While this cannot be distinguished from the Indus it is not heavily contaminated by reworking from the desert. The Pb system shows some use as a provenance tool, but is not effective at demonstrating whether these Nara sediments represent a Ghaggar-Hakra stream independent from the Indus. Our study highlights an important role for eolian reworking of floodplain sediments in arid rivers

  2. Vertical Feature Mask Feature Classification Flag Extraction

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-03-28

      Vertical Feature Mask Feature Classification Flag Extraction This routine demonstrates extraction of the ... in a CALIPSO Lidar Level 2 Vertical Feature Mask feature classification flag value. It is written in Interactive Data Language (IDL) ...

  3. Environmental reconstruction and biostratigraphy of late Middle Pleistocene lakeshore deposits at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Urban, Brigitte; Bigga, Gerlinde

    2015-12-01

    The Pleistocene sequence of Schöningen provides a key link between unglaciated and glaciated areas in western Central Europe and is an important point of reference for the subdivision of the glaciated late Middle Pleistocene. This locality yields paleoecological and geological evidence of at least four interglacial periods prior to the Holocene and younger than the Elsterian glaciation. The Pleistocene deposits at Schöningen are valuable archives of climate, landscape, and human evolution, containing outstanding information on past environmental changes and human adaptation. This paper presents paleoenvironmental and biostratigraphical results from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological lakeshore site of Schöningen, focusing on the so-called reference profile Schöningen 13 II of 2003. We discuss the lithological, palynological, and macrobotanical evidence and present a revised subdivision and reinterpretation of late phases of the Reinsdorf Interglacial.

  4. Environmental reconstruction and biostratigraphy of late Middle Pleistocene lakeshore deposits at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Urban, Brigitte; Bigga, Gerlinde

    2015-12-01

    The Pleistocene sequence of Schöningen provides a key link between unglaciated and glaciated areas in western Central Europe and is an important point of reference for the subdivision of the glaciated late Middle Pleistocene. This locality yields paleoecological and geological evidence of at least four interglacial periods prior to the Holocene and younger than the Elsterian glaciation. The Pleistocene deposits at Schöningen are valuable archives of climate, landscape, and human evolution, containing outstanding information on past environmental changes and human adaptation. This paper presents paleoenvironmental and biostratigraphical results from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological lakeshore site of Schöningen, focusing on the so-called reference profile Schöningen 13 II of 2003. We discuss the lithological, palynological, and macrobotanical evidence and present a revised subdivision and reinterpretation of late phases of the Reinsdorf Interglacial. PMID:26638875

  5. Geomorphic and paleoclimatic implications of latest Pleistocene radiocarbon dates from colluvium-mantled hollows, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reneau, S.L.; Dietrich, W.E.; Dorn, R.I.; Berger, C.R.; Rubin, M.

    1986-08-01

    Radiocarbon analyses of charcoal from basal colluvium in 11 California hollows show a clustering of dates between 9000 and 15,000 B.P., an indication that changes in the storage and discharge of colluvium from hillslopes accompanied the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Hollows are sites of topographically induced convergence and deposition of colluvial debris, and evacuation of this debris was apparently more thorough and possibly more frequent in the latest Pleistocene, perhaps due to a combination of changes in vegetation and rainfall characteristics. One hypothesis is that greater storm intensities occurred in the latest Pleistocene and induced a higher frequency of landslides in hollows and a regional extension of channel heads upslope relative to the Holocene. During the last Pleistocene, California hollows apparently contained smaller volumes of colluvium in storage. The increased storage of debris during the Holocene may have resulted in a diminished supply of sediment to stream channels.

  6. The Examination of Exposures of Pleistocene Sediments in the Field: A Self-Paced Exercise.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keene, Peter

    1982-01-01

    Describes a self-paced field exercise which takes college geomorphology students through a step-by-step study of the origin and environment of pleistocene deposits. The exercise could also be adapted for use at the secondary level. (AM)

  7. Identification of Late Pleistocene Ice-Rafted Debris (IRD) on the New Jersey Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, R. J.; Christensen, B. A.; Wampler, J.; Uptegrove, J.; Goff, J.

    2004-12-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential for ice-rafted debris (IRD) on the New Jersey shelf and develop procedures for IRD identification on a shelf environment using a variety of techniques to assess texture and age of the sediments. Pleistocene New Jersey shelf sedimentology is strongly defined by glacially driven sea level changes. IRD and its provenance may be identified on a shelf environment through analysis of grain size distribution, heavy mineral content (higher % suggests non-fluvial processes), mineralogical point counts (anomalous mineralogy indicates distal source), isotopic dating methods (age value determination to narrow down potential source rocks), and surface texture analysis (specific glacial transport features). IRD must be differentiated from sediment derived from the NJ bedrock. Likely sources for IRD include the bedrock of Maine and of the southeastern Canadian Shield. Duncan and Goff (2001) reported iceberg grounding along the NJ shelf. IRD is typically identified in the deep sea through anomalously large grain size within pelagic mud, but different methods are needed for the shelf, where regressive shoreline processes, subaerial exposure, fluvial downcutting, and deposition and reworking during transgression have influenced the sediment composition found today. We analyzed grab samples in or near the features believed to be iceberg scour marks and downcore samples from recent Geoclutter drilling in the same area. The coarse grain size fractions of shelf samples were separated by phi classes before heavy mineral separation methods were employed. Initial analyses show high percentages of heavy minerals in the 2 phi and 3 phi size fractions, consistent with past NJ shelf studies. Hornblende grains were hand-picked from select samples for K-Ar dating, providing age values of about 0.96 ± 0.03 Ga for three sites within iceberg scours. Mineral content of each size fraction is determined by point count. Qualitative assessment of

  8. Variation in the nasal cavity of baboon hybrids with implications for late Pleistocene hominins.

    PubMed

    Eichel, Kaleigh Anne; Ackermann, Rebecca Rogers

    2016-05-01

    Hybridization is increasingly proving to be an important force shaping human evolution. Comparisons of both ancient and modern genomes have provided support for a complex evolutionary scenario over the past million years, with evidence for multiple incidents of gene exchange. However, to date, genetic evidence is still limited in its ability to pinpoint the precise time and place of ancient admixture. For that we must rely on evidence of admixture from the skeleton. The research presented here builds on previous work on the crania of baboon hybrids, focusing on the nasal cavity of olive baboons, yellow baboons, and first generation (F1) hybrids. The nasal cavity is a particularly important anatomical region for study, given the clear differentiation of this feature in Neanderthals relative to their contemporaries, and therefore it is a feature that will likely differ in a distinctive manner in hybrids of these taxa. Metric data consist of 45 linear, area, and volume measurements taken from CT scans of known-pedigree baboon crania. Results indicate that there is clear evidence for differences among the nasal cavities of the parental taxa and their F1 hybrids, including a greater degree of sexual dimorphism in the hybrids. There is also some evidence for transgressive phenotypes in individual F1 animals. The greatest amount of shape variation occurs in the anterior bony cavity, the choana, and the mid-nasopharynx. Extrapolating our results to the fossil record, we would expect F1 hybrid fossils to have larger nasal cavities, on average, than either parental taxon, with overall nasal cavity shape showing the most profound changes in regions that are distinct between the parental taxa (e.g., anterior nasal cavity). We also expect size and shape differences to be more pronounced in male F1 hybrids than in females. Because of pronounced anterior nasal cavity differences between Neanderthals and their contemporaries, we suggest that this model might be effective for

  9. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA.

    PubMed

    Jacquemin, Stephen J; Ebersole, Jun A; Dickinson, William C; Ciampaglio, Charles N

    2016-01-01

    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL). Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa) specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus) and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum) taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole.

  10. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA.

    PubMed

    Jacquemin, Stephen J; Ebersole, Jun A; Dickinson, William C; Ciampaglio, Charles N

    2016-01-01

    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL). Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa) specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus) and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum) taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole. PMID:26855876

  11. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA

    PubMed Central

    Ebersole, Jun A.; Dickinson, William C.; Ciampaglio, Charles N.

    2016-01-01

    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL). Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa) specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus) and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum) taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole. PMID:26855876

  12. Lake-level rise in the late Pleistocene and active subaquatic volcanism since the Holocene in Lake Kivu, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Kelly Ann; Smets, Benoît; De Batist, Marc; Hilbe, Michael; Schmid, Martin; Anselmetti, Flavio S.

    2014-09-01

    The history of Lake Kivu is strongly linked to the activity of the Virunga volcanoes. Subaerial and subaquatic volcanoes, in addition to lake-level changes, shape the subaquatic morphologic and structural features in Lake Kivu's Main Basin. Previous studies revealed that volcanic eruptions blocked the former outlet of the lake to the north in the late Pleistocene, leading to a substantial rise in the lake level and subsequently the present-day thermohaline stratification. Additional studies have speculated that volcanic and seismic activities threaten to trigger a catastrophic release of the large amount of gases dissolved in the lake. The current study presents a bathymetric mapping and seismic profiling survey that covers the volcanically active area of the Main Basin at a resolution that is unprecedented for Lake Kivu. New geomorphologic features identified on the lake floor can accurately describe related lake-floor processes for the first time. The late Pleistocene lowstand is observed at 425 m depth, and volcanic cones, tuff rings, and lava flows observed above this level indicate both subaerial and subaquatic volcanic activities during the Holocene. The geomorphologic analysis yields new implications on the geologic processes that have shaped Lake Kivu's basin, and the presence of young volcanic features can be linked to the possibility of a lake overturn.

  13. Homo erectus and Middle Pleistocene hominins: brain size, skull form, and species recognition.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G Philip

    2013-09-01

    Hominins that differ from Homo erectus, the Neanderthals, and recent humans are known from Middle Pleistocene localities across the Old World. The taxonomic status of these populations has been clouded by controversy. Perhaps the most critical problem has been an incomplete understanding of variation in skull form. Here, both H. erectus and later mid-Pleistocene hominins are the focus of an investigation aimed at clarifying the relationships among brain volume, basicranial dimensions, neurocranial shape, and certain facial characters. Brain size in H. erectus averages about 950 cm(3), while in a series of Middle Pleistocene crania from Africa and Europe, volume is about 1230 cm(3). If encephalization is the primary mechanism operating in the mid-Pleistocene, then diverse aspects of cranial form cannot all be treated as independent variables. Correlation is utilized to examine the associations among measurements for more than 30 H. erectus crania that are reasonably well preserved. A similar approach is used with the Middle Pleistocene sample. Patterns of covariation are compared in order to assess integration. Next, factor analysis is applied to the H. erectus specimens in an attempt to identify modules, tightly integrated traits that can evolve independently. Studies of the variation within H. erectus are followed by direct comparisons with the Middle Pleistocene population. Discriminant functions facilitate the description of intergroup differences. Traits that vary independently from brain volume include anterior frontal broadening, lateral expansion of the parietal vault, elevation of the lambda-inion chord, and rounding of the sagittal contour of the occipital. This finding helps to resolve the problem of species recognition. Neurocranial proportions as well as characters from the cranial base and face can be incorporated into a differential diagnosis for the mid-Pleistocene sample. Evidence presented here supports arguments for speciation in the Middle

  14. Low Florida coral calcification rates in the Plio-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachert, Thomas C.; Reuter, Markus; Krüger, Stefan; Klaus, James S.; Helmle, Kevin; Lough, Janice M.

    2016-08-01

    In geological outcrops and drill cores from reef frameworks, the skeletons of scleractinian corals are usually leached and more or less completely transformed into sparry calcite because the highly porous skeletons formed of metastable aragonite (CaCO3) undergo rapid diagenetic alteration. Upon alteration, ghost structures of the distinct annual growth bands often allow for reconstructions of annual extension ( = growth) rates, but information on skeletal density needed for reconstructions of calcification rates is invariably lost. This report presents the bulk density, extension rates and calcification rates of fossil reef corals which underwent minor diagenetic alteration only. The corals derive from unlithified shallow water carbonates of the Florida platform (south-eastern USA), which formed during four interglacial sea level highstands dated approximately 3.2, 2.9, 1.8, and 1.2 Ma in the mid-Pliocene to early Pleistocene. With regard to the preservation, the coral skeletons display smooth growth surfaces with minor volumes of marine aragonite cement within intra-skeletal porosity. Within the skeletal structures, voids are commonly present along centres of calcification which lack secondary cements. Mean extension rates were 0.44 ± 0.19 cm yr-1 (range 0.16 to 0.86 cm yr-1), mean bulk density was 0.96 ± 0.36 g cm-3 (range 0.55 to 1.83 g cm-3) and calcification rates ranged from 0.18 to 0.82 g cm-2 yr-1 (mean 0.38 ± 0.16 g cm-2 yr-1), values which are 50 % of modern shallow-water reef corals. To understand the possible mechanisms behind these low calcification rates, we compared the fossil calcification rates with those of modern zooxanthellate corals (z corals) from the Western Atlantic (WA) and Indo-Pacific calibrated against sea surface temperature (SST). In the fossil data, we found a widely analogous relationship with SST in z corals from the WA, i.e. density increases and extension rate decreases with increasing SST, but over a significantly larger

  15. "Pleistocene Park" - A Glacial Ecosystem in a Warming World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2011-12-01

    dry and runoff low. This would further increase nutrient availability in the soil. Water limitation would force roots grow deeper to cold soil horizons where these roots (carbon) will be sequestered for a long period of time. After high productivity and high diversity of animals in the ecosystem is reached, this ecosystem will once again be able to compete and to expand. To test this hypothesis, we have started the experiment named "Pleistocene Park". For over 15 years we have brought different herbivore species to the fenced area in the Kolyma river lowland, keep them at high density and see the ecosystem transformation. Now Pleistocene Park is size of 20 km2 and home for 7 big herbivores species. It is a small version of how the Mammoth Steppe ecosystem looked in the past and may look in the future. Pleistocene Park is a place where scientists can conduct in situ research and see how restoration of the ice age ecosystem may help mitigate future climatic changes. Arctic is a weakly populated region with no possibilities for agriculture. Modern civilization treats bigger part of the Arctic as wastelands. So why don't turn this "wasteland" into something that can strongly benefit our civilization in the future?

  16. Low Florida coral calcification rates in the Plio-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachert, T. C.; Reuter, M.; Krüger, S.; Klaus, J. S.; Helmle, K.; Lough, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    In geological outcrops and drill cores from reef frameworks, the skeletons of scleractinian corals are usually leached and more or less completely transformed into sparry calcite because the highly porous skeletons formed of metastable aragonite (CaCO3) undergo rapid diagenetic alteration. Upon alteration, ghost structures of the distinct annual growth bands may be retained allowing for reconstructions of annual extension (= growth) rates, but information on skeletal density needed for reconstructions of calcification rates is invariably lost. Here we report the first data of calcification rates of fossil reef corals which escaped diagenetic alteration. The corals derive from unlithified shallow water carbonates of the Florida platform (southeastern USA), which formed during four interglacial sea level highstands dated 3.2, 2.9, 1.8, and 1.2 Ma in the mid Pliocene to early Pleistocene. With regard to the preservation, the coral skeletons display smooth growth surfaces with minor volumes of marine aragonite cement within intra-skeletal porosity. Within the skeletal structures, dissolution is minor along centers of calcification. Mean extension rates were 0.44 ± 0.19 cm yr-1 (range 0.16 to 0.86 cm yr-1) and mean bulk density was 0.86 ± 0.36 g cm-3 (range 0.55 to 1.22 g cm-3). Correspondingly, calcification rates ranged from 0.18 to 0.82 g cm-2 yr-1 (mean 0.38 ± 0.16 g cm-2 yr-1), values which are 50 % of modern shallow-water reef corals. To understand the possible mechanisms behind these low calcification rates, we compared the fossil calcification with modern zooxanthellate-coral (z-coral) rates from the Western Atlantic (WA) and Indo-Pacific (IP) calibrated against sea surface temperature (SST). In the fossil data, we found an analogous relationship with SST in z-corals from the WA, i.e. density increases and extension rate decreases with increasing SST, but over a significantly larger temperature window during the Plio-Pleistocene. With regard to the

  17. Chronologic evidence for multiple periods of loess deposition during the Late Pleistocene in the Missouri and Mississippi River Valley, United States: Implications for the activity of the Laurentide ice sheet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forman, S.L.; Bettis, E. Arthur; Kemmis, T.J.; Miller, B.B.

    1992-01-01

    The loess stratigraphy of the mid-continental U.S. is an important proxy record for the activity of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in North America. One of the most outstanding problems is deciphering the age of loess deposits in this area during the late Pleistocene. Radiocarbon dating of snails and thermoluminescence dating of the fine-silt fraction (4-11 ??m) from loess at the Loveland Loess type section, Loveland, Iowa and a recent excavation at the Pleasant Grove School section. Madison County, Illinois provide new chronologic control on loess deposition in the Mississippi/Missouri River Valley chronology indicates that the Loveland Loess is Illinoian in age (135??20 ka) but is not correlative with the Teneriffe Silt which is dated to 77 ?? 8 ka. Concordant radiocarbon and thermoluminescence age estimates demonstrate that the Roxana Silt and a correlative loess in Iowa, the Pisgah Formation, is probably 40-30 ka old. These age estimates in conjunction with previous results indicate that there were four periods of loess deposition during the last 150 ka at 25-12 ka, 45-30 ka, 85-70 ka and at ca. 135 ?? 20 ka. This chronology of loess deposition supports the presence of both a late Illinoian and early Wisconsinan loess and associated soils. Thus, there may be more than one soil in the loess stratigraphy of the mid-continental U.S. with morphologies similar to the Sangamon Soil. The last three periods of loess deposition may be correlative with periods of elevated dust concentrations recorded in the Dye 3 ice core from southern Greenland. This is particularly significant because both areas possibly had the same source for eolian particles. Reconstructions of atmospheric circulation for glacial periods show a southerly deflected jet stream that could have transported dust from the mid-continental USA to southern Greenland. Lastly, the inferred record of loess deposition is parallel to a chronology for deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet deciphered from chronologic

  18. The Bishop ash bed (middle Pleistocene) and some older (Pliocene and Pleistocene) chemically and mineralogically similar ash beds in California, Nevada, and Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Izett, G.A.; Obradovich, J.D.; Mehnert, H.H.

    1988-12-31

    Stratigraphic and mineralogical information and trace-element chemical data for a group of over 40 middle Pleistocene Bishop ash beds that occur at widely scattered localities in the Western US are presented. Seventeen newly determined K-Ar ages of the Bishop Tuff also are given. Trace-element chemical data and other information are tabulated for a group of ash beds that are chemically and mineralogically allied with the Bishop ash. These older ash beds occur in California, Nevada, and Utah, and probably formed in late Pliocene to early Pleistocene time during early volcanic stages of the evolutionary magmatic process that culminated in the eruption of the Bishop Tuff.

  19. Carnivores from the Early Pleistocene hominid-bearing Trinchera Dolina 6 (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L

    1999-01-01

    The carnivores from Trinchera Dolina level 6 (TD6) in Sierra de Atapuerca include Ursus sp., Crocuta crocuta, Mustela palerminea, Lynx sp., Canis mosbachensis and Vulpes praeglacialis. Approximately 80 human remains belonging to Homo antecessor were found in the Aurora Stratum (AS): located in the upper part of the TD6 level (TD6, T36-43). The carnivores from AS are taxonomically similar to the rest of the TD6 level, differing only in the occurrence of Lynx sp. The spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) inhabited the Atapuerca Sierra during the Early Pleistocene and up to the Middle Pleistocene, after which it is absent. According to palaeomagnetic, U/Th and ESR results, the fossils from TD6 are dated to the Early Pleistocene, which is the earliest certain occurrence in Europe of Crocuta crocuta. It is associated with Mimomys savini, the arrival of which in Europe can be correlated with the beginning of the Early Biharian. Crocuta crocuta may have arrived during the late Early Pleistocene ("Bavelian complex"), and subsequently invaded the rest of the continent during the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Atapuerca TD6-AS represents the most ancient deposits in Europe where Homo and spotted hyaenas coexisted and, they probably competed ecologically. The carnivores from TD6 are biochronologically consistent with the end of the Early Pleistocene or early Cromerian (corresponding with the Biharian biochron). The timespan could correspond with oxygen isotope stages 19, 20 or 21. PMID:10496995

  20. Arsenic in Groundwater: The Deep Late Pleistocene Aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin.

    PubMed

    McArthur, J M; Ghosal, U; Sikdar, P K; Ball, J D

    2016-04-01

    in groundwaters from 145 wells across central West Bengal, India, those from Pleistocene aquifers at depths >70 m beneath paleo-interfluves contain <10 μg/L As. Pleistocene aquifers beneath deep paleo-channels typically host groundwaters containing 10-100 μg/L As at depths between 120 and 180 m. The depth profiles of As and SO4 and the conservative tracers Cl/Br, δ(18)O, and δ(2)H show that the As in Pleistocene groundwater beneath deep paleo-channels is relict and does not arise from migration downward of As-polluted groundwater in overlying aquifers. We postulate that the As was liberated in situ by reduction of minimal iron oxyhydroxides in the gray Pleistocene sands by organic matter infiltrating from riverbeds during late Pleistocene or earliest Holocene times. Mitigation of the widespread As-pollution in shallow aquifers through exploitation of deep Pleistocene aquifers would improve if guided by an understanding of the distribution of buried paleo-channels and paleo-interfluves and the knowledge that As may be present naturally in groundwater at depths >150 m beneath deep paleo-channels. PMID:27010474

  1. Gradual and abrupt changes during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Heather L.; Sosdian, Sindia M.; Rosenthal, Yair; Raymo, Maureen E.

    2016-09-01

    During the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), the dominant glacial-interglacial cyclicity as inferred from the marine δ18O records of benthic foraminifera (δ18Obenthic) changed from 41 kyr to 100 kyr years in the absence of a comparable change in orbital forcing. Currently, only two Mg/Ca-derived, high-resolution bottom water temperature (BWT) records exist that can be used with δ18Obenthic records to separate temperature and ice volume signals over the Pleistocene. However, these two BWT records suggest a different pattern of climate change occurred over the MPT-a record from North Atlantic DSDP Site 607 suggests BWT decreased with no long-term trend in ice volume over the MPT, while South Pacific ODP Site 1123 suggests that BWT has been relatively stable over the last 1.5 Myr but that there was an abrupt increase in ice volume at ∼900 kyr. In this paper we attempt to reconcile these two views of climate change across the MPT. Specifically, we investigated the suggestion that the secular BWT trend obtained from Mg/Ca measurements on Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Oridorsalis umbonatus species from N. Atlantic Site 607 is biased by the possible influence of Δ[CO32-] on Mg/Ca values in these species by generating a low-resolution BWT record using Uvigerina spp., a genus whose Mg/Ca values are not thought to be influenced by Δ[CO32-]. We find a long-term BWT cooling of ∼2-3°C occurred from 1500 to ∼500 kyr in the N. Atlantic, consistent with the previously generated C. wuellerstorfi and O. umbonatus BWT record. We also find that changes in ocean circulation likely influenced δ18Obenthic, BWT, and δ18Oseawater records across the MPT. N. Atlantic BWT cooling starting at ∼1.2 Ma, presumably driven by high-latitude cooling, may have been a necessary precursor to a threshold response in climate-ice sheet behavior at ∼900 ka. At that point, a modest increase in ice volume and thermohaline reorganization may have caused enhanced sensitivity to the 100 kyr

  2. Porosity reduction within shear deformation bands in unconsolidated Pleistocene sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandes, Christian; Tanner, David

    2016-04-01

    Deformation bands are important structural elements that occur in the upper crust and develop in porous sandstones and even in unconsolidated sands. In contrast to discrete surfaces such as faults, deformation bands represent tabular zones of continuous displacement over several centimeters (Fossen et al., 2007). We present an outcrop-based study on the internal fabric of shear deformation bands that developed in Pleistocene unconsolidated sands in northern Germany. The deformation bands formed in an extensional stress regime, have a normal sense of displacement in a range of centimeters to decimeters, and form conjugate sets that intersect at angles between 70° and 90° (Brandes & Tanner, 2012). Due to their near-surface position, they are a perfect target for the study of deformation band formation prior to burial and diagenesis. Thin section analysis show a significant pore space reduction from the host sediment to the shear deformation band. The boundary between the host sediment and the shear deformation bands can be very sharp. The grains within the deformation band are of the same grain size as the host sediment. Grain shape varies from angular to well-rounded. Many elliptic grains have a long-axis orientation parallel to the trend of the deformation band. The grains in the analysed thin sections are all intact, i.e., there is no evidence for cataclasis. We believe the shear deformation bands are created by a grain-sliding process that decreases the porosity and leads to a denser packing of the sand. This is a porosity reduction mechanism in sandstone that occurs prior to burial without cataclasis. This can have an impact on fluid-flow in unconsolidated sediments in the near-surface. References: Brandes, C. & Tanner, D.C. (2012) Three-dimensional geometry and fabric of shear deformation bands in unconsolidated Pleistocene sediments. Tectonophysics, 518-521, 84-92. Fossen, H., Schultz, R.A., Shipton, Z.K., & Mair, K. (2007) Deformation bands in sandstone: a

  3. Remote identification of a gravel laden Pleistocene river bed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scholen, Douglas E.

    1993-01-01

    The abundance of gravel deposits is well known in certain areas across the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain, including lands within several National Forests. These Pleistocene gravels were deposited following periods of glacial buildup when ocean levels were down and the main river channels had cut deep gorges, leaving the subsidiary streams with increased gradients to reach the main channels. During the warm interglacial periods that followed each glaciation, melting ice brought heavy rainfall and torrents of runoff carrying huge sediment loads that separated into gravel banks below these steeper reaches where abraiding streams, developed. As the oceans rose again, filling in the main channels, these abraiding areas were gradually flattened and covered over by progressively finer material. Older terraces were uplifted by tectonic movements associated with the Gulf Coastal Plain, and the subsequent erosional processes gradually brought the gravels closer to the surface. The study area is located on the Kisatchie National Forest, in central Louisiana, near Alexandria. Details of the full study have been discussed elsewhere. The nearest source of chert is in the Ouachita Mountains located to the northeast. The Ouachita River flows south, out of these mountains, and in Pleistocene times probably carried these chert gravels into the vicinity of the present day Little River Basin which lies along the eastern boundary of the National Forest. Current day drainages cross the National Forest from west to east, emptying into the Little River on the east side. However, a north-south oriented ridge of hills along the west side of the Forest appears to be a recent uplift associated with the hinge line of the Mississippi River depositional basin further to the east, and 800,000 years ago, when these gravels were first deposited during the Williana interglacial period, the streams probably flowed east to west, from the Little River basin to the Red River basin on the west side of the

  4. Pleistocene glacial evolution of Fuentes Carrionas (Cantabrian Range, NW Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellitero, Ramon

    2014-05-01

    Fuentes Carrionas is a massif situated at the N of Spain, between Castilla y Leon and Cantabria regions. It is the second highest mountain massif of the Cantabrian Range after Picos de Europa, with peaks over 2500 m.a.s.l. and valleys well over 1000 m.a.s.l. Fuentes Carrionas was glaciated during Quaternary, and even during the Holocene and as far as Little Ice Age the presence of glaciers, or at least permafrost is controversial. Results from glacial geomorphology analysis of Fuentes Carrionas Massif are presented. Based on the interpretation of glacial landforms, glacial evolution since the Last Glacial Maximum until Pleistocene deglaciation is described. Four different glacial equilibrium phases are identified, the last one divided into two pulsations. Deglaciation process took place between 36 ka BP and 11 ka BP. Local Last Glacial Maximum is dated back to 36-38 ka. BP, therefore earlier than LGM. Glaciers reached 15 km. long and occupied valleys down to 1250 m.a.s.l. during this phase. By European LGM (20-18 ka.BP) glaciers had substantially retreated to fronts about 1700 m.a.s.l. A final stage with two marked pulsations shows only small glaciers located at cirques above 2000 m.a.s.l. and, finally, only small cirque glaciers at North and Northeast orientation above 2200 m.a.s.l. Both these phases have been correlated to Oldest and Younger Dryas, although no dates have been done yet. A palaeoenvironmental reconstruction is proposed, based on ELA (Equilibrium Line Altitude) rise. ELA has been calculated with the AAR method and 0.67 ratio. This reconstruction shows that temperatures ranged between 9°C and 10°C lower than present ones at the end of Pleistocene, depending on a precipitations variation between 30% higher and 20% lower than current ones. Further research will focus on these retreat phases, especially on Younger Dryas identification and reconstruction for this site and the rest of Cantabrian Range.

  5. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations on Mount Baker, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, Gerald; Menounos, Brian; Ryane, Chanone; Riedel, Jon; Clague, John J.; Koch, Johannes; Clark, Douglas; Scott, Kevin; Davis, P. Thompson

    2012-08-01

    Glaciers on stratovolcanoes of the Pacific Northwest of North America offer opportunities for dating late Pleistocene and Holocene glacier advances because tephra and fossil wood are common in lateral moraines and in glacier forefields. We capitalize on this opportunity by examining the Holocene glacial record at Mount Baker, an active stratovolcano in northwest Washington. Earlier workers concluded that glaciers on Mount Baker during the early Holocene were more extensive than during the Little Ice Age and hypothesized that the explanation lay in unusual climatic or hypsometric effects peculiar to large volcanoes. We show that the main argument for an early Holocene glacier advance on Mount Baker, namely the absence of ca 10,000-year-old tephra on part of the south flank of the mountain, is incorrect. Moreover, a lake-sediment core indicates that a small cirque moraine previously thought be of early Holocene age is also likely older than the tephra and consequently of late Pleistocene age. Lateral and end moraines and wood mats ca 2 km downvalley of the present snout of Deming Glacier indicate that an advance during the Younger Dryas interval was little more extensive than the climactic Little Ice Age advance. Tephra and wood between tills in the left lateral moraine of Easton Glacier suggest that ice on Mount Baker was restricted in the early Holocene and that Neoglaciation began ca 6 ka. A series of progressively more extensive Neoglacial advances, dated to about 2.2, 1.6, 0.9, and 0.4 ka, are recorded by stacked tills in the right lateral moraine of Deming Glacier. Intervening retreats were long enough to allow establishment of forests on the moraine. Wood mats in moraines of Coleman and Easton glaciers indicate that Little Ice Age expansion began before 0.7 ka and was followed by retreat and a readvance ca 0.5 ka. Tree-ring and lichen data indicate glaciers on the south side of the mountain reached their maximum extents in the mid-1800s. The similarity between

  6. Global sensitivity analysis of the Indian monsoon during the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya-Melo, P. A.; Crucifix, M.; Bounceur, N.

    2015-01-01

    The sensitivity of the Indian monsoon to the full spectrum of climatic conditions experienced during the Pleistocene is estimated using the climate model HadCM3. The methodology follows a global sensitivity analysis based on the emulator approach of Oakley and O'Hagan (2004) implemented following a three-step strategy: (1) development of an experiment plan, designed to efficiently sample a five-dimensional input space spanning Pleistocene astronomical configurations (three parameters), CO2 concentration and a Northern Hemisphere glaciation index; (2) development, calibration and validation of an emulator of HadCM3 in order to estimate the response of the Indian monsoon over the full input space spanned by the experiment design; and (3) estimation and interpreting of sensitivity diagnostics, including sensitivity measures, in order to synthesise the relative importance of input factors on monsoon dynamics, estimate the phase of the monsoon intensity response with respect to that of insolation, and detect potential non-linear phenomena. By focusing on surface temperature, precipitation, mixed-layer depth and sea-surface temperature over the monsoon region during the summer season (June-July-August-September), we show that precession controls the response of four variables: continental temperature in phase with June to July insolation, high glaciation favouring a late-phase response, sea-surface temperature in phase with May insolation, continental precipitation in phase with July insolation, and mixed-layer depth in antiphase with the latter. CO2 variations control temperature variance with an amplitude similar to that of precession. The effect of glaciation is dominated by the albedo forcing, and its effect on precipitation competes with that of precession. Obliquity is a secondary effect, negligible on most variables except sea-surface temperature. It is also shown that orography forcing reduces the glacial cooling, and even has a positive effect on precipitation

  7. Global sensitivity analysis of Indian Monsoon during the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya-Melo, P. A.; Crucifix, M.; Bounceur, N.

    2014-04-01

    The sensitivity of Indian Monsoon to the full spectrum of climatic conditions experienced during the Pleistocene is estimated using the climate model HadCM3. The methodology follows a global sensitivity analysis based on the emulator approach of Oakley and O'Hagan (2004) implemented following a three-step strategy: (1) develop an experiment plan, designed to efficiently sample a 5-dimensional input space spanning Pleistocene astronomical configurations (3 parameters), CO2 concentration and a Northern Hemisphere glaciation index, (2) develop, calibrate and validate an emulator of HadCM3, in order to estimate the response of the Indian Monsoon over the full input space spanned by the experiment design, and (3) estimate and interpret sensitivity diagnostics, including sensitivity measures, in order to synthesize the relative importance of input factors on monsoon dynamics, estimate the phase of the monsoon intensity response with respect to that of insolation, and detect potential non-linear phenomena. Specifically, we focus on four variables: summer (JJAS) temperature and precipitation over North India, and JJAS sea-surface temperature and mixed-layer depth over the north-western side of the Indian ocean. It is shown that precession controls the response of four variables: continental temperature in phase with June to July insolation, high glaciation favouring a late-phase response, sea-surface temperature in phase with May insolation, and continental precipitation in phase with July insolation, and mixed-layer depth in antiphase with the latter. CO2 variations controls temperature variance with an amplitude similar to that of precession. The effect of glaciation is dominated by the albedo forcing, and its effect on precipitation competes with that of precession. Obliquity is a secondary effect, negligible on most variables except sea-surface temperature. It is also shown that orography forcing reduces the glacial cooling, and even has a positive effect on

  8. Structural controls on the development of submarine channel/fan systems since the Pleistocene in the accretionary wedge off SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Kang-Nien; Tien-Shun Lin, Andrew; Lin, Che-Chuan; Liu, Char-Shine; Wang, Yunshuen

    2016-04-01

    system seems to migrate westward in response to in-sequence thrusting and westward migration of thrust front. The Penghu and Gaoping systems are separated features in the present-day. Seismic analyses show that these two canyon/channel system jointly to feed a slope fan, termed paleo-Gaoping fan in the lower accretionary wedge, in early to middle Pleistocene. Major part of this slope fan lies in an area of low relief, which we name as Penghu Embayment. This slope fan has been abandoned since Pleistocene because of tectonic uplift of the Penghu Embayment and switching of the Penghu canyon to the west and along the thrust front.

  9. Microbial Habitability and Pleistocene Aridification of the Asian Interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jiuyi; Lowenstein, Tim K.; Fang, Xiaomin

    2016-06-01

    Fluid inclusions trapped in ancient halite can contain a community of halophilic prokaryotes and eukaryotes that inhabited the surface brines from which the halite formed. Long-term survival of bacteria and archaea and preservation of DNA have been reported from halite, but little is known about the distribution of microbes in buried evaporites. Here we report the discovery of prokaryotes and single-celled algae in fluid inclusions in Pleistocene halite, up to 2.26 Ma in age, from the Qaidam Basin, China. We show that water activity (aw), a measure of water availability and an environmental control on biological habitability in surface brines, is also related to microbe entrapment in fluid inclusions. The aw of Qaidam Basin brines progressively decreased over the last ˜1 million years, driven by aridification of the Asian interior, which led to decreased precipitation and water inflow and heightened evaporation rates. These changes in water balance produced highly concentrated brines, which reduced the habitability of surface lakes and decreased the number of microbes trapped in halite. By 0.13 Ma, the aw of surface brines approached the limits tolerated by halophilic prokaryotes and algae. These results show the response of microbial ecosystems to climate change in an extreme environment, which will guide future studies exploring deep life on Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System.

  10. Correlation of Pleistocene deposits in the Northwestern US

    SciTech Connect

    Easterbrook, D.J.

    1985-01-01

    The discover that the age of the Salmon Springs Drift at its type locality was early Pleistocene, rather than early Wisconsin (Easterbrook, Briggs, Westgate, and Gorton, 1981), invalidated correlations of the penultimate glaciation at many localities in the Pacific Northwest and resulted in confusion over deposits previously designated as Salmon Springs Drift. Some of these deposits are much younger than the type Salmon Springs Drift and are correlated with the Possession or Double Bluff Drifts. The Orting Drift in the Pudget Lowland, the Wedekind Creek Fm. and early Donkey Creek Drift in the Olympic Mountains and the Logan Hill Fm. in the Cascade Mountains are all deeply weathered, suggesting great antiquity and possible correlation. The reversely magnetized Orting Drift was deposited during the Matuyama reversed Epoch and might be as old as two million years. Stuck Drift in the Puget Lowland is correlated with the Helm Creek Drift and part of the Donkey Creek Drift in the Olympic Mountains, and the Wingate Hill Drift in the Cascades. Lower Salmon Springs Drift is correlated with Park Creek Drift in the Olympic Mountains and pre-Thorp Drift in the Cascades. Double Bluff Drift, considered Illinoian in age on the basis of amino acid analyses, is correlated with the McCleary Drift, Mobray Drift, part of the Humptulips Drift, and drift previously mapped as Salmon Springs in the Olympic Mountains. The Hayden Creek Drift and part of the Kittitas Drift are possible correlatives in the Cascades.

  11. Late Pleistocene carbonate dissolution in the Venezuela Basin, Caribbean Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Cofer-Shabica, N.B.; Peterson, L.C.

    1985-01-01

    Piston cores from water depths greater than 4000 m in the Venezuela Basin (Caribbean Sea) provide continuous late Pleistocene records of carbonate dissolution and accumulation. The authors examination of multiple dissolution indices indicate that, at least for the last 150,000 years, dissolution of carbonate in the Venezuela Basin has been more intense during interglacial than glacial periods, a pattern opposite to more general observations from the deep Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. By virtue of its shallow sill depth (1815 m), the Venezuela Basin is relatively isolated from the mainstream of Atlantic thermohaline circulation, and presently is filled with homogeneous, relatively warm (3.8/sup 0/C) waters primarily derived from Upper North Atlantic Deep Water. During the last glacial, the enhanced preservation of carbonate in the Venezuela Basin suggests the presence of a less corrosive, more oxygenated water mass in the Atlantic near sill depth. However, this simple interpretations is potentially complicated by past changes in the rain of biogenic materials from surface waters to the deep basin in what must be an essentially closed system below sill depth. Their observations of increased interglacial dissolution may help to explain previously noted discrepancies in the local glacial to interglacial amplitude of delta/sup 18/O variations recorded by coccoliths and planktonic foraminifera.

  12. A formal mammalian biostratigraphy for the Late Pleistocene of Britain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currant, Andrew; Jacobi, Roger

    2001-10-01

    A series of distinctive mammalian assemblages spanning much of the British Late Pleistocene is defined on the basis of type localities and a formal biozonation proposed. The Joint Mitnor Cave mammal assemblage-zone includes the famous "Hippopotamus fauna" of the early part of the Last Interglacial complex (Oxygen Isotope Substage 5e). This is succeeded by the Bacon Hole mammal assemblage-zone in which hippopotamus is no longer present and species like mammoth, roe deer and northern vole re-enter the British region. This assemblage-zone appears to represent the later substages of OIS 5. A faunal grouping dominated by bison and reindeer is named the Banwell Bone Cave mammal assemblage-zone and is believed to correlate closely with the Early Devensian (OIS 4). The Pin Hole mammal assemblage-zone includes the familiar mammoth-steppe faunas of the Middle Devensian (OIS 3) dominated by horse, woolly rhinoceros and mammoth. The Lateglacial Interstadial is characterized by the Gough's Cave mammal assemblage-zone in which horse, red deer and humans are well represented (part of OIS 2). No definitive evidence for human activity can be found for a period spanning the Last Interglacial complex (OIS 5) and the Early Devensian (OIS 4). Human populations return to Britain with the Pin Hole mammal assemblage-zone fauna during the Middle Devensian (OIS 3) and reappear after the Dimlington Stadial during the Late Devensian (OIS 2) but in a different faunal association.

  13. Human patellar articular proportions: recent and Pleistocene patterns

    PubMed Central

    TRINKAUS, ERIK

    2000-01-01

    The degrees of mediolateral asymmetry of the patellar articular facet, as well as the median and lateral articular angles of the facet, were compared across samples of recent humans and of Pleistocene archaic and modern fossil humans. All samples exhibit considerable variability in these patellar proportions. The articular angles are similar across the different samples, but there is a trend towards decreasing lateral angles with decreasing robusticity. The archaic humans exhibit significantly more symmetry of the medial and lateral facets than do any of the recent human samples. However, given the variability in medial versus lateral patellofemoral contact forces documented for extant humans and the roles of the distal oblique portions of vastus medialis and vastus lateralis in patellar stabilisation, it is unclear to what extent this variation in patellar articular proportions may affect knee kinesiology. The contrasts may be related to different levels of patellar stability and/or musculoskeletal hypertrophy, but they appear unlikely to have affected primary knee function. PMID:10853969

  14. Terrestrial Effects of Nearby Supernovae in the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E.; Kachelrieß, M.; Melott, A. L.; Overholt, A. C.; Semikoz, D. V.

    2016-07-01

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ˜100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7-3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5-8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing 60Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  15. Deciphering Antarctic Intermediate Water Variability during the PLIO-PLEISTOCENE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karas, C.; deMenocal, P. B.; Goldstein, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) plays a fundamental role in the modern global thermohaline circulation because it is the coldwater route from the Southern Hemisphere to the North Atlantic Ocean replacing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) (e.g. Oppo and Curry, 2012). Additionally, AAIW is also an important source water in (sub)tropical upwelling regions in the equatorial eastern Pacific and Benguela region (Kubota et al., 2014; Sarmiento et al., 2004). Deciphering AAIW variability through time is critical to understanding its role in global climate change (e.g. Santoso and England, 2004). Our study focuses on reconstructing AAIW during the warm Pliocene (~4 million years ago) and early Pleistocene. This time period marks the transition from warm Pliocene greenhouse conditions towards icehouse conditions, which most likely affected AAIW variability (Karas et al., 2011). To reconstruct changes in AAIW formation, northward extent and possible influence on (sub)tropical upwelling regions, we will use foraminiferal neodymium isotopes (ɛNd) and benthic Mg/Ca from South Atlantic Site 516 and Southwest Pacific Site 1125.

  16. Modern and Pleistocene climatic patterns in the west

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, K.L.

    1991-12-01

    This document was prepared as a chapter entitled, Modern and Pleistocene Climatic Patterns in the West,'' for the two volume book, The Biogeography of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, being edited by Dr. Wilford M. Hess (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah) and is scheduled to be published in 1992 by Westview Press (Boulder, Colorado). It was prepared in support of the Climate Change Task of the Protective Barrier Program. This document shows that regional climate cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be viewed as part of a larger continental and global system to fully understand the underlying driving mechanism. This document is an attempt to provide the global and continental contexts. These contexts are necessary for the overall project of which this is a part. The overall object of this task is to obtain quantitative estimates of past, present, and especially future climate in the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States. These estimates which will be used in future papers are needed to aid in the development of a defensible Hanford Site Protective barrier design and Hanford Site Performance Assessment, and in proposals to help in the development of protective barriers at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and at the DOE's Monticello (Utah) Remedial Action Project for uranium mill tailings. The defensibility of estimates of potential future climate in the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States is greatly enhanced by demonstrating an understanding of the present climate system and the range of change that has occurred in the past.

  17. Modern and Pleistocene climatic patterns in the west

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, K.L.

    1991-12-01

    This document was prepared as a chapter entitled, ``Modern and Pleistocene Climatic Patterns in the West,`` for the two volume book, The Biogeography of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, being edited by Dr. Wilford M. Hess (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah) and is scheduled to be published in 1992 by Westview Press (Boulder, Colorado). It was prepared in support of the Climate Change Task of the Protective Barrier Program. This document shows that regional climate cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be viewed as part of a larger continental and global system to fully understand the underlying driving mechanism. This document is an attempt to provide the global and continental contexts. These contexts are necessary for the overall project of which this is a part. The overall object of this task is to obtain quantitative estimates of past, present, and especially future climate in the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States. These estimates which will be used in future papers are needed to aid in the development of a defensible Hanford Site Protective barrier design and Hanford Site Performance Assessment, and in proposals to help in the development of protective barriers at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and at the DOE`s Monticello (Utah) Remedial Action Project for uranium mill tailings. The defensibility of estimates of potential future climate in the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States is greatly enhanced by demonstrating an understanding of the present climate system and the range of change that has occurred in the past.

  18. Pleistocene graminoid-dominated ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blinnikov, Mikhail S.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Walker, Donald A.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Zazula, Grant D.

    2011-10-01

    We review evidence obtained from analyses of multiple proxies (floristics, mammal remains, paleoinsects, pollen, macrofossils, plant cuticles, phytoliths, stable isotopes, and modeling) that elucidate the composition and character of the graminoid-dominated ecosystems of the Pleistocene Arctic. The past thirty years have seen a renewed interest in this now-extinct biome, sometimes referred to as "tundra-steppe" (steppe-tundra in North American sources). While many questions remain, converging evidence from many new terrestrial records and proxies coupled with better understanding of paleoclimate dynamics point to the predominance of xeric and cold adapted grassland as the key former vegetation type in the Arctic confirming earlier conjectures completed in the 1960s-1980s. A variety of still existing species of grasses and forbs played key roles in the species assemblages of the time, but their mixtures were not analogous to the tundras of today. Local mosaics based on topography, proximity to the ice sheets and coasts, soil heterogeneity, animal disturbance, and fire regimes were undoubtedly present. However, inadequate coverage of terrestrial proxies exist to resolve this spatial heterogeneity. These past ecosystems were maintained by a combination of dry and cold climate and grazing pressure/disturbance by large (e.g., mammoth and horse) and small (e.g., ground squirrels) mammals. Some recent studies from Eastern Beringia (Alaska) suggest that more progress will be possible when analyses of many proxies are combined at local scales.

  19. Dental evidence for the diets of Plio-Pleistocene hominins.

    PubMed

    Ungar, Peter S

    2011-01-01

    Diet is fundamental to the interaction between an organism and its environment, and is therefore an important key to understanding ecology and evolution. It should come as no surprise then that paleoanthropologists have put a great deal of effort into reconstructing the diets of Plio-Pleistocene hominins. Most of this effort has focused on teeth; these durable parts of the digestive system are usually the most commonly preserved elements in vertebrate fossil assemblages. In this article, I review much of this work. Tooth size, occlusal morphology, enamel thickness, and microstructure provide evidence for the physical properties of the foods to which a species was adapted. Dental microwear can offer insights into the properties of foods that an individual ate on a day-to-day basis. Taken together, these lines of evidence can offer important insights into early hominin food choices and adaptations. New methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives are improving our understanding of the diets of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo, and promise further progress long into the future. PMID:22101687

  20. A quantitative model for assessing community dynamics of pleistocene mammals.

    PubMed

    Lyons, S Kathleen

    2005-06-01

    Previous studies have suggested that species responded individualistically to the climate change of the last glaciation, expanding and contracting their ranges independently. Consequently, many researchers have concluded that community composition is plastic over time. Here I quantitatively assess changes in community composition over broad timescales and assess the effect of range shifts on community composition. Data on Pleistocene mammal assemblages from the FAUNMAP database were divided into four time periods (preglacial, full glacial, postglacial, and modern). Simulation analyses were designed to determine whether the degree of change in community composition is consistent with independent range shifts, given the distribution of range shifts observed. Results indicate that many of the communities examined in the United States were more similar through time than expected if individual range shifts were completely independent. However, in each time transition examined, there were areas of nonanalogue communities. I conducted sensitivity analyses to explore how the results were affected by the assumptions of the null model. Conclusions about changes in mammalian distributions and community composition are robust with respect to the assumptions of the model. Thus, whether because of biotic interactions or because of common environmental requirements, community structure through time is more complex than previously thought.

  1. Terrestrial Effects of Nearby Supernovae in the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E.; Kachelrieß, M.; Melott, A. L.; Overholt, A. C.; Semikoz, D. V.

    2016-07-01

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ˜100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7–3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5–8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing 60Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  2. Community dynamics of Pleistocene coral reefs during alternative climatic regimes.

    PubMed

    Tager, Danika; Webster, Jody M; Potts, Donald C; Renema, Willem; Braga, Juan C; Pandolfi, John M

    2010-01-01

    Reef ecosystems built during successive periods of Pleistocene sea level rise have shown remarkable persistence in coral community structure, but little is known of the ecological characteristics of reef communities during periods of low sea stands or sea level falls. We sampled the relative species abundance of coral, benthic foraminifera, and calcareous red algae communities from eight submerged coral reefs in the Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea, which formed during successive sea level fall and lowstand periods over the past approximately kyr. We found that dissimilarity in coral species composition increased significantly with increasing time between reef-building events. However, neither coral diversity nor the taxonomic composition of benthic foraminifera and calcareous red algae assemblages varied significantly over time. The taxonomic composition of coral communities from lowstand reefs was significantly different from that of highstand reefs previously reported from the nearby Huon Peninsula. We interpret the community composition and temporal dynamics of lowstand reefs as a result of shifting energy regimes in the Huon Gulf, and differences between low and highstand reefs as a result of differences in the interaction between biotic and environmental factors between the Huon Gulf and Huon Peninsula. Regardless of the exact processes driving these trends, our study represents the first glimpse into the ecological dynamics of coral reefs during low sea level stands when climatic conditions for reef growth were much different and less optimal than during previously studied highstand periods. PMID:20380208

  3. Late Pleistocene Vertebrates and Other Fossils from Epiguruk, Northwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamilton, T.D.; Ashley, G.M.; Reed, K.M.; Schweger, C.E.

    1993-01-01

    Sediments exposed at Epiguruk, a large cutbank on the Kobuk River about 170 km inland from Kotzebue Sound, record multiple episodes of glacial-age alluviation followed by interstadial downcutting and formation of paleosols. Vertebrate remains from Epiguruk include mammoth, bison, caribou, an equid, a canid, arctic ground squirrel, lemmings, and voles. Radiocarbon ages of bone validated by concordant ages of peat and wood span the interval between about 37,000 and 14,000 yr B.P. The late Pleistocene pollen record is dominated by Cyperaceae, with Artemisia, Salix, Betula, and Gramineae also generally abundant. The fossil record from Epiguruk indicates that the Kobuk River valley supported tundra vegetation with abundant riparian willows during middle and late Wisconsin time. Large herbivores were present during the height of late Wisconsin glaciation as well as during its waning stage and the preceding interstadial interval. The Kobuk River valley would have been a favorable refugium for plants, animals, and possibly humans throughout the last glaciation.

  4. Late Pleistocene Vertebrates and Other Fossils from Epiguruk, Northwestern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Thomas D.; Ashley, Gall M.; Reed, Katherine M.; Schweger, Charles E.

    1993-05-01

    Sediments exposed at Epiguruk, a large cutbank on the Kobuk River about 170 km inland from Kotzebue Sound, record multiple episodes of glacial-age alluviation followed by interstadial downcutting and formation of paleosols. Vertebrate remains from Epiguruk include mammoth, bison, caribou, an equid, a canid, arctic ground squirrel, lemmings, and voles. Radiocarbon ages of bone validated by concordant ages of peat and wood span the interval between about 37,000 and 14,000 yr B.P. The late Pleistocene pollen record is dominated by Cyperaceae, with Artemisia, Salix, Betula, and Gramineae also generally abundant. The fossil record from Epiguruk indicates that the Kobuk River valley supported tundra vegetation with abundant riparian willows during middle and late Wisconsin time. Large herbivores were present during the height of late Wisconsin glaciation as well as during its waning stage and the preceding interstadial interval. The Kobuk River valley would have been a favorable refugium for plants, animals, and possibly humans throughout the last glaciation.

  5. A classification of morphoseismic features in the New Madrid seismic zone

    SciTech Connect

    Knox, R.; Stewart, D. . Dept. of Geosciences)

    1993-03-01

    The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) contains thousands of surface features distributed over 5,000 square miles in four states. These are attributable to some combination of (1) seismically-induced liquefaction (SIL), (2) secondary deformation, and (3) seismically-induced slope failures. Most of these features were produced by the 1811--12 series of great earthquakes, but some predate and some postdate 1811--12. Subsequent non-seismic factors, such as hydrologically-induced liquefaction (HIL), mechanically-induced liquefaction (MIL), human activities, mass wasting, eolian and fluvial processes have modified all of these features. Morphoseismic features are new landforms produced by earthquakes, or are pre-existing landforms modified by them. Involved are complex interrelationships among several variables, including: (1) intensity and duration of seismic ground motion, (2) surface wave harmonics, (3) depth to water table, (4) depth to basement, (5) particle size, composition, and sorting of sediment making up the liquefied (LZ) and non-liquefied zones (NLZ), (6) topographic parameters, and (7) attitudes of beds and lenses susceptible to liquefaction. Morphoseismic features are depicted as results of a time-flow sequence initiated by primary basement disturbances which produce three major categories of surface response: secondary deformation, liquefaction and slope failure. Nine subcategories incorporate features produced by or resulting in: extruded sand, intruded sand, lateral spreading, faulting, subsidence of large areas, uplift of large areas, altered streams, coherent landslides, and incoherent landslides. The total morphoseismic features identified by this classification are 34 in number.

  6. Conference on Continental margin mass wasting and Pleistocene sea-level changes, August 13-15, 1980

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Folger, David W.; Hathaway, J.C.

    1987-01-01

    A conference on Continental Margin Mass Wasting and Pleistocene Sea-Level Changes was held in Woods Hole, Mass., August 13-15, 1980. Forty-seven participants, representing many government, academic, and industrial organizations, discussed the current state of knowledge of the features of marine mass wasting and of the interrelations of factors influencing them. These factors include sediment source, composition, textures, sedimentation rates, climatic and sea-level changes, gas and gas hydrate (clathrate) contents of sediments, geotechnical characteristics, oceanographic and morphological factors, ground-water processes, and seismic events. The part played by these factors in the processes and features of mass movement and the engineering considerations imposed by the emplacement of manmade structures on the sea floor were considered vital to the evaluation of hazards involved in offshore exploration and development. The conference concluded with a call for bold programs to establish the probability of occurrence and the quantitative importance of these factors and to devise more reliable means of measurement, particularly in place, of the characteristics of the sediment and features involved.

  7. GPS-Constrained Microplate Kinematics and Plio-Pleistocene Tectonic Evolution of the North Anatolian Fault and North Aegean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatcher, W.

    2004-12-01

    Emerging evidence from Global Position System (GPS) survey measurements in the Aegean and elsewhere suggests that present-day active continental deformation occurs largely due to the relative motions of a small number of rigid blocks or microplates. However, it is not universally agreed whether the continental microplate description of the GPS data is superior to other proposed models, nor is it clear whether present-day movement patterns can be usefully extrapolated into the geologic past. Here I examine the known deformation history of the North Aegean over the past ~10 Ma and compare it with predictions based on the present-day microplate model. Agreement provides independent support for the GPS-based model and demonstrates its value in bettering our understanding of Aegean tectonics. If we knew nothing about late Cenozoic North Aegean tectonics and provisionally assumed the correctness of the Aegean microplate model of Nyst & Thatcher [2004 JGR], we would predict several features of the tectonic evolution that accord with geologic evidence. First, the North Aegean Sea would be created by extension due to SSW motion of the South Aegean and concomitant CW rotation of central Greece during the past 10 Ma. The same kinematic process would cause extension to be succeeded by strike-slip motion as the `ridge-transform-ridge' triple junction migrates WSW 24 km/Ma and the North Anatolian fault propagates into the region. The Plio-Pleistocene history of the North Aegean shows these same general features. Drilling and seismic imaging document the existence of young (< 10 Ma) and thick (up to 6 km) sedimentary sequences attributed to crustal extension by a factor of 3-4. Seismic profiling and bathymetric mapping show a mesh of roughly orthogonal faults with dip-slip offsets. Structural studies of sub-aerial exposures of these faults suggest an earlier episode of extension was followed by predominantly strike-slip motions. The plate kinematic reconstruction of late Cenozoic

  8. An Anvilian (early pleistocene) marine fauna from western Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hopkins, D.M.; Rowland, R.W.; Echols, R.E.; Valentine, P.C.

    1974-01-01

    Cover sediments of the York Terrace exposed near the California River, western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, yield mollusks, ostracodes, and foraminifera that lived during the Anvilian transgression of early Pleistocene age. The fossiliferous sediments lie at the inner edge of the York Terrace, a deformed wave-cut platform that extends eastward from Bering Strait along much of the southern coast of Seward Peninsula. The seaward margin is truncated by the little-deformed Lost River Terrace, carved during the Pelukian (Sangamonian) transgression. The early Pleistocene sediments seem to have been deposited between the first and second of four glaciations for which evidence can be found in the California River area. The California River fauna includes several extinct species and several species now confined to areas as remote as the northwestern Pacific and north Atlantic. The fauna probably lived in water temperatures much like those of the present time but deeper water on the Bering Shelf is suggested. The presence of an early Pleistocene fauna at the inner edge of the York Terrace at California River shows that the terrace was largely carved before and during early Pleistocene time. However, a marine fauna apparently of middle Pleistocene age is found on the York Terrace near Cassiterite Peak, and this seems to indicate that the terrace remained low until middle Pleistocene time. Uplift of the York Terrace probably was accompanied by uplift of Bering Strait. The strait may have been deeper, and there may have been no land bridge between the Seward Peninsula of Alaksa and the Chukotka Peninsula of Siberia during most of early and middle Pleistocene time. ?? 1974.

  9. A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo: size variation continuity in early Pleistocene Homo crania from East Africa and Georgia.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, Adam P; Wolpoff, Milford H

    2013-03-01

    The relationship between Homo habilis and early African Homo erectus has been contentious because H. habilis was hypothesized to be an evolutionary stage between Australopithecus and H. erectus, more than a half-century ago. Recent work re-dating key African early Homo localities and the discovery of new fossils in East Africa and Georgia provide the opportunity for a productive re-evaluation of this topic. Here, we test the hypothesis that the cranial sample from East Africa and Georgia represents a single evolutionary lineage of Homo spanning the approximately 1.9-1.5 Mya time period, consisting of specimens attributed to H. habilis and H. erectus. To address issues of small sample sizes in each time period, and uneven representation of cranial data, we developed a novel nonparametric randomization technique based on the variance in an index of pairwise difference from a broad set of fossil comparisons. We fail to reject the hypothesis of a single lineage this period by identifying a strong, time-dependent pattern of variation throughout the sequence. These results suggest the need for a reappraisal of fossil evidence from other regions within this time period and highlight the critical nature of the Plio-Pleistocene boundary for understanding the early evolution of the genus Homo.

  10. A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo: size variation continuity in early Pleistocene Homo crania from East Africa and Georgia.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, Adam P; Wolpoff, Milford H

    2013-03-01

    The relationship between Homo habilis and early African Homo erectus has been contentious because H. habilis was hypothesized to be an evolutionary stage between Australopithecus and H. erectus, more than a half-century ago. Recent work re-dating key African early Homo localities and the discovery of new fossils in East Africa and Georgia provide the opportunity for a productive re-evaluation of this topic. Here, we test the hypothesis that the cranial sample from East Africa and Georgia represents a single evolutionary lineage of Homo spanning the approximately 1.9-1.5 Mya time period, consisting of specimens attributed to H. habilis and H. erectus. To address issues of small sample sizes in each time period, and uneven representation of cranial data, we developed a novel nonparametric randomization technique based on the variance in an index of pairwise difference from a broad set of fossil comparisons. We fail to reject the hypothesis of a single lineage this period by identifying a strong, time-dependent pattern of variation throughout the sequence. These results suggest the need for a reappraisal of fossil evidence from other regions within this time period and highlight the critical nature of the Plio-Pleistocene boundary for understanding the early evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:23461332

  11. The late Early Pleistocene human dental remains from Uadi Aalad and Mulhuli-Amo (Buia), Eritrean Danakil: macromorphology and microstructure.

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément; Bondioli, Luca; Coppa, Alfredo; Dean, Christopher M; Bayle, Priscilla; Candilio, Francesca; Capuani, Silvia; Dreossi, Diego; Fiore, Ivana; Frayer, David W; Libsekal, Yosief; Mancini, Lucia; Rook, Lorenzo; Medin Tekle, Tsegai; Tuniz, Claudio; Macchiarelli, Roberto

    2014-09-01

    Fieldwork performed during the last 15 years in various Early Pleistocene East African sites has significantly enlarged the fossil record of Homo erectus sensu lato (s.l.). Additional evidence comes from the Danakil Depression of Eritrea, where over 200 late Early to early Middle Pleistocene sites have been identified within a ∼1000 m-thick sedimentary succession outcropping in the Dandiero Rift Basin, near Buia. Along with an adult cranium (UA 31), which displays a blend of H. erectus-like and derived morpho-architectural features and three pelvic remains, two isolated permanent incisors (UA 222 and UA 369) have also been recovered from the 1 Ma (millions of years ago) Homo-bearing outcrop of Uadi Aalad. Since 2010, our surveys have expanded to the nearby (4.7 km) site of Mulhuli-Amo (MA). This is a fossiliferous area that has been preliminarily surveyed because of its exceptional concentration of Acheulean stone tools. So far, the site has yielded 10 human remains, including the unworn crown of a lower permanent molar (MA 93). Using diverse analytical tools (including high resolution μCT and μMRI), we analysed the external and internal macromorphology and microstructure of the three specimens, and whenever possible compared the results with similar evidence from early Homo, H. erectus s.l., H. antecessor, H. heidelbergensis (from North Africa), Neanderthals and modern humans. We also assessed the UA 369 lower incisor from Uadi Aalad for root completion timing and showed that it compares well with data for root apex closure in modern human populations. PMID:24852385

  12. Impact of suborbital climate changes in the North Atlantic on ice sheet dynamics at the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    HernáNdez-Almeida, I.; Sierro, F. J.; Cacho, I.; Flores, J. A.

    2012-09-01

    Early and Mid-Pleistocene climate, ocean hydrography and ice sheet dynamics have been reconstructed using a high-resolution data set (planktonic and benthicδ18O time series, faunal-based sea surface temperature (SST) reconstructions and ice-rafted debris (IRD)) record from a high-deposition-rate sedimentary succession recovered at the Gardar Drift formation in the subpolar North Atlantic (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Leg 306, Site U1314). Our sedimentary record spans from late in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 31 to MIS 19 (1069-779 ka). Different trends of the benthic and planktonic oxygen isotopes, SST and IRD records before and after MIS 25 (˜940 ka) evidence the large increase in Northern Hemisphere ice-volume, linked to the cyclicity change from the 41-kyr to the 100-kyr that occurred during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). Beside longer glacial-interglacial (G-IG) variability, millennial-scale fluctuations were a pervasive feature across our study. Negative excursions in the benthicδ18O time series observed at the times of IRD events may be related to glacio-eustatic changes due to ice sheets retreats and/or to changes in deep hydrography. Time series analysis on surface water proxies (IRD, SST and planktonicδ18O) of the interval between MIS 31 to MIS 26 shows that the timing of these millennial-scale climate changes are related to half-precessional (10 kyr) components of the insolation forcing, which are interpreted as cross-equatorial heat transport toward high latitudes during both equinox insolation maxima at the equator.

  13. The late Early Pleistocene human dental remains from Uadi Aalad and Mulhuli-Amo (Buia), Eritrean Danakil: macromorphology and microstructure.

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément; Bondioli, Luca; Coppa, Alfredo; Dean, Christopher M; Bayle, Priscilla; Candilio, Francesca; Capuani, Silvia; Dreossi, Diego; Fiore, Ivana; Frayer, David W; Libsekal, Yosief; Mancini, Lucia; Rook, Lorenzo; Medin Tekle, Tsegai; Tuniz, Claudio; Macchiarelli, Roberto

    2014-09-01

    Fieldwork performed during the last 15 years in various Early Pleistocene East African sites has significantly enlarged the fossil record of Homo erectus sensu lato (s.l.). Additional evidence comes from the Danakil Depression of Eritrea, where over 200 late Early to early Middle Pleistocene sites have been identified within a ∼1000 m-thick sedimentary succession outcropping in the Dandiero Rift Basin, near Buia. Along with an adult cranium (UA 31), which displays a blend of H. erectus-like and derived morpho-architectural features and three pelvic remains, two isolated permanent incisors (UA 222 and UA 369) have also been recovered from the 1 Ma (millions of years ago) Homo-bearing outcrop of Uadi Aalad. Since 2010, our surveys have expanded to the nearby (4.7 km) site of Mulhuli-Amo (MA). This is a fossiliferous area that has been preliminarily surveyed because of its exceptional concentration of Acheulean stone tools. So far, the site has yielded 10 human remains, including the unworn crown of a lower permanent molar (MA 93). Using diverse analytical tools (including high resolution μCT and μMRI), we analysed the external and internal macromorphology and microstructure of the three specimens, and whenever possible compared the results with similar evidence from early Homo, H. erectus s.l., H. antecessor, H. heidelbergensis (from North Africa), Neanderthals and modern humans. We also assessed the UA 369 lower incisor from Uadi Aalad for root completion timing and showed that it compares well with data for root apex closure in modern human populations.

  14. Cyclic magnetite dissolution in Pleistocene sediments of the abyssal northwest Pacific Ocean: Evidence for glacial oxygen depletion and carbon trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korff, Lucia; Dobeneck, Tilo; Frederichs, Thomas; Kasten, Sabine; Kuhn, Gerhard; Gersonde, Rainer; Diekmann, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    The carbonate-free abyss of the North Pacific defies most paleoceanographic proxy methods and hence remains a "blank spot" in ocean and climate history. Paleomagnetic and rock magnetic, geochemical, and sedimentological methods were combined to date and analyze seven middle to late Pleistocene northwest Pacific sediment cores from water depths of 5100 to 5700 m. Besides largely coherent tephra layers, the most striking features of these records are nearly magnetite-free zones corresponding to glacial marine isotope stages (MISs) 22, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 2. Magnetite depletion is correlated with organic carbon and quartz content and anticorrelated with biogenic barite and opal content. Within interglacial sections and mid-Pleistocene transition glacial stages MIS 20, 18, 16, and 14, magnetite fractions of detrital, volcanic, and bacterial origin are all well preserved. Such alternating successions of magnetic iron mineral preservation and depletion are known from sapropel-marl cycles, which accumulated under periodically changing bottom water oxygen and redox conditions. In the open central northwest Pacific Ocean, the only conceivable mechanism to cause such abrupt change is a modified glacial bottom water circulation. During all major glaciations since MIS 12, oxygen-depleted Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW)-sourced bottom water seems to have crept into the abyssal northwest Pacific below ~5000 m depth, thereby changing redox conditions in the sediment, trapping and preserving dissolved and particulate organic matter and, in consequence, reducing and dissolving both, biogenic and detrital magnetite. At deglaciation, a downward progressing oxidation front apparently remineralized and released these sedimentary carbon reservoirs without replenishing the magnetite losses.

  15. Pleistocene volcaniclastic units from North-Eastern Sicily (Italy): new evidence for calc-alkaline explosive volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Bella, Marcella; Italiano, Francesco; Sabatino, Giuseppe; Tripodo, Alessandro; Baldanza, Angela; Casella, Sergio; Pino, Paolo; Rasa', Riccardo; Russo, Selma

    2016-08-01

    A well-preserved volcaniclastic sequence crops out in Pleistocene marine sediments along the Tyrrhenian coastline of the Calabrian-Peloritani arc (Sicily, Italy), testifying the occurrence of Lower-Middle Pleistocene volcanic activity in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The presence of dominant highly vesicular and minor blocky glassy particles indicates that the volcanic clasts were originated by explosive events related to the ascent and violent emission of volatile-rich magmas accompanied by and/or alternated with hydromagmatic fragmentation due to magma-sea water interaction. Field investigations and sedimentological features of the studied volcaniclastic units suggest a deposition from sediment-water density flows. The chemical classification of the pumice clasts indicates prevalent rhyolitic and dacitic compositions with calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline affinity. The geochemical features of immobile trace elements together with the presence of orthopyroxene are indicative of a provenance from an arc-type environment. The age (from 980-910 to 589 ka), the chemical composition and the evidence of subaerial explosive volcanic activity constrain the origin nature and temporal evolution of the arc-type volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian domain. Finally, the new information here provided contribute to a better understanding of the temporal geodynamic evolution of this sector of the Mediterranean domain.

  16. Taxonomic identification of Lower Pleistocene fossil hominins based on distal humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional shape.

    PubMed

    Lague, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma) to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa) for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo) in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features that differentiate

  17. Pleistocene and ecological effects on continental-scale genetic differentiation in the bobcat (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Reding, Dawn M; Bronikowski, Anne M; Johnson, Warren E; Clark, William R

    2012-06-01

    The potential for widespread, mobile species to exhibit genetic structure without clear geographic barriers is a topic of growing interest. Yet the patterns and mechanisms of structure--particularly over broad spatial scales--remain largely unexplored for these species. Bobcats occur across North America and possess many characteristics expected to promote gene flow. To test whether historical, topographic or ecological factors have influenced genetic differentiation in this species, we analysed 1 kb mtDNA sequence and 15 microsatellite loci from over 1700 samples collected across its range. The primary signature in both marker types involved a longitudinal cline with a sharp transition, or suture zone, occurring along the Great Plains. Thus, the data distinguished bobcats in the eastern USA from those in the western half, with no obvious physical barrier to gene flow. Demographic analyses supported a scenario of expansion from separate Pleistocene refugia, with the Great Plains representing a zone of secondary contact. Substructure within the two main lineages likely reflected founder effects, ecological factors, anthropogenic/topographic effects or a combination of these forces. Two prominent topographic features, the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains, were not supported as significant genetic barriers. Ecological regions and environmental correlates explained a small but significant proportion of genetic variation. Overall, results implicate historical processes as the primary cause of broad-scale genetic differentiation, but contemporary forces seem to also play a role in promoting and maintaining structure. Despite the bobcat's mobility and broad niche, large-scale landscape changes have contributed to significant and complex patterns of genetic structure. PMID:22548482

  18. Pleistocene and ecological effects on continental-scale genetic differentiation in the bobcat (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Reding, Dawn M; Bronikowski, Anne M; Johnson, Warren E; Clark, William R

    2012-06-01

    The potential for widespread, mobile species to exhibit genetic structure without clear geographic barriers is a topic of growing interest. Yet the patterns and mechanisms of structure--particularly over broad spatial scales--remain largely unexplored for these species. Bobcats occur across North America and possess many characteristics expected to promote gene flow. To test whether historical, topographic or ecological factors have influenced genetic differentiation in this species, we analysed 1 kb mtDNA sequence and 15 microsatellite loci from over 1700 samples collected across its range. The primary signature in both marker types involved a longitudinal cline with a sharp transition, or suture zone, occurring along the Great Plains. Thus, the data distinguished bobcats in the eastern USA from those in the western half, with no obvious physical barrier to gene flow. Demographic analyses supported a scenario of expansion from separate Pleistocene refugia, with the Great Plains representing a zone of secondary contact. Substructure within the two main lineages likely reflected founder effects, ecological factors, anthropogenic/topographic effects or a combination of these forces. Two prominent topographic features, the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains, were not supported as significant genetic barriers. Ecological regions and environmental correlates explained a small but significant proportion of genetic variation. Overall, results implicate historical processes as the primary cause of broad-scale genetic differentiation, but contemporary forces seem to also play a role in promoting and maintaining structure. Despite the bobcat's mobility and broad niche, large-scale landscape changes have contributed to significant and complex patterns of genetic structure.

  19. Neanderthal genomics suggests a pleistocene time frame for the first epidemiologic transition.

    PubMed

    Houldcroft, Charlotte J; Underdown, Simon J

    2016-07-01

    High quality Altai Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes are revealing which regions of archaic hominin DNA have persisted in the modern human genome. A number of these regions are associated with response to infection and immunity, with a suggestion that derived Neanderthal alleles found in modern Europeans and East Asians may be associated with autoimmunity. As such Neanderthal genomes are an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases Neanderthals were genetically adapted to. Sympathetically, human genome adaptive introgression is an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases were important for AMH coming in to Eurasia and interacting with Neanderthals. The Neanderthals and Denisovans present interesting cases of hominin hunter-gatherers adapted to a Eurasian rather than African infectious disease package. Independent sources of DNA-based evidence allow a re-evaluation of the first epidemiologic transition and how infectious disease affected Pleistocene hominins. By combining skeletal, archaeological and genetic evidence from modern humans and extinct Eurasian hominins, we question whether the first epidemiologic transition in Eurasia featured a new package of infectious diseases or a change in the impact of existing pathogens. Coupled with pathogen genomics, this approach supports the view that many infectious diseases are pre-Neolithic, and the list continues to expand. The transfer of pathogens between hominin populations, including the expansion of pathogens from Africa, may also have played a role in the extinction of the Neanderthals and offers an important mechanism to understand hominin-hominin interactions well back beyond the current limits for aDNA extraction from fossils alone. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:379-388, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27063929

  20. Neanderthal genomics suggests a pleistocene time frame for the first epidemiologic transition.

    PubMed

    Houldcroft, Charlotte J; Underdown, Simon J

    2016-07-01

    High quality Altai Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes are revealing which regions of archaic hominin DNA have persisted in the modern human genome. A number of these regions are associated with response to infection and immunity, with a suggestion that derived Neanderthal alleles found in modern Europeans and East Asians may be associated with autoimmunity. As such Neanderthal genomes are an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases Neanderthals were genetically adapted to. Sympathetically, human genome adaptive introgression is an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases were important for AMH coming in to Eurasia and interacting with Neanderthals. The Neanderthals and Denisovans present interesting cases of hominin hunter-gatherers adapted to a Eurasian rather than African infectious disease package. Independent sources of DNA-based evidence allow a re-evaluation of the first epidemiologic transition and how infectious disease affected Pleistocene hominins. By combining skeletal, archaeological and genetic evidence from modern humans and extinct Eurasian hominins, we question whether the first epidemiologic transition in Eurasia featured a new package of infectious diseases or a change in the impact of existing pathogens. Coupled with pathogen genomics, this approach supports the view that many infectious diseases are pre-Neolithic, and the list continues to expand. The transfer of pathogens between hominin populations, including the expansion of pathogens from Africa, may also have played a role in the extinction of the Neanderthals and offers an important mechanism to understand hominin-hominin interactions well back beyond the current limits for aDNA extraction from fossils alone. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:379-388, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Taxonomic identification of Lower Pleistocene fossil hominins based on distal humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional shape

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma) to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa) for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo) in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features that differentiate

  2. Tortoises as a dietary supplement: A view from the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Smith, Krister T.; Maul, Lutz Christian; Sañudo, Pablo; Barkai, Ran; Gopher, Avi

    2016-02-01

    Dietary reconstructions can offer an improved perspective on human capacities of adaptation to the environment. New methodological approaches and analytical techniques have led to a theoretical framework for understanding how human groups used and adapted to their local environment. Faunal remains provide an important potential source of dietary information and allow study of behavioural variation and its evolutionary significance. Interest in determining how hominids filled the gaps in large prey availability with small game or what role small game played in pre-Upper Palaeolithic societies is an area of active research. Some of this work has focused on tortoises because they represent an important combination of edible and non-edible resources that are easy to collect if available. The exploitation of these slow-moving animals features prominently in prey choice models because the low handling costs of these reptiles make up for their small body size. Here, we present new taphonomic data from two tortoise assemblages extracted from the lower sequence of the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel (420-300 ka), with the aim of assessing the socio-economic factors that may have led to the inclusion of this type of resource in the human diets. We show that hominid damage on large tortoise specimens from Qesem Cave is not unusual and that evidence such as cut marks, percussion marks and consistent patterns of burning suggests established sequences of processing, including cooking in the shell, defleshing, and direct percussion to access the visceral content. These matters make it possible not only to assess the potential role of tortoises as prey, but also to evaluate collecting behaviour in the resource acquisition systems and eco-social strategies at the Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) in the southern Levant.

  3. The End Pleistocene Extinction Event - What Caused It?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, L.; Poreda, R.; Kennett, J.; West, A.; Wolbach, W.

    2007-05-01

    It is well established that the last catastrophic faunal extinction in the geologic past coincided with the end of the Pleistocene during the deglaciation between the last glacial episode and the present Holocene interglacial. The cause of this extinction has been debated for many years but remains highly controversial in part because of limitations of available data, but also because the two major hypotheses that have been long invoked, climate change and human overhunting, have continued to present significant problems. Recently, Firestone et al. [1] have reported strong evidence for an extraterrestrial (ET) impact including peak abundances of metallic microspherules and magnetic grains with elevated iridium, glass-like carbon, carbon microspherules, soot and charcoal in a carbon-rich black layer dating close to ~12.9 ka (referred to as Younger Dryas Black Layer or YDB) in numerous terminal Clovis-age sites across North America. To assess the YDB impact hypothesis and its potential effects on the megafauna and humans in North America [2-4], we have analyzed several well-dated suites of samples in search of fullerenes with ET noble gases and other impact debris (e.g. microspherules). These sites include Daisy Cave (DC) on California's San Miguel Island, Murray Springs (MS) in Arizona and Blackwater Draw (BWD) in New Mexico, all well known previously described archaeological and paleontological sites, with established chronologies spanning the YDB (~12.9 k) [5-7]. To further assess the environmental effects of the impact on the Pleistocene fauna and human activity, we examined the YDB layer at each of these locations for evidence of wildfires triggered by the ET event. If there were wildfires, a group of high molecular weight aromatic compounds or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) should be present in the associated soot and charcoal material within the YDB. By examining the distributions of the PAHs, the source of these compounds, wildfire or human activity

  4. Femoral lengths and stature in Plio-Pleistocene hominids.

    PubMed

    McHenry, H M

    1991-06-01

    This study reports the femoral lengths of 31 Plio-Pleistocene hominids dated between 3.1 and 0.7 million years ago, and uses those lengths to estimate stature by way of the femur-stature ratio reported by Feldesman et al. (Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 78:219-220, 1989). By this method the average female Australopithecus afarensis is 105 cm and the average male is 151 cm. The respective values are 115 and 138 cm for A. africanus. As defined by Howell (In VJ Maglio and HBS Cooke (eds): The Evolution of African Mammals. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978) and Johanson et al. (Kirtlandia 28:1-14, 1978), Homo habilis is a sexually dimorphic species, with females standing 118 cm and males 157 cm. Such apparently strong dimorphism may be due to the possibility that there are actually two species of nonrobust hominids between 2 and 1.7 m.y.a. The estimate for the female Australopithecus boisei is 124 cm and for the male, 137 cm, but these estimates are especially difficult to be certain of because there are no femora that can be positively identified as male A. boisei. Australopithecus robustus is estimated to be 110 cm (female) and 132 cm (male). African Homo erectus stood 160 cm (female) and 180 cm (male). From these estimates several generalizations are apparent. First, there is apparently strong sexual dimorphism in stature in A. afarensis and H. habilis, but less in the other species. Second, the "robust" australopithecines were relatively small statured. Third, it is apparently not true that humans have been getting progressively taller throughout their evolutionary history. Some individuals were as tall as modern humans 3 m.y.a., by 2 m.y.a. one individual stood about 173 cm, and by 1.7 m.y.a. a stature of 180+ cm was not uncommon. PMID:1882979

  5. Simulations of cataclysmic outburst floods from Pleistocene Glacial Lake Missoula

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Denlinger, Roger P.; O'Connell, D. R. H.

    2009-01-01

    Using a flow domain that we constructed from 30 m digital-elevation model data of western United States and Canada and a two-dimensional numerical model for shallow-water flow over rugged terrain, we simulated outburst floods from Pleistocene Glacial Lake Missoula. We modeled a large, but not the largest, flood, using initial lake elevation at 1250 m instead of 1285 m. Rupture of the ice dam, centered on modern Lake Pend Oreille, catastrophically floods eastern Washington and rapidly fills the broad Pasco, Yakima, and Umatilla Basins. Maximum flood stage is reached in Pasco and Yakima Basins 38 h after the dam break, whereas maximum flood stage in Umatilla Basin occurs 17 h later. Drainage of these basins through narrow Columbia gorge takes an additional 445 h. For this modeled flood, peak discharges in eastern Washington range from 10 to 20 × 106 m3/s. However, constrictions in Columbia gorge limit peak discharges to 6 m3/s and greatly extend the duration of flooding. We compare these model results with field observations of scabland distribution and high-water indicators. Our model predictions of the locations of maximum scour (product of bed shear stress and average flow velocity) match the distribution of existing scablands. We compare model peak stages to high-water indicators from the Rathdrum-Spokane valley, Walulla Gap, and along Columbia gorge. Though peak stages from this less-than-maximal flood model attain or exceed peak-stage indicators along Rathdrum-Spokane valley and along Columbia gorge, simulated peak stages near Walulla Gap are 10–40 m below observed peak-stage indicators. Despite this discrepancy, our match to field observations in most of the region indicates that additional sources of water other than Glacial Lake Missoula are not required to explain the Missoula floods.

  6. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environments in the Nile basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Martin A. J.

    2009-10-01

    Owing to the very gently sloping nature of the flood plain in the lower White Nile valley, which is underlain by a former lake-bed, the depositional record in that area is unusually well preserved. In Egypt and along the Blue Nile phases of erosion have destroyed segments of the sedimentary record, but the White Nile sequence is a good proxy for both the main Nile and the Blue Nile. During the last 15 ka, at least, times of high flow in the Blue Nile and main Nile were synchronous with those in the White Nile. Not all the White Nile flood deposits have been preserved but calibrated radiocarbon dates obtained on fossil freshwater and amphibious Pila shells and fish bones indicate that White Nile levels were high around 14.7-13.1 ka, 9.7-9.0 ka, 7.9-7.6 ka, 6.3 ka and 3.2-2.8 ka. The Blue Nile record is more fragmentary and that of the main Nile even more so except for the Holocene Nile delta. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for high Blue Nile flows indicate very high flood levels towards 13.9-13.2 ka, 8.6 ka, 7.7 ka and 6.3 ka. Incision by the Blue Nile and main Nile has caused progressive incision in the White Nile amounting to at least 4 m since the terminal Pleistocene ˜ 15 ka ago and at least 2 m over the past 9 ka. The Blue Nile seems to have cut down at least 10 m since ˜ 15 ka and at least 4 m since 9 ka. The time-transgressive and relatively late inception of plant domestication in the Nile valley may partly reflect this history of incision. Nile incision would propagate upstream into the White Nile valley, draining previously swampy areas along the valley floor, which would then become accessible to cultivation.

  7. Late Pleistocene voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from the Baranica Cave (Serbia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogićević, Katarina; Nenadić, Draženko; Mihailović, Dušan

    2012-02-01

    Baranica is a cave system situated in the south-eastern part of Serbia, four kilometers south to Knjaževac, on the right bank of the Trgovi\\vski Timok. The investigations in Baranica were conducted from 1994 to 1997 by the Faculty of Philosophy from Belgrade and the National Museum of Knjaževac. Four geological layers of Quaternary age were recovered. The abundance of remains of both large and small mammals was noticed in the early phase of the research. In this paper, the remains of eight vole species are described: Arvicola terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758), Chionomys nivalis (Martins, 1842), Microtus (Microtus) arvalis (Pallas, 1778) and Microtus (Microtus) agrestis (Linnaeus, 1761), Microtus (Stenocranius) gregalis (Pallas, 1779), Microtus (Terricola) subterraneus (de Sélys-Longchamps, 1836), Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) and Lagurus lagurus (Pallas, 1773). Among them, steppe and open area inhabitants prevail. Based on the evolutionary level and dimensions of the Arvicola terrestris molars, as well as the overall characteristics of the fauna, it was concluded that the deposits were formed in the last glacial period of the Late Pleistocene. These conclusions are rather consistent with the absolute dating of large mammal bones (23.520 ± 110 B.P. for Layer 2 and 35.780 ± 320 B.P. for Layer 4).

  8. Late Pleistocene raised beaches of coastal Estremadura, central Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti, Michael M.; Haws, Jonathan A.; Funk, Caroline L.; Daniels, J. Michael; Hesp, Patrick A.; Bicho, Nuno F.; Minckley, Thomas A.; Ellwood, Brooks B.; Forman, Steven L.

    2009-12-01

    Pleistocene landscape change and human occupation on the western Iberian margin.

  9. Biotic turnover rates during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stivrins, Normunds; Soininen, Janne; Amon, Leeli; Fontana, Sonia L.; Gryguc, Gražyna; Heikkilä, Maija; Heiri, Oliver; Kisielienė, Dalia; Reitalu, Triin; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Veski, Siim; Seppä, Heikki

    2016-11-01

    The Northern Hemisphere is currently warming at the rate which is unprecedented during the Holocene. Quantitative palaeoclimatic records show that the most recent time in the geological history with comparable warming rates was during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHT) about 14,000 to 11,000 years ago. To better understand the biotic response to rapid temperature change, we explore the community turnover rates during the PHT by focusing on the Baltic region in the southeastern sector of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, where an exceptionally dense network on microfossil and macrofossil data that reflect the biotic community history are available. We further use a composite chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction compiled specifically for our study region to calculate the rate of temperature change during the PHT. The fastest biotic turnover in the terrestrial and aquatic communities occurred during the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift at 11,700 years ago. This general shift in species composition was accompanied by regional extinctions, including disappearance of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and many arctic-alpine plant taxa, such as Dryas octopetala, Salix polaris and Saxifraga aizoides, from the region. This rapid biotic turnover rate occurred when the rate of warming was 0.17 °C/decade, thus slightly lower than the current Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.2 °C/decade. We therefore conclude that the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift with its rapid turnover rates and associated regional extinctions represents an important palaeoanalogue to the current high latitude warming and gives insights about the probable future turnover rates and patterns of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem change.

  10. Miocene to Pleistocene osmium isotopic records of the Mediterranean sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Junichiro; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Gennari, Rocco; Lugli, Stefano; Manzi, Vinicio; Roveri, Marco; Flecker, Rachel; Sierro, Francisco J.; Yoshimura, Toshihiro; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-01-01

    In the late Miocene the Mediterranean Sea experienced a salinity crisis and thick sequences of evaporites precipitated across the deep and marginal basins. In this study we report Os isotopic records from Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Project cores in the Mediterranean: the Balearic Sea (Site 372), the Tyrrhenian Sea (Site 654), the Ionian Basin (Site 374), and the Florence Rise (Sites 375-376), as well as Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Site U1387 in Gulf of Cadiz, North Atlantic. Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments at all sites show 187Os/188Os values close to that of the coeval ocean water, indicating that the Mediterranean was connected to the North Atlantic. Evaporitic sediments deposited during the latest Miocene, however, have 187Os/188Os values significantly lower than coeval ocean water values. The offset of the Mediterranean evaporite 187Os/188Os is attributed to limited exchange with the North Atlantic during the Messinian salinity crisis. The source of unradiogenic Os is likely to be weathering of ultramafic rocks (ophiolites) cropping out in the Mediterranean's drainage basins. Based on a box model we estimated the amount of unradiogenic Os and the Atlantic-Mediterranean exchange rate to explain this offset. Os isotopic ratios of the pre-evaporite sediments in the western Mediterranean are almost identical to that of the coeval ocean water. In contrast, equivalent sediments from the Florence Rise have significantly lower 187Os/188Os values. The offset in the Os isotopic ratio on the Florence Rise is attributed either to limited water exchange between eastern and western Mediterranean or to local effects associated with exhumation of the Troodos ophiolites (Cyprus).

  11. The Relationship between Atlantic Overturning and Climate in the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, J. N. W.; Piotrowski, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation play an important role in modulating global climate by controlling northward heat transport in the surface ocean and carbon storage in the deep ocean. We present a new high resolution 1.2 Myr record of neodymium isotopes (ɛNd) - a proxy for water mass mixing - measured on foraminifera and fish debris from site ODP 929 [6.0°N, 43.7°W, 4356 m] on the Ceara Rise in the western equatorial Atlantic Ocean. This record reveals a fundamental step-change in the nature of glacial Atlantic overturning across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition as well as providing new insight into the relationship between ocean circulation and greenhouse gas forcing during the period known as the "lukewarm" interglacials.Comparison with benthic foraminiferal carbon isotopes from the same core reveals periods of significant decoupling between ɛNd and δ13C, demonstrating that deep Atlantic water mass mixing proportions and nutrient chemistry can vary independently of one another. In contrast, comparison of the ɛNd record with benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotopes reveals a tight coupling, exhibiting the control of Northern Hemisphere climate on both ice volume and Atlantic overturning. The high resolution of the records allows cross spectral analysis of the phasing between authigenic ɛNd and both benthic foraminiferal δ13C and δ18O. This reveals that the different proxy records are coherent at time periods of 100-, 40- and 23-kyr which correlate with orbital forcing. However, the changes in each variable at these periods are not always in phase, indicating that the proxies exhibit different temporal responses to climatic forcings.

  12. Hydrogeology of Palm Valley, central Australia; a Pleistocene flora refuge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wischusen, John D. H.; Fifield, L. Keith; Cresswell, Richard G.

    2004-06-01

    The Palm Valley Oasis (Finke Gorge National Park) in arid central Australia is characterised by large stands of red cabbage palm trees ( Livistona mariae). How these unique plants, over 1000 km away from nearest relatives in the tropical parts of northern Australia persist, has long fascinated visitors. The hydrogeology of this area helps explain this phenomenon. Stable isotope (δ 2H, δ 8O) analyses shows groundwater to have a uniform composition that plots on or near a local meteoric water line. Carbon-14 results are observed to vary throughout this aquifer from effectively dead (<4%) to 87% modern carbon. Ratios of chlorine-36 to chloride range from 130 to 290×10 -1536Cl/Cl. In this region atmospheric 36Cl/Cl ratio is around 300×10 -15. Thus an age range of around 300 ka is indicated if, as is apparent radioactive decay is the only significant cause of 36Cl/Cl variation within the aquifer. The classic homogenous aquifer with varying surface topography flow model is the simplest conceptual model that need be invoked to explain these data. Complexities, associated with local topography flow cells superimposed on the regional gradient, may mean groundwater with markedly different flow path lengths has been sampled. This potential flow path complexity, which is also evidenced by slight variation in groundwater cation ratios, can account for the distribution of isotope age data throughout the aquifer. Given the likely very slow travel times indicated by this aquifer's hydraulic properties, age differences of the magnitude indicated from chlorine-36 data are feasible. The likely slow travel times (>100 ka) along some flow paths indicate groundwater discharge would endure through arid phases associated with Quaternary climate oscillations. Such a flow system can explain the persistence of this population of Palms and also highlight the possibility that Palm Valley has acted as a flora refuge since at least the mid Pleistocene.

  13. Late Pleistocene environments of the western Noatak basin, northwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elias, S.A.; Hamilton, T.D.; Edwards, M.E.; Beget, J.E.; Krumhardt, A.P.; Lavoie, C.

    1999-01-01

    Glacial Lake Noatak formed repeatedly during middle and late Pleistocene time as expanding glaciers from the DeLong Mountains blocked the Noatak River valley. Downcutting by the Noatak River has exposed thick sediment successions in bluffs up to 86 m high. Two river bluffs, Nk-26 and Nk-29A, contain correlative organic-rich flood-plain deposits that were formed during and after deposition of the Old Crow tephra at about the transition between oxygen isotope stage 6 and oxygen isotope stage 5, at the beginning of the last interglaciation. Both bluffs also contain older interglacial or interstadial flood-plain deposits of uncertain age. Pollen and beetle remains were recovered from the older and younger flood-plain deposits at each bluff. Pollen from the younger flood-plain deposits suggests tundra vegetation with local dominance of sedge. Juniperus abundances were locally high, especially around the time of Old Crow tephra deposition. Mutual climatic range (MCR) estimates from the insect fossil assemblages suggest that mean summer temperatures (Tmax) near the time of Old Crow tephra deposition were about 2 ??C colder than modern; mean winter temperatures were very similar to those of today. A younger sample from the same interglacial deposit yielded a Tmax estimate of 2 ??C warmer than modern, signaling interglacial warming. Pollen from the older interglacial deposit at Nk-29A suggests mesic tundra, with boreal forest more distant than it is today. MCR analysis of a possibly correlative older interglacial deposit at Nk-26 suggests a Tmax about 2 ??C below present.

  14. Highest pluvial-lake shorelines and Pleistocene climate of the western Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, M.

    1999-01-01

    Shoreline altitudes of several pluvial lakes in the western Great Basin of North America record successively smaller lakes from the early to the late Pleistocene. This decrease in lake size indicates a long-term drying trend in the regional climate that is not seen in global marine oxygen-isotope records. At +70 m above its late Pleistocene shoreline, Lake Lahontan in the early middle Pleistocene submerged some basins previously thought to have been isolated. Other basins known to contain records of older pluvial lakes that exceeded late Pleistocene levels include Columbus-Fish Lake (Lake Columbus-Rennie), Kobeh-Diamond (Lakes Jonathan and Diamond), Newark, Long (Lake Hubbs), and Clover. Very high stands of some of these lakes probably triggered overflows of previously internally drained basins, adding to the size of Lake Lahontan. Simple calculations based on differences in lake area suggest that the highest levels of these pluvial lakes required a regional increase in effective moisture by a factor of 1.2 to 3 relative to late Pleistocene pluvial amounts (assuming that effective moisture is directly proportional to the hydrologic index, or lake area/tributary basin area). These previously unknown lake levels reflect significant changes in climate, tectonics, and (or) drainage-basin configurations, and could have facilitated migration of aquatic species in the Great Basin.

  15. Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability.

    PubMed

    Brace, Selina; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love; Lister, Adrian M; Miller, Rebecca; Otte, Marcel; Germonpré, Mietje; Blockley, Simon P E; Stewart, John R; Barnes, Ian

    2012-12-11

    The Late Pleistocene global extinction of many terrestrial mammal species has been a subject of intensive scientific study for over a century, yet the relative contributions of environmental changes and the global expansion of humans remain unresolved. A defining component of these extinctions is a bias toward large species, with the majority of small-mammal taxa apparently surviving into the present. Here, we investigate the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), to explore whether events during the Late Pleistocene had a discernible effect beyond the large mammal fauna. Using ancient DNA techniques to sample across three sites in North-West Europe, we observe a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in this species over the last 50,000 y. We further identify a series of extinction-recolonization events, indicating a previously unrecognized instability in Late Pleistocene small-mammal populations, which we link with climatic fluctuations. Our results reveal climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late Pleistocene biodiversity.

  16. New U/Th ages for Pleistocene megafauna deposits of southeastern Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Gilbert J.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Hocknull, Scott A.

    2009-02-01

    Arguments over the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna have become particularly polarised in recent years. Causes for the extinctions are widely debated with climate change, human hunting and/or habitat modification, or a combination of those factors, being the dominant hypotheses. However, a lack of a spatially constrained chronology for many megafauna renders most hypotheses difficult to test. Here, we present several new U/Th dates for a series of previously undated, megafauna-bearing localities from southeastern Queensland, Australia. The sites were previously used to argue for or against various megafauna extinction hypotheses, and are the type localities for two now-extinct Pleistocene marsupials (including the giant koala, Phascolarctos stirtoni). The new dating allows the deposits to be placed in a spatially- and temporally constrained context relevant to the understanding of Australian megafaunal extinctions. The results indicate that The Joint (Texas Caves) megafaunal assemblage is middle Pleistocene or older (>292 ky); the Cement Mills (Gore) megafaunal assemblage is late Pleistocene or older (>53 ky); and the Russenden Cave Bone Chamber (Texas Caves) megafaunal assemblage is late Pleistocene (˜55 ky). Importantly, the new results broadly show that the sites date prior to the hypothesised megafaunal extinction 'window' (i.e., ˜30-50 ky), and therefore, cannot be used to argue exclusively for or against human/climate change extinction models, without first exploring their palaeoecological significance on wider temporal and spatial scales.

  17. Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability

    PubMed Central

    Brace, Selina; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love; Lister, Adrian M.; Miller, Rebecca; Otte, Marcel; Germonpré, Mietje; Blockley, Simon P. E.; Stewart, John R.; Barnes, Ian

    2012-01-01

    The Late Pleistocene global extinction of many terrestrial mammal species has been a subject of intensive scientific study for over a century, yet the relative contributions of environmental changes and the global expansion of humans remain unresolved. A defining component of these extinctions is a bias toward large species, with the majority of small-mammal taxa apparently surviving into the present. Here, we investigate the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), to explore whether events during the Late Pleistocene had a discernible effect beyond the large mammal fauna. Using ancient DNA techniques to sample across three sites in North-West Europe, we observe a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in this species over the last 50,000 y. We further identify a series of extinction-recolonization events, indicating a previously unrecognized instability in Late Pleistocene small-mammal populations, which we link with climatic fluctuations. Our results reveal climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late Pleistocene biodiversity. PMID:23185018

  18. Uranium series ages of corals from the upper Pleistocene Mulege terrace, Baja California Sur, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ashby, J.R.; Ku, T.L.; Minch, J.A.

    1987-02-01

    Specimens of Porites californica contained in the sediments of upper Pleistocene, +12-m marine terrace deposits developed on the east coast of the Baja California (Mexico) peninsula at Mulege have yielded /sup 239/Th//sup 234/U dates of 124 +/- 5 and 144 +/- 7 ka (+/- 1 sigma). These dates can be assigned to the well-documented late Pleistocene oxygen-isotope stage 5e high sea stand. Differences between the eustatic and present elevations of this terrace indicate average uplift rates since terrace formation of approximately 4 to 5 cm/1000 yr, indicating a relative stability and lack of major vertical deformation since the late Pleistocene. This terrace in the Mulege area can now be correlated with other marine terraces throughout the Baja California peninsula and southern California.

  19. New records of temperate mollusks in two Late Pleistocene terrestrial localities from northeastern Oaxaca, Southern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerrero-Arenas, Rosalía; Jiménez-Hidalgo, Eduardo; García-Barrera, Pedro

    2013-11-01

    The Mixteca Alta Oaxaqueña is in the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico. This region is characterized by numerous Pleistocene fossiliferous localities. The objective of this study is to describe a diverse assemblage of Late Pleistocene freshwater and terrestrial mollusks in two localities from northeastern Oaxaca, Coixtlahuaca District. We identified 10 taxa of gastropods and one of bivalves. By the sedimentological characteristics and the mollusks assemblage, it is possible to relate the first locality with meandriform river deposits, without vegetation. The second locality was associated with a floodplain with short-lived associated vegetation. Five identified species constitute the most austral records of these taxa in Neartic Realm. In all the taxa, the Late Pleistocene occurrences constitute the last records of the identified mollusks in the study zone.

  20. A new extinct primate among the Pleistocene megafauna of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed Central

    Cartelle, C; Hartwig, W C

    1996-01-01

    A nearly complete skeleton of a robust-bodied New World monkey that resembles living spider monkeys was recovered from undisturbed Pleistocene deposits in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The skeleton displays the highly specialized postcranial pattern typical of spider and woolly spider monkeys and shares cranial similarities to the spider monkey exclusively. It is generically distinct on the basis of its robustness (>20 kg) and on the shape of its braincase. This new genus indicates that New World monkeys nearly twice the size of those living today were part of the mammalian biomass of southern Amazonia in the late Pleistocene. The discovery of this specimen expands the known adaptive diversity of New World monkeys and demonstrates that they underwent body size expansion in the terminal Pleistocene, as did many other types of mammals. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 5 PMID:8692827

  1. Later Middle Pleistocene human remains from the Almonda Karstic system, Torres Novas, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Trinkaus, Erik; Marks, Anthony E; Brugal, Jean Philip; Bailey, Shara E; Rink, W Jack; Richter, Daniel

    2003-09-01

    Later Middle Pleistocene archeological deposits of the Galeria Pesada (Gruta da Aroeira), Almonda Karstic System, Torres Novas, Portugal, yielded two archaic human teeth, a mandibular canine and a maxillary third molar. The C(1)presents moderate and asymmetrical shoveling with a stout root. The slightly worn M(3)exhibits at least four cusps with a large hypocone, three roots with large radicular plates, and an absence of taurodontism. They are moderately large for later Middle Pleistocene humans in their buccolingual crown diameters, although the M(3)mesiodistal diameter is modest. The C(1)exhibits labial calculus and multiple linear hypoplastic defects, but the M(3)is lesion free. Both teeth are morphologically similar to those of other Middle Pleistocene European humans and reinforce a pattern of dental hypertrophy among these archaic Homo.

  2. Metagenomic analyses of the late Pleistocene permafrost - additional tools for reconstruction of environmental conditions