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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. Global map of eolian features on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    A variety of common eolian features on Mars have been identified from a survey of Mariner 9 and Viking orbiter images, and their regional and global distributions and orientations are discussed. Ten features have been mapped including: light and dark streaks, splotches, barchan and transverse dunes, crescentric and anomalous dunes, yardangs, wind grooves, and deflation pits. The north polar region shows a complex wind regime. Dunes and other ephemeral features reveal winds from the northwest and northeast. In the middle and low northern latitudes, northeasterly winds are the most effective winds. Southeast winds are the effective winds in most southern latitudes. Erosional features in bedrock indicate long-term and perhaps ancient wind trends, whereas depositional features may record relatively more recent winds. Deflation pits in the mantled terrain may contain the best record of both ancient and present-day winds.

  4. 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.

  5. Vertebrate Tracks in Pleistocene Eolian Sand-Sheet Deposits of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, Peter D.

    1996-03-01

    Deformation structures interpreted as vertebrate hoof- and foot-tracks occur within upper-Pleistocene eolian sand-sheet deposits in the stabilized Kantishna sand sea of central Alaska and in the Nushagak lowland of southwestern Alaska. Exposures of tracks are generally limited to cross sections, which reveal concave-up deformation structures in which displacement of preexisting strata diminishes downward. Deposits in both areas contain tracks that are 6 to 16 cm in diameter and are divided by a central ridge, reflecting formation by artiodactyl (even-toed) ungulates. Larger (21-34 cm) tracks without a central ridge, observed in the Nushagak lowland, were formed by proboscideans, probably woolly mammoth. Large vertebrate tracks occur within irregularly stratified sand and silty sand that accumulated upon partially vegetated sand sheets, and within thin, even wind-ripple laminae of unvegetated sand sheets. The presence of tracks at multiple stratigraphic levels and preservation of roots and rhizocretions within the eolian deposits suggest that vegetated sand sheets may have formed a locally important grazing habitat for large herbivores during at least part of the last glaciation. Recognition that vertebrate tracks are preserved in eolian sand-sheet deposits, and in deposits of other environments as well, opens a new source of stratigraphic and paleoecological data to aid reconstruction of the vanished ecosystems of Beringia.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Cross-bedded limestone facies on San Salvador Island, Bahamas: New perspective on eolian calcarenites

    SciTech Connect

    Caputo, M.V. )

    1989-08-01

    Limestones of eolian origin have been known from worldwide tropical regins since the early 1900s. On San Salvador Island, most of the exposed bed rock is Holocene and Pleistocene eolian calcarenite made of skeletal, peloidal, and oolitic fine to medium sand. The Pleistocene Grotto Beach Formation is composed of 50-90% ooids. An eolian interpretation for this interval is supported by paleosols, subaerial crusts, vadose cement, terrestrial fossils, karst features, associated reef and beach deposits, grainfall, sandflow, and climbing ripple strata, and shore-parallel sand bodies. Whole dune-forms are locally preserved; they were stabilized or frozen in place by early cementation and/or vegetation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Variability of some microbial parameters in relation to the hydrological features of the water column in the Eolian Basin (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea).

    PubMed

    Giuliano, L; Furci, P; De Domenico, M; Bruni, V; Salomone, L; Alonzo, V

    1999-04-01

    During the EOCUMM '94 cruise, 15 stations located in the Eolian Islands area (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) were sampled to analyse the distributions of the total bacterioplankton densities and the heterotrophic viable bacteria counts on Marine Agar 2216. According to the TS (temperature-salinity) diagrams, obtained by processing the CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) vertical profiles, the sampled stations were grouped in "hydrological clusters". The bacteriological variables, together with the chlorophyll a and the particulate organic carbon measures obtained during the same cruise were used to compare the stations of the same and different clusters. The results indicated that variabilities of the analysed microbial parameters were not obviously related to the hydrographic features of the sampling stations. This work is an attempt to verify the possibility of using microbial parameters to characterize the structure of the water column.

  16. 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.

  17. Regional sedimentological variations among dark crater floor features: Toward a model for modern eolian sand distribution on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, K. S.; Christensen, P. R.

    1993-01-01

    It has been known since 1972 that many Martian craters have dark features on their floors, and that when seen at higher image resolution, some of the dark units are dune fields. Interpretations of thermal inertia derived from Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) data have been used to suggest that many dark intracrater features, including those where dunes are not observed in images, contain some amount of sand or particles in the range 0.1-10 mm. However, it has never been known if all these dark features consist of dunes. We assembled a set of 108 carefully constrained Viking IRTM observations for dark crater-floor units. The data and selection criteria are described in detail elsewhere. Studied in conjunction with Mariner 9 and Viking orbiter images of each crater, these data indicate that the dark crater-floor units in some regions have different thermal properties than those in other regions. Thermal inertias were computed using the Viking thermal model of H. H. Kieffer and corrected for atmospheric CO2 effects using the relationship for a dust-free atmosphere shown by Haberle and Jakosky.

  18. 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.

  19. Pleistocene permafrost features in soils in the South-western Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Michele; Catoni, Marcella; Bonifacio, Eleonora; Zanini, Ermanno

    2015-04-01

    Because of extensive Pleistocenic glaciations which erased most of the previously existing soils, slope steepness and climatic conditions favoring soil erosion, most soils observed on the Alps (and in other mid-latitude mountain ranges) developed only during the Holocene. However, in few sites, particularly in the outermost sections of the Alpine range, Pleistocene glaciers covered only small and scattered surfaces because of the low altitude reached in the basins, and ancient soils could be preserved for long periods of time on particularly stable surfaces. In some cases, these soils retain good memories of past periglacial activity. We described and sampled soils on stable surfaces in the Upper Tanaro valley, Ligurian Alps (Southwestern Piemonte, Italy). The sampling sites were between 600 to 1600 m of altitude, under present day lower montane Castanea sativa/Ostrya carpinifolia forests, montane Fagus sylvatica and Pinus uncinata forests or montane heath/grazed grassland, on different quartzitic substrata. The surface morphology often showed strongly developed, fossil periglacial patterned ground forms, such as coarse stone circles on flat surfaces, or stone stripes on steeper slopes. The stone circles could be up to 5 m wide, while the sorted stripes could be as wide as 12-15 m. A strong lateral cryogenic textural sorting characterized the fine fraction too, with sand dominating close to the stone rims of the patterned ground features and silt and clay the central parts. The surface 60-120 cm of the soils were podzolized during the Holocene; as a result of the textural lateral sorting, the thickness of the podzolic E and Bs horizons varied widely across the patterns. The lower boundary of the Holocene Podzols was abrupt, and corresponded with dense layers with thick coarse laminar structure and illuvial silt accumulation (Cjj horizons). Dense Cjj diapiric inclusions were sometimes preserved in the central parts of the patterns. Where cover beds were developed

  20. 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.

  1. Age and sedimentary record of inland eolian sediments in Lithuania, NE European Sand Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalińska-Nartiša, Edyta; Thiel, Christine; Nartišs, Māris; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Murray, Andrew S.

    2015-07-01

    We present a study based on four inland eolian locations in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Lithuania belonging to the northeastern part of the 'European Sand Belt' (ESB). Although there have been several previous studies of the ESB, this north-eastern extension has not been investigated before in any detail. The sedimentary structural-textural features are investigated and a chronology was derived using optically stimulated luminescence on both quartz and feldspar. The sedimentary structures and the rounding and surface characteristics of the quartz grains argue for a predominance of eolian transport. Additionally, some structural alternations and a significant contribution of non-eolian grains are interpreted as inherited local glacial/glaciofluvial-bearing lithologies. Three main (glaciolacustrine-) eolian phases are distinguished based on the position in the landscape and the luminescence ages: (1) An older eolian series around 15 to 16 ka, possibly correlated with the cold GS-2a event according to the GRIP stratigraphy, and (2) a younger eolian series around 14.0 ka, possibly representing the GI-1d and 1c events. The older eolian series is underlain by (3) a glaciolacustrine-eolian series for which the period of deposition remains uncertain due to the significant discrepancy between the ages based on quartz and feldspar.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Morphometric analysis of molars in a Middle Pleistocene population shows a mosaic of 'modern' and Neanderthal features.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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 M(1) s 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 M(1) s 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 M(1) occlusal morphology for the alpha taxonomy of isolated M(1) s.

  6. Comparison of knobs on Mars to isolated hills in eolian, fluvial and glacial environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manent, L. S.; El-Baz, F.

    1986-01-01

    The isolated knobs of Mars, characterized in terms of length, width, geographic location, proximity to streaks, and geologic surroundings through Viking Orbiters' photomosaics, are compared to isolated hills on earth eroded by eolian, fluvia, and glacial processes. Comparison of length-to-width ratios indicates similarity of the knobs to the hills formed in a hyperarid environment. The hills formed on earth by fluvial and glacial processes have length-to-width ratios significantly higher than those of the Martian knobs and have other diagnostic features not associated with the knobs. Moreover, streaks, splotches, dunes, and pitted and fluted rocks, all indicative of an eolian regime, are associated with the Martian knobs.

  7. 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

  8. Riverine Eolian Dunes in Uruguay: OSL Ages and Paleoenvironmental Significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leigh, D. S.; Suarez, R.; Brook, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    Relict parabolic dunes occur along Rio Negro and Rio Tacuarembó in Uruguay under the current humid temperate climate. These dunes offer important terrestrial evidence of drier conditions in the past and may provide foresight about landscape consequences of future climate change. The ages of these dunes previously had not been measured by any absolute dating technique. Two dune fields were selected for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating using the single aliquot regeneration method, including four samples along Rio Negro near Pueblo de la Arena and three samples along Rio Tacuarembó near Ansina. Results indicate that the dunes were active during the late Pleistocene, with five of the OSL ages in the 22 ka to 12 ka range. One OSL age at the Ansina dune field returned an age of 6 ka, indicating the possibility of limited dune reactivation during the Holocene. There is clear evidence of historical dune activation (e.g. buried fences) at both the Rio Negro and Rio Tacuarembó sites; one OSL sample from Rio Negro dunes confirms an historical age of 107 years BP. However, human land disturbance rather than climatic factors may explain the historical reactivation. Late Pleistocene dune activity in central Uruguay indicates much drier and windier paleoclimate (at least seasonally) than present, and correlates well with eolian activity in more arid parts of South America in western Argentina. Age and paleoenvironment of the riverine dunes in Uruguay are remarkably similar to those of the southeastern United States (USA), indicating similar patterns of paleoclimate in both hemispheres. Such similarities help to resolve the spatial patterns of global scale climate change.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Eolian Modeling System: Predicting Windblown Dust Hazards in Battlefield Environments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-03

    Landforms, 32, 1913-1927, 2007. Cook, J.P., and J.D. Pelletier, Relief threshold for eolian transport across alluvial fans , Journal of Geophysical...Research, 112, F02026, doi:10.1029/2006JF000610, 2007. Pelletier, J.D., A Cantor set model of eolian dust accumulation on desert alluvial fan terraces...playas and dust deposition on alluvial fans . Finally, the project made important progress in our understanding of eolian bedforms, including what

  13. 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.

  14. Eolian sabkha sandstones in the Nugget Sandstone (Jurassic), Vernal area, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Schenk, C.J.; Peterson, F. )

    1991-06-01

    The Jurassic Nugget Sandstone in the Vernal, Utah, area is characterized by thick (up to 25 m) sets of cross-stratified eolian dune sandstone separated by either erosional planar bounding surfaces or thin (mostly < 3 m) sandstones interpreted as sabkha sandstones. Structures in Nugget sabkha sandstones are predominantly wavy or irregular bedding and thin, remnant sets of dune cross-strata consisting of eolian ripple and avalanche strata. The types of sedimentary structures and erosional features in Nugget sabkha sandstones indicate a close relationship between sand deposition and erosion and fluctuations in the local water table. Thin, remnant eolian dune sets are common in Nugget sabkha sandstones. The remnant sets form when dunes migrating across a sabkha are partially wetted as the water table rises slightly (on a scale of tens of centimeters); the lower part of the dune with wetted sand remains on the sabkha as the rest of the dune continues to migrate. Typically, ripple strata of the dune apron and the toes of avalanche strata are preserved in dune remnants. The avalanche strata, being slightly coarser grained, are preferentially deflated, leaving microtopography. This topography is commonly filled in with ripple strata that form as dry sand again blows across the sabkha. Stacked sets of remnant dunes separated by erosional surfaces illustrate the control of sand deposition on eolian sabkhas by the local water table.

  15. Eolian permian deposits in west and northwest Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limarino, C. O.; Spalletti, L. A.

    1986-08-01

    The sedimentary and stratigraphic characteristics of eolian Permian deposits exposed in Mendoza, La Rioja and San Juan Provinces (west and northwest Argentina) are described in this paper. The eolianites are fine and medium sandstones with large-scale cross-bedding, multiple parallel truncation planes and some asymmetrical ripples. Three genetic types of deposits have been identified: dune facies, eolian sand-sheet facies and mixed fluvial-eolian facies. Fine and medium sandstones with large-scale cross-bedding and multiple parallel truncation planes are here interpreted as dune deposits (mainly crescentic dunes), and unstratified or flat-bedded sandstones as eolian sand-sheet deposits. Mixed fluvial and eolian sequences, composed of sandstones, mudstones and some matrix-supported conglomerates, represent a transitional facies between those formed in eolian and fluvial environments. This considerable deposition of eolian sediments was probably brought about by the existence of an extensive, medium to low-latitude continent and the withdrawal of marine environments. The environments with highest aridity occurred towards the south and west of the region. The eolian circulation pattern was controlled by a long ensialic volcanic arc emerging towards the west of the basin.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Fred

    1988-04-01

    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

  20. Controls of eolian dune size and spacing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lancaster, N.

    1988-11-01

    Data for the Namib and Gran Desierto sand seas suggest that the controls of dune size and spacing are complex. The relation between dune height and spacing varies with dune type and location and reflects both dune dynamics (vertical accretion vs. migration or extension) and availability of sand. There is no general relation between dune spacing and grain size. In the Namib sand sea the height of compound and complex dunes (draas) is inversely proportional to potential sand-transport rates, whereas the height of dunes superimposed on their flanks varies directly with potential sand-transport rates. These observations can be combined with data on dune spacing to demonstrate the existence of a hierarchy of eolian dunes, each element of which responds to variations in sand-transport rates at different temporal and spatial scales. Whereas the morphology of individual simple dunes and superimposed dunes on draas is related to contemporary rates and directions of sand transport, the morphology and development of draas reflects long-term and regional patterns of sand transport and deposition.

  1. Eolian sandstone unit of Morrison Formation, central Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Uhlir, D.M.

    1986-08-01

    The fine-grained quartzarenite that overlies the Sundance Formation in the southwestern Powder River basin, Wind River basin, and southern Bighorn basin is interpreted as being primarily the result of eolian deposition. This unit, often more than 20 m (65.6 ft) thick, is the probable correlative of the Unkpapa Sandstone member of the Morrison Formation of the southeastern Black Hills region. An eolian interpretation is based on the presence of large-scale sets of high-angle, planar cross-stratification. Observed considerable variation in the thickness of the unit is likely to be an expression of the depositional (dune-form) topography rather than the result of later erosion. Discrete dunes are exposed near Thermopolis along the northern margin of the unit: the transitional marine deposits of the uppermost Sundance formation are the most likely source of the wind-transported sand. Stratigraphic and facies relationships and lithologic similarity support correlation of the eolian unit with the Unkpapa Sandstone. Together, the units represent regions of significant eolian deposition within the predominantly fluvial Morrison depositional environment. The properties of the eolian sandstone, its thickness, its superposition above the marine Sundance Formation, and the possibility of its persistence in the subsurface of the southern Powder River basin give it potential as a petroleum reservoir. These anomalous eolian deposits may record the positions of gentle structures developed in central Wyoming and western South Dakota at the onset of, and in association with, Sevier compression.

  2. 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.

  3. Geomorphic evidence for an eolian contribution to the formation of the Martian northern plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimbelman, J. R.

    1993-01-01

    The northern plains of Mars have many morphologic characteristics that are uncommon or absent on the rest of the planet. Mariner 9 and Viking images obtained north of latitude 30 deg N revealed 'smooth' and 'mottled' plains of an uncertain origin. Some or all of the northern plains were interpreted to consist of lava plains intermixed with eolian and volcanic materials thick eolian mantles that buried portions of the mid latitudes periglacial deposits resulting from the presence of ground ice and as water-transported sediments derived from fluvial runoff, lacustrine deposition in standing bodies of water, or glacial runoff. The highest-resolution Viking images show many intriguing details that may provide clues to the origin of this complex and distinctive terrain. Some of the informative features present in the best Viking images, comparing the observations to what may be expected from various hypotheses of formation, are reviewed. While the results are not conclusive for any single hypothesis, eolian processes have played a major role in the erosion (and possibly deposition) of the materials that make up the surface exposures in the Martian northern plains.

  4. 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.

  5. Eolian Dust and the Origin of Sedimentary Chert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cecil, C. Blaine

    2004-01-01

    This paper proposes an alternative model for the primary source of silica contained in bedded sedimentary chert. The proposed model is derived from three principal observations as follows: (1) eolian processes in warm-arid climates produce copious amounts of highly reactive fine-grained quartz particles (dust), (2) eolian processes in warm-arid climates export enormous quantities of quartzose dust to marine environments, and (3) bedded sedimentary cherts generally occur in marine strata that were deposited in warm-arid paleoclimates where dust was a potential source of silica. An empirical integration of these observations suggests that eolian dust best explains both the primary and predominant source of silica for most bedded sedimentary cherts.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Pleistocene Paleoclimatic Features at Mount Mazama Volcano and the Crater Lake Region, Oregon, Dated by Ar Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacon, C. R.; Lanphere, M. A.

    2005-12-01

    Fifteen examples of the interplay between glacial ice and magma or volcanic rock in the Crater Lake region have been dated by K-Ar or 40Ar/39Ar. Ages of glacial features compare well with times of extensive ice presence implied by marine oxygen isotope stages (MIS; Bassinot et al. 1994 EPSL 126:91-108). Prior to the 7.7-ka caldera-forming eruption, the summit of Mount Mazama was 3700 m asl. Moraines of the last glacial maximum (LGM) reached as low as 1400 m. Late MIS 10 glaciation is recorded at 1900-2000 m: in the SE caldera wall, glaciated andesite (340±6, 341±8 ka; 1σ) is overlain by intracanyon dacite (306±5 ka); in the E wall, similar glaciated andesite underlies till capped by dacite (336±6 ka); on the SW lakeshore, glaciated dacite (351±12 ka) is overlain by andesite (302±10 ka). Early MIS 8 is represented 276±11-ka dacite of Munson Ridge that implies >170 m of ice at 2040 m. In late MIS 8 or in MIS 7.4, voluminous andesite of Applegate Peak (7 ages 269±12 to 211±16 ka) chilled against thick ice along the E edge of Sun Creek valley at 1850 m and higher. Andesite of Garfield Peak (224±9 ka; 2100-2400 m) flowed over andesite (269±12 ka) glaciated during MIS 8.0 or 7.4. North of Castle Creek at 1740 m dacite (216±4 ka) lies on andesite (258±7 ka) glaciated in MIS 7.4 or 8.0. Andesite of Roundtop (159±13 ka) extending 3 km NE of the caldera rim is an MIS 6 ice-bounded lava flow. At Pumice Point, polygonal jointing and breccia occur in thick andesite (117±3 ka) that rests on glaciated (1900 m) mafic andesite (122±20 ka); the andesite is overlain by subaerial dacite (116±5 ka). Although the mafic andesite could have been glaciated in MIS 6, ice-contact/meltwater chilling of the overlying andesite probably dates from MIS 5.4. Below Llao Rock, andesite (70±4 ka) caps sediments deposited on dacite (116±9 ka) during MIS 5.4-4. Andesite (87±15 ka) from a subaerial cone (base 1900 m) ESE of Mazama flowed into ice-free Scott Creek during MIS 5

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Environmental Change at the Sunshine Locality, North-Central Nevada, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckleberry, Gary; Beck, Charlotte; Jones, George T.; Holmes, Amy; Cannon, Michael; Livingston, Stephanie; Broughton, Jack M.

    2001-05-01

    Sedimentological, faunal, and archaeological investigations at the Sunshine Locality, Long Valley, Nevada reveal a history of human adaptation and environmental change at the last glacial-interglacial transition in North America's north-central Great Basin. The locality contains a suite of lacustrine, alluvial, and eolian deposits associated with fluvially reworked faunal remains and Paleoindian artifacts. Radiocarbon-dated stratigraphy indicates a history of receding pluvial lake levels followed by alluvial downcutting and subsequent valley filling with marsh-like conditions at the end of the Pleistocene. A period of alluvial deposition and shallow water tables (9,800 to 11,000 14C yr B.P.) correlates to the Younger Dryas. Subsequent drier conditions and reduced surface runoff mark the early Holocene; sand dunes replace wetlands by 8,000 14C yr B.P. The stratigraphy at Sunshine is similar to sites located 400 km south and supports regional climatic synchroneity in the central and southern Great Basin during the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene. Given regional climate change and recurrent geomorphic settings comparable to Sunshine, we believe that there is a high potential for buried Paleoindian features in primary association with extinct fauna elsewhere in the region yet to be discovered due to limited stratigraphic exposure and consequent low visibility.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Provenance study conflict Miocene eolian deposit in central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, S.; Stockli, D. F.; Li, J.; Song, C.

    2013-12-01

    The dispute of fine-grained Miocene sediments from Tianshui Basin, northeastern Tibetan Plateau as eolian loess-paleosol or neptunian mudflat/distal fan is an unresolved hot topic in Cenozoic palaeoclimatology , impacting further research of Asian monsoon and the mechanism of its variations. Tratigraphic correlation and constraining the sedimentary age with paleomagnetic method show that hundreds miles of foreland basin stratums occurred in north of West Qinling mountain belt in Miocene. The tratums are about 2000 m thick in the south foredeep range, thinning to less than 300 m thick in the north backbulge range. Similar heavy minerals composition and detrital ziron U/Pb ages distribution also show that the materials in the basin were from the same denuded regions. Such evidences conform that the Miocene sedimentary sections identified as loess in Tianshui basin could be distal fan and flood plain in the united foreland basin system. Comprehensive provenance techniques of heavy minerals and detrital zircon U/Pb ages show differences between Miocene Tianshui sediments and Pliocene- Quaternary loess- red clay from Chinese loess Plateau. Specifically, samples from Tianshui basin have more than 20% of Magnetite and 30% of Epidote, but Amphibole is lacking. Loess-red clay samples consist of 21% Amphibole on average. Classifying degree of correction of Amphibole proves that weathering erosion is not the reason for this dissimilarity. More Amphibole rich iginous rocks or matemorphoic rocks could exist widely in loess's source region. Most zircon U/Pb ages in this study fall into similar ranges, especially from 200Ma to 500Ma. There is a significant age peak from 200Ma to 250Ma in Tianshui sediments and modern river sands originating from West Qinling mountain belt, which is rare in loess-red clay samples. A part of zircons from loess and red clay contain very low U and Th elements, implying some of Mafic or intermediate rocks in eolian source area. Both Mafic and

  3. Relict drainages, conical hills, and the eolian veneer in southwest Egypt - Applications to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breed, C. S.; Mccauley, J. F.; Grolier, M. J.

    1982-01-01

    The fluvial and mass wasting origin of the particles in the eolian deposits, the segregation of these materials on the basis of grain size, and the migration of those particles capable of saltation to areas of accumulation in lowland basins of the Sahara are suggested as analogs for the formation and accumulation of 'sand' sheets and dunes on the northern plains and in the polar erg on Mars. Outliers of the Martian plateau in the fretted terrain are seen as having been dissected, at least initially, by channels whose upstream portions are incised in the uplands. The Martian 'wadis' possess many geomorphic peculiarities similar to those of the Gilf (Gilf Kebir Plateau, southwest Egypt) wadis, and like the Egyptian features they have been attributed to mass wasting. Even though basal sapping and removal of debris by wind have almost certainly modified the Martian features, their deep incision in the plateau and their inferred northward extensions in the northern plains are thought to require not only initial downcutting by fairly energetic streams but also prolonged and long-distance flow of water.

  4. Vertebrate-bearing eolian unit from the Ogallala Group (Miocene) in northwestern Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Winkler, D.A.

    1987-08-01

    The upper Couch Formation is part of the lower of two formations composing the Ogallala Group in Blanco and Yellowhouse canyons in northwestern Texas. An eolian origin for the upper Couch Formation is indicated by its mean grain size, pedogenic carbonate nodules, massive bedding, and blanketlike morphology. The unit conforms poorly to the usual eolian depositional models; it resulted from a combination of the processes involved in loess and sand-sheet formation. Grassland or savanna vegetation probably existed over the area and aided in sediment trapping. Vertebrates are unusual in eolian units, but the adaptations and mode of preservation of those in the upper Couch Formation also support an eolian interpretation. This and other widespread silty sand sheets in the Ogallala indicate major fluctuations in depositional style, possibly climatically controlled. Lateral continuity and preservation of vertebrates give silty sand sheets great potential as correlation tools.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Pliocene-Pleistocene diatoms in Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks from Antarctica: A Sirius problem solved

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burckle, Lloyd H.; Potter, Noel, Jr.

    1996-03-01

    There are two competing scenarios on the behavior of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the late Tertiary. In one scenario, the ice sheet was very dynamic and underwent major drawdown and renewal as late as the Pliocene. In the other, the ice sheet was relatively stable during the late Neogene. The presence of marine diatoms in Sirius Group sedimentary rocks in East Antarctica is at the center of the disagreement. One side regards the diatoms as the major piece of evidence to support the drawdown and renewal hypothesis and infers that they were introduced into the Sirius during renewed glaciation of East Antarctica; others suggest that these diatoms were likely introduced into the Sirius by atmospheric (largely eolian) processes. We propose a simple test of the eolian hypothesis. If diatoms were introduced into the Sirius by eolian processes, then they should also be present in older (Paleozoic and Mesozoic) sedimentary and igneous rocks. Samples from two units of the Beacon Supergroup (Devonian to Jurassic) from Beacon Valley, East Antarctica, were analyzed: the Beacon Heights Orthoquartzite (Devonian) and the Feather Conglomerate (Permian-Triassic). Also examined was sediment found in cracks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic (Devonian to Cretaceous) igneous rocks from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica. Largely Pliocene-Pleistocene planktonic marine diatoms were found in all sample sets. Because neither Beacon Supergroup sedimentary rocks nor igneous rocks from Marie Byrd Land are Pliocene-Pleistocene in age, such findings strongly suggest that diatoms were introduced into them by eolian processes. This same scenario can be applied to Sirius Group sedimentary rocks.

  13. Equatorial Cross-Cutting Ripples on Titan - Regularly Warped Subsiding Methane Plains, not Eolian Dunes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2008-09-01

    Widely circulating opinion that titanian methane lowlands in a broad equatorial region are covered with eolian formations needs to be carefully checked. Of coarse, all three solid bodies with atmospheres in the inner solar system have dunes. Why do not have them on Titan? Most probably they do exist but discovered by radar up to now cross-cutting rippling features cannot be taken for them. For this there are several reasons. How it can be that prevailing "dune" strike coincides with prevailing wind direction? Normally (with some African exceptions) one sees real terrestrial dunes stretching across winds. And this is understandable from a point of view eolian dunes formation. This formation gives particular cross profile to dunes. Asymmetric profile - one slope is long and gentle and another one short and abrupt. But titanian "dunes" are mostly uniform and symmetric. And this characteristic is preserved for many hundreds of kilometers of very straight features. Then, the finest solid particles precipitation from the thick atmosphere of Titan should be distributed on the satellite surface more uniformly and cover dark lowlands and light icy highlands of the wide equatorial belt more or less evenly. But "dunes" are strictly associated with dark lowlands and tend to turn round light icy obstacles. Cindering smoggy particles to produce sands for making dunes is a pure imagination. Then, radar preferably sees one direction but nevertheless one or more crossing directions of rippling are distinguished (Fig.3, 4) They mean two wind directions at the same time or another wind direction at another time? If so, the earlier "dunes" should be more or less obliterated by the later ones. Nothing of the kind! Both crossing ripples directions are fresh. Then, eolian action is not seen at the higher latitudes (Fig. 5). There are no winds there? Probably it is not so. Only a liquid state of methane can help (but liquid should be disturbed by winds). Solid methane there is also

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Paleoclimatic significance of Late Quaternary eolian deposition on the Piedmont and High Plains, Central United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, Steven L.; Oglesby, Robert; Markgraf, Vera; Stafford, Thomas

    1995-06-01

    Presently stabilized dune systems on the piedmont of eastern Colorado and adjacent High Plains have been repeatedly re-activated during the past 20,000 years. Radiocarbon and thermoluminescence age estimates indicate eolian activity late in the last glacial cycle ca. 20,000-12,000 yr B.P. and subsequent episodes of dune reactivation at ca. 6000, 4500 and 1000 yr B.P. Pollen analysis from aggraded buried soil A horizons show a shift from grasses and shrubs to goosefoot, a disturbance indicator. The association of maximum goosefoot levels with the coarsest part of the buried A horizon immediately prior to burial by eolian sand indicates a substantial reduction in grass and dominance of shrubs with onset of eolian activity. The vegetation change and eolian depositional sequence indicates a reduction in plant coverage with regional drought, possibly augmented by bison grazing and surface heating effects. We infer an increase in summer monsoonal precipitation between 13,000 and 9000 yr B.P. reflecting a heightened land-to-sea temperature gradient associated with rising summer solar-insolation values and a meltwater cooled Gulf of Mexico. Dune reactivation in the middle and late Holocene appears to be independent of summer insolation values, but rather reflects a small (< 10°) easterly shift of the Bermuda High and western ridge aloft, difficult parameters to link to a cause and to resolve with climate models.

  18. Eolian dust forcing of river chemistry on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau since 8 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yibo; Galy, Albert; Fang, Xiaomin; Yang, Rongsheng; Zhang, Weilin; Zan, Jinbo

    2017-04-01

    Eolian dust is one of the most important factors controlling fluvial hydrological evolution in modern arid and semi-arid central Asia. Here, we present the bulk carbonate Ca-Mg-Sr concentrations and Sr isotopic compositions recorded in water soluble salts, carbonate and silicate fractions, as well as the Nd isotopic compositions in the silicate fraction of a Late Miocene (12.2-5.1 Ma) fluvial sequence exhibiting paleosol development, in the Linxia Basin on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP). Bulk carbonate Mg-Sr systematics show a distinct pattern in log-log plots of Mg/Ca versus log Sr/Ca ratios, and clearly higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios since ∼8 Ma. These findings cannot be adequately explained by the mechanism of prior calcite precipitation (PCP) - this latter process results in a positive correlation between the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in authigenic calcite, evident in the fixed gradient in their log-log plots and has been isolated as being the major factor controlling carbonate Mg-Sr systematics before 8 Ma. Nor can these findings be explained by other mechanisms related to the catchment's provenance/sedimentation. The dramatic changes in carbonate Sr contents, Sr isotopes, and Sr/Mg ratios since ∼8 Ma may therefore be inferred to have been triggered by significant inputs of eolian dust via the dissolution of dust carbonates and evaporites in the paleowaters where fluvial and paleosol carbonates precipitated. This process of eolian dust input can be reliably illustrated using a binary mixing model corresponding to a series of varying PCP fluxes (identical to processes affecting the area before 8 Ma) combined with a constant eolian influx calculated from the co-variations between Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Sr isotopic ratios. Eolian dust also leaves a fingerprint in the carbonate and silicate minerals of bulk sediments, as revealed respectively by their Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. Eolian dust compositions for the ∼8-5 Ma on the northeastern TP can thus be taken to

  19. Marine carbonate embayment system in an Eolian dune terrain, Permian Upper Minnelusa Formation, Rozet Area, Powder River Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Achauer, C.W.

    1987-05-01

    The eolian origin for Minnelusa sandstones has been stressed in numerous published articles. However, the dolomites that are interbedded with the eolian sandstones have received little attention. Isopach mapping of one of the dolomite units (Dolomite I) reflects a marine embayment system whose individual embayments range from 1/2 to 1 mi in width and trend primarily in a northwest direction. Consistently the embayment dolomites pinch out against the flanks of reworked, low relief, broad, eolian dune ridges. So far, 108 mi/sup 2/ of the Dolomite I marine embayment system have been mapped, but the overall extent of the system is undoubtedly much greater. Dolomite I is rarely cored, but cores from stratigraphically higher embayment dolomites in the upper Minnelusa show that these dolomites display the following, shoaling-upward sequence: (1) subtidal, sparingly fossiliferous dolomite; (2) intertidal, algal-laminated or brecciated or mud-cracked dolomite; and (3) very thin, supratidal, nodular anhydrite. The embayments, therefore, became the sites of marine sabkhas located between eolian dunes. Two main conclusions emerge from this study: (1) the juxtaposition of eolian sandstones and marine dolomites in a tectonically stable area suggests that eustatic sea level changes and a very arid climate were responsible for the marked environmental and lithologic changes observed in the upper Minnelusa, and (2) arid, coastal, evaporitic sabkhas bordered by eolian dunes are known from a number of modern and ancient cases, but marine carbonate embayments and associated evaporitic sabkhas that penetrate deeply into eolian sandstone terrains are rare.

  20. 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

  1. Controls on late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eolian deposition of the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzolf, John E.

    1988-04-01

    The Oregon coastal dunes and Great Sand Dunes of Colorado illustrate the dynamic relationships between factors that enhance and inhibit eolian-sand deposition. Abundant sand supply, persistent sand-transporting winds, and a well-drained, low-relief surface are the most important enhancing factors. Sand supply is a function of source, concentration, and sand availability to the wind. Abundant precipitation does not preclude deposition of eolian sand. Inhibiting factors result in sand stabilization or reduction in sand supply and include water saturation to the surface of sand accumulation, freezing of sand moisture, formation of desert pavement, and, most importantly, vegetative cover. Inhibiting factors are directly or indirectly a function of climate. Through time, climate has been a function of atmospheric circulation vis a vis continental position. Vegetative cover is a function of climate and plant evolution. Evolution of land plants, angiosperms and grasses divide the geologic history of eolian sand deposition into four intervals of decreasing latitudinal and areal distribution and increasing climatic contrast. Two types of dunefields are identified on the basis of processes responsible for sand concentration and relation of paleowind to fluvial paleoslope. Type I eolian sands are concentrated by fluvial processes only. They are relatively thin, interbedded with, and commonly overlain by, fluvial sediments. Type II sands are concentrated by fluvial and littoral processes on coasts with onshore winds. They are relatively thicker than Type I sands, intertongue at their bases but are not interbedded with fluvial sediments, and commonly are overlain by marine sediments. Both types may be initiated by tectonic uplift or climatic change in the source area. Type II sands also may be initiated by change in sea level at the site of deposition. The Pangean interval is related to low stand in world sea level and corresponding widespread deposition and preservation of

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Joseph A.; Miao, Xiaodong; Hanson, Paul R.; Johnson, William C.; Jacobs, Peter M.; Goble, Ronald J.

    2008-09-01

    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 Bølling-Allerød 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Gone with the wind: Eolian erasure of the Mars Rover tracks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, P. E.; Sullivan, R.; Golombek, M.; Johnson, J. R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Bridges, N.; Vaughan, A.; Maki, J.; Parker, T.; Bell, J.

    2010-11-01

    The wheel tracks left by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity are unique artificial markings on the surface of Mars. The tracks stretch several kilometers across diverse terrain in two widely separated regions of the planet. The initial appearance and characteristics of the tracks were well documented by the science and navigation cameras aboard the vehicles at the time the tracks were formed. Orbital observations by Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter document the erasure of the tracks over a period of more than 2 Mars years. Close-up examinations of track crossings, where the rovers encountered tracks made hundreds of Martian solar days earlier, provide insights into the mechanisms and time scales of eolian alteration on Mars. These observations suggest that fallout of atmospheric dust plays only a minor role in obscuring rover tracks over time. Instead, track erasure is dominated by sediment that is transported by surface winds. Both deposition and erosion act to erase the rover tracks. The length scales for eolian sediment transport are hundreds of meters at least, much larger than the size of the tracks. Gradual processes such as dust devils and sand saltation have minor effects that can nonetheless erase rover tracks over long time periods. However, short-lived strong wind events associated with seasonal dust storms have much more pronounced effects, significantly altering the tracks on time scales of days. These episodic strong winds tend to occur annually during the perihelion season. The time scale for track erasure is typically only 1 Martian year.

  13. Middle Holocene aridity, eolian-dune accretion, and the formation of Lake Mattamuskeet, eastern North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, A. B.; Waters, M. N.; Piehler, M. F.

    2009-12-01

    The stratigraphic record of Lake Mattamuskeet, eastern North Carolina, shows an interval of eolian activity in the middle Holocene. There are about 500,000 elliptical lakes, wetlands, and depressions with elevated rims located on the Atlantic Coastal Plain named Carolina Bays. Lake Mattamuskeet is the largest (162 km2; mean depth 1.0 m), and formed when a blowout depression of a parabolic dune flooded 1540-1635 cal yr. BP. The parabolic dune is up to 2.0-m thick, contains sedimentary structures that indicate rapid deposition, and is composed of a coarsening-upward sequence of silt at the base to sandy silt at the top. Below the dune is an 8420-8605 cal yr. BP paleosol, which corresponds to a wet period in the area. The bottom half of the dune deposit contains abundant charcoal beds and laminae dated at ~6600 cal yr. BP, indicating fire was associated with initial formation of the parabolic dune. Middle Holocene climate of the southeast Atlantic coastal plain is not well constrained. Deposition of the eolian dune could be a local response to fire; or indicate a time of reduced effective moisture in the area. Given that pedogenesis on the dune did not initiate until ~2780-2965 cal yr. BP and flooding of the Lake basin did not occur for ~1000 years after that, effective moisture may have been low for approximately 3600 years after initial dune accretion.

  14. 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.

  15. Comparative context of Plio-Pleistocene hominin brain evolution.

    PubMed

    Elton, S; Bishop, L C; Wood, B

    2001-07-01

    One of the distinguishing features of Homo sapiens is its absolutely and relatively large brain. This feature is also seen in less extreme form in some fossil Homo species. However, are increases in brain size during the Plio-Pleistocene only seen in Homo, and is brain enlargement among Plio-Pleistocene primates confined to hominins? This study examines evidence for changes in brain size for species and lineage samples of three synchronic East African fossil primate groups, the two hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus, and the cercopithecoid genus Theropithecus. Hominin endocranial capacity data were taken from the literature, but it was necessary to develop an indirect method for estimating the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Bivariate and multivariate regression equations relating measured endocranial volume to three external cranial dimensions were developed from a large (ca. 340) sample of modern African cercopithecoids. These equations were used to estimate the endocranial volumes of 20 Theropithecus specimens from the African Plio-Pleistocene. Spearman's rho and the Hubert nonparametric test were used to search for evidence of temporal trends in both the hominin and Theropithecus data. Endocranial volume apparently increased over time in both Homo and Paranthropus boisei, but there was no evidence for temporal trends in the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Thus, hypotheses which suggest a mix of environmental, social, dietary, or other factors as catalysts for increasing brain in Plio-Pleistocene primates must accommodate evidence of brain enlargement in both Homo and Paranthropus, and explain why this phenomenon appears to be restricted to hominins.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Beringia vegetation dynamic reconstructions based on a yedoma exposure, Itkillik (Alaska)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapointe Elmrabti, L.; Fortier, D.; Shur, Y.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Talbot, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Itkillik river area in Alaska (69°34‧ N, 150°52‧W), is part of the loosely defined region of Beringia, which was largely unglaciated during the last ice age. Beringia is known to have acted as a refugium for boreal trees and shrubs during the Pleistocene, but questions remain about the environmental history of North-Eastern Beringia, especially the extent and dynamics of the now extinct tundra-steppe biome. The 33-m-high Itkillik river exposure formed over the late Pleistocene / early Holocene (48,000 to 5,000 14C yr BP) and the exposed eolian sediments are largely undisturbed, offering a unique opportunity to examine a long term vegetation sequence in high latitude environment and link the vegetation reconstructions with the sedimentology and cryostratigraphy of the region. Because of the very low concentration of pollen in the sediments, we utilized an extraction method based on heavy-liquid (Sodium Polytungstate (SPT)) separation. Our results show a tundra-steppe vegetation type, characterized by the abundance of cyperacea and graminea taxa. Overall the pollen record of the Itkillik exposure will provide an important point of comparison to other sites localised in the circumpolar circle, especially in Siberia, as yedoma remains one of the most noticeable structures of the cold and dry periglacial environment of the Arctic and subarctic east Siberia. Implications of our findings for local climate reconstructions using pollen-climate transfer functions are discussed.

  19. Continued obliquity pacing of East Asian summer precipitation after the mid-Pleistocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Liu, Fei; Abels, Hemmo A.; You, Chen-Feng; Zhang, Zeke; Chen, Jun; Ji, Junfeng; Li, Laifeng; Li, Le; Liu, Hou-Chun; Ren, Chao; Xia, Renyuan; Zhao, Liang; Zhang, Wenfang; Li, Gaojun

    2017-01-01

    Records from natural archives show that the strength of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) strongly depends on the orbital configuration of the Earth. However, the dominant orbital cycles driving EASM have been found to be spatially different. Speleothem stable oxygen isotopic records from southern China, which are believed to reflect large-scale changes in the Asian monsoon system, are dominated by climatic precession cycles. Further north, on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), loess-and-paleosol sequences, which are argued to be controlled by monsoon intensity, are in pace with global ice volume changes dominated by obliquity, and after the mid-Pleistocene transition by 100-kyr cycles. To understand these critical discrepancies, here we apply a novel proxy based on the trace metal compositions of pedogenic carbonate in the eolian deposits on the CLP to reconstruct summer precipitation over the last 1.5 million years. Our reconstructions show that summer precipitation on the CLP is dominantly forced by obliquity not in pace with the ice-volume-imprinted loess-paleosol sequences before and after the mid-Pleistocene transition or with the precession-paced speleothem oxygen isotopic records. Coupled with climate model results, we suggest that the obliquity-driven variations of summer precipitation may originate from the gradient of boreal insolation that modulates the thermal contrast between the Asian continent and surrounding oceans.

  20. Plant and Microbial Dynamics Along Gradients in Soil Texture and Eolian Dust Accumulation in the Colorado Plateau.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neff, J. C.; Reynolds, R.; Lamothe, P.; Belnap, J.

    2001-12-01

    The canyonlands region of Southwest Utah is made up of soils with a range of textures and chemistries. We have identified three transects of soils that range from high sand to high silt content in order to examine the effect of soil texture and chemistry on plant and microbial dynamics. We also take advantage of new techniques that allow separation of eolian-derived fine soil particles from in situ weathering and erosion products to evaluate the role that dust deposition plays in the chemistry of desert ecosystems. We present results from several studies along these transects including measurements of hydrologic fluxes and comparisons of soil and plant chemistry. We have also carried out experiments on microbial and plant processes along gradients with the aim of linking biological dynamics to variation in surficial chemistry and hydrology. Our initial results indicate that water holding capacity is substantially higher in silts vs. sandy soils but that increases in water availability in sands have a disproportionate effect on soil respiration rates with a more rapid and prolonged response to wetting in sands vs. silts. Comparisons of plant and soil chemistry suggest that plants and soils show similar increases in Mg and Mn concentrations along our textural transects. In addition, native bunch grasses growing in high eolian silt environments show elevated P content in their tissues and may reflect the input of P in eolian deposition. With these studies, we are beginning to build a mechanistic framework for understanding the relationship between eolian deposition and ecosystem response in arid environments.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Stratigraphic and paleomagnetic evidence of mid-Pleistocene rapid deformation and uplift of the NE Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dongliang; Fang, Xiaomin; Song, Chunhui; Dai, Shuang; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Weilin; Miao, Yunfa; Liu, Yongqian; Wang, Jiuyi

    2010-04-01

    The NE Tibetan Plateau has become an important region for deciphering the Cenozoic uplift of the Plateau. Previous studies have verified that the Quaternary uplift in this region had a multi-stage character; however geologists have not established which event constituted the main tectonic phase. Fortunately, stratigraphic and paleomagnetic evidence from the Jiuquan Basin, Gansu Province, China, now confirm that the Laojunmiao Movement (represented as an angular unconformity) occurred between ˜ 0.9 and 0.8 Ma; and an almost synchronous tectonic event has been well recorded within and around the Plateau. Moreover, many proxies indicate that the global climate changed more rapidly after ˜ 0.9 Ma. These proxies include eolian loess and vermiculated red soils caused by the Asian monsoon, the eolian sedimentation rate, the Stilostomella extinction, changes in the global thermohaline circulation, and the increased δ13C values recorded in the marine sediments. Based on the uplift-driven climate change, the mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) could be the result of the Laojunmiao Movement. Certainly, the Laojunmiao Movement and MPT had the significant impact on the Quaternary earth. We conclude that the Laojunmiao Movement was likely the main tectonic phase of the Quaternary Plateau uplift.

  12. Wetland evolution in the Qinghai Lake area, China, in response to hydrodynamic and eolian processes during the past 1100 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Dada; Wünnemann, Bernd; Hu, Yanbo; Frenzel, Peter; Zhang, Yongzhan; Chen, Kelong

    2017-04-01

    The Daotanghe riverine wetland in close proximity to the Qinghai Lake was investigated to demonstrate the interrelationships between Qinghai Lake hydrodynamic processes, eolian mobility and ecological conditions during the past 1100 years in response to climate change. We used ostracod assemblages from various sites east of Qinghai Lake and from the sediment core QW15 of Daotanghe Pond and combined them with grain size and geochemical data from the same core. The statistical extraction of grain size endmembers (EM) revealed three different transportation processes responsible for pond-related fluvio-lacustrine, pure fluvial and eolian deposits. Identified seasonal effects (eolian mobility phase) and timing of ice cover are possible tracers for the competing influence between the Asian summer monsoon and the Westerlies in the Daotanghe Wetland and surrounding area. Our results show that ostracod associations and sediment properties are evidence of a fluvio-lacustrine fresh water environment without ingression of Qinghai Lake into the wetland. Hydrodynamic variations coupled with phases of eolian input indicate highly variable water budgets in response to climate-induced effective moisture supply. The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) until about 1270 CE displays generally moist and warm climate conditions with minor fluctuations, likely in response to variations in summer monsoon intensity. The three-partite period of the Little Ice Age (LIA), shows hydrologically unstable conditions between 1350 and 1530 CE with remarkably colder periods, assigned to a prolonged seasonal ice cover. Pond desiccation and replacement by fluvial deposits occurred between 1530 and 1750 CE, superimposed by eolian deposits. The phase 1730-1900 CE is recorded by the re-occurrence of a pond environment with reduced eolian input. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on ostracod abundances shows similar trends. All three phases of the LIA developed during a weak summer monsoon influence, favoring

  13. 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.

  14. Hominid cranial remains from upper Pleistocene deposits at Aduma, Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Haile-Selassie, Y; Asfaw, B; White, T D

    2004-01-01

    The Upper Pleistocene localities of Aduma and Bouri have yielded hominid fossils and extensive Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological assemblages. The vertebrate fossils recovered include parts of four hominid crania from Aduma and a complete right parietal from Bouri. Archaeological associations and radiometric techniques suggest an Upper Pleistocene age for these hominids. The more complete cranium from Aduma (ADU-VP-1/3) comprises most of the parietals, the occipital, and part of the frontal. This cranium is compared to late Middle and Upper Pleistocene hominid crania from Africa and the Middle East. The Aduma cranium shows a mosaic of cranial features shared with "premodern" and anatomically modern Homo sapiens. However, the posterior and lateral cranial dimensions, and most of its anatomy, are centered among modern humans and resemble specimens from Omo, Skhul, and Qafzeh. As a result, the Aduma and Bouri Upper Pleistocene hominids are assigned to anatomically modern Homo sapiens.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Continuity versus discontinuity of the human settlement of Europe between the late Early Pleistocene and the early Middle Pleistocene. The mandibular evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    One of the most interesting aspects of the settlement of Europe is the possible continuity or discontinuity of the populations living in this continent during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. In this paper we present an analysis of the mandibular fossil record from four important Pleistocene European sites, Gran Dolina-TD6-2 (Sierra de Atapuerca), Mauer, Arago, and Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos. We focus this study in the recognition of key derived mandibular features that may be useful to assess the relationship among the populations represented at these sites. In order to make an approach to the ecological scenario, we also present a short review and discussion of the archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidences at that time. Our results suggest that probably there was a demographic discontinuity between the late Early Pleistocene populations (MIS 21-MIS 19), and those dated to the MIS 15. Hybridization between residents and new settlers cannot be discarded. However, some features of the Gran Dolina-TD6 hominins point to some relationship between the population represented in this site (probably dated to the MIS 21) and the European Middle Pleistocene and early Late Pleistocene populations. A hypothetical scenario is presented in order to understand this apparent contradiction with the model of discontinuity.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The transition on North America from the warm humid Pliocene to the glaciated Quaternary traced by eolian dust deposition at a benchmark North Atlantic Ocean drill site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, David C.; Bailey, Ian; Wilson, Paul A.; Beer, Christopher J.; Bolton, Clara T.; Friedrich, Oliver; Newsam, Cherry; Spencer, Megan R.; Gutjahr, Marcus; Foster, Gavin L.; Cooper, Matthew J.; Milton, J. Andrew

    2014-06-01

    We present Plio-Pleistocene records of sediment color, %CaCO3, foraminifer fragmentation, benthic carbon isotopes (δ13C) and radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb) of the terrigenous component from IODP Site U1313, a reoccupation of benchmark subtropical North Atlantic Ocean DSDP Site 607. We show that (inter)glacial cycles in sediment color and %CaCO3 pre-date major northern hemisphere glaciation and are unambiguously and consistently correlated to benthic oxygen isotopes back to 3.3 million years ago (Ma) and intermittently so probably back to the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. We show these lithological cycles to be driven by enhanced glacial fluxes of terrigenous material (eolian dust), not carbonate dissolution (the classic interpretation). Our radiogenic isotope data indicate a North American source for this dust (˜3.3-2.4 Ma) in keeping with the interpreted source of terrestrial plant wax-derived biomarkers deposited at Site U1313. Yet our data indicate a mid latitude provenance regardless of (inter)glacial state, a finding that is inconsistent with the biomarker-inferred importance of glaciogenic mechanisms of dust production and transport. Moreover, we find that the relation between the biomarker and lithogenic components of dust accumulation is distinctly non-linear. Both records show a jump in glacial rates of accumulation from Marine Isotope Stage, MIS, G6 (2.72 Ma) onwards but the amplitude of this signal is about 3-8 times greater for biomarkers than for dust and particularly extreme during MIS 100 (2.52 Ma). We conclude that North America shifted abruptly to a distinctly more arid glacial regime from MIS G6, but major shifts in glacial North American vegetation biomes and regional wind fields (exacerbated by the growth of a large Laurentide Ice Sheet during MIS 100) likely explain amplification of this signal in the biomarker records. Our findings are consistent with wetter-than-modern reconstructions of North American continental climate under the warm high

  4. Buried Middle Pleistocene ice wedge systems and longterm survival of ancient Yedoma carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froese, D. G.; Jensen, B. J.; Reyes, A.; Poinar, H.; Shapiro, B.; Zazula, G.; Calmels, F.

    2012-12-01

    Deep syngenetic permafrost of Beringia, or the deep Yedoma, hosts a reservoir of at least several hundred Pg of C that has survived through multiple interglaciations at least as warm or warmer than the present interglaciation. Relatively few sites are known across the northern hemisphere to estimate this reservoir, but based on a review of existing data, it appears that this reservoir is largely a feature of the Middle Pleistocene and may not pre-date the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition. Relict polygonal ice-wedge networks associated with syngenetic permafrost are present at four sites in the discontinuous permafrost zone of central Yukon. They are stratigraphically associated with the Gold Run tephra (ca. 700 ka) and other Middle Pleistocene tephra beds, consistent with their normal magnetic polarity and vertebrate fossil assemblages. Soil organic matter content within these deposits is indistinguishable from Late Pleistocene and Holocene organic matter, with organic carbon ranging between 1 and 15% reflecting the depositional context. Plant and vertebrate communities show that the majority of this material accumulated in typical steppe-tundra ecosystems associated with Pleistocene cold stages, similar to late Pleistocene contexts. Where differences are more pronounced, however, is at the molecular scale. Ancient biomolecules show much greater rates of DNA damage reflected by decreases in the obtained plant and bacterial sequence diversity and elevated deamination of the 5 and 3' termini of DNA molecules, characteristic of ancient DNA extracts.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Short-term cycle of eolian dust (Kosa) recorded in Lake Kawaguchi sediments, central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyotani, Tomohiro; Koshimizu, Satoshi; Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    The fluctuation during the last 100 yr of the eolian dust (Kosa aerosol) originating from arid and semi-arid areas of China has been reconstructed by using the sediments from Lake Kawaguchi, central Japan with high temporal resolution. The quantification of Kosa contribution to the sediments was carried out by a new method using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (SEM-EDX) proposed by us. The correlation plot of (Na 2O+K 2O) contents against SiO 2 was used for individual Si-rich particles having SiO 2 content over 80%. The Kosa fraction of Si-rich particles in Lake Kawaguchi sediments during the last 100 yr is approximately 10-30%. The fluctuation of the Kosa fraction during the last 100 yr does not coincide with that of the total amount of Si-rich particles, because detrital components from Japanese igneous rocks control the fluctuation of the total number of Si-rich particles. The discrimination method based on single particle analysis is more effective than that of bulk analysis for the lake sediments formed by complex matrix components. We can first show a short-term (approximately 10-20 yr scale) cycle in Kosa aerosol fluctuation. Higher sedimentation rates (5-10 yr-cm) of the Lake Kawaguchi sediments and the new analytical method using SEM-EDX revealed a remarkable fluctuation pattern of Kosa aerosol, suggesting climate cycles much shorter than glacial-interglacial. Such short-term cycles may be related to sun-spots. The number of days of Kosa events during the last 30 yr, obtained by visual observation by Meteorological Agency of Japan, also supports the presence of such a short-term cycle.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The medial pterygoid tubercle in the Atapuerca Early and Middle Pleistocene mandibles: evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez de Castro, José-María; Quam, Rolf; Martinón-Torres, María; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have attempted to identify the presence of uniquely derived (autoapomorphic) Neandertal features. Here, we deal with the medial pterygoid tubercle (MTP), which is usually present on the internal face of the ascending ramus of Neandertal specimens. Our study stems from the identification of a hypertrophied tubercle in ATD6-96, an Early Pleistocene mandible recovered from the TD6 level of the Atapuerca-Gran Dolina site and attributed to Homo antecessor. Our review of the literature and study of numerous original fossil specimens and high quality replicas confirm that the MTP occurs at a high frequency in Neandertals (ca. 89%) and is also present in over half (ca. 55%) of the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) hominins. In contrast, it is generally absent or minimally developed in other extinct hominins, but can be found in variable frequencies (Pleistocene and recent H. sapiens samples. The presence of this feature in ATD6-96 joins other traits shared by H. antecessor, the SH hominins and Neandertals. Since the TD6 hominins have been attributed either to MIS 21 or to MIS 25, it seems that a suite of assumed derived Neandertal features appeared in the Early Pleistocene, and they should be interpreted as synapomorphies shared among different taxa. We suggest that H. antecessor, the SH hominins and Neandertals shared a common ancestor in which these features appeared during the Early Pleistocene. The presence of the MTP in taxa other than H. neanderthalensis precludes this feature from being a Neandertal autapomorphy.

  20. Empirical Validation of Conceptual Climate Models for the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallatin, A.; Camp, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Conceptual climate models are useful for testing hypotheses regarding the processes underlying observations; but they generally can only qualitatively match the empirical records. Models based on substantially different underlying physics can have comparable correlations with any given observation, thus robust model validation procedures are needed. The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) is an ideal test case for the development of such procedures because the character and cause of the transition from a dominant 41 kyr cycle in the early Pleistocene to a dominant 100 kyr cycle in the late Pleistocene is poorly understood. Using Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition, we analyze multiple conceptual models for the MPT which are based on differing physical hypotheses and show how modern time-series-analysis techniques can improve climate-model validation by extracting and comparing subtler features of both the observations and models.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Pattern of dental development in Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos site (Spain).

    PubMed

    Bermudez De Castro, J M; Rosas, A

    2001-04-01

    . We describe the pattern of dental development of Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). As expected, this pattern is similar to that of modern humans. A delay of development of the lower and upper canines was observed. In contrast, the relative advanced development of the lower second molars and, especially, the upper and lower third molars is noteworthy. This latter feature seems to be common in Pleistocene hominids, and suggests that the pattern of dental development evolved in the genus Homo during the Pleistocene. In European Middle Pleistocene hominids, this pattern probably was facilitated by the extra space available in the mandible and maxilla for developing teeth.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Faith, J Tyler; Surovell, Todd A

    2009-12-08

    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.

  9. Guatemalan forest synthesis after Pleistocene aridity.

    PubMed

    Leyden, B W

    1984-08-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Synchronous extinction of North America's Pleistocene mammals

    PubMed Central

    Faith, J. Tyler; Surovell, Todd A.

    2009-01-01

    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 (≈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. PMID:19934040

  12. The Carolina Sandhills: Quaternary eolian sand sheets and dunes along the updip margin of the Atlantic Coastal Plain province, southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swezey, Christopher; Fitzwater, Bradley A.; Whittecar, G. Richard; Mahan, Shannon; Garrity, Christopher P.; Aleman Gonzalez, Wilma B.; Dobbs, Kerby M.

    2016-01-01

    The Carolina Sandhills is a physiographic region of the Atlantic Coastal Plain province in the southeastern United States. In Chesterfield County (South Carolina), the surficial sand of this region is the Pinehurst Formation, which is interpreted as eolian sand derived from the underlying Cretaceous Middendorf Formation. This sand has yielded three clusters of optically stimulated luminescence ages: (1) 75 to 37 thousand years ago (ka), coincident with growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet; (2) 28 to 18 ka, coincident with the last glacial maximum (LGM); and (3) 12 to 6 ka, mostly coincident with the Younger Dryas through final collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Relict dune morphologies are consistent with winds from the west or northwest, coincident with modern and inferred LGM January wind directions. Sand sheets are more common than dunes because of effects of coarse grain size (mean range: 0.35–0.59 mm) and vegetation. The coarse grain size would have required LGM wind velocities of at least 4–6 m/sec, accounting for effects of colder air temperatures on eolian sand transport. The eolian interpretation of the Carolina Sandhills is consistent with other evidence for eolian activity in the southeastern United States during the last glaciation.

  13. 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

  14. Diagenesis of Eolian and fluvial feldspathic sandstones, Norphlet formation (upper Jurassic), Rankin County, Mississippi, and Mobile County, Alabama

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, E.F.; Land, L.S.; Mack, L.E.

    1987-09-01

    Norphlet sandstones in seven cores from Mississippi and Alabama are arkoses and subarkoses deposited in eolian-dune, interdune, and fluvial environments. Similar to the deeply buried (> 5 km) Tertiary feldspathic sandstones of the Gulf basin, all detrital plagioclase that survived dissolution has been albitized. Fluvial red sandstone lost all initial porosity by the introduction of preburial pedogenic calcite and compaction. Initial porosity of eolian sands was reduced by compaction to an average of 29%; and later by cementation by quartz, carbonates, anhydrite, halite, K-feldspar, and illite. Quartz and anhydrite cements precipitated between 90/sup 0/ and 100/sup 0/C (approximately 2.3 km deep), carbonates and halite cements formed below 120/sup 0/C (< 3 km), and late-stage illite cement formed between 130/sup 0/ and 150/sup 0/C (4-5 km deep). Cements are patchy, and some, especially quartz and anhydrite, are texture-selective, being more abundant in coarser laminae. Secondary porosity, which makes up approximately half the porosity in thin sections, formed by dissolution of detrital grains (feldspar, rock fragments) and cements (anhydrite, carbonate, halite). Reservoir bitumen records an early phase of oil entrapment. Reservoir quality is influenced by the abundance of reservoir bitumen and thread-like illite, both of which bridge pores. Isotopic data suggest that during the first 30 to 40 m.y. of burial, subsurface diagenesis of the Norphlet Formation was dominated by deep-circulating, hot, meteoric water. This phenomenon may be characteristic of the early diagenetic history of rifted basins. 10 figures, 5 tables.

  15. Unraveling North-African riverine and eolian contributions to central Mediterranean sediments during Holocene sapropel S1 formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jiawang; Böning, Philipp; Pahnke, Katharina; Tachikawa, Kazuyo; de Lange, Gert J.

    2016-11-01

    Hydroclimate variability has exerted a fundamental control on the alternating deposition of organic-lean marl and organic-rich sapropel sediments in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS). However, the exact mechanisms regarding the freshwater sources and related changes are still debated. Here, Sr and Nd isotopes and high-resolution elemental data are used to constrain different riverine and eolian supplies to the central Mediterranean over the past 9.8 ka. The detrital sediments in core CP10BC, taken at the margin of the Libyan shelf in the southwestern Ionian Sea, can be described by a three-endmember mixing system based on Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. The same systematics can also be deduced from Ti and K compositional variability. The endmembers comprise: Saharan Dust, Aegean/Nile, and Libyan Soil, representing the eolian supply from North Africa, the riverine inputs from the Aegean/Nile areas, as well as the riverine and shelf-derived fluxes from the Libyan-Tunisian margin, respectively. For the sapropel S1 period in particular, we find important detrital supplies from fossil river/wadi systems along the Libyan-Tunisian margin, activated by intensified African monsoon precipitation. Combining the temporal profiles with the consistent variability observed in the 87Sr/86Sr-1000/Sr diagram, such Libyan contribution has been most prominent during the uppermost period of sapropel S1 in core CP10BC. This observation is in agreement with hydroclimate reconstructions of northwestern Libya. Comparison of the Sr-Nd isotope data between core CP10BC and four cores taken along a west-east transect throughout the EMS shows that this detrital supply originated mainly from western Libya/Tunisia, and was transported as far eastward as ∼25°E while being diluted by an increasing Nile contribution.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Pleistocene effects on North American songbird evolution

    PubMed Central

    Klicka, J.; Zink, R. M.

    1999-01-01

    Recent studies have used comparisons of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence divergence among populations and species to test existing hypotheses about avian evolution during the Pleistocene epoch. In 1998, Avise and Walker concluded that the Pleistocene was an important time for avian evolution, including the initiation of phylogeographic separations and the completion of speciation events that began in the Pliocene. The study implied that these conclusions conflicted with the study, in 1997, by Klicka and Zink, which concluded that most species pairs previously thought to have originated in the past 250 000 years were much older. The two studies are complementary in the sense that Avise and Walker dealt primarily with phylogeographic (intraspecific) separations. Furthermore, Klicka and Zink concentrated on the inception of divergences whereas the Avise and Walker focused on the timing of the completion of speciation. To accomplish this, Avise and Walker analysed 'phylogroups', geographically coherent subsets of biological species in which mtDNA haplotypes exhibit reciprocal monophyly. The study used the average interphylogroup mtDNA distance (0.027), calibrated at 2% per million years, to conclude that speciation required on average one million years to complete. Hence, speciation events begun in the Late Pliocene would have been completed in the mid- to late Pleistocene. Although we appreciate the extended nature of the speciation process and Avise and Walker's insightful attempt to estimate its duration, we conclude that their value was an overestimate by a factor of two. In particular we question whether phylogroups can be used in the novel evolutionary role that Avise and Walker envisioned, because of the vagaries of taxonomic practices and lack of consensus regarding species concepts. To extend their analysis of intraspecific, phylogeographic separations, we compiled previously analysed and newly available data for divergence times for North American songbird

  19. 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.

  20. Human mandibular incisors from the late Middle Pleistocene locality of Hoedjiespunt 1, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Stynder, D D; Moggi-Cecchi, J; Berger, L R; Parkington, J E

    2001-11-01

    The Hoedjiespunt 1 locality is an archaeological and palaeontological site located on the Hoedjiespunt Peninsula at Saldanha Bay, South Africa. In 1996 two human teeth, a left central mandibular incisor and a left lateral mandibular incisor, were discovered during excavations in the late Middle Pleistocene palaeontological layers. These teeth are described and are found to belong to a single subadult individual. Despite their developmental stage, these incisors already display early signs of wear. Their crown diameters are larger than modern and archaeological African comparative material and are most closely comparable with crown diameters of an early Middle Pleistocene and late Middle Pleistocene dental sample from Africa, Europe and Asia. In the light of this metrical evidence, data on two previously excavated maxillary molars, most probably belonging to the same individual, were re-examined. It was found that the Hoedjiespunt 1 hominid possessed dental metrical features (large anterior teeth and small molars) comparable with other African and European hominids referred to the Middle Pleistocene.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Eolian sediments generated by anthropogenic disturbance of playas: human impacts on the geomorphic system and geomorphic impacts on the human system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, Thomas E.

    1996-09-01

    In many of the Earth's arid and semiarid lands, saline lakes, playas, and similar landforms are disturbed as a result of human activity. Diversion and/or consumptive use of surface or groundwaters has created the effect of a climate change in numerous drainage basins, resulting in the desiccation of lakes and reactivation of eolian processes at many locations. Playas are natural sites for extensive eolian activity because of the deposition of clastic and chemical sediments in basins by surface water (via fluvial transport) and groundwater (via efflorescence). Wind erosion and deposition of playa sediments has had a major role in the development of landforms and sedimentary units in the present (lunette fields worldwide; Simpson Desert, Australia) and geological past, from the Triassic (Mercia Mudstone, England) to the Quaternary (Lahontan Basin and Cima Volcanic Field, USA). Anthropogenic disturbance or desiccation of playa systems has resulted in the eolian transport of sand (e.g. Lop Nor, China; Konya Basin, Turkey; Rajasthan, India; Kappakoola, Australia; several sites in West Africa) and/or dust (e.g. Aral Sea, Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan; Old Wives Lake, Canada; Kara Bogaz Gol, (ex-)USSR; Lake Texcoco, Mexico; Owens (dry) Lake, Mono Lake and other playas, USA). Typically, this is accomplished by abstraction of water and/or removal of vegetation from terminal lake basins. An extensive review of the literature documents many examples and/or potential examples of such phenomena in numerous nations. The reactivation of eolian processes from closed basins produces air pollution in the form of fugitive dust (naturally occurring compounds released into the atmosphere by human actions), and has significant environmental and economic impacts on human activities in the surrounding areas. Restoration or mitigation of degraded land on or surrounding playas has been accomplished at Lake Texcoco, Kara Bogaz Gol and the Konya Basin, and is being actively implemented at Mono Lake

  4. 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.

  5. Earthquake-induced soft-sediment deformation structures in Late Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Issyk-Kul lake (Kyrgyzstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladkov, A. S.; Lobova, E. U.; Deev, E. V.; Korzhenkov, A. M.; Mazeika, J. V.; Abdieva, S. V.; Rogozhin, E. A.; Rodkin, M. V.; Fortuna, A. B.; Charimov, T. A.; Yudakhin, A. S.

    2016-10-01

    This paper discusses the composition and distribution of soft-sediment deformation structures induced by liquefaction in Late Pleistocene lacustrine terrace deposits on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake in the northern Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The section contains seven deformed beds grouped in two intervals. Five deformed beds in the upper interval contain load structures (load casts and flame structures), convolute lamination, ball-and-pillow structures, folds and slumps. Deformation patterns indicate that a seismic trigger generated a multiple slump on a gentle slope. The dating of overlying subaerial deposits suggests correlation between the deformation features and strong earthquakes in the Late Pleistocene.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Petrology and K/Ar ages of volcanics dredged from the Eolian seamounts: implications for geodynamic evolution of the southern Tyrrhenian basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beccaluva, L.; Gabbianelli, G.; Lucchini, F.; Rossi, P. L.; Savelli, C.

    1985-07-01

    Systematic marine investigations carried out in the last decade indicate that the Eolian island orogenic volcanism extends to the seamounts located on the western (Sisifo, Enarete, Eolo Seamounts) and the northeastern (Alcione, Lametini Seamounts) sides of the emerged Eolian Island arc, as well as on the upper part of Palinuro and Marsili Seamounts, constituting on the whole a ring-like structure. Basaltic to rhyolitic lava samples dredged from these localities mostly belong to calc-alkaline and shoshonitic associations and are strictly comparable, both in petrographical and geochemical characteristics, to subaerial products outcropping on the Eolian islands. Moreover a few tholeiitic basalts, with island arc affinity, have been recovered for the first time from north Lametini and lowermost Eolian slope. The calc-alkaline magmatic activity appears to date as far back as1.3-0.9 ± 0.2m.y. to the west (Sisifo Seamount) and probably postdates (or is synchronous with) the tholeiitic episodes, whereas the oldest shoshonitic volcanism so far found at Eolo and Enarete Seamounts has an age of 0.85-0.64 ± 0.06m.y. The geochronological data indicate a general trend of within-serial rejuvenation of the volcanism moving counterclockwise from the Sisifo area, as well as a chronological zonation of magmatic products characterized by a rapid transition, within the time span of about 0.1 m.y., to more abundant shoshonitic and leucite-tephritic lavas in limited portions of the structure (Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli). Model calculations based on a large spectrum of incompatible elements indicate that the parental melts of the various magma series could be derived by different partial melting degrees of spinel- to garnet-peridotite mantle sources heterogeneously enriched through the influx of distinct metasomatizing fluids driven off the subduction zone. Subduction reactivation and the related Eolian volcanism appear to be diachronous with respect to the oceanic spreading in the

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Correlation of the Late Pleistocene Usselo Horizon (Europe) and the Clovis Layer (North America)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloosterman, J. B.

    2007-05-01

    In 1940, a dark charcoal-rich layer, 10 to 15cm thick, was found within the Late Pleistocene Coversands of the Netherlands, and named the Usselo Layer (de Laag van Usselo) by its discoverer, archaeologist CCJW Hijszeler (1902-1982). Usselo is a village near Enschedé, a few kilometres from the Dutch-German border. Research started after the war, and publications, both scientific and popular, came forth in the 1950s. By pollen content, the layer was dated to the Alleröd, the last interstadial of the Würm (Wisconsin) glaciation; radiocarbon dating indicated (pre-AMS) dates of about 11,200 14C BP. Identification of the layer at other localities was visual, and it was found in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, and Belarus; it was also found in the UK and in Denmark, in which countries, however, no correlation was made with the other occurrences. Hijszeler had found the layer all over the Netherlands and abroad from Ostende to Hamburg, and he hypothesized the cause as a general wildfire provoked by the eruption of an Eiffel volcano. The European geologists and archaeologists, however, did not adopt his views and interpreted the layer as a paleosol, vitiating the chronology by representing the layer as the result of a long development, instead of as an eolian sediment laid down perhaps in a day or even less that provides us with a sharp marker horizon. The prehistoric Clovis culture of North America was found in the 1930s and dated to the Twocreekan, the last interstadial of the Wisconsin glaciation. The Clovis layer was especially investigated by archaeologist C.Vance Haynes Jr. Visually, the layer is easily identifiable with the Usselo Horizon of Europe. Its stratigraphic position is coincident with the end of the Clovis culture and with the disappearance of the Pleistocene megafauna. In Europe, there is a clear correlation with the sudden demise of the Magdalenian culture, best known for the Franco-Cantabrian cave paintings, and with megafaunal extinctions such as

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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, Heidi 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Gigantopithecus blacki: a giant ape from the Pleistocene of Asia revisited.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yingqi; Harrison, Terry

    2017-01-01

    Gigantopithecus blacki is the largest hominoid that ever lived. The consensus view is that it is a specialized pongine and late-surviving member of the Sivapithecus-Indopithecus lineage. It is known primarily from Early and Middle Pleistocene cave sites in southern China, dating from 2.0 Ma to almost 300 ka. The cause of its extinction in the late Middle Pleistocene is unknown, but ecological change or the arrival of Homo erectus may have been contributing factors. Gigantopithecus is highly specialized in its dentognathic anatomy, with a unique combination of features that distinguish it from all other hominoids. Based on the size of its dentition and mandible, a reasonable estimate of its body mass would be 200-300 kg. There was a progressive increase in dental size from the Early Pleistocene to the Middle Pleistocene, and possibly a shift towards greater complexity of the cheek teeth. Gigantopithecus exhibits a relatively high degree of sexual dimorphism, implying a high level of male-male competition, but the relatively small canines in both sexes suggest that these teeth were not important in agonistic behaviors. The species inhabited a subtropical monsoon forest with a closed canopy and dense understory. Foraging was focused on the forest floor and its diet included a broad range of C3 plants, including fruits, leaves and stems, and possibly tubers. The cheek teeth and jaws were adapted for processing a wide variety of bulky, fibrous, and abrasive food items, but the small incisors indicate that incisal preparation was not an important part of its feeding repertoire.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Pleistocene surface water temperatures in the Benguela upwelling area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Os'kina, N. S.; Dmitrenko, O. B.

    2011-08-01

    Analysis of carbonate microfossils (planktonic foraminifers and nannoplankton) in the DSDP Hole 362 Quaternary section made it possible to specify its zonal subdivision (almost all zones of Gartner's high-resolution nannofossil scale are recognized), establish depositional environments, and restore past surface water temperatures. The latter appeared to be several degrees lower than their present-day values, which is evident from the anomalously high share of the subpolar species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sin. that constitutes 97% of the fossil assemblage in Lower Pleistocene sediments. It is shown that the Benguela upwelling existed throughout the entire Pleistocene, being less intense in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene.

  9. 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.

  10. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration.

    PubMed

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-06

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Late Pleistocene human remains from Wezmeh Cave, western Iran.

    PubMed

    Trinkaus, Erik; Biglari, Fereidoun; Mashkour, Marjan; Monchot, Hervé; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Rougier, Hélène; Heydari, Saman; Abdi, Kamyar

    2008-04-01

    Paleontological analysis of remains from Wezmeh Cave in western Iran have yielded a Holocene Chalcolithic archeological assemblage, a rich Late Pleistocene carnivore faunal assemblage, and an isolated unerupted human maxillary premolar (P(3) or possibly P(4)). Species representation and U-series dating of faunal teeth place the carnivore assemblage during oxygen isotope stages (OIS) 3 and 2, and noninvasive gamma spectrometry dating of the human premolar places it at least as old as early OIS 2. The human premolar crown morphology is not diagnostic of late archaic versus early modern human affinities, but its buccolingual diameter places it at the upper limits of Late Pleistocene human P(3) and P(4) dimensions and separate from a terminal Pleistocene regional sample. Wezmeh Cave therefore provides additional Paleolithic human remains from the Zagros Mountains and further documents Late Pleistocene human association with otherwise carnivore-dominated cave assemblages.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2014-01-07

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2015-09-07

    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.

  4. Pleistocene phylogeographic effects on avian populations and the speciation process.

    PubMed Central

    Avise, J C; Walker, D

    1998-01-01

    Pleistocene biogeographic events have traditionally been ascribed a major role in promoting speciations and in sculpting the present-day diversity and distributions of vertebrate taxa. However, this paradigm has recently come under challenge from a review of interspecific mtDNA genetic distances in birds: most sister-species separations dated to the Pliocene. Here we summarize the literature on intraspecific mtDNA phylogeographic patterns in birds and reinterpret the molecular evidence bearing on Pleistocene influences. At least 37 of the 63 avian species surveyed (59%) are sundered into recognizable phylogeographic units, and 28 of these separations (76%) trace to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, use of phylogroup separation times within species as minimum estimates of 'speciation durations' also indicates that many protracted speciations, considered individually, probably extended through time from Pliocene origins to Pleistocene completions. When avian speciation is viewed properly as an extended temporal process rather than as a point event, Pleistocene conditions appear to have played an active role both in initiating major phylogeographic separations within species, and in completing speciations that had been inaugurated earlier. Whether the Pleistocene was exceptional in these regards compared with other geological times remains to be determined. PMID:9569664

  5. 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.

  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

    2014-12-02

    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. 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

    2014-10-09

    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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Newly recognized Pleistocene human teeth from Tabun Cave, Israel.

    PubMed

    Coppa, Alfredo; Grün, Rainer; Stringer, Chris; Eggins, Stephen; Vargiu, Rita

    2005-09-01

    Seven human teeth from Tabun Cave, Israel, curated at the Natural History Museum London since 1955, are of uncertain provenance and identity. They are all from the upper dentition, without duplications, and are characterized by a similar preservation. The Catalogue of Fossil Hominids (1975) suggested that they might have derived from Tabun Layer A (Bronze Age to Recent). However, one of us (AC) noted some distinctive features of these teeth that warranted further study. They are here assigned to a single individual, Tabun BC7. Their morphology and metrics were then compared with the frequency of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene groups from Europe, North Africa and Middle East. A fragment of the right M3 crown of Tabun BC7 was removed for ESR and U-analysis, and it was determined that only samples from Layer B have similar dose values. Using the sediment dose values of layer B, preliminary age estimates of 82 +/- 14 ka (early U-uptake) and 92+/-18 ka (linear uptake) were obtained. U-series disequilibrium determined from other samples attributed to Layer B resulted in a U-uptake history close to linear uptake, giving a very comparable age estimate of 90(+30)(-16) ka. The dose value previously obtained on an enamel fragment from the Tabun C1 dentition is nearly double the value measured for BC7, and tentative age estimates for C1 were in the range of 143+/-37 ka. However, due to uncertainties in the exact provenance of the human fossils, we cannot confirm that C1 is older than the new tooth sampled here, and both C1 and BC7 can be attributed to Layer B on chronological grounds. On the basis of chronology, dental morphology and metrics, the specimen named Tabun BC7 was identified as a probable Neanderthal.

  14. Extended Late Pleistocene Sea Level Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairbanks, R. G.; Cao, L.; Mortlock, R. A.

    2006-12-01

    Several hundred new closed system 230Th/234U and radiocarbon dates and the addition of more cores and coral samples from the islands of Barbados, Kiritimati and Araki contribute to an enhanced sea level record for the late Pleistocene ranging from the present to 240,000 yrs BP. Application of more rigorous sample screening criteria, including redundant 231Pa/235U dates have resulted in more closed system ages and better sea level resolution. In addition, a multibeam survey has mapped an extensive glacial lowstand reef on a ridge south of Barbados that is capped by a set of pinnacle reefs that grew during the early deglaciation. Among our new observations, the more detailed Barbados sea level record now resolves a Younger Dryas still- stand and a sea level drop between 16,140 and 14,690, overlapping the timing of H1 by some age estimates. The coral ages bracketing melt water pulse 1A have been further refined to 14,082 +/- 28 yrs BP and 13,632 +/- 32 yrs BP (2-sigma). The Isotope Stage 3 interstadial ended with sea level near 87.5 meters below present at 29,500 years ago before dropping to full glacial levels. The last glacial sea level lowstand began as early as 26,000 yrs BP. Extensive dating of Marine Isotope Stage 3 interstadial reefs on the islands of Araki and Barbados have added considerable resolution to this time interval and reliably bracket lowstand intervals separating the interstadials. A new diagenesis model has improved our prospecting success for closed system ages from older reefs and added some critical dates to the sparse closed-system data set for MIS-5 and MIS-7 high stand reefs..

  15. Quaternary fluvial and eolian deposits on the Belan river, India: paleoclimatic setting of Paleolithic to Neolithic archeological sites over the past 85,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibling, M. R.; Sinha, R.; Roy, N. G.; Tandon, S. K.; Jain, M.

    2008-02-01

    Archeological sites in the bedrock Belan Valley at the southern margin of the Ganga Plains of India have unearthed Paleolithic to Neolithic artifacts and the first known evidence for rice cultivation. We present a sedimentological and paleoclimatic analysis for Belan sections, incorporating new luminescence and radiocarbon dates and a compilation of previous research. Some 20 m of strata are exposed in fluvial terraces, commencing with pedogenic and channel calcretes linked to groundwater ponding on the underlying bedrock. Overlying alluvium deposited from mixed-load meandering rivers yields dates between 85±11 and 72±8 kyr before present (BP), implying sustained fluvial activity during Marine Isotope Stage 5 and later; these strata contain Middle Paleolithic artifacts. Thin reworked gravels with Upper Paleolithic artifacts are dated at ˜21-31 kyr BP, and may represent declining alluviation and floodplain gully erosion during reduced monsoonal activity around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Younger channel fills contain shell-rich eolian sand, and mounds of shelly sand lie inland from the river. Five OSL dates from the sands span 14 to 7 kyr BP, corresponding to a period of climatic instability that includes the Younger Dryas as the monsoon intensified following the LGM. Although suggesting more arid phases, the source-bordering eolian material has a small volume and the grains are partially bleached, indicating local wind action. Overlying floodplain muds reflect renewed alluviation, after which the river incised during peak monsoon flow. The Mesolithic settlement of Chopani-Mando spans a period of reduced monsoon activity and climatic instability following the LGM. Subsequent Neolithic settlements were probably established under stronger monsoon conditions suitable for the development of agriculture. Mesolithic habitation may have ended when a nearby bedrock channel was abandoned as the reinvigorated Belan cut a new course, along which Neolithic settlements

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Sea level and diagenesis: a case study on Pleistocene beaches, Whalebone Bay, Bermuda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollbrecht, R.; Meischner, D.

    1993-07-01

    Pleistocene fluctuations of sea level have left marine and aeolian limestones intercalated with glacial red soils on the Bermuda Carbonate Platform (Atlantic, 64°50'W, 32°20'N). Successive eustatic highstands of similar amplitude drowned the tectonically stable platform and piled up similar sets of sediments. Up to three Pleistocene beaches are stacked in shorelines sections. Post-depositional diagenetic histories of these beaches can be linked to repeated changes in sea level and pore waters. This paper presents field evidence and petrographic results (microscope, X-ray, cathodoluminescence, SEMEDAX) for the diagenetic histories of two superimposed Pleistocene beaches in Whalebone Bay, Bermuda North Shore. The younger beach was deposited during isotopic stage 5e, about 120 ka ago. The age of the older beach may be isotopic stage 9 or older. Diagenesis drastically altered the older beach before the stage 5e transgression. Primary high-Mg calcite (HMC) and aragonite were no longer present. Marine skeletal grains were instead leached or recrystallized to low-Mg calcite (LMC). Primary and secondary pore space were largely reduced by LMC cement. Lines of needle relics reminiscent of marine aragonite cement occur as inclusions within syntaxial rim cements around echinoderm grains, indicating that a marine influence had at least once interrupted this period of freshwater alteration. Finally, before the rocks became buried by the sediments of the younger beach, a crust of marine, bladed HMC cement was precipitated throughout the pore space. The younger beach consists of skeletal grains that are, apart from the effects of non-selective dissolution, essentially unaltered. The sediments are only weakly lithified by cryptocrystalline LMC showing an alveolar texture, tangential fibres and other features characteristic of calichification. A younger post-depositional marine influence is not recorded. These results suggest that, under favourable conditions, diagenetic processes

  1. 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

  2. The Pleistocene-Holocene Unconformity in California Prehistory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, T. L.

    2007-05-01

    The earliest archaeological record from California shows a dramatic unconformity or cultural hiatus between the terminal Pleistocene and the early Holocene. Clovis-like fluted projectile points which mark initial human colonization ca. 13,300-12,900 cal BP, are relatively common and have been found throughout the state, but almost exclusively as isolates. Early Holocene sites are abundant as well, particularly on the coast where at least 23 deposits show occupation as old as ca. 10,000-9000-cal BP. Only one of these, Daisy Cave, extends back into the terminal Pleistocene, but the remainder mark occupations that began only at the onset of the Holocene. There are almost no archaeological sites in California that date between 12,900 and 10,300 cal BP or that exhibit superimposed terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene components. This pattern is consistent with a significant disruptive event during the Younger-Dryas.

  3. 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

    2015-08-07

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Pliocene -Pleistocene geomorphological evolution of the Adriatic side of Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentili, Bernardino; Pambianchi, Gilberto; Aringoli, Domenico; Materazzi, Marco; Giacopetti, Marco

    2017-02-01

    This work is a significant contribution to knowledge of the Quaternary and pre-Quaternary morphogenesis of a wide sector of central Italy, from the Apennine chain to the Adriatic Sea. The goal is achieved through a careful analysis and interpretation of stratigraphic and tectonic data relating to marine and continental sediments and, mostly, through the study of relict limbs of ancient landscapes (erosional surfaces shaped by prevailing planation processes). The most important scientific datum is the definition of the time span in which the modelling of the oldest morphological element (the "summit relict surface") occurred: it started during Messinian in the westernmost portion and after a significant phase during middle-late Pliocene, ended in the early Pleistocene. During the middle and late Pleistocene, the rapid tectonic uplift of the area and the climate fluctuations favoured the deepening of the hydrographic network and the genesis of three orders of fluvial terraces, thus completing the fundamental features of the landscape. The subsequent Holocene evolution reshaped the minor elements, but not the basic ones.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Speciation of Iberian diving beetles in Pleistocene refugia (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae).

    PubMed

    Ribera, Ignacio; Vogler, Alfried P

    2004-01-01

    The Mediterranean basin is an area of high diversity and endemicity, but the age and origin of its fauna are still largely unknown. Here we use species-level phylogenies based on approximately 1300 base pairs of the genes 16S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase I to establish the relationships of 27 of the 34 endemic Iberian species of diving beetles in the family Dytiscidae, and to investigate their level of divergence. Using a molecular clock approach, 18-19 of these species were estimated to be of Pleistocene origin, with four to six of them from the Late Pleistocene ( approximately 100 000 years). A second, lower speciation frequency peak was assigned to Late Miocene or Early Pliocene. Analysis of the distributional ranges showed that endemic species placed in the tip nodes of the trees are significantly more likely to be allopatric with their sisters than endemic species at lower node levels. Allopatric sister species are also significantly younger than sympatric clades, in agreement with an allopatric mode of speciation and limited subsequent range movement. These results strongly suggest that for some taxa Iberian populations were isolated during the Pleistocene long enough to speciate, and apparently did not expand their ranges to recolonize areas north of the Pyrenees. This is in contradiction to observations from fossil beetles in areas further north, which document large range movements associated with the Pleistocene glacial cycles hypothesized to suppress population isolation and allopatric speciation.

  15. 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.

  16. Global deep-sea extinctions during the Pleistocene ice ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayward, Bruce W.

    2001-07-01

    The dark, near-freezing environment of the deep oceans is regarded as one of the most stable habitats on Earth, and this stability is generally reflected in the slow turnover rates (extinctions and appearances) of the organisms that live there. By far the best fossil record of deep-sea organisms is provided by the shells of benthic foraminifera (Protista). A little-known global extinction of deep-sea benthic foraminifera occurred during the Pleistocene ice ages. In the southwest Pacific, it caused the disappearance of at least two families, 15 genera, and 48 species (˜15% 25% of the fauna) of dominantly uniserial, elongate foraminifera with distinctive apertural modifications. These forms progressively died back and became extinct during glacial periods in the late Pliocene to middle Pleistocene (ca. 2.5 0.6 Ma); most extinctions occurred between 1.0 and 0.6 Ma, at the time of the middle Pleistocene climatic revolution. This first high-resolution study of this extinction event indicates that it was far more significant for deep-sea diversity loss than previously reported (10 species). The middle Pleistocene extinction was the most dramatic last phase of a worldwide decline in the abundance of these elongate forms, a phase that began during cooling near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary and continued during the middle Miocene. Clearly these taxa declined when the world cooled, but the reason is yet to be resolved.

  17. Ecological change, range fluctuations and population dynamics during the Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael; Stewart, John

    2009-07-28

    Apart from the current human-induced climate change, the Holocene is notable for its stable climate. In contrast, the preceding age, the Pleistocene, was a time of intensive climatic fluctuations, with temperature changes of up to 15 degrees C occurring within a few decades. These climatic changes have substantially influenced both animal and plant populations. Until recently, the prevailing opinion about the effect of these climatic fluctuations on species in Europe was that populations survived glacial maxima in southern refugia and that populations died out outside these refugia. However, some of the latest studies of modern population genetics, the fossil record and especially ancient DNA reveal a more complex picture. There is now strong evidence for additional local northern refugia for a large number of species, including both plants and animals. Furthermore, population genetic analyses using ancient DNA have shown that genetic diversity and its geographical structure changed more often and in more unpredictable ways during the Pleistocene than had been inferred. Taken together, the Pleistocene is now seen as an extremely dynamic era, with rapid and large climatic fluctuations and correspondingly variable ecology. These changes were accompanied by similarly fast and sometimes dramatic changes in population size and extensive gene flow mediated by population movements. Thus, the Pleistocene is an excellent model case for the effects of rapid climate change, as we experience at the moment, on the ecology of plants and animals.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2011-06-07

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Macroecological analyses support an overkill scenario for late Pleistocene extinctions.

    PubMed

    Diniz-Filho, J A F

    2004-08-01

    The extinction of megafauna at the end of Pleistocene has been traditionally explained by environmental changes or overexploitation by human hunting (overkill). Despite difficulties in choosing between these alternative (and not mutually exclusive) scenarios, the plausibility of the overkill hypothesis can be established by ecological models of predator-prey interactions. In this paper, I have developed a macroecological model for the overkill hypothesis, in which prey population dynamic parameters, including abundance, geographic extent, and food supply for hunters, were derived from empirical allometric relationships with body mass. The last output correctly predicts the final destiny (survival or extinction) for 73% of the species considered, a value only slightly smaller than those obtained by more complex models based on detailed archaeological and ecological data for each species. This illustrates the high selectivity of Pleistocene extinction in relation to body mass and confers more plausibility on the overkill scenario.

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of Pleistocene mammoth Mammuthus primigenius.

    PubMed

    Rogaev, Evgeny I; Moliaka, Yuri K; Malyarchuk, Boris A; Kondrashov, Fyodor A; Derenko, Miroslava V; Chumakov, Ilya; Grigorenko, Anastasia P

    2006-03-01

    Phylogenetic relationships between the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), and the Asian (Elephas maximus) and African savanna (Loxodonta africana) elephants remain unresolved. Here, we report the sequence of the complete mitochondrial genome (16,842 base pairs) of a woolly mammoth extracted from permafrost-preserved remains from the Pleistocene epoch--the oldest mitochondrial genome sequence determined to date. We demonstrate that well-preserved mitochondrial genome fragments, as long as approximately 1,600-1700 base pairs, can be retrieved from pre-Holocene remains of an extinct species. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Elephantinae clade suggests that M. primigenius and E. maximus are sister species that diverged soon after their common ancestor split from the L. africana lineage. Low nucleotide diversity found between independently determined mitochondrial genomic sequences of woolly mammoths separated geographically and in time suggests that north-eastern Siberia was occupied by a relatively homogeneous population of M. primigenius throughout the late Pleistocene.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-09

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations.

    PubMed

    Huybers, Peter; Wunsch, Carl

    2005-03-24

    The 100,000-year timescale in the glacial/interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene epoch (the past approximately 700,000 years) is commonly attributed to control by variations in the Earth's orbit. This hypothesis has inspired models that depend on the Earth's obliquity (approximately 40,000 yr; approximately 40 kyr), orbital eccentricity (approximately 100 kyr) and precessional (approximately 20 kyr) fluctuations, with the emphasis usually on eccentricity and precessional forcing. According to a contrasting hypothesis, the glacial cycles arise primarily because of random internal climate variability. Taking these two perspectives together, there are currently more than thirty different models of the seven late-Pleistocene glacial cycles. Here we present a statistical test of the orbital forcing hypothesis, focusing on the rapid deglaciation events known as terminations. According to our analysis, the null hypothesis that glacial terminations are independent of obliquity can be rejected at the 5% significance level, whereas the corresponding null hypotheses for eccentricity and precession cannot be rejected. The simplest inference consistent with the test results is that the ice sheets terminated every second or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity, similar to the original proposal by Milankovitch. We also present simple stochastic and deterministic models that describe the timing of the late-Pleistocene glacial terminations purely in terms of obliquity forcing.

  4. Combined obliquity and precession pacing of late Pleistocene deglaciations.

    PubMed

    Huybers, Peter

    2011-12-08

    Milankovitch proposed that Earth resides in an interglacial state when its spin axis both tilts to a high obliquity and precesses to align the Northern Hemisphere summer with Earth's nearest approach to the Sun. This general concept has been elaborated into hypotheses that precession, obliquity or combinations of both could pace deglaciations during the late Pleistocene. Earlier tests have shown that obliquity paces the late Pleistocene glacial cycles but have been inconclusive with regard to precession, whose shorter period of about 20,000 years makes phasing more sensitive to timing errors. No quantitative test has provided firm evidence for a dual effect. Here I show that both obliquity and precession pace late Pleistocene glacial cycles. Deficiencies in time control that have long stymied efforts to establish orbital effects on deglaciation are overcome using a new statistical test that focuses on maxima in orbital forcing. The results are fully consistent with Milankovitch's proposal but also admit the possibility that long Southern Hemisphere summers contribute to deglaciation.

  5. Early Pleistocene occurrence of Acheulian technology in North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xingwen; Ao, Hong; Dekkers, Mark J.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Zhang, Peng; Lin, Shan; Huang, Weiwen; Hou, Yamei; Zhang, Weihua; An, Zhisheng

    2017-01-01

    Acheulian tools with their associated level of cognizance heralded a major threshold in the evolution of hominin technology, culture and behavior. Thus, unraveling occurrence ages of Acheulian technology across different regions worldwide constitutes a key aspect of understanding the archeology of early human evolution. Here we present a magneto-cyclochronology for the Acheulian assemblage from Sanmenxia Basin, Loess Plateau, North China. Our results place a sequence of stable normal and reversed paleomagnetic polarities within a regional lithostratigraphic context. The Acheulian assemblage is dated to be older than the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary at 0.78 Ma, and is found in strata that are probably equivalent to a weak paleosol subunit within loess layer L9 in the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence, which corresponds to marine isotope stage (MIS) 23, a relatively subdued interglacial period with age range of ∼0.89-0.92 Ma. This age of ∼0.9 Ma implies that Acheulian stone tools were unambiguously present in North China during the Early Pleistocene. It distinctly enlarges the geographic distribution of Acheulian technology and brings its occurrence in North China back into the Early Pleistocene, which is contemporaneous with its first emergence in Europe. Combined with other archeological records, the larger area over which Acheulian technology existed in East Asia during the terminal Early Pleistocene has important implications for understanding early human occupation of North China.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Assessing the impact of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brault, Marc-Olivier; Mysak, Lawrence; Damon Matthews, H.; Simmons, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked a turning point for the Earth system as the climate gradually emerged from millennia of severe glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. It is widely known that the deglacial climate change was accompanied by an unprecedented decline in many species of large terrestrial mammals, featuring among others the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to an herbivorous diet that involved the grazing of a large number of trees, their extinction is thought to have contributed to the rapid and well-documented expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, which in turn could have affected the surface albedo of Northern Continents, and contributed to the changing climate of the period. In this study, we use the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) to simulate the possible effects of megafaunal extinctions on Pleistocene climate change. We have introduced various hypothetical scenarios of megafaunal extinctions ranging from catastrophic to more realistic cases, in order to quantify their potential impact on climate via the associated biogeophysical effects of expanding vegetation on regional and global temperature. In particular, we focus our attention on a Maximum Impact Scenario (MIS), which represents the greatest possible post-extinction reforestation in the model. The more realistic experiments include sensitivity tests based on the timing of extinction, the amount of tree clearance associated with mammoth diets, and the size of mammoth habitats. We also show the results of a simulation with free (non-prescribed) atmospheric CO2. For the most extreme extinction scenario, we obtained a surface albedo increase of 0.006, which resulted in a global warming of 0.175°C. Less extreme scenarios produced smaller global mean temperature changes, though local warming in some locations exceeded 0.3°C even in the more realistic extinction scenarios. In the simulation with freely evolving atmospheric CO2

  10. 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

  11. Possible Global Distribution of Reduced Carbon in Surface Sediments on Mars: Evidence from Volatiles Released from the Rocknest Eolian Drift, Gale Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eigenbrode, J. L.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Sutter, B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.; McAdam, A.; Summons, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Rocknest eolian drift sediments were pyrolyzed in the Science Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover, yielding a small, discrete peak of C1-C3 volatiles, which were detected by direct mass spectrometry. This peak was observed to have a maximum intensity at ~820°C in all four evolved gas analysis (EGA) experiments of the scooped and sieved (to ≤ 150 mm) Rocknest sediment, though it is strongest in the second and third analyses. It was not observed in any blanks or subsequent samples of drilled rocks. Estimates of the total reduced carbon concentration are 16 ± 4 ppm carbon by weight in the sample. Evolved gas analysis does not support definitive identification of trace molecules in gas mixtures, however the masses that define the observed peak are consistent with primarily CO2 (oxidized carbon phase; 9 ± 2 ppmw carbon ) and CO, with 1-2 orders of magnitude less C1-3 hydrocarbons. The observed mass composition and temperature of evolution for the Rocknest-820°C peak are suggestive of reduced carbon in a refractory state within the sample and inconsistent with reaction products that one might expect from terrestrial organic materials that are part of SAM's background. These carbon volatiles are most likely released from inclusions or decrepitating minerals and this entrapment may be responsible for their preservation after significant exposure to ionizing radiation and mechanical weathering. Detection of these volatiles indicates reduced carbon phases are present in some Martian surface sediment. Carbon concentrations for Rocknest are within the range reported for magmatic carbon in Martian meteorites and the composition is comparable to volatiles released from terrestrial basaltic glasses. The Rocknest drift deposit is considered representative of the global dust on Mars. The very-high-temperature volatile release from Rocknest implies a possible global distribution of reduced carbon on the Martian surface. The National Aeronautics and

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Latest Early Pleistocene wolf-like canids from the Iberian Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartolini Lucenti, Saverio; Alba, David M.; Rook, Lorenzo; Moyà-Solà, Salvador; Madurell-Malapeira, Joan

    2017-04-01

    Several species of the genus Canis (Carnivora: Canidae) have been recorded from the European Early Pleistocene, but the phylogenetic relationships among them and in relation to extant members of this genus are still unclear. This is particularly true for the medium-sized and wolf-like extinct species Canis mosbachensis. It has been considered by many researchers as a descendant of the larger Canis etruscus and as a likely putative ancestor of extant wolves (Canis lupus). Other scholars, in contrast, have advocated instead for a closer relationship between C. mosbachensis and the extinct Canis arnensis, and even a close relationship between C. mosbachensis and C. lupus has been questioned. Here we describe the previously unpublished medium-sized Canis remains from the late Early Pleistocene site of Vallparadís Estació, along with additional new Canis material from the roughly coeval site of Cueva Victoria (both in the Iberian Peninsula), and compare them qualitatively and morphometrically with both extant and extinct species of this genus. The described material most closely resembles in craniodental size and shape the remains from Central and Southern Europe that have been previously assigned to C. mosbachensis, to which they are hence formally attributed. The excellent preservation of the newly described specimens (which include the most complete skull of this taxon) enables the description of features previously unknown for this species, which further support a close phylogenetic link with living wolves. Based on the described material, we review the role played by C. mosbachensis in the evolutionary history of European fossil canids, and conclude that this extinct species is most closely related to C. lupus and other closely-allied species, such as Canis anthus and Canis latrans.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Lidar and Luminescence Dating Analysis of Latest Pleistocene-Holocene Slip Rates on the Awatere fault at Saxton River, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinke, R. W.; Dolan, J. F.; Van Dissen, R. J.; McGuire, C. P.; Rhodes, E. J.; Hatem, A. E.; Grenader, J.; Langridge, R.

    2015-12-01

    We use high-resolution lidar imagery and luminescence dating to constrain incremental Holocene-late Pleistocene slip rates at the well-known Saxton River site along the Awatere fault, which is a primary fault in the Marlborough Fault System, South Island, New Zealand. Previous studies examining the ages and displacements of offset fluvial terraces and bedrock features at the Saxton River site suggest that slip rates along the Awatere fault have been highly variable since ~16 ka, exhibiting rates as low as ~3 mm/yr and as fast ~13 mm/yr, with an average of ~6 mm/yr (e.g., Mason et al., 2006). Mapping on high-resolution lidar topographic data and additional field surveys yield revised measurements of the five fluvial terrace risers and bedrock ridge that have been offset by the Awatere fault at the Saxton River site. Improved dating of those geomorphic features provided by post-IR50-IRSL225 luminescence ages allows us to more accurately constrain the incremental slip rates recorded at this site. Preliminary results suggest that the slip rate during latest Pleistocene-Holocene time has indeed varied considerably over millennial timescales. This study is part of a broader effort aimed at determining incremental slip rates and paleo-earthquake ages and displacements from all four main Marlborough faults. Collectively, these data will allow us to determine how the Marlborough system faults have worked together during the Holocene-late Pleistocene to accommodate plate-boundary deformation in time and space.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Pleistocene extinction of genyornis newtoni: human impact on australian megafauna

    PubMed

    Miller; Magee; Johnson; Fogel; Spooner; McCulloch; Ayliffe

    1999-01-08

    More than 85 percent of Australian terrestrial genera with a body mass exceeding 44 kilograms became extinct in the Late Pleistocene. Although most were marsupials, the list includes the large, flightless mihirung Genyornis newtoni. More than 700 dates onGenyornis eggshells from three different climate regions document the continuous presence of Genyornis from more than 100,000 years ago until their sudden disappearance 50,000 years ago, about the same time that humans arrived in Australia. Simultaneous extinction of Genyornis at all sites during an interval of modest climate change implies that human impact, not climate, was responsible.

  10. Pleistocene human footprints from the Willandra Lakes, Southeastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Webb, Steve; Cupper, Matthew L; Robins, Richard

    2006-04-01

    Human and other hominid fossil footprints provide rare but important insights into anatomy and behavior. Here we report recently discovered fossil trackways of human footprints from the Willandra Lakes region of western New South Wales, Australia. Optically dated to between 19-23 ka and consisting of at least 124 prints, the trackways form the largest collection of Pleistocene human footprints in the world. The prints were made by adults, adolescents, and children traversing the moist surface of an ephemeral soak. This site offers a unique glimpse of humans living in the arid inland of Australia at the height of the last glacial period.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Exceptional body sizes but typical trophic structure in a Pleistocene food web.

    PubMed

    Segura, Angel M; Fariña, Richard A; Arim, Matías

    2016-05-01

    In this study, we focused on the exceptionally large mammals inhabiting the Americas during the Quaternary period and the paramount role of body size in species ecology. We evaluated two main features of Pleistocene food webs: the relationship between body size and (i) trophic position and (ii) vulnerability to predation. Despite the large range of species sizes, we found a hump-shaped relationship between trophic position and body size. We also found a negative trend in species vulnerability similar to that observed in modern faunas. The largest species lived near the boundary of energetic constraints, such that any shift in resource availability could drive these species to extinction. Our results reinforce several features of megafauna ecology: (i) the negative relationship between trophic position and body size implies that large-sized species were particularly vulnerable to changes in energetic support; (ii) living close to energetic imbalance could favour the incorporation of additional energy sources, for example, a transition from a herbivorous to a scavenging diet in the largest species (e.g. Megatherium) and (iii) the interactions and structure of Quaternary megafauna communities were shaped by similar forces to those shaping modern fauna communities.

  16. Pleistocene Lake Bonneville and Eberswalde Crater of Mars: Quantitative Methods for Recognizing Poorly Developed Lacustrine Shorelines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewell, P. W.

    2014-12-01

    The ability to quantify shoreline features on Earth has been aided by advances in acquisition of high-resolution topography through laser imaging and photogrammetry. Well-defined and well-documented features such as the Bonneville, Provo, and Stansbury shorelines of Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville are recognizable to the untrained eye and easily mappable on aerial photos. The continuity and correlation of lesser shorelines must rely quantitative algorithms for processing high-resolution data in order to gain widespread scientific acceptance. Using Savitsky-Golay filters and the geomorphic methods and criteria described by Hare et al. [2001], minor, transgressive, erosional shorelines of Lake Bonneville have been identified and correlated across the basin with varying degrees of statistical confidence. Results solve one of the key paradoxes of Lake Bonneville first described by G. K. Gilbert in the late 19th century and point the way for understanding climatically driven oscillations of the Last Glacial Maximum in the Great Basin of the United States. Similar techniques have been applied to the Eberswalde Crater area of Mars using HRiSE DEMs (1 m horizontal resolution) where a paleolake is hypothesized to have existed. Results illustrate the challenges of identifying shorelines where long term aeolian processes have degraded the shorelines and field validation is not possible. The work illustrates the promises and challenges of indentifying remnants of a global ocean elsewhere on the red planet.

  17. Pleistocene tectonic accretion of the continental slope off Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Silver, E.A.

    1972-01-01

    Interpretation of reflection profiles across the Washington continental margin suggests deformation of Cascadia basin strata against the continental slope. Individual reflecting horizons can be traced across the slope-basin boundary. The sense of offset along faults on the continental slope is predominantly, but not entirely, west side up. Two faults of small displacement are seen to be west-dipping reverse faults. Magnetic anomalies on the Juan de Fuca plate can be traced 40-100 km eastward under the slope, and structural interpretation combined with calculated rates of subduction suggests that approximately 50 km of the outer continental slope may have been formed in Pleistocene time. Rocks of Pleistocene age dredge from a ridge exposing acoustic "basement" on the slope, plus the results of deep-sea drilling off northern Oregon, are consistent with this interpretation. The question of whether or not subduction is occurring at present is unresolved because significant strain has not affected the upper 200 m of section in the Cascadia basin. However, deformation of the outer part of the slope has been episodic and may reflect episodic yield, deposition rate, subduction rate, or some combination of these factors. ?? 1972.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal)

    PubMed Central

    Daura, Joan; Sanz, Montserrat; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Hoffmann, Dirk L.; Quam, Rolf M.; Ortega, María Cruz; Santos, Elena; Gómez, Sandra; Rubio, Angel; Villaescusa, Lucía; Souto, Pedro; Mauricio, João; Rodrigues, Filipa; Ferreira, Artur; Godinho, Paulo; Trinkaus, Erik

    2017-01-01

    The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH), and Swanscombe, dating to 400–500 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11–12). The Atapuerca (SH) fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis, or to a subspecies of Homo erectus. A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 390–436 ka provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins. This cranium is represented by most of the right half of a calvarium (with the exception of the missing occipital bone) and a fragmentary right maxilla preserving part of the nasal floor and two fragmentary molars. The combination of traits in the Aroeira 3 cranium augments the previously documented diversity in the European Middle Pleistocene fossil record. PMID:28289213

  1. New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Daura, Joan; Sanz, Montserrat; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Hoffmann, Dirk L; Quam, Rolf M; Ortega, María Cruz; Santos, Elena; Gómez, Sandra; Rubio, Angel; Villaescusa, Lucía; Souto, Pedro; Mauricio, João; Rodrigues, Filipa; Ferreira, Artur; Godinho, Paulo; Trinkaus, Erik; Zilhão, João

    2017-03-28

    The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH), and Swanscombe, dating to 400-500 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11-12). The Atapuerca (SH) fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis, or to a subspecies of Homo erectus A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 390-436 ka provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins. This cranium is represented by most of the right half of a calvarium (with the exception of the missing occipital bone) and a fragmentary right maxilla preserving part of the nasal floor and two fragmentary molars. The combination of traits in the Aroeira 3 cranium augments the previously documented diversity in the European Middle Pleistocene fossil record.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Plio-Pleistocene Biogenic Opal Deposition in the Southern Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, G.; Gersonde, R.

    2002-12-01

    About 2/3 of the annual supply of silicic acid to the World Ocean is buried in the Southern Ocean as biogenic silica (BSi), formed by diatoms and radiolaria in surface waters and exported to the seafloor. Main BSi accumulation occurs in an area between the sea ice edge and the Polar Front Zone and seems to be steered by a complex interaction of biological and physical parameters governing the modern Southern Ocean ecosystem. Sediment cores recovered during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 177 and expeditions with RV POLARSTERN reveal the history of the opal deposition in the Atlantic and Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean during the Pliocene and the Pleistocene. This period is characterized by distinct changes and variability in global climate and ocean circulation that can be related to the spatial-temporal distribution of BSi deposition on long and short time scales. Changes in ocean circulation, water mass structure, sea ice and climatic variability that impact the distribution of silicic acid and the development of coarsly silicified diatoms (e.g. Actinocyclus ingens, Thalassiosira antarctica, Fragilariopsis kerguelensis), presenting the major carriers of biogenic opal, control past BSi deposition in the Southern Ocean. Major deposition in the area of the modern Southern Ocean opal belt starts at the Plio/Pleistocene transition. Such strong export of BSi and related organic carbon might have reinforced the trend of global cooling observed since the Mid-Pliocene climate optimum.

  5. 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.

  6. Asynchronous demographic responses to Pleistocene climate change in Eastern Nearctic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Burbrink, Frank T; Chan, Yvonne L; Myers, Edward A; Ruane, Sara; Smith, Brian Tilston; Hickerson, Michael J

    2016-12-01

    Pleistocene climatic cycles altered species distributions in the Eastern Nearctic of North America, yet the degree of congruent demographic response to the Pleistocene among codistributed taxa remains unknown. We use a hierarchical approximate Bayesian computational approach to test if population sizes across lineages of snakes, lizards, turtles, mammals, birds, salamanders and frogs in this region expanded synchronously to Late Pleistocene climate changes. Expansion occurred in 75% of 74 lineages, and of these, population size trajectories across the community were partially synchronous, with coexpansion found in at least 50% of lineages in each taxonomic group. For those taxa expanding outside of these synchronous pulses, factors related to when they entered the community, ecological thresholds or biotic interactions likely condition their timing of response to Pleistocene climate change. Unified timing of population size change across communities in response to Pleistocene climate cycles is likely rare in North America.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. A calendar chronology for Pleistocene mammoth and horse extinction in North America based on Bayesian radiocarbon calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, Caitlin E.; Bard, Edouard

    2007-09-01

    Recent debate about the timing of late Pleistocene extinctions in North America has taken place on the radiocarbon timescale. Since the current internationally agreed radiocarbon calibration curve (known as IntCal04) extends back well into the Pleistocene, it is possible to make inferences on the calendar scale. To do so requires some fairly sophisticated, tailored statistical tools, to allow for (a) the presence of considerable uncertainty on individual radiocarbon ages and on the IntCal04 estimate, and (b) the inevitable incompleteness of our access to the fossil record. In this paper we demonstrate Bayesian radiocarbon calibration software, known as BCal, which implements models with both of these features, is tried and tested within the archaeology research community, but has not previously been used by those engaged in extinction research. We conclude that the extinction of horse ( Equus ferus/caballus) in Alaska and Yukon is broadly contemporary with the arrival of humans in the area and took place at around 14,200 cal BP. We find that the extinction of mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius) in the same region occurred around 900 calendar years later (c. 13,300 cal BP). We also establish, with high probability, that the start of the Bölling warm phase occurred before these events and that the start of the Younger Dryas cold phase occurred after.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Late Pleistocene and Holocene groundwater recharge from the chloride mass balance method and chlorine-36 data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chen; Winterle, James R.; Love, Erica I.

    2003-07-01

    The chloride mass balance (CMB) method for estimating groundwater recharge is economic and effective, provided that the hydrological conditions for its applications are met and the modeling parameters are known. However, modeling parameters such as precipitation and Cl- deposition rates vary temporally, most notably as a result of the climatic changes from late Pleistocene to Holocene. The temporal variability of atmospheric Cl- input and annual precipitation were considered in this study by using a discrete steady state CMB model with different parameters for late Pleistocene and Holocene. Cl- deposition rates, estimated from 36Cl data, were lower in late Pleistocene than Holocene at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, but higher in late Pleistocene than Holocene at Black Mesa, Arizona. Paleoclimate proxies at both Yucca Mountain and Black Mesa point to higher precipitation rates in late Pleistocene than Holocene. The resulting average recharge estimates for Black Mesa are 9 ± 5 mm/yr for Holocene and 35 ± 22 mm/yr for late Pleistocene. Local recharge rates at Yucca Mountain were estimated from the 36Cl/Cl ratios and Cl- concentrations in perched waters. The estimated recharge for Yucca Mountain is 5 ± 1 mm/yr for Holocene and 15 ± 5 mm/yr for late Pleistocene. These recharge rates are comparable to results of independent numerical groundwater flow models and watershed-scale infiltration models at Black Mesa and Yucca Mountain, respectively.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The aftermath of megafaunal extinction: ecosystem transformation in Pleistocene Australia.

    PubMed

    Rule, Susan; Brook, Barry W; Haberle, Simon G; Turney, Chris S M; Kershaw, A Peter; Johnson, Christopher N

    2012-03-23

    Giant vertebrates dominated many Pleistocene ecosystems. Many were herbivores, and their sudden extinction in prehistory could have had large ecological impacts. We used a high-resolution 130,000-year environmental record to help resolve the cause and reconstruct the ecological consequences of extinction of Australia's megafauna. Our results suggest that human arrival rather than climate caused megafaunal extinction, which then triggered replacement of mixed rainforest by sclerophyll vegetation through a combination of direct effects on vegetation of relaxed herbivore pressure and increased fire in the landscape. This ecosystem shift was as large as any effect of climate change over the last glacial cycle, and indicates the magnitude of changes that may have followed megafaunal extinction elsewhere in the world.

  20. 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

    2016-06-07

    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.

  1. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene--Pleistocene glaciations.

    PubMed

    Schulte, James A; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-04-23

    Among tetrapods, viviparity is estimated to have evolved independently within Squamata (lizards and snakes) more than 100 times, most frequently in species occupying cold climate environments. Because of this relationship with cold climates, it is sometimes assumed that many origins of squamate viviparity occurred over the past 2.5-4 Myr during the Pliocene-Pleistocene glaciations; however, this hypothesis is untested. Divergence-dating analysis on a 733-species tree of Iguanian lizards recovers 20 independent lineages that have evolved viviparity, of which 13 multispecies groups derived live birth prior to glacial advances (8-66 Myr ago). These results place the transitions from egg-laying to live birth among squamates in a well-supported historical context to facilitate examination of the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this complex shift in reproduction.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Palaeodemography of the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene hominid sample.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Nicolás, M E

    1997-01-01

    We report here on the palaeodemographic analysis of the hominid sample recovered to date from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). The analysis of the mandibular, maxillary, and dental remains has made it possible to estimate that a minimum of 32 individuals, who probably belonged to the same biological population, are represented in the current SH human hypodigm. The remains of nine-individuals are assigned to males, and nine to females, suggesting that a 1:1 sex ratio characterizes this hominid sample. The survivorship curve shows a low representation of infants and children, a high mortality among the adolescents and prime-age adults, and a low older adult mortality. Longevity was probably no greater than 40 years. This mortality pattern (adolescents and adults); which in some aspects resembles that observed in Neandertals, is quite different from those reported for recent foraging human groups. The adult age-at-death distribution of the SH hominid sample appears to be neither the consequence of underaging the older adults, nor of differential preservation or of the recognition of skeletal remains. Thus if we accept that they had a life history pattern similar to that of modern humans there would appear to be a clear contradiction between the demographic distribution and the demographic viability of the population represented by the SH hominid fossils. The possible representational bias of the SH hominid sample, as well as some aspects of the reproductive biology of the Pleistocene populations are also discussed.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Towards an Integrated Geomagnetic Polarity Reversal Timescale for the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, T. A.; Storey, M.; Kuiper, K.; Palike, H.

    2011-12-01

    The development of the geomagnetic polarity timescale (GPTS) in the mid 20th century led to the greater understanding of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics (Heirtzler et al., 1968). Over 40 years later, the GPTS continues to be refined, particularly in terms of integrating multiple dating techniques to improve precision of such events, or to resolve the duration of geomagnetic transitions. Recent advancements in integrating astronomical and 40Ar/39Ar dating techniques, and improving upon the precision of neutron fluence monitors, necessitate re-evaluation of the accuracy and precision of various geologic events. Here, we review the ages of three Pleistocene geomagnetic polarity reversals: the Matuyama-Brunhes (ca. 0.78 Ma), the Cobb Mountain (ca. 1.2 Ma), and the Reunion (ca. 2.1 Ma) events. High-precision astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar ages have been obtained via a Noblesse multi-collector noble gas mass spectrometer on volcanic and other datable materials related to each event. The ages were derived by single- or multi-crystal total fusion and/or step heating experiments, using the astronomically calibrated Fish Canyon sanidine and/or the astronomically tuned A1 sanidine as monitor minerals. Each of these ages is then compared to independent astronomical ages for the events in order to define tie-points for constructing a Pleistocene a multi-chronometer GPTS. Although only three reversals are addressed here, the methodology applied shows promise to refining short-lived excursions to enable further understanding of the wavering magnetic field. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement no. 215458.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Antemortem trauma and survival in the late Middle Pleistocene human cranium from Maba, South China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiu-Jie; Schepartz, Lynne A.; Liu, Wu; Trinkaus, Erik

    2011-01-01

    Paleopathological assessment of the late Middle Pleistocene archaic human cranium from Maba, South China, has documented a right frontal squamous exocranially concave and ridged lesion with endocranial protrusion. Differential diagnosis indicates that it resulted from localized blunt force trauma, due to an accident or, more probably, interhuman aggression. As such it joins a small sample of pre-last glacial maximum Pleistocene human remains with probable evidence of humanly induced trauma. Its remodeled condition also indicates survival of a serious pathological condition, a circumstance that is increasingly documented for archaic and modern Homo through the Pleistocene. PMID:22106311

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of Pleistocene glaciations and rivers on the population structure of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus).

    PubMed

    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

    2010-12-14

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Skeletal aragonite neomorphism in Plio-Pleistocene sandy limestones and sandstones, Hollywood, Florida, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maliva, R. G.; Missimer, T. M.; Dickson, J. A. D.

    2000-10-01

    The basic mechanics of the neomorphism of aragonitic shells to calcite are generally understood, but fundamental questions remain concerning the details of the process. Completely and partially neomorphosed aragonitic skeletal fragments recovered in cores of Plio-Pleistocene limestones and sandstones from Hollywood, Florida, provide some insights into the process. Skeletal aragonite neomorphism occurred in a volume for volume manner across solution films, which resulted in the preservation of ghosts of fine-scale microstructures. Neomorphic calcite crystals that replaced skeletal aragonite in at least some instances inherited their crystallographic orientation from adjoining calcite cement crystals rather than from the host shell microstructure. Some neomorphic calcite crystals inherited the optical orientation of nearby echinoderm ossicles. However, host shell microstructure commonly controlled the direction of migration of the neomorphic replacement front. Anisotropies in shell solubility influenced the directional rates of growth of neomorphic calcite crystals, as evidenced by the strong tendency for the boundaries between neomorphic calcite and aragonite to parallel or coinicide with shell microstructural features. No examples were observed where neomorphic calcite replaced aragonite along euhedral crystal faces, such as commonly occurs during dolomitization and the replacement of limestone by megaquartz.

  19. New paleomagnetic and paleointensity results from plio-pleistocene volcanic sequences from southern Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez Moreno, E. M.; Calvo-Rathert, M.; Gogichaishvili, A.; Tauxe, L.; Vashakidze, G. T.; Lebedev, V. A.; Morales, J.; Carrancho, Á.; Villalain, J. J.; Caccavari, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Plio-Pleistocene volcanism in the Djavakheti Highland is characterized by a great number of consecutive lava flows of great extension and reduced thickness. These features combined with available K-Ar dates (Lebedev et al., 2008 and per. com.), provides the right context to study a reliable and constant record of the EMF. The present study was performed on 2 different volcanic sequences. The first one, Apnia is formed of 20 basaltic lava flows and the second one, Korxi, of 27 andesitic lava flows. Paleomagnetic measurements yielded a characteristic component in all flows with normal, transitional and reverse polarities being obtained. The Apnia sequence, (3.75 ± 0.25 and 3.09 ± 0.10 My), starts with 13 reverse-polarity flows, which are followed by 2 transitional ones with 5 normal ones in the uppermost part of the section. Comparison with the expected EMF direction shows that while the direction of the reverse polarity group agrees well with the expected one, the direction of the normal polarity group shows a significant difference. The Korxi sequence is divided into two different subsequences of 17 and 10 flows separated by an erosional surface. The lower group has an age of 3.25 ± 0.25 My, and shows a succession of normal polarity flows close to the expected direction. The upper one, (1.9 ± 0.2 My), mainly displays reverse polarity flows with 3 interspersed transitional ones. Rock magnetic measurements including thermomagnetic, IRM acquisition and hysteresis curves were performed to check the suitability of the studied rocks for paleointensity experiments. Paleointensities were determined using three different methods: Multi-specimen, Thellier-Thellier and IZZI. The ultimate goal is to find out how paleointensity varies in relation to the observed polarity changes and anomalous directions. Using different techniques for determining the paleointensity, will also increase the reliability of determinations in cases in which an agreement in the results is

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Human hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L; Quam, R; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Rodríguez, L

    2008-01-01

    This study describes and compares two hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). The Atapuerca SH hyoids are humanlike in both their morphology and dimensions, and they clearly differ from the hyoid bones of chimpanzees and Australopithecus afarensis. Their comparison with the Neandertal specimens Kebara 2 and SDR-034 makes it possible to begin to approach the question of temporal variation and sexual dimorphism in this bone in fossil humans. The results presented here show that the degree of metric and anatomical variation in the fossil sample was similar in magnitude and kind to living humans. Modern hyoid morphology was present by at least 530 kya and appears to represent a shared derived feature of the modern human and Neandertal evolutionary lineages inherited from their last common ancestor.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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 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

  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

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. Evidence from molecular systematics for decreased avian diversification in the pleistocene Epoch.

    PubMed Central

    Zink, R M; Slowinski, J B

    1995-01-01

    Pleistocene glaciations have been suggested as major events influencing speciation rates in vertebrates. Avian paleontological studies suggest that most extant species evolved in the Pleistocene Epoch and that species' durations decreased through the Pleistocene because of heightened speciation rates. Molecular systematic studies provide another data base for testing these predictions. In particular, rates of diversification can be determined from molecular phylogenetic trees. For example, an increasing rate of speciation (but constant extinction) requires shorter intervals between successive speciation events on a phylogenetic tree. Examination of the cumulative distribution of reconstructed speciation events in mtDNA phylogenies of 11 avian genera, however, reveals longer intervals between successive speciation events as the present time is approached, suggesting a decrease in net diversification rate through the Pleistocene Epoch. Thus, molecular systematic studies do not indicate a pulse of Pleistocene diversification in passerine birds but suggest, instead, that diversification rates were lower in the Pleistocene than for the preceding period. Documented habitat shifts likely led to the decreased rate of diversification, although from molecular evidence we cannot discern whether speciation rates decreased or extinction rates increased. PMID:7597037

  17. 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

    2016-04-05

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Climatic controls on late Pleistocene alluvial fans, Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waters, J. V.; Jones, S. J.; Armstrong, H. A.

    2010-03-01

    Alluvial fans are commonly associated with tectonically active mountain ranges and tectonism is frequently held responsible for abrupt coarsening and cyclical sedimentation of alluvial fan sequences. Whilst it is accepted that tectonism provides the opportunity for alluvial fan development through the creation of topography, increasing gradients of fluvial systems supplying sediments, and creating accommodation for the storage of sediment flux, the role of climate in fan development is frequently neglected. The hypothesis that climatically controlled events can produce recognisable sedimentary signatures in alluvial fan deposits is tested in the active supra-subduction zone setting of the late Pleistocene of southern Cyprus. This study demonstrates through architectural analysis and the reconstruction of palaeoflood hydrology a recorded pattern of increasing and decreasing palaeoflow dynamics, with switches from a wetter to drier mode, clearly exhibited by changes in the sedimentology of the fan. At the present day Cyprus has a semi-arid climate and is influenced by a strongly seasonal rainfall pattern, largely restricted to the winter months (plus rare occurrences of summer cyclones). However at precession minima increased activity of western Mediterranean depressions produces wetter summers. Using inference we propose that longer-term increases in rainfall increased river discharge as recorded in the fan palaeoflood hydrology and occurred at minima in the precession. These periods correlate with the deposition of conglomeratic channels and open framework gravels. Drier periods are exhibited by sandier braided fluvial deposits. Shorter term or seasonal change is recorded in the form of 2nd and 3rd low order bounding surfaces. This increased activity of Mediterranean summer depressions increased precipitation to the wider Levantine area and was coincident with increased intensity of the north African and Indian Ocean (SW) monsoons. The resultant increase in river

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Pleistocene Deposits in Pierre Saint-Martin Cave, French Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinif, Yves; Maire, Richard

    1998-01-01

    Pleistocene deposits in alpine Pierre Saint-Martin cave are preserved in an abandoned river gallery. The deposits, 300 m long and 25 m high, are composed of a lower unit of fallen blocks overlain by debris flows, a main unit of laminated clay, and a series of river terraces inset into these units. The lower and main units are each overlain by speleothems. The lower unit represents a cold period, probably isotope stage 10. Corroded speleothems above it have given U/Th ages greater than 300,000-330,000 yr B.P. The main unit, with carbonate-rich varves devoid of pollen, represents a glaciation that occurred before 225,000 yr B.P. and probably correlates with stage 8, even though such a glaciation has not been previously recognized in the Pyrenees. The river terraces, covered by many noncorroded speleothems, probably formed during stage 7 (U/Th ages between 194,000 and 211,000-225,000 yr B.P.). Subsequent sinking of an underground river protected the deposits from erosion.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Nuclear gene sequences from a late pleistocene sloth coprolite.

    PubMed

    Poinar, Hendrik; Kuch, Melanie; McDonald, Gregory; Martin, Paul; Pääbo, Svante

    2003-07-01

    The determination of nuclear DNA sequences from ancient remains would open many novel opportunities such as the resolution of phylogenies, the sexing of hominid and animal remains, and the characterization of genes involved in phenotypic traits. However, to date, single-copy nuclear DNA sequences from fossils have been determined only from bones and teeth of woolly mammoths preserved in the permafrost. Since the best preserved ancient nucleic acids tend to stem from cold environments, this has led to the assumption that nuclear DNA would be retrievable only from frozen remains. We have previously shown that Pleistocene coprolites stemming from the extinct Shasta sloth (Nothrotheriops shastensis, Megatheriidae) contain mitochondrial (mt) DNA from the animal that produced them as well as chloroplast (cp) DNA from the ingested plants. Recent attempts to resolve the phylogeny of two families of extinct sloths by using strictly mitochondrial DNA has been inconclusive. We have prepared DNA extracts from a ground sloth coprolite from Gypsum Cave, Nevada, and quantitated the number of mtDNA copies for three different fragment lengths by using real-time PCR. We amplified one multicopy and three single-copy nuclear gene fragments and used the concatenated sequence to resolve the phylogeny. These results show that ancient single-copy nuclear DNA can be recovered from warm, arid climates. Thus, nuclear DNA preservation is not restricted to cold climates.

  11. 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.

  12. Simulating the mid-Pleistocene transition through regolith removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabor, Clay R.; Poulsen, Christopher J.

    2016-01-01

    Quaternary δ18O ice-volume proxy records show a transition from high frequency, small-amplitude glacial cycles to low frequency, large-amplitude glacial cycles. This reorganization of the climate system, termed the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT), is thought to reflect a change in land-ice response to orbital forcing, despite no significant change in orbital cycles during this period. One potential explanation for the MPT proposes that gradual erosion of high-latitude northern hemisphere regolith by multiple cycles of glaciation caused a transition in ice sheet response to external forcing. Here, we explore this ;regolith hypothesis; using a complex Earth system model. We show that simulating a transition from deformable sediment to crystalline bedrock produces an evolution in ice-volume response similar to proxy reconstructions of the MPT. The simulated change in ice-volume response is due to a combination of climate and ice-flow changes, with crystalline bedrock producing thicker, colder ice sheets that accumulate more snowfall and have a smaller ablation zone. Further, experiments that include transient eccentricity-amplifying CO2 forcing show only small differences in ice response compared to those with orbital forcing only, suggesting that cycles of CO2 were not the primary cause of the MPT.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Evidence for a solar cause of the Pleistocene mass extinction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laviolette, Paul A.

    2011-06-01

    The hypothesis is presented that an abrupt rise in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration evident in the Cariaco Basin varve record at 12,837±10 cal yrs BP contemporaneous with the Rancholabrean termination, may have been produced by a super-sized solar proton event (SPE) having a fluence of ~1.3 X 10^11 protons/cm^2. A SPE of this magnitude would have been large enough to deliver a lethal radiation dose of at least 3 - 6 Sv to the Earth's surface, and hence could have been a principal cause of the final termination of the Pleistocene megafauna and several genera of smaller mammals and birds. The event time-correlates with a large magnitude acidity spike found at 1708.65 m in the GISP2 Greenland ice record, which is associated with high NO-3 ion concentrations and a rapid rise in 10^Be deposition rate, all of which are indicators of a sudden cosmic ray influx. The depletion of nitrate ion within this acidic ice layer suggests that the snowpack surface at that time was exposed to intense UV for a prolonged period which is consistent with a temporary destruction of the polar ozone layer by solar cosmic rays. The acidity event also coincides with a large magnitude, abrupt climatic excursion and is associated with elevated ammonium ion concentrations, an indicator of global fires.

  18. 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.

  19. Early human symbolic behavior in the Late Pleistocene of Wallacea.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; Langley, Michelle C; Moore, Mark W; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Sumantri, Iwan; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Suryatman; Sardi, Ratno; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Hasliana; Hasrianti; Oktaviana, Adhi Agus; Adhityatama, Shinatria; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Aubert, Maxime; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Huntley, Jillian; Li, Bo; Roberts, Richard G; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Perston, Yinika; Grün, Rainer

    2017-04-03

    Wallacea, the zone of oceanic islands separating the continental regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, has yielded sparse evidence for the symbolic culture of early modern humans. Here we report evidence for symbolic activity 30,000-22,000 y ago at Leang Bulu Bettue, a cave and rock-shelter site on the Wallacean island of Sulawesi. We describe hitherto undocumented practices of personal ornamentation and portable art, alongside evidence for pigment processing and use in deposits that are the same age as dated rock art in the surrounding karst region. Previously, assemblages of multiple and diverse types of Pleistocene "symbolic" artifacts were entirely unknown from this region. The Leang Bulu Bettue assemblage provides insight into the complexity and diversification of modern human culture during a key period in the global dispersal of our species. It also shows that early inhabitants of Sulawesi fashioned ornaments from body parts of endemic animals, suggesting modern humans integrated exotic faunas and other novel resources into their symbolic world as they colonized the biogeographically unique regions southeast of continental Eurasia.

  20. 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.

  1. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) stratigraphy of late-Pleistocene relict foredunes on a coastal barrier: Matakana Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brook, M.; Shepherd, M.; Tinkler, R.; Williams, J.

    2012-04-01

    Matakana Island, North Island, New Zealand, forms a c. 24 km long barrier island between the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Harbour, which it encloses. The island is of two distinct parts, with the larger seaward part comprising a Holocene sand barrier, extending parallel to the shoreline, and a harbourward (Pleistocene) part, adjoining the centre of the Holocene barrier. The Pleistocene section of the barrier consists of three terraces at 10, 40 and 70 m above sea level, although the precise process-origin and significance of the features are unknown. We focus on the relatively flat lowest (1.0-1.5 km wide) terrace, as oblique aerial photography indicates the presence of subdued ridges (amplitude 1 m) trending NW-SE, parallel to the current coastline. An investigation of this lower terrace using a 100 MHz pulseEKKO ground penetrating radar (GPR) along a 1 km SW-NE profile normal to the axis of the subdued ridges was undertaken. Following topographic correction, the profile revealed a continuous undulating reflector at 8-12 m depth, which corresponds with the low ridges visible on the surface. The ridge-and-swale nature of the reflector, coupled with the surface topography indicates it represents a relict foredune plain, mainly below present-day sea level. The age of the relict foredune plain is intriguing, with a maximum age of 780,000 due to the absence of Te Puna Ignimbrite, which is present on the higher terraces. Published maps indicate the lowest terrace is covered by lacustrine beds of the Matua Subgroup (minimum age c. 220,000 yr), yet it is difficult to reconcile the survival of ridge-and-swale foredune morphology under several metres of lacustrine deposits, suggesting that a tephra origin for the coverbeds is more likely. Nevertheless, the presence of a Pleistocene foredune plain slightly below present-day sea level indicates no significant long-term uplift, and possibly minor subsidence in this sector of the North Island.

  2. Late Pleistocene Earthquakes Along the Simpson Park Mountains Fault: Long-term Contribution to Basin and Range Extension, Nevada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, R. D.; Wesnousky, S. G.

    2006-12-01

    Technological advances in remote sensing fields of GPS and InSAR have advanced our understanding of short- term strain accumulation rates related to Pacific/North American Plate boundary deformation. In Central Nevada, a region characterized by distributed, active faulting, efforts to compare geodetic observations to late Quaternary fault slip rates have been encumbered by slow deformation rates and insufficient paleoseismic data. Therefore, we have performed Quaternary geologic mapping along parts of 8 ranges across HWY 50 in order to identify sites that record long-term deformation and are amenable to paleoseismic investigation. We have excavated fault trenches along the Eastern Toiyabe Range and Simpson Park Range Faults. Additional ranges mapped and planned for future paleoseismic investigation include the Antelope, Monitore, Fish Creek, Butte, Egan, and Schell Creek Ranges. Preliminary paleoseismic results from two recent trench excavations along the Simpson Park Mountains fault suggest the occurrence of two earthquakes in late Pleistocene time. The first trench, SPT1, excavated across a recessional shoreline of pluvial lake Gilbert exposed a package of nearshore pluvial deposits overlain by beach gravels and soil. The penultimate event is evidenced by juxtaposition of nearshore deposits along a nearly vertical fault plane. The topographic expression of the penultimate event was modified by beach processes, prior to the most recent earthquake; noted by offset of the beach gravels (~1.8 m), fissure fills, and a graben feature. Tephra correlated to the Maazama ash within lagoonal mud deposited on Lake Gilbert highstand beach gravels suggest that the highstand may be as young as 7 ka. Alternatively, the highstand may correlate to the timing of the highstand of Lake Lahontan, ~13 ka. Because the offset shoreline is lower than the highstand, the MRE postdates the highstand, which is broadly constrained between 7 and 13 ka. Based on the lack of soil development in

  3. The granite tors of Dartmoor, Southwest England: rapid and recent emergence revealed by Late Pleistocene cosmogenic apparent exposure ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunnell, Yanni; Jarman, David; Braucher, Régis; Calvet, Marc; Delmas, Magali; Leanni, Laetitia; Bourlès, Didier; Arnold, Maurice; Aumaître, Georges; Keddaouche, Karim

    2013-02-01

    Dartmoor, in SW England, is a classic periglaciated granite upland adorned with a population of over 150 tors. The origin of the tors has been controversial, but their emergence by differentiation after stripping of regolith during Pleistocene cold phases is accepted. However, their actual age has been unknown, with possible scenarios ranging from preservation since the early Middle Pleistocene to relatively short-lived landforms in a maritime climate with high denudation rates. The latter is now supported by 32 cosmogenic surface exposure dates from 28 tors across the whole upland. The distribution of apparent 10Be ages peaks strongly in the Middle Devensian (36-50 ka), which with corrections for weathering and limited ice shielding could be interpreted as Early Devensian. These ages are much younger than those found for three glacially unmodified Cairngorms tors, and somewhat younger even than glacially modified Cairngorms tors. The dates show little spatial variation. Although an ice cap has now been modelled in the heart of northern Dartmoor, tors here are of median age, suggesting that ice cover sufficient to shield tors from incoming radiation was of short duration. The few younger tor ages support the idea of continuing landform instability across the landscape, with weathering flakes redeveloping soon after inferred loss of top pillows by gelifraction or gravitational toppling. The few older tor ages have no systematic explanation, and may indicate inheritance from an earlier cycle of bedrock near-exposure. Since most tors are modest in height (typically 2-5 m), volumetrically insignificant, and often in advanced stages of disintegration, the general impression is that they are evanescent features, which emerge and quickly disappear during every Pleistocene climatic downturn. Tor populations may thus flicker across the landscape rather randomly over the Quaternary. The remarkably consistent age of the present tor population could be associated with a

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The Morphology and Distribution of Submerged Reefs in the Maui Nui Complex, Hawaii: New Insights Into Their Evolution Since the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faichney, I. D.; Webster, J. M.; Clague, D. A.; Kelley, C.; Appelgate, B.; Moore, J. G.

    2008-12-01

    Recent work on submerged drowned reefs in Hawaii has provided insight into reef development within the Late Pleistocene but reefs of the Early Pleistocene remain largely unexplored. The Maui-Nui Complex (MNC) provides a natural laboratory to study reef evolution throughout this time period as new data indicate the reefs grew from 1.1 - 0.5 Ma. We use new high resolution bathymetric data combined with existing regional data and field observations from ROV and submersible dives to make a detailed analysis of reef morphology and structure around the MNC. We focus specifically on the south-central region of the complex which provide the best reef exposure and find that the morphology of the reefs varies both regionally and temporally within this region. Barrier and pinnacle features dominate the steeper margins in the north of the study area while wide, shallow backstepping occurs to the south. Additionally, the central part of the study area shows karst morphology and patch and lagoonal features between the islands. We propose that this variation in the morphology and structure of the reefs has been controlled by variations in three main factors; the subsidence rates of the complex, the amplitude and period of eustatic sea-level cycles and finally the slope and continuity of the substrate. We argue that the interaction of these three factors explains the observed variations in reef morphology within the MNC and finally we present a new model of reef evolution over the last 1.5 Ma.

  9. Late Middle Pleistocene deposits at Norton Farm on the West Sussex coastal plain, southern England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Martin R.; Bates, C. Richard; Gibbard, Philip L.; MacPhail, Richard I.; Owen, Frederick J.; Parfitt, Simon A.; Preece, Richard C.; Roberts, Mark B.; Robinson, J. Eric; Whittaker, John E.; Wilkinson, Keith N.

    2000-01-01

    The coastal plain of West Sussex, southern England, is internationally important because of the sequence of discrete high-sea-level events preserved at various elevations across it. New evidence is presented from a site at Norton Farm, near Chichester, on the Lower Coastal Plain, where Pleistocene marine sands, fining upwards into silts, occur between 5.3 m and 9.1 m OD. The sequence reflects a regressive tendency at the transition from an interglacial to a cold stage. The marine sands have yielded foraminifera, ostracods and molluscs that indicate a declining marine influence through the sequence, culminating in a tidal mudflat, strongly weathered in places. Cool-climate foraminifera (including Elphidium clavatum, Cassidulina reniformis and Elphidium albiumbilicatum) and ostracods have been recovered from the marine sands. Some species with an apparent preference for warmer water conditions, however, are also present. Freshwater taxa washed into the terminal marine sediments include some cold climate indicators, such as Pisidium stewarti and P. obtusale lapponicum. Additional evidence for cool climatic conditions during the deposition of the upper part of the marine sequence is provided by the lack of tree taxa in the pollen record and by features of the micromorphology. The marine sediments probably began accumulating during OIS 7, a conclusion based on their elevation, on amino acid ratios from shells, but especially on vertebrate evidence, particularly the presence of a small form of horse, together with a large, distinctive, form of northern vole (Microtus oeconomus). The occurrence of cool climate indicators in these marine sediments may demonstrate a lag between the climatic deterioration and the expected glacio-eustatic fall in relative sea-level. This evidence appears to support the conclusions drawn from the study of coral terraces in Barbados. Such a scenario would provide the conditions necessary for the emplacement of the large erratic boulders

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Assessing the impact of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brault, M.; Mysak, L. A.; Matthews, D.; Simmons, C. T.

    2012-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked a turning point for the Earth system, as climate gradually emerged from millennia of severe glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. It is widely known that the deglacial climate change then was accompanied by an unprecedented decline in many species of large terrestrial mammals, featuring among others the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to a herbivorous diet that involved the grazing of a large number of trees, their extinction is thought to have contributed to the rapid and well-documented expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, which in turn would have resulted in a significant reduction in surface albedo, leading to an increase in global temperature. In this study, we use the UVic Earth System Climate Model (an EMIC) to simulate various scenarios of the megafaunal extinctions, ranging from the catastrophic to more realistic cases, in order to quantify their potential impact on the climate system, and investigate the associated biogeophysical feedbacks between the growing vegetation and rising temperatures. The more realistic experiments include sensitivity tests based on the timing of extinction, tree clearance ration, and size of habitat, as well as a gradual extinction and a simulation involving free (non-prescribed) atmospheric CO2. Overall, most of the paleoclimate simulations and the sensitivity tests yield results that correspond well with our intuition. For the maximum impact scenario, we obtain a surface albedo increase of 0.006, which translates into a global warming of 0.175°C; these numbers are comparable in magnitude to those in similar studies.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Introduction to Pliocene-Pleistocene paleoceanography of the Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Kozo; Ravelo, A. Christina; Okazaki, Yusuke

    2016-03-01

    High resolution paleoceanography of the Pliocene-Pleistocene is important in understanding climate forcing mechanisms and associated environmental changes during this major transition from global warmth to the Ice Ages. This is particularly true in high latitude marginal seas such as the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea has been very sensitive to changes in global climate during interglacial and glacial, or Milankovitch, time scales. This is due to significant changes in water circulation, land-ocean interaction, and sea-ice formation. With the aim to reveal the climate and oceanographic history of the Bering Sea over the past 5 My, IODP Expedition 323 cored a total of 5741 m of sediment (97.4% recovery) at seven sites in 2009 on D/V JOIDES Resolution covering three regions: the Umnak Plateau, the Bowers Ridge, and the Bering Slope. The water depths of the drill sites range from 818 m to 3174 m, allowing for the characterization of past vertical water mass distribution including changes in the oxygen minimum zone. The four deepest holes range from 600 m to 745 m below the seafloor, and resulted in the recovery of long sediment sequences ranging from 1.9 My to 5 My in age. Following the expedition, two sampling parties at Kochi Core Center (for acquisition of ca. 58,000 subsamples) and two scientific meetings were conducted in order to proceed with the analyses of sediment core samples and discussions. Here, pertinent results, primarily from IODP Expedition 323, are consolidated as a single special volume of Deep-Sea Research Part II Topical Studies in Oceanography.

  18. 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).

  19. Middle Pleistocene bifaces from Fengshudao (Bose Basin, Guangxi, China).

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Bae, Christopher J; Huang, Shengmin; Huang, Xin; Tian, Feng; Mo, Jinyou; Huang, Zhitao; Huang, Chaolin; Xie, Shaowen; Li, Dawei

    2014-04-01

    The Bose (also Baise) Basin in Guangxi, southern China is well known for the presence of Paleolithic bifacially worked implements. The Bose Basin handaxes came to the attention of the international scientific community primarily for two reasons: 1) the age at 803 ka (thousands of years), places it at the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition; and 2) the presence of bifaces tests the validity of the Movius Line and whether it was time to simply discard the model. However, questions were almost immediately raised because the age was based on the supposed association of Australasian tektites that may or may not have been redeposited, and at the time of the initial publications all of the Bose Basin handaxes were surface collected. Thus, whether the Bose bifaces can necessarily be associated with the tektites and whether the tektites themselves were redeposited are important considerations. Here, we report the findings from recent excavations from the Fengshudao site located in the Bose Basin. The primary findings are: 1) the in situ excavation of tektites, which do not appear to have been redeposited, in association with bifaces from one stratigraphic level from one site indicates that the age of these stone tools should be around 803 ka; 2) the Fengshudao hominins were utilizing locally-available quartz, quartzite, and sandstone river cobbles; and 3) in a number of aspects, the Fengshudao handaxe morphology differs from the typical western Acheulean, and are quite large and thick compared with even the bifaces from other regions of eastern Asia (e.g., Luonan Basin, China; Imjin/Hantan River Basins, Korea). Although Fengshudao may be a case of western Acheulean hominins dispersing into the Bose Basin from nearby South Asia, it is quite possible that the Fengshudao bifaces can be considered an example of convergent evolution.

  20. Enamel hypoplasia in the middle pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca (Spain).

    PubMed

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Pérez, P J

    1995-03-01

    The prevalence and chronology of enamel hypoplasias were studied in a hominid dental sample from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene site at the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, northern Spain). A total of 89 permanent maxillary teeth, 143 permanent mandibular teeth, and one deciduous lower canine, belonging to a minimum of 29 individuals, were examined. Excluding the antimeres (16 maxillary and 37 mandibular cases) from the sample, the prevalence of hypoplasias in the permanent dentition is 12.8% (23/179), whereas the deciduous tooth also showed an enamel defect. No statistically significant differences were found between both arcades and between the anterior and postcanine teeth for the prevalence of hypoplasias. In both the maxilla and the mandible the highest frequency of enamel hypoplasias was recorded in the canines. Only one tooth (a permanent upper canine) showed two different enamel defects, and most of the hypoplasias were expressed as faint linear horizontal defects. Taking into account the limitations that the incompleteness of virtually all permanent dentitions imposes, we have estimated that the frequency by individual in the SH hominid sample was not greater than 40%. Most of the hypoplasias occurred between birth and 7 years (N = 18, X = 3.5, SD = 1.3). Both the prevalence and severity of the hypoplasias of the SH hominid sample are significantly less than those of a large Neandertal sample. Furthermore, prehistoric hunter-gatherers and historic agricultural and industrial populations exhibit a prevalence of hypoplasias generally higher than that of the SH hominids. Implications for the survival strategies and life quality of the SH hominids are also discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. Ecological consequences of early Late Pleistocene megadroughts in tropical Africa.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Andrew S; Stone, Jeffery R; Beuning, Kristina R M; Park, Lisa E; Reinthal, Peter N; Dettman, David; Scholz, Christopher A; Johnson, Thomas C; King, John W; Talbot, Michael R; Brown, Erik T; Ivory, Sarah J

    2007-10-16

    Extremely arid conditions in tropical Africa occurred in several discrete episodes between 135 and 90 ka, as demonstrated by lake core and seismic records from multiple basins [Scholz CA, Johnson TC, Cohen AS, King JW, Peck J, Overpeck JT, Talbot MR, Brown ET, Kalindekafe L, Amoako PYO, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:16416-16421]. This resulted in extraordinarily low lake levels, even in Africa's deepest lakes. On the basis of well dated paleoecological records from Lake Malawi, which reflect both local and regional conditions, we show that this aridity had severe consequences for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. During the most arid phase, there was extremely low pollen production and limited charred-particle deposition, indicating insufficient vegetation to maintain substantial fires, and the Lake Malawi watershed experienced cool, semidesert conditions (<400 mm/yr precipitation). Fossil and sedimentological data show that Lake Malawi itself, currently 706 m deep, was reduced to an approximately 125 m deep saline, alkaline, well mixed lake. This episode of aridity was far more extreme than any experienced in the Afrotropics during the Last Glacial Maximum (approximately 35-15 ka). Aridity diminished after 95 ka, lake levels rose erratically, and salinity/alkalinity declined, reaching near-modern conditions after 60 ka. This record of lake levels and changing limnological conditions provides a framework for interpreting the evolution of the Lake Malawi fish and invertebrate species flocks. Moreover, this record, coupled with other regional records of early Late Pleistocene aridity, places new constraints on models of Afrotropical biogeographic refugia and early modern human population expansion into and out of tropical Africa.

  3. Ice-Free Greenland during the Mid-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, J. M.; Finkel, R. C.; Caffee, M. W.; Alley, R. B.; Balco, G.; Zimmerman, S. R. H.; Briner, J. P.; Young, N. E.; Schwartz, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of accelerated ice sheet contribution to sea level rise, in part fueled by rapid thinning and retreat of marine terminating outlet glaciers, it remains uncertain how the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) will adjust to a warming Arctic, declining sea ice and related changing precipitation patterns. This is concerning, given that future sea level rise is strongly dependent on the GrIS's response to Arctic change. The scientific community is currently torn between a model of a dynamic GrIS that becomes greatly reduced during interglacials and a model where the GrIS is relatively stable, even through interglacials that were warmer than today. We review the paleo-stability of the GrIS and discuss the implications for GrIS predictions. Based on new cosmogenic data from the bedrock core drilled underneath the GISP2 ice core, we present the case that Greenland might have been free of ice at least once during the Pleistocene, highlighting its vulnerability. An immediate climate driver for the GrIS collapse is not evident from the existing paleo-climate database, motivating re-intensified research of physical mechanisms to melt the GrIS. We discuss a few preliminary climate scenarios that might have contributed to this dramatic ice-sheet collapse. On the shorter time-scale, we present tentative strategies how to investigate the stability of the GrIS during the Holocene Climate Optimum, a period of arguable-warmer-than today temperatures. Finally, we summarize the value of the paleo-data for predictions of the GrIS stability.

  4. 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).

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Middle Pleistocene age of the fossiliferous sedimentary sequence from Tarija, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.; Zeitler, Peter K.; Anaya, Federico; Cottle, John M.

    2013-03-01

    The highly fossiliferous sediments of the Tolomosa Formation from Tarija, southern Bolivia, represent one of the most important localities in South America that documents the Great American Biotic Interchange. Over the past several decades, chronostratigraphic studies have indicated a middle Pleistocene age for the Tolomosa Formation from ~ 1.1 to 0.7 Ma. This interval correlates to the Ensenadan South American Land Mammal Age as it is characterized from classic localities in Argentina. Recently, however, a new interpretation based on AMS 14C ages indicates that the fossiliferous sediments from Tarija are latest Pleistocene, i.e., < 44 ka, and thus of Lujanian age. Here we report a new age of 0.76 ± 0.03 Ma (2σ) based on 11 U-Th/Pb and U-Th/He individual determinations from the Tolomosa Formation. This is indistinguishable from the age published from the same ash in 1983, and was originally used to calibrate the magnetostratigraphic section at Tarija. The new age confirms that the age of the Tolomosa Formation is middle Pleistocene, and not latest Pleistocene. The age of the Tarija Fauna has significant implications with regard to the stage of evolution biochronology for Pleistocene fossil mammals in South America, and in particular, the classic and important reference sections in Argentina.

  12. Middle to Late Pleistocene ice extents, tephrochronology and paleoenvironments of the White River area, southwest Yukon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Derek G.; Ward, Brent C.; Bond, Jeffrey D.; Jensen, Britta J. L.; Froese, Duane G.; Telka, Alice M.; Zazula, Grant D.; Bigelow, Nancy H.

    2013-09-01

    Sedimentary deposits from two Middle to Late Pleistocene glaciations and intervening non-glacial intervals exposed along the White River in southwest Yukon, Canada, provide a record of environmental change for much of the past 200 000 years. The study sites are beyond the Marine Isotope stage (MIS) 2 glacial limit, near the maximum regional extent of Pleistocene glaciation. Non-glacial deposits include up to 25 m of loess, peat and gravel with paleosols, pollen, plant and insect macrofossils, large mammal fossils and tephra beds. Finite and non-finite radiocarbon dates, and twelve different tephra beds constrain the chronology of these deposits. Tills correlated to MIS 4 and 6 represent the penultimate and maximum Pleistocene glacial limits, respectively. The proximity of these glacial limits to each other, compared to limits in central Yukon, suggests precipitation conditions were more consistent in southwest Yukon than in central Yukon during the Pleistocene. Conditions in MIS 5e and 5a are recorded by two boreal forest beds, separated by a shrub birch tundra, that indicate environments as warm or warmer than present. A dry, treeless steppe-tundra, dominated by Artemisia frigida, upland grasses and forbs existed during the transition from late MIS 3 to early MIS 2. These glacial and non-glacial deposits constrain the glacial limits and paleoenvironments during the Middle to Late Pleistocene in southwest Yukon.

  13. An arid-adapted middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from south-central Australia.

    PubMed

    Prideaux, Gavin J; Long, John A; Ayliffe, Linda K; Hellstrom, John C; Pillans, Brad; Boles, Walter E; Hutchinson, Mark N; Roberts, Richard G; Cupper, Matthew L; Arnold, Lee J; Devine, Paul D; Warburton, Natalie M

    2007-01-25

    How well the ecology, zoogeography and evolution of modern biotas is understood depends substantially on knowledge of the Pleistocene. Australia has one of the most distinctive, but least understood, Pleistocene faunas. Records from the western half of the continent are especially rare. Here we report on a diverse and exceptionally well preserved middle Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage from caves beneath the arid, treeless Nullarbor plain of south-central Australia. Many taxa are represented by whole skeletons, which together serve as a template for identifying fragmentary, hitherto indeterminate, remains collected previously from Pleistocene sites across southern Australia. A remarkable eight of the 23 Nullarbor kangaroos are new, including two tree-kangaroos. The diverse herbivore assemblage implies substantially greater floristic diversity than that of the modern shrub steppe, but all other faunal and stable-isotope data indicate that the climate was very similar to today. Because the 21 Nullarbor species that did not survive the Pleistocene were well adapted to dry conditions, climate change (specifically, increased aridity) is unlikely to have been significant in their extinction.

  14. Middle Pleistocene protein sequences from the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus and the phylogeny of extant and extinct Middle/Late Pleistocene Rhinocerotidae

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Geoff M.; Hutson, Jarod M.; Kindler, Lutz; Garcia-Moreno, Alejandro; Villaluenga, Aritza; Turner, Elaine

    2017-01-01

    Background Ancient protein sequences are increasingly used to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant mammalian taxa. Here, we apply these recent developments to Middle Pleistocene bone specimens of the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus. No biomolecular sequence data is currently available for this genus, leaving phylogenetic hypotheses on its evolutionary relationships to extant and extinct rhinoceroses untested. Furthermore, recent phylogenies based on Rhinocerotidae (partial or complete) mitochondrial DNA sequences differ in the placement of the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Therefore, studies utilising ancient protein sequences from Middle Pleistocene contexts have the potential to provide further insights into the phylogenetic relationships between extant and extinct species, including Stephanorhinus and Dicerorhinus. Methods ZooMS screening (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry) was performed on several Late and Middle Pleistocene specimens from the genus Stephanorhinus, subsequently followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to obtain ancient protein sequences from a Middle Pleistocene Stephanorhinus specimen. We performed parallel analysis on a Late Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros specimen and extant species of rhinoceroses, resulting in the availability of protein sequence data for five extant species and two extinct genera. Phylogenetic analysis additionally included all extant Perissodactyla genera (Equus, Tapirus), and was conducted using Bayesian (MrBayes) and maximum-likelihood (RAxML) methods. Results Various ancient proteins were identified in both the Middle and Late Pleistocene rhinoceros samples. Protein degradation and proteome complexity are consistent with an endogenous origin of the identified proteins. Phylogenetic analysis of informative proteins resolved the Perissodactyla phylogeny in agreement with previous studies in regards to the placement of the families Equidae

  15. Climatic implications of latest Pleistocene and earliest Holocene mammalian sympatries in eastern Washington state, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, R. Lee

    2008-11-01

    For more than fifty years it has been known that mammalian faunas of late-Pleistocene age are taxonomically unique and lack modern analogs. It has long been thought that nonanalog mammalian faunas are limited in North America to areas east of the Rocky Mountains and that late-Pleistocene mammalian faunas in the west were modern in taxonomic composition. A late-Pleistocene fauna from Marmes Rockshelter in southeastern Washington State has no modern analog and defines an area of maximum sympatry that indicates significantly cooler summers than are found in the area today. An earliest Holocene fauna from Marmes Rockshelter defines an area of maximum sympatry, including the site area, but contains a single tentatively identified taxon that may indicate slightly cooler than modern summers.

  16. 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.

  17. Modelled ocean changes at the Plio-Pleistocene transition driven by Antarctic ice advance

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Daniel J.; Bolton, Kevin P.; Haywood, Alan M.

    2017-01-01

    The Earth underwent a major transition from the warm climates of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene ice ages between 3.2 and 2.6 million years ago. The intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation is the most obvious result of the Plio-Pleistocene transition. However, recent data show that the ocean also underwent a significant change, with the convergence of deep water mass properties in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. Here we show that the lack of coastal ice in the Pacific sector of Antarctica leads to major reductions in Pacific Ocean overturning and the loss of the modern North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) mass in climate models of the warmest periods of the Pliocene. These results potentially explain the convergence of global deep water mass properties at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, as Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) became the common source. PMID:28252023

  18. 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.

  19. Metagenomic analyses of the late Pleistocene permafrost - additional tools for reconstruction of environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivkina, Elizaveta; Petrovskaya, Lada; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana; Krivushin, Kirill; Shmakova, Lyubov; Tutukina, Maria; Meyers, Arthur; Kondrashov, Fyodor

    2016-04-01

    A comparative analysis of the metagenomes from two 30 000-year-old permafrost samples, one of lake-alluvial origin and the other from late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments, revealed significant differences within microbial communities. The late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments (which have been characterized by the absence of methane with lower values of redox potential and Fe2+ content) showed a low abundance of methanogenic archaea and enzymes from both the carbon and nitrogen cycles, but a higher abundance of enzymes associated with the sulfur cycle. The metagenomic and geochemical analyses described in the paper provide evidence that the formation of the sampled late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments likely took place under much more aerobic conditions than lake-alluvial sediments.

  20. 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.

  1. Modelled ocean changes at the Plio-Pleistocene transition driven by Antarctic ice advance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Daniel J.; Bolton, Kevin P.; Haywood, Alan M.

    2017-03-01

    The Earth underwent a major transition from the warm climates of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene ice ages between 3.2 and 2.6 million years ago. The intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation is the most obvious result of the Plio-Pleistocene transition. However, recent data show that the ocean also underwent a significant change, with the convergence of deep water mass properties in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. Here we show that the lack of coastal ice in the Pacific sector of Antarctica leads to major reductions in Pacific Ocean overturning and the loss of the modern North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) mass in climate models of the warmest periods of the Pliocene. These results potentially explain the convergence of global deep water mass properties at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, as Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) became the common source.

  2. Modelled ocean changes at the Plio-Pleistocene transition driven by Antarctic ice advance.

    PubMed

    Hill, Daniel J; Bolton, Kevin P; Haywood, Alan M

    2017-03-02

    The Earth underwent a major transition from the warm climates of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene ice ages between 3.2 and 2.6 million years ago. The intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation is the most obvious result of the Plio-Pleistocene transition. However, recent data show that the ocean also underwent a significant change, with the convergence of deep water mass properties in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. Here we show that the lack of coastal ice in the Pacific sector of Antarctica leads to major reductions in Pacific Ocean overturning and the loss of the modern North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) mass in climate models of the warmest periods of the Pliocene. These results potentially explain the convergence of global deep water mass properties at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, as Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) became the common source.

  3. New fossil teeth of Theropithecus oswaldi (Cercopithecoidea) from the Early Pleistocene at Cueva Victoria (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Ferràndez-Cañadell, Carles; Ribot, Francesc; Gibert, Lluís

    2014-09-01

    The presence of Theropithecus oswaldi in Europe was first reported in 1995 from the Early Pleistocene site of Cueva Victoria (SE Spain), showing the dispersal of this genus above 30° north latitude and into Europe. Later claims of the presence in Italy of Theropithecus in the Early Pleistocene, based on vertebral remains, are controversial. Here we report four additional teeth of T. oswaldi from Cueva Victoria. These and the previously described tooth correspond to a minimum of two individuals. The presence of T. oswaldi in North Africa and SE Iberia during the Early Pleistocene suggests a possible faunal dispersal from Africa into Europe through the Straits of Gibraltar, which would have acted as a filter bridge.

  4. The first fossil skull of Alligator sinensis from the Pleistocene, Taiwan, with a paleogeographic implication of the species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsi-yin, Shan; Yen-nien, Cheng; Xiao-chun, Wu

    2013-06-01

    A nearly complete fossil skull of Alligatoridae from the Pleistocene, Penghu Channel, east of Taiwan, is reported. It can be referred to the most latest clade of Alligatorinae, which includes Alligator sinensis, Alligator mississippiensis and Alligator mefferdi, on the basis of the following features: the splenial is excluded from the mandibular symphysis; the anterior tip of the splenial passes dorsal to the Meckelian groove; and the mandible is gently curved between the fourth alveoli and the mid dentary. It differs from A. mississippiensis and A. mefferdi mainly in the following characters: the breadth between the supratemporal fenestrae is approximately equal to the interorbital width, the snout is about half the length of the skull; and the anterior part of the snout is subtriangular in dorsal view. These features suggest that the Penghu alligator is most probably referable to A. sinensis. This is the only fossil skull of A. sinensis known. The discovery of the skull in Penghu Channel not only provides the first solid fossil evidence to indicate that the geological distribution of A. sinensis extended farther southeast than the historical/archeological range of the species but also adds new information on the biodiversity of the Penghu fauna.

  5. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review.

    PubMed

    Bae, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood.

  6. Hominin teeth from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan, Eastern China.

    PubMed

    Xing, Song; Sun, Chengkai; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Han, Fei; Zhang, Yingqi; Liu, Wu

    2016-06-01

    In 1981-1982, some hominin fossils, including a relatively complete skull and seven isolated teeth, were recovered from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan in Eastern China. In the present study we provide a detailed metric and morphological comparison of the Yiyuan dental sample in order to characterize better the variability of the human populations that inhabited China during the Middle Pleistocene. Aside from taxonomic and phylogenetic questions, the lack of understanding and/or knowledge about the morphological variability of these populations have caused concern about the human versus non-human nature of some of the hominin dental remains found in East Asia during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene. Thus, our study aims to present a detailed description and comparison of the Yiyuan isolated teeth to 1) discuss and support their human nature and 2) to explore their taxonomic affinities with regard to other penecontemporaneous populations from Asia. Our results clearly differentiate the Yiyuan sample from Pongo specimens and support a human attribution for the Yiyuan material. Our analyses also suggest that the Yiyuan teeth form a morphologically coherent group together with samples from Zhoukoudian, Chaoxian and Hexian. They are different from the more derived specimens from Panxian Dadong, suggesting a pattern of biogeographic isolation and different evolutionary trends between northern and southern China during the Middle Pleistocene. In addition, and despite sharing a common morphological bauplan with Homo erectus sensu stricto (s.s.), the Yiyuan, Zhoukoudian and Hexian teeth are also different from the Indonesian Early Pleistocene samples. In particular, the expression of a highly crenulated or dendritic enamel-dentine surface could be unique to these groups. Our study supports the notion that the taxonomy of the Pleistocene hominins from Asia may have been oversimplified. Future studies should explore the variability of the Asian specimens and

  7. Similar millennial climate variability on the Iberian margin during two early Pleistocene glacials and MIS 3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birner, B.; Hodell, D. A.; Tzedakis, P. C.; Skinner, L. C.

    2016-01-01

    Although millennial-scale climate variability (<10 ka) has been well studied during the last glacial cycles, little is known about this important aspect of climate in the early Pleistocene, prior to the Middle Pleistocene Transition. Here we present an early Pleistocene climate record at centennial resolution for two representative glacials (marine isotope stages (MIS) 37-41 from approximately 1235 to 1320 ka) during the "41 ka world" at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1385 (the "Shackleton Site") on the southwest Iberian margin. Millennial-scale climate variability was suppressed during interglacial periods (MIS 37, MIS 39, and MIS 41) and activated during glacial inceptions when benthic δ18O exceeded 3.2‰. Millennial variability during glacials MIS 38 and MIS 40 closely resembled Dansgaard-Oeschger events from the last glacial (MIS 3) in amplitude, shape, and pacing. The phasing of oxygen and carbon isotope variability is consistent with an active oceanic thermal bipolar see-saw between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during most of the prominent stadials. Surface cooling was associated with systematic decreases in benthic carbon isotopes, indicating concomitant changes in the meridional overturning circulation. A comparison to other North Atlantic records of ice rafting during the early Pleistocene suggests that freshwater forcing, as proposed for the late Pleistocene, was involved in triggering or amplifying perturbations of the North Atlantic circulation that elicited a bipolar see-saw response. Our findings support similarities in the operation of the climate system occurring on millennial time scales before and after the Middle Pleistocene Transition despite the increases in global ice volume and duration of the glacial cycles.

  8. Quantifying late Pleistocene lithospheric flexure and fault movements in the Mississippi Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Z.; Tornqvist, T. E.; Dawers, N. H.; Gasparini, N. M.; Milne, G. A.; Mauz, B.

    2011-12-01

    It is well known that a significant portion of the Mississippi Delta (MD) land surface is subsiding at rates on the order of a centimeter per year. Several recent studies have argued that lithospheric flexure due to sediment loading in the MD and fault movements in southeast Louisiana induce as much as ~6 mm/yr of subsidence, and therefore would be major driving forces of land-surface subsidence in the MD. However, geological rates of lithospheric flexure and fault movements have rarely been quantified. In this study, we quantify geological rates of these two processes in and near the MD by means of quartz optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of late Pleistocene sediments. Lithospheric flexure is quantified by studying long profiles of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR). Recent OSL dating of the Prairie Complex strata in the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) and MD identified segments of ~80 ka (MIS 5a) old LMR remnants. Comparing the reconstructed MIS 5a LMR long profile with the present-day long profile demonstrates that the former has been deformed due to lithospheric flexure associated with MD sediment loading, featuring uplift in the southern LMV and down-warping in the MD. Using the present-day long profile as a proxy for deformation of the MIS 5a long profile, the bulge in the southern LMV exhibits an average uplift rate of <0.15 mm/yr, whereas most of the MD north of 29.6°N has subsided <0.4 mm/yr on average during the past 80 ka. Farther south, where the Prairie Complex occurs 100 to 150 m below present-day sea level, subsidence rates due to lithospheric flexure may be up to 1 to 2 mm/yr. The half-wavelength of the flexural bulge in the LMV suggests a minimum elastic thickness of the lithosphere for this region of ~60 km. Fault movements were quantified at four locations along the Baton Rouge fault zone (BRFZ) in southeast Louisiana. Geomorphic and stratigraphic studies were used to identify fault-displaced strata that were subsequently OSL dated

  9. Palaeoflood estimates of Pleistocene coarse grained river terrace landforms (Río Almanzora, SE Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokes, Martin; Griffiths, James S.; Mather, Anne

    2012-05-01

    A series of palaeoflood estimation techniques are applied to an inset sequence of Middle to Late Pleistocene river terrace landforms associated with the Río Almanzora, SE Spain. The study area is a 7 km-long transverse reach, where 4 terrace levels (Level 1 = highest and oldest, Level 4 = lowest and youngest) document some 200 m of incision across an uplifted basement block during the Pleistocene. For the broader region, river terrace aggradation is attributed to increased sediment supply during glacial to interglacial transitions (Level 1 = Marine oxygen isotope stages [MOIS] 12/11, L2 = 10/9, L3 = 8/7 and L4 = 6/5). Within the transverse reach, terrace Levels 2, 3 and 4 are characterised by coarse boulder-rich gravels (Dmax = 2.5 m) organised into 3-5 m-high cross-beds. Level 4 is characterised by a series of km-scale abandoned meander loops, with Levels 2 and 3 showing evidence for similar degraded high sinuosity forms. The fluvial setting is interpreted as a braided river environment, with lateral and longitudinal gravel barforms. Using field-derived sedimentary (boulder size etc) and morphological (width, slope etc) features, flow competence- and regime-based methods were applied. Palaeoflood estimates varied from 40 to 2859 m3/s, with mean maximum discharges showing an increase through time (L2 = 278, L3 = 413, L4 = 1361 m3/s). Palaeoflood estimates were compared to flood events associated with the ephemeral modern Río Almanzora (catchment = 2500 km2) to establish whether palaeoflood values were reasonable estimations. A 46-year (1963-2009) modern flood gauge record shows infrequent flood events with discharges typically < 40 m3/s. A rare flood event in 1973 (5680 m3/s) provides an upper value for comparison with the palaeoflood estimates. Although estimates appear reasonable they should be considered as minimum values due to 1) some disparities between flow depths derived from the palaeoflood equations (0.7-4 m) and field-based evidence (3-5 m-high cross

  10. The Puelche volcanic field: Extensive Pleistocene rhyolite lava flows in the Andes of central Chile

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hildreth, W.; Fierstein, J.; Godoy, E.; Drake, Robert E.; Singer, B.

    1999-01-01

    A remote volcanic field in the rugged headwaters of the Rio Puelche and Rio Invernada (35.8??S) constitutes the largest cluster of Quaternary rhyolite lava flows yet identified in the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone. The Puelche Volcanic Field belongs to an intra-arc belt of silicic magmatic centers that extends, at least, 140 km north-south and lies well east of the volcanic front but nonetheless considerably west of the intraplate extensional fields of basaltic and alkaline centers of pampean Argentina. The authors' mapping has distinguished one shallow intrusive mass of early Pleistocene biotite rhyodacite (70.5% SiO2), 11 eruptive units of mid-Pleistocene high-K biotite-rhyolite lava (71.3-75.6% SiO2), and 4 eruptive units of basaltic andesite (53.95-4.9% SiO2), the conduits of which cut some of the rhyolites. Basal contacts of the rhyolite lava flows (and subjacent pyroclastic precursors) are generally scree covered, but glacial erosion has exposed internal flow structures and lithologic zonation superbly. Thicknesses of individual rhyolite lava flows range from 75 m to 400 m. Feeders for several units are well exposed. Cliff-draping unconformities and intracanyon relationships among the 11 rhyolite units show that the eruptive sequence spanned at least one glacial episode that accentuated the local relief. Lack of ice-contact features suggests, however, that all or most eruptions took place during non-glacial intervals probably between 400 ka and 100 ka. Post-eruptive glacial erosion reduced the rhyolites to several non-contiguous remnants that altogether cover 83 km2 and represent a surviving volume of about 21 km3. Consideration of slopes, lava thicknesses, and paleotopography suggest that the original area and volume were each about three times greater. Phenocryst content of the rhyolites ranges from 1 to 12%, with plagioclase>>biotite>FeTi oxides in all units and amphibole conspicuous in the least silicic. The chemically varied basaltic andesites range from

  11. Widespread Pleistocene submarine landslides and erosion on the Lomonosov Ridge (central Arctic Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Frank; Stein, Rüdiger; Sauermilch, Isabel; Jensen, Laura; Jokat, Wilfried; Geissler, Wolfram; Gebhardt, Catalina

    2016-04-01

    The Lomonosov Ridge is seen as a relict of continental crust, which drifted from its original Eurasian shelf-edge location into the central Arctic Ocean during the formation of the Eurasian Basin by sea-floor spreading. With a total length of 1800 km, widths between 50 and 220 km and submarine elevations of 3 km above the abyssal plain the Lomonosov Ridge has dimensions of an Alpine mountain chain. Seismic lines indicate that large areas of the ridge are covered by well-stratified undisturbed Cenozoic sediments of more than 400 m in thickness. This may suggest that the ridge is in a relatively stable tectonic setting and exposed to hemi-pelagic deposition over long time scales. However, there is now a growing number of evidence that the crest and upper slopes of the ridge are characterized by widespread mass wasting. Kristoffersen et al. (2007) described major sediment disruptions on the slopes associated with slide scars on the crest of the Lomonosov Ridge between 87°30' and 88°N as a local phenomenon. Since the expedition of RV "Polarstern" in 2014, which explored the Lomonosov Ridge from near the pole to the Eurasian margin, we now know that similar mass wasting has been common probably along the entire ridge. Detailed bathymetric mapping between 81° and 84°N exhibit numerous amphitheatre-like slide scars, under which large amounts of Cenozoic sediments were remobilized into mass-wasting features on both the Makarov and Amundsen sides of the ridge. Sub-bottom seismic profiling discovered at least three generations of debris-flow deposits near the ridge, which were generated by the slides. Underneath the slide scars escarpments of up to 400 m in height were formed, which exposed Cenozoic sediments at the sea floor. Sediment cores from these locations recovered unconformities related to the youngest erosional event, which are overlain by undisturbed sediments accumulated during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 1 to 6. An age of MIS-6 is also suggested for the

  12. Pleistocene alterations of drainage network between the Alps and the Pannonian Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovács, G.

    2012-04-01

    markers (wide alluvial valleys with relatively small streams, terrace levels and wind gaps) and the different height of the scarps we roughly elaborated the geomorphological development of the area, including relative age of drainage network elements, tectonic features and river captures. Results indicate a detailed but still regionally dissected timeline about drainage network alterations, including phases of gravel sedimentation, incision and beheadings. The abstract titled "Pleistocene alteration of drainage network and surface morphology caused by basement structure in the foreland of Eastern Alps" determine the origin of the investigated scarps. This paper was supported by Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA NK83400). Joó, I. (1992): Recent vertical surface movements in the Carpathian Basin. Tectonophysics 202: 129-134. Kovács, G., Telbisz, T., Székely, B. (2010) Faulted and eroded gravel deposit in western Hungary. - Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 12. EGU General Assembly 2010. Kovács, G., Telbisz, T., Székely, B. (2011) Quaternary alterations of drainage network in a transition area between the Alps and the Pannonian Basin. - Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 13. EGU General Assembly 2011. Tari, G. and Horváth, F. (1995): Middle Miocene extensional collapse in the Alpine-Pannonian transitional zone, in: Horváth, F., Tari, G., and Bokor, K. (Eds.): Extensional collapse of the Alpine orogene and hydrocarbon prospects in the basement and fill of the western Pannonian Basin, AAPG Inter. Conf. and Exhib., Nice, France, Guidebook to fieldtrip No. 6, 75-105

  13. Insights into Pleistocene palaeoenvironments and biostratigraphy in southern Buenos Aires province (Argentina) from continental deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beilinson, E.; Gasparini, G. M.; Soibelzon, L. H.; Soibelzon, E.

    2015-07-01

    The coastal cliffs of the Buenos Aires province (Argentina) have been the subject of intense paleontological studies since the XIX century. Therefore, many of the type localities in which is based the late Cenozoic Pampean biostratigraphic/chronostratigraphic scheme are located in this area. In this context, the sedimentites that crop out near the mouth of the Chocorí Creek contain a set of palaeontological sites that, because of their richness and well-preserved fossil content, hold high national and international importance. The aims of the present contribution are: 1) to make a stratigraphic and sedimentological characterization of the study area; 2) to list the fauna outcropped at these palaeontological sites and establish a biostratigraphic framework; 3) to elaborate a palaeoenvironmental model for the area. The study interval was informally subdivided into a lower, middle and upper interval. Interpretation was based on the presence of a number of key features such as architectural elements; channel:overbank ratio and palaeosol occurrence. The first two intervals were interpreted as continental deposits of a fluvio-alluvial nature and are the focus of this paper. The upper interval was related to foreshore marine deposits and will be studied in a future contribution. The lower interval is characterized mainly by overbank architectural elements in which calcisols and argillic protosols were identified. Channel-fill deposits are isolated and surrounded by fine-grained overbank successions and sedimentary structures are suggestive of mixed-load transport. The contact between the lower and middle intervals is an irregular, highly erosive surface characterized by a significant vertical change in the facies. This surface defines the base of multistorey sandbodies which's internal arrangement alongside with the low participation of overbank deposits suggests deposition by a braided fluvial system. Palaeosols and vertebrate fossils were used as palaeoclimatic

  14. The temporal bones from Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L

    1997-01-01

    Three well-preserved crania and 22 temporal bones were recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site up to and including the 1994 field season. This is the largest sample of hominid temporal bones known from a single Middle Pleistocene site and it offers the chance to characterize the temporal bone morphology of an European Middle Pleistocene population and to study the phylogenetic relationships of the SH sample with other Upper and Middle Pleistocene hominids. We have carried out a cladistic analysis based on nine traits commonly used in phylogenetic analysis of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids: shape of the temporal squama superior border, articular eminence morphology, contribution of the sphenoid bone to the median glenoid wall, postglenoid process projection, tympanic plate orientation, presence of the styloid process, mastoid process projection, digastric groove morphology and anterior mastoid tubercle. We have found two autapomorphies on the Home erectus temporal bone: strong reduction of the postglenoid process and absence of the styloid process. Modern humans, Neandertals and the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Europe and Africa constitute a clade characterized by a convex superior border of the temporal squama. The European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos, Petralona, Steinheim, Bilzingsleben and Castel di Guido share a Neandertal apomorphy: a relatively flat articular eminence. The fossils from Ehringsdorf, La Chaise Suardi and Biache-Saint-Vaast also display another Neandertal derived trait: an anteriorly obliterated digastric groove. Modern humans and the African Middle Pleistocene fossils share a synapomorphy: a sagittally orientated tympanic plate.

  15. Is the modern koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) a derived dwarf of a Pleistocene giant? Implications for testing megafauna extinction hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Gilbert J.

    2008-12-01

    The modern Australian koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) is commonly regarded as a dwarf descendent of a Late Pleistocene giant koala ( Ph. stirtoni). The implication of that hypothesis is that the giant koala survived the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction "event", albeit as a smaller body-sized form. It is important to be able to constrain rates of Late Pleistocene faunal turnover, an aspect reliant on having accurate taxonomic information of extinct species. The koala dwarfing hypothesis is tested here by using a temporally-constrained biogeographical record of fossil koalas, and a morphological character analysis. The contemporary occurrence of both taxa in pre-Late Pleistocene deposits and significant differences in dental morphologies between those forms suggests that the modern koala is not a derived dwarf of the Pleistocene giant koala. Thus, the giant-form was among a number of other giant mammals, lizards and birds that suffered extinction sometime during the Late Pleistocene. The potential phenomenon of dwarfing of other Late Pleistocene and Recent faunas, such as grey kangaroos, is commonly used as a test for or against various megafaunal extinction hypotheses. However, the results of this study also demonstrate that the dwarfing hypothesis has not been adequately tested for a suite of other taxa. Thus, until the dwarfing hypothesis can be more fully tested, a clear understanding of the fate of Late Pleistocene faunas that apparently survived the extinction "event", and the origins of many extant forms will remain elusive.

  16. Clay mineralogy of Pleistocene Lake Tecopa, Inyo County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Starkey, Harry C.; Blackmon, Paul D.

    1979-01-01

    Pleistocene Lake Tecopa in southeastern Inyo County, Calif., was formed when the Amargosa River was blocked at the southern end of its valley. The lake acted as a settling basin for detrital material being transported by the river. This detritus consisted of clays, quartz, feldspars, and micas which became mudstones and siltstones. These mudstones and siltstones, much eroded and dissected after the draining of the lake, extend over the entire basin and are interbedded with tuffs formed by the intermittent deposition of volcanic ashfalls in the former lake waters. These lightcolored mudstones and siltstones are tough and well indurated and break with a conchoidal fracture. The predominant clay mineral in these detrital beds is a lithiumbearing saponite, which is found not only in the lake beds but also in the area beyond the boundaries of the lake, especially in fluvial deposits in the drainage basin of the Amargosa River to the north. This saponite does not contain enough lithium to be classified as a hectorite, and we have observed no indications that this clay consists of a mixture of two phases, such as hectorite and a diluent. Some authigenic dioctahedral montmorillonite, found only in small quantities close to the tuffs, was formed by alteration of the volcanic glass of the tuffs and was then admixed with the overlying or underlying detrital clays. The only authigenic clay-type mineral found in any significant quantity is sepiolite, found near the edges of the lake basin and stratigraphically located mainly within a meter of the two uppermost tuffs. This sepiolite probably was precipitated when silica became available to the magnesium-bearing lake water through dissolution of the volcanic ash. Precipitation of sepiolite probably did not occur within the tuffs owing to the presence of alumina in solution. Zeolites were produced there and sepiolite formed outside the margins of the tuffs. Also formed by the high-pH lake waters were water-soluble minerals, which

  17. Pleistocene Indian Monsoon rainfall variability dominated by obliquity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebregiorgis, D.; Hathorne, E. C.; Giosan, L.; Collett, T. S.; Nuernberg, D.; Frank, M.

    2015-12-01

    The past variability of the Indian Monsoon is mostly known from records of wind strength over the Arabian Sea while Quaternary proxy records of Indian monsoon precipitation are still lacking. Here we utilize scanning x-ray fluorescence (XRF) data from a sediment core obtained by the IODP vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Andaman Sea (Site 17) to investigate changes in sediment supply from the peak monsoon precipitation regions to the core site. We use Ti/Ca and K/Rb ratios to trace changes in terrigenous flux and weathering regime, respectively, while Zr/Rb ratios suggest grain size variations. The age model of Site 17 is based on correlation of benthic C. wuellerstorfi/C. mundulus δ18O data to the LR04 global benthic δ18O stack at a resolution of ~3 kyr (Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005) for the last 2 Myrs. In its youngest part the age model is supported by five 14C ages on planktic foraminifera and the youngest Toba ash layer (Ali et al., 2015) resulting in a nearly constant sedimentation rate of ~6.5 cm/kyr. Frequency analysis of the 4 mm resolution Ti/Ca, K/Rb, and Zr/Rb time series using the REDFIT program (Schulz and Mudelsee, 2002), reveals the three main Milankovitch orbital cycles above the 90% confidence level. Depth domain spectral analysis reveals the presence of significant cyclicity at wavelengths of 28.5 and 2.8 m corresponding to the ~400 kyr and ~41 kyr cycles, respectively, during the last 2 Myr. These records suggest that Indian monsoon variability has varied in the obliquity and eccentricity bands, the latter in particular after the mid Pleistocene transition (MPT), while strong precession forcing is lacking in this super-high resolution record. Northern summer insolation and Southern Hemisphere latent heat export are out of phase during precessional cycles, but in phase in the obliquity band, which indicates that Indian monsoon precipitation has likely been more sensitive to both NH pull and SH push mechanisms (Clemens and Prell, 2003). References Ali

  18. A Long Pleistocene Paleoclimate Record from Stoneman Lake, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fawcett, P. J.; Anderson, R. S.; Brown, E. T.; Werne, J. P.; Jimenez-Moreno, G.; Toney, J. L.; Garcia, D.; Garrett, H. L.; Dunbar, N. W.

    2015-12-01

    Long continuous lake sediment cores provide enormous potential for interpreting climate change. In the American Southwest, long records are revolutionizing our understanding of megadroughts, which have occurred in the past and will most certainly occur in the future with rapidly changing climate. One site with the potential to study ancient megadroughts is Stoneman Lake, central Arizona, whose basin is a circular depression formed by a collapse in late Tertiary volcanics. The lake is spring fed, most recently alternating between a marsh and a lake, with water levels having fluctuated by > 3 meters over the last 25 years. Its small closed drainage basin (ca. 2.5 km2) with one small inflowing stream is key to the sensitivity of the record. Two parallel lacustrine sediment cores (70 m and 30 m deep) were recovered in October of 2014. Our preliminary chronology includes 8 AMS dates in the upper 7 m and two distinct tephras at 30.8 m depth and 36.3 m depth. Radiocarbon dates show a 2.7-m-thick Holocene section, and then a low Pleistocene SAR with an age of 11,000 cal yr B.P. at ~2.8 m to an age of 46,500 cal yr B.P. at 4.2 m depth. We estimate that the 70-m deep hole will provide a climate record back to ~1.3 million years ago. Of particular interest are the interglacials that serve as good analogs for future climate including MIS 11 and MIS 19. Initial core description includes MS, bulk density and high-resolution images. Holocene sediments are characterized by massive, dark organic rich silty clays with no distinct lamination. Sediments from the Last Glacial Maximum are well-laminated, light brown silty clays with few organics present. The distinctive laminations probably represent a very deep lake and therefore a wet cold climate, also verified by pollen data. There are several repeated intervals of laminated sediments deeper in the core that may represent older glacial maxima. Future work will include detailed pollen, plant macrofossil and charcoal analysis

  19. Molecular biogeography of Europe: Pleistocene cycles and postglacial trends

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    The climatic cycles with subsequent glacial and intergalcial periods have had a great impact on the distribution and evolution of species. Using genetic analytical tools considerably increased our understanding of these processes. In this review I therefore give an overview of the molecular biogeography of Europe. For means of simplification, I distinguish between three major biogeographical entities: (i) "Mediterranean" with Mediterranean differentiation and dispersal centres, (ii) "Continental" with extra-Mediterranean centres and (iii) "Alpine" and/or "Arctic" with recent alpine and/or arctic distribution patterns. These different molecular biogeographical patterns are presented using actual examples. Many "Mediterranean" species are differentiated into three major European genetic lineages, which are due to glacial isolation in the three major Mediterranean peninsulas. Postglacial expansion in this group of species is mostly influenced by the barriers of the Pyrenees and the Alps with four resulting main patterns of postglacial range expansions. However, some cases are known with less than one genetic lineage per Mediterranean peninsula on the one hand, and others with a considerable genetic substructure within each of the Mediterranean peninsulas, Asia Minor and the Maghreb. These structures within the Mediterranean sub-centres are often rather strong and in several cases even predate the Pleistocene. For the "Continental" species, it could be shown that the formerly supposed postglacial spread from eastern Palearctic expansion centres is mostly not applicable. Quite the contrary, most of these species apparently had extra-Mediterranean centres of survival in Europe with special importance of the perialpine regions, the Carpathian Basin and parts of the Balkan Peninsula. In the group of "Alpine" and/or "Arctic" species, several molecular biogeographical patterns have been found, which support and improve the postulates based on distribution patterns and pollen

  20. Latest Pleistocene to Holocene hydroclimates from Lake Elsinore, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirby, Matthew E.; Feakins, Sarah J.; Bonuso, Nicole; Fantozzi, Joanna M.; Hiner, Christine A.

    2013-09-01

    The hydroclimate of the southwestern United States (US) region changed abruptly during the latest Pleistocene as the continental ice sheets over North America retreated from their most southerly extent. To investigate the nature of this change, we present a new record from Lake Elsinore, located 36 km inland from the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and evaluate it in the context of records across the coastal and interior southwest United States, including northwest Mexico. The sediment core recovered from Lake Elsinore provides a continuous sequence with multi-decadal resolution spanning 19-9 ka BP. Sedimentological and geochemical analyses reveal hydrologic variability. In particular, sand and carbonate components indicate abrupt changes at the Oldest Dryas (OD), Bølling-Allerød (BA), and Younger Dryas (YD) transitions, consistent with the timing in Greenland. Hydrogen isotope analyses of the C28n-alkanoic acids from plant leaf waxes (δDwax) reveal a long term trend toward less negative values across 19-9 ka BP. δDwax values during the OD suggest a North Pacific moisture source for precipitation, consistent with the dipping westerlies hypothesis. We find no isotopic evidence for the North American Monsoon reaching as far west as Lake Elsinore; therefore, we infer that wet/dry changes in the coastal southwest were expressed through winter-season precipitation, consistent with modern climatology. Comparing Lake Elsinore to other southwest records (notably Cave of Bells and Fort Stanton) we find coincident timing of the major transitions (OD to BA, BA to YD) and hydrologic responses during the OD and BA. The hydrologic response, however, varied during the YD consistent with a dipole between the coastal and interior southwest. The coherent pattern of hydrologic responses across the interior southwest US and northwest Mexico during the OD (wet), the BA (drier), and YD (wet) follows changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, presumably via its

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Fire History of the California Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, A. C.; Hardiman, M.; Pinter, N.; Anderson, R.

    2013-12-01

    Charcoal has been recovered from a range of late Pleistocene and Holocene sites on Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island, both islands part of California's Northern Channel Islands, U.S.A. Sediments have been dated using radiocarbon measurements based on wood charcoal, fungal sclerotia, glassy carbon and fecal pellets and are given as calendar years BP. This charcoal has been used to interpret the fire history of the Islands. Charcoal assemblages from samples dating from 24,690 to 12,900 years are dominated by coniferous wood charcoal. Little angiosperm charcoal was recovered in any of the samples. Fungal sclerotia are frequent in a number of samples from a range of ages both on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. Fecal pellets are common in most samples and abundant in others. Some of the fecal pellets have hexagonal sides and are likely to represent termite frass. The sediments are fluvial in origin and the distribution of charcoal is irregular making interpretation of fire return intervals and fire frequency difficult. The charcoal indicates a significant record of fire before the earliest documented human arrival on the islands. Charcoal reflectance data shows the occurrence of predominantly low temperature charcoals suggesting common surface fires in the coniferous forest. Soledad Pond sediments from Santa Rosa Island (Anderson et al., 2010) dating from 11,800 cal years BP show a distinctively different vegetation dominated by angiosperms and showing a very different fire history. Pinus stands, coastal sage scrub dominated by Baccharis sp. and grassland replaced the conifer forest as the climate warmed. The early Holocene became increasingly drier, particularly after ca. 9150 cal yr BP. By ca. 6900 cal yr BP grasslands recovered. Introduction of non-native species by ranchers occurred subsequent to AD 1850. Charcoal influx is high early in the Soledad Pond record, but declines during the early Holocene when minimal biomass suggests extended drought. A general

  2. Chronostratigraphical investigations on Pleistocene fluvioglacial terraces of NW-Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terhorst, B.

    2009-04-01

    of loess loam and redeposited material. However, four to five interglacial paleosols are developed inside the studied sequences. Paleomagnetical investigations are leading to the assumption that different Middle Pleistocene excursions could provide chronological data in the future. Terhorst, B., 2007. Korrelation von mittelpleistozänen Löß-/Paläobodensequenzen in Oberösterreich mit einer marinen Sauerstoffisotopenkurve. E & G, Quaternary Science Journal, 56/3: 172