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Millennial- to centennial-scale record of African climate variability and organic carbon accumulation in the Coniacian-Santonian eastern tropical Atlantic (Ocean Drilling Program Site 959, off Ivory Coast/Ghana)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Wagner, Dr Britta Beckmann


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The inorganic terrigenous fraction of marine sediments offers a great number of different and well established proxy parameters to investigate the development of Earth's climate. This study presents a synthesis of multidisciplinary investigations which have been applied to late Quaternary sediments recovered from the low-latitude Atlantic during the Bremen Special Reseach Project 261. In the equatorial Atlantic terrigenous matter is supplied by eolian and fluvial pathways. In addition to the dust input from African deserts, the catchment areas of the three major rivers Amazon, Niger and Zaire (Congo) are the dominant sources. Small river systems are of local importance. Terrigenous records from near-continental and open pelagic depositional settings are discussed. The main questions we focused on are a) the control of climate change and b) the identification and timing of rapidly occurring events. Results from the low- latitude Atlantic support the suggestion that both high-latitude and low-latitude forcing influence tropical climate and marine sedimentation. Apparently, the frequency of climate variability in the tropics during the late Quaternary is controlled by the precessional insolation cycle, whereas amplitudes and timing of climate change are mainly determined by the high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Within the phase relationships, however, regional differences arise. Furthermore, there is evidence for climate instability during glacials and interglacials which probably occurred on decadal to centennial time scales.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hofmann P, Wagner T, Beckmann B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geology

Year: 2003

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 135-138

Print publication date: 01/10/2002

ISSN (print): 0091-7613

ISSN (electronic): 1943-2682

Publisher: Geological Society of America


DOI: 10.1130/0091-7613(2003)031<0135:MTCSRO>2.0.CO;2


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