Sample records for late pleistocene ursus

  1. Radiocarbon dates on cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) and brown bear (Ursus arctos) from Late Pleistocene of Poland

    Nadachowski, Adam; Lipecki, Grzegorz; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Wojtal, Piotr


    . However, this evidence requires further investigation. The dates younger than 29 ka BP (cal. 33 ka BP) include 4 dates ranging from 28,500±500 BP (GdA-94) (this conventional 14C date is doubtful due to pre-treatment methods used) to 26,010±150 BP (OxA-14406) (cal. 30,971±344 BP). The youngest available so far AMS date from Poland is a fragment presumably of cave bear skull (we cannot exclude the brown bear) from Komarowa Cave (layer C), 24,550±220 BP (Poz-339) (cal. 29,361±508 BP). However, this date must be regarded with considerable caution because the improved pre-treatment methods were not used. Although the data are still limited at present, there are strong indications that the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) did not survived to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and become extinct ca. 26 ka BP (ca. cal. 31 ka BP) at areas north from the Sudetes and the Carpathians ranges, thus earlier than in the Alps (ca. 24 ka BP, ca. cal. 28 ka BP). The direct dating of brown bear remains are still scarce. The AMS 14C dates were obtained for 10 remains of Ursus arctos previously dated for late Pleistocene on the basis of stratigraphic position of remains and archaeological chronology. The Eastern Sudetes sites are represented by a single date of brown bear skull described previously by Zotz (1939) from a cave (most probably Kammerberghöhle) near Wschodnia Cave (Połom Mt.). Most of samples come from few archaeological sites located in different parts of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland (Mamutowa, Komarowa, Deszczowa and Dziadowa Skała caves). A single date obtained for Kraków Spadzista Street (from a trench near site B) is surprising, because of extreme rarity of brown bears in archaeological open-air sites in Poland. In six cases the late Pleistocene age of Ursus arctos remains was confirmed, however only one obtained date agree with the opinion of possible co-occurrence of the brown bear and cave bear during OIS 3 in Poland (Kadzielnia in Kielce, ca. 37,7 ka BP). The oldest

  2. Retreat and extinction of the Late Pleistocene cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus sensu lato)

    Baca, Mateusz; Popović, Danijela; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Marciszak, Adrian; Urbanowski, Mikołaj; Nadachowski, Adam; Mackiewicz, Paweł


    The cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus sensu lato) is a typical representative of Pleistocene megafauna which became extinct at the end of the Last Glacial. Detailed knowledge of cave bear extinction could explain this spectacular ecological transformation. The paper provides a report on the youngest remains of the cave bear dated to 20,930 ± 140 14C years before present (BP). Ancient DNA analyses proved its affiliation to the Ursus ingressus haplotype. Using this record and 205 other dates, we determined, following eight approaches, the extinction time of this mammal at 26,100-24,300 cal. years BP. The time is only slightly earlier, i.e. 27,000-26,100 cal. years BP, when young dates without associated collagen data are excluded. The demise of cave bear falls within the coldest phase of the last glacial period, Greenland Stadial 3. This finding and the significant decrease in the cave bear records with cooling indicate that the drastic climatic changes were responsible for its extinction. Climate deterioration lowered vegetation productivity, on which the cave bear strongly depended as a strict herbivore. The distribution of the last cave bear records in Europe suggests that this animal was vanishing by fragmentation into subpopulations occupying small habitats. One of them was the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in Poland, where we discovered the latest record of the cave bear and also two other, younger than 25,000 14C years BP. The relatively long survival of this bear in karst regions may result from suitable microclimate and continuous access to water provided by deep aquifers, indicating a refugial role of such regions in the Pleistocene for many species.

  3. Late Pleistocene potential distribution of the North African sengi or ...

    Late Pleistocene potential distribution of the North African sengi or ... origin for an extant species, predating the dramatic climatic fluctuations of the Pleistocene. ... occurrence points to develop models of present-day potential distributions of E.

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

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


    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

  5. Late Pleistocene adult mortality patterns and modern human establishment.

    Trinkaus, Erik


    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.

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

    Huybers, Peter


    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.

  7. Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations.

    Huybers, Peter; Wunsch, Carl


    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.

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

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


    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.

  9. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

    Faith, J. Tyler


    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.

  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

    Jacquemin, Stephen J.; Jun A. Ebersole; Dickinson, William C.; Charles N Ciampaglio


    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.) lead...

  11. Global Implications of late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions in the Holarctic

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris


    Improved resolution data from radiocarbon, climate and ancient DNA studies of megafauna and humans is providing the first ability to disentangle the roles of climate change and human impact in the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. In the Holarctic we find that megafaunal populations underwent repeated local or global extinctions apparently associated with abrupt, centennial to millennial duration warming events (Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials). Importantly, the extinction events took place both before and after the arrival of modern humans in the landscape. Here we look at the possible role of human activity in Holarctic and suggest it may be through the disruption of metapopulation processes which stabilize ecosystems and may have evolved to provide resilience to rapid and frequent climate shifts in the past. The observed relationship between climate and humans on megafaunal populations may provide a model for global extinction. Fortunately in this regard, the rapid movement of the first Native Americans throughout both American continents during the Last Deglaciation provides a powerful and unique model system for testing the competing roles on extinction because the opposing climate trends in each hemisphere at the time. Here we show that while megafaunal extinctions were associated with warming trends in both cases, the out-of-phase climate patterns caused the sequence and timing of events to be mirrored, providing a unique high-resolution view of the interactions of human colonization and rapid climate change on megafaunal ecosystems, with implications for future warming scenarios. References: Cooper, A., Turney, C., Hughen, K.A., Brook, B.W., McDonald, H.G., Bradshaw, C.J.A., 2015. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover. Science 349, 602-606. Metcalf, J.L., Turney, C., Barnett, R., Martin, F., Bray, S.C., Vilstrup, J.T., Orlando, L., Salas-Gismondi, R., Loponte, D., Medina, M., De Nigris, M., Civalero, T., Fern

  12. Late-Pleistocene precipitation δ18O interpolated across the global landmass

    Jasechko, Scott


    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.

  13. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Paleoenvironments of Chalco Lake, Central Mexico

    Lozano-García, Maria Socorro; Ortega-Guerrero, Beatriz; Caballero-Miranda, Margarita; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime


    In order to establish paleoenvironmental conditions during the late Quaternary, four cores from the Basin of Mexico (central Mexico) were drilled in Chalco Lake, located in the southeastern part of the basin. The upper 8 m of two parallel cores were studied, using paleomagnetic, loss-on-ignition, pollen, and diatom analyses. Based on 11 14C ages, the analyzed record spans the last 19,000 14C yr B.P. Volcanic activity has affected microfossil abundances, both directly and indirectly, resulting in absence or reduction of pollen and diatom assemblages. Important volcanic activity took place between 19,000 and 15,000 yr B.P. when the lake was a shallow alkaline marsh and an increase of grassland pollen suggests a dry, cold climate. During this interval, abrupt environmental changes with increasing moisture occurred. From 15,000 until 12,500 yr B.P. the lake level increased and the pollen indicates wetter conditions. The highest lake level is registered from 12,500 to ca. 9000 yr B.P. The end of the Pleistocene is characterized by an increase in humidity. From 9000 until ca. 3000 yr B.P. Chalco Lake was a saline marsh and the pollen record indicates warmer conditions. After 3000 yr B.P. the lake level increased and human disturbance dominates the lacustrine record.

  14. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias


    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.

  15. Late Pleistocene voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from the Baranica Cave (Serbia)

    Bogićević, Katarina; Nenadić, Draženko; Mihailović, Dušan


    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).

  16. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Changbai Mountains in northeastern China

    ZHANG Wei; NIU YunBo; YAN Ling; CUI ZhiJiu; LI ChuanChuan; MU KeHua


    The Changbai Mountains (2749 m a.s.l.) in northeastern China are one of the typical mountain regions with glaciation since late Pleistocene as evidenced by well-preserved erosive and accumulative land-forms at elevations above 2000 m a.s.l. Formed by glaciers around the crater lake, Tianchi Lake. Cirque glaciers developed on both the inner and outer sides of the volcanic cone. Well-preserved cirques, glacial trough valleys, glacial threholds, polished surfaces of the glacial erratics and the moraine ridges indicate that several glaciation processes took place during the last glacial period in this region. Re-sults of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating on the moraine sediments, and the K/Ar, ther-mal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), electronic spinning resonance (ESR) dating on the volcanic rocks suggest two periods of glacier advances. One is named the Black Wind Mouth glacier advance taking place on the west and north slopes of the volcanic cone at an elevation of 2000-2100 m a.s.l.,which is dated to about 20 ka, being the result of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The other is named the Meteorological Station glacier advance at the elevation of 2400--2600 m a.s.l., dated to 11 ka during the late glacial period, and is tentatively correlated to the Younger Dryas stage. The scope of the former glacier advance is larger than that of the latter. Regional comparisons showed that the glacial se-quences in the Changbai Mountains are similar to other glaciated areas in eastern Asia during the later part of the last glacial cycle.

  17. A Hominin Femur with Archaic Affinities from the Late Pleistocene of Southwest China: e0143332

    Darren Curnoe; Xueping Ji; Wu Liu; Zhende Bao; Paul S C Taçon; Liang Ren


      The number of Late Pleistocene hominin species and the timing of their extinction are issues receiving renewed attention following genomic evidence for interbreeding between the ancestors of some...

  18. Late Pleistocene raised beaches of coastal Estremadura, central Portugal

    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.


    We present new stratigraphic, sedimentological, and chronological data for a suite of tectonically raised beaches dating to Marine Isotope Stages 5, 4, and 3 along the Estremadura coast of west-central Portugal. The beach deposits are found in association with ancient tidal channels and coastal dunes, pollen bearing mud and peat, and Middle Paleolithic archaeological sites that confirm occupation of the coastal zone by Neanderthal populations. The significance of these deposits is discussed in terms of the archaeological record, the tectonic and geomorphic evolution of the coast, and correlation with reconstructions of global climate and eustatic sea-level change. Direct correlation between the Estremadura beach sections is complicated by the tectonic complexity of the area and the age of the beach deposits (which are near or beyond the limit of radiocarbon dating). Evidence from multiple sites dated by AMS radiocarbon and optical luminescence methods suggests broad synchroneity in relative sea-level changes along this coast during Marine Isotope Stage 3. Two beach complexes with luminescence and radiocarbon age control date to about 35 ka and 42 ka, recording a rise in relative sea level around the time of Heinrich Event 4 at 39 ka. Depending on assumptions about eustatic sea level at the time they were deposited, we estimate that these beaches have been uplifted at rates of 0.4-4.3 mm yr -1 by the combined effects of tectonic, halokinetic, and isostatic processes. Uplift rates of 1-2 mm yr -1 are likely if the beaches represent sea level stands at roughly 40 m below modern, as suggested by recent eustatic sea level reconstructions. Evidence from coastal bluffs and the interior of the study area indicates extensive colluvial, fluvial, and aeolian sedimentation beginning around 31 ka and continuing into the Holocene. These geomorphic adjustments are related to concomitant changes in climate and sea level, providing context that improves our understanding of Late

  19. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environments in the Nile basin

    Williams, Martin A. J.


    Owing to the very gently sloping nature of the flood plain in the lower White Nile valley, which is underlain by a former lake-bed, the depositional record in that area is unusually well preserved. In Egypt and along the Blue Nile phases of erosion have destroyed segments of the sedimentary record, but the White Nile sequence is a good proxy for both the main Nile and the Blue Nile. During the last 15 ka, at least, times of high flow in the Blue Nile and main Nile were synchronous with those in the White Nile. Not all the White Nile flood deposits have been preserved but calibrated radiocarbon dates obtained on fossil freshwater and amphibious Pila shells and fish bones indicate that White Nile levels were high around 14.7-13.1 ka, 9.7-9.0 ka, 7.9-7.6 ka, 6.3 ka and 3.2-2.8 ka. The Blue Nile record is more fragmentary and that of the main Nile even more so except for the Holocene Nile delta. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for high Blue Nile flows indicate very high flood levels towards 13.9-13.2 ka, 8.6 ka, 7.7 ka and 6.3 ka. Incision by the Blue Nile and main Nile has caused progressive incision in the White Nile amounting to at least 4 m since the terminal Pleistocene ˜ 15 ka ago and at least 2 m over the past 9 ka. The Blue Nile seems to have cut down at least 10 m since ˜ 15 ka and at least 4 m since 9 ka. The time-transgressive and relatively late inception of plant domestication in the Nile valley may partly reflect this history of incision. Nile incision would propagate upstream into the White Nile valley, draining previously swampy areas along the valley floor, which would then become accessible to cultivation.

  20. Late Pleistocene glacial fluctuations in Cordillera Oriental, subtropical Andes

    Martini, Mateo A.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Strelin, Jorge A.; Astini, Ricardo A.; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Caffee, Marc W.; Schwartz, Roseanne


    The behavior of subtropical glaciers during Middle to Late Pleistocene global glacial maxima and abrupt climate change events, specifically in Earth's most arid low-latitude regions, remains an outstanding problem in paleoclimatology. The present-day climate of Cordillera Oriental, in arid northwestern Argentina, is influenced by shifts in subtropical climate systems, including the South American Summer Monsoon. To understand better past glacier-subtropical climates during the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 26.5-19 ka) and other time periods, we combined geomorphic features with forty-two precise 10Be ages on moraine boulders and reconstructed paleo-equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) at Nevado de Chañi (24°S) in the arid subtropical Andes. We found a major glacial expansion at ∼23 ± 1.6 ka, that is, during the global LGM. Additional glacial expansions are observed before the global LGM (at ∼52-39 ka), and after, at 15 ± 0.5 and 12 ± 0.6 ka. The ∼15 ka glacial event was found on both sides of Chañi and the ∼12 ka event is only recorded on the east side. Reconstructed ELAs of the former glaciers exhibit a rise from east to west that resembles the present subtropical climate trajectory from the Atlantic side of the continent; hence, we infer that this climate pattern must have been present in the past. Based on comparison with other low-latitude paleoclimate records, such as those from lakes and caves, we infer that both temperature and precipitation influenced past glacial occurrence in this sector of the arid Andes. Our findings also imply that abrupt deglacial climate events associated with the North Atlantic, specifically curtailed meridional overturning circulation and regional cooling, may have had attendant impacts on low subtropical Southern Hemisphere latitudes, including the climate systems that affect glacial activity around Nevado de Chañi.




    Full Text Available Here we described the remains of Canis lupus from the bed 8 of Avetrana karst filling (Late Pleistocene; Taranto, Southern Italy. The studied specimens are larger than those collected from the early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities and those referred to the recent Italian wolf. Moreover, the remains from Avetrana are morphometrically close to Canis lupus maximus from France and to C. lupus collected from Central and Northern Italian localities, chronologically related to MIS 2 and MIS 3. Morphologically, the studied specimens slightly differ from both C. l. maximus and other Pleistocene Apulian wolves. The dimensional differences between the Avetrana wolves and those collected from the other early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities could be explained through a spread of a large-sized morphotype from the Northern Italy.

  2. 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

    Stephen J. Jacquemin


    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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.

    Jacquemin, Stephen J; Ebersole, Jun A; Dickinson, William C; Ciampaglio, Charles N


    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.

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

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


    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

  5. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus mating during late June on the pack ice of northern Svalbard, Norway

    Thomas G. Smith


    Full Text Available Polar bears are seasonal breeders and typically mate from late March to early May. Implantation is, however, delayed until autumn, which can allow plasticity in the date of mating. As for other seasonal breeders, a rapid return to estrus after the loss of dependent offspring can be expected, even into the summer. A few earlier observations and dissections of dead animals suggest that polar bears are able to mate in summer. We report on a mating incident on 29 June 2014, the first documented mating this late in the season among wild polar bears. The female had lost her dependent cub during the period prior to the mating event. We speculate that she lost this cub late in the mating season, entered estrus and successfully mated in late June.

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

    J. A. F. Diniz-Filho

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Late Pleistocene Stratigraphy and Palaeobotany of the Isles of Scilly

    Scourse, J. D.


    A re-evaluation of the Pleistocene stratigraphy of the Isles of Scilly has enabled the formal definition of eight lithostratigraphic units of member status grouped into two formations. A chronology of events has been provided by radiocarbon (14C) determinations, optical and thermoluminescene (TL) dates. Intersite correlations have been strengthened by palynology, which has aided palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The defined units have been incorporated into two lithostratigraphic models, one for the `northern' (glacial) Scillies and one for the `southern' (extra-glacial) Scillies. Raised beach sediments of the Watermill Sands and Gravel in the southern Scillies are overlain by the Porthloo Breccia, a unit of soliflucted material derived exclusively from the weathering of local granite. Organic sequences at Carn Morval, Watermill Cove, Porth Askin, Porth Seal and Bread and Cheese Cove occur within the Porthloo Breccia, and are interpreted as the infillings of ponds associated with active solifluction. Radiocarbon determinations from these organic sediments are critical because they pre-date units associated with a glacial event. The 14C determinations indicate deposition of the organic material between 34500-800+885 (Q-2410) and 21500-800+890 (Q-2358) years BP and provide a maximum age for the glacial event and the first radiometric dates for the coastal `head' sediments of southwest England. The pollen assemblages from these organic sites all record open grassland vegetation, and represent the earliest vegetational record for the Scillies. High Pinus values are interpreted as evidence of climatic deterioration. In the southern Scillies, the Porthloo Breccia is overlain by the Old Man Sandloess, a coarse aeolian silt with subdominant fine sand, TL-dated to 18600-3700+3700 years (QTL-ld and lf; Wintle 1981) and optically dated to 20000-7000+7000 and 26000-9000+10000 years (two samples; 738al and 741al; Smith et al. 1990). This material occurs in a variety of facies

  8. Middle and Late Pleistocene glaciations in the southwestern Pamir and their effects on topography

    Stubner, Konstanze; Grin, Elena; Hidy, Alan J.; Schaller, Mirjam; Gold, Ryan D.; Ratschbacher, Lothar; Ehlers, Todd


    Glacial chronologies provide insight into the evolution of paleo-landscapes, paleoclimate, topography, and the erosion processes that shape mountain ranges. In the Pamir of Central Asia, glacial morphologies and deposits indicate extensive past glaciations, whose timing and extent remain poorly constrained. Geomorphic data and 15 new 10Be exposure ages from moraine boulders and roches moutonnées in the southwestern Pamir document multiple Pleistocene glacial stages. The oldest exposure ages, , underestimate the age of the earliest preserved glacial advance and imply that the modern relief of the southwestern Pamir (peaks at ∼5000–6000 m a.s.l.; valleys at ∼2000–3000 m a.s.l.) already existed in the late Middle Pleistocene. Younger exposure ages (∼40–80 ka, ∼30 ka) complement the existing Central Asian glacial chronology and reflect successively less extensive Late Pleistocene glaciations. The topography of the Pamir and the glacial chronologies suggest that, in the Middle Pleistocene, an ice cap or ice field occupied the eastern Pamir high-altitude plateau, whereas westward flowing valley glaciers incised the southwestern Pamir. Since the Late Pleistocene deglaciation, the rivers of the southwestern Pamir adjusted to the glacially shaped landscape. Localized rapid fluvial incision and drainage network reorganization reflect the transient nature of the deglaciated landscape.

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

    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.


    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.

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

    Prouty, J.S. [Texas A& M Univ., Corpus Christi, TX (United States)


    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.

  11. New records of temperate mollusks in two Late Pleistocene terrestrial localities from northeastern Oaxaca, Southern Mexico

    Guerrero-Arenas, Rosalía; Jiménez-Hidalgo, Eduardo; García-Barrera, Pedro


    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.

  12. Sedimentary architecture and chronostratigraphy of a late Quaternary incised-valley fill : A case study of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene Rhine system in the Netherlands

    Peeters, J.; Busschers, F. S.; Stouthamer, E.; Bosch, J. H A; Van den Berg, M. W.; Wallinga, J.; Versendaal, A. J.; Bunnik, F. P M; Middelkoop, H.


    This paper describes the sedimentary architecture, chronostratigraphy and palaeogeography of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage/MIS 6-2) incised Rhine-valley fill in the central Netherlands based on six geological transects, luminescence dating, biostratigraphical data and a

  13. First direct dating of Late Pleistocene ice-wedges by AMS

    Vasil'chuk, YK; van der Plicht, J; Jungner, H; Sonninen, E; Vasil'chuk, AC; Vasil'chuk, Yurij K.; Vasil'chuk, Alla C.


    We present the first direct dating by C-14-accelerator mass spectrometry of three Late Pleistocene syngenetic ice-wedges from the Seyaha cross-section. They are representative of permafrost with multistage ice-wedges from the North of Western Siberia. The most important result is the clear vertical

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape formation in a gully catchment area in Northern Hesse, Germany

    Döhler, Susanne; Damm, Bodo; Terhorst, Birgit


    Permanent gully channels under forest are common geomorphological features in Central European low mountain areas. In the Rehgraben/Fuchslöchergraben gully catchment in Northern Hesse, Germany the Late Pleistocene landscape formation is reconstructed based on periglacial cover beds. In addition...

  15. Radiocarbon dating of late pleistocene marine shells from the southern north sea

    Busschers, F.S.; Wesselingh, F.P.; Kars, R.H.; Versluijs-Helder, M.; Wallinga, J.; Bosch, J.H.A.; Timmner, J.; Nierop, K.G.J.; Meijer, T.; Bunnik, F.P.M.; Wolf, De H.


    This article presents a set of Late Pleistocene marine mollusk radiocarbon (AMS) age estimates of 30-50 C-14 kyr BP, whereas a MIS5 age (>75 ka) is indicated by quartz and feldspar OSL dating, biostratigraphy, U-Th dating, and age-depth relationships with sea level. These results indicate that th

  16. Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape formation in a gully catchment area in Northern Hesse, Germany

    Döhler, Susanne; Damm, Bodo; Terhorst, Birgit


    Permanent gully channels under forest are common geomorphological features in Central European low mountain areas. In the Rehgraben/Fuchslöchergraben gully catchment in Northern Hesse, Germany the Late Pleistocene landscape formation is reconstructed based on periglacial cover beds. In addition...

  17. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from northern Brazil.

    Ferreira, Thais M F; Olivares, Adriana Itati; Kerber, Leonardo; Dutra, Rodrigo P; Avilla, Leonardo S


    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.

  18. Ancient DNA reveals that bowhead whale lineages survived Late Pleistocene climate change and habitat shifts

    Foote, Andrew D; Kaschner, Kristin; Schultze, Sebastian E;


    that a true Arctic species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), shifted its range and tracked its core suitable habitat northwards during the rapid climate change of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Late Pleistocene lineages survived into the Holocene and effective female population size increased...... rapidly, concurrent with a threefold increase in core suitable habitat. This study highlights that responses to climate change are likely to be species specific and difficult to predict. We estimate that the core suitable habitat of bowhead whales will be almost halved by the end of this century...

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

    Brumm, Adam; Langley, Michelle C; Moore, Mark W; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Sumantri, Iwan; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Suryatman; 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


    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. Nuclear gene sequences from a late pleistocene sloth coprolite.

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


    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.

  1. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi from northern Brazil



    Full Text Available ABSTRACT 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.

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

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


    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

  3. Arsenic in Groundwater: The Deep Late Pleistocene Aquifers of the Western Bengal Basin.

    McArthur, J M; Ghosal, U; Sikdar, P K; Ball, J D


    in groundwaters from 145 wells across central West Bengal, India, those from Pleistocene aquifers at depths >70 m beneath paleo-interfluves contain 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.

  4. Late pleistocene history of coniferous woodland in the mohave desert.

    Wells, P V; Berger, R


    Seventeen ancient wood-rat middens, ranging in radiocarbon age from 7400 to 19,500 years and to older than 40,000 years, have been uncovered in the northeastern, north-central, southeastern, and southwestern sectors of the Mohave Desert. Excellent preservation of macroscopic plant materials (including stems, buds, leaves, fruits, and seeds) enables identification of many plant species growing within the limited foraging range of the sedentary wood rat. An approximately synchronous zonal differentiation of vegetation in response to a gradient of elevation on limestone in the northeastern Mohave Desert is apparent from the macrofossil evidence, preserved in wood-rat middens and ground-sloth coprolites, covering a time span bracketed by radiocarbon ages of about 9000 and 10,000 years. XerophilQus juniper woodlands descended to an elevation of 1100 meters, some 600 meters below the present lower limit of woodland (1700 meters) in the latitude of Frenchman Flat. But desert or semidesert shrubs coexisted with the woodland trees throughout much of the span of elevation corresponding to the pluvial lowering of the woodland zone, and the more mesophytic phase of pinyonjuniper woodland was evidently confined to montane habitats at elevations above 1500 meters. Joshua trees, accompanied by desert shrubs, prevailed down to about 600 meters at Gypsum Cave, Nevada, but only the shrubs of the existing warm-desert vegetation occurred at 530 meters near Rampart Cave, Arizona. Pleistocene middens from the southeastern Mohave Desert record a relatively large downward shift of the pinyon-juniper woodland zone, paralleling the remarkably low minimum elevation of the existing woodland zone in that area. The macrofossil evidence speaks for former continuity of the many disjunct stands of woodland vegetation in the Mohave Desert region, at least along the higher divides connecting most of the ranges. However, there is no macrofossil evidence of pluvial continuity of range for the more

  5. A robust feldspar luminescence dating method for Middle and Late Pleistocene sediments

    Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Jain, Mayank; Murray, Andrew S.


    Luminescence dating is used extensively to provide absolute chronologies for Late Pleistocene sediments. Nowadays, most optical dates are based on quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). However, the application of this signal is usually limited to the last ~100 ka because of saturation...... of the quartz luminescence signal with dose. In contrast, the feldspar infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) dose–response curve grows to much higher doses; this has the potential to extend the datable age range by a factor of 4–5 compared with quartz OSL. However, it has been known for several decades...... is widely applicable (feldspar of appropriate luminescence behaviour is even more ubiquitous than quartz). These characteristics make this a method of great importance for the dating of Middle and Late Pleistocene deposits....

  6. The Late Pleistocene Southern Fuego-Patagonian Archaeological Sites: New Findings, New Problems


    The Fuego-Patagonian Late Pleistocene archaeological sites are scarce; we have only a handful of them for understanding a periodof time that extends for about 1000 years. These deposits coincide with a period of substantial environmental changes that contributed to the extinction of megafauna in the region, as in the rest of the Americas. All sites registered are located in caves and rock shelters. Attempts to find new sites in other contexts of the region have not yet yielded the expected re...

  7. Climatic variability in Mfabeni peatlands (South Africa) since the late Pleistocene

    Baker, Andrea; Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Routh, Joyanto; Roychoudhury, Alakendra N.


    It has been postulated that a bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism dominated the relationship between the Northern and Southern hemisphere climates since the late Pleistocene. A key test for this proposition would be to undertake palaeoenvironmental studies on terrestrial archives in climatically sensitive regions. Southern Africa's contemporary C3 and C4 terrestrial plant distributions display a definitive geographical pattern dictated by different growing season rainfall and temperature zones; however, the region is generally archive poor due to its overall semi-arid climate and high relief topography. The Mfabeni peatland, with a basal age of c. 47 k yrs calibrated before present (kcal yr BP), is one of the oldest continuous coastal peat deposits in Southern Africa. Molecular leaf wax isotopes (δ13Cwax) were generated for a 810 cm long core, and combined with previously published bulk geochemical (δ13Cbulk, %TOC), palynological, and stratigraphic data, to reconstruct the late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironments. We interpreted environmental shifts associated with the Heinrich 4, Last Glacial Maximum, deglacial and Holocene periods, which are consistent with adjacent Indian Ocean sea surface temperature records. However, the other shorter climate perturbations during the Heinrich 5, 3, 2, 1, Antarctic cold reversal and Younger Dryas, were muted, most likely due to local hydrological overprinting on the Mfabeni record. A general anti-phase sequence was observed between the Mfabeni record and better established Northern Hemisphere events, underpinning the bipolar seesaw interhemispheric mechanism proposed for global climate forcing since the Late Pleistocene.

  8. Late Pleistocene to Holocene eruptive activity of Pico de Orizaba, Eastern Mexico

    Hoskuldsson, Armann; Robin, Claude


    The Late Pleistocene to Holocene eruptive history of Pico de Orizaba can be divided into 11 eurptive episodes. Each eruptive episode lasted several hundred years, the longest recorded being about 1000 years (the Xilomich episode). Intervals of dormancy range from millenia during the late Pleistocene to about 500 years, the shortest interval recorded in the Holocene. This difference could reflect either changes in the volcano's activity or that the older stratigraphic record is less complete than the younger. Eruptive mechanisms during the late Pleistocene were characterized by dome extrusions, lava flows and ash-and-scoria-flow generating eruptive columns. However, in Holocene time plinian activity became increasingly important. The increase in dacitic plinian eruptions over time is related to increased volumes of dacitic magma beneath Pico de Orizaba. We suggest that the magma reservoir under Pico de Orizaba is stratified. The last eruptive episode, which lasted from about 690 years bp until ad 1687, was initiated by a dacitic plinian eruption and was followed by effusive lava-forming eruptions. For the last 5,000 years the activity of the volcano has been gradually evolving towards such a trend, underlining the increasing importance of dacitic magma and stratification of the magma reservoir. Independent observations of Pico de Orizaba's glacier early this century indicate that some increase in volcanic activity occurred between 1906 and 1947, and that it was probably fumarolic.

  9. Some problems on the studies of the late Pleistocene human evolution and formation of modern human populations

    LIU Wu


    For the past two decades, studies and debates on the modern human origins around the world have attracted attentions to the late Pleistocene human evolution and formation of modern human populations, and some controversial hypotheses and problems have been proposed. In the present paper, some problems on the late Pleistocene human evolution, and the formation and differentiations of modern human populations in China are studied with a brief description and comments on the research advances in this field.

  10. Extensive deposits on the Pacific plate from Late Pleistocene North American glacial lake outbursts

    Normark, W.R.; Reid, J.A.


    One of the major unresolved issues of the Late Pleistocene catastrophic-flood events in the northwestern United States (e.g., from glacial Lake Missoula) has been what happened when the flood discharge reached the ocean. This study compiles available 3.5-kHz high-resolution and airgun seismic reflection data, long-range sidescan sonar images, and sediment core data to define the distribution of flood sediment in deepwater areas of the Pacific Ocean. Upon reaching the ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River near the present-day upper continental slope, sediment from the catastrophic floods continued flowing downslope as hyperpycnally generated turbidity currents. The turbidity currents resulting from the Lake Missoula and other latest Pleistocene floods followed the Cascadia Channel into and through the Blanco Fracture Zone and then flowed west to the Tufts Abyssal Plain. A small part of the flood sediment, which was stripped off the main flow at a bend in the Cascadia Channel at its exit point from the Blanco Fracture Zone, continued flowing more than 400 km to the south and reached the Escanaba Trough, a rift valley of the southern Gorda Ridge. Understanding the development of the pathway for the Late Pleistocene flood sediment reaching Escanaba Trough provides insight for understanding the extent of catastrophic flood deposits on the Pacific plate.

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

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


    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.

  12. Coalescence and fragmentation in the late Pleistocene archaeology of southernmost Africa.

    Mackay, Alex; Stewart, Brian A; Chase, Brian M


    The later Pleistocene archaeological record of southernmost Africa encompasses several Middle Stone Age industries and the transition to the Later Stone Age. Through this period various signs of complex human behaviour appear episodically, including elaborate lithic technologies, osseous technologies, ornaments, motifs and abstract designs. Here we explore the regional archaeological record using different components of lithic technological systems to track the transmission of cultural information and the extent of population interaction within and between different climatic regions. The data suggest a complex set of coalescent and fragmented relationships between populations in different climate regions through the late Pleistocene, with maximum interaction (coalescence) during MIS 4 and MIS 2, and fragmentation during MIS 5 and MIS 3. Coalescent phases correlate with increases in the frequency of ornaments and other forms of symbolic expression, leading us to suggest that population interaction was a significant driver in their appearance.

  13. People of the ancient rainforest: late Pleistocene foragers at the Batadomba-lena rockshelter, Sri Lanka.

    Perera, Nimal; Kourampas, Nikos; Simpson, Ian A; Deraniyagala, Siran U; Bulbeck, David; Kamminga, Johan; Perera, Jude; Fuller, Dorian Q; Szabó, Katherine; Oliveira, Nuno V


    Batadomba-lena, a rockshelter in the rainforest of southwestern Sri Lanka, has yielded some of the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in South Asia. H. sapiens foragers were present at Batadomba-lena from ca. 36,000 cal BP to the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene. Human occupation was sporadic before the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Batadomba-lena's Late Pleistocene inhabitants foraged for a broad spectrum of plant and mainly arboreal animal resources (monkeys, squirrels and abundant rainforest snails), derived from a landscape that retained equatorial rainforest cover through periods of pronounced regional aridity during the LGM. Juxtaposed hearths, palaeofloors with habitation debris, postholes, excavated pits, and animal and plant remains, including abundant Canarium nutshells, reflect intensive habitation of the rockshelter in times of monsoon intensification and biome reorganisation after ca. 16,000 cal BP. This period corresponds with further broadening of the economic spectrum, evidenced though increased contribution of squirrels, freshwater snails and Canarium nuts in the diet of the rockshelter occupants. Microliths are more abundant and morphologically diverse in the earliest, pre-LGM layer and decline markedly during intensified rockshelter use on the wane of the LGM. We propose that changing toolkits and subsistence base reflect changing foraging practices, from shorter-lived visits of highly mobile foraging bands in the period before the LGM, to intensified use of Batadomba-lena and intense foraging for diverse resources around the site during and, especially, following the LGM. Traces of ochre, marine shell beads and other objects from an 80 km-distant shore, and, possibly burials reflect symbolic practices from the outset of human presence at the rockshelter. Evidence for differentiated use of space (individual hearths, possible habitation structures) is present in LGM and terminal Pleistocene layers. The record of Batadomba-lena demonstrates

  14. Mandibular molar root morphology in Neanderthals and Late Pleistocene and recent Homo sapiens.

    Kupczik, Kornelius; Hublin, Jean-Jacques


    Neanderthals have a distinctive suite of dental features, including large anterior crown and root dimensions and molars with enlarged pulp cavities. Yet, there is little known about variation in molar root morphology in Neanderthals and other recent and fossil members of Homo. Here, we provide the first comprehensive metric analysis of permanent mandibular molar root morphology in Middle and Late Pleistocene Homo neanderthalensis, and Late Pleistocene (Aterian) and recent Homo sapiens. We specifically address the question of whether root form can be used to distinguish between these groups and assess whether any variation in root form can be related to differences in tooth function. We apply a microtomographic imaging approach to visualise and quantify the external and internal dental morphologies of both isolated molars and molars embedded in the mandible (n=127). Univariate and multivariate analyses reveal both similarities (root length and pulp volume) and differences (occurrence of pyramidal roots and dental tissue volume proportion) in molar root morphology among penecontemporaneous Neanderthals and Aterian H. sapiens. In contrast, the molars of recent H. sapiens are markedly smaller than both Pleistocene H. sapiens and Neanderthals, but share with the former the dentine volume reduction and a smaller root-to-crown volume compared with Neanderthals. Furthermore, we found the first molar to have the largest average root surface area in recent H. sapiens and Neanderthals, although in the latter the difference between M(1) and M(2) is small. In contrast, Aterian H. sapiens root surface areas peak at M(2). Since root surface area is linked to masticatory function, this suggests a distinct occlusal loading regime in Neanderthals compared with both recent and Pleistocene H. sapiens.




    Full Text Available New and detailed taphonomic and stratigraphical analyses have been carried out at the early Late Pleistocene site of “La Grave”, nearby Avetrana (Taranto, Southern Italy. These, together with population analyses of the principal species represented (Bos primigenius, Dama dama, Cervus elaphus, Sus scrofa and Stephanorhinus hemitoechus, suggest that the fossiliferous deposits were probably accumulated rapidly, over a short time span, by exceptional events of heavy rainfall with overbank flooding. These results are supported particularly by comparison of the mammalian death assemblages from Avetrana with data from recent and Pleistocene catastrophic death assemblages documented in the literature. Furthermore, population analysis of species pinpoints the time of death between late autumn and winter. Periods with abundant and heavy rainfall are recorded in Late Pleistocene Mediterranean marine cores by the presence of sapropel levels, and in continental pollen diagrams covering the same time. Finally, observations on the morphometric variations in the bones of Bos primigenius reveal an increase in size of the species during the early Late Pleistocene and a decrease in size during the late Late Pleistocene and the Holocene. SHORT NOTE-NOTA BREVE

  16. The sedimentary sequence recovered from the Voka outcrops, northeastern Estonia: implications for late Pleistocene stratigraphy

    Miidel, Avo


    Full Text Available New palaeoenvironmental and geological data, which may be integrated with the results from the neighbouring regions, were collected from two well-exposed continuous outcrops in the vicinity of Voka village, northeastern Estonia. These outcrops, situated in a klint depression – klint bay –, show an about 22 m thick stacked sequence of sandy to clayey subaqueous deposits. This succession of water-lain sediments documents the response to climate change during the late Pleistocene. On the basis of grain size characteristics, sedimentological structures, and luminescence chronostratigraphical data, the sequence is subdivided into two main units – A and B. Optical dating of 18 samples from the upper unit A shows that the unit is of middle Järva (= middle Weichselian age (marine isotope stage (MIS 3. Representative pollen spectra derived from 45 samples from the pollen-bearing part of unit A provide convincing evidence of noticeable changes in vegetation and climate in NE Estonia during the time period from 39 to 33 kyr BP, within which two intervals of severe climate and two relatively milder ones have been recognized. Preliminary data from the underlying unit B indicate that deposits of the last interglacial sensu lato and those of early pleniglacial age correlating with MIS 5 and MIS 4, respectively, occur here as well. Thus, the data obtained during the present study show unambiguously that in contrast with the expectations, the greater part of the late Pleistocene sequence is represented in the Voka section. No evidence was found for glacial activity during the late Pleistocene period predating the last glacial maximum. The use of the Voka event stratigraphy as a template facilitates search for correlative horizons in the neighbouring regions.




    Full Text Available Baranica is a cave in the Balkan mountain range in the eastern part of Serbia. It contains four layers of sediments of Quaternary age. The Upper Pleistocene deposits (layers 2-4 have yielded a rich and diverse assemblage of vertebrate fauna, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small and large mammals. In this work, preliminary results of a study of the rodent fauna from the Upper Pleistocene deposits of the Baranica Cave (Knjazevac, eastern Serbia are presented. The fossil material comes from the 1995 archaeological excavation. The remains of 10 rodent species are described herein: Spermophilus cf. citelloides, Castor fiber, Sicista subtilis, Cricetulus migratorius, Cricetus cricetus, Mesocricetus newtoni, Apodemus ex gr. sylvaticus-flavicollis, Spalax leucodon, Dryomys nitedula, and Muscardinus avellanarius. Along with eight vole species, this makes altogether 18 species of rodents found in this locality. Both layers 2 and 4 (layer 3 is very poor in fossils have yielded a rodent fauna typical for the cold periods of the Late Pleistocene on the Balkan Peninsula, with a prevalence of open and steppe inhabitants, but some forest dwellers were also present. The assemblages from these layers are similar, but there are some differences in the composition of the fauna, which may indicate a slight shift towards drier conditions. They have also been compared to rodent associations from some Serbian and Bulgarian localities of the same age and their similarities and differences are discussed. SHORT NOTE-NOTA BREVE

  18. Middle to Late Pleistocene activity of the northern Matese fault system (southern Apennines, Italy)

    Galli, Paolo; Giaccio, Biagio; Messina, Paolo; Peronace, Edoardo; Amato, Vincenzo; Naso, Giuseppe; Nomade, Sebastian; Pereira, Alison; Piscitelli, Sabatino; Bellanova, Jessica; Billi, Andrea; Blamart, Dominique; Galderisi, Antonio; Giocoli, Alessandro; Stabile, Tony; Thil, Francoise


    An integrated investigation including geological, geomorphological, geophysical and structural survey, tephra analyses, 14C and 40Ar/39Ar dating, as well as paleoseismic trenching along the N-Matese fault system is presented. The study allowed the characterization of the tectonic mobility of this structure as well as the associated Bojano basin sedimentary-tectonic evolution since the early Middle Pleistocene, providing also new clues concerning the fault historical activity and the associated Mw > 6.5 earthquakes. We have found lines of evidence for > 1 mm/yr slip rate along the presently buried Bojano fault during the mid Middle Pleistocene, and similar rates for the main fault segments paralleling the Matese flanks. The buried Bojano fault significantly slowed down during the last 300 kyr, ceasing its activity before the Holocene. In turn, the segments outcropping along the Matese flanks reactivated at the onset of Late Pleistocene, after a long period of quiescence (480-110 ka), with robust slip rates that would seem even accelerating in post LGM times. Paleoseismic data suggest the occurrence of four Mw > 6.6 earthquakes in the past 3 ka, three of which match the little known 280 BC event, and the devastating 1456 and 1805 earthquakes.

  19. Uranium Series Chronology of the Late Pleistocene Basalt from the Longgang Volcanoes, Jilin Province

    YU Fusheng; HAN Song; MA Zhibang; XIE Ruijie


    The Longgang volcanic cluster located in Jilin Province belongs to one of the active volcanic regions in northeast China, and has been active in modem times. In view of the multiple eruptions in history, it is very important to determine the age of each eruption for evaluating the volcanic hazards. Two alkaline basalt samples taken from Dayizishan and Diaoshuihu were analyzed with the U-series component dating after magnetic separation. The ages of the two samples are (71±9) ka and (106±13) ka B.P., respectively. These data indicate that there existed intensive eruption activities during the late Pleistocene.

  20. A Late Pleistocene transgression in Thailand: A marine molluscan fauna from Ban Praksa (Samut Prakan Province)

    Negri, Mauro Pietro


    A Late Pleistocene molluscan fauna sampled at Ban Praksa, near the Chao Phraya River mouth (Lower Central Plain of Bangkok, Thailand) is herein analyzed and paleoecologically characterized, revealing a shallow infralittoral, coarse/hard-bottomed environment. The comparison of the Ban Praksa association with several coeval ones recovered from Phra Pradaeng Formation seems to be evidence of a 10,000 year hiatus between two separate groups of marine faunas, possibly belonging to different interstadial transgressive peaks that occurred during the long-term sea-level regression following the Last Interglacial.

  1. Intestinal contents of a late Pleistocene mastodont from midcontinental north America

    Lepper, Bradley T.; Frolking, Tod A.; Fisher, Daniel C.; Goldstein, Gerald; Sanger, Jon E.; Wymer, Dee Anne; Ogden, J. Gordon; Hooge, Paul E.


    Salvage excavations of a nearly complete and remarkably well-preserved skeleton of an American mastodont ( Mammut americanum) in Licking County, Ohio, yielded a discrete, cylindrical mass of plant material found in association with articulated vertebrae and associated ribs. This material is interpreted as intestinal contents of the mastodont and paleobotanical analyses indicate that the mastodont diet included significant amounts of low, herbaceous vegetation. Enteric bacteria ( Enterobacter cloacae), isolated from a sample of this material, are believed to represent survivors or descendants of the intestinal microflora of the mastodont. This is the first report of the isolation of bacteria associated with late Pleistocene megafauna.

  2. Phylogeography of the Alcippe morrisonia (Aves: Timaliidae: long population history beyond late Pleistocene glaciations

    Li Shouhsien


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The role of Pleistocene glacial oscillations in current biodiversity and distribution patterns varies with latitude, physical topology and population life history and has long been a topic of discussion. However, there had been little phylogeographical research in south China, where the geophysical complexity is associated with great biodiversity. A bird endemic in Southeast Asia, the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia, has been reported to show deep genetic divergences among its seven subspecies. In the present study, we investigated the phylogeography of A. morrisonia to explore its population structure and evolutionary history, in order to gain insight into the effect of geological events on the speciation and diversity of birds endemic in south China. Results Mitochondrial genes cytochrome b (Cytb and cytochrome c oxidase I (COI were represented by 1236 nucleotide sites from 151 individuals from 29 localities. Phylogenetic analysis showed seven monophyletic clades congruent with the geographically separated groups, which were identified as major sources of molecular variance (90.92% by AMOVA. TCS analysis revealed four disconnected networks, and that no haplotype was shared among the geographical groups. The common ancestor of these populations was dated to 11.6 Mya and several divergence events were estimated along the population evolutionary history. Isolation by distance was inferred by NCPA to be responsible for the current intra-population genetic pattern and gene flow among geographical groups was interrupted. A late Pleistocene demographic expansion was detected in the eastern geographical groups, while the expansion time (0.2–0.4 Mya was earlier than the Last Glacial Maximum. Conclusion It is proposed that the complicated topology preserves high genetic diversity and ancient lineages for geographical groups of A. morrisonia in China mainland and its two major islands, and restricts gene exchange during

  3. Huanglong Cave, a new late Pleistocene hominid site in Hubei Province, China

    WU Xianzhu; LIU Wu; GAO Xing; YIN Gongming


    For the past 20 years the modern human origins debate has received a significant amount of attention in paleoanthropological research. Primarily supported by the evidence of earlier dates of anatomically modern human fossils and genetic studies, the "Out of Africa" hypothesis is based on the belief that the ancestor of all modern humans, including modern Chinese, came from Africa. The opposite hypothesis "Mutiregional evolution" proposes that continuous evolution occurred on a regional scale, for which human paleontology offers strong support. However, due to the paucity of hominid fossils in China between 100 and 50 ka, support to the latter hypothesis is currently weak. This is a report here of five human fossil teeth, and associated stone tools and mammal fossils from a newly discovered cave site, Huanglong Cave, located in Yunxi County,Hubei Province, China. Preliminary studies indicate:(1) the morphological features of the human fossils resemble those of late Pleistocene human fossils from China; (2) the stone tools display patterns of both the southern and northern Paleolithic cultures of China; (3) the mammal fossils represent the "Ailuropoda-Stegodon" faunal unit which lived in southern China throughout the Pleistocene. ESR and U-series dating on animal teeth and a stalagmite derived from the same layer as the human teeth indicate two possible ages: 103±1.6 ka and 44±12.5 ka. In addition to other evidence presented here, it is believed that hominid occupation of the cave was likely around 100 ka. If this age is further substantiated, Huanglong Cave will be the first late Pleistocene hominid fossil site in China where anatomically modern humans lived about 100 ka. The human fossils and other related materials from Huanglong Cave will provide important information for research on the origin of modern Chinese.

  4. Rodent burrows in late Pleistocene paleosols at Korean Palaeolithic sites and their implications for paleoclimate changes

    Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.


    Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.

  5. Extraordinary incidence of cervical ribs indicates vulnerable condition in Late Pleistocene mammoths

    Jelle W.F. Reumer


    Full Text Available The number of cervical vertebrae in mammals is highly conserved at seven. We have shown that changes of this number are selected against due to a coupling with major congenital abnormalities (pleiotropic effects. Here we show that the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers in Late Pleistocene mammoths from the North Sea is high (33.3% and approximately 10 times higher than that of extant elephants (3.6%. Abnormal numbers were due to the presence of large cervical ribs on the seventh vertebra, which we deduced from the presence of rib articulation facets on sixth (posterior side and seventh (anterior side cervical vertebrae. The incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers in mammoths appears to be much higher than in other mammalian species, apart from exceptional sloths, manatees and dugongs and indicates a vulnerable condition. We argue that the increased incidence of cervical ribs in mammoths is probably caused by inbreeding and adverse conditions that impact early pregnancies in declining populations close to extinction in the Late Pleistocene.

  6. Depositional evolution of the Lower Khuzestan plain (SW Iran) since the end of the Late Pleistocene

    Bogemans, Frieda; Janssens, Rindert; Baeteman, Cecile


    A detailed sedimentological investigation of sixty-six cores supported by radiocarbon age determination enabled the reconstruction of the depositional environmental evolution since the end of the Late Pleistocene in the Iranian part of the Mesopotamian plain. Both fluvial and estuarine environments have been identified on the basis of the sediment characteristics and their between-core stratigraphic correlations. At the end of the Late Pleistocene the fluvial behaviour allowed only the deposition of sand. Prior to 12400-12040 yr cal BP the palaeohydraulics changed by which heterolithic fluvial facies were deposited. Shortly after 12400 - 12040 yr cal BP an erosional phase caused the incision of depressions most probably because of a climate change to further arid conditions. In the early Holocene, mud-dominated river systems filled the depressions; a situation that lasted at least until 7900 - 7700 yr cal BP. After this period tides invaded via the active channels in the downstream part of the area, which turned into an estuarine environment for a period of about 2000-2500 years. Tidal influence diminished and stopped around 5000 yr cal BP because of progradation. Fluvial processes dominated again the sedimentary environment in the study area, except at the southern margin of it where tides controlled, although very locally, the environment.

  7. A Pathological Late Pleistocene canid from San Sidero (Italy): implications for social- and feeding-behaviour

    Iurino, Dawid Adam; Fico, Rosario; Petrucci, Mauro; Sardella, Raffaele


    Evidence of diseases on vertebrate fossil bones can provide detailed information on many aspects of extinct animals. This study focused on pathological craniodental remains (left maxilla and dentary) referred to the canid Cuon alpinus unearthed from a Late Pleistocene karst filling deposit at San Sidero (Apulia, southern Italy). These fossils show clear evidence of a chronic periodontitis that caused the animal's death. Clinical diagnosis of the disease and the timing of its development have been defined on the basis of a veterinary odontostomatology approach, in addition to radiographic and tomographic techniques. From the initiation of the infection until death, a time span of at least 6 months occurred, and three main steps have been defined: (1) the bacterial infections of the buccal cavity turning into severe periodontitis, (2) the fracture of the lower carnassial and (3) the loss of teeth due to the worsening infection that deformed and/or eroded maxillary and mandibular bones and enlarged alveoli. The analysis of the palaeopathology also provides information about the biomechanics of the bite, on the feeding behaviour and on the relationships of injured members in a pack of Late Pleistocene canids.

  8. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.


    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  9. High incidence of cervical ribs indicates vulnerable condition in Late Pleistocene woolly rhinoceroses

    Alexandra A.E. van der Geer


    Full Text Available Mammals as a rule have seven cervical vertebrae, a number that remains remarkably constant. Changes of this number are associated with major congenital abnormalities (pleiotropic effects that are, at least in humans, strongly selected against. Recently, it was found that Late Pleistocene mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius from the North Sea have an unusually high incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers, approximately ten times higher than that of extant elephants. Abnormal numbers were due to the presence of large cervical ribs on the seventh vertebra, indicating a homeotic change from a cervical rib-less vertebra into a thoracic rib-bearing vertebra. The high incidence of cervical ribs indicates a vulnerable condition and is thought to be due to inbreeding and adverse conditions that may have impacted early pregnancies in declining populations. In this study we investigated the incidence of cervical ribs in another extinct Late Pleistocene megaherbivore from the North Sea and the Netherlands, the woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis. We show that the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers in the woolly rhinoceros is unusually high for mammals (15,6%, n = 32 and much higher than in extant Rhinoceratidae (0%, n = 56. This indicates that woolly rhinoceros lived under vulnerable conditions, just like woolly mammoths. The vulnerable condition may well have contributed to their eventual extinction.

  10. Late Pliocene-Pleistocene environments and glacial history of the northern North Sea

    Reinardy, Benedict T. I.; Hjelstuen, Berit O.; Sejrup, Hans Petter; Augedal, Hans; Jørstad, Arild


    Based on new geochronological (amino acids and Sr-isotopes) and lithological data combined with analyses of 3D seismic data, the Pliocene-Pleistocene development of the central northern North Sea has been investigated. At the start of the Plio-Pleistocene Transition the study area was dominated by a deltaic, shallow marine or tidal depositional environment with sediments mainly sourced from the west. These sand-rich sediments include green glauconitic grains that belong to the Utsira Sand with a local provenance. Directly above the base Quaternary (R2) a 60 m thick layer of mud-rich sediments of glacimarine origin were deposited at a rate of ∼12 cm/ka between ∼2-1.5 Ma and up to 80 cm/ka between 1.5 and 1.2 Ma possibly reflecting glacial ice advancing to the Norwegian coastline. The high rate of deposition in the Early Pleistocene occurred immediately before the initiation of the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream at ∼1.1 Ma. Following this, a large part of the sediment input from Fennoscandia seems to have been directed away from the study area to the shelf break. At the start of the Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT), subaerial conditions allowed the formation of a >50 km long fluvial channel across the study area draining water from the east to the south west. The earliest evidence of grounded ice in the investigated area comes from mega scale glacial lineations formed during the MPT, at or just after ∼1.2 Ma. Following this, a regional unconformity (R4) was formed by one or more grounded ice advances across the study area possibly during or directly after the MPT and likely marks the boundary between the Early and Mid Pleistocene glacimarine sediments. The Mid to Late Pleistocene stratigraphy is dominated by glacimarine sediments and tills and is associated with multiple generations of tunnel valleys observed within the seismic data. A high shear strength till containing chalk clasts transported from the west and/or south of the study area was likely deposited

  11. Population expansion in the North African late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6.

    Pereira, Luísa; Silva, Nuno M; Franco-Duarte, Ricardo; Fernandes, Verónica; Pereira, Joana B; Costa, Marta D; Martins, Haidé; Soares, Pedro; Behar, Doron M; Richards, Martin B; Macaulay, Vincent


    The archaeology of North Africa remains enigmatic, with questions of population continuity versus discontinuity taking centre-stage. Debates have focused on population transitions between the bearers of the Middle Palaeolithic Aterian industry and the later Upper Palaeolithic populations of the Maghreb, as well as between the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Improved resolution of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup U6 phylogeny, by the screening of 39 new complete sequences, has enabled us to infer a signal of moderate population expansion using Bayesian coalescent methods. To ascertain the time for this expansion, we applied both a mutation rate accounting for purifying selection and one with an internal calibration based on four approximate archaeological dates: the settlement of the Canary Islands, the settlement of Sardinia and its internal population re-expansion, and the split between haplogroups U5 and U6 around the time of the first modern human settlement of the Near East. A Bayesian skyline plot placed the main expansion in the time frame of the Late Pleistocene, around 20 ka, and spatial smoothing techniques suggested that the most probable geographic region for this demographic event was to the west of North Africa. A comparison with U6's European sister clade, U5, revealed a stronger population expansion at around this time in Europe. Also in contrast with U5, a weak signal of a recent population expansion in the last 5,000 years was observed in North Africa, pointing to a moderate impact of the late Neolithic on the local population size of the southern Mediterranean coast.

  12. Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6

    Costa Marta D


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The archaeology of North Africa remains enigmatic, with questions of population continuity versus discontinuity taking centre-stage. Debates have focused on population transitions between the bearers of the Middle Palaeolithic Aterian industry and the later Upper Palaeolithic populations of the Maghreb, as well as between the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Results Improved resolution of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA haplogroup U6 phylogeny, by the screening of 39 new complete sequences, has enabled us to infer a signal of moderate population expansion using Bayesian coalescent methods. To ascertain the time for this expansion, we applied both a mutation rate accounting for purifying selection and one with an internal calibration based on four approximate archaeological dates: the settlement of the Canary Islands, the settlement of Sardinia and its internal population re-expansion, and the split between haplogroups U5 and U6 around the time of the first modern human settlement of the Near East. Conclusions A Bayesian skyline plot placed the main expansion in the time frame of the Late Pleistocene, around 20 ka, and spatial smoothing techniques suggested that the most probable geographic region for this demographic event was to the west of North Africa. A comparison with U6's European sister clade, U5, revealed a stronger population expansion at around this time in Europe. Also in contrast with U5, a weak signal of a recent population expansion in the last 5,000 years was observed in North Africa, pointing to a moderate impact of the late Neolithic on the local population size of the southern Mediterranean coast.

  13. The Menengai Tuff: A 36 ka widespread tephra and its chronological relevance to Late Pleistocene human evolution in East Africa

    Blegen, Nick; Brown, Francis H.; Jicha, Brian R.; Binetti, Katie M.; Faith, J. Tyler; Ferraro, Joseph V.; Gathogo, Patrick N.; Richardson, Jonathan L.; Tryon, Christian A.


    The East African Rift preserves the world's richest Middle and Late Pleistocene (∼780-12 ka) geological, archaeological and paleontological archives relevant to the emergence of Homo sapiens. This region also provides unparalleled chronological control for many important sites through tephrochronology, the dating and correlation of volcanic ashes as widespread isochronous markers in the geological record. There are many well-characterized Pliocene-Early Pleistocene tephras that are widespread across East Africa. A comparable framework is lacking for the Middle and Late Pleistocene; a period characterized by spatially and temporally complex patterns of climate change, as well as the emergence of modern Homo sapiens and the dispersal of this species across and out of Africa. Unraveling relationships among these spatial and temporally complex phenomena requires a precise chronology. To this end we report the Menengai Tuff, a widespread volcanic ash produced by the large-scale caldera-forming eruption in Kenya and 40Ar/39Ar dated to 35.62 ± 0.26 ka. Geochemical characterization of 565 glass shards from 36 samples by wavelength-dispersive electron probe microanalysis show the Menengai Tuff was deposited over >115,000 km2 and is found in the Baringo, Chalbi, Elmenteita, Nakuru, Olorgesailie, Turkana, and Victoria basins, all of which preserve rich Late Pleistocene paleoenvironmental and archaeological archives. Correlation and dating of the Menengai Tuff demonstrate that it is the most widespread tephra and largest eruption currently known from the Late Pleistocene of East Africa. As such, it is a valuable marker in establishing a Late Pleistocene chronology for paleoclimatic, archeological, and paleontological records relevant to the study of human evolution.

  14. Using obsidian transfer distances to explore social network maintenance in late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.

    Pearce, Eiluned; Moutsiou, Theodora


    Social behaviour is notoriously difficult to study archaeologically and it is unclear how large the networks of prehistoric humans were, or how they remained connected. Maintaining social cohesion was crucial for early humans because social networks facilitate cooperation and are imperative for survival and reproduction. Recent hunter-gatherer social organisation typically comprises a number of nested layers, ranging from the nuclear family through to the ~1500-strong ethnolinguistic tribe. Here we compare maximum obsidian transfer distances from the late Pleistocene with ethnographic data on the size of the geographic areas associated with each of these social grouping layers in recent hunter-gatherers. The closest match between the two is taken to indicate the maximum social layer within which contact could be sustained by Pleistocene hominins. Within both the (sub)tropical African and Subarctic biomes, the maximum obsidian transfer distances for Pleistocene modern humans (~200km and ~400km respectively) correspond to the geographic ranges of the outermost tribal layer in recent hunter-gatherers. This suggests that modern humans could potentially sustain the cohesion of their entire tribe at all latitudes, even though networks are more dispersed nearer the poles. Neanderthal obsidian transfer distances (300km) indicate that although Neanderthal home ranges are larger than those of low latitude hominins, Neanderthals travelled shorter distances than modern humans living at the same high latitudes. We argue that, like modern humans, Neanderthals could have maintained tribal cohesion, but that their tribes were substantially smaller than those of contemporary modern humans living in similar environments. The greater time taken to traverse the larger modern human tribal ranges may have limited the frequency of their face-to-face interactions and thus necessitated additional mechanisms to ensure network connectivity, such as the exchange of symbolic artefacts

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

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


    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

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

    Welker, Frido; Smith, Geoff M; Hutson, Jarod M; Kindler, Lutz; Garcia-Moreno, Alejandro; Villaluenga, Aritza; Turner, Elaine; Gaudzinski-Windheuser, Sabine


    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. 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. 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, Tapiridae, and Rhinocerotidae

  17. New data on changes in the European distribution of the mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros during the second half of the Late Pleistocene and the early Holocene

    Markova, A. K.; Puzachenko, A. Yu.; van Kolfschoten, T.; van der Plicht, J.; Ponomarev, D. V.


    The PALEOFAUNA database developed by the authors contains information on more than 5500 Eurasian localities that yielded Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammalian fossils. The database is used to analyze the changes in the geographical distribution during the second half of the Late Pleistocene and th

  18. New data on changes in the European distribution of the mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros during the second half of the Late Pleistocene and the early Holocene

    Markova, A. K.; Puzachenko, A. Yu.; van Kolfschoten, T.; van der Plicht, J.; Ponomarev, D. V.


    The PALEOFAUNA database developed by the authors contains information on more than 5500 Eurasian localities that yielded Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammalian fossils. The database is used to analyze the changes in the geographical distribution during the second half of the Late Pleistocene and

  19. Late Pleistocene variations in Antarctic sea ice II: effect of interhemispheric deep-ocean heat exchange

    Crowley, Thomas J.; Parkinson, Claire L.


    Variations in production rates of warm North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) have been proposed as a mechanism for linking climate fluctuations in the northern and southern hemispheres during the Pleistocene. We have tested this hypothesis by examining the sensitivity of a thermodynamic/dynamic model for Antarctic sea ice to changes in vertical ocean heat flux and comparing the simulations with modified CLIMAP sea-ice maps for 18 000 B.P. Results suggest that changes in NADW production rates, and the consequent changes in the vertical ocean heat flux in the Antarctic, can only account for about 20% 30% of the overall variance in Antarctic sea-ice extent. This conclusion has been validated against an independent geological data set involving a time series of sea-surface temperatures from the subantarctic. The latter comparison suggests that, although the overall influence of NADW is relatively minor, the linkage may be much more significant at the 41 000-year obliquity period. Despite some limitations in the models and geological data, we conclude that NADW variations may have played only a modest role in causing late Pleistocene climate change in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. Our conclusion is consistent with calculations by Manabe and Broccoli (1985) suggesting that atmospheric CO2 changes may be more important for linking the two hemispheres.

  20. Development of an OSL chronology for Late Pleistocene channel belts in the lower Mississippi valley, USA

    Rittenour, Tammy M.; Goble, Ronald J.; Blum, Michael D.


    The broad alluvial valley of the lower Mississippi River contains large channel belts for which age control has been limited by the lack of organic material for radiocarbon dating and deposit ages greater than the limit of radiocarbon. In order to produce a detailed chronology of fluvial evolution, samples for optical dating were collected from Late Pleistocene channel-belt deposits. Quartz sand was analyzed using the coarse-grained, single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) technique. Samples showed little evidence of partial bleaching, and optical ages are for the most part consistent with the available radiocarbon and relative age constraints. Optical ages range from 85 to 11 ka and, along with geomorphic and stratigraphic relationships, indicate that the Mississippi River was meandering during the end of the last interglacial (85-83 ka) and switched to a braided regime by 64-50 ka during initial marine oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 4/3 glaciation of the upper Mississippi drainage basin. The Mississippi River switched back to a meandering regime after formation of the youngest braid belt at 11 ka. The 69 optical ages presented here provide the first detailed chronology of lower Mississippi valley braid-belt and Pleistocene meander-belt formation, and provide an example of the utility of optical dating in fluvial settings where material for radiocarbon dating is scarce.

  1. Magnetic Properties of Bermuda Rise Sediments Controlled by Glacial Cycles During the Late Pleistocene

    Roud, S.


    Sediments from ODP site 1063 (Bermuda Rise, North Atlantic) contain a high-resolution record of geomagnetic field behavior during the Brunhes Chron. We present rock magnetic data of the upper 160 mcd (hematite (maxima in HIRM and S-Ratio consistent with a reddish hue) and exhibit higher ARM anisotropy and pronounced sedimentary fabrics. We infer that post depositional processes affected the magnetic grain size and mineralogy of Bermuda rise sediments deposited during the late Pleistocene. Hematite concentration is interpreted to reflect primary terrigenous input that is likely derived from the Canadian Maritime Provinces. A close correlation between HIRM and magnetic foliation suggests that changes in sediment composition (terrigenous vs. marine biogenic) were accompanied by changes in the depositional processes at the site.

  2. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain).

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria


    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave.

  3. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain.

    Víctor Sauqué

    Full Text Available Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain; we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave.

  4. Age and petrology of the Late-Pleistocene brown tuffs on Lipari, Italy

    Crisci, G. M.; Delibrias, G.; de Rosa, R.; Mazzuoli, R.; Sheridan, M. F.


    Late-Pleistocene volcanic products on Lipari consist mainly of pyroclastic surge deposits (Monte Guardia sequence) and fine-grained brown tuffs. Radiometric age determination on carbon from thin soils at the top of the tuffs indicate that they have several ages of emplacement ranging from more than 35,000 to 16,800 years ago. Chemical and microprobe data on glass and mineral fragments from these tuffs show that they belong to a shoshonite or high-K series. This composition is compatible with an origin related to the magma system of Vulcano, but not with the magma system on Lipari. These tuffs have a widespread distribution on several of the Aeolian islands as well as on the northern part of Sicily. They have features typical of ash-flow tuffs of hydromagmatic origin. We propose that they originated from submarine eruptions from the Vulcanello vent before this volcano emerged above sea level.

  5. An optical age chronology of Late Pleistocene fluvial deposits in the northern lower Mississippi valley

    Rittenour, Tammy M.; Goble, Ronald J.; Blum, Michael D.


    The lower Mississippi valley (LMV) contains many large braided channel belts that are preserved west of the Holocene floodplain. Previous efforts to establish geochronologic control on channel-belt construction have been hindered by the lack of organic material for radiocarbon dating. Luminescence techniques provide a burial date for the sediment itself and may prove useful in this context. Samples from three channel belts in the northern LMV were analyzed using the single aliquot-regenerative technique on 90-125 μm quartz. Optical ages (19.7-17.8, 16.1-15.0 and 12.5-12.1 ka) are consistent with geomorphic relationships and indicate that channel belts were formed in the late Pleistocene under glacial conditions. These optical ages provide the first detailed chronology of LMV channel-belt formation and are the first step towards developing a chronology for the entire LMV.

  6. Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt)

    Mewis, H.; Kiessling, W.


    The concept of ecological succession has been frequently applied in the study of ancient reefs. Whereas Paleozoic and Mesozoic reefs are commonly thought to reveal an autogenic primary—climax zonation, patterns in Neogene and Quaternary reefs are much more diverse. Here, we describe a well-preserved late Pleistocene coral reef from Dahab on Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), which shows a distinct zonation that resembles an ecological succession. In contrast to classical examples of ecological successions, species composition, paleoenvironmental conditions, and coral biodiversity of the Dahab reef indicate an allogenic, sea-level controlled community change, from marginal marine to reef slope and back reef. A review of the literature confirms that autogenic, short-term successions are virtually absent in Quaternary reefs. We predict that long generation times of corals make it unlikely that classical autogenic successions develop in reefs at all, unless environmental conditions are unusually stable.

  7. Origin, development and evolutionary model of shelf desertization environment in late stage of Upper Pleistocene

    赵松龄; 于洪军; 刘敬圃


    Based on the study of palaeo-environmental evolution in the shelves of the Eastern China Seas, the concept of "shelf desertization" in the late stage of Upper Pleistocene is defined; the environmental background and evolutionary process of shelf desertization are analysed. Study on the records of subbottom profiling and the data of core samples from shelf areas revealed that during low sea-level stages, the sedimentary environment in the exposed shelf plains was dominated by aeolian depositional process under cold and dry climatic conditions, i.e. under the action of strong winter-monsoon winds. Parts of the exposed marine strata were disintegrated, and aeolian sand dunes were formed on the disintegrated marine deposits, from which the finer sediment grains were blown away by wind and deposited in the downwind areas to form the derivative loess deposits. Thus a desertization environmental system was formed in the exposed shelf plains of the Eastern China Seas.

  8. Testing the correlation of fragmented pollen records of the middle and late Pleistocene temperate stages

    Kuneš, Petr; Odgaard, Bent Vad

    Quaternary temperate stages have long been described based on changing pollen abundances of various tree taxa in lacustrine sediments. Later, attempts have been made to assign such biostratigraphic units to distinct marine isotope stages (MIS). Existing continuous chronosequences from Southern...... records depends on site-to-site correlations. This comparison has often been performed on a visual basis, lacking clearly defined protocols and statements of underlying assumptions. Here I test the correlation of well and poorly known pollen records of the middle- and late-Pleistocene temperate stages...... records. Ordination compares main trends in pollen stratigraphies of all pollen sequences. It finds very similar patterns between Eemian records and Cromerian stage II. Although different methods show sometimes inconsistent results, they can certainly contribute to the discussion of the age of poorly...

  9. The earliest settlers of Mesoamerica date back to the late Pleistocene.

    Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Becker, Julia; Hering, Fabio; Frey, Eberhard; González, Arturo González; Fohlmeister, Jens; Stinnesbeck, Sarah; Frank, Norbert; Terrazas Mata, Alejandro; Benavente, Martha Elena; Avilés Olguín, Jerónimo; Aceves Núñez, Eugenio; Zell, Patrick; Deininger, Michael


    Preceramic human skeletal remains preserved in submerged caves near Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, reveal conflicting results regarding 14C dating. Here we use U-series techniques for dating a stalagmite overgrowing the pelvis of a human skeleton discovered in the submerged Chan Hol cave. The oldest closed system U/Th age comes from around 21 mm above the pelvis defining the terminus ante quem for the pelvis to 11311±370 y BP. However, the skeleton might be considerable older, probably as old as 13 ky BP as indicated by the speleothem stable isotope data. The Chan Hol individual confirms a late Pleistocene settling of Mesoamerica and represents one of the oldest human osteological remains in America.

  10. Late Pleistocene lithostratigraphy and sequences in the southwestern Mesopotamia (Argentina): Evidences of the last interglacial stage

    Ernesto, Brunetto; Soledad, Ferrero Brenda; Ignacio, Noriega Jorge


    The aim of this paper is to show the stratigraphic record of the Late Pleistocene corresponding to the distal region of the Paraná River basin. It displays sedimentological, paleontological and geochronological evidences that characterise the last interglacial-glacial cycle. In particular, strong environmental records are shown for the Last Interglacial Stage (LIS). Salto Ander Egg Formation (SAEF) is defined as a new lithostratigraphic unit representative of the Late Pleistocene in southwestern Mesopotamia. This unit is formed of complex fluvial deposits, which contains a heterogeneous collection of sub-environments, of ages ranging from 120 to 60 ky BP. The clast-supported gravel facies containing sparse boulders indicate high flow during a humid climate. The large and middle-scale architectures of fluvial sedimentary bodies evidence the relationship between the sediment accommodation and the sea level oscillations. Three sub-sequences identified in the succession suggest a transgressive trend during the MIS5e, a highstand stage in MIS5c, and a minor transgressive cycle during MIS3. A Brazilian faunal association collected at the bottom of the sequence and sedimentological interpretations display wet and warm climatic conditions, typical of tropical or subtropical environments. Such environmental conditions are characteristic of the maximum of the last interglacial stage (MIS5e) and show a signal stronger than the signal of the current interglacial stage. All these data show a direct correlation between the increases of paleodischarges and the elevation of the sea level. The whole sequence is completed with transitional swampy deposits, accumulated probably during the MIS3/MIS2 transition, and the typical loess of the Tezanos Pinto Formation, mantled during the Last Maximum Glacial.

  11. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history of the Iguala Valley, Central Balsas Watershed of Mexico.

    Piperno, D R; Moreno, J E; Iriarte, J; Holst, I; Lachniet, M; Jones, J G; Ranere, A J; Castanzo, R


    The origin of agriculture was a signal development in human affairs and as such has occupied the attention of scholars from the natural and social sciences for well over a century. Historical studies of climate and vegetation are closely associated with crop plant evolution because they can reveal the ecological contexts of plant domestication together with the antiquity and effects of agricultural practices on the environment. In this article, we present paleoecological evidence from three lakes and a swamp located in the Central Balsas watershed of tropical southwestern Mexico that date from 14,000 B.P. to the modern era. [Dates expressed in B.P. years are radiocarbon ages. Calibrated (calendar) ages, expressed as cal B.P., are provided for dates in the text.] Previous molecular studies suggest that maize (Zea mays L.) and other important crops such as squashes (Cucurbita spp.) were domesticated in the region. Our combined pollen, phytolith, charcoal, and sedimentary studies indicate that during the late glacial period (14,000-10,000 B.P.), lake beds were dry, the climate was cooler and drier, and open vegetational communities were more widespread than after the Pleistocene ended. Zea was a continuous part of the vegetation since at least the terminal Pleistocene. During the Holocene, lakes became important foci of human activity, and cultural interference with a species-diverse tropical forest is indicated. Maize and squash were grown at lake edges starting between 10,000 and 5,000 B.P., most likely sometime during the first half of that period. Significant episodes of climatic drying evidenced between 1,800 B.P. and 900 B.P. appear to be coeval with those documented in the Classic Maya region and elsewhere, showing widespread instability in the late Holocene climate.

  12. Ages and inferred causes of late Pleistocene glaciations on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i

    Pigati, J.S.; Zreda, M.; Zweck, C.; Almasi, P.F.; Elmore, D.; Sharp, W.D.


    Glacial landforms on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, show that the summit area of the volcano was covered intermittently by ice caps during the Late Pleistocene. Cosmogen 36Cl dating of terminal moraines and other glacial landforms indicates that the last two ice caps, called Older Makanaka and Younger Makanaka, retreated from their maximum positions approximately 23ka and 13ka, respectively. The margins and equilibrium line altitudes of these ice caps on the remote, tropical Pacific island were nearly identical, which would seem to imply the same mechanism for ice growth. But modelling of glacier mass balance, combined with palaeotemperature proxy data from the subtropical North Pacific, suggests that the causes of the two glacial expansions may have been different. Older Makanaka airatop Mauna Kea was likely wetter than today and cold, whereas Younger Makanaka times were slightly warmer but significantly wetter than the previous glaciation. The modelled increase in precipitation rates atop Mauna Kea during the Late Pleistocene is consistent with that near sea level inferred from pollen data, which suggests that the additional precipitation was due to more frequent and/ or intense tropical storms associated with eastward-moving cold fronts. These conditions were similar to modern La Ni??a (weak ENSO) conditions, but persisted for millennia rather than years. Increased precipitation rates and the resulting steeper temperature lapse rates created glacial conditions atop Mauna Kea in the absence of sufficient cooling at sea level, suggesting that if similar correlations existed elsewhere in the tropics, the precipitation-dependent lapse rates could reconcile the apparent difference between glacial-time cooling of the tropics at low and high altitudes. Copyright ?? 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Riparian woody vegetation history in the campos region, southeastern South America, during two time windows: late Pleistocene and late Holocene

    Mourelle, Dominique; Prieto, Aldo R.; García-Rodríguez, Felipe


    A detailed palynological record from Laguna Formosa (northeastern campos region, 31°S; 54°W) documents the dynamic balance between grasslands and riparian forests during the late Pleistocene (14,570 to 13,500 cal yr BP) and late Holocene (3280 cal yr BP to the present). Modern pollen-vegetation relationships and the woody pollen dispersal capacity analyses were used to improve the vegetation reconstruction. Grasslands were regionally dominant throughout the record. However, at 14,570 cal yr BP hydrophilous taxa reflect the development of riparian hydrophilous shrublands along freshwater bodies, promoting the fixation of the riverbanks, maintaining shallow, calm and clear water conditions under a relatively wet and not so cool climate. This is the first evidence of woody riparian vegetation development along freshwater bodies for the lowlands of the northern campos during the late glacial period. At 3280 cal yr BP riparian forests consisted of both hydrophilous and mesophilous woody taxa. Since 2270 cal yr BP woody vegetation gradually increased, accompanied by the incorporation of other taxa by 940 cal yr BP, and achieving a composition similar to that of the contemporary time at ca. 540 cal yr BP. The increased woody vegetation since ca. 2270 cal yr BP, and the more frequent and intense flooding events between 1800 and 1200 cal yr BP, could be related to higher precipitation over La Plata Drainage Basin, related with the high ENSO amplitude. In addition, pollen from taxa that currently no longer develops in the study area suggests connections between southern Brazil and Uruguay, and between the campos and the Chaco phytogeographic province.

  14. Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the upper Gállego Valley, central Pyrenees

    Palacios, David; de Andrés, Nuria; López-Moreno, Juan I.; García-Ruiz, José M.


    Deglaciation processes in the upper Gállego Valley, central-southern Pyrenees, were studied using geomorphological mapping and 36Cl cosmogenic dating of moraine and rock glacier boulders, as well as polished bedrock. Although the precise position of the Gállego Glacier during the global last glacial maximum is not known, there is evidence that ice tongues retreated to the headwaters, which caused subdivision of the main glacier into a number of individual glaciers prior to 17 ka. A range of ages (16 to 11 ka) was found among three tributary valleys within the general trend of deglaciation. The retreat rate to cirque was estimated to be relatively rapid (approximately 5 km per ka). The mapped glacial sedimentology and geomorphology appears to support the occurrence of multiple minor advances and retreats, or periods of stasis during the late deglaciation. Geomorphological and geological differences among the tributary valleys, and error estimates associated with the results obtained, prevented unambiguous correlations of the advances with the late Pleistocene cold periods. During the latter advances, small glaciers and rock glaciers developed close to the cirque headwalls, and co-occurred under the same climatic conditions. No evidence for Holocene re-advance was found for any of the three tributary valleys.

  15. Late Pleistocene songbirds of Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia; the first fossil passerine fauna described from Wallacea

    Hanneke J.M. Meijer


    Full Text Available Background Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene–Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day. Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. Methods We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8.5 m depth. Although postcranial passerine remains are typically challenging to identify, we found several humeral characters particularly useful in discriminating between groups, and identified 89 skeletal elements of passerines. Results At least eight species from eight families are represented, including the Large-billed Crow (Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, the Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica, a friarbird (Philemon sp., and the Pechora Pipit (Anthus cf. gustavi. Discussion These remains constitute the first sample of fossil passerines described in Wallacea. Two of the taxa no longer occur on Flores today; a large sturnid (cf. Acridotheres and a grassbird (Megalurus sp.. Palaeoecologically, the songbird assemblage suggests open grassland and tall forests, which is consistent with conditions inferred from the non-passerine fauna at the site. Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, found in the Homo floresiensis-bearing layers, was likely part of a scavenging guild that fed on carcasses of Stegodon florensis insularis alongside vultures (Trigonoceps sp., giant storks (Leptoptilos robustus, komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis, and probably H. floresiensis as well.

  16. Late Pleistocene-Holocene cataclysmic eruptions at Nevado de Toluca and Jocotitlan volcanoes, central Mexico

    Macias, J.L.; Garcia, P.A.; Arce, J.L.; Siebe, C.; Espindola, J.M.; Komorowski, J.C.; Scott, K.


    This field guide describes a five day trip to examine deposits of Late Pleistocene-Holocene cataclysmic eruptions at Nevado de Toluca and Jocotitlan volcanoes in central Mexico. We will discuss the stratigraphy, petrology, and sedimentological characteristics of these deposits which provide insights into the eruptive history, type of volcanic activity, and transport and emplacement mechanisms of pyroclastic materials. These parameters will allow us to discuss the kinds of hazards and the risk that they pose to populations around these volcanoes. The area to be visited is tectonically complex thus we will also discuss the location of the volcanoes with respect to the tectonic environment. The first four days of the field trip will be dedicated to Nevado de Toluca Volcano (19 degrees 09'N; 99 degrees 45'W) located at 23 km. southwest of the City of Toluca, and is the fourth highest peak in the country, reaching an elevation of 4,680 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Nevado de Toluca is an andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano, composed of a central vent excavated upon the remains of older craters destroyed by former events. Bloomfield and Valastro, (1974, 1977) concluded that the last cycle of activity occurred nearly equal 11,600 yr. ago. For this reason Nevado de Toluca has been considered an extinct volcano. Our studies, however, indicate that Nevado de Toluca has had at least two episodes of cone destruction by sector collapse as well as several explosive episodes including plinian eruptions and dome-destruction events. These eruptions occurred during the Pleistocene but a very young eruption characterized by surge and ash flows occurred ca. 3,300 yr. BP. This new knowledge of the volcano's eruptive history makes the evaluation of its present state of activity and the geological hazards necessary. This is important because the area is densely populated and large cities such as Toluca and Mexico are located in its proximity.

  17. Late Pleistocene flank collapse of Zempoala volcano (Central Mexico) and the role of fault reactivation

    Arce, José Luis; Macías, Rodolfo; García Palomo, Armando; Capra, Lucia; Macías, José Luis; Layer, Paul; Rueda, Hernando


    Zempoala is an extinct Pleistocene (˜ 0.7-0.8 Ma) stratovolcano that together with La Corona volcano (˜ 0.9 Ma) forms the southern end of the Sierra de las Cruces volcanic range, Central Mexico. The volcano consists of andesitic and dacitic lava flows and domes, as well as pyroclastic and epiclastic sequences, and has had a complex history with several flank collapses. One of these collapses occurred during the late Pleistocene on the S-SE flank of the volcano and produced the Zempoala debris avalanche deposit. This collapse could have been triggered by the reactivation of two normal fault systems (E-W and NE-SW), although magmatic activity cannot be absolutely excluded. The debris avalanche traveled 60 km to the south, covers an area of 600 km 2 and has a total volume of 6 km 3, with a calculated Heim coefficient (H/L) of 0.03. Based on the textural characteristics of the deposit we recognized three zones: proximal, axial, and lateral distal zone. The proximal zone consists of debris avalanche blocks that develop a hummocky topography; the axial zone corresponds with the main debris avalanche deposit made of large clasts set in a sandy matrix, which transformed to a debris flow in the lateral distal portion. The deposit is heterolithologic in composition, with dacitic and andesitic fragments from the old edifice that decrease in volume as bulking of exotic clasts from the substratum increase. Several cities (Cuernavaca, Jojutla de Juárez, Alpuyeca) with associated industrial, agricultural, and tourism activities have been built on the deposit, which pose in evidence the possible impact in case of a new event with such characteristics, since the area is still tectonically active.

  18. Reconstructing the climate states of the Late Pleistocene with the MIROC climate model

    Chan, Wing-Le; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; O'ishi, Ryouta; Takahashi, Kunio


    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

  19. Fluvial terrace formation along Wyoming's Laramie Range as a response to increased late Pleistocene flood magnitudes

    Hanson, Paul R.; Mason, Joseph A.; Goble, Ronald J.


    This study evaluates the potential climatic mechanisms involved in fluvial terrace genesis along Wyoming's Laramie Range. We used optical dating methods to determine depositional ages for fluvial fills, and to calculate incision rates for terrace suites along two of the region's larger rivers. Optical ages were determined for the five lowest terrace levels (T5-T1) which were deposited at ˜ 59.6, 39.2, 26.3, 22.7, and 18.5 ka, and incision rates calculated for the two rivers were ˜ 0.29-0.34 m/kyr over the last ˜ 60 kyr. The formation of fluvial terraces in the central Rocky Mountains is commonly attributed to climatically induced changes in sediment input. According to most studies, relatively low incision rates existed during the colder periods of the Pleistocene due to high stream sediment loads, but terraces were formed during warmer interglacial periods when reduced sediment availability facilitated higher incision rates. However, this conceptual model cannot explain the incision records presented here, which show that the streams incised 9-10 m in two to three events during Oxygen Isotope Stage 2, but only 1-2 m during the warmer climates of the last ˜ 18.5 ka. The stream power model we adapted to this setting suggests that late Quaternary streams operated under two basic states. During the colder conditions of the Pleistocene, higher flood magnitudes resulted in higher lateral erosion and incision rates. However, the lower stream discharge common to the warmer interglacial periods resulted in relatively inactive streams when both lateral erosion and incision rates were lowered. This model can explain the high incision rates during the cold conditions of Oxygen Isotope Stage 2, the occurrence of terrace fill ages near cold to warm transitions, and the apparent acceleration in incision rates toward the end of the last glacial cycle. Finally, this study suggests that terrace fill ages and incision rates are similar for the distally glaciated Laramie River

  20. Climate variability of Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the North American midcontinent derived from tree rings

    Panyushkina, Irina P.; Livina, Valerie N.; Leavitt, Steve W.; Mode, William N.


    High-resolution climatic proxies, such as tree rings spanning millennia, have excellent potential to describe high- and low-frequency variability of climate. In practice, however, although the number of Holocene millennium-length tree-ring records is still rather limited, they are especially rare for the Late Pleistocene warming period following the Last Glacial Maximum. Furthermore, detection of climatic variability in tree-ring data is hindered due to intricate methodology of chronology development that transforms changes in tree geometry and a variety of environmental responses of tree growth to a climatic signal. Following meticulous derivation of a new tree-ring chronology, we propose a novel approach to analyze annual, decadal, multi-decadal and centennial climate-related variability of floating tree rings dated back near the end of the Pleistocene. We have developed a 1400-year tree-ring width chronology of spruce from the Green Bay area (Wisconsin) dated from 14.5 ka to 13.1ka cal BP. This new North American midcontinent record is composed of 10 overlapped site chronologies and has two short gaps filled with linear interpolation. The Green Bay chronology covers most of the warm and moist Bølling-Allerød interstadial (14.7 ka -12.7 ka BP). Within the Bølling-Allerød interstadial, there were several abrupt and brief cooling excursions such as the Older Dryas with full-glacial-like temperature conditions. We have applied tipping point analysis to detect the changes of climate-system states during these turbulent times and obtained early warning signals in the tree-ring variance. The analysis detected four short-term bifurcations dated ca. 14,450 cal BP, 14,000 cal BP, 13,750-13,600 cal BP and 13,180-13,100 cal BP. The bifurcation events of the tree-ring record correspond well to the abrupt and short cooling temperature excursions of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial documented in δ18O and Ca of GRIP ice-core records, and the Laurentide ice sheet dynamics

  1. Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial stratigraphy of southern Baja California, Mexico

    Antinao, José Luis; McDonald, Eric; Rhodes, Edward J.; Brown, Nathan; Barrera, Wendy; Gosse, John C.; Zimmermann, Susan


    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

  2. The Late Pleistocene Duoi U'Oi cave in northern Vietnam: palaeontology, sedimentology, taphonomy and palaeoenvironments

    Bacon, Anne-Marie; Demeter, F.; Duringer, P.; Helm, C.; Bano, M.; Vu, The Long; Kim Thuy, Nguyen Thi; Antoine, P.-O.; Thi Mai, Bui; Huong, Nguyen Thi Mai; Dodo, Y.; Chabaux, F.; Rihs, S.


    This paper describes new fossil materials recovered at the Duoi U'Oi site, in December 2003, by a Vietnamese-French-Japanese team. The Duoi U'Oi cave is located in Man Duc village, 25 km of Hoà Binh city in northern Vietnam. It belongs to a karstic network developed in a dark grey micritic marine limestone dated from the Lower to the Middle Triassic. The sedimentary fill produced a rich mammalian fauna, essentially composed of isolated teeth of middle- to large-sized mammals (Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, Proboscidea, Carnivora, Rodentia, Primates), and characteristic of Late Pleistocene. The results of the Duoi U'Oi fieldwork are of great interest for the following reasons: (1) the biochronological age of the fauna is consistent with 230Th/ 234U/ 238U dating from the calcitic floors (66±3 ka). The Duoi U'Oi fauna is thus the oldest well-dated modern fauna known for the Southeast Asian mainland; (2) in terms of sedimentology, the analysis of the formation of the fossiliferous breccia and that of the processes of deposits shows a close relation between the karstic deposits inside the cave and the deposits in the alluvial terraces. The observation of three levels of alluvial terraces associated with three caves situated at 62, 10 and 3 m above the present alluvial plain suggests that exokarstic and endokarstic sediments evolved together; (3) in terms of palaeobiogeography, Duoi U'Oi is the continental fauna showing the strongest resemblance with the Late Pleistocene faunas from Indonesian islands (Punung, Gunung Dawung, Lida Ajer, Sibrambang and Djambu caves); this implies that, at the time of Duoi U'Oi, ca 70 ka, the Sundaland was mainly characterised by faunas of modern aspect; (4) the analysis of major taphonomic factors that led to the mammal assemblage reveals a combination of selective agents (selective role of predators and porcupines, selective destruction of age classes for some species, selective preservation of fossils due to the deposition processes in

  3. Augustine Volcano's late Pleistocene rhyolite eruption and its modern-day residuum

    Coombs, M. L.; Vazquez, J. A.


    appears as old as ca. 50 ka. Thus zircon crystallization in the rhyolite dominantly occurred just prior to eruption, with subordinate entrainment of older antecrysts. Gabbro inclusions erupted in 2006 contain zircons with core 238U-230Th ages that are indistinguishable from the dominant rhyolite age of ca. 27 ka. A few small zircons from gabbros are in 238U-230Th secular equilibrium, yield U-Pb ages of ca. 80-1800 Ma, and are true xenocrysts inherited from basement rocks. Based on the similarity in zircon ages and whole-rock geochemical affinity between late Pleistocene rhyolite and 2006 gabbroic inclusions, we suggest that the rhyolite formed via melt extraction from an andesitic crystal mush, of which the 2006 gabbro xenoliths are the residuum. A scarcity of zircons older than ca. 50 ka suggests that Augustine may not be underlain by a long-lived magmatic system, or conversely, that small but frequent andesitic eruptions of the sort that occurred prior to and after the generation of the Pleistocene rhyolite do not allow for significant zircon crystallization. Larsen, J.F., et al., 2010, USGS Prof. Paper 1769, Chap. 15, p. 335-382 Waitt, R.B., and Beget, J.E., 2009, USGS Prof. Paper 1762

  4. Late Pliocene to Pleistocene sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet in response to external forcing and internal feedbacks

    Koenig, Sebastian J.; DeConto, Robert M. [University of Massachusetts, Department of Geosciences, Amherst, MA (United States); Pollard, David [Pennsylvania State University, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, University Park, PA (United States)


    The timing and nature of ice sheet variations on Greenland over the last {proportional_to}5 million years remain largely uncertain. Here, we use a coupled climate-vegetation-ice sheet model to determine the climatic sensitivity of Greenland to combined sets of external forcings and internal feedbacks operating on glacial-interglacial timescales. In particular, we assess the role of atmospheric pCO{sub 2}, orbital forcing, and vegetation dynamics in modifying thresholds for the onset of glaciation in late Pliocene and Pleistocene. The response of circum-Arctic vegetation to declining levels of pCO{sub 2} (from 400 to 200 ppmv) and decreasing summer insolation includes a shift from boreal forest to tundra biomes, with implications for the surface energy balance. The expansion of tundra amplifies summer surface cooling and heat loss from the ground, leading to an expanded summer snow cover over Greenland. Atmospheric and land surface fields respond to forcing most prominently in late spring-summer and are more sensitive at lower Pleistocene-like levels of pCO{sub 2}. We find cold boreal summer orbits produce favorable conditions for ice sheet growth, however simulated ice sheet extents are highly dependent on both background pCO{sub 2} levels and land-surface characteristics. As a result, late Pliocene ice sheet configurations on Greenland differ considerably from late Pleistocene, with smaller ice caps on high elevations of southern and eastern Greenland, even when orbital forcing is favorable for ice sheet growth. (orig.)

  5. Delayed CO2 emissions from mid-ocean ridge volcanism as a possible cause of late-Pleistocene glacial cycles

    Huybers, Peter; Langmuir, Charles H.


    The coupled 100,000 year variations in ice volume, temperature, and atmospheric CO2 during the late Pleistocene are generally considered to arise from a combination of orbital forcing, ice dynamics, and ocean circulation. Also previously argued is that changes in glaciation influence atmospheric CO2 concentrations through modifying subaerial volcanic eruptions and CO2 emissions. Building on recent evidence that ocean ridge volcanism responds to changes in sea level, here it is suggested that ocean ridges may play an important role in generating late-Pleistocene 100 ky glacial cycles. If all volcanic CO2 emissions responded immediately to changes in pressure, subaerial and ocean-ridge volcanic emissions anomalies would oppose one another. At ocean ridges, however, the egress of CO2 from the mantle is likely to be delayed by tens-of-thousands of years, or longer, owing to ascent time. A simple model involving temperature, ice, and CO2 is presented that oscillates at ∼100 ky time scales when incorporating a delayed CO2 contribution from ocean ridge volcanism, even if the feedback accounts for only a small fraction of total changes in CO2. Oscillations readily become phase-locked with insolation forcing associated with changes in Earth's orbit. Under certain parameterizations, a transition from ∼40 ky to larger ∼100 ky oscillations occurs during the middle Pleistocene in response to modulations in orbital forcing. This novel description of Pleistocene glaciation should be testable through ongoing advances in understanding the circulation of carbon through the solid earth.

  6. Late Stone Age human remains from Ishango (Democratic Republic of Congo): New insights on Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa.

    Crevecoeur, I; Brooks, A; Ribot, I; Cornelissen, E; Semal, P


    Although questions of modern human origins and dispersal are subject to intense research within and outside Africa, the processes of modern human diversification during the Late Pleistocene are most often discussed within the context of recent human genetic data. This situation is due largely to the dearth of human fossil remains dating to the final Pleistocene in Africa and their almost total absence from West and Central Africa, thus limiting our perception of modern human diversification within Africa before the Holocene. Here, we present a morphometric comparative analysis of the earliest Late Pleistocene modern human remains from the Central African site of Ishango in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The early Late Stone Age layer (eLSA) of this site, dated to the Last Glacial Maximum (25-20 Ky), contains more than one hundred fragmentary human remains. The exceptional associated archaeological context suggests these remains derived from a community of hunter-fisher-gatherers exhibiting complex social and cognitive behaviors including substantial reliance on aquatic resources, development of fishing technology, possible mathematical notations and repetitive use of space, likely on a seasonal basis. Comparisons with large samples of Late Pleistocene and early Holocene modern human fossils from Africa and Eurasia show that the Ishango human remains exhibit distinctive characteristics and a higher phenotypic diversity in contrast to recent African populations. In many aspects, as is true for the inner ear conformation, these eLSA human remains have more affinities with Middle to early Late Pleistocene fossils worldwide than with extant local African populations. In addition, cross-sectional geometric properties of the long bones are consistent with archaeological evidence suggesting reduced terrestrial mobility resulting from greater investment in and use of aquatic resources. Our results on the Ishango human remains provide insights into past African modern

  7. Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene environments inferred from the Lake El'gygytgyn pollen record

    Andreev, Andrei; Wennrich, Volker; Tarasov, Pavel; Raschke (Morozova), Elena; Brigham-Grette, Julie; Nowaczyk, Norbert; Melles, Martin


    The Arctic is known to play a crucial role within the global climate system. The mid-Pliocene (3-3.5 Ma) is considered to be the most probable scenario of the future climate changes. However, reliable climate projections are hampered by the complexity of the underlying natural variability and feedback mechanisms. An important prerequisite for the validation and improvement of the future projections is a better understanding of the long-term environmental history of the Arctic. Unfortunately, formation of continuous paleoenvironmental records in the Arctic was widely restricted due to repeated glaciations. Continuous sequences that penetrate the entire Quaternary and further into the Pliocene are highly desired and would enable to validate the temperature rise during the mid-Pliocene that was proposed by former studies. Such a record has now become available from Lake El'gygytgyn (67º30'N, 172º05E') located in a meteorite impact crater in north-eastern Siberia. The impact nearly 3.6 Ma ago formed an 18 km wide hole in the ground that then filled with water. The retrieved lake sediments have trapped pollen from a several thousand square-kilometer source area providing reliable insights into regional and over-regional millennial-scale vegetation and climate changes of the Arctic since the Pliocene. The ''El'gygytgyn Drilling Project" of ICDP has completed three holes in the center of the lake, penetrating about 318 m thick lake sediments and about 200 m of the impact rocks below. Because of its unusual origin and high-latitude setting in western Beringia, scientific drilling at Lake El'gygytgyn offered unique opportunities for paleoclimate research, allowing time-continuous climatic and environmental reconstructions back into the Pliocene. Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene pollen assemblages can be subdivided into 55 pollen zones, which reflect the main environmental fluctuations in the region 3.55-2.15 Ma BP. Pollen-based climate reconstructions show that

  8. Skeletal and isotopic composition and paleoclimatic significance of late Pleistocene carbonates, Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Taviani, M. (Ist. per la Geologia Marina, Bologna (Italy)); Reid, D.E.; Anderson, J.B. (Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States))


    Carbonates cover an extensive area of the northwestern Ross Sea continental shelf. Radiocarbon dates yield late Pleistocene (stage 3) ages for these deposits, hence the carbonates appear to be correlative with widespread tills and glacial marine deposits in the region. Four carbonate facies are recognized on the basis of skeletal composition: a barnacle/foraminifer facies, a muddy bryozoan facies, a bryozoan/barnacle/pelecypod/foraminifer facies, and a planktonic foraminiferal facies. These deposits occur on the shelf and upper slope, while carbonate turbidities derived from them occur on the adjacent continental slope and rise. Compositional analyses of Ross Sea carbonates lend support to previously recognized criteria for identifying cold water carbonates. These include: (1) the presence of an associated ice-rafted component (including dropstones); (2) a dominance of calcite relative to other carbonate minerals (the remaining fraction consists solely of aragonite); (3) allochems that are entirely skeletal; and (4) heavy oxygen isotopic compositions (in the range of +3.0 to +5.1% PDB).

  9. Optically stimulated luminescence age controls on late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal lithosomes, North Carolina, USA

    Mallinson, D.; Burdette, K.; Mahan, S.; Brook, G.


    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.

  10. A Late Pleistocene-Holocene wetland megafan in the Brazilian Amazonia

    Rossetti, D. F.; Zani, H.; Cohen, M. C. L.; Cremon, É. H.


    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.

  11. Surface vitrification caused by natural fires in Late Pleistocene wetlands of the Atacama Desert

    Roperch, Pierrick; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Valenzuela, Millarca; Devouard, Bertrand; Lorand, Jean-Pierre; Arriagada, Cesar; Rochette, Pierre; Latorre, Claudio; Beck, Pierre


    We describe extended occurrences of unusual silicate glass surface layers from the Atacama Desert (Chile). These glasses, found near the town of Pica at four localities separated by up to 70 km, are neither fulgurites, nor volcanic glasses, nor metallurgical slags related to anthropic activity, but show close similarities to other glasses that have been previously attributed to large airbursts created by meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere. The glasses are restricted to specific Late Pleistocene terrains: paleo-wetlands and soils rich in organic matter with SiO2-rich plant remains, salts and carbonates. 14C dating and paleomagnetic data indicate that the glasses were formed during at least two distinct periods. This rules out the hypothesis of a single large airburst as the cause of surface melting. Instead, burning of organic-rich soils in dried-out grassy wetlands during climate oscillations between wet and dry periods can account for the formation of the Pica glasses. Large oases did indeed form in the hyperarid Atacama Desert due to elevated groundwater tables and increased surface discharge during the Central Andean Pluvial Event (roughly coeval with the Mystery interval and Younger Dryas). Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for the other surface glasses previously attributed to extraterrestrial events.

  12. Subsistence strategies in Argentina during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene

    Martínez, Gustavo; Gutiérrez, María A.; Messineo, Pablo G.; Kaufmann, Cristian A.; Rafuse, Daniel J.


    This paper highlights regional and temporal variation in the presence and exploitation of faunal resources from different regions of Argentina during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Specifically, the faunal analysis considered here includes the zooarchaeological remains from all sites older than 7500 14C years BP. We include quantitative information for each reported species (genus, family, or order) and we use the number of identified specimens (NISP per taxon and the NISPtotal by sites) as the quantitative measure of taxonomic abundance. The taxonomic richness (Ntaxatotal and Ntaxaexploited) and the taxonomic heterogeneity or Shannon-Wiener index are estimated in order to consider dietary generalization or specialization, and ternary diagrams are used to categorize subsistence patterns of particular sites and regions. The archaeological database is composed of 78 sites which are represented by 110 stratigraphic contexts. Our results demonstrate that although some quantitative differences between regions are observed, artiodactyls (camelids and deer) were the most frequently consumed animal resource in Argentina. Early hunter-gatherers did not follow a specialized predation strategy in megamammals. A variety in subsistence systems, operating in parallel with a strong regional emphasis is shown, according to specific environmental conditions and cultural trajectories.




    Full Text Available This paperdescribes a sub-entire, partially articulated skeleton of chamois found togetherwith other vertebrate remainsina silty lens withlimestone clastsbetween the 104 and 105 SSUU of Grotta Mora Cavorso(Latium, Italy. Thissilty lensis chronologically correlatable to a temperate oscillation of MIS 3.The skull and post-cranial remains from Grotta Mora Cavorso were compared with the fossil remains of chamois from numerous Late Pleistocene and older Holocene sites of Italy and of Pyrenees and Iberian Peninsula. Additional comparisons were made with large samples of extant chamois, Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata , R. pyrenaica pyrenaica and R. rupicapra rupicapra .Morphological and morphometric features of the skull and the horn-core, as well as other characters of the metacarpus suggest to refer the fossil remainsfrom Grotta Mora Cavorsoto Apennine chamois, R. pyrenaica ornata . This is the earliest ascertained recordin Central-Southern Italyofthe ornata -like chamois, a subspeciesso far knownwith certaintyonly in the Holocene, orpossibly in the Lateglacial.

  14. The timing of Late Pleistocene glaciation at Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea

    Mills, Stephanie; Barrows, Timothy; Hope, Geoff; Pillans, Brad; Fifield, Keith


    The highlands of New Guinea were the most extensively glaciated area in the Asian tropical region during the Late Pleistocene. Evidence for glaciation is widespread on most of the mountain peaks above ~3500 m. Glacial landforms include both valley and ice cap forms, but the timing of glaciation remains constrained to only a few local areas. This paper focuses on Mount Wilhelm, which is situated in the central southern region of Papua New Guinea at 5.78°S and is the highest peak (4510 m a.s.l.) We focus on a south easterly valley (Pindaunde Valley) emanating from the peak, where large moraines indicate the maximum ice extent of a valley glacier ~5 km long. Within this extensive moraine complex, recessional moraines document the retreat of the glacier towards the summit region. In order to determine the timing of deglaciation, we collected samples for surface exposure dating using 36Cl and 10Be from diorite boulders positioned on moraine crests. The ages indicate that maximum ice extent was attained during the last glacial maximum (LGM) and that ice remained near its maximum extent until after 15 ka but persisted at higher elevations almost until the Holocene. These results are similar to those described from Mt Giluwe to the northwest of Mount Wilhelm, where an ice cap reached its maximum extent at the LGM and remained there for around 3-4,000 years. This indicates that full glacial conditions were only brief in this region of the tropics.

  15. Implications for Late Pleistocene Mastodon Diet from Opal Phytoliths in Tooth Calculus

    Gobetz, Katrina E.; Bozarth, Steven R.


    Calculus removed from the molar teeth of four American mastodons (Mammut americanum) contained opal phytoliths which reflect major dietary components. Three samples contained abundant grass phytoliths (ca. 86% of total), with long cells and trapezoidal pooid short cells dominant (ca. 25 and 31%, respectively). Dicot phytoliths from hackberry (Celtis sp.) seeds and indeterminate deciduous trees were rare (1-3%), though well preserved, whereas phytoliths from conifer trees were not recognizable in any of the samples. Comparative analysis of calculus from modern and fossil browsers and mixed feeders implies that dicots and conifers are nearly invisible in the phytolith record. This scarcity may result from poor preservation, low silica production in woody taxa, and/or animals' selection of young, silica-poor leaves and shoots. However, abundant grass phytoliths in the mixed feeders suggest that presence versus absence of grass phytoliths may distinguish mixed feeders and grazers from browsers. Mastodons are traditionally considered browsers, but grass phytolith assemblages in three individual mastodons contained similarly high concentrations of pooids, suggesting that these grasses were a significant part of the diet. Abundant pooid phytoliths, in addition to diatoms, indicate that these mastodons grazed in a cool, moist late Pleistocene environment, possibly near water.

  16. Meltwater palaeohydrology of the Baker River basin (Chile/Argentina) during Late Pleistocene deglaciation of the Northern Patagonia Icefield

    Thorndycraft, Varyl; Bendle, Jacob; Benito, Gerardo; Sancho, Carlos; Palmer, Adrian; Rodríguez, Xavier


    The Late Pleistocene deglaciation of the Northern Patagonia Icefield (NPI) was characterised by rapid ice sheet thinning and retreat, and the development of large proglacial lake systems characterised by continental scale drainage reversals. In this region, research has focused primarily on the identification of former ice-limits (e.g. moraine ridges) for geochronological analyses, with little attention given to the meltwater palaeohydrology of major river valleys. The Baker River catchment drains the majority of the eastern ice shed of the NPI, with a basin area of 29,000 km2 that includes the large transboundary lakes of General Carrera/Buenos Aires and Cochrane/Puerreydón. The Baker River valley is aligned north to south, crossing the east-west valleys of the main NPI outflow glaciers, and thus represents an important aspect of regional Late Pleistocene palaeogeography. The Baker River valley therefore has the potential to refine regional models of deglaciation through better understanding of relationships between glacier dynamics, ice dammed lakes and meltwater pathways. Here we present geomorphological mapping from the Atlantic-Pacific drainage divide (over 150 km east of the Cordillera) to the lower Baker valley, in order to reconstruct Late Pleistocene palaeohydrology. We provide new mapping of palaeolake shoreline elevations and evidence for glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) pathways that require a re-evaluation of the currently accepted palaeogeographic models. For example, the palaeohydrological evidence does not support existing models of a unified Buenos Aires/Puerreydón mega-lake at ca. 400m elevation. We propose a relative chronology of palaeohydrological events that help refine the published moraine chronology derived from cosmogenic nuclide exposure dating. Controls on Late Pleistocene meltwater palaeohydrology of the Baker catchment are discussed, including the interplay of glacial processes and regional tectonics, in particular, dynamic

  17. Geodynamics along an increasingly curved convergent plate margin: Late Miocene-Pleistocene Rhodes, Greece

    ten Veen, Johan H.; Kleinspehn, Karen L.


    Neogene-Holocene outward migration of the absolute position of the convergent Hellenic plate boundary produced simultaneous increased curvature of the plate boundary, changing obliquity of plate convergence vectors and boundary-parallel stretching of the forearc region. To study the effects of the plate boundary migration and curvature, a tectonostratigraphy is constructed from the middle Miocene-Pleistocene Apolakkia basin on Rhodes, whose easternmost location makes it a key island to assess the inner forearc's kinematic response to expansion of the overriding Aegean-Anatolian block and thus obliquity of convergence with the African plate. The basin fill provides temporal and paleogeographic control to interpret its syndepositional and postdepositional structural assemblages. Five fault populations in the Apolakkia basin record two neotectonic deformation phases separated by a kinematic change at ~4.5 Ma, both of which are consistent with outward expansion of the Aegean-Anatolian block. The Apolakkia basin originated as a late Miocene fault wedge basin in response to syndepositional southwest-northeast D1 extension with similar strain patterns in the adjacent offshore Hellenic inner forearc. The kinematic change at ~4-5 Ma is attributed to a threshold of obliquity whereby the inner forearc started to experience sinistral-oblique divergence. The Plio-Pleistocene D2 transtensional phase reoriented the basin and resulted in combined syndepositional west-northwest-east-southeast extension (283°) and 070° sinistral shear, orientations that are best attributed to simultaneous outward expansion of the Hellenic forearc, increasing curvature of the plate boundary and associated boundary-parallel stretching of the forearc. Principal shear zones offshore also occur consistently at ~070°, mimicking the D2 kinematic history of the Apolakkia basin and suggesting a consistent geodynamic regime throughout the inner eastern Hellenic forearc. Effects of sinistral-oblique plate

  18. Late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction Consistent With YDB Impact Hypothesis at Younger Dryas Onset

    Kennett, J. P.; Kennett, D. J.


    At least 35 mammal and 19 bird genera became extinct across North America near the end of the Pleistocene. Modern increases in stratigraphic and dating resolution suggest that this extinction occurred relatively rapidly near 12.9 ka (11 radiocarbon kyrs). Within the context of a long-standing debate about its cause, Firestone et al., (2007) proposed that this extinction resulted from an extraterrestrial (ET) impact over North America at 12.9 ka. This hypothesis predicts that the extinction of most of these animals should have occurred abruptly at 12.9 ka. To test this hypothesis, we have critically examined radiocarbon ages and the extinction stratigraphy of these taxa. From a large data pool, we selected only radiocarbon dates with low error margins with a preference for directly dated biological materials (e.g., bone, dung, etc.) and modern chemical purification techniques. A relatively small number of acceptable dates indicate that at least 16 animal genera and several other species became extinct close to 12.9 ka. These taxa include the most common animals of the late Pleistocene such as horses, camels, and mammoths. Also, the remains of extinct taxa are reportedly found up to, but not above, the base of a widely distributed carbon-rich layer called the black mat. This stratum forms an abrupt, major biostratigraphic boundary at the Younger Dryas onset (12.9 ka), which also contains multiple ET markers comprising the impact layer (the YDB). Surviving animal populations were abruptly reduced at the YDB (e.g., Bison), with major range restrictions and apparent evolutionary bottlenecks. The abruptness of this major extinction is inconsistent with the hypotheses of human overkill and climatic change. We argue that extinction ages older than 12.9 ka for many less common species result from the Signor-Lipps effect, but the impact hypothesis predicts that as new dates are acquired, they will approach ever closer to 12.9 ka. The megafaunal extinction is strongly

  19. Tanque Loma, a new late-Pleistocene megafaunal tar seep locality from southwest Ecuador

    Lindsey, Emily L.; Lopez R., Eric X.


    Fossil deposits in the petroleum-rich sediments of the Santa Elena Peninsula in southwestern Ecuador contain some of the largest and best-preserved assemblages of Pleistocene megafaunal remains known from the neotropics, and thus represent an opportunity to greatly expand our knowledge of Pleistocene paleoecology and the extinction of Quaternary megafauna in this region. This paper reports data from excavations at Tanque Loma, a late-Pleistocene locality on the Santa Elena Peninsula that preserves a dense assemblage of megafaunal remains in hydrocarbon-saturated sediments along with microfaunal and paleobotanical material. The megafauna bones are concentrated in and just above a ˜0.5 m thick asphaltic layer, but occur sparsely and with poorer preservation up to 1 m above this deposit. Several meters of presumed-Holocene sediments overlying the megafauna-bearing strata are rich in bones of microvertebrates including birds, squamates, and rodents. These are interpreted as raptor assemblages. While over 1000 megafaunal bones have been identified from the Pleistocene strata at Tanque Loma, more than 85% of these remains pertain to a single species, the giant ground sloth Eremotherium laurillardi. Only five other megafauna taxa have been identified from this site, including Glossotherium cf. tropicorum, Holmesina occidentalis, cf. Notiomastodon platensis, Equus (Amerhippus) c.f. santaeelenae, and a cervid tentatively assigned to cf. Odocoileus salinae based on body size and geography. No carnivores have yet been identified from Tanque Loma, and microvertebrate remains are extremely rare in the Pleistocene deposits, although terrestrial snail shells and fragmented remains of marine invertebrates are occasionally encountered. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon dates on Eremotherium and cf. Notiomaston bones from within and just above the asphaltic layer yielded dates of ˜17,000 - 23,500 radiocarbon years BP. Taken together, the taxonomic composition, taphonomy

  20. Recycling of Badger/Fox Burrows in Late Pleistocene Loess by Hyenas at the Den Site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (NW, Germany: Woolly Rhinoceros Killers and Scavengers in a Mammoth Steppe Environment of Europe

    Cajus Diedrich


    Full Text Available The Late Pleistocene (MIS 5c-d Ice Age spotted hyena open air den and bone accumulation site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (Hesse, NW, Germany represents the first open air loess fox/badger den site in Europe, which must have been recycled by Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss, 1823 as a birthing den. Badger and fox remains, plus remains of their prey (mainly hare, have been found within the loess. Hyena remains from that site include parts of cub skeletons which represent 10% of the megafauna bones. Also a commuting den area existed, which was well marked by hyena faecal pellets. Most of the hyena prey bones expose crack, bite, and nibbling marks, especially the most common bones, the woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis (NISP  =  32%. The large amount of woolly rhinoceros bones indicate hunting/scavenging specializing on this large prey by hyenas. Other important mammoth steppe hyena prey remains are from Mammuthus primigenius, Equus caballus przewalskii, Bison/Bos, Megaloceros giganteus, Cervus elaphus, and Rangifer tarandus. The few damaged bone remains of a scavenged cave bear Ursus spelaeus subsp. are unique for an open air situation. Abundant micromammal, frog, and some fish remains were concentrated in “pellets” that contain mainly mammoth steppe micromammals and also frog and fish remains that seem to originate from the nearby river/lake.

  1. An enlarged parietal foramen in the late archaic Xujiayao 11 neurocranium from Northern China, and rare anomalies among Pleistocene Homo.

    Xiu-Jie Wu

    Full Text Available We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual's age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen. In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans.

  2. 3D-seismic observations of Late Pleistocene glacial dynamics on the central West Greenland margin

    Hofmann, Julia; Knutz, Paul; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.


    Fast-flowing ice streams and outlet glaciers exert a major control on glacial discharge from contemporary and palaeo ice sheets. Improving our understanding of the extent and dynamic behaviour of these palaeo-ice streams is therefore crucial for predictions of the response of ice sheets to present and future climate warming and the associated implications for global sea level. This poster presents results from two 3D-seismic surveys located on the shelf adjoining the Disko Bay trough-mouth fan (TMF), one of the largest glacial outlet systems in Greenland. Located at the seaward terminus of the c. 370 km long cross-shelf Disko Trough, the Disko Bay TMF was generated by highly efficient subglacial sediment delivery onto the continental slopes during repeated ice-stream advances. A variety of submarine glacial landform assemblages are recognised on the seabed reflecting past ice-stream activity presumably related to glacial-interglacial cycles. The 3D-seismic volumes cover the shallow banks located north and south of the Disko Trough. The focus of this study is the seabed and the uppermost stratigraphic interval associated with the Late Stage of TMF development, presumably covering the late Pleistocene (Hofmann et al., submitted). Seabed morphologies include multiple sets of ridges up to 20 m high that extend in NW-SE direction for c. 30 km, and cross-cutting curvilinear furrows with maximum lengths of c. 9 km and average depths of c. 4.5 m. Back-stepping, arcuate scarps facing NW define the shelf break on the northern survey, comprising average widths of c. 4.5 km and incision depths of c. 27.5 m. The large transverse ridge features on the southern survey are likely ice-marginal and are interpreted as terminal moraine ridges recording the existence of a shelf-edge terminating, grounded Late Weichselian ice sheet. The furrows, most prominent on the outer shelf adjoining the shallow banks and partly incising the moraine ridges, are interpreted as iceberg ploughmarks

  3. Late Pleistocene to early Holocene environmental changes on Store Koldewey, coastal north-east Greenland

    Martin Klug


    Full Text Available A lake sediment sequence from southern Store Koldewey, north-east Greenland, has been investigated using a multidisciplinary approach, including geophysical, geochemical, biogeochemical, biological and sedimentological methods. Chronological constraints are provided by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS 14C dating of bulk sediment and complemented with published water moss ages. The record consists of three major sediment units. Their individual structural, textural, geophysical and geochemical characteristics indicate variable input of sediment and meltwater due to variable proximity of the ice margin and therefore reflect the growth and decay of a local glacier during the late Weichselian. Radiocarbon dating of bulk sediment samples from the lowermost unit gave ages of 42 to 34 calibrated thousand years (cal Ky B.P. and indicates that this material is redeposited in the lake basin during or after the ice advance at the end of the Pleistocene. Increased meltwater and sediment input from a retreating ice margin following the Younger Dryas is indicated by the occurrence of a sandy to gravely section. Fine-grained and laminated sediments were deposited during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition and indicate calm sedimentation conditions with an ice margin outside of the lake catchment. The reoccurrence of coarse sediments during the early Holocene may indicate increased meltwater input in response to the cold spell at about 9.3 Kya with increased snow accumulation rather than fluctuations of local glaciers. The dating results furthermore show that AMS 14C dating of bulk sediment samples deposited during glacier decay in High Arctic environments can give problematic ages.

  4. Evidence of fire use of late Pleistocene humans from the Huanglong Cave, Hubei Province, China

    LIU Wu; WU XianZhu; LI YiYin; DENG ChengLong; WU XiuJie; PEI ShuWen


    Since 2004, three excavations have been carried out at a late Pleistocene human fossil site of Huan-glong Cave in Yunxi County, Hubei Province of China, which unearthed seven human teeth, dozens of stone tools, mammal fossils and other evidence indicating human activities. During the third excava-tion in 2006, in the same layer as the human teeth, we found some patches of black materials embed-ded in the deposit. We doubted that this black deposit layer is the remains of burning or even human use of fire at the cave. To further explore the possibility of human fire use at the Huanglong Cave, we examined samples directly taken from the black deposit layer and compared them with samples taken from several places in the cave using three methods: micromorphology, element content determination and deposit temperature analysis. Our results indicate that the contents of carbon element in the black deposit reach 64.59%-73.29%. In contrast, contents of carbon element of the comparative samples from other parts in the cave are only 5.82%-9.49%. The micromorphology analysis of the black de-posit samples reveals a plant structure like axial parenchyma, fibrocyte, uniseriate ray and vessel.High-temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements suggest that the stratum possibly underwent a high temperature in the nature. Based on these lab analyses, we are sure that the black layer in the Huanglong Cave is the remains of fire and combustion did occur in the cave 100000 years ago. Taking other evidence of human activities found in the Huanglong Cave into consideration, we believe that the evidence of fire from the Huanglong Cave was caused by the human activities of controlled use of fire.

  5. An East Siberian ice shelf during the Late Pleistocene glaciations: Numerical reconstructions

    Colleoni, Florence; Kirchner, Nina; Niessen, Frank; Quiquet, Aurélien; Liakka, Johan


    A recent data campaign in the East Siberian Sea has revealed evidence of grounded and floating ice dynamics in regions of up to 1000 m water depth, and which are attributed to glaciations older than the Last Glacial Maximum (21 kyrs BP). The main hypothesis based on this evidence is that a small ice cap developed over Beringia and expanded over the East Siberian continental margin during some of the Late Pleistocene glaciations. Other similar evidence of ice dynamics that have been previously collected on the shallow continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean have been attributed to the penultimate glaciation, i.e. Marine Isotopes Stage 6 (≈140 kyrs BP). We use an ice sheet model, forced by two previously simulated MIS 6 glacial maximum climates, to carry out a series of sensitivity experiments testing the impact of dynamics and mass-balance related parameters on the geometry of the East Siberian ice cap and ice shelf. Results show that the ice cap developing over Beringia connects to the Eurasian ice sheet in all simulations and that its volume ranges between 6 and 14 m SLE, depending on the climate forcing. This ice cap generates an ice shelf of dimensions comparable with or larger than the present-day Ross ice shelf in West Antarctica. Although the ice shelf extent strongly depends on the ice flux through the grounding line, it is particularly sensitive to the choice of the calving and basal melting parameters. Finally, inhibiting a merging of the Beringia ice cap with the Eurasian ice sheet affects the expansion of the ice shelf only in the simulations where the ice cap fluxes are not large enough to compensate for the fluxes coming from the Eurasian ice sheet.

  6. Geochemical Characterization of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Tephra Layers from the Basin of Mexico, Central Mexico

    Ortega-Guerrero, Beatriz; Newton, Anthony J.


    In order to aid palaeoenvironmental research of Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits of central Mexico, tephra layers collected from the sediments of the Texcoco and Chalco sub-basins, in the southern part of the Basin of Mexico, are geochemically characterized and used as stratigraphic markers. The tephra layers range in composition from basaltic andesites to rhyolites and are calc-alkaline. The tephras range in age from >34,000 to ca. 2600 14C yr B.P. New names are used informally to designate correlated tephras. The Tlahuac tephra is present in Chalco, at a depth of 18 m; in the southeastern part of Texcoco, at a depth of around 10 m; and at the Tlapacoya archaeological site, where it had been mistakenly described as basaltic. This basalt-andesite tephra is dated to at least 34,000 14C yr B.P. The Tlapacoya 1 tephra is dated to between 15,020 ± 450 and 14,430 ± 190 yr B.P. and is present in all Chalco sections. The Tlapacoya 2 tephra corresponds to the previously described "pomez gruesa con fragmentos de andesita" (ca. 14,400 yr B.P.) and is present in all Chalco and Texcoco sections. The likely source of these three tephras is the volcano Popocatepetl. Tephra II at Chalco dates to 12,520 ± 135 yr B.P. and correlates with the Upper Toluca Pumice from Nevado de Toluca volcano. These represent the first geochemical glass-shard analysis of tephras from the Basin of Mexico, and so further research is necessary before a reliable tephrochronology can be established.

  7. Stable isotope paleoecology of Late Pleistocene Middle Stone Age humans from the Lake Victoria basin, Kenya.

    Garrett, Nicole D; Fox, David L; McNulty, Kieran P; Faith, J Tyler; Peppe, Daniel J; Van Plantinga, Alex; Tryon, Christian A


    Paleoanthropologists have long argued that environmental pressures played a key role in human evolution. However, our understanding of how these pressures mediated the behavioral and biological diversity of early modern humans and their migration patterns within and out of Africa is limited by a lack of archaeological evidence associated with detailed paleoenvironmental data. Here, we present the first stable isotopic data from paleosols and fauna associated with Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites in East Africa. Late Pleistocene (∼100-45 ka, thousands of years ago) sediments on Rusinga and Mfangano Islands in eastern Lake Victoria (Kenya) preserve a taxonomically diverse, non-analog faunal community associated with MSA artifacts. We analyzed the stable carbon and oxygen isotope composition of paleosol carbonate and organic matter and fossil mammalian tooth enamel, including the first analyses for several extinct bovids such as Rusingoryx atopocranion, Damaliscus hypsodon, and an unnamed impala species. Both paleosol carbonate and organic matter data suggest that local habitats associated with human activities were primarily riverine woodland ecosystems. However, mammalian tooth enamel data indicate that most large-bodied mammals consumed a predominantly C4 diet, suggesting an extensive C4 grassland surrounding these riverine woodlands in the region at the time. These data are consistent with other lines of paleoenvironmental evidence that imply a substantially reduced Lake Victoria at this time, and demonstrate that C4 grasslands were significantly expanded into equatorial Africa compared with their present distribution, which could have facilitated dispersal of human populations and other biotic communities. Our results indicate that early populations of Homo sapiens from the Lake Victoria region exploited locally wooded and well-watered habitats within a larger grassland ecosystem. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A lacustrine record from Lop Nur, Xinjiang, China: Implications for paleoclimate change during Late Pleistocene

    Chao, L.; Zicheng, P.; Dong, Y.; Weiguo, L.; Zhaofeng, Z.; Jianfeng, H.; Chenlin, C.


    Climate variability during the Late Pleistocene is studied from the proxies in core CK-2 drilled from the Luobei Depression (91??03???E, 40??47???N), Lop Nur in the eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China. Geophysical and geochemical properties, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate content, loss on ignition and trace elements, have been determined to reconstruct the environmental evolution of the area during 32-9 ka BP. The chronology is established by uranium-thorium disequilibrium dating techniques. Our data suggest four paleoclimate stages, indicating glacial variations between cold-humid and warm-arid environments. A period of extreme humidity occurred during 31,900-19,200 yr BP is attributed the last glacial maximum (LGM). The period was followed by a warm-arid episode during 19,200-13,500 yr BP. Then a cold-humid interval during 13,500-12,700 yr BP may correspond to another cooling phases at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The last stage from 12,700 to 9000 yr BP has a trend that the climate turned warm and arid. The Lop Nur region is characterized by particularly humid stadials and arid interstadials. The climate variability in Lop Nur was constrained by global climate change because it is correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, which were observed at the northern high latitudes. The synchroneity of the palaeoclimatic events suggested that cold air activity at the northern high latitudes was the most important factor that influenced the climate evolution in the Lop Nur region. A probable mechanism that involves the migration of westerly winds is proposed to interpret this synchroneity. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Late Pleistocene-Holocene vegetation and climate change in the Middle Kalahari, Lake Ngami, Botswana

    Cordova, Carlos E.; Scott, Louis; Chase, Brian M.; Chevalier, Manuel


    Pollen, spores, and microscopic charcoal from a sediment core from Lake Ngami, in the Middle Kalahari, reflect paleovegetation and paleoclimatic conditions over the last 16,600 cal years BP. The location of Lake Ngami allows for the receipt of moisture sourced from the Indian and/or Atlantic oceans, which may have influenced local rainfall or long distance water transport via the Okavango system. We interpret results of statistical analyses of the pollen data as showing a complex, dynamic system wherein variability in tropical convective systems and local forcing mechanisms influence hydrological changes. Our reconstructions show three primary phases in the regional precipitation regime: 1) an early period of high but fluctuating summer rainfall under relatively cool conditions from ∼16,600-12,500 cal BP, with reduced tree to herb and shrub ratio; 2) an episode of significantly reduced rainfall centered around c. 11,400 cal BP, characterized by an increase in xeric Asteraceae pollen, but persistent aquatic elements, suggesting less rainfall but cool conditions and lower evaporation that maintained water in the basin; and 3) a longer phase of high, but fluctuating rainfall from ∼9000 cal BP to present with more woody savanna vegetation (Vachellia (Acacia) and Combretaceae). We propose a model to relate these changes to increased Indian Ocean-sourced moisture in the late Pleistocene due to a southerly position of the African rain belt, a northerly contraction of tropical systems that immediately followed the Younger Dryas, and a subsequent dominance of local insolation forcing, modulated by changes in the SE Atlantic basin.

  10. Characterizing the Late Pleistocene MSA Lithic Technology of Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    Will, Manuel; Bader, Gregor D; Conard, Nicholas J


    Studies of the African Middle Stone Age (MSA) have become central for defining the cultural adaptations that accompanied the evolution of modern humans. While much of recent research in South Africa has focused on the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort (HP), periods following these technocomplexes were often neglected. Here we examine lithic assemblages from Sibudu that post-date the HP to further the understanding of MSA cultural variability during the Late Pleistocene. Sibudu preserves an exceptionally thick, rich, and high-resolution archaeological sequence that dates to ∼ 58 ka, which has recently been proposed as type assemblage for the "Sibudan". This study presents a detailed analysis of the six uppermost lithic assemblages from these deposits (BM-BSP) that we excavated from 2011-2013. We define the key elements of the lithic technology and compare our findings to other assemblages post-dating the HP. The six lithic assemblages provide a distinct and robust cultural signal, closely resembling each other in various technological, techno-functional, techno-economic, and typological characteristics. These results refute assertions that modern humans living after the HP possessed an unstructured and unsophisticated MSA lithic technology. While we observed several parallels with other contemporaneous MSA sites, particularly in the eastern part of southern Africa, the lithic assemblages at Sibudu demonstrate a distinct and so far unique combination of techno-typological traits. Our findings support the use of the Sibudan to help structuring this part of the southern African MSA and emphasize the need for further research to identify the spatial and temporal extent of this proposed cultural unit.

  11. Relative sea-level variability during the late Middle Pleistocene: New evidence from eastern England

    Barlow, N. L. M.; Long, A. J.; Gehrels, W. R.; Saher, M. H.; Scaife, R. G.; Davies, H. J.; Penkman, K. E. H.; Bridgland, D. R.; Sparkes, A.; Smart, C. W.; Taylor, S.


    Unravelling patterns of relative sea-level change during previous interglacials enhances our understanding of ice sheet response to changing climate. Temperate-latitude estuarine environments have the potential to preserve continuous records of relative sea level from previous interglacial (warm) periods. This is important because, currently, we typically only have snapshots of sea-level highstands from low-latitude corals and raised palaeoshoreline indicators while the (continuous) deep-sea oxygen isotope record only provides indirect evidence of sea-level changes. Here, we focus on the Nar Valley in eastern England, in which is preserved evidence of a late middle-Pleistocene marine transgression more than 20 vertical metres in extent. By applying a model of coastal succession and sea-level tendencies, as used in Holocene sea-level studies, we assess the mode (abrupt versus gradual) of sea-level change recorded by the interglacial Nar Valley sequences. Compiled palaeo-stratigraphic evidence comprising foraminifera, pollen and amino acid racemization dating, suggests that the mode of sea-level change in the Nar Valley interglacial sequence was gradual, with potentially two phases of regional transgression and relative sea-level rise occurring at two separate times. The first phase occurred during the latter part of marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 from ∼8 to 18 m OD; and, the second phase potentially occurred during early MIS 9 from ∼-3 to 3 m OD (with long-term tectonic uplift included in these estimates). We cannot conclusively preclude an alternative MIS 11 age for these lower sediments. The lack of indicators for rapid sea-level oscillations in the Nar Valley adds weight to an argument for steady melt of the ice sheets during both MIS 11 and 9.

  12. Late Pleistocene and Recent geology of the Housatonic River region in northwestern Connecticut

    Kelley, George C.


    An investigation of Late Pleistocene and Recent surficial deposits in western Connecticut and adjacent areas was undertaken, to determine characteristics of Wisconsin glaciation and the history and chronology of deglaciation in part of the finely dissected New England Uplands. The study area lies along the midreach of the Housatonic River in western Connecticut, and has local relief exceeding 1,200 feet. Surface morphology and internal characteristics of glacial and glaciofluvial erosional and depositional features were examined and mapped in detail in the Kent and Ellsworth, Connecticut, USGS 7? minute quadrangles, and by reconnaissance in the surrounding quadrangles. This study contributes to the expanding detailed knowledge of glaciation and geomorphology in western New England and eastern New York state. Ice along the lateral east margin of the southward-waxing, Wisconsin-age, Hudson-Champlain Valley ice lobe successively overran ridges trending northeast-to-southwest. Late Wisconsin ice flow was consistently toward the southeast in the study area. Glacial erosion on the upland surfaces was weak, and several early or pre-Wisconsin meltwater channels persist, which evidence little late Wisconsin glacial or glaciofluvial modification. Deeply weathered rock has been locally preserved beneath unweathered till. Till deposits are generally thin, averaging from 10 to 15 feet in thickness, but till deposits exceeding 200 feet in thickness have been observed. Direct evidence for two or more cycles of till deposition is lacking, although multiple glaciations can be inferred from drainage derangement of the Housatonic River and from anomalies in configuration of old, upland melt-water channels which were re-occupied and eroded by melt water during subsequent deglaciations. The orientation of ridges and the local terrain relief exerted minor control on ice flow during waxing phases of glaciation. Local relief and ridges which were oriented transverse to ice flow became the

  13. Chronology of Late Pleistocene glacier advances in the Rı´o Mendoza Valley, Argentina

    Espizua, Lydia E.


    The Rı´o Mendoza valley at 33°S latitude has been repeatedly invaded by glaciers during the Late Pleistocene. Relative-age criteria, U-series ages, and thermoluminescense dating, permitted the glacial deposits to be separated into three mappable units, each less extensive than its predecessor, designed from oldest to youngest, Penitentes, Horcones and Almacenes drifts. Previous studies have shown that during the Penitentes advance the glacier system terminated at 2500 m, while during the subsequent Horcones advance, ice terminated at 2750 m and the Almacenes moraine reached 3250 m. A travertine layer overlying Penitentes till yielded 230Th/ 232Th ages of 38,300±5300, 24,200±2000 and 22,800±3100 yr B.P. This study focuses on dating interstadial sediments in the upper Rı´o Mendoza valley in order to constrain the ages of the drifts. A date was obtained from a composite stratigraphic profile based on exposures along the east side of the Rı´o de los Horcones Inferior valley, a tributary of the Rı´o de las Cuevas valley, which includes the Penitentes and Horcones tills separated by nonglacial sediments (silt, fine sand and clay), and are interpreted as representing the Penitentes-Horcones nonglacial interval. The fine quartz grains (4-11 μm) of these sediments were TL dated as 31,000±3100 yr. All these dates, which are minimum ages for the underlying Penitentes till, imply that the Penitentes ice advanced prior to the last glacial maximum and sometime before ca. 40,000 years ago. A minimum date for Horcones till comes from an exposure on the east side of the Rı´o de los Horcones Inferior valley where the Horcones and Almacenes tills are separated by sediments of nonglacial origin. The fine quartz grains (4-11 μm) of these sediments have been dated by TL as 15,000±2100 years ago. Almacenes till is inferred to represent a standstill or a readvance that occurred late during the Horcones glacier advance. These dates imply that the Penitentes advance may

  14. Preliminary Facies Reconstruction of a Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest Discovered on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf

    Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Bentley, S. J.; DeLong, K. L.; Xu, K.; Caporaso, A.; Obelcz, J. B.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, C. A.; Truong, J. T.


    We are investigating the origin and preservation of an ancient bald cypress forest (Taxodium distichum) discovered on the continental shelf seafloor, offshore of Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA, in 20 m water depth. The forest was likely buried in the late Pleistocene, possibly exhumed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and is now exposed as stumps in life position with little evidence of decay before recent marine exposure. Radiocarbon analyses show that the forest age is near (and in some cases beyond) the limits of 14C dating, at least 41-45 ky BP. In August 2015 and July 2016, submersible vibracores (up to 5 m in length) were collected. Ongoing core analyses include: organic content (loss on ignition), granulometry, and core logging using a Geotek Multi Sensor Core Logger to generate imagery, bulk density, and x-ray fluorescence data. To bolster 14C analyses, cores collected in 2016 are presently being dated using optically stimulated luminescence. Local stratigraphy consists of a surface facies of Holocene transgressive sands, underlain by possible estuarine sediments of interbedded sand and mud (potentially Holocene or Pleistocene), overlying a swamp or delta plain facies (likely Pleistocene) containing woody debris and mud. Deeper woody facies are thought to include the soil horizons of the ancient cypress forest. Cores collected in 2016 revealed a Pleistocene paleosol beneath Holocene sands in a nearby trough. Elevation differences between swamp and paleosol horizons will be evaluated from bathymetric and subbottom data, to help characterize the preserved ancient landscape. Initial interpretation based on close proximity of Pleistocene swamp and oxidized paleosol sediments, and regional geomorphic gradients suggest that this relatively diverse assemblage of facies developed up to tens of km from the glacial-age coastline, and relatively rapid burial prevented erosion by coastal processes during the Holocene transgression thus preserving the tree stumps and wood debris.

  15. Sedimentary architecture and chronostratigraphy of a late Quaternary incised-valley fill: A case study of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene Rhine system in the Netherlands

    Peeters, J.; Busschers, F. S.; Stouthamer, E.; Bosch, J. H. A.; Van den Berg, M. W.; Wallinga, J.; Versendaal, A. J.; Bunnik, F. P. M.; Middelkoop, H.


    This paper describes the sedimentary architecture, chronostratigraphy and palaeogeography of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage/MIS 6-2) incised Rhine-valley fill in the central Netherlands based on six geological transects, luminescence dating, biostratigraphical data and a 3D geological model. The incised-valley fill consists of a ca. 50 m thick and 10-20 km wide sand-dominated succession and includes a well-developed sequence dating from the Last Interglacial: known as the Eemian in northwest Europe. The lower part of the valley fill contains coarse-grained fluvio-glacial and fluvial Rhine sediments that were deposited under Late Saalian (MIS 6) cold-climatic periglacial conditions and during the transition into the warm Eemian interglacial (MIS 5e-d). This unit is overlain by fine-grained fresh-water flood-basin deposits, which are transgressed by a fine-grained estuarine unit that formed during marine high-stand. This ca. 10 m thick sequence reflects gradual drowning of the Eemian interglacial fluvial Rhine system and transformation into an estuary due to relative sea-level rise. The chronological data suggests a delay in timing of regional Eemian interglacial transgression and sea-level high-stand of several thousand years, when compared to eustatic sea-level. As a result of this glacio-isostatic controlled delay, formation of the interglacial lower deltaic system took only place for a relative short period of time: progradation was therefore limited. During the cooler Weichselian Early Glacial period (MIS 5d-a) deposition of deltaic sediments continued and extensive westward progradation of the Rhine system occurred. Major parts of the Eemian and Weichselian Early Glacial deposits were eroded and buried as a result of sea-level lowering and climate cooling during the early Middle Weichselian (MIS 4-3). Near complete sedimentary preservation occurred along the margins of the incised valley allowing the detailed reconstruction presented

  16. Phylogeographic and Demographic Analysis of the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus Based on Mitochondrial DNA.

    Jiaqi Wu

    Full Text Available The Asian black bear Ursus thibetanus is widely distributed in Asia and is adapted to broad-leaved deciduous forests, playing an important ecological role in the natural environment. Several subspecies of U. thibetanus have been recognized, one of which, the Japanese black bear, is distributed in the Japanese archipelago. Recent molecular phylogeographic studies clarified that this subspecies is genetically distantly related to continental subspecies, suggesting an earlier origin. However, the evolutionary relationship between the Japanese and continental subspecies remained unclear. To understand the evolution of the Asian black bear in relation to geological events such as climatic and transgression-regression cycles, a reliable time estimation is also essential. To address these issues, we determined and analyzed the mt-genome of the Japanese subspecies. This indicates that the Japanese subspecies initially diverged from other Asian black bears in around 1.46Ma. The Northern continental population (northeast China, Russia, Korean peninsula subsequently evolved, relatively recently, from the Southern continental population (southern China and Southeast Asia. While the Japanese black bear has an early origin, the tMRCAs and the dynamics of population sizes suggest that it dispersed relatively recently in the main Japanese islands: during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene, probably during or soon after the extinction of the brown bear in Honshu in the same period. Our estimation that the population size of the Japanese subspecies increased rapidly during the Late Pleistocene is the first evidential signal of a niche exchange between brown bears and black bears in the Japanese main islands. This interpretation seems plausible but was not corroborated by paleontological evidence that fossil record of the Japanese subspecies limited after the Late Pleistocene. We also report here a new fossil record of the oldest Japanese black bear from the

  17. Late Pleistocene Holocene stratigraphy and radiocarbon dating of La Malinche volcano, Central Mexico

    Castro-Govea, Renato; Siebe, Claus


    Previous studies of La Malinche identified and radiocarbon dated several volcanic layers, the youngest of which yielded an age of ca. 7.5 ka. An additional ash fallout layer that crops out at high altitudes was considered the most recent deposit, with an estimated age of 6 ka. In the present work 38 new radiocarbon ages are presented. From these, several date the young ash fallout layer and lie around 3.1 ka. With the aid of these dates a new and comprehensive stratigraphy documenting the Late Pleistocene-Holocene eruptive history of La Malinche is presented. The stratigraphy indicates two main stages of volcanic activity: Pre-Malinche and Malinche. The first undoubtedly comprises the major part of the eruptive history, but its deposits are largely covered by the products of the latter stage, on which this study is focused. The Malinche stage was subdivided into three eruptive periods. Period 1 started with the emplacement of the Huamantla Pumice more than 45 ka ago. This deposit consists of a thick pumice fallout overlain by pyroclastic flow deposits. Subsequently, several episodes of construction and collapse of summit domes occurred. The oldest dome was dated at ca. 45 ka. Period 2 started 21.5 ka ago with the Malinche Pumice I, a widespread pumice fallout covering the entire slopes of the volcano. Pyroclastic flows and lahars related to this eruption were channeled along deep barrancas and reached considerable distances. Deposits produced by partial sector collapse and dated at ca. 20.9 ka, and a pumice-and-ash flow deposit dated at 15.9 ka were also generated during this period. The last period started with the eruption of the Malinche Pumice II, a distinctive fallout deposit overlain by ash flow deposits on the NE slope of the volcano. The age of this pumice layer is estimated between 12 and 9 ka. Formation of block-and-ash flows, lahars and pumice-and-ash flows followed during this period, and peaked in a most intensive episode that was dated at 7.5 ka

  18. Late Pleistocene outburst flooding from pluvial Lake Alvord into the Owyhee River, Oregon

    Carter, Deron T.; Ely, Lisa L.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Fenton, Cassandra R.


    At least one large, late Pleistocene flood traveled into the Owyhee River as a result of a rise and subsequent outburst from pluvial Lake Alvord in southeastern Oregon. Lake Alvord breached Big Sand Gap in its eastern rim after reaching an elevation of 1292 m, releasing 11.3 km 3 of water into the adjacent Coyote Basin as it eroded the Big Sand Gap outlet channel to an elevation of about 1280 m. The outflow filled and then spilled out of Coyote Basin through two outlets at 1278 m and into Crooked Creek drainage, ultimately flowing into the Owyhee and Snake Rivers. Along Crooked Creek, the resulting flood eroded canyons, stripped bedrock surfaces, and deposited numerous boulder bars containing imbricated clasts up to 4.1 m in diameter, some of which are located over 30 m above the present-day channel. Critical depth calculations at Big Sand Gap show that maximum outflow from a 1292- to 1280-m drop in Lake Alvord was ˜ 10,000 m 3 s - 1 . Flooding became confined to a single channel approximately 40 km downstream of Big Sand Gap, where step-backwater calculations show that a much larger peak discharge of 40,000 m 3 s - 1 is required to match the highest geologic evidence of the flood in this channel. This inconsistency can be explained by (1) a single 10,000 m 3 s - 1 flood that caused at least 13 m of vertical incision in the channel (hence enlarging the channel cross-section); (2) multiple floods of 10,000 m 3 s - 1 or less, each producing some incision of the channel; or (3) an earlier flood of 40,000 m 3 s - 1 creating the highest flood deposits and crossed drainage divides observed along Crooked Creek drainage, followed by a later 10,000 m 3 s - 1 flood associated with the most recent shorelines in Alvord and Coyote Basins. Well-developed shorelines of Lake Alvord at 1280 m and in Coyote Basin at 1278 m suggest that after the initial flood, postflood overflow persisted for an extended period, connecting Alvord and Coyote Basins with the Owyhee River of the

  19. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hydroclimate Variability in the Tropical Andes from Alpine Lake Sediments, Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela

    Larsen, D. J.; Abbott, M. B.; Polissar, P. J.


    The tropics play a major role in the global hydrologic cycle and changes to tropical rainfall patterns have critical implications for water resources and ecosystem dynamics over large geographic scales. In tropical South America, late Pleistocene and Holocene precipitation variability has been documented in geologic records and associated with numerous external and internal variables, including changes in summer insolation, South American summer monsoon strength, Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, continental moisture recycling, and other climate processes. However, there are few records from the northern hemisphere tropical Americas, a key region for understanding interhemispheric linkages and the drivers of tropical hydroclimate variability. Here, we present a ~13 ka record of coupled hydroclimate and environmental changes from Laguna Brava, a small (~0.07 km2), hydrologically closed lake basin situated at 2400 m asl in the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Sediment cores collected from varying water depths and proximity to shore are placed in a chronologic framework using radiocarbon ages from terrestrial macrofossils, and analyzed for a suite of physical, bulk geochemical, and stable isotopic parameters. Compound specific hydrogen isotope (D/H) measurements of terrestrial plant waxes (long-chain n-alkanes) show a sharp increase in the late Pleistocene, followed by a long-term trend toward more negative values that suggest a ~20‰ decrease in the D/H ratios of South American tropical precipitation during the Holocene. This pattern is consistent in sign and magnitude to other South American precipitation reconstructions from both hemispheres, indicating interhemispheric similarities in tropical hydroclimate variability. Superimposed on this continent-scale trend are changes in moisture balance and environmental conditions in the Venezuelan Andes. We reconstruct these parameters at Laguna Brava at multidecadal and centennial resolution and evaluate this

  20. A review and synthesis of late Pleistocene extinction modeling: progress delayed by mismatches between ecological realism, interpretation, and methodological transparency.

    Yule, Jeffrey V; Fournier, Robert J; Jensen, Christopher X J; Yang, Jinyan


    Late Pleistocene extinctions occurred globally over a period of about 50,000 years, primarily affecting mammals of > or = 44 kg body mass (i.e., megafauna) first in Australia, continuing in Eurasia and, finally, in the Americas. Polarized debate about the cause(s) of the extinctions centers on the role of climate change and anthropogenic factors (especially hunting). Since the late 1960s, investigators have developed mathematical models to simulate the ecological interactions that might have contributed to the extinctions. Here, we provide an overview of the various methodologies used and conclusions reached in the modeling literature, addressing both the strengths and weaknesses of modeling as an explanatory tool. Although late Pleistocene extinction models now provide a solid foundation for viable future work, we conclude, first, that single models offer less compelling support for their respective explanatory hypotheses than many realize; second, that disparities in methodology (both in terms of model parameterization and design) prevent meaningful comparison between models and, more generally, progress from model to model in increasing our understanding of these extinctions; and third, that recent models have been presented and possibly developed without sufficient regard for the transparency of design that facilitates scientific progress.




    Full Text Available In mammals combined factors such as body size reduction and loss of peripheral teeth are often associated with endemism phenomena. This condition is particularly evident in insular contexts where is a complete geographic isolation. During the Pleistocene there have been several glacial stages, which changed the physiognomy of the Italian peninsula strongly influencing the distribution and morphology of mammalian faunas. Several genetic studies have shown that some Southern Italian areas have particular endemic species of small and medium size mammals. During Pleistocene these areas have been characterized by particular climatic/environmental conditions, and are generally called "glacial refugia". They represent geographically isolated areas over time, where the origin of faunas with peculiar features is favoured. In this study, the occurrence of Meles meles from the Late Pleistocene site of Ingarano (Apulia, Southern Italy is documented for the first time. This taxon is represented only by a partial skull (splancnocranum that, despite the relative completeness, includes peculiar and well-preserved dental features that could be related to a partial endemic condition. The fossil shows a reduced body size and the agenesis of peripheral teeth, both conditions that are typical of the extant badgers from Crete, Rhodes and Japan. To test this hypothesis, tomographic analysis have been provided to establish the dental agenesis, and, in order to understand the magnitude of the body size reduction, biometric analyses have been carried on. The obtained data have been compared to measures of the extant Eurasian badgers.SHORT NOTE

  2. Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics

    Campos, Paula; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, Andrei


    The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are poorly understood. Different lines of evidence point to climate change, the arrival of humans, or a combination of these events as the trigger. Although many species went extinct, others, such as caribou and bison, survived......, as it was the geographic origin of all samples studied and held a large diverse population until local extinction at approximately 45,000 radiocarbon years before present ((14)C YBP). Subsequently, musk ox genetic diversity reincreased at ca. 30,000 (14)C YBP, recontracted at ca. 18,000 (14)C YBP, and finally recovered...

  3. Rapid changes in Late Pleistocene precipitation and stream discharge determined from medium- and coarse-grained sediment in saline lakes

    Anderson, Roger Y.


    Sediment-trapping investigations in Pyramid Lake, Nevada show that medium- to coarse-grained clastic sediments suspended in streamflow after periods of low flow can be transported several kilometers in plumes of freshwater discharged over the surface of a saline lake. Analogous conditions are postulated to explain changes in the abundance of detrital quartz in lake clay near the center of Estancia Basin, New Mexico during the Late Pleistocene. Abrupt increases in the abundance of quartz grains mark the onset of lake freshening, and ostracode and trace-metal proxies for salinity indicate repeated, brief episodes of streamflow and lake freshening during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

  4. An Arctic perspective on dating Mid-Late Pleistocene environmental history

    Alexanderson, Helena; Backman, Jan; Cronin, Thomas M.;


    To better understand Pleistocene climatic changes in the Arctic, integrated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic signals from a variety of marine and terrestrial geological records as well as geochronologic age control are required, not least for correlation to extra-Arctic records. In this pap...

  5. Late Pleistocene climate evolution in Southeastern Europe recorded by soil bacterial membrane lipids in Serbian loess

    Schreuder, Laura T.; Beets, Christiaan J.; Prins, Maarten A.; Hatté, Christine; Peterse, Francien


    Loess-paleosol sequences in the Vojvodina region in the southeastern Carpathian Basin have been intensively studied to obtain a high-resolution stratigraphical framework for the Upper Pleistocene in this part of Europe. In these studies, millennial-scale sedimentation variations in the Upper Plenigl

  6. Late Pleistocene climate evolution in Southeastern Europe recorded by soil bacterial membrane lipids in Serbian loess

    Schreuder, Laura T.; Beets, Christiaan J.; Prins, Maarten A.; Hatté, Christine; Peterse, Francien


    Loess-paleosol sequences in the Vojvodina region in the southeastern Carpathian Basin have been intensively studied to obtain a high-resolution stratigraphical framework for the Upper Pleistocene in this part of Europe. In these studies, millennial-scale sedimentation variations in the Upper Plenigl

  7. Late Pleistocene and Holocene activity of the Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (Ecuador)

    Hidalgo, Silvana; Monzier, Michel; Almeida, Eduardo; Chazot, Gilles; Eissen, Jean-Philippe; van der Plicht, Johannes; Hall, Minard L.


    The Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (ANVC) is located in the Western Cordillera of Ecuador, 10 km southwest of Quito. At least six periods of Pleistocene to Holocene activity (N1 to N6) have been preserved in the geologic record as tephra fallouts and pyroclastic flow deposits. New field data,

  8. Paleolimnological reconstruction of environmental variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the south-east Baltic region

    Kublitskiy, Iurii; Subetto, Dmitriy; Druzhinina, Olga; Kulkova, Marianna; Arslanov, Khikmatula


    The main goal of our research is the high-resolution reconstruction of environmental and climatic changes in SE Baltic region since the Last Glacial Maximum by palaeolimnological data. The 6 objects - lakes and peat-bogs, were studied since 2009 in the Kaliningrad region, Russian Federation. According to palaeolimnological studies of bottom sediments of the Kamyshovoe Lake (N 54°22,6`; E22°42,8`, 189 m a.s.l.), located in the Vishtynets Highland, the south-east part of Kaliningrad district, the environmental and climatic changes after the late glacial have been reconstructed. At that moment the radiocarbon and loss-on-ignition (LOI) data, geochemistry and diatom analysis for the whole sediment core, and pollen analyze for the bottom part of the core have been completed. According to the pollen data the Alleröd interstadial starts at 13 200 cal. yrs BP and is marked by the rising of birch and pine pollen. The transition to the Younger Dryas around 12 700 cal. yrs BP corresponds with the development of patches of shrublands in which light-demanding species, such as juniper, flourished and communities of steppe herbs. The late Preboreal is marked by the appearance of Populus and an increase of the role of grasses in the vegetation cover 11 300-11 100 cal. yrs BP (Druzinina et al., 2015). The Holocene climatic zones have been identified by LOI and geochemistry analyses. The Boreal period started about 10 200 cal. yrs BP, Atlantic around 9100 cal. yrs BP, Subboreal 5800 cal. yrs BP, and Subatlantic 3200 cal. yrs BP (Kublitskiy et al., 2015). During the conference the new palaeolimnological data of environmental variability during the late Pleistocene and Holocene in SE Baltic region will be presented. Acknowledgements The investigations have been granted by the Russian Fund for Basic Research (12-05-33013, 13-05-41457, 15-35-50721). References Druzhinina, O., Subetto, D., Stančikaitė, M., Vaikutienė, G., Kublitsky, J., Arslanov, Kh., 2015. Sediment record from the

  9. Late Pleistocene and Holocene uplift history of Cyprus: implications for active tectonics along the southern margin of the Anatolian microplate

    Harrison, R.W.; Tsiolakis, E.; Stone, B.D.; Lord, A.; McGeehin, J.P.; Mahan, S.A.; Chirico, P.


    The nature of the southern margin of the Anatolian microplate during the Neogene is complex, controversial and fundamental in understanding active plate-margin tectonics and natural hazards in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our investigation provides new insights into the Late Pleistocene uplift history of Cyprus and the Troodos Ophiolite. We provide isotopic (14C) and radiogenic (luminescence) dates of outcropping marine sediments in eastern Cyprus that identify periods of deposition during marine isotope stages (MIS) 3, 4, 5 and 6. Past sea-levels indicated by these deposits are c. 95±25 m higher in elevation than estimates of worldwide eustatic sea-level. An uplift rate of c. 1.8 mm/year and possibly as much as c. 4.1 mm/year in the past c. 26–40 ka is indicated. Holocene marine deposits also occur at elevations higher than those expected for past SL and suggest uplift rates of c. 1.2–2.1 mm/year. MIS-3 marine deposits that crop out in southern and western Cyprus indicate uniform island-wide uplift. We propose a model of tectonic wedging at a plate-bounding restraining bend as a mechanism for Late Pleistocene to Holocene uplift of Cyprus; uplift is accommodated by deformation and seismicity along the margins of the Troodos Ophiolite and re-activation of its low-angle, basal shear zone.

  10. Multi-proxy evidence for Late Pleistocene-Holocene climatic and environmental changes in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China

    Luo, C.; Yang, D.; Peng, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Weiguo, L.; He, J.; Zhou, C.


    A 10.35-m-long sediment core from the Luobei depression in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China, provides detailed information about environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene. The samples taken every 5 cm of the core were analyzed for 10 environmental proxies, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate and loss on ignition (LOI), and pH value. The chronology data are provided by the uranium/thorium disequilibrium dates. The sediments of the section were deposited during the last 32000 years. The results of analysis of 10 proxies were examined using multivariate statistical analysis, and the principal components were calculated. According to the results, the Late Pleistocene sequence contains four climatic and environmental stages appearing in the cycles of cold-wet and warm-dry changes. During 10-9 ka BP, it was the earliest warm episode in the Holocene. Environmental changes in this district were restricted by global change, as suggested by the analysis of glacial-interglacial cycles. But it was different from the mutative trend of a monsoon region in East China because of its own characteristics, which was the situation of cold-wet and warm-dry climate-environment change. The candidate reason may be the uplift of the Tibet Plateau and the westerly wind circulation. ?? Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008.

  11. First record of fossil wood and phytolith assemblages of the Late Pleistocene in El Palmar National Park (Argentina)

    Zucol, A. F.; Brea, M.; Scopel, A.


    Two paleoxylologic assemblages and two phytolith assemblages were recovered from Late Pleistocene sediments of El Palmar Formation. These deposits are found in outcrops along the western margin of the Uruguay River. The spectra of taxa obtained in both sets by different methods is complementary. The fossil remains are characterized in terms of floristic composition and paleoclimate. Seven families are recognized: Podostemaceae, Myrtaceae, Anacardiaceae, Mimosoideae, Arecaceae, Poaceace, and Cyperaceae. Sponge siliceous spicules also have been found in these assemblages. The state of preservation of the phytoliths and their weathering degree is analyzed. These studies can be used as a potential paleoecological tool for alluvial sediments. The comparison of fossil assemblages with modern analogs clarifies the paleoecological requirements and composition of two paleocommunities, one dominated by woody forests and the other by palms. The climatic conditions inferred from the reconstructed vegetation and sedimentary deposits indicate a temperate-warm, humid climate. The results constitute the first evidence of the floral diversity of the vegetation in El Palmar National Park during the Late Pleistocene.

  12. Multi-proxy evidence for Late Pleistocene Holocene climatic and environmental changes in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China

    LUO Chao; YANG Dong; PENG Zicheng; ZHANG Zhaofeng; LIU Weiguo; HE Jianfeng; ZHOU Chenlin


    A 10.35-m-long sediment core from the Luobei depression in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China, provides detailed information about environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene. The samples taken every 5 cm of the core were unalyzed for 10 environmental proxies, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate and loss on ignition (LOI), and pH value. The chronology data are provided by the uranium/thorium disequilibrium dates. The sediments of the section were deposited during the last 32000 years. The results of analysis of 10 proxies were examined using multivariate statistical analysis, and the principal components were calculated. According to the results, the Late Pleistocene sequence contains four climatic and environmental stages appearing in the cycles of cold-wet and warm-dry changes. During 10-9 ka BP, it was the earliest warm episode in the Holocene.Environmental changes in this district were restricted by global change, as suggested by the analysis of glacial-interglacial cycles. But it was different from the mutative trend of a monsoon region in East China because of its own characteristics, which was the situation of cold-wet and warm-dry climate-environment change. The candidate reason may be the uplift of the Tibet Plateau and the westerly wind circulation.

  13. Climatic fluctuations as a significant contributing factor for volcanic collapses. Evidence from Mexico during the Late Pleistocene

    Capra, L.; Bernal-Uruchurtu, J. P.; Carrasco, G.


    Climate oscillations have significantly contributed to the planet's evolution, including volcanic activity. Major glaciations have been considered not only as a triggering mechanism for large magmatic eruptions but also inducing volcano instability. Generally, volcano instability can be inferred from detailed volcanological and structural studies of a volcano and its associated depositional sequence, but the triggering mechanism has been always difficult to infer. In this paper, we present evidence of how climatic variations during the Late Pleistocene could have forced sector collapses of the main Mexican stratovolcanoes and enhanced the mobility of associated massive flows inducing the transformation of debris avalanche into debris flows. In particular, the climatic record based on atmospheric moisture content from robustly dated lake record from Guatemala and a U/Th dated speleothem from New Mexico are used here as indicators of summer and winter precipitation. Depositional sequences associated with Late Pleistocene sector collapses of Volcan de Colima, Nevado de Toluca, Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba) and Cofre de Perote volcanoes are here analyzed. Comparing the timing of the event with the climatic record, a combination of summer and/or winter pluvial conditions could have forced and triggered the failure of already unstable volcanoes, even during glacier advances (as for the Citlaltepetl event). Independently of the main cause of the volcano instability (magmatic or tectonic) it is important to highlight that the climatic factor played an important role in enhancing the volcano instability and promoted the lateral transformation of debris avalanches, which under dry conditions would have affected more limited areas.

  14. Differential resilience of ancient sister lakes Ohrid and Prespa to environmental disturbances during the Late Pleistocene

    E. Jovanovska


    Full Text Available Ancient lakes, like lakes Ohrid and Prespa on the Balkan Peninsula, have become model systems for studying the link between geological and biotic evolution. Recently the scientific deep drilling program "Scientific Collaboration on Past Speciation Conditions in Lake Ohrid" (SCOPSCO has been launched to better understand the environmental, climatic and limnological evolution of the lake. It revealed that Lake Ohrid experienced a number of environmental disturbances during its ca. 2.0 million year long history. They comprise disturbances that lasted over longer periods of times ("press events" such as Heinrich events as well as sudden and short disturbances ("pulse events" like the deposition of volcanic ashes. The latter include one of the most severe volcanic episodes during the Late Pleistocene, the eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite (known as Y-5 marine tephra layer from the Campi Flegrei caldera, dated at 39.6 ± 0.1 ka ago. The event is recorded by the deposition of a ca. 15 cm thick Y-5 tephra layer in sediment cores of lakes Ohrid (DEEP-5045-1 and Prespa (Co1204. This pulse event is overlain by the Heinrich event 4 (H4, 40.0–38.0 ka ago. In the current paper, diatoms were used as proxies to compare the responses of these lakes to the Y-5 (pulse and the H4 (press disturbances. Based on stratigraphically constrained incremental sum of squares cluster (CONISS and unconstrained Partitioning Around Medoids (PAM analyses, we found only little evidence that the diatom community compositions in either lake responded to the H4 event. However, the Y-5 influx caused clear and rapid diatom community changes. After the initial response, community composition in Lake Ohrid and, to a lesser extent, in Lake Prespa slowly returned to their quasi pre-disturbance state. Moreover, there is no evidence for disturbance-related extinction events. The combined evidence from these findings suggests that lakes Ohrid and Prespa likely did not experience regime

  15. Probabilistic sequence alignment of Late Pleistocene benthic δ18O data

    Lawrence, C.; Lin, L.; Lisiecki, L. E.; Stern, J.


    inferred from the LR04 stack. The complication of the central (1-α)% intervals of these distributions yields the confidence bands. In an extension of this work we are rebuilding the stack using a profile HMM model (Durbin, Eddy et al, Ch. 5). We analyze the confidence bands produced for the alignments of 35 Late Pleistocene benthic δ18O records to the LR04 benthic δ18O stack. We find that the mean width of 95% confidence bands for core alignments varies between 3-23 kyr depending on the resolution and noisiness of the core's δ18O signal. Confidence bands within individual cores also vary greatly, ranging from ~0 to >40 kyr. These alignment confidence bands will allow researchers to examine the robustness of their conclusions with respect to alignment uncertainty at all points in the record. Additionally, they should aid in the identification of possible errors in inferred ages in the input record (e.g., due to core disturbances) because such errors are likely to be associated with large, local uncertainty.



    The Early Pleistocene sedimentary succession of the Dandiero (Buia) Basin (Danakil Depression, Eritrea) has preserved a rich paleontological, paleoanthropological, and archeological record. Fieldwork undertaken between 1995 and 2003 on a site at Uadi Aalad (Abbate et al. 1998) led to the discovery of one-million-year-old human remains. They consist of a cranium in excellent preservation condition (UA-31), two permanent teeth (UA-222 and UA-369), and three pelvic portions (UA-173, UA-405 and U...

  17. Preliminary Results from a Late Pleistocene to Holocene Paleoclimate Study of the Lake Sediment Cores, Northern New Mexico

    Cedillo, D. N.; Brister, A. R.; LoPresti, C. A.; Maldonado, M.; Pitrucha, R. M.; West, C.; Martinez, E.; Lineline, J.; Petronis, M. S.


    We present the preliminary results from an integrated, paleoclimatic study of sediment cores collected from the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (LVNWR) and surrounding region that bear on the late Pleistocene to Holocene paleoclimatic variations in northeastern NM. We collected sedimentologic, midge fossil, and rock magnetic data from sediment cores to characterize the materials, identify stratigraphic changes, document shifting lake levels, assess temperature changes, and infer paleoclimate conditions. Data from McAllister and Wallace Lake are encouraging and reveal depth dependent changes in fossil assemblages, grain size, and rock magnetic properties that we interpret to reflect climatic driven variations impacting the depositional system. We recognize three different types of chironomid subfamilies (Chironomini, Tanypodinae, and Orthocladiinae). Based on the fossil results, the water has been warm in the most recent years. Grain size distribution from the lower to upper core levels reveal that the amount of fine sand-sized sediment (0.125 mm diameter) increases while the amount of medium (0.25) to coarse (0.50) sand-sized sediment decreases implying that there may have been a reduction in stream energy and hence precipitation over the time period represented by the core. Bulk low-field magnetic susceptibility decreases by an order of magnitude from the surface to the base of the measured core suggesting a change in detrital magnetic influx into the lacustrian system. Curie point estimates indicate that the dominant magnetic mineral in all samples is cubic, low-Ti titanomagnetite phase. We postulate that concurrent with alpine glacial activity during the Pleistocene, the LVNWR and the transitional Great Plains region to the northeast was an expansive single lake or interconnected lake system, analogous to the Pleistocene lakes of the Estancia Basin (Lake Estancia) and the Tularosa Basin (Lake Otero) of central and southern NM. Following the end of glacial

  18. Dynamics of the late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet documented in subglacial diamictites, AND-1B drill core

    Cowan, Ellen A.; Christoffersen, Poul; Powell, Ross D.; Talarico, Franco M.


    Geologic studies of sediment deposited by glaciers can provide crucial insights into the subglacial environment. We studied muddy diamictites in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) AND-1B drill core, acquired from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in McMurdo Sound, with the aim of identifying paleo-ice stream activity in the Plio-Pleistocene. Glacial advances were identified from glacial surfaces of erosion (GSEs) and subglacial diamictites within three complete sequences were investigated using lithofacies associations, micromorphology, and quartz sand grain microtextures. Whereas conditions in the Late Pliocene resemble the modern Greenland Ice Sheet where fast flowing glaciers lubricated by surface meltwater terminate directly in the sea (interval 201-212 mbsl) conditions in the Late Pleistocene are similar to modern West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice streams (38-49 mbsl). We identify the latter from ductile deformation and high pore-water pressure, which resulted in pervasive rotation and formation of till pellets and low relief, rounded sand grains dominated by abrasion. In the transitional period during the Mid-Pleistocene (55-68 mbsf), a slow moving inland ice sheet deposited tills with brittle deformation, producing lineations and bi-masepic and unistrial plasma fabric, along with high relief, conchoidally fractured quartz grains. Changes in the provenance of gravel to cobble-size clasts support a distant source area of Byrd Glacier for fast-flowing paleo-ice streams and a proximal area between Darwin and Skelton Glaciers for the slow-moving inland ice sheet. This difference in till provenance documents a shift in direction of glacial flow at the core site, which indirectly reflects changes in the size and thickness of the WAIS. Hence, we found that fast ice streaming motion is a consequence of a thicker WAIS pushing flow lines to the west and introducing clasts from the Byrd Glacier source area to the drill site. The detailed analysis of diamictites in

  19. Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene vegetation history of northeastern Russian Arctic inferred from the Lake El'gygytgyn pollen record

    Andreev, A. A.; Tarasov, P. E.; Wennrich, V.; Raschke, E.; Herzschuh, U.; Nowaczyk, N. R.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Melles, M.


    The 318 m thick lacustrine sediment record from Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russian Arctic cored by the international El'gygytgyn Drilling Project provides unique opportunities for the time-continuous reconstruction of the regional paleoenvironmental history for the past 3.6 Myr. Pollen studies of the lower 216 m of the lacustrine sediments demonstrate their value as an excellent archive of vegetation and climate changes during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. About 3.5-3.35 Myr BP, the vegetation at Lake El'gygytgyn, now an area of tundra was dominated by spruce-larch-fir-hemlock forests. After ca. 3.35 Myr BP dark coniferous taxa gradually disappeared. A very pronounced environmental change took place ca. 3.31-3.28 Myr BP, corresponding to the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) M2, when treeless tundra- and steppe-like habitats became dominant in the regional vegetation. Climate conditions were similar to those of Late Pleistocene cold intervals. Numerous coprophilous fungi spores identified in the pollen samples suggest the presence of grazing animals around the lake. Following the MIS M2 event, larch-pine forests with some spruce mostly dominated the area until ca. 2.6 Myr BP, interrupted by colder and drier intervals ca. 3.043-3.025, 2.935-2.912, and 2.719-2.698 Myr BP. At the beginning of the Pleistocene, ca. 2.6 Myr BP, noticeable climatic deterioration occurred. Forested habitats changed to predominantly treeless and shrubby environments, which reflect a relatively cold and dry climate. Peaks in observed green algae colonies (Botryococcus) around 2.53, 2.45, 2.32-2.305, 2.20 and 2.16-2.15 Myr BP suggest a spread of shallow water environments. A few intervals (i.e., 2.55-2.53, ca. 2.37, and 2.35-2.32 Myr BP) with a higher presence of coniferous taxa (mostly pine and larch) document some relatively short-term climate ameliorations during Early Pleistocene glacial periods.




    Full Text Available The Early Pleistocene sedimentary succession of the Dandiero (Buia Basin (Danakil Depression, Eritrea has preserved a rich paleontological, paleoanthropological, and archeological record. Fieldwork undertaken between 1995 and 2003 on a site at Uadi Aalad (Abbate et al. 1998 led to the discovery of one-million-year-old human remains. They consist of a cranium in excellent preservation condition (UA-31, two permanent teeth (UA-222 and UA-369, and three pelvic portions (UA-173, UA-405 and UA-466, the latter recovered on 2003. The cranium and the postcranial remains represent a single adult individual, likely of female sex. The cranium evidences a blend of "erectus-like" and progressive morpho-architectural features, the latter more commonly found in the Middle Pleistocene. Preparation and restoration of the specimens (notably, of the virtually complete UA-31 face were only completed on September 2003. The revision, refinement, and integration of our previous analytical and interpretative work (cf. Abbate et al. 1998; Macchiarelli et al. 2002 is in progress within the context of the paleoanthropological reord currently available for the African Early to Middle Pleistocene.

  1. Late Pleistocene-Holocene paleoclimate in southwestern Brazilian Amazonia with basis on floristic changes interpreted from isotope data

    Rossetti, D. F.; Cohen, M. C. L.; Pessenda, L. C. R.


    Previous late Quaternary paleoclimatic interpretations in Amazonia have considered fluctuating dry to wet episodes with changes from savanna to forest, a view that concurs with other proposals of undisturbed rainforest despite global oscillations. Most of this debate is based on pollen data, but such elements are scarce in Amazonian sedimentary records. This work interprets vegetation in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in a southwestern Amazonia lowland using δ13C, δ15N, C/N integrated with geomorphology, sedimentology and radiocarbon dating. The goal was to reconstruct vegetation changes through time and analyze their relation to climate and sedimentary dynamics. Fluvial channel and floodplain deposits with phytoplankton, as well as C3 and C4 land plants, were recorded. Between 42,033-43,168 cal yr BP and 34,804-35,584 cal yr BP, C4 land plants increased as a result of a climate drier than todaýs. However, wet climate prevailed from this time-frame until the onset of the Last Glaciation Maximum. In the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, there was an increased contribution of C4 land plants potentially related to dry episodes. However, the increased contribution of this type of land plant is not synchronous with Holocene dry episodes previously documented for the Amazonian lowland. On the other hand, it is remarkable that the record of this plant type was verified only in sites with modern grassland confined to fluvial paleo-landforms. Thus, rather than due to a dry climatic episode, the recorded grassland expansion and its maintenance up to the present time in the studied sites is more likely associated with the evolution of depositional environments, being coincidental with the progressive abandonment of fluvial systems. An important conclusion derived from the present work is that great care must be placed when reconstructing late Quaternary paleoclimate in Amazonia based on changes in floristic patterns, as they may be also a response to sedimentary dynamics.

  2. Aeolian to shallow-marine shelf architecture off a major desert since the Late Pleistocene (northern Mauritania)

    Hanebuth, T. J. J.; Mersmeyer, H.; Kudrass, H. R.; Westphal, H.


    Continental shelves off major desert regions are not expected to host substantial amounts of sediments due to long-lasting and unfocused material supply and a high re-mobilization potential of aeolian material. This study, in contrast, demonstrates that significant volumes of sediments have accumulated on the northern Mauritanian shelf under the arid climate conditions and prevail over consecutive climatic cycles. Eight late Pleistocene to Holocene depositional units, each formed under contrasting depositional conditions, are identified in high-resolution seismo-acoustic data and dated sediment cores. These are: (1) a highly differentiated Pleistocene paleo-landscape older than the past climatic cycle, (2) a continental dune complex (MIS-4), (3) a thick regressive shallow-water clinoform (late MIS-3), (4) a regressive to lowstand shore deposit (latest MIS-3), and (5) a local transgressive cover (LGM to deglacial). Additionally, (6) an open-shelf highstand cover, (7) an outer-shelf highstand wedge and (8) mid-shelf mud depocenters have formed during the Holocene sea-level highstand. The common local offshore formation and preservation of confined stratigraphic units, in particular from during MIS-3, mark the interplay of: a) episodes of pronounced arid climatic conditions resulting in enhanced aeolian and coastal sediment input, b) shelf current patterns focusing sediment deposition locally, and c) early post-depositional sediment stabilization providing protection against erosion. Prominent internal surfaces at 63 and 115 m modern water depths indicate widespread and intense erosional activity during late MIS-3 regression and MIS-2 lowstand to post-LGM transgression, hosting coarse shell sands and gravels from beach and shoreface paleo-environments. The reasons for the high preservation potential of confined stratigraphic units are: a) carbonaceous cementation, b) sediment composition (massive widespread shore-related gravel and shell beds with subtle minor

  3. Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes Suggest a Single Major Dispersal of Non-Africans and a Late Glacial Population Turnover in Europe.

    Posth, Cosimo; Renaud, Gabriel; Mittnik, Alissa; Drucker, Dorothée G; Rougier, Hélène; Cupillard, Christophe; Valentin, Frédérique; Thevenet, Corinne; Furtwängler, Anja; Wißing, Christoph; Francken, Michael; Malina, Maria; Bolus, Michael; Lari, Martina; Gigli, Elena; Capecchi, Giulia; Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Beauval, Cédric; Flas, Damien; Germonpré, Mietje; van der Plicht, Johannes; Cottiaux, Richard; Gély, Bernard; Ronchitelli, Annamaria; Wehrberger, Kurt; Grigorescu, Dan; Svoboda, Jiří; Semal, Patrick; Caramelli, David; Bocherens, Hervé; Harvati, Katerina; Conard, Nicholas J; Haak, Wolfgang; Powell, Adam; Krause, Johannes


    How modern humans dispersed into Eurasia and Australasia, including the number of separate expansions and their timings, is highly debated [1, 2]. Two categories of models are proposed for the dispersal of non-Africans: (1) single dispersal, i.e., a single major diffusion of modern humans across Eurasia and Australasia [3-5]; and (2) multiple dispersal, i.e., additional earlier population expansions that may have contributed to the genetic diversity of some present-day humans outside of Africa [6-9]. Many variants of these models focus largely on Asia and Australasia, neglecting human dispersal into Europe, thus explaining only a subset of the entire colonization process outside of Africa [3-5, 8, 9]. The genetic diversity of the first modern humans who spread into Europe during the Late Pleistocene and the impact of subsequent climatic events on their demography are largely unknown. Here we analyze 55 complete human mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) of hunter-gatherers spanning ∼35,000 years of European prehistory. We unexpectedly find mtDNA lineage M in individuals prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This lineage is absent in contemporary Europeans, although it is found at high frequency in modern Asians, Australasians, and Native Americans. Dating the most recent common ancestor of each of the modern non-African mtDNA clades reveals their single, late, and rapid dispersal less than 55,000 years ago. Demographic modeling not only indicates an LGM genetic bottleneck, but also provides surprising evidence of a major population turnover in Europe around 14,500 years ago during the Late Glacial, a period of climatic instability at the end of the Pleistocene. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    M.-O. Brault


    Full Text Available The end of the Pleistocene was a turning point for the Earth system as climate gradually emerged from millennia of severe glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. The deglacial climate change coincided with an unprecedented decline in many species of Pleistocene megafauna, including the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to an herbivorous diet that presumably involved large-scale tree grazing, the mammoth extinction has been associated with the rapid expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, thus potentially contributing 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 these extinctions on climate during the latest deglacial period. We have explored various hypothetical scenarios of forest expansion in the northern high latitudes, quantifying the biogeophysical effects in terms of changes in surface albedo and air temperature. These scenarios include a Maximum Impact Scenario (MIS which simulates the greatest possible post-extinction reforestation in the model, and sensitivity tests which investigate the timing of extinction, the fraction of trees grazed by mammoths, and the southern extent of mammoth habitats. We also show the results of a simulation with free atmospheric CO2-carbon cycle interactions. For the MIS, we obtained a surface albedo increase and global warming of 0.006 and 0.175 °C, respectively. 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 free CO2 simulation, the biogeophysical-induced warming was amplified by a biogeochemical effect, whereby the replacement of high-latitude tundra with shrub forest led to a release of soil carbon to the atmosphere and a small atmospheric CO2 increase. Overall, our results suggest the potential for a small, though non

  5. Geographic and temporal trends in proboscidean and human radiocarbon histories during the late Pleistocene

    Ugan, Andrew; Byers, David


    The causes of large animal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene remain a hotly debated topic focused primarily on the effects of human over hunting and climate change. Here we examine multiple, large radiocarbon data sets for humans and extinct proboscideans and explore how variation in their temporal and geographic distributions were related prior to proboscidean extinction. These data include 4532 archaeological determinations from Europe and Siberia and 1177 mammoth and mastodont determinations from Europe, Siberia, and North America. All span the period from 45,000 to 12,000 calendar years BP. We show that while the geographic ranges of dated human occupations and proboscidean remains overlap across the terminal Pleistocene of the Old World, the two groups remain largely segregated and increases in the frequency of human occupations do not coincide with declines in proboscidean remains. Prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ca 21,000 years BP), archaeological 14C determinations increase slightly in frequency worldwide while the frequency of dated proboscidean remains varies depending on taxon and location. After the LGM, both sympatric and allopatric groups of humans and proboscideans increase sharply as climatic conditions ameliorate. Post-LGM radiocarbon frequencies among proboscideans peak at different times, also depending upon taxon and location. Woolly mammoths in Beringia reach a maximum and then decline beginning between 16,000 and 15,500 years BP, woolly mammoths in Europe and Siberia ca 14,500 and 13,500 BP, and Columbian mammoth and American mastodont only after 13,000 BP. Declines among woolly mammoths appear to coincide with the restructuring of biotic communities following the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

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

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


    The end of the Pleistocene was a turning point for the Earth system as climate gradually emerged from millennia of severe glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. The deglacial climate change coincided with an unprecedented decline in many species of Pleistocene megafauna, including the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to an herbivorous diet that presumably involved large-scale tree grazing, the mammoth extinction has been associated with the rapid expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, thus potentially contributing 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 these extinctions on climate during the latest deglacial period. We have explored various hypothetical scenarios of forest expansion in the northern high latitudes, quantifying the biogeophysical effects in terms of changes in surface albedo and air temperature. These scenarios include a Maximum Impact Scenario (MIS) which simulates the greatest possible post-extinction reforestation in the model, and sensitivity tests which investigate the timing of extinction, the fraction of trees grazed by mammoths, and the southern extent of mammoth habitats. We also show the results of a simulation with free atmospheric CO2-carbon cycle interactions. For the MIS, we obtained a surface albedo increase and global warming of 0.006 and 0.175 °C, respectively. 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 free CO2 simulation, the biogeophysical-induced warming was amplified by a biogeochemical effect, whereby the replacement of high-latitude tundra with shrub forest led to a release of soil carbon to the atmosphere and a small atmospheric CO2 increase. Overall, our results suggest the potential for a small, though non-trivial, effect of

  7. Co-occurrence of mylodontid sloths and insights on their potential distributions during the late Pleistocene

    Varela, Luciano; Fariña, Richard A.


    Species distribution models (SDMs) for the last interglacial (LIG), the global last glacial maximum (LGM) and the Holocene climatic optimum (HCO) were generated for three extinct South American Pleistocene mylodontid giant sloths, Glossotherium robustum, Lestodon armatus and Mylodon darwinii. They are recorded co-occurring in some localities including Arroyo del Vizcaíno site (AdV) in Uruguay. Co-occurrence records were studied based on the overlap of their generated areas of potential distributions, and compared with the available biome reconstructions of South America during the LGM to analyze their distribution patterns, ecological requirements and possible interactions between them. Our results suggest that these sloths could have co-existed mainly in the Chaco-Paraná Basin and the plains in the Río de la Plata area. Areas of high suitability were observed for submerged parts of the continental shelf that were exposed during the LGM showing an overall increase in potential habitat compared to the LIG and HCO. This suggests that there was a drastic reduction in total available areas of preferred habitat at the end of the Pleistocene. The co-occurrence of these sloths at the AdV site suggests the presence of vegetation indicative of mainly open, cold to temperate habitats but with mixed patches typical of humid climates.

  8. Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleolimnology of two mountain lakes in western Tasmania.

    Platt, Bradbury J.


    The analysis of diatoms from two lake-sediment cores from southwestern Tasmania that span the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary provides insight about paleolimnological and paleoclimatic change in this region. Both Lake Vera and Eagle Tarn have lacustrine records that begin about 12 000 yr ago. Both lakes have had similar limnological histories. Each appears to have been larger and more alkaline 12 000 yr ago and both became shallower through time. Fossil diatom assemblages about 11 000 yr old indicate shallow- water environments that fluctuated in pH, and between dilute and possibly slightly saline hydrochemical conditions. Beginning 11 500 yr ago, limnological conditions of shallow, dilute water of neutral pH prevailed, indicating reduction of moisture stress. A subsequent transition to diatom assemblages indicative of acidic conditions about 10 000 yr ago parallels the establishment of rain-forest vegetation and essentially modern climatic conditions with excess precipitation over evaporation. Changes at these separate and distinctive sites suggests a regional paleoclimatic cause rather than local environmental effects. Latest Pleistocene climates were apparently more continental and drier than Holocene climates in southwestern Tasmania.-from Author

  9. Towards a late Middle Pleistocene non-marine molluscan biostratigraphy for the British Isles

    Keen, David H.


    The fossils of non-marine Mollusca are among the most prominent in Pleistocene deposits. They were one of the first fossil groups to be noted in the literature, as early as the beginning of the 18th century. With the stabilisation of taxonomies in the 19th century numerous publications appeared with faunal lists of interglacial taxa, but few attempts were made to use the data for interpretation. Work from 1950 onwards, especially by Sparks and Kerney in Britain, Puisségur in France, and by Ložek in Central Europe, used a quantitative approach to sorting, counting and interpreting assemblages. Despite the adoption of this rigorous methodology to molluscan studies, interglacial faunas were used primarily to reconstruct past environments, and although faunal changes through the Pleistocene were recognised, it was thought that non-marine Mollusca were inherently badly fitted for use as tools for dating in the classic geological sense. Recent work, coupled with the re-evaluation of sites described in the literature, has allowed non-marine molluscan faunas to be used as biostratigraphic indicators. Biostratigraphic schemes evolved from this work are comparable with parallel investigations using Mammalia, Coleoptera and lithostratigraphy calibrated by a number of geochronometric methods, but may be at variance with pollen biostratigraphies.

  10. Late Pleistocene to Holocene soil development and environments in the Long Gang Volcanic Field area, Jilin Province, NE China

    Sauer, Daniela; Zhang, Xinrong; Knöbel, Jette; Maerker, Lutz


    Late Pleistocene to Holocene shifts of climate and vegetation in the Long Gang Volcanic Field in NE China have been reconstructed, e. g. by Steblich et al. (2009), based on Maar lake sediment cores. In this study, we investigated soil development during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene and linked it to the climate and vegetation reported in the literature. Three pedons were described and analyzed on a crater wall surrounding a maar. The lower part of the slope is covered by basic pyroclastics that are obviously younger than the maar itself. Pedon 1 is located on the upper slope, where the younger pyroclastics are not present; thus it developed over the entire Holocene and part of the Late Pleistocene. Pedon 2 is on the toe slope and developed from the young basic pyroclastics. Vegetation remains, charred by fire that was caused by the volcanic ash fall, were found in the lowermost part of the pyroclastics layer, on top of a paleosol. Charcoal fragments were dated to 18950-18830 cal BP (using INTCAL 09). Thus, pedon 2 developed since around 18.9 ka BP, whereas the development of the paleosol that was buried under the pyroclastics (pedon 3), was stopped at this time. Pedons 1 and 2 are Vitric Andosols, developed mainly from basic pyroclastics, as evidenced by the composition of rock fragments in the soils, comprising 78 / 81 mass % lapilli and 22 / 19 mass % gneiss fragments, respectively. Pedon 3 is a Cutanic Luvisol (Chromic) that developed entirely from gneiss fragments produced by the maar explosion. Lab data suggest increasing intensity of pedogenesis in the direction: Pedon 3 (paleosol) < Pedon 2 < Pedon 1, reflected e. g. in increasing Fed/Fet ratios, decreasing molar ratios of (Ca+K+Na)/Al, and decreasing pH. However, it needs to be considered that lapilli are more readily weatherable than gneiss fragments. The profile morphology of the paleosol, characterized by reddish-brown color (7.5YR), strong angular blocky structure and well-expressed illuvial clay

  11. Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Rock Art from the Mongolian Altai: The Material and its Cultural Implications

    Esther Jacobson-Tepfer


    Full Text Available Rock-pecked images from the northern Mongolian Altai attest to the presence of human communities within the high valleys of that region during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. The material provides evidence that is hitherto largely missing from the archaeological record of that region. This paper reviews the rock art, its find sites and larger physical contexts and uses evidence from paleoenvironmental studies to propose dating and cultural significance. The material is compared with other sites said to have Paleolithic imagery from Mongolia and the adjoining Russian Altai. The body of presented material offers a major resource for the study of early hunter-gatherer communities at the interface of Central and North Asia.


    王頠; 黄超林; 谢绍文; 鄢成林


    Five hominin teeth are recently discovered at the Jimuyan Cave in Pingle County, Southern China. The Jimuyan Cave is located at Juntang Village(24° 29' 52. 8" N,110° 50' 0. 79" E) ,20km southeast to the Pingle Town,with 163. 2m above the sea level. Mammalian fauna of the cave consists of eleven species,including: Macaca sp. ,Pongo pygmaeus weidenreichi, Hystrix cf. Subcristata, Ursus thibetanus ,Ahuropoda melanoleuca baconi ,Stegodon orhentalis, Tapirus sinensis,Sus scrofa,Muntiacus sp.,Cervus sp. And Bovidae gen. Et sp. Indet. This faunal assemblage contains four genera that are either extinct or no longer present in this region, including Stegodon, Tapirus, Ailuropoda and Pongo, which is distinctly different from that of Holocene, however similar to that of Late Pleistocene in Southern China. Thus, age of this fauna is dated to Late Pleistocene by biostratigraphy comparison. The hominin teeth in Jimuyan Cave are morphologically different from those of already known Homo erectus and Early Homo sapiens, nevertheless, similar to those of Late Homo sapiens in South China. This finding presents significant fossil evidence for the study of modern hunan origin and evolution in East Asia.The origin of modern humans is a controversial scientific topic at present. Based on fossil evidence of Homo sapiens in Africa are more ancient than that in Eastern Asia. With the results of molecular biology analysis, most of the anthropologists and geneticists support the hypothesis of modern humans originated in Africa. So far,the oldest fossils come from Omo-Kibish and Herto in Ethiopia, with the age of 160ka and 190ka respectively. The characteristics of these fossil skulls are intervenient between Homo sapiens and Homo heidelbergensis. Some of the hominin fossils,dated to 74 ~ 134ka,have been discovered at Klasies estuary in South Africa, but it is difficult to confirm whether these materials belong to modern human. Fossil hominin unearthed at Qafzeh and Skhul in Israel, Middle

  13. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Architecture of the late Pleistocene-Holocene Succession of the Gargaresh Formation, Subratah Basin, NW Libya

    Hlal, Osama; Bennur, Sami


    Gargaresh Formation outcrops is comprises the outcrops between the Misurata (N32o22'18'' E15o12'03'') to the Tripoli(N32o 51'10'' E13o 03'22'') areas is represented by prominent carbonate aeolianite exposed in extensive outcrops along the NW Libyan shoreline. Gargaresh Formation outcrops comprises two Members an upper Kaam Member of Aeolian origin and a lower Karrot Member of marine origin. The study of the Gargaresh Formation can provide useful information on reconstructions of Late Pleistocene-Holocene history of NW Libya and new insights on palaeogeography. It is forming low ridges and cliffs along the coastline of NW Libya and occurs as cliffs continuously attached to the sea tide, and occasionally interrupted by broad wadis or deep-cut embayment. The Gargaresh Formation sediments are dominated by calcarenites with skeletal marine fauna and non-skeletal grains of lithoclasts, aggregate, with oolites. In addition, these rocks are characterized by very well aeolian controlling factors represented by wind blown sediments such as large scale cross lamination (aeolianite) . The majority of palaeocurrent direction was to SE, on the other hand the dune migration was SE also. The sediments of Gargaresh Formation outcrops from Misurata to Tripoli NW Libya mostly allochthonous except the paleosols red-brown unit. Most of its fossils are thanatoconoses. Gargaresh Formation sediments shows that the original aragonite composition of pelecypoda and gastropods fragments are mostly preserved, but partly transformed into granular calcite as pendulous (meniscus) cement texture in response to meteoric fresh-water. Keywords: Sedimentology; Stratigraphic architecture; Aeolian origin; marine origin; Calcarenites; Late Pleistocene-Holocene

  14. Sedimentology and diagenesis of windward-facing fore-reef calcarenites, Late Pleistocene of Barbados, West Indies

    Humphrey, J.D.; Kimbell, T.N.


    Late Pleistocene reef terraces in southeastern Barbardos developed extensive fore-reef sand facies during deposition in response to high-energy windward-facing conditions. Sedimentology and diagenesis of these deposits illustrate significant contrasts with previous studies from the leeward west coast. These calcarenites are dominantly skeletal packstones with less common grainstones and wackestones present. The fore-reef sand facies occurs within progradational reef sequences, being conformably overlain by deep-water head coral facies. Medium-bedded, laterally continuous sand sheets retain original depositional slopes, dipping seaward at 10/degrees/-15/degrees/. These fore-reef deposits, in places, are over 30 m thick (average 20 m) and developed rapidly during late Pleistocene glacio-eustatic sea level highstands. Sedimentation rate ranges from 2 to 5 m/1000 years. Areal extent of fore-reef calcarenites in southeastern Barbados is estimated to be 8-10 km/sup 2/. Lithologically, the packstones are composed of an abundance of coralline red algae and the benthic foraminifer Amphistegina sp. Other volumetrically significant allochems include echinoids, mollusks, rhodoliths, peloids, and micritized grains. Micrite in the wackestone and packstone lithologies is likely derived from intense physical/mechanical abrasion of shoal-water reef facies. Diagenesis of these lithologies reflects a complex interplay of meteoric, mixing zone, and marine environments as a result of glacio-eustasy. Differences in diagenetic character are derived from differences in terrace ages, terrace geometry, a paleotopographic control on meteoric ground-water distribution, and high-energy coastal conditions. Diagenetic fabrics include equant, blocky meteoric phreatic calcite; limpid dolomite of mixing zone origin: and peloidal and isopachous fibrous cements from marine precipitation.




    Full Text Available We present a study of Late Pleistocene fossil bird remains from Ingarano (Apulia, SE Italy, based on the revision of previously published material and the study of unpublished fossils bones. New field observations make it possible to simplify the stratigraphy of the deposit compared to previous work. The systematic study of the fossil bird bones revealed the presence of 15 taxa, including two hypothetical ones: Circus aeruginosus, Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaëtos, Falco columbarius, Falco cherrug, Alectoris graeca, Perdix perdix, Columba livia, Otus scops, Nyctea scandiaca, Nyctea scandiaca vel Bubo bubo, Athene noctua, Pyrrhocorax graculus, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Corvus corone, Corvus corone vel Corvus frugilegus, Corvus corax. Our detailed study also helps improve the taphonomical interpretation of the deposit: the remains from the lower layers were accumulated after mammalian predator activity and were transported over short distances, while the ones from the upper layers show sings of intense transport, such as fractures and surface abrasion. Two different bird assemblages were recognized, respectively from the lowermost and the upper layers of the clastic succession exposed in the Ingarano deposit; this difference is also confirmed by the fossil mammal remains. The systematic study makes it possible to make palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions: both assemblages indicate open environments, and the taxa of the lower layers indicate the presence of woods and wetlands with colder characteristics, while birds of the upper layers indicate drier and warmer conditions. This analysis, and the dating established through geochemical analyses and study of lithic artefacts, lead us to date the formation of the Ingarano deposit to the Late Pleistocene, in particular to the MIS 3. The presence of a layer dated to the MIS 2 at the base of the succession indicated in previous works cannot be confirmed. 

  16. The three-quarter power scaling of extinction risk in Late Pleistocene mammals, and a new theory of the size selectivity of extinction

    Polishchuk, L.


    Questions: What is the pattern of body mass versus extinction risk in the Late Pleistocene extinctions of mammals, both qualitatively and quantitatively? Are there patterns that relate extinction risk to the well-known allometries of body mass with population density or population growth rate?

  17. Late Pleistocene evolution of the Rhine-Meuse system in the southern North Sea basin: imprints of climate change, sea-level oscillation and glacio-isostacy

    Busschers, F.S.; Kasse, C.; Balen, R.T. van; Berghe, J. van den; Cohen, K.M.; Weerts, H.J.T.; Wallinga, J.; Johns, C.; Cleveringa, P.; Bunnik, F.P.M.


    High-resolution continuous core material, geophysical measurements, and hundreds of archived core descriptions enabled to identify 13 Late Pleistocene Rhine-Meuse sedimentary units in the infill of the southern part of the North Sea basin (the Netherlands, northwestern Europe). This sediment record

  18. Late Pleistocene evolution of the Rhine in the southern North-Sea Basin: imprints of climate change, sea-level oscillations and glacio-isostacy

    Busschers, F.S.; Kasse, C.; van Balen, R.T.; Vandenberghe, J.; Cohen, K.M.; Weerts, H.J.T.; Wallinga, J.


    High-resolution continuous core material, geophysical measurements, and hundreds of archived core descriptions enabled to identify 13 Late Pleistocene Rhine-Meuse sedimentary units in the infill of the southern part of the North Sea basin (the Netherlands, northwestern Europe). This sediment record

  19. Reconstructing late Pliocene to middle Pleistocene Death Valley lakes and river systems as a test of pupfish (Cyprinodontidae) dispersal hypotheses

    Knott, J.R.; Machette, M.N.; Klinger, R.E.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A. M.; Liddicoat, J.C.; Tinsley, J. C.; David, B.T.; Ebbs, V.M.


    During glacial (pluvial) climatic periods, Death Valley is hypothesized to have episodically been the terminus for the Amargosa, Owens, and Mojave Rivers. Geological and biological studies have tended to support this hypothesis and a hydrological link that included the Colorado River, allowing dispersal of pupfish throughout southeastern California and western Nevada. Recent mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) studies show a common pupfish (Cyprinodontidae) ancestry in this region with divergence beginning 3-2 Ma. We present tephrochronologic and paleomagnetic data in the context of testing the paleohydrologic connections with respect to the common collection point of the Amargosa, Owens, and Mojave Rivers in Death during successive time periods: (1) the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene (3-2 Ma), (2) early to middle Pleistocene (1.2-0.5 Ma), and (3) middle to late Pleistocene (<0.70.03 Ma; paleolakes Manly and Mojave). Using the 3.35 Ma Zabriskie Wash tuff and 3.28 Ma Nomlaki Tuff Member of the Tuscan and Tehama Formations, which are prominent marker beds in the region, we conclude that at 3-2 Ma, a narrow lake occupied the ancient Furnace Creek Basin and that Death Valley was not hydrologically connected with the Amargosa or Mojave Rivers. A paucity of data for Panamint Valley does not allow us to evaluate an Owens River connection to Death Valley ca. 3-2 Ma. Studies by others have shown that Death Valley was not hydrologically linked to the Amargosa, Owens, or Mojave Rivers from 1.2 to 0.5 Ma. We found no evidence that Lake Manly flooded back up the Mojave River to pluvial Lake Mojave between 0.18 and 0.12 Ma, although surface water flowed from the Amargosa and Owens Rivers to Death Valley at this time. There is also no evidence for a connection of the Owens, Amargosa, or Mojave Rivers to the Colorado River in the last 3-2 m.y. Therefore, the hypothesis that pupfish dispersed or were isolated in basins throughout southeastern California and western

  20. Climate-driven sediment aggradation and incision phases since the Late Pleistocene in the NW Himalaya, India

    Dey, Saptarshi; Thiede, Rasmus C.; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Wittmann, Hella; Bookhagen, Bodo; Scherler, Dirk; Jain, Vikrant; Strecker, Manfred R.


    Deciphering the response of sediment routing systems to climatic forcing is fundamental for understanding the impacts of climate change on landscape evolution and depositional systems. In the Sub-Himalaya, late Pleistocene to Holocene alluvial fills and fluvial terraces record periodic fluctuations of sediment supply and transport capacity on timescale of 103 to 105 years, most likely related to past climatic fluctuations. To evaluate the climatic control on sediment supply and transport capacity, we analyze remnant alluvial fans and terraces in the Kangra Basin of the northwestern Sub-Himalaya. Based on field observations and OSL and CRN-dating, we recognized two sedimentary cycles with major sediment aggradation and subsequent re-incision phases. The large one developed over the entire last glacial period with ˜200 m high alluvial fan (AF1) and the second one during the latest Pleistocene/Holocene with ˜50 m alluvial fan (AF2) and its re-incision . Surface-exposure dating of six terrace levels with in-situ cosmogenic nuclides (10Be) indicates the onset of channel abandonment and ensuing incision phases. Two terrace surfaces from the highest level (T1) sculpted into the oldest-preserved AF1 dates back to 48.9 ± 4.1 ka and 42.1 ± 2.7 ka (2σ error). T2 surfaces sculpted into the remnants of AF1 have exposure ages of 16.8 ± 2 ka and 14.1 ± 0.9 ka, while terraces sculpted into the late Pleistocene- Holocene fan (AF2) provide ages of 8.4± 0.8 ka, 6.6± 0.7 ka, 4.9± 0.4 ka and 3.1± 0.3 ka. Together with previously-published ages on the timing of aggradation, we find a correlation between variations in sediment transport with oxygen-isotope records from regions affected by Indian Summer Monsoon. During stronger monsoon phases and post-LGM glacial retreat manifested by increased sediment delivery (moraines and hillslope-derived) to the trunk streams, causing aggradation in the basin; whereas, weakened monsoon phases characterized by reduced sediment

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

    M.-O. Brault


    Full Text Available 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 acknowledged that the deglacial climate change coincided with an unprecedented decline in many species of large terrestrial mammals, including the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to an herbivorous diet that presumably involved large-scale tree grazing, the mammoth expansion would have accelerated the expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, thus contributing 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 explored various hypothetical scenarios of forest expansion in the Northern Continents, quantifying the regional and global biogeophysical effects in terms of changes in surface albedo and air temperature. In particular, we focus our attention on a Maximum Impact Scenario (MIS which simulates the greatest possible post-extinction reforestation in the model. More realistic experiments include sensitivity tests based on the timing of extinction, the fraction of trees grazed by mammoths, and the size of mammoth habitats. We also show the results of a simulation with free (non-prescribed atmospheric CO2. For the MIS, 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 free CO2 simulation, the biogeophysical-induced warming was amplified by a biogeochemical effect whereby the replacement of high-latitude tundra with shrub forest led to a release of soil carbon to the atmosphere and a small atmospheric CO2

  2. Mammoth tracks indicate a declining Late Pleistocene population in southwestern Alberta, Canada

    McNeil, Paul; Hills, L. V.; Kooyman, B.; Tolman, Shayne M.


    Much debate has raged over the role that early humans played in this most recent large extinction. Fossil mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius) footprints were discovered at the St. Mary Reservoir in southwestern Canada (Wally's Beach DhPg-8). They are located in aeolian sediment dated at 11,300-11,000 years BP. By comparing the size distribution of these tracks with those of modern African elephants ( Loxodonta africana), the age distribution of this mammoth population was determined. Containing far fewer juveniles than would be expected for an expanding or stable population, these tracks provide the first evidence that a living mammoth population, coexisting with human inhabitants, was in decline. Additionally, the same site provides corroborating evidence of humans hunting megafauna (horse and bovids). This suggests that humans, in addition to climate change, played a role in the end Pleistocene extinctions in North America.

  3. Climate-driven sediment aggradation and incision since the late Pleistocene in the NW Himalaya, India

    Dey, Saptarshi; Thiede, Rasmus C.; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Wittmann, Hella; Bookhagen, Bodo; Scherler, Dirk; Jain, Vikrant; Strecker, Manfred R.


    Deciphering the response of sediment routing systems to climatic forcing is fundamental for understanding the impacts of climate change on landscape evolution. In the Kangra Basin (northwest Sub-Himalaya, India), upper Pleistocene to Holocene alluvial fills and fluvial terraces record periodic fluctuations of sediment supply and transport capacity on timescales of 103 to 105 yr. To evaluate the potential influence of climate change on these fluctuations, we compare the timing of aggradation and incision phases recorded within remnant alluvial fans and terraces with climate archives. New surface-exposure dating of six terrace levels with in-situ cosmogenic 10Be indicates the onset of incision phases. Two terrace surfaces from the highest level (T1) sculpted into the oldest preserved alluvial fan (AF1) date back to 53.4 ± 3.2 ka and 43.0 ± 2.7 ka (1σ). T2 surfaces sculpted into the remnants of AF1 have exposure ages of 18.6 ± 1.2 ka and 15.3 ± 0.9 ka, while terraces sculpted into the upper Pleistocene-Holocene fan (AF2) provide ages of 9.3 ± 0.4 ka (T3), 7.1 ± 0.4 ka (T4), 5.2 ± 0.4 ka (T5) and 3.6 ± 0.2 ka (T6). Together with previously published OSL ages yielding the timing of aggradation, we find a correlation between variations in sediment transport with oxygen-isotope records from regions affected by the Indian Summer Monsoon. During periods of increased monsoon intensity and post-Last Glacial Maximum glacial retreat, aggradation occurred in the Kangra Basin, likely due to high sediment flux, whereas periods of weakened monsoon intensity or lower sediment supply coincide with incision.

  4. Clay mineralogical and geochemical constraints on late Pleistocene weathering processes of the Qaidam Basin, northern Tibetan Plateau

    Miao, WeiLiang; Fan, QiShun; Wei, HaiCheng; Zhang, XiYing; Ma, HaiZhou


    At the Qarhan Salt Lake (QSL) on the central-eastern Qaidam Basin, northern Tibetan Plateau, Quaternary lacustrine sediments have a thickness of over 3000 m and mainly composed of organic-rich clay and silty clay with some silt halite and halite. In this study, a 102-m-long sediment core (ISL1A) was obtained from the QSL. Combining with AMS 14C and 230Th dating, clay minerals and major-element concentrations of ISL1A were used to reconstruct the weathering process and trend of the QSL since late Pleistocene. The results reveal that the clay mineral from rocks, gneisses and schists of Eastern Kunlun Mountains on the south of the QSL. The abundance of illite mineral displays an opposite fluctuation trending with that of smectite, chlorite and kaolinite mineral in ISL1A, which is significantly different from the monsoon-controlled regions. Moreover, higher values of illite, kaolinite/chlorite and illite/chlorite ratios, and lower values of smectite, chlorite and kaolinite minerals occurred in 83-72.5 ka, 68.8-54 ka, 32-24 ka, corresponding to late MIS 5, late MIS 4, early MIS 3 and late MIS 3, respectively. These three phases were almost similarly changed with oxygen isotopes of authigenic carbonates and pollen records in ISL1A, which implies that stronger chemical weathering corresponds to higher effective moisture periods of source region in the Qaidam Basin. Based on chemical weathering index and (Al2O3-(CaO + Na2O)-K2O) diagram, chemical weathering degree in this study area takes a varying process from low to intermediate on the whole.

  5. Late Pleistocene pluton formation during the waning stages of the Altiplano-Puna ignimbrite flare-up

    Tierney, C. R.; Schmitt, A. K.; Lovera, O. M.; de Silva, S. L.


    The latest phase of volcanism during the late Mio- to Pleistocene ignimbrite flare-up in the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex consists of a series of late Pleistocene lava domes (Chao, Chillahuita, Chanka, Chascon-Runtu Jarita, and Tocopuri) which are distributed over a roughly elliptical area of ~2,000 km2. With a collective volume of ~40 km3, these represent a waning of magmatic activity from the peak of the flare-up. Zircon chronochemistry and zircon age spectra were modeled using a finite-difference thermal- and mass-balance model for open-system magma evolution (recharge-assimilation-fractional crystallization; RAFC) where zircon crystallization is treated in accord with experimentally calibrated zircon saturation. Zircon rims and interiors were dated (U-Th, U-Pb) for a total of 252 crystals distributed equally over the domes, with a ~50% subset also analyzed for trace elements. The domes share remarkably consistent zircon crystallization histories: the youngest zircon rim ages (ca. 83 to 104 ka) are near the 40Ar/39Ar eruption ages (ca. 87 to 120 ka; sanidine and biotite), but a significant population of rim ages predates eruption, often ranging to secular equilibrium. U-Pb interior ages of crystals with secular equilibrium rim ages date to ca. 2.0 Ma, and a single core of Chascon to 3.5 Ma. Ti-in-zircon, backed by indirectly T-dependent compositional parameters, show that zircon crystallized at steady-state in a magma reservoir with essentially insignificant (<10-4 °C/a) secular cooling. Most zircon rims postdate peak flare-up, but nevertheless record a protracted and continuous crystallization history. To match the record of zircon production, time-integrated recharge rates of ~1 ×10-3 km3/a are required. At lower rates, older zircon ages are predicted for the dominant zircon rim age population than observed. At higher rates zircon would crystallize late, resulting in a lack of antecrysts. Intermediate recharge rates that best match the data call for at

  6. Compilation of information on the climate and evaluation of the hydrochemical and isotopic composition during Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    Andersson, Cecilia [Intera KB (Sweden)


    This report summarises and evaluates some of the existing information on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene climates, i.e. the last 130 000 years. An estimation of the conditions at the Aespoe island (southeast Sweden) has also been made during this time span. The knowledge about Late Pleistocene (Eemian Interglacial and Weichselian glacial) is not yet fully understood. There are still a lot of assumptions concerning this period and more information is needed to be able to establish the climatic conditions. This is not the case for the Weichselian deglaciation and the present interglacial, Holocene, for which the environmental conditions are quite certain. It has been concluded, however, that the Eemian climatic development probably was similar to the Holocene but perhaps somewhat warmer and more humid. The Eemian Baltic Sea level was probably also higher than the present Baltic Sea level and there was a connection between it and the White Sea in the northeast. Aespoe was probably situated below sea level during the greater part of Eemian. Not much is known about the last glacial period, the Weichselian glaciation, until the final deglaciation. The ice sheet during Early Weichselian was probably mostly concentrated to the Scandinavian mountain area and in northern Scandinavia. At least two intervals with higher temperatures have been recorded, the Broerup and Odderade interstadials. The Middle Weichselian substage is characterised by fluctuations, melting and re-advances. Aespoe was probably not glaciated until the middle or latter part of Middle Weichselian. The maximum extension of the Weichselian ice sheet occurred in Late Weichselian, around 20 to 18 ka BP, which was succeeded by the final deglaciation. The retreat of the Weichselian ice sheet is described by for example end moraines and glacial varved clay. The Aespoe area was glaciated until 12 500 BP. Huge quantities of glacial meltwater was released into the Baltic basin as the ice receded. Due to different

  7. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: evidence for Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquakes.

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M


    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions.

  8. Shoreline deposits and diagenesis resulting from two Late Pleistocene highstands near +5 and +6 metres, Durban, South Africa

    Cooper, J.A.G.; Flores, R.M.


    In exposures of Pleistocene rocks on the east coast of South Africa, eight sedimentary facies were distinguished on the basis of petrology, grain size, internal structures and field relationships. These are interpreted as deposits of surf zone, breaker zone, swash zone, backbeach, boulder beach and dune environments. Three phases of deposition and diagenesis are recognized. As a result of the stabilising effect of pre-existing coastal facies, the deposits from successive sea level stands are stacked vertically in a narrow coast-normal strip. Early cementation prevented erosion of the deposits during subsequent transgressions. Deposition of subsequent facies took place on an existing coastal dune (Facies 1). A terrace was cut into this dune at a sea level 4.5 to 5 m above present. At this sea level, clastic shoreline sediments were deposited which make up the main sedimentary sequence exposed (Facies 2-7). The steep swash zone, coarse grain size, and comparison with modern conditions in the study area indicate clastic deposition on a high-energy, wave-dominated, microtidal coastline. Vertical stacking of progressively shallower water facies indicates progradation associated with slightly regressive conditions, prior to stranding of the succession above sea level. During a subsequent transgression to 5.5 or 6 m above present sea level, a second terrace was cut across the existing facies, which by then were partly lithified. A boulder beach (Facies 8) deposited on this terrace is indicative of high wave energy and a rocky coastline, formed by existing cemented coastal facies. Comparison with dated deposits from other parts of the South African coast suggest a Late Pleistocene age for Facies 2-8. Deposition was terminated by subsequent regression and continuing low sea levels during the remainder of the Pleistocene. Cementation of the facies took place almost entirely by carbonate precipitation. The presence of isopachous fibrous cements suggests early cementation of

  9. The late Early Pleistocene human dental remains from Uadi Aalad and Mulhuli-Amo (Buia), Eritrean Danakil: macromorphology and microstructure.

    Zanolli, Clément; Bondioli, Luca; Coppa, Alfredo; Dean, Christopher M; Bayle, Priscilla; Candilio, Francesca; Capuani, Silvia; Dreossi, Diego; Fiore, Ivana; Frayer, David W; Libsekal, Yosief; Mancini, Lucia; Rook, Lorenzo; Medin Tekle, Tsegai; Tuniz, Claudio; Macchiarelli, Roberto


    Fieldwork performed during the last 15 years in various Early Pleistocene East African sites has significantly enlarged the fossil record of Homo erectus sensu lato (s.l.). Additional evidence comes from the Danakil Depression of Eritrea, where over 200 late Early to early Middle Pleistocene sites have been identified within a ∼1000 m-thick sedimentary succession outcropping in the Dandiero Rift Basin, near Buia. Along with an adult cranium (UA 31), which displays a blend of H. erectus-like and derived morpho-architectural features and three pelvic remains, two isolated permanent incisors (UA 222 and UA 369) have also been recovered from the 1 Ma (millions of years ago) Homo-bearing outcrop of Uadi Aalad. Since 2010, our surveys have expanded to the nearby (4.7 km) site of Mulhuli-Amo (MA). This is a fossiliferous area that has been preliminarily surveyed because of its exceptional concentration of Acheulean stone tools. So far, the site has yielded 10 human remains, including the unworn crown of a lower permanent molar (MA 93). Using diverse analytical tools (including high resolution μCT and μMRI), we analysed the external and internal macromorphology and microstructure of the three specimens, and whenever possible compared the results with similar evidence from early Homo, H. erectus s.l., H. antecessor, H. heidelbergensis (from North Africa), Neanderthals and modern humans. We also assessed the UA 369 lower incisor from Uadi Aalad for root completion timing and showed that it compares well with data for root apex closure in modern human populations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Estimates of Late Pleistocene Runoff in Estancia Drainage Basin, Central New Mexico: Climate Assumptions vs. Model Results

    Menking, K. M.; Anderson, R. Y.; Syed, K. H.; Shafike, N. G.


    The climatic conditions leading to highstands of "pluvial" Lake Estancia in central New Mexico have been a matter of considerable debate, resulting in a wide range of estimates for Pleistocene precipitation and temperature in the southwestern United States. Using a simple hydrologic balance approach, Leopold (1951) calculated that precipitation was 50% greater than modern based on the assumption that summer temperatures were 9 ° C colder while winter temperatures were unchanged. In contrast, Galloway (1970) called on temperature decreases of 10-11 ° C throughout the year and a reduction in mean annual precipitation of 14% to raise Lake Estancia to its highstand. In still another study, Brakenridge suggested that highstands could be achieved through no change in precipitation if monthly temperatures were reduced by 7-8 ° C. Experiments with 3 physically-based, continuous-time models to simulate surface runoff (USDA Soil and Water Assessment Tool), groundwater flow (MODFLOW with LAK2 package), and lake evaporation (lake energy balance model of Hostetler and Bartlein, 1990) indicate that none of these proposed full glacial climate scenarios could have produced a highstand lake. In particular, previous workers appear to have overestimated the reduction in evaporation rates associated with their proposed temperature changes, suggesting that using empirical relationships between modern air temperature and evaporation to predict late Pleistocene evaporation is problematic. Furthermore, model-determined reductions in lake evaporation are insufficient to allow for lake expansion as suggested by Galloway and Brakenridge. Even under Leopold's assumption that precipitation increased by 50%, modeled runoff appears to be insufficient to raise Lake Estancia more than a few meters above the lake floor.

  11. The Late Pleistocene distribution of vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) and the “extinction” of the gracile llama (“Lama gracilis”): New molecular data

    Weinstock, Jaco; Shapiro, Beth; Prieto, Alfredo; Marín, Juan Carlos; González, Benito A.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske


    We present the results of a palaeogenetic analysis of two Late Pleistocene camelids originating in southern Chile. Our analysis of two mitochondrial DNA fragments (control region and cytochrome b gene) reveals that these specimens do not belong to an extinct taxon, but rather to extant vicuña ( Vicugna vicugna), whose modern distribution is restricted to the extreme elevations of the Andes, more than 3500 km to the north of where these specimens originated. Our results also suggest fossil specimens from Patagonia that are currently assigned to the extinct taxon Lama gracilis, may actually belong to V. vicugna, implying a continuous distribution of the latter from the southern tip of South America to the Andes during the Final Pleistocene. The haplotypes of both specimens are not present in modern populations, suggesting a loss of genetic diversity concomitant with the contraction of the vicuña geographical distribution during the Final Pleistocene or early Holocene.

  12. Late Pleistocene/Holocene wetland events recorded in southeast Tengger Desert lake sediments, NW China

    D. B. Madsen; CHEN Fahu; Ch. G. Oviatt; ZHU Yan; P. J. Brantingham; R. G. Elston; R. L. Bettinger


    The area along the eastern and southeastern margins of the Tengger Desert, NW China, which is sensitive to the summer monsoon variations, was selectedfor studying the environmental conditions surrounding the transition between Paleolithic foragers and Neolithic farmer/pastoral- ists. Short cores were obtained from four lake basins in the southwestern Tengger using a hand-driven piston coring device. Proxies from these cores were supplemented by ra- diocarbon ages obtained from lake sediment cores, shoreline features and spring mound deposits. Together these records provide evidence of millennial-scale climate change events from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition to the present. Lake/wetland events, representing periods of more intensive summer monsoon, occur in the records at ~12.7-11.6, ~10.1, ~9.3, ~8.0, ~5.4, ~1.5, and ~0.8 ka BP. They do suggest that century- to millennial-scale climatic cycles are characteristic of the Holocene in the southeastern Tengger Desert although the chronology must be considered extremely tentative.

  13. Mammuthus Population Dynamics in Late Pleistocene North America: Divergence, Phylogeography and Introgression

    Hendrik ePoinar


    Full Text Available After evolving in Africa at the close of the Miocene, mammoths (Mammuthus sp. spread through much of the northern hemisphere, diversifying morphologically as they entered various habitats. Paleontologically, these morphs are conventionally recognized as species. In Pleistocene North America alone, several mammoth species have been recognized, inhabiting environments as different as cold tundra-steppe in the north and the arid grasslands or temperate savanna-parklands of the south. Yet mammoth phylogeographic studies have overwhelmingly focused on permafrost-preserved remains of only one of these species, Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth. Here we challenge this bias by performing a geographically and taxonomically wide survey of mammoth genetic diversity across North America. Using a targeted enrichment technique, we sequenced 67 complete mitochondrial genomes from non-primigenius specimens representing M. columbi (Columbian mammoth, M. jeffersonii (Jeffersonian mammoth, and M. exilis (pygmy mammoth, including specimens from contexts not generally associated with good DNA preservation. While we uncovered clear phylogeographic structure in mammoth matrilines, their phylogeny as recovered from mitochondrial DNA is not compatible with existing systematic interpretations of their paleontological record. Instead, our results strongly suggest that various nominal mammoth species interbred, perhaps extensively. We hypothesize that at least two distinct stages of interbreeding between conventional paleontological species are likely responsible for this pattern – one between Siberian woolly mammoths and resident American populations that introduced woolly mammoth phenotypes to the continent, and another between ecomorphologically distinct populations of woolly and Columbian mammoths in North America south of the ice.

  14. Late Pleistocene human occupation of the hyperarid core in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile

    Latorre, Claudio; Santoro, Calogero M.; Ugalde, Paula C.; Gayo, Eugenia M.; Osorio, Daniela; Salas-Egaña, Carolina; De Pol-Holz, Ricardo; Joly, Delphine; Rech, Jason A.


    Few archeological sites in South America contain uncontroversial evidence for when the first peopling of the continent occurred. Largely ignored in this debate, extreme environments are assumed either as barriers to this early wave of migration or without potential for past habitability. Here, we report on a rare 12-13 ka human occupation from Quebrada Maní (site QM12), a plantless, near rainless landscape (1240 m asl and 85 km from the Pacific Ocean) located in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert. This location harbored wetlands and riparian woodlands that were fed by increased rainfall further east in the central Andes during the latest Pleistocene. Excavations at QM12 yielded a diverse cultural assemblage of lithics, burned and cut bones, marine gastropods, pigments, plant fibers, and wooden artifacts alongside a prepared fireplace. Sixteen radiocarbon dates from site QM12 on charcoal, marine shells, animal dung, plant remains and wood reveal that the occupation took place between 12.8 and 11.7 ka. These results demonstrate that the Atacama Desert was not a barrier to early American settlement and dispersal, and provide new clues for understanding the cultural complexity and diversity of the peopling of South America during the Last Glacial-interglacial transition.

  15. Late Pleistocene river migrations in response to thrust belt advance and sediment-flux steering - The Kura River (southern Caucasus)

    von Suchodoletz, Hans; Gärtner, Andreas; Hoth, Silvan; Umlauft, Josefine; Sukhishvili, Lasha; Faust, Dominik


    follow its tectonically driven trend toward the southwest. In contrast, during generally colder periods such as the upper late Pleistocene, sediment-flux steering caused by aggradation of the transverse rivers forced the main Kura River to migrate > 10 km against that tectonically induced trend toward the northeast. Apart from giving information about the main drivers of the late Quaternary landscape evolution in this part of the southern Caucasus region, this study also helps to understand the cause of a permanent threat of settlements and the loss of fertile agricultural land in the intensively labored Marneuli Depression of southern Georgia.

  16. Extraordinary incidence of cervical ribs indicates vulnerable condition in Late Pleistocene mammoths

    Reumer, J.W.F.; ten Broek, C.M.A.; Galis, F.


    The number of cervical vertebrae in mammals is highly conserved at seven. We have shown that changes of this number are selected against due to a coupling with major congenital abnormalities (pleiotropic effects). Here we show that the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers in Late Pleisto

  17. Extraordinary incidence of cervical ribs indicates vulnerable condition in Late Pleistocene mammoths

    Reumer, J.W.F.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/069411549; ten Broek, C.M.A.; Galis, F.


    The number of cervical vertebrae in mammals is highly conserved at seven. We have shown that changes of this number are selected against due to a coupling with major congenital abnormalities (pleiotropic effects). Here we show that the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebral numbers in Late

  18. Climate change, adaptive cycles, and the persistence of foraging economies during the late Pleistocene/Holocene transition in the Levant.

    Rosen, Arlene M; Rivera-Collazo, Isabel


    Climatic forcing during the Younger Dryas (∼12.9-11.5 ky B.P.) event has become the theoretical basis to explain the origins of agricultural lifestyles in the Levant by suggesting a failure of foraging societies to adjust. This explanation however, does not fit the scarcity of data for predomestication cultivation in the Natufian Period. The resilience of Younger Dryas foragers is better illustrated by a concept of adaptive cycles within a theory of adaptive change (resilience theory). Such cycles consist of four phases: release/collapse (Ω); reorganization (α), when the system restructures itself after a catastrophic stimulus through innovation and social memory--a period of greater resilience and less vulnerability; exploitation (r); and conservation (K), representing an increasingly rigid system that loses flexibility to change. The Kebarans and Late Natufians had similar responses to cold and dry conditions vs. Early Natufians and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A responses to warm and wet climates. Kebarans and Late Natufians (α-phase) shifted to a broader-based diet and increased their mobility. Early Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A populations (r- and K-phases) had a growing investment in more narrowly focused, high-yield plant resources, but they maintained the broad range of hunted animals because of increased sedentism. These human adaptive cycles interlocked with plant and animal cycles. Forest and grassland vegetation responded to late Pleistocene and early Holocene climatic fluctuations, but prey animal cycles reflected the impact of human hunting pressure. The combination of these three adaptive cycles results in a model of human adaptation, showing potential for great sustainability of Levantine foraging systems even under adverse climatic conditions.

  19. Late Pleistocene to Holocene Volcanism in the Lassen Domefield and Surrounding Region, California

    Clynne, M. A.; Robinson, J. E.; Nathenson, M.; Muffler, L. J.


    The Lassen Volcanic Center (LVC) marks the southernmost limit of active volcanism in the Cascade Range. Prior to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Lassen Peak was the last volcano in the conterminous U.S. to erupt. Three eruptions in the last 1,100 years, (Chaos Crags, 1,103 × 13 years B.P.; Cinder Cone, 1666; and Lassen Peak 1914-1917) plus the most vigorous hydrothermal system in the Cascades, attest to an active magmatic system beneath LVC. We recently completed a modern volcano-hazards assessment of the Lassen segment of the Cascade arc that is based primarily on the recently published geologic map of Lassen Volcanic National Park (Clynne and Muffler, 2010; available at The Lassen segment covers 75 linear km of arc from near the southern boundary of Lassen Volcanic National Park north to the Pit River. We define hazard zones for mafic and silicic tephra fall, mafic and silicic lava flows, pyroclastic flows and surges, and lahars and associated floods (Clynne et. al., 2012; available at In the Lassen segment, volcanism occurs on two scales. Distributed mafic to intermediate calc-alkaline volcanism builds cinder cones and small shield volcanoes with intervening tholeiitic lava flows. Over time, these deposits coalesce to form a broad platform of volcanic material. In the last 100,000 years, at least 58 eruptions of regional volcanoes took place, and at least 40 more eruptions are only slightly older. Most are located in a few zones associated with regional faulting. The annual probability of eruption of a regional volcano is 0.00065 (0.065%), which corresponds to an average recurrence interval of 1,550 years. Although several eruptions occurred around the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, none are demonstrably Holocene (pyroclastic flows and/or domes, and 7 hybrid andesite lava flows and tephra. Their volumes range from very small (0.0006 km3) to significant (4.7 km3). The

  20. Middle to Late Pleistocene vegetation and climate change in subtropical southern East Africa

    Castañeda, Isla S.; Caley, Thibaut; Dupont, Lydie; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Malaizé, Bruno; Schouten, Stefan


    In this study we investigate Pleistocene vegetation and climate change in southern East Africa by examining plant leaf waxes in a marine sediment core that receives terrestrial runoff from the Limpopo River. The plant leaf wax records are compared to a multi-proxy sea surface temperature (SST) record and pollen assemblage data from the same site. We find that Indian Ocean SST variability, driven by high-latitude obliquity, exerted a strong control on the vegetation of southern East Africa during the past 800,000 yr. Interglacial periods were characterized by relatively wetter and warmer conditions, increased contributions of C3 vegetation, and higher SST, whereas glacial periods were marked by cooler and arid conditions, increased contributions of C4 vegetation, and lower SST. We find that Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5e, 11c, 15e and 7a-7c are strongly expressed in the plant leaf wax records but MIS 7e is absent while MIS 9 is rather weak. Our plant leaf wax records also record the climate transition associated with the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE) suggesting that the pre-MBE interval (430-800 ka) was characterized by higher inputs from grasses in comparison to relatively higher inputs from trees in the post-MBE interval (430 to 0 ka). Differences in vegetation and SST of southern East Africa between the pre- and post-MBE intervals appear to be related to shifts in the location of the Subtropical Front. Comparison with vegetation records from tropical East Africa indicates that the vegetation of southern East Africa, while exhibiting glacial-interglacial variability and notable differences between the pre- and post-MBE portions of the record, likely did not experience such dramatic extremes as occurred to the north at Lake Malawi.

  1. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Mt Giluwe volcano, Papua New Guinea

    Barrows, Timothy T.; Hope, Geoffrey S.; Prentice, Michael L.; Fifield, L. Keith; Tims, Stephen G.


    The Mt Giluwe shield volcano was the largest area glaciated in Papua New Guinea during the Pleistocene. Despite minimal cooling of the sea surface during the last glacial maximum, glaciers reached elevations as low as 3200 m. To investigate changes in the extent of ice through time we have re-mapped evidence for glaciation on the southwest flank of Mt Giluwe. We find that an ice cap has formed on the flanks of the mountain on at least three, and probably four, separate occasions. To constrain the ages of these glaciations we present 39 new cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages complemented by new radiocarbon dates. Direct dating of the moraines identifies that the maximum extent of glaciation on the mountain was not during the last glacial maximum as previously thought. In conjunction with existing potassium/argon and radiocarbon dating, we recognise four distinct glacial periods between 293-306 ka (Gogon Glaciation), 136-158 ka (Mengane Glaciation), centred at 62 ka (Komia Glaciation) and from >20.3-11.5 ka (Tongo Glaciation). The temperature difference relative to the present during the Tongo Glaciation is likely to be of the order of at least 5 °C which is a minimum difference for the previous glaciations. During the Tongo Glaciation, ice was briefly at its maximum for less than 1000 years, but stayed near maximum levels for nearly 4000 years, until about 15.4 ka. Over the next 4000 years there was more rapid retreat with ice free conditions by the early Holocene.

  2. Identification of Late Pleistocene Ice-Rafted Debris (IRD) on the New Jersey Shelf

    Turner, R. J.; Christensen, B. A.; Wampler, J.; Uptegrove, J.; Goff, J.


    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential for ice-rafted debris (IRD) on the New Jersey shelf and develop procedures for IRD identification on a shelf environment using a variety of techniques to assess texture and age of the sediments. Pleistocene New Jersey shelf sedimentology is strongly defined by glacially driven sea level changes. IRD and its provenance may be identified on a shelf environment through analysis of grain size distribution, heavy mineral content (higher % suggests non-fluvial processes), mineralogical point counts (anomalous mineralogy indicates distal source), isotopic dating methods (age value determination to narrow down potential source rocks), and surface texture analysis (specific glacial transport features). IRD must be differentiated from sediment derived from the NJ bedrock. Likely sources for IRD include the bedrock of Maine and of the southeastern Canadian Shield. Duncan and Goff (2001) reported iceberg grounding along the NJ shelf. IRD is typically identified in the deep sea through anomalously large grain size within pelagic mud, but different methods are needed for the shelf, where regressive shoreline processes, subaerial exposure, fluvial downcutting, and deposition and reworking during transgression have influenced the sediment composition found today. We analyzed grab samples in or near the features believed to be iceberg scour marks and downcore samples from recent Geoclutter drilling in the same area. The coarse grain size fractions of shelf samples were separated by phi classes before heavy mineral separation methods were employed. Initial analyses show high percentages of heavy minerals in the 2 phi and 3 phi size fractions, consistent with past NJ shelf studies. Hornblende grains were hand-picked from select samples for K-Ar dating, providing age values of about 0.96 ± 0.03 Ga for three sites within iceberg scours. Mineral content of each size fraction is determined by point count. Qualitative assessment of

  3. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Mt Giluwe volcano, Papua New Guinea

    Barrows, T.T.; Hope, G.S.; Prentice, M.L.; Fifield, L.K.; Tims, S.G.


    The Mt Giluwe shield volcano was the largest area glaciated in Papua New Guinea during the Pleistocene. Despite minimal cooling of the sea surface during the last glacial maximum, glaciers reached elevations as low as 3200 m. To investigate changes in the extent of ice through time we have re-mapped evidence for glaciation on the southwest flank of Mt Giluwe. We find that an ice cap has formed on the flanks of the mountain on at least three, and probably four, separate occasions. To constrain the ages of these glaciations we present 39 new cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages complemented by new radiocarbon dates. Direct dating of the moraines identifies that the maximum extent of glaciation on the mountain was not during the last glacial maximum as previously thought. In conjunction with existing potassium/argon and radiocarbon dating, we recognise four distinct glacial periods between 293-306 ka (Gogon Glaciation), 136-158 ka (Mengane Glaciation), centred at 62 ka (Komia Glaciation) and from >20.3-11.5 ka (Tongo Glaciation). The temperature difference relative to the present during the Tongo Glaciation is likely to be of the order of at least 5 ??C which is a minimum difference for the previous glaciations. During the Tongo Glaciation, ice was briefly at its maximum for less than 1000 years, but stayed near maximum levels for nearly 4000 years, until about 15.4 ka. Over the next 4000 years there was more rapid retreat with ice free conditions by the early Holocene. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  4. From stratigraphy to (inferred) processes: development of the late Pleistocene Po Delta clinothems at millennial to centennial scales

    Pellegrini, Claudio; Asioli, Alessandra; Drexler, Tina; Bohacs, Kevin; Sweet, Michael; Maselli, Vittorio; Gamberi, Fabiano; Rovere, Marzia; Dalla Valle, Giacomo; Trincardi, Fabio


    The 350-m thick succession of the late-Pleistocene Po River Lowstand Delta (PRLD) deposited in just 17 k.y. encompassing the Last Glacial Maximum and contains stratal architecture at a physical scale commonly attributed to much longer time intervals, with complex, systematically varying internal clinothem characteristics. We document clinothem characteristics, stacking patterns, and controls through the integration of seismic-reflection data with sediment attributes, micropaleontology, regional climate, eustacy, and high-resolution age control on the PRLD. Within the PRLD, three clinothem types are characterized by distinctive topset geometry, shelf-edge and onlap-point trajectory, internal seismic facies, and interpreted bottomset deposits: Type A) moderate topset aggradation, ascending shelf-edge trajectories, and thin mass-transport bottomset deposits; Type B) eroded topset, descending shelf-edge trajectories, and bottomset distributary channel-lobe complexes; and Type C) maximal topset aggradation, ascending shelf-edge trajectories, and draped concordant bottomsets. Measured sediment accumulation rates suggest that Type A and C clinothems experienced reduced sediment bypass and delivery to the basin, whereas, Type B clinothems were associated with short intervals of increased sediment export from the shelf to deep water and development of distributary channel-lobe complexes. This interpretation is supported by micropaleontological analyses that highlight increased delivery of sediment and fresh water to the basin during the progradation of Type B clinothems, as suggested by the reduced occurrence of Cassidulina laevigata carinata and the peak abundance of Nonion spp. Each clinothem formed in a very short interval, from 0.4 to 4.7 k.y., contemporaneous with significant eustatic and climate changes. While changes in stacking patterns at these temporal scales have previously been observed in modern deltaic clinothems, the significance of our study is that we have

  5. Distribution of late Pleistocene ice-rich syngenetic permafrost of the Yedoma Suite in east and central Siberia, Russia

    Grosse, Guido; Robinson, Joel E.; Bryant, Robin; Taylor, Maxwell D.; Harper, William; DeMasi, Amy; Kyker-Snowman, Emily; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Schirrmeister, Lutz; Harden, Jennifer


    This digital database is the product of collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; the Los Altos Hills Foothill College GeoSpatial Technology Certificate Program; the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany; and the Institute of Physical Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The primary goal for creating this digital database is to enhance current estimates of soil organic carbon stored in deep permafrost, in particular the late Pleistocene syngenetic ice-rich permafrost deposits of the Yedoma Suite. Previous studies estimated that Yedoma deposits cover about 1 million square kilometers of a large region in central and eastern Siberia, but these estimates generally are based on maps with scales smaller than 1:10,000,000. Taking into account this large area, it was estimated that Yedoma may store as much as 500 petagrams of soil organic carbon, a large part of which is vulnerable to thaw and mobilization from thermokarst and erosion. To refine assessments of the spatial distribution of Yedoma deposits, we digitized 11 Russian Quaternary geologic maps. Our study focused on extracting geologic units interpreted by us as late Pleistocene ice-rich syngenetic Yedoma deposits based on lithology, ground ice conditions, stratigraphy, and geomorphological and spatial association. These Yedoma units then were merged into a single data layer across map tiles. The spatial database provides a useful update of the spatial distribution of this deposit for an approximately 2.32 million square kilometers land area in Siberia that will (1) serve as a core database for future refinements of Yedoma distribution in additional regions, and (2) provide a starting point to revise the size of deep but thaw-vulnerable permafrost carbon pools in the Arctic based on surface geology and the distribution of cryolithofacies types at high spatial

  6. Geomorphic and Modeling Evidence for a Late Pleistocene Cirque Glacier in Southwest England

    Knight, J.; Harrison, S.; Rowan, A. V.


    Several small ice caps have been identified outside of the margins of the last (late Devensian) British ice sheet, but few sites in the uplands of southwest England show evidence for late Devensian niche/cirque glaciers and/or perennial snowbanks. Here we present evidence for the southernmost site yet discovered, in west Penwith, Cornwall. Here, a NE-facing hollow developed on granite bedrock is surrounded by tors with deep bedrock fractures and displaced angular blocks. Bedrock is exposed at the base of the hollow but sediments form a subdued ridge, interpreted as a terminal moraine, at the front of the hollow. The sediments comprise gravelly diamicton containing facetted clasts that are occasionally striated, interbedded with sand lenses. Sediments are deformed by periglacial involutions. We used a 2-D glacier energy balance and iceflow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003, Quat Sci Rev) to discover if the climatic conditions during the late Devensian could have sustained a cirque glacier at this site. Met Office regional climate data (1981-2010) were used to define mean monthly air temperatures, lapse rate, precipitation, cloudiness and relative humidity, and surface energy fluxes were calculated based on solar position during the present day and last glacial maximum (LGM). We ran a range of different glacier model simulations to test an envelope of late Devensian paleoclimate conditions inferred from other climate proxies. Model results suggest that a cirque glacier could have formed at this site under conditions equivalent to a change in temperature from present-day values of -8.5°C accompanied by a 20% decrease in precipitation, which is consistent with the regional LGM. Response times for these simulations are greater than 500 years, indicating that it is unlikely that such cirque glaciers maintained steady state and were instead short-lived features.




    Full Text Available Occurrence of large carnivores in island ecosystems is unusual, especially in the case of top predators. Here, a new endemic hyaenid species, Chasmaporthetes melei, from the late Late Pliocene to earliest Pleistocene fissure fillings of Monte Tuttavista, Orosei, Sardinia, is described. Although smaller, C. melei is morphologically comparable with the Plio-Pleistocene Eurasian hunting-hyena Chasmaporthetes lunensis, a possible ancestor of the Sardinian species. C. melei displays all the characteristic feeding adaptations of Chasmaporthetes, including a derived enamel structure similar to the condition in extant bone-crushing hyaenas. C. melei was an active predator that nonetheless included a relatively large amount of bone in its diet. SHORT NOTES

  8. Late and middle Pleistocene ungulates dietary diversity in Western Europe indicate variations of Neanderthal paleoenvironments through time and space

    Rivals, Florent; Schulz, Ellen; Kaiser, Thomas M.


    Mesowear and microwear on enamel from 763 teeth of middle and late Pleistocene ungulates were analysed to infer the potential of dental wear analysis of faunal remains as a paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic proxy in relation to climatic changes and diversity of vegetation available in the environment. Fossil localities including levels belonging to two glacial and two interglacial stages were selected in Germany, France, and Spain. At a temporal scale, results indicate that the dietary diversity in ungulates is higher during interglacial phases (MIS 5 and 3) than during pleniglacial phases (MIS 8 and 4). Dietary diversity is concluded to be related to climate-driven vegetation changes which during interglacials lead to increased variety of potential food items available to ungulates. At the geographical scale, during interglacials, changes in diet composition are evident along geographical gradients. The corresponding dietary gradients are proposed to be related to climate and vegetation gradients reflecting more arid climates in the Mediterranean area compared to North-Western Europe. Species consistently represented at all localities investigated are Cervus elaphus (Cervidae, Artiodactyla) and Equus ferus (Equidae, Perissodactyla). C. elaphus populations are found to consistently have less abrasive diets than E. ferus populations but dietary traits of both species varied largely, revealing a significant plasticity in the feeding adaptation of both species. Those traits are concluded to be related to differences in vegetation structure at each locality and complement the evidence that ungulates have broader dietary habits than what is usually assumed.

  9. Unsteady late Pleistocene incision of streams bounding the Colorado Front Range from measurements of meteoric and in situ 10Be

    Dühnforth, Miriam; Anderson, Robert S.; Ward, Dylan J.; Blum, Alex


    Dating of gravel-capped strath terraces in basins adjacent to western U.S. Laramide Ranges is one approach to document the history of late Cenozoic fluvial exhumation. We use in situ 10Be measurements to date the broad surfaces adjacent to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and compare these calculated ages with results from meteoric 10Be measurements. We analyze three sites near Boulder, Colorado (Gunbarrel Hill, Table Mountain, and Pioneer) that have been mapped as the oldest terrace surfaces with suggested ages ranging from 640 ka to the Plio-Pleistocene transition. Our in situ 10Be results reveal abandonment ages of 95 ± 129 ka at Table Mountain, 175 ± 27 ka at Pioneer, and ages of 251 ± 10 ka and 307 ± 15 ka at Gunbarrel Hill. All are far younger than previously thought. Inventories of meteoric 10Be support this interpretation, yielding ages that are comparable to Table Mountain and ˜20% lower than Pioneer in situ ages. We argue that lateral beveling by rivers dominated during protracted times of even moderate glacial climate, and that vertical incision rates of several mm/yr likely occurred during times of very low sediment supply during the few interglacials that were characterized by particularly warm climate conditions. In contrast to the traditional age chronology in the area, our ages suggest that the deep exhumation of the western edge the High Plains occurred relatively recently and at an unsteady pace.

  10. Formation and evolution of yardangs activated by Late Pleistocene tectonic movement in Dunhuang, Gansu Province of China

    Wang, Yanjie; Wu, Fadong; Zhang, Xujiao; Zeng, Peng; Ma, Pengfei; Song, Yuping; Chu, Hao


    Developed in the Anxi-Dunhuang basin, the yardangs of Dunhuang (western China) are clearly affected by tectonic movement. Based on fieldwork, this study ascertained three levels of river terrace in the area for the first time. Through the analysis of river terraces formation and regional tectonic movement, the study ascertained that the river terraces were formed mainly by Late Pleistocene tectonic uplift, which had activated the evolution of yardangs in the study area. By electron spin resonance (ESR) dating and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, the starting time and periodicity of the evolution of the yardangs were determined. The river terraces designated T3, T2 and T1 began to evolve at 109.0 ˜98.5, 72.9 ˜66.84 and 53.2 ˜38.0 kaBP, respectively, which is the evidence of regional neotectonic movement. And, the formation of the yardangs was dominated by tectonic uplift during the prenatal stage and mainly by wind erosion in the following evolution, with relatively short stationary phases. This research focused on the determination of endogenic processes of yardangs formation, which would contribute to further understanding of yardangs formation from a geological perspective and promote further study of yardang landform.

  11. New stratigraphic and taphonomic data from the late Pleistocene deposits of the San Teodoro Cave (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy

    Gabriella Mangano


    Full Text Available In previous excavations at the San Teodoro Cave (North-Eastern Sicily the Authors distinguished an upper Late Glacial sedimentary unit (Unit A and a lower sedimentary unit (Unit B containing Upper Pleistocene endemic mammal remains. New data collected during 2002 and 2003 excavations come from a trench located on the eastern side of the cave at a distance of 30-34 m from the entrance. In the new trench the composition and taphonomic characters of the faunal assemblage of the Unit B deposits are similar to those recognized in 1998 in a trench located on the eastern side of the cave at a distance of 9-13 m from the entrance. The Unit B contains a highly diversified assemblage of vertebrates, invertebrates and vegetal remains. Damages on bones and abundant coprolites testify to intense hyena activity. Complete and undamaged remains of elephant and deer are actually a novelty from a taphonomic point of view. A new sterile sedimentary unit (Unit C has been brought to light. The characters of the new sedimentary Unit C suggest a correlation with the older lacustrine deposits located at the base of the vertical cliffs where the San Teodoro cave is located.

  12. Formation and evolution of yardangs activated by Late Pleistocene tectonic movement in Dunhuang, Gansu Province of China

    Yanjie Wang; Fadong Wu; Xujiao Zhang; Peng Zeng; Pengfei Ma; Yuping Song; Hao Chu


    Developed in the Anxi-Dunhuang basin, the yardangs of Dunhuang (western China) are clearly affected by tectonic movement. Based on fieldwork, this study ascertained three levels of river terrace in the area for the first time. Through the analysis of river terraces formation and regional tectonic movement, the study ascertained that the river terraces were formed mainly by Late Pleistocene tectonic uplift, which had activated the evolution of yardangs in the study area. By electron spin resonance (ESR) dating and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, the starting time and periodicity of the evolution of the yardangs were determined. The river terraces designated T3, T2 and T1 began to evolve at 109.0∼98.5, 72.9∼66.84 and 53.2∼38.0 kaBP, respectively, which is the evidence of regional neotectonic movement.And, the formation of the yardangs was dominated by tectonic uplift during the prenatal stage and mainly by wind erosion in the following evolution, with relatively short stationary phases. This research focused on the determination of endogenic processes of yardangs formation, which would contribute to further understanding of yardangs formation from a geological perspective and promote further study of yardang landform.

  13. Conceptual hydrochemical model of late Pleistocene aquifers at the Samario-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico

    Birkle, Peter [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Gerencia de Geotermia, Av. Reforma 113, Col. Palmira, Cuernavaca, Mor., 62490 (Mexico)]. E-mail:; Angulo, Maricela [PEMEX - Exploracion y Produccion, Diseno de Explotacion Cactus-Nispero Sitio Grande, Zona Industrial S/N, Reforma, Chiapas (Mexico)


    Carbon-14 concentrations between 0.83 and 11.79 pmC of formation water from the Activo Samaria-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir in SE-Mexico, extracted from 3500 to 4500 m.b.s.l., indicate a common infiltration event of surface water during the late Pleistocene period. Mixing of two components - meteoric water and seawater, previously evaporated at the surface - explain the widespread mineralization (TDI = 15-257 g/L) of Na-Cl and Na-Ca-Cl type reservoir water. Statistical discrimination by clustering and a heterogeneous chemical-isotopic fluid composition indicate the existence of 4 different water types as part of local aquifer systems, which are separated by normal and thrust faults. Tectonic horst and graben structures show an ambiguous, individual hydraulic behaviour - as permeable conduits and/or as impermeable barriers, causing the local limitation of aquifer extent. The recent increase of water production in petroleum wells is not related to the injection of surface water, but the long-term extraction of oil reserves is modifying the original position and flow direction of the reservoir aquifers. The rise of the initial groundwater level reflects the final stage of an exhausted petroleum reservoir with coning effects of underlying aquifer systems. The flexible change towards superior production intervals could represent a feasible technique to avoid the abrupt closure of invaded production wells.

  14. Conceptual hydrochemical model of late Pleistocene aquifers at the Samario-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir, Gulf of Mexico

    Birkle, P. [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Gerencia de Geotermia, Cuernavaca, Mor. (Mexico); Angulo, M. [PEMEX-Exploracion y Produccion, Chiapas (Mexico)


    Carbon-14 concentrations between 0.83 and 11.79 pmC of formation water from the Activo Samaria-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir in SE-Mexico, extracted from 3500 to 4500 m.b.s.l., indicate a common infiltration event of surface water during the late Pleistocene period. Mixing of two components - meteoric water and seawater, previously evaporated at the surface - explain the widespread mineralization (TDI = 15-257 g/L) of Na-Cl and Na-Ca-Cl type reservoir water. Statistical discrimination by clustering and a heterogeneous chemical-isotopic fluid composition indicate the existence of 4 different water types as part of local aquifer systems, which are separated by normal and thrust faults. Tectonic horst and graben structures show an ambiguous, individual hydraulic behaviour - as permeable conduits and/or as impermeable barriers, causing the local limitation of aquifer extent. The recent increase of water production in petroleum wells is not related to the injection of surface water, but the long-term extraction of oil reserves is modifying the original position and flow direction of the reservoir aquifers. The rise of the initial groundwater level reflects the final stage of an exhausted petroleum reservoir with coning effects of underlying aquifer systems. The flexible change towards superior production intervals could represent a feasible technique to avoid the abrupt closure of invaded production wells. (Author)

  15. Across the Gap: Geochronological and Sedimentological Analyses from the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Sequence of Goda Buticha, Southeastern Ethiopia

    Asrat, Asfawossen; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Chapon, Cécile; Douville, Eric; Fragnol, Carole; Hernandez, Marion; Hovers, Erella; Leplongeon, Alice; Martin, Loïc; Pleurdeau, David; Pearson, Osbjorn; Puaud, Simon; Assefa, Zelalem


    Goda Buticha is a cave site near Dire Dawa in southeastern Ethiopia that contains an archaeological sequence sampling the late Pleistocene and Holocene of the region. The sedimentary sequence displays complex cultural, chronological and sedimentological histories that seem incongruent with one another. A first set of radiocarbon ages suggested a long sedimentological gap from the end of Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 3 to the mid-Holocene. Macroscopic observations suggest that the main sedimentological change does not coincide with the chronostratigraphic hiatus. The cultural sequence shows technological continuity with a late persistence of artifacts that are usually attributed to the Middle Stone Age into the younger parts of the stratigraphic sequence, yet become increasingly associated with lithic artifacts typically related to the Later Stone Age. While not a unique case, this combination of features is unusual in the Horn of Africa. In order to evaluate the possible implications of these observations, sedimentological analyses combined with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) were conducted. The OSL data now extend the radiocarbon chronology up to 63 ± 7 ka; they also confirm the existence of the chronological gap between 24.8 ± 2.6 ka and 7.5 ± 0.3 ka. The sedimentological analyses suggest that the origin and mode of deposition were largely similar throughout the whole sequence, although the anthropic and faunal activities increased in the younger levels. Regional climatic records are used to support the sedimentological observations and interpretations. We discuss the implications of the sedimentological and dating analyses for understanding cultural processes in the region. PMID:28125597

  16. Aminostratigraphy of Middle and Late Pleistocene deposits in The Netherlands and the southern part of the North Sea Basin

    Meijer, T.; Cleveringa, P.


    A review of all available amino acid racemization D (alloisoleucine)/L (isoleucine) data from the whole shell of four molluscan species from Late and late Middle Pleistocene deposits of the Netherlands is presented. The data allow the distinction of 5 aminostratigraphical units, NAZ (Netherlands Amino Zone) A-E, each representing a temperate stage. The zones are correlated with marine isotope stages 1, 5e, 7, 9, and 11 respectively. Apart from NAZ-D (MIS 9), in all aminozones the marine transgression reached the present-day onshore area of the Netherlands. The transgression during NAZ-C (Oostermeer Interglacial: MIS 7) seems to be at least as widespread as its counterpart during NAZ-B (Eemian: MIS 5e) in the southern bight of the North Sea Basin. The stratigraphic position of the Oostermeer Interglacial is just below deposits of the Drente phase of the Saalian and because of this position the interglacial marine deposits have formerly erroneously considered to be of Holsteinian age. Neede, the 'classic' Dutch Holsteinian site, is dated in NAZ-E (MIS 11), like Noordbergum. Although the validity of these zones has been checked with independent data, some overlap between succeeding zones may occur. The relation between amino acid data from elsewhere in the North Sea Basin and the Netherlands amino zonation is discussed. The deposits at the Holsteinian stratotype Hummelsbüttel in North West Germany are dated in NAZ-D. This interglacial correlates with MIS 9. The Belvédère Interglacial, which is of importance for its archaeology, is in NAZ-D (MIS 9) and therefore of Holsteinian age as well. The lacustroglacial 'pottery clays' in the Noordbergum area are deposits from two glacial stages, which can be correlated with MIS 8 and 10 (the Elsterian). The pottery clay that is considered equivalent to the German 'Lauenburger Ton' correlates with MIS 10.

  17. Late Pleistocene-Holocene earthquake-induced slumps and soft-sediment deformation structures in the Acequion River valley, Central Precordillera, Argentina

    Perucca Laura P


    Full Text Available Evidence of earthquake-induced liquefaction features in the Acequión river valley, central western Argentina, is analysed. Well-preserved soft-sediment deformation structures are present in Late Pleistocene deposits; they include two large slumps and several sand dikes, convolutions, pseudonodules, faults, dish structures and diapirs in the basal part of a shallow-lacustrine succession in the El Acequión River area. The water-saturated state of these sediments favoured deformation.

  18. A Brief Overview of the Last 10 Years of Major Late Pleistocene Discoveries in the Old World: Homo floresiensis, Neanderthal, and Denisovan

    Fernanda Neubauer


    Full Text Available In the last ten years, new fossil, archaeological, and genetic data have significantly altered our understanding of the peopling of the Old World in the Late Pleistocene. Scholars have long been challenged to define humanity’s place in evolution and to trace our phylogeny. Differences in the skeletal morphology of hominin fossils have often led to the naming of distinct new species, but recent genetic findings have challenged the traditional perspective by demonstrating that modern human DNA contains genes inherited from Neanderthals and Denisovans, thus questioning their status as separate species. The recent discovery of Homo floresiensis from Flores Island has also raised interesting queries about how much genetic and morphological diversity was present during the Late Pleistocene. This paper discusses the nature and implications of the evidence with respect to Homo floresiensis, Neanderthals, and Denisovans and briefly reviews major Late Pleistocene discoveries from the last ten years of research in the Old World and their significance to the study of human evolution.

  19. Evidence for prolonged El Nino-like conditions in the Pacific during the Late Pleistocene: a 43 ka noble gas record from California groundwaters

    Kulongoski, J.T.; Hilton, David R.; Izbicki, J.A.; Belitz, K.


    Information on the ocean/atmosphere state over the period spanning the Last Glacial Maximum - from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene - provides crucial constraints on the relationship between orbital forcing and global climate change. The Pacific Ocean is particularly important in this respect because of its dominant role in exporting heat and moisture from the tropics to higher latitudes. Through targeting groundwaters in the Mojave Desert, California, we show that noble gas derived temperatures in California averaged 4.2 ?? 1.1 ??C cooler in the Late Pleistocene (from ???43 to ???12 ka) compared to the Holocene (from ???10 to ???5 ka). Furthermore, the older groundwaters contain higher concentrations of excess air (entrained air bubbles) and have elevated oxygen-18/oxygen-16 ratios (??18O) - indicators of vigorous aquifer recharge, and greater rainfall amounts and/or more intense precipitation events, respectively. Together, these paleoclimate indicators reveal that cooler and wetter conditions prevailed in the Mojave Desert from ???43 to ???12 ka. We suggest that during the Late Pleistocene, the Pacific ocean/atmosphere state was similar to present-day El Nino-like patterns, and was characterized by prolonged periods of weak trade winds, weak upwelling along the eastern Pacific margin, and increased precipitation in the southwestern U.S.

  20. Constraining the Late Pleistocene history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet by dating the Missinaibi Formation, Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada

    Dalton, April S.; Finkelstein, Sarah A.; Barnett, Peter J.; Forman, Steven L.


    Well-dated paleorecords from periods prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are important for validating models of ice sheet build-up and growth. However, owing to glacial erosion, most Late Pleistocene records lie outside of the previously glaciated region, which limits their ability to inform about the dynamics of paleo-ice sheets. Here, we evaluate new and previously published chronology data from the Missinaibi Formation, a Pleistocene-aged deposit in the Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL), Canada, located near the geographic center of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS). Available radiocarbon (AMS = 44, conventional = 36), amino acid (n = 13), uranium-thorium (U-Th, n = 14), thermoluminescence (TL, n = 15) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL, n = 5) data suggest that an ice-free HBL may have been possible during parts of Marine Isotope Stage 7 (MIS 7; ca. 243,000 to ca. 190,000 yr BP), MIS 5 (ca. 130,000 to ca. 71,000 yr BP) and MIS 3 (ca. 29,000 to ca. 57,000). While MIS 7 and MIS 5 are well-documented interglacial periods, the development of peat, forest bed and fluvial deposits dating to MIS 3 (n = 20 radiocarbon dates; 4 TL dates, 3 OSL dates), suggests that the LIS retreated and remained beyond, or somewhere within, the boundaries of the HBL during this interstadial. Ice sheet models approximate the margin of the LIS to Southern Ontario during this time, which is 700 km south of the HBL. Therefore, if correct, our data help constrain a significantly different configuration and dynamicity for the LIS than previously modelled. We can find no chronological basis to discount the MIS 3 age assignments. However, since most data originate from radiocarbon dates lying close to the reliable limit of this geochronometer, future work on dating the Missinaibi Formation using other geochronological methods (e.g. U-Th, OSL) is necessary in order to confirm the age estimates and strengthen the boundaries of the LIS during this period.

  1. Late Pliocene - Early Pleistocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction based on stable isotope compositions of Stephanorhinus sp. and Mammut sp. teeth

    Szabó, Péter; Kovács, János; Kocsis, László; Gasparik, Mihály; Vennemann, Torsten; Demény, Attila; Virág, Attila


    Stable isotope measurements of skeletal apatite from herbivorous mammals are often used to provide information on the terrestrial paleoenvironment and paleoclimate. In this study fossil teeth of Stephanorhinus Kretzoi 1942 (rhinoceros) and Mammut Blumenbach 1799 (mastodon), amongst others, were investigated from the Carpathian Basin. According to the biostratigraphy, the age of the samples has a range from Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene. Reconstructing paleoclimate and paleoenvironment of this era is important as it can be an analogue for the future climate. Oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions were measured from the tooth enamel, because it is believed to be the most resistant to diagenetic alteration (e.g., Kohn & Cerling, 2002). The carbon isotopic composition in the carbonate fraction of apatite can be related to the diet of the animal (Kohn & Cerling, 2002). Hence, it can reflect the photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4) of the plants consumed by these herbivores. The δ18O values were determined in the phosphate fraction of apatite. In the case of large mammals that are obligate drinkers, the δ18O values closely track those of the environmental water (Bryant & Froelich, 1995). Knowing the δ18O values of environmental water and relating it to local precipitation, the mean annual temperature (MAT) of the site can be calculated (Dansgaard, 1964). The δ13C values range from -10 to -15 o (VPDB). The result clearly shows that these animals consumed C3 plants. Most of the δ13C values indicate mixed grassland-open woodland rather than a closed canopy forest. Although there is variation in the δ18O values (mean 14.2 ± 1.0 o VSMOW, n=17), most of the samples would support a MAT range of 8-12 ° C. This is in good agreement with other proxies for the localities and time period (Kovács et al., 2013). Bryant, D.J. & Froelich, P.N. (1995) A model of oxygen-isotope fractionation in bodywater of large-mammals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59, 4523

  2. Pollen evidence for late pleistocene bering land bridge environments from Norton Sound, Northeastern Bering Sea, Alaska

    Ager, T.A.; Phillips, R.L.


    After more than half a century of paleoenvironmental investigations, disagreements persist as to the nature of vegetation type and climate of the Bering land bridge (BLB) during the late Wisconsin (Sartan) glacial interval. Few data exist from sites on the former land bridge, now submerged under the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Two hypotheses have emerged during the past decade. The first, based on pollen data from Bering Sea islands and adjacent mainlands of western Alaska and Northeast Siberia, represents the likely predominant vegetation on the Bering land bridge during full-glacial conditions: graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation associated with cold, dry winters and cool, dry summer climate. The second hypothesis suggests that dwarf birch-shrub-herb tundra formed a broad belt across the BLB, and that mesic vegetation was associated with cold, snowier winters and moist, cool summers. As a step towards resolving this controversy, a sediment core from Norton Sound, northeastern Bering Sea was radiocarbon dated and analyzed for pollen content. Two pollen zones were identified. The older, bracketed by radiocarbon ages of 29,500 and 11,515 14C yr BP, contains pollen assemblages composed of grass, sedge, wormwood, willow, and a variety of herb (forb) taxa. These assemblages are interpreted to represent graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation that developed under an arid, cool climate regime. The younger pollen zone sediments were deposited about 11,515 14C yr BP, when rising sea level had begun to flood the BLB. This younger pollen zone contains pollen of birch, willow, heaths, aquatic plants, and spores of sphagnum moss. This is interpreted to represent a Lateglacial dwarf birch-heath-willow-herb tundra vegetation, likely associated with a wetter climate with deeper winter snows, and moist, cool summers. This record supports the first hypothesis, that graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation extended into the lowlands of the BLB during full glacial conditions of the

  3. Connection of the Late Paleolithic archaeological sites of the Chuya depression with geological evidence of existence of the Late Pleistocene ice-dammed lakes

    Agatova, A. R.; Nepop, R. K.


    The complexity of the age dating of the Pleistocene ice-dammed paleolakes in the Altai Mountains is a reason why geologists consider the Early Paleolithic archaeological sites as an independent age marker for dating geological objects. However, in order to use these sites for paleogeographic reconstructions, their locations, the character of stratification, and the age of stone artifacts need to be comprehensively studied. We investigate 20 Late Paleolithic archaeological sites discovered in the Chuya depression of the Russian Altai (Altai Mountains) with the aim of their possible use for reconstructions of the period of development of the Kurai-Chuya glacio-limnosystem in the Late Neopleistocene. The results of our investigation show that it is improper to use the Paleolithic archaeological sites for the dating of the existence period and the draining time of ice-dammed lakes of the Chuya Depression in the modern period of their study owing to a lack of quantitative age estimates, a wide age range of possible existence of these sites, possible redeposition of the majority of artifacts, and their surface occurrence. It is established that all stratified sites where cultural layers are expected to be dated in the future lie above the uppermost and well-expressed paleolake level (2100 m a.s.l.). Accordingly, there are no grounds to determine the existence time of shallower paleolakes. Since the whole stone material collected below the level of 2100 m a.s.l. is represented by surface finds, it is problematic to use these artifacts for absolute geochronology. The Late Paleolithic Bigdon and Chechketerek sites are of great interest for paleogeographic reconstructions of ice-dammed lakes. The use of iceberg rafting products as cores is evidence that these sites appeared after the draining of a paleolake (2000 m a.s.l.). At this time, the location of these archaeological sites on the slope of the Chuya Depression allows one to assume the existence of a large lake as deep

  4. Record of C4 Photosynthesis Through the Late Neogene and Pleistocene

    Cerling, T. E.


    C4 photosynthesis is an adaptation to the low atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations experienced in the Neogene; it is found principally in tropical to sub-tropical/temperate regions where temperatures are high in the growing season. Although C4 photosynthesis makes up about 50% of Net Primary Productivity in tropical regions, its macroscopic fossil record is extremely sparse. Therefore, inferences to its significance in local ecosystems are based primarily on stable isotopes, with phytoliths become more important as phytolith morphology becomes better associated with plant structure and classification. Stable isotopes have been the principal recorder for understanding the history of C4 photosynthesis; however, different materials record different aspects of the C4 contribution to ecosystem structure and thus are telling different parts of the same story. With the fossil record so poorly known, we often assume similar ecosystem structures and functions as we observe in modern analogues. It is likely that large evolutionary changes have taken place within C4 plants as they went from 50% tropical NPP in the late Neogene.

  5. Evidence for Late Pleistocene uplift at the Somma-Vesuvius apron near Pompeii

    Marturano, Aldo; Aiello, Giuseppe; Barra, Diana


    Detailed stratigraphic and micropalaeontological analyses of samples from boreholes at the Somma-Vesuvius apron, between Pompeii and the sea, allowed reconstruction of Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Sarno coastal plain. In all, 116 samples were recovered from seven boreholes drilled from 2-10 m a.s.l. to 16.5-26 m b.s.l. Microfossil assemblages, with special regard to benthic foraminifers and ostracods, were used to reconstruct the depositional palaeoenvironment. Fossil remains show that all the pre-79 AD fossiliferous sediments from 2 to - 24 m a.s.l. were deposited in shallow marine waters for a long time despite an appreciable sea level rise. The data indicate alternation of both shallow marine and subaerial conditions during the last ~ 15 kyr, evidencing ground uplift of the area of about 75 m at a rate of ~ 5 mm/year. Marine sediment accumulation (~ 6 m/kyr) and tectonic uplift long offset the sea level rise, and as a consequence, submerged areas remained the same as well.


    S. V. Rasskazov


    Full Text Available Based on comparative analyses of spatial and temporal patterns of high- and medium-potassic basaltic eruptions in the Central Mongolia and marine survey records of Sr isotopes, it is revealed that the start of the recent geodynamic stage in the Central Mongolia correlates with the starting point of its global manifestation, which gives an evidence of a close relationship between magmatic occurrences in the region under study and processes of global convergence. The magmatic occurrences are considered as representing the recent geodynamic evolution of the past 90 Ma with milestones of ~66, 40–37, ~32 and 17–15 Ma ago. Global changes, except those ~32 Ma ago, are shown in marine records of Sr isotopes. The Late Plestocene – Holocene natural and climate setting is reconstructed from radiocarbon datings of various geological and paleobiological objects. Changes of the natural environment and climate of the Northern hemisphere are plotted with account of strong magma eruptions, attacks of asteroids and meteorites, changes of lithological compositions of sedimentary complexes and species compositions of fauna at the given time interval.  

  7. Tapping the Late Pleistocene-Holocene environmental change and alluvial geoarchaeology in Central Asia

    Macklin, Mark; Panyushkina, Irina; Toonen, Willem; Chang, Claudia; Seitkaliyev, Meyram; Voyakin, Dmitry


    We integrate the environmental history derived from spatial-temporal variability of multi proxies and the prehistory of arid lands from archaeological data in Central Asia in order to determine the relationship between the Holocene river dynamics, climate change and floodwater farming. This study addresses to developing fluvial achieves and geoarcheological records from the Talgar catchment, a south-bank tributary of the Ili River and the Talas catchment, a east-bank tributary of the Syr Darya River, in the southern Kazakhstan. The catchments of these steppe rivers flowing northwest had favorable habitats for farming from the Eneolithic to the medieval period as appears from human settlement histories documented with archaeological surveys and in some cases excavations. The river development has been reconstructed over the last 20,000 years and the key archaeological sites have been dated with radiocarbon. Periods of Holocene river aggradation and high water in downstream Lake Balkhash and Aral Sea correspond with cooler and wetter neoglacial episodes while river entrenchment and floodplain soil development are associated with warmer and drier conditions. Floodwater farming in the Talgar River reached its height in the late Iron Age (400-200 cal. BC) with more than 70 settlement sites and 700 burial mounds, and in the Talas River during the medieval period. This corresponds to a period of reduced flood flows, river stability and glacier retreat in the Tien Shan headwaters. A new hydroclimatic-based model for the spatial and temporal dynamics of floodwater farming is proposed, which explains settlement patterns since the first documented use of irrigation in the Iron Age and medieval times. The undertaken research highlights the Holocene human adaptations to the environmental change of floodplains in Central Asia.

  8. Sedimentary record from the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean: implications for late to middle Pleistocene glacial history

    Dong, Linsen; Liu, Yanguang; Shi, Xuefa; Polyak, Leonid; Huang, Yuanhui; Fang, Xisheng; Liu, Jianxing; Zou, Jianjun; Wang, Kunshan; Sun, Fuqiang; Wang, Xuchen


    Sediment core ARC4-BN05 collected from the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean, covers the late to middle Quaternary (Marine Isotope Stage - MIS - 1-15, ca. 0.5-0.6 Ma) as estimated by correlation to earlier proposed Arctic Ocean stratigraphies and AMS14C dating of the youngest sediments. Detailed examination of clay and bulk mineralogy along with grain size, content of Ca and Mn, and planktic foraminiferal numbers in core ARC4-BN05 provides important new information about sedimentary environments and provenance. We use increased contents of coarse debris as an indicator of glacier collapse events at the margins of the western Arctic Ocean, and identify the provenance of these events from mineralogical composition. Notably, peaks of dolomite debris, including large dropstones, track the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) discharge events to the Arctic Ocean. Major LIS inputs occurred during the stratigraphic intervals estimated as MIS 3, intra-MIS 5 and 7 events, MIS 8, and MIS 10. Inputs from the East Siberian Ice Sheet (ESIS) are inferred from peaks of smectite, kaolinite, and chlorite associated with coarse sediment. Major ESIS sedimentary events occurred in the intervals estimated as MIS 4, MIS 6 and MIS 12. Differences in LIS vs. ESIS inputs can be explained by ice-sheet configurations at different sea levels, sediment delivery mechanisms (iceberg rafting, suspension plumes, and debris flows), and surface circulation. A long-term change in the pattern of sediment inputs, with an apparent step change near the estimated MIS 7-8 boundary (ca. 0.25 Ma), presumably indicates an overall glacial expansion at the western Arctic margins, especially in North America.

  9. Dating upper plate normal fault slip events in Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments of northern Chile

    Robinson, R. A.; Binnie, S.; Gonzalez, G.; Cortés, J.


    In order to understand how subduction earthquakes along the Nazca-South America plate boundary affect upper plate faults in the coastal forearc of northern Chile, we are developing the first detailed paleoseismological study to characterize the Late Quaternary activity of the Mejillones and Salar del Carmen faults, located around 40 km north and 15 km east of Antofagasta, respectively. There is currently a lack of basic palaeo-seismological data on these and other upper plate faults, such as long term slip rates, amount of slip per event, palaeo-earthquake magnitude and recurrence intervals. This lack of knowledge impedes understanding of how large subduction earthquakes, occurring at depths of around 50 km in this region, relate to upper plate seismicity and deformation. We have used OSL dating of fault-related sediments, and cosmogenic-ray nuclide dating of terrace surfaces, to constrain slips rates over the last 45 ka. Several trenches were excavated across both faults in order to expose and log the most recent fault-related sediments. In the hanging wall of these normal faults, vertically stacked colluvial wedges and hillslope deposits are the product of discrete slip events and post-slip fault scarp degradation. Multiple trenches along each fault permit the spatial variability in slip amount and fault-related sedimentation to be investigated. Long-term slip rates have been measured using cosmogenic-ray nuclide exposure dating of the alluvial terraces offset by the Mejillones Fault. OSL dating of the fault-related sediments in the trenches has been used to compare the ages of individual slip events on both faults, and the age of events recorded along the trace of each fault. The application of both cosmogenic-ray nuclide and OSL methods in this type of setting (hyper-arid with low erosion rates, yet tectonically active) is non-trivial, due to cosmogenic inheritance accumulated in cobbles on the terrace surfaces, low sensitivity of the quartz for OSL dating, and

  10. Glacial chronology and palaeoclimate in the Bystra catchment, Western Tatra Mountains (Poland) during the Late Pleistocene

    Makos, Michał; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Braucher, Régis; Żarnowski, Michał


    Deglaciation chronology of the Bystra catchment (Western Tatra Mountains) has been reconstructed based on 10Be exposure age dating. Fourteen rock samples were collected from boulders located on three moraines that limit the horizontal extent of the LGM maximum advance and the Lateglacial recessional stage. The oldest preserved, maximum moraine was dated at 15.5 ± 0.8 ka, an age that could be explained more likely by post-depositional erosion of the moraine. Such scenario is supported by geomorphologic and palaeoclimatological evidence. The younger cold stage is represented by well-preserved termino-lateral moraine systems in the Kondratowa and Sucha Kasprowa valleys. The distribution of the moraine ridges in both valleys suggest a complex history of deglaciation of the area. The first Late-glacial re-advance (LG1) was followed by a cold oscillation (LG2), that occurred at around 14.0 ± 0.7-13.7 ± 1.2 ka. Glaciers during both stages had nearly the same horizontal extent, however, their thickness and geometry changed significantly, mainly due to local climatic conditions triggered by topography, controlling the exposition to solar radiation. The LG1 stage occurred probably during the pre-Bølling cold stage (Greenland Stadial 2.1a), however, the LG2 stage can be correlated with the cooling at around 14 ka during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1d - Older Dryas). This is the first chronological evidence of the Older Dryas in the Tatra Mountains. The ELA of the maximum Bystra glacier was located at 1480 m a.s.l. in accordance with the ELA in the High Tatra Mountains during the LGM. During the LG1 and LG2 stages, the ELA in the catchment rose up to 1520-1530 m a.s.l. and was located approximately 100-150 m lower than in the eastern part of the massif. Climate modelling results show that the Bystra glacier (maximum advance) could have advanced in the catchment when mean annual temperature was lower than today by 11-12 °C and precipitation was reduced by 40-60%. This

  11. Fluvial Tufa Evidence of Late Pleistocene Wet Intervals from Santa Barbara, Southern California

    Ibarra, Y.; Corsetti, F. A.; Feakins, S. J.; Rhodes, E. J.; Kirby, M. E.


    Past pluvials in the western United States provide valuable context for understanding regional hydroclimate variability. Here we report evidence of conditions substantially wetter than today from fluvial tufa deposits located near Zaca Lake, Santa Barbara County, California that have been dated by radiocarbon (14C) and Infra-Red Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL). Two successions of tufa deposition occur within a small catchment that drains Miocene Monterey Formation bedrock: 1) a fluvial deposit (0-0.5 m thick, 200 m in extent) that formed along a narrow valley below a modern spring, and 2) a perched deposit about 10 m higher (2 m thick, 15 m in extent). IRSL and radiocarbon dating of the perched carbonates suggests at least two episodes of carbonate growth: one at 19.4 ± 2.4 (1σ) through 17.8 ± 2.8 (1σ) ka and another at 11.9 ± 1.5 (1σ) ka verified with a charcoal 14C age of 10.95 ± 0.12 (2σ) cal ka BP. The relationship between the perched and fluvial spring deposits is inferred to represent a drop in the water table of more than 10 m associated with a transition from a wet climate in the late glacial to a dry Holocene today. The wet period indicated by tufa growth between 19.4 and 17.8 ka is relatively consistent with other California climate records both north and south of Zaca Lake. However, tufa growth ca. 12 to 11 ka demonstrates wet conditions occurred as far south as Zaca Lake during the Younger Dryas event, in contrast to climate records farther south in Lake Elsinore indicating persistently dry conditions through this interval. A small shift north in the average position of the winter season storm track could explain wet winters at Zaca while at the same time generating dry winters at Lake Elsinore, 275 km southwest of Zaca. If true, these data indicate that rather small latitudinal shifts in the average winter season storm track can produce large changes in regional hydroclimate.

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

    Liu, Tanzhuo; Broecker, Wallace S.


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

  13. Multiproxy evidence of Late Pleistocene environmental changes in the loess-paleosol sequence of Bůhzdař (Czech Republic)

    Flašarová, Kristýna; Vysloužilová, Barbora; Juřičková, Lucie; Šefrna, Luděk; Verecchia, Eric


    Europe. Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart, Quaternary Science Journal, 60 (1) Kaakinen, A., Sonninen, E., & Lunkka, J. P. (2006). Stable isotope record in paleosol carbonates from the Chinese Loess Plateau: Implications for late Neogene paleoclimate and paleovegetation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 237 (2-4), 359-369. Ložek, V. (1952) Zpráva o paleontologickém výzkumu cihelny v Zájezdu u Buštěhradu. Anthropozoikum, III, 135-138. Obreht, I., Buggle, B., Catto, N., Markovič, S. B., Bösel, S., Vandenberghe, D. A. G., … Jović, G. (2014). The Late Pleistocene Belotinac section (southern Serbia) at the southern limit of the European loess belt: Environmental and climate reconstruction using grain size and stable C and N isotopes. Quaternary International, 334-335, 10-19.

  14. Lithic technological responses to Late Pleistocene glacial cycling at Pinnacle Point Site 5-6, South Africa

    Brown, Kyle S.; Oestmo, Simen; Pereira, Telmo; Ranhorn, Kathryn L.; Schoville, Benjamin J.; Marean, Curtis W.


    There are multiple hypotheses for human responses to glacial cycling in the Late Pleistocene, including changes in population size, interconnectedness, and mobility. Lithic technological analysis informs us of human responses to environmental change because lithic assemblage characteristics are a reflection of raw material transport, reduction, and discard behaviors that depend on hunter-gatherer social and economic decisions. Pinnacle Point Site 5–6 (PP5-6), Western Cape, South Africa is an ideal locality for examining the influence of glacial cycling on early modern human behaviors because it preserves a long sequence spanning marine isotope stages (MIS) 5, 4, and 3 and is associated with robust records of paleoenvironmental change. The analysis presented here addresses the question, what, if any, lithic assemblage traits at PP5-6 represent changing behavioral responses to the MIS 5-4-3 interglacial-glacial cycle? It statistically evaluates changes in 93 traits with no a priori assumptions about which traits may significantly associate with MIS. In contrast to other studies that claim that there is little relationship between broad-scale patterns of climate change and lithic technology, we identified the following characteristics that are associated with MIS 4: increased use of quartz, increased evidence for outcrop sources of quartzite and silcrete, increased evidence for earlier stages of reduction in silcrete, evidence for increased flaking efficiency in all raw material types, and changes in tool types and function for silcrete. Based on these results, we suggest that foragers responded to MIS 4 glacial environmental conditions at PP5-6 with increased population or group sizes, ‘place provisioning’, longer and/or more intense site occupations, and decreased residential mobility. Several other traits, including silcrete frequency, do not exhibit an association with MIS. Backed pieces, once they appear in the PP5-6 record during MIS 4, persist through MIS

  15. Activity of Changbaishan Tianchi Volcano Since Late Pleistocene--The Constrain From Geochronology of High Precision U- Series Tims Method

    Wang Fei; Chen Wenji; Zhang Zhonglu; Hu Yutai; Peng Zicheng


    11 samples of lava and pumice from the cone of Changbaishan Tianchi Volcano, Jiling, China, were dated by using high precision U - series TIMS method. We conclude that the bottom of the cone formed before 350 ka, the middle part in 70~80 ka, the upper during 20~ 1ka, and the top less than 1ka, and the age based periods of the volcano eruption since Late Pleistocene is given as follows: > 350ka, 70ka, 18 ~ 25ka, 10ka, 4C5ka, 1~0.75ka, which may offer the basis for the study of volcanic disaster in future. In addition, the principle of dating young volcanic rocks by using U - series TIMS method is introduced briefly. Differentiation characteristics of U and Th in different minerals of the volcanic rocks are discussed, and the ability producing isochrons, based on U and Th differentiation, are discussed. In the last part of the paper,the closure of samples to the elements U and Th, which is important for age results, is discussed by using (234U/238U)radioactivity ratio which can be used to monitor if the samples have been weathered or eroded or leached since the time they formed. In this study, all samples have (234U/238U) activity ratios within 1% of secular equilibrium ((234U/238U) radioactivity ratios are unity), indicating no disturbance of the 234U- 238U system. All of these discussions show that the TIMS method is good to date Tianchi volcanics and the results are reliable.

  16. Stable carbon isotope reconstructions of diet and paleoenvironment from the late Middle Pleistocene Snake Cave in Northeastern Thailand

    Pushkina, Diana; Bocherens, Herve; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques


    Thailand’s geographical location in the tropics and almost complete, relatively uninterrupted forest cover makes it valuable for paleodiet and paleoclimate research. We present the first dietary and environmental reconstructions in Northeastern Thailand, using stable isotope abundances in mammalian tooth enamel from the late Middle Pleistocene locality, Tham Wiman Nakin (Snake Cave), which reflect a much higher (over 70%) than modern (13%) occurrence of C4 plants. Bovids and cervids appear to have had almost entirely a C4 plant diet. Carnivores consumed a mixture of C3 (suids) and C4 (bovids, cervids) consumers. Rhinoceroses and orangutan appear to have maintained their preference through time for forested or open C3 environment, respectively. 13C/12C from bone bioapatite, horn and hair of modern Southeast Asian mammals almost exclusively demonstrate C3 vegetation dominance. C4 consumption is rare in analysed modern species and it could be related to anthropogenic influences such as ingestion of domestic crops or livestock. Interesting implications emerge in the C4 vegetation distribution in southern Eurasian ecosystems, indicating that Southeast Asia, south of the Tibet, could be part of the global C4 vegetation spread, which occurred around 7 Ma. However, the C4 percentage in ecosystems varied geographically. Despite modern reversal towards C3 habitats due to factors such as increasing CO2, we think that anthropological influences may be responsible for habitat and dietary changes in extant species. Bovids demonstrate the most significant shift in diet and habitat through time, from C4-dominated open habitats to C3-dominated habitats indicative of dense forest understory.

  17. Testing portable luminescence reader signals against late Pleistocene to modern OSL ages of coastal and desert dunefield sand in Israel

    Roskin, Joel; Sivan, Dorit; Bookman, Revital; Porat, Naomi; López, Gloria I.


    Rapid assessment of luminescence signals of poly-mineral samples by a pulsed-photon portable OSL reader (PPSL) is useful for interpreting sedimentary sections during fieldwork, and can assist with targeted field sampling for later full OSL dating and prioritize laboratory work. This study investigates PPSL signal intensities in order to assess its usefulness in obtaining relative OSL ages from linear regressions created by interpolating newly generated PPSL values of samples with existing OSL ages from two extensive Nilotic-sourced dunefields. Eighteen OSL-dated sand samples from two quartz-dominated sand systems in Israel were studied:(1) the Mediterranean littoral-sourced coastal dunefields that formed since the middle Holocene; and (2) the inland north-western Negev desert dunefield that rapidly formed between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene. Samples from three coastal dune profiles were also measured. Results show that the PPSL signals differ by several orders of magnitude between modern and late Pleistocene sediments. The coastal and desert sand have different OSL age - PPSL signal ratios. Coastal sand show better correlations between PPSL values and OSL ages. However, using regression curves for each dunefield to interpolate ages is less useful than expected as samples with different ages exhibit similar PPSL signals. The coastal dune profiles yielded low luminescence signal values depicting a modern profile chronology. This study demonstrates that a rapid assessment of the relative OSL ages across different and extensive dunefields is useful and may be achieved. However, the OSL ages obtained by linear regression are only a very rough age estimate. The reasons for not obtaining more reliable ages need to be better understood, as several variables can affect the PPSL signal such as mineral provenance, intrinsic grain properties, micro-dosimetry and moisture content.

  18. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T


    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  19. Late Pleistocene Climate Events and The Origin of Agriculture In SW Asia

    Rossignol-Strick, M.

    In the Eastern Mediterranean sea, the climate succession of the last deglaciation is documented and dated in marine cores by the d18-O variation of foraminiferal cal- cite and pollen records. The Last Glacial Maximum is identified by a large abundance of grass pollen from a prairie-type vegetal cover with low annual precipitation in the mountainous north and east borderlands of the sea, where the pollen mainly origi- nates. During the first phase of the last deglaciation, the Bolling/Allerod chronozone, the moisture availability increases and makes possible the spread of a deciduous for- est, as shown by the increasing pollen abundance of the deciduous oak. The cold and arid Younger Dryas is identified by a reversal to semi-desert conditions, with the in- crease of sage-brush (Artemisia) and the saline-tolerant Chenopodiaceae. The climate of the earliest Holocene is Optimum for at least 3000 years (9000-6000yr BP), with the largest spread of the deciduous forest at low-middle elevations signalling wet sum- mers and of the Pistacia woodland at low elevations signalling mild, no-frost winters. This is the time when the most recent sapropel deposited in the eastern Mediterranean under anoxic bottom conditions generated by a surface lid of lower salinity due to the concomitant largest floods of the Nile River fed by the strongest African monsoon rains in the Ethiopian Highlands. In SW Asia, the pollen records of lakes and marshes have been correlated with those of the marine cores, thereby obtaining a robust time-frame. In that area, the archaeo- logical data of human settlements are independently dated by 14C. Thus the archaeo- logical succession can be securely set against the well-dated climatic succession. The Late Palaeolithic populations of SW Asia were wandering hunter-gatherers in the prairies of the Last Glacial Maximum, where they already collected wild wheat, barley and fruit. With the Bolling/Allerod wetter and warmer climate, they began to settle in

  20. The Late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironmental context of Wonderwerk Cave in the southern Kalahari, South Africa

    Scott, Louis; Avery, Margaret; Bamford, Marion; Berna, Francesco; Brink, James; Brook, George; Chazan, Michael; Ecker, Michaela; Fernandez-Jalvo, Yolanda; Goldberg, Paul; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Rossouw, Lloyd; Thackeray, Francis; Horwitz, Liora


    (Stratum 4bII). δ18O values on OES indicate a marked shift to a moister episode in the mid-Holocene between 5.9 and 4.9 ka while pollen, phytoliths and microfauna indicate that more grassy vegetation with woodland developed ~5.5-4.4 ka (Strata 4bI-4aLH, Wilton). A trend towards more arid conditions culminated ~2.8-1.2 ka (Strata 3a-2b, the Ceramic Later Stone Age) as suggested by oxygen and carbon isotopes in OES, and is consistent with pollen and phytolith data indicating vegetation with C4 grasses. The macrofaunal data corroborate this picture, with grassland environments increasing through the Holocene as reflected in an increase in grazers; frequencies of springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), a species that suggests aridity, rises from 0% in the early Holocene, to 10% in the mid-Holocene, and further to 16% in the Late Holocene. The general arid trend has continued until a slight increase in moisture availability ~0.8 ka leading up to modern semi-arid conditions in the uppermost disturbed strata.

  1. Contrasting alluvial architecture of Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits along a 120-km transect from the central Po Plain (northern Italy)

    Campo, Bruno; Amorosi, Alessandro; Bruno, Luigi


    High-resolution investigation of a ~ 120-km-long transect along the course of the modern Po River, northern Italy, revealed marked changes in alluvial architecture across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Along the whole transect, a 20- to 30-m thick sheet-like succession of Late Pleistocene fluvial sands is invariably overlain by silt and clay deposits, with isolated fluvial bodies of Holocene age (architecture: well-drained floodplain deposits are transitional at distal locations to increasingly organic, poorly drained floodplain to swamp facies associations. Thick paludal facies extend continuously up to 60 km landward of the Holocene maximum marine ingression, about 90 km from the modern shoreline. Based on 28 radiocarbon dates, the abrupt change in lithofacies and channel stacking pattern occurred at the transition from the last glacial period to the present interglacial, under conditions of rapid sea-level rise. The architectural change from amalgamated, Late Pleistocene sand bodies to overlying, mud-dominated Holocene units represent an example of chronologically well-constrained fluvial response to combined climate and relative sea-level change. The overall aggradational stacking pattern of individual channel-belt sand bodies indicates that high subsidence rates continuously created accommodation in the Po Basin, even during phases of falling sea level and lowstand.

  2. Late Pleistocene ages for the most recent volcanism and glacial-pluvial deposits at Big Pine volcanic field, California, USA, from cosmogenic 36Cl dating

    Vazquez, Jorge A.; Woolford, Jeff M


    The Big Pine volcanic field is one of several Quaternary volcanic fields that poses a potential volcanic hazard along the tectonically active Owens Valley of east-central California, and whose lavas are interbedded with deposits from Pleistocene glaciations in the Sierra Nevada Range. Previous geochronology indicates an ∼1.2 Ma history of volcanism, but the eruption ages and distribution of volcanic products associated with the most-recent eruptions have been poorly resolved. To delimit the timing and products of the youngest volcanism, we combine field mapping and cosmogenic 36Cl dating of basaltic lava flows in the area where lavas with youthful morphology and well-preserved flow structures are concentrated. Field mapping and petrology reveal approximately 15 vents and 6 principal flow units with variable geochemical composition and mineralogy. Cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages for lava flow units from the top, middle, and bottom of the volcanic stratigraphy indicate eruptions at ∼17, 27, and 40 ka, revealing several different and previously unrecognized episodes of late Pleistocene volcanism. Olivine to plagioclase-pyroxene phyric basalt erupted from several vents during the most recent episode of volcanism at ∼17 ka, and produced a lava flow field covering ∼35 km2. The late Pleistocene 36Cl exposure ages indicate that moraine and pluvial shoreline deposits that overlie or modify the youngest Big Pine lavas reflect Tioga stage glaciation in the Sierra Nevada and the shore of paleo-Owens Lake during the last glacial cycle.

  3. The stratigraphy, depositional processes, and environment of the late Pleistocene Polallie-period deposits at Mount Hood Volcano, Oregon, USA

    Thouret, Jean-Claude


    The Polallie eruptive period of Mt. Hood, Oregon, is the last major episode of eruption and dome growth, before the late Holocene activity which was centered at Crater Rock. A volume of 4-8 km 3 of Polallie deposits forms an apron of ca. 60 km 2 on the east, northeast and southeast flanks. The Polallie deposits can be divided, stratigraphically, into four groups: Group I rockslide avalanche and pyroclastic-flow deposits; Group II debris-flow and pyroclastic-flow deposits that suggest some explosive activity and remobilization of pyroclastic debris in a glacial environment; Group III block-and-ash flow deposits that attest to summit dome growth; Group IV alternating debris-flow deposits, glacial sediments, and reworked pyroclastic-flow deposits that indicate a decrease in dome activity and an increase in erosion and transport. Group III clearly indicates frequent episodes of dome growth and collapse, whereas Groups II and IV imply increasing erosion and, conversely, decreasing volcanic activity. The Polallie period occurred in the late Pleistocene during and just after the last Alpine glaciation, which is named Evans Creek in the Cascade Range. According to four K-Ar age dates on lava flows interbedded with Polallie deposits and to published minimum 14C ages on tephra and soils overlying these deposits, the Polallie period had lasted 15,000-22,000 years between 28-34 ka and 12-13 ka. From stratigraphic subdivisions, sedimentary lithofacies and features and from the grain-size and geochemical data, we infer that the Polallie depositional record is a result of the interplay of several processes acting during a long-lasting period of dome growth and destruction. The growth of several domes near the present summit was intermittent, because each group of sediments encompasses primary (pyroclastic) and secondary (volcaniclastic and epiclastic) deposition. Direct deposition of primary material has occurred within intervals of erosion that have probably included meltwater

  4. Phylogeographic heterogeneity of the brown macroalga Sargassum horneri (Fucaceae) in the northwestern Pacific in relation to late Pleistocene glaciation and tectonic configurations.

    Hu, Zi-Min; Uwai, Shinya; Yu, Shen-Hui; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Ajisaka, Tetsuro; Duan, De-Lin


    Pleistocene glacial oscillations and associated tectonic processes are believed to have influenced the historical abundances and distribution of organisms in the Asia Northwest Pacific (ANP). Accumulating evidence indicates that factors shaping tempospatial population dynamics and distribution patterns of marine taxa vary with biogeographical latitude, pelagic behaviour and oceanographic regimes. To detect what kinds of historical and contemporary factors affected genetic connectivity, phylogeographic profiles of littoral macroalga Sargassum horneri in the ANP were analysed based on mitochondrial (Cox3) and chloroplast (rbcL) data sets. Five distinct clades were recovered. A strong signature of biogeographical structure was revealed (Φ(CT) = 0.487, P architecture in S. horneri, initially shaped by historical geographic isolation during the late Pleistocene ice age and physical biogeographical barriers, can be complicated by oceanographic regimes (ocean surface currents) and relocating behaviour such as oceanic drifting.

  5. Composition and provenance of Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial sediments of the eastern Andean piedmont between 33 and 34° S (Mendoza Province, Argentina)

    Mehl, A.; Blasi, A.; Zárate, M.


    The Andean cordillera, and its piedmont in the central western Argentina, has been long considered as one of the main source areas of detritus for the Chaco-Pampean plain sand dune fields and loess/loess-like deposits of central Argentina. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the composition of the late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial deposits of the Andes cordillera piedmont, from 33° to 34° S. The results are interpreted in the context of the regional geology, tectonic setting of the study area and its implications in the continent-wide perspective of modern alluvial sands proposed by Potter (1994). Sampling was conducted at the alluvial stratigraphic sequences of four study sites along three Andean piedmont arroyos; modal mineralogy in the very fine sand fraction (3 phi to 4 phi) was determined using standard petrographic microscope methods. Q:F:LF average compositions indicate that the Late Pleistocene-Holocene very fine-grained alluvial sands of the Cordillera Frontal piedmont reflects the modern lithic arenites of the Argentine Association reported by Potter (1994). The results show two geologically distinct sources in the catchment areas, volcaniclastic and metamorphic rocks. High concentrations of mica and volcanic glass are likely related to particle morphologies and to the deposition sedimentary environment recorded in the alluvial sequences—floodplains. The overabundance of micas over the volcanic glass in the mid-late Holocene alluvial sequence indicates the drainage of a metamorphic area at the expense of other lithological sources. Source areas are located mainly in the Frontal cordillera, and to a lesser extent, in the piedmont Tertiary deposits, another likely source for the analyzed Quaternary alluvial sediments. The mineralogical signature of the late Pleistocene and Holocene alluvial sequences is in agreement with the composition of the southern Pampean sand mantles, loess and loess-like deposits mainly formed by a volcanic mineral

  6. Climate inferences between paleontological, geochemical, and geophysical proxies in Late Pleistocene lacustrine sediments from Summer Lake, Oregon, western Great Basin

    Heaton, Eric; Thompson, Greg; Negrini, Rob; Wigand, Peter


    Paleontological, geochemical, and geophysical data from western Great Basin pluvial Summer Lake, Oregon have established a high resolution paleoclimate record during the late Pleistocene Mono Lake Excursion (~34.75 ka), Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials 6-8, and the end of Heinrich Even 4 (~38 ka). Proxies of grain-size, magnetic susceptibility, carbon/nitrogen ratio, ostracode analysis and palynology from a depocenter core show new results with improved age control regarding high amplitude, high frequency changes in lake level, lake temperature, and regional precipitation and temperature which correspond directly with colder/warmer and respectively drier/wetter climates as documented with Northern Atlantic Greenland ice core data. Results from geophysical and geochemical analysis, and the presence of ostracode Cytherissa lacustris consistently demonstrate the correspondence of low lake conditions and colder water temperatures during Dansgaard-Oeschger stadials and the Mono Lake Excursion. The opposite holds true during interstadials. Smaller grain size, increases in carbon/nitrogen ratio and consistent absence of C. lacustris suggest periods of increased discharge into the lake, increased lake level, and warmer water temperatures. Warmer/wetter climate conditions are confirmed during interstadials 7 and 8 from pollen analysis. Existence of Atriplex, Rosaceae, Chrysothamnus and Ambrosia, and pollen ratios of Juniperus/Dip Pinus and (Rosaceae+Atriplex+Poaceae+Chrysothamnus+Ambrosia)/(Pinus+Picea+T. mertensiana+Sarcobatus) suggest warmer/wetter semi-arid woodland conditions during interstadials 7 and 8. This contrasts with absences in these pollens and pollen ratios indicating colder/drier continental montane woodland conditions during stadials and the Mono Lake Excursion. Increases in Juniper/Dip Pinus ratio suggest a warmer/wetter climate during interstadial 6 however additional proxies do not demonstrate comparative warmer/wetter climate, deeper lake level or

  7. Investigating the Relationship of Late Pleistocene Terrace Formation and Channel Dynamics within the Texas Gulf Coastal Plain

    Ellis, T.; Hassenruck-Gudipati, H. J.; Mohrig, D. C.; Goudge, T. A.


    Terrace formation along coastal rivers is often assumed to be a direct result of punctuated sea-level fall. However, it has been experimentally shown that terraces commonly form under conditions of constant base level fall. In addition, it has been demonstrated that migrating channels in a bedrock system with steady state rock uplift can produce similar looking terraces. The lower Trinity River, in East Texas, is an ideal location to study allogenic (punctuated external forcing) versus autogenic terrace-building mechanisms using lidar measurements and OSL depositional age constraints (Gavin, 2005). To understand paleochannel influence on terrace construction, we measured channel characteristics for 27 preserved segments of paleochannels that are late Pleistocene in age and associated with 27 of 34 measured terraces along about 90 km of the modern river. There is no clear clustering of terrace elevation that might be tied to distinct sea level change events. Rather, the range of mean terrace elevations is indicative of a more constant system transformation. Based on lidar measurements, all paleochannels are larger than the modern channel, suggesting a wetter climate or larger watershed. Channel width measurements are used to quantify these changes in paleoflow discharge. Paleochannel width, radius of curvature and terrace slope measurements are used to characterize the movement of an incising channel. Based upon OSL terrace dates (Gavin, 2005), known global climate variations can be compared to discharge estimates and investigated as a predictor of terrace formation. If terrace formation occurred during distinct intervals of sea level fall, terraces with similar calculated paleoflow discharges are expected to plot along specific downstream elevation profiles. Assuming avulsion-driven terrace formation occurs at locations of higher channel sinuosity, the sinuosity of paleochannels on terraces is compared to the sinuosity of the modern river. Higher paleo

  8. Bathymetry of Lake Lisan controls late Pleistocene and Holocene stream incision in response to base level fall

    Davis, Michael; Matmon, Ari; Zilberman, Ezra; Porat, Naomi; Gluck, Daniel; Enzel, Yehouda


    This paper examines the millennial-scale evolution of the longitude profile of Nahal (Wadi) Zin in the Dead Sea basin in the northern Arava valley, Israel. Nahal Zin has incised ~ 50 m into relatively soft late Pleistocene Lake Lisan sediments. Incision was forced by the regressive (> 10 km) lake level fall of a total of > 200 m of Lake Lisan from its highest stand at ~ 25 ka and exposure of the lake-floor sediments to fluvial and coastal processes. Alluvial cut terraces of the incising channel are well preserved along the 17.5 km of the lowermost reach of Nahal Zin. At its outlet into the Dead Sea basin, Nahal Zin deposited a Holocene alluvial fan at the base of a 10-80 m high escarpment in unconsolidated sediments. The escarpment is associated with the Amazyahu fault, which forms the southern structural boundary of the present Dead Sea basin. Geomorphic mapping, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages, and soil stratigraphy allowed correlation of terrace remnants and reconstruction of several past longitudinal profiles of Nahal Zin and its incision history. Together with the published lake level chronology, these data provide an opportunity to examine stream incision related to base level lowering at a millennial scale. OSL ages of the terraces fit relatively well with the established lake level chronology and follow its regression and fall. For a few thousands of years the longitudinal profile response to the lake level fall was downstream lengthening onto the exposed former lake bed. Most of the incision (~ 40 m) occurred later, when the lake level reached the top of the Amazyahu fault escarpment and continued to drop. The incision was a relatively short episode at about 17 ka and cut through this escarpment almost to its base. The fast incision, its timing, and the profiles of the incising channels indicate that the escarpment was an underwater feature and was not formed after the lake retreated. This fairly simple scenario of regressive lake level fall

  9. Reconstructed glacier geometry and inferred Equilibrium Line Altitude changes during the Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians

    Madarász, Balázs; Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Zsófia; Kern, Zoltán; Urdea, Petru


    Quaternary glaciations had a major imprint on the landscape and topography of the Southern Carpathians. Their transitional position between continental and Mediterranean climate zones arouses special interest concerning the timing and pattern of glaciations in this area. Probably the Retezat Mts hosted the most extended glaciation during the Late Pleistocene within this range. The peak elevations of the study area reach 2500 m asl, and the most extended glaciers descended to 1040 m in the northern and to 1130 m on the southern valleys. Major cirque floors are typically situated at 2000-2100 m asl. Glacial landforms have been mapped in order to reconstruct the past ice bodies and the elevation shifts of the paleo equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) during several deglaciation phases of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Lateglacial in the Retezat Mts. On the basis of published 10Be exposure age data on the northern valleys of the study area, deglaciation of the Retezat Mts occurred at least in five phases between ~21.0 ka and 13.5 ka [1]. Various methods (THAR, AAR, AABR) have been tested using a GIS tool to estimate the ELA of the reconstructed paleoglaciers [2] and paleo ELAs were calculated for each of the deglaciation phases. Preliminary estimates of regional LGM paleoELA employing the simplest THAR method (with a ratio of 0.5) ranged from ~1670 m during the LGM to ~2210 m for the smallest cirque glacier at 13.5 ka, respectively. The AAR and AABR methods provide somewhat higher ELAs for each phase. The obtained paleoELAs were compared to ELA reconstructions available from other Carpathian ranges and also to the Alps and Dinarides. Our data will contribute to a more accurate ELA distribution during the LGM, which may be indicative of the past state of the climate system (moisture gradient, circulation regimes). Thanks to OTKA PD83610, PD104899; NKM-96/2014, NKM-31/2015; OMAA 90öu17; LP2012-27/2012. References: [1] Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger et al. 2016 Quat. Int. (in

  10. A linear dune dam - a unique late Pleistocene aeolian-fluvial archive bordering the northwestern Negev Desert dunefield, Israel

    Roskin, Joel; Bookman, Revital; Friesem, David; Vardi, Jacob


    Interactions between aeolian and fluvial processes, known as aeolian-fluvial (A-F) interactions, play a fundamental role in shaping the surface of the Earth especially in arid zones. The blocking of wadis by dunes (dune-damming) is an A-F interaction that is perceived to be an archive of periods of aeolian 'superiority' on fluvial transport power and has had a strong impact on arid landscapes and prehistoric man since the late Quaternary. The southern fringes of the northwestern Negev dunefield are lined with discontinuous surfaces of light-colored, playa-like, low-energy, fine-grained fluvial deposits (LFFDs). Abundant Epipalaeolithic camp sites mainly border the LFFDs. The LFFDs are understood to be reworked loess-like sediment deposited in short-lived shallow water bodies during the late Pleistocene. These developed adjacently upstream of hypothesized dune dams of wadis that drain the Negev highlands. However, no dune dam structures by the LFFDs have been explicitly identified or analyzed. This paper presents for the first time the morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology of a hypothesized dune dam. The studied linear-like dune dam structure extends west-east for several hundred meters, has an asymmetric cross-section and is comprised of two segments. In the west, the structure is 3-5 m high, 80 m wide, with a steep southern slope, and is covered by pebbles. Here, its morphology and orientation resembles the prevailing vegetated linear dunes (VLDs) of the adjacent dunefield though its slope angles differ from VLDs. To the south of the structure extends a thick LFFD sequence. In the east the structure flattens and is covered by nebkhas with its southern edge overlapped by LFFD units. The structures' stratigraphy is found to be comprised of a thick LFFD base, overlaid by aeolian and fluvially reworked sand, a thin middle LFFD unit, and a crest comprised of LFFDs, fluvial sand and pebbles. Carbonate contents and particle size distributions of the sediments easily

  11. The late Pleistocene environment of the Eastern West Beringia based on the principal section at the Main River, Chukotka

    Kuzmina, Svetlana A.; Sher, Andrei V.; Edwards, Mary E.


    Chukotka is a key region for understanding both Quaternary environmental history and transcontinental migrations of flora and fauna during the Pleistocene as it lies at the far eastern edge of Asia bordering the Bering Sea. The now submerged land bridge is the least understood region of Beringia ...

  12. Relationship between Late Pleistocene sea-level variations, carbonate platform morphology and aragonite production (Maldives, Indian Ocean)

    Paul, A.; Reijmer, J.J.G.; Fürstenau, J.


    that sediments on the Maldives carbonate platform contain a continuous record of Pleistocene sea-level variations. These sediments may, therefore, contribute to a better understanding of regional and even global sea-level changes, and yield new insights into the interplay between ocean currents and carbonate...

  13. Late Pleistocene and Holocene-Age Columbia River Sediments and Bedforms: Hanford Reach Area, Washington - Part 2

    K.R. Fecht, T.E. Marceau


    This report presents the results of a geologic study conducted on the lower slopes of the Columbia River Valley in south-central Washington. The study was designed to investigate glaciofluvial and fluvial sediments and bedforms that are present in the river valley and formed subsequent to Pleistocene large-scale cataclysmic flooding of the region.

  14. Contribution of changes in opal productivity and nutrient distribution in the coastal upwelling systems to late Pliocene/early Pleistocene climate cooling

    J. Etourneau


    Full Text Available The global late Pliocene/early Pleistocene cooling (~3.0–2.0 million years ago, Ma concurred with extremely high diatom and biogenic opal production in most of the major coastal upwelling regions. This phenomenon was particularly pronounced in the Benguela Upwelling System (BUS, off Namibia, where it is known as the Matuyama Diatom Maximum (MDM. Our study focuses on a new diatom silicon isotope (δ30Si record covering the MDM in the BUS. Unexpectedly, the variations in δ30Si signal follow biogenic opal content, whereby the highest δ30Si values correspond to the highest biogenic opal content. We interpret the higher δ30Si values during the MDM as a result of a stronger degree of silicate utilization in the surface waters caused by high productivity of mat-forming diatom species. This was most likely promoted by weak upwelling intensity dominating the BUS during the Plio/Pleistocene cooling combined with a large silicate supply derived from a strong Southern Ocean nutrient leakage responding to the expansion of Antarctic ice cover and the resulting stratification of the polar ocean 3.0–2.7 Ma ago. A similar scenario is hypothesized for other major coastal upwelling systems (e.g. off California during this time interval, suggesting that the efficiency of the biological carbon pump was probably sufficiently enhanced in these regions during the MDM to have significantly increased the transport of atmospheric CO2 to the deep ocean. In addition, the coeval extension of the area of surface water stratification in both the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific, which decreased CO2 release to the atmosphere, led to further enhanced atmospheric CO2 drawn-down and thus contributed significantly to late Pliocene/early Pleistocene cooling.

  15. Investigation of late Pleistocene and Holocene activity in the San Gregorio fault zone on the continental slope north of Monterey Canyon, offshore central California

    Maier, Katherine L.; Paull, Charles K.; Brothers, Daniel; Caress, David W.; McGann, Mary; Lundsten, Eve M.; Anderson, Krystle; Gwiazda, Roberto


    We provide an extensive high‐resolution geophysical, sediment core, and radiocarbon dataset to address late Pleistocene and Holocene fault activity of the San Gregorio fault zone (SGFZ), offshore central California. The SGFZ occurs primarily offshore in the San Andreas fault system and has been accommodating dextral strike‐slip motion between the Pacific and North American plates since the mid‐Miocene. Our study focuses on the SGFZ where it has been mapped through the continental slope north of Monterey Canyon. From 2009 to 2015, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute collected high‐resolution multibeam bathymetry and chirp sub‐bottom profiles using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Targeted samples were collected using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to provide radiocarbon age constraints. We integrate the high‐resolution geophysical data with radiocarbon dates to reveal Pleistocene seismic horizons vertically offset less than 5 m on nearly vertical faults. These faults are buried by continuous reflections deposited after ∼17.5  ka and likely following erosion during the last sea‐level lowstand ∼21  ka, bracketing the age of faulting to ∼32–21  ka. Clearly faulted horizons are only detected in a small area where mass wasting exhumed older strata to within ∼25  m of the seafloor. The lack of clearly faulted Holocene deposits and possible highly distributed faulting in the study area are consistent with previous interpretations that late Pleistocene and Holocene activity along the SGFZ may decrease to the south. This study illustrates the complexity of the SGFZ, offshore central California, and demonstrates the utility of very high‐resolution data from combined AUV (geophysical)–ROV (seabed sampling) surveys in offshore studies of fault activity.

  16. Late Miocene-Pleistocene evolution of a Rio Grande rift subbasin, Sunshine Valley-Costilla Plain, San Luis Basin, New Mexico and Colorado

    Ruleman, C.A.; Thompson, R.A.; Shroba, R.R.; Anderson, M.; Drenth, B.J.; Rotzien, J.; Lyon, J.


    The Sunshine Valley–Costilla Plain, a structural subbasin of the greater San Luis Basin of the northern Rio Grande rift, is bounded to the north and south by the San Luis Hills and the Red River fault zone, respectively. Surficial mapping, neotectonic investigations, geochronology, and geophysics demonstrate that the structural, volcanic, and geomorphic evolution of the basin involves the intermingling of climatic cycles and spatially and temporally varying tectonic activity of the Rio Grande rift system. Tectonic activity has transferred between range-bounding and intrabasin faults creating relict landforms of higher tectonic-activity rates along the mountain-piedmont junction. Pliocene–Pleistocene average long-term slip rates along the southern Sangre de Cristo fault zone range between 0.1 and 0.2 mm/year with late Pleistocene slip rates approximately half (0.06 mm/year) of the longer Quaternary slip rate. During the late Pleistocene, climatic influences have been dominant over tectonic influences on mountain-front geomorphic processes. Geomorphic evidence suggests that this once-closed subbasin was integrated into the Rio Grande prior to the integration of the once-closed northern San Luis Basin, north of the San Luis Hills, Colorado; however, deep canyon incision, north of the Red River and south of the San Luis Hills, initiated relatively coeval to the integration of the northern San Luis Basin. Long-term projections of slip rates applied to a 1.6 km basin depth defined from geophysical modeling suggests that rifting initiated within this subbasin between 20 and 10 Ma. Geologic mapping and geophysical interpretations reveal a complex network of northwest-, northeast-, and north-south–trending faults. Northwest- and northeast-trending faults show dual polarity and are crosscut by north-south– trending faults. This structural model possibly provides an analog for how some intracontinental rift structures evolve through time.

  17. Contemporaneous trace and body fossils from a late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, allow assessment of bias in the fossil record.

    Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul


    The co-occurrence of vertebrate trace and body fossils within a single geological formation is rare and the probability of these parallel records being contemporaneous (i.e. on or near the same bedding plane) is extremely low. We report here a late Pleistocene locality from the Victorian Volcanic Plains in south-eastern Australia in which demonstrably contemporaneous, but independently accumulated vertebrate trace and body fossils occur. Bite marks from a variety of taxa are also present on the bones. This site provides a unique opportunity to examine the biases of these divergent fossil records (skeletal, footprints and bite marks) that sampled a single fauna. The skeletal record produced the most complete fauna, with the footprint record indicating a markedly different faunal composition with less diversity and the feeding traces suggesting the presence, amongst others, of a predator not represented by either the skeletal or footprint records. We found that the large extinct marsupial predator Thylacoleo was the only taxon apparently represented by all three records, suggesting that the behavioral characteristics of large carnivores may increase the likelihood of their presence being detected within a fossil fauna. In contrast, Diprotodon (the largest-ever marsupial) was represented only by trace fossils at this site and was absent from the site's skeletal record, despite its being a common and easily detected presence in late Pleistocene skeletal fossil faunas elsewhere in Australia. Small mammals absent from the footprint record for the site were represented by skeletal fossils and bite marks on bones.

  18. Diet and habitat landscape of Equus sp. and Mammuthus columbi for the Late Pleistocene deposit at El Cedral, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

    Perez-Crespo, V. A.; Bennami, M.; Sanchez-Chillon, B.; Alberdi, M. T.; Santos-Moreno, A.


    The diet and habitat landscape for fossil specimens pertaining to Late Pleistocene horse Equus sp., and mammoth Mammuthus columbi from the deposit at Rancho La Amapola, El Cedral, San Luís Potosí, México were assayed with basis on stable isotopes analysis the carbon and oxygen found in dental enamel apatite. For horses the Δ 13C values showed from C3/C4 a basic C4-plants diet ranging into a C3/C4 mixer feeder, while mammoth showed values as a C3/C4 mixer feeder, but preferring C4 plants; there was not significant differences among the average values for both groups, with -3.5 ‰ for horses and -3.8 ‰ for mammoth. Mexican data was compared with those for the same genera from US localities, including the states of Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, allowing confirmation of the inference that El Cedral species were mainly grazers, but with some C3 plants being consumed; furthermore, comparisons of El Cedral specimens, using both carbon and oxygen isotopes, with Floridan C3-plant sites showed El Cedral specimens could be defined as mixer feeders in open habitats, preferring such opn areas like grassland or savanna. Our results are in agreement with the species dental morphology, as well as with the pollen record for the same site, which showed the existence of grassland that could have extended during the Late Pleistocene from southern Canada to central Mé xico

  19. Size variation in early human mandibles and molars from Klasies River, South Africa: comparison with other middle and late Pleistocene assemblages and with modern humans.

    Royer, Danielle F; Lockwood, Charles A; Scott, Jeremiah E; Grine, Frederick E


    Previous studies of the Middle Stone Age human remains from Klasies River have concluded that they exhibited more sexual dimorphism than extant populations, but these claims have not been assessed statistically. We evaluate these claims by comparing size variation in the best-represented elements at the site, namely the mandibular corpora and M(2)s, to that in samples from three recent human populations using resampling methods. We also examine size variation in these same elements from seven additional middle and late Pleistocene sites: Skhūl, Dolní Vestonice, Sima de los Huesos, Arago, Krapina, Shanidar, and Vindija. Our results demonstrate that size variation in the Klasies assemblage was greater than in recent humans, consistent with arguments that the Klasies people were more dimorphic than living humans. Variation in the Skhūl, Dolní Vestonice, and Sima de los Huesos mandibular samples is also higher than in the recent human samples, indicating that the Klasies sample was not unusual among middle and late Pleistocene hominins. In contrast, the Neandertal samples (Krapina, Shanidar, and Vindija) do not evince relatively high mandibular and molar variation, which may indicate that the level of dimorphism in Neandertals was similar to that observed in extant humans. These results suggest that the reduced levels of dimorphism in Neandertals and living humans may have developed independently, though larger fossil samples are needed to test this hypothesis.

  20. Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic context during the Upper Palaeolithic (late Upper Pleistocene) in the Italian Peninsula. The small mammal record from Grotta Paglicci (Rignano Garganico, Foggia, Southern Italy)

    Berto, Claudio; Boscato, Paolo; Boschin, Francesco; Luzi, Elisa; Ronchitelli, Annamaria


    Changes in large mammal population and biotic regionalism of the Italian Peninsula during Upper Pleistocene have been well documented over the last twenty years. On the other hand, only few studies have focused on the changes in small mammal fossil assemblages. Grotta Paglicci is a key archaeological site for Italian prehistory. It is well dated and it shows an uninterrupted chronological sequence of Upper Palaeolithic lithic industries, ranging from the Aurignacian to the Late Epigravettian. Small mammal remains from the Upper Palaeolithic layers of this cave have been identified and the assemblage has been analysed through the application of Simpson diversity index, Habitat Weighting and Bioclimatic model methods. The results show remarkable differences through the record: major climatic changes (GS2 is particularly well defined) are visible and a clear turning point is observable at the Bølling-Allerød interstadial transition. This is in line with environmental and climatic oscillations already detected in the Italian Peninsula. These data also suggest that a strong regionalism characterized the south-eastern Italian Peninsula during the Late Pleistocene.

  1. Late Pleistocene eruptive history of the Mono Craters rhyolites, eastern California, from U-Th dating of explosive and effusive products

    Marcaida, M.; Vazquez, J. A.; Calvert, A. T.; Miller, J. S.


    During late Pleistocene-Holocene time, repeated explosive and effusive eruptions of high-silica rhyolite magma south of Mono Lake, California, have produced a chain of massive domes known as the Mono Craters and a time-series of tephra deposits preserved in sediments of the Wilson Creek formation of ancestral Mono Lake. The record of late Holocene volcanism at Mono Craters is relatively well constrained by tephrostratigraphy and 14C dating, and the timing of late Pleistocene eruptions is similarly well constrained by tephrochronology and magnetostratigraphy of the Wilson Creek formation. However, the chronology of eruptions for the Mono Craters chain, comprising at least 28 individual domes, has thus far been based on age estimates from hydration rind dating of obsidian that is highly dependent on local calibration. We constrain the timing of late Pleistocene dome emplacement by linking independently dated Wilson Creek tephras to their dome equivalents in the Mono Craters using combined titanomagnetite geochemistry and U-Th geochronology. Ion microprobe 238U-230Th dating of unpolished allanite and zircon rims gives isochron dates of ca. 42 ka, ca. 38 ka, ca. 26 ka, and ca. 20 ka for domes 19, 24, 31 (newly recognized), and 11 of the Mono Craters, respectively. These domes are biotite-bearing rhyolites with titanomagnetites that are compositionally identical to those from several Wilson Creek tephras. Specifically, we correlate Ash 15, Ash 7, and Ash 3 of the Wilson Creek formation to domes 19, 31, and 11 of the Mono Craters, respectively, based on matching titanomagnetite compositions and indistinguishable U-Th ages. 40Ar/39Ar dating of single sanidines from domes 19 and 31 yield mean dates that are 10 k.y. older than their corresponding U-Th dates, likely due to excess argon from melt inclusions and/or incompletely re-equilibrated antecrysts. Based on our new U-Th isochron date of ca. 34 ka for allanite-zircon from Ash 8 pumice and the ca. 26-27 ka age of Ash 7

  2. The Bonneville Estates Rockshelter rodent fauna and changes in Late Pleistocene-Middle Holocene climates and biogeography in the Northern Bonneville Basin, USA

    Schmitt, Dave N.; Lupo, Karen D.


    Excavations at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter, Nevada recovered rodent remains from stratified deposits spanning the past ca. 12,500 14C yr BP (14,800 cal yr BP). Specimens from horizons dating to the late Pleistocene and early Holocene include species adapted to montane and moist and cool habitats, including yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) and bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea). Shortly after 9000 14C BP (10,200 cal yr BP) these mammals became locally extinct, or nearly so, taxonomic diversity declined, and the region became dominated by desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida) and other species well-adapted to xeric, low-elevation settings. The timing and nature of changes in the Bonneville Estates rodent fauna are similar to records reported from nearby Homestead and Camels Back caves and provide corroborative data on terminal Pleistocene-early Holocene environments and mammalian responses to middle Holocene desertification. Moreover, the presence of northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) at Bonneville Estates adds to a sparse regional record for that species and, similar to Homestead Cave, it appears that the ca. 9500 14C yr BP (10,800 cal yr BP) replacement of the northern pocket gopher by Botta's pocket gopher in the Great Salt Lake Desert vicinity was also in response to climate change.

  3. Fossil Orangutan-like hominoid teeth from Late Pleistocene human site of Mulanshan cave in Chongzuo of Guangxi and implications on taxonomy and evolution of orangutan

    ZHAO LingXia; WANG CuiBin; JIN ChangZhu; QIN DaGong; PAN WenShi


    Fossil records indicate orangutan-like hominoids have been widely distributed in south China during Pleistocene,although currently only surviving in the tropical forests of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia.This paper describes the recently discovered hominoid fossil teeth from human site of Mulanshan cave in Chongzuo of Guangxi,whose geological age is the Late Pleistocene,about 11000 yeas age based on associated mammal fauna and U-series dating.Compared with those of modern and subfossil orangutans from Indonesia,other fossil great apes from China,the hominoid teeth from Mulanshan cave are orangutan-like,but show somehow different from Indonesia's orangutans,the average sizes of cheek teeth larger and occlusal enamel wrinkles less and simpler.They are classified temporarily as the subspecies of Pongo pygmaeus weidenreichi.Concerning the variations of morphological features and dental sizes of orangutan-like teeth from southern China and neighboring northern Vietnam,different subspecies or species or genus possibly,but the key evidence is necessary to be identified.

  4. Late Pleistocene and Holocene tephrostratigraphy of interior Alaska and Yukon: Key beds and chronologies over the past 30,000 years

    Davies, Lauren J.; Jensen, Britta J. L.; Froese, Duane G.; Wallace, Kristi L.


    The Aleutian Arc-Alaska Peninsula and Wrangell volcanic field are the main source areas for tephra deposits found across Alaska and northern Canada, and increasingly, tephra from these eruptions have been found further afield in North America, Greenland, and Europe. However, there have been no broad scale reviews of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene tephrostratigraphy for this region since the 1980s, and this lack of data is hindering progress in identifying these tephra both locally and regionally. To address this gap and the variable quality of associated geochemical and chronological data, we undertake a detailed review of the latest Pleistocene to Holocene tephra found in interior Alaska and Yukon. This paper discusses nineteen tephra that have distributions beyond southwest Alaska and that have the potential to become, or already are, important regional markers. This includes three 'modern' events from the 20th century, ten with limited data availability but potentially broad distributions, and six that are widely reported in interior Alaska and Yukon. Each tephra is assessed in terms of chronology, geochemistry and distribution, with new Bayesian age estimates and geochemical data when possible. This includes new major-element geochemical data for Crater Peak 1992, Redoubt 1989-90, and two andesitic tephra from St Michael Island (Tephra D), as well as revised age estimates for Dawson tephra, Oshetna, Hayes set H, Aniakchak CFE II, and the White River Ashes, northern and eastern lobes.

  5. The origin and disappearance of the late Pleistocene-early Holocene short-lived coastal wetlands along the Carmel coast, Israel

    Sivan, Dorit; Greenbaum, Noam; Cohen-Seffer, Ronit; Sisma-Ventura, Guy; Almogi-Labin, Ahuva

    The formation of short-lived backswamps along the Carmel coast of Israel coincides with the rapid global sea-level rise during the late Pleistocene-early Holocene transition. The current study shows that the wetland phenomena originated around 10,000 yr ago and dried up shortly before the local Pre-Pottery Neolithic humans settled on the wetland dark clay sediments 9430 cal yr BP. Palaeontological and stable-isotope data were used in this study to elucidate previously published sedimentological reconstruction obtained from a core drilled into the western trough of the Carmel coastal plain. The water body contained typical brackish calcareous fauna, with variable numerical abundance and low species richness of ostracods and foraminifera. The δ 18O and δ 13C of the ostracod Cyprideis torosa show close similarity to the present Pleistocene coastal aquifer isotopic values. This study therefore concludes that the wetlands were shallow-water bodies fed by groundwater, with no evidence of sea-water mixing. It seems that they developed as the result of high groundwater levels, transportation of sediments landward, and deposition of sand bars at the paleo-river mouths. It is still not fully understood why these wetlands deteriorated abruptly and disappeared within less than 1000 yr.




    Full Text Available New fossil vertebrates from the most representative Upper Pleistocene section (Tyrrhenian, MIS 5e of the outcrop of San Giovanni di Sinis (Oristano, Sardinia are here reported and described. The fossils, although scarce and fragmentary, document the occurrence of a terrapin (Mauremys sp. and the endemic Sardinian deer (Praemegaceros cazioti. Significant is the occurrence of the terrapin because it is the youngest representative of the genus in the central Mediterranean area where it is extinct at present. The Late Pleistocene extinction of Mauremys in Italy follows the same pattern of other Mediterranean reptiles, in being in some cases delayed on the islands. A comparison of the modern range of Mauremys and that of the pond turtle, Emys, as well as of their past ranges as evidenced by the fossil record, might suggest that some sort of thermophily (at least during pre-hatching stages characterized the former taxon and is responsible for its past and present distribution. SHORT NOTE

  7. Paleoecological and archaeological implications of a late Pleistocene/Early holocene record of vegetation and climate from the pacific coastal plain of panama

    Piperno, Dolores R.; Jones, John G.


    A phytolith record from Monte Oscuro, a crater lake located 10 m above sea level on the Pacific coastal plain of Panama, shows that during the Late Pleistocene the lake bed was dry and savanna-like vegetation expanded at the expense of tropical deciduous forest, the modern potential vegetation. A significant reduction of precipitation below current levels was almost certainly required to effect the changes observed. Core sediment characteristics indicate that permanent inundation of the Monte Oscuro basin with water occurred at about 10,500 14C yr B.P. Pollen and phytolith records show that deciduous tropical forest expanded into the lake's watershed during the early Holocene. Significant burning of the vegetation and increases of weedy plants at ca. 7500 to 7000 14C yr B.P. indicate disturbance, which most likely resulted from early human occupation of the seasonal tropical forest near Monte Oscuro and the development of slash-and-burn methods of cultivation.

  8. A Unique Assemblage of Engraved Plaquettes from Ein Qashish South, Jezreel Valley, Israel: Figurative and Non-Figurative Symbols of Late Pleistocene Hunters-Gatherers in the Levant

    Yaroshevich, Alla; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Boaretto, Elisabeta; Caracuta, Valentina; Greenbaum, Noam; Porat, Naomi; Roskin, Joel


    Three engraved limestone plaquettes from the recently excavated Epipaleolithic open-air site Ein Qashish South in the Jezreel Valley, Israel comprise unique evidence for symbolic behavior of Late Pleistocene foragers in the Levant. The engravings, uncovered in Kebaran and Geometric Kebaran deposits (ca. 23ka and ca. 16.5ka BP), include the image of a bird—the first figurative representation known so far from a pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic—along with geometric motifs such as chevrons, crosshatchings and ladders. Some of the engravings closely resemble roughly contemporary European finds interpreted as "systems of notations" or "artificial memory systems"–records related to timing of seasonal resources and associated aggregation events of nomadic groups. Moreover, similarly looking signs and patterns are well known from the context of the local Natufian—a final Epipaleolithic culture of sedentary or semi-sedentary foragers who started practicing agriculture. The investigation of the engravings found in Ein Qashish South involves conceptualizations developed in studies of European and local parallels, a selection of ethnographic examples and preliminary microscopic observations of the plaquettes. This shows that the figurative and non-figurative images comprise a coherent assemblage of symbols that might have been applied in order to store, share and transmit information related to social and subsistence realms of mobile bands. It further suggests that the site functioned as a locality of groups' aggregation and indicates social complexity of pre-Natufian foragers in the Levant. While alterations in social and subsistence strategies can explain the varying frequency of image use characterizing different areas of the Late Pleistocene world—the apparent similarity in graphics and the mode of their application support the possibility that symbol-mediated behavior has a common and much earlier origin. PMID:27557110

  9. Leafcutter bee nests and pupae from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits of Southern California: implications for understanding the paleoenvironment of the Late Pleistocene.

    Anna R Holden

    Full Text Available The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is the world's richest and most important Late Pleistocene fossil locality and best renowned for numerous fossil mammals and birds excavated over the past century. Less researched are insects, even though these specimens frequently serve as the most valuable paleoenvironemental indicators due to their narrow climate restrictions and life cycles. Our goal was to examine fossil material that included insect-plant associations, and thus an even higher potential for significant paleoenviromental data. Micro-CT scans of two exceptionally preserved leafcutter bee nest cells from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California reveal intact pupae dated between ∼23,000-40,000 radiocarbon years BP. Here identified as best matched to Megachile (Litomegachile gentilis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae based on environmental niche models as well as morphometrics, the nest cells (LACMRLP 388E document rare preservation and life-stage. The result of complex plant-insect interactions, they offer new insights into the environment of the Late Pleistocene in southern California. The remarkable preservation of the nest cells suggests they were assembled and nested in the ground where they were excavated. The four different types of dicotyledonous leaves used to construct the cells were likely collected in close proximity to the nest and infer a wooded or riparian habitat with sufficient pollen sources for larval provisions. LACMRLP 388E is the first record of fossil Megachile Latreille cells with pupae. Consequently, it provides a pre-modern age location for a Nearctic group, whose phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history remain poorly understood. Megachile gentilis appears to respond to climate change as it has expanded its distribution across elevation gradients over time as estimated by habitat suitability comparisons between low and high elevations; it currently inhabits mesic habitats which occurred at a lower

  10. Late pleistocene aggradation and degradation of the lower colorado river: Perspectives from the Cottonwood area and other reconnaissance below Boulder Canyon

    Lundstrom, S.C.; Mahan, S.A.; Paces, J.B.; Hudson, M.R.; House, P.K.; Malmon, D.V.; Blair, J.L.; Howard, K.A.


    Where the lower Colorado River traverses the Basin and Range Province below the Grand Canyon, significant late Pleistocene aggradation and subsequent degrada tion of the river are indicated by luminescence, paleomagnetic, and U-series data and stratigraphy. Aggradational, finely bedded reddish mud, clay, and silt are underlain and overlain by cross-bedded to plane-bedded fine sand and silt. That sequence is commonly disconformably overlain by up to 15 m of coarse sand, rounded exotic gravel, and angular, locally derived gravel. Luminescence dates on the fine sediments range from ca. 40 ka to 70 ka, considering collective uncertainties. A section of fine grained sediments over a vertical range of 15 m shows normal polarity magnetization and little apparent secular variation beyond dispersion that can be explained by com paction. Aggradation on large local tributaries such as Las Vegas Wash appears to have been coeval with that of the Colorado River. The upper limits of erosional rem nants of the sequence define a steeper grade above the historical river, and these late Pleistocene deposits are greater than 100 m above the modern river north of 35??N. Ter race gravels inset below the upper limit of the aggradational sequence yield 230Th dates that range from ca. 32 ka to 60 ka and indicate that degradation of the river system in this area closely followed aggradation. The thick sequence of rhythmically bedded mud and silt possibly indicates set tings that were ponded laterally between valley slopes and levees of the aggrading river. Potential driving mechanisms for such aggradation and degradation include sediment-yield response to climate change, drought, fire, vegetation-ecosystem dynam ics, glaciation, paleofloods, groundwater discharge, and building and destruction of natural dams produced by volcanism and landslides. ?? 2008 The Geological Society of America.

  11. The Palos Verdes Fault offshore southern California: late Pleistocene to present tectonic geomorphology, seascape evolution and slip rate estimate based on AUV and ROV surveys

    Brothers, Daniel S.; Conrad, James E.; Maier, Katherine L.; Paull, Charles K.; McGann, Mary L.; Caress, David W.


    The Palos Verdes Fault (PVF) is one of few active faults in Southern California that crosses the shoreline and can be studied using both terrestrial and subaqueous methodologies. To characterize the near-seafloor fault morphology, tectonic influences on continental slope sedimentary processes and late Pleistocene to present slip rate, a grid of high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data, and chirp subbottom profiles were acquired with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) along the main trace of PVF in water depths between 250 and 600 m. Radiocarbon dates were obtained from vibracores collected using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and ship-based gravity cores. The PVF is expressed as a well-defined seafloor lineation marked by subtle along-strike bends. Right-stepping transtensional bends exert first-order control on sediment flow dynamics and the spatial distribution of Holocene depocenters; deformed strata within a small pull-apart basin record punctuated growth faulting associated with at least three Holocene surface ruptures. An upper (shallower) landslide scarp, a buried sedimentary mound, and a deeper scarp have been right-laterally offset across the PVF by 55 ± 5, 52 ± 4 , and 39 ± 8 m, respectively. The ages of the upper scarp and buried mound are approximately 31 ka; the age of the deeper scarp is bracketed to 17–24 ka. These three piercing points bracket the late Pleistocene to present slip rate to 1.3–2.8 mm/yr and provide a best estimate of 1.6–1.9 mm/yr. The deformation observed along the PVF is characteristic of strike-slip faulting and accounts for 20–30% of the total right-lateral slip budget accommodated offshore Southern California.

  12. Two Late Pleistocene climate-driven incision/aggradation rhythms in the middle Dnieper River basin, west-central Russian Plain

    Panin, Andrei; Adamiec, Grzegorz; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter


    was applied and _30 new numerical ages (OSL and 14C dates) were obtained to establish a chronology of incision and aggradation events that resulted in the current valley morphology. Two full incision/aggradation rhythms and one additional aggradation phase from the previous rhythm were recognized in the Late...... Pleistocene - Holocene climate cycle. The following events were detected. (1) Late MIS 5 - early MIS 4: aggradation of Terrace T1 following the deep incision at the end of MIS 6. (2) Late MIS 4 (40-30 ka): incision into Terrace T1 below the present-day river, formation of the main scarp in the bottom...... of the valley between Terrace T1 and Terrace T0/Floodplain levels. (3) MIS 2: aggradation of Terrace T0, lateral migrations of a shallow braided channel located few meters above the present-day river since ∼25 ka through the LGM. (4) 18-13 ka: incision into Terrace T0 below the modern river. Multiple...

  13. Late Pliocene and early Pleistocene environments of the north-eastern Russian Arctic inferred from the Lake El'gygytgyn pollen record

    A. A. Andreev


    Full Text Available The 318 m thick lacustrine sediment record in Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russian Arctic cored by the international El'gygytgyn Drilling Project provides unique opportunities allowing the time-continuous reconstruction of the regional paleoenvironmental history for the past 3.6 Myr. Pollen studies of the lower 216 m of the lacustrine sediments show their value as an excellent archive of vegetation and climate changes during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. About 3.50–3.35 Myr BP the vegetation at Lake El'gygytgyn, in nowadays tundra area, was dominated by spruce-larch-fir-hemlock forests. After ca. 3.4 Myr BP dark coniferous taxa gradually disappeared. A very pronounced environmental changes took place at ca. 3.305–3.275 Myr BP, corresponding with the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS M2, when treeless tundra- and steppe-like habitats became dominant in the regional vegetation. Climate conditions were similar to those of Late Pleistocene cold intervals. Numerous coprophilous fungi spores identified in the pollen samples suggest the presence of grazing animals around the lake. Following the MIS M2 event, larch-pine forests with some spruce mostly dominated in the area until ca. 2.6 Myr BP, interrupted by colder and drier intervals ca. 3.04–3.02, 2.93–2.91, and 2.725–2.695 Myr BP. At the beginning of the Pleistocene, ca. 2.6 Myr BP, noticeable climatic deterioration occurred. Forested habitats changed to predominantly treeless and shrubby environments, which reflect a relatively cold and dry climate. Revealed peaks in green algae colonies (Botryococcus around 2.53, 2.45, 2.320–2.305 and 2.175–2.150 Myr BP suggest a spread of shallow water environments. Few intervals (i.e. 2.55–2.53, ca. 2.37, and 2.35–2.32 Myr BP with a higher presence of coniferous taxa (mostly pine and larch document some relatively short-term climate ameliorations.

  14. Late Pliocene and early Pleistocene environments of the north-eastern Russian Arctic inferred from the Lake El'gygytgyn pollen record

    Andreev, A. A.; Tarasov, P. E.; Wennrich, V.; Raschke, E.; Herzschuh, U.; Nowaczyk, N. R.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Melles, M.


    The 318 m thick lacustrine sediment record in Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russian Arctic cored by the international El'gygytgyn Drilling Project provides unique opportunities allowing the time-continuous reconstruction of the regional paleoenvironmental history for the past 3.6 Myr. Pollen studies of the lower 216 m of the lacustrine sediments show their value as an excellent archive of vegetation and climate changes during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. About 3.50-3.35 Myr BP the vegetation at Lake El'gygytgyn, in nowadays tundra area, was dominated by spruce-larch-fir-hemlock forests. After ca. 3.4 Myr BP dark coniferous taxa gradually disappeared. A very pronounced environmental changes took place at ca. 3.305-3.275 Myr BP, corresponding with the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) M2, when treeless tundra- and steppe-like habitats became dominant in the regional vegetation. Climate conditions were similar to those of Late Pleistocene cold intervals. Numerous coprophilous fungi spores identified in the pollen samples suggest the presence of grazing animals around the lake. Following the MIS M2 event, larch-pine forests with some spruce mostly dominated in the area until ca. 2.6 Myr BP, interrupted by colder and drier intervals ca. 3.04-3.02, 2.93-2.91, and 2.725-2.695 Myr BP. At the beginning of the Pleistocene, ca. 2.6 Myr BP, noticeable climatic deterioration occurred. Forested habitats changed to predominantly treeless and shrubby environments, which reflect a relatively cold and dry climate. Revealed peaks in green algae colonies (Botryococcus) around 2.53, 2.45, 2.320-2.305 and 2.175-2.150 Myr BP suggest a spread of shallow water environments. Few intervals (i.e. 2.55-2.53, ca. 2.37, and 2.35-2.32 Myr BP) with a higher presence of coniferous taxa (mostly pine and larch) document some relatively short-term climate ameliorations.

  15. Sedimentation and erosion processes in Middle to Late Pleistocene sequences exposed in the brickyard of Langenlois/Lower Austria

    Thiel, Christine; Terhorst, Birgit; Jaburová, Iva;


    by a shift from fluvial to aeolian deposition can be observed in the brickyard of Langenlois, Lower Austria. Sedimentological and mineralogical analyses in combination with palaeontological finds suggest that the fluvial deposition took place during the Middle Pleistocene. This attribution is confirmed...... by infra-red stimulated luminescence (IRSL) dating, which gives a minimum age of 300 ka for the palaeosurface on which the fluvial sediments were deposited. This is consistent with a small faunal assemblage including Stephanorhinus sp., Dama sp. and an alcine cervid. Such a fauna is previously unknown......; this is surprising because in other areas this period is known for weak soil development. The lack of soil formation seems to be specific to the western part of Lower Austria, as is the complete erosion of the last glacial maximum (LGM) loess, which can not be found at Langenlois....

  16. Origins of late- Pleistocene coastal dune sheets, Magdalena and Guerrero Negro, from continental shelf low-stand supply (70-20 ka), under conditions of southeast littoral- and eolian-sand transport, in Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Peterson, Curt D.; Murillo-Jiménez, Janette M.; Stock, Errol; Price, David M.; Hostetler, Steve W.; Percy, David


    Shallow morpho-stratigraphic sections (n = 11) in each of two large coastal dune sheets including the Magdalena (7000 km2) and Guerrero Negro (8000 km2) dune sheets, from the Pacific Ocean side of Baja California Sur, Mexico, have been analyzed for dune deposit age. The shallow morpho-stratigraphic sections (∼2-10 m depth) include 11 new TL and 14C ages, and paleosol chronosequences, that differentiate cemented late Pleistocene dune deposits (20.7 ± 2.1 to 99.8 ± 9.4 ka) from uncemented Holocene dune deposits (0.7 ± 0.05 to at least 3.2 ± 0.3 ka). Large linear dune ridges (5-10 m in height) in the dune sheet interiors trend southeast and are generally of late Pleistocene age (∼70-20 ka). The late Pleistocene dune deposits reflect eolian transport of marine sand across the emerged continental shelf (30-50 km southeast distance) from low-stand paleo-shorelines (-100 ± 25 m elevation), which were locally oriented nearly orthogonal to modeled deep-water wave directions (∼300° TN). During the Holocene marine transgression, onshore and alongshore wave transport delivered remobilized shelf-sand deposits to the nearshore areas of the large dune sheets, building extensive barrier islands and sand spits. Submerged back-barrier lagoons generally precluded marine sand supply to dune sheet interiors in middle to late Holocene time, though exceptions occur along some ocean and lagoon shorelines. Reactivation of the late Pleistocene dune deposits in the dune sheet interiors lead to generally thin (1-3 m thickness), but widespread, covers of Holocene dune deposits (0.41 ± 0.05 to 10.5 ± 1.6 ka). Mechanical drilling will be required to penetrate indurated subsoil caliche layers to reach basal Pleistocene dune deposits.

  17. Provenance analysis of central Arctic Ocean sediments: Implications for circum-Arctic ice sheet dynamics and ocean circulation during Late Pleistocene

    Kaparulina, Ekaterina; Strand, Kari; Lunkka, Juha Pekka


    Mineralogical and geochemical data generated from the well referred shallow core 96/12-1pc on the Lomonosov Ridge, central Arctic Ocean was used to evaluate ice transport from the circum-Arctic sources and variability in sediment drainage and provenance changes. In this study heavy minerals in central Arctic sediments were used to determine those most prominent provenance areas and their changes related to the Late Pleistocene history of glaciations in the Arctic. Provenance changes were then used to infer variations in the paleoceanographic environment of the central Arctic Ocean, such as variations in the distribution of sea ice, icebergs controlled by the Arctic Ocean circulation. Four critical end-members including Victoria and Banks Islands, the Putorana Plateau, the Anabar Shield, and the Verkhoyansk Fold Belt were identified from the Amerasian and Eurasian source areas, and their proportional contributions were estimated in relation to Late Pleistocene ice sheet dynamics and ocean circulation. The results show changes in transport pathways and source areas within two examined transitions MIS6-5 and MIS4-3. The main source for material during MIS6-5 transition was Amerasian margin due to the high dolomite content in the studied section of sediments inferring strong Beaufort Gyre (BG) and Transpolar Drift (TPD) transport for this material. IRD material during late the MIS6 to 5 deglacial event was from terrigenous input through from the MacKenzie route Banks/Victoria Islands then transported as far as the Lomonosov Ridge area. The transition, MIS4-3 in comparison with MIS6-5, shows a clear shift in source areas, reflected in a different mineralogical composition of sediments, supplied from the Eurasian margin, such as the Anabar Shield, the Putorana Plateau and the Verkhoyansk Fold Belt during active decay of the Barents-Kara Ice Sheet presumable associated with an ice-dammed lake outburst then triggered by a strong TPD over the central Arctic. These two

  18. Sequence stratigraphy and environmental background of the late Pleistocene and Holocene occupation in the Southeast Primor'ye (the Russian Far East)

    Chlachula, Jiri; Krupyanko, Alexander A.


    The paper presents the results of Quaternary palaeoecology and geoarchaeology studies in the Zerkal'naya Basin, with new insights about sequenced natural shifts during the prehistoric occupation of this marginally explored NE Asian maritime territory. The Basin is part of the continental drainage system and the main physiographic and biotic corridor for peopling of the transitive coastal interior SE Primor'ye Region. The Final Pleistocene and Holocene environmental (biotic and abiotic) proxy records from the Upper/Final Palaeolithic to early historical sites document a dynamic climate change with vegetation cover transformations within riverine and mountain valley ecosystems of the Russian Far East. Most of the archaeological sites located on the low terraces and bedrock promontories along the main river channel and its tributary streams suggest traditional hunter gathered lifestyles based on seasonal salmon-fishing supplemented by pastoral economy. Tundra-forests with larch trees, dwarf birch thickets and polypod ferns from the basal stratigraphic units of the late Last Glacial occupation sites associated with the Upper Palaeolithic micro-blade and bifacial stone tool traditions (14C-dated to 19,000-12,000 cal yrs BP) indicate rather pronounced conditions and much lower MAT comparing today. Following a final Pleistocene cooling event, a major climate warming marked the onset of Holocene accompanied by a regional humidity increase promoting the formation of a mixed broadleaved-coniferous oak-dominant taiga, and culminating in the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum. The appearance of mosaic parklands ca. 5,000-4,000 cal yrs BP. may be partly attributed to the expansion of the Far Eastern Neolithic cultures practicing forest clearance for pastures and dwellings. A progressing landscape opening indicated by the spread of light-demanding thickets and birch-dominated riverine biotopes with Artemisia suggests a further vegetation cover transformation during the late Neolithic

  19. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Hulifang Massif of Gongwang mountains in Yunnan Province%云南东北部拱王山末次冰期

    张威; 崔之久; 冯金良


    Late Pleistocene glaciation was restricted to only a few high mountains in eastern China.The Gongwang mountains constitute one of the typical places once glaciated. Geomorphic mapping of the area and the TL dating provides evidence for at least four distinct glaciations. YJT-Ⅰ glacial advance occurred about 100 ka BP and two TL absolute ages (101,100 ± 7780 a BP; 104,000± 8300 a BP) indicate this advance happened during the Penultimale Glaciation. The early stage glacial advance (YJT-Ⅱ advance) during the last glaciation occurred about 40,920 ± 3400 a BP. The last glacial maximum advance (YJT-Ⅲ advance) about 18-25 ka BP, which sustained by two TL ages (18,230 ±1420 a BP; 25,420 ± 2110 a BP). The Penultimale and the early stage glaciations were more extensive and the last glacial maximum (LGM) and the late-glacial period (YJT-Ⅳ advance, 10 ka BP) were progressively less extensive. Correlated with the other mountains in eastern China, these glacial advances in the Gongwang mountains just like the advances in the western part such as Diancang mountains, Yulong mountains of Yunnan Province and the glacier series are more complete than the adjacent mid-latitude regions such as Taibai mountain and Taiwan mountains and are roughly representative of climate changes during the last glacial cycle in Yunnan Province.

  20. Multilocus Intron Trees Reveal Extensive Male-Biased Homogenization of Ancient Populations of Chamois (Rupicapra spp.) across Europe during Late Pleistocene.

    Pérez, Trinidad; Fernández, Margarita; Hammer, Sabine E; Domínguez, Ana


    The inferred phylogenetic relationships between organisms often depend on the molecular marker studied due to the diverse evolutionary mode and unlike evolutionary histories of different parts of the genome. Previous studies have shown conflicting patterns of differentiation of mtDNA and several nuclear markers in chamois (genus Rupicapra) that indicate a complex evolutionary picture. Chamois are mountain caprine that inhabit most of the medium to high altitude mountain ranges of southern Eurasia. The most accepted taxonomical classification considers two species, R. pyrenaica (with the subspecies parva, pyrenaica and ornata) from southwestern Europe and R. rupicapra (with the subspecies cartusiana, rupicapra, tatrica, carpatica, balcanica, asiatica and caucasica) from northeastern Europe. Phylogenies of mtDNA revealed three very old clades (from the early Pleistocene, 1.9 Mya) with a clear geographical signal. Here we analyze a set of 23 autosomal introns, comprising 15,411 nucleotides, in 14 individuals covering the 10 chamois subspecies. Introns offered an evolutionary scenario that contrasts with mtDNA. The nucleotidic diversity was 0.0013± 0.0002, at the low range of what is found in other mammals even if a single species is considered. A coalescent multilocus analysis with *BEAST indicated that introns diversified 88 Kya, in the late Pleistocene, and the effective population size at the root was lower than 10,000 individuals. The dispersal of some few migrant males should have rapidly spread trough the populations of chamois, given the homogeneity of intron sequences. The striking differences between mitochondrial and nuclear markers can be attributed to strong female philopatry and extensive male dispersal. Our results highlight the need of analyzing multiple and varied genome components to capture the complex evolutionary history of organisms.

  1. East-west genetic differentiation in Musk Ducks (Biziura lobata) of Australia suggests late Pleistocene divergence at the Nullarbor Plain

    Guay, P.-J.; Chesser, R.T.; Mulder, R.A.; Afton, A.D.; Paton, D.C.; McCracken, K.G.


    Musk Ducks (Biziura lobata) are endemic to Australia and occur as two geographically isolated populations separated by the Nullarbor Plain, a vast arid region in southern Australia. We studied genetic variation in Musk Duck populations at coarse (eastern versus western Australia) and fine scales (four sites within eastern Australia). We found significant genetic structure between eastern and western Australia in the mtDNA control region (??ST = 0. 747), one nuclear intron (??ST = 0.193) and eight microsatellite loci (FST = 0.035). In contrast, there was little genetic structure between Kangaroo Island and adjacent mainland regions within eastern Australia. One small population of Musk Ducks in Victoria (Lake Wendouree) differed from both Kangaroo Island and the remainder of mainland eastern Australia, possibly due to genetic drift exacerbated by inbreeding and small population size. The observed low pairwise distance between the eastern and western mtDNA lineages (0.36%) suggests that they diverged near the end of the Pleistocene, a period characterised by frequent shifts between wet and arid conditions in central Australia. Our genetic results corroborate the display call divergence and Mathews' (Austral Avian Record 2:83-107, 1914) subspecies classification, and confirm that eastern and western populations of Musk Duck are currently isolated from each other. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  2. Ice-wedge Pseudomorphs Showing Climatic Change Since the Late Pleistocene in the Source Area of the Yellow River, Northeast Tibet

    CHENG Jie; ZHANG Xujiao; TIAN Mingzhong; YU Wenyang; YU Jiangkuan; TANG Dexiang; YUE Jianwei


    The source area of the Yellow River is located in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, and is a high-elevation region with the annual mean temperature of-3.9℃. The ice-wedge pseudomorphs discovered in this region are recognized as two types.One was found in sandy gravel beds of the second terrace of the Yellow River. This ice-wedge pseudomorph is characterized by higher ratio of breadth/depth, and are 1~1.4 m wide and about 1 m deep. The bottom border of the ice-wedge pseudomorph is round arc in section. Another discovered in the pedestal of the second terrace has lower ratio of width/depth, and is 0.3~1.0 m wide and 1~2 m deep. Its bottom border is sharp. Based on the TL dating, the former was formed at the middle Holocene (5.69±0.43 ka BP and 5.43±0.41 ka BP),that is, the Megathermal, and the latter was formed at the late Last Glacial Maximum (13.49± 1.43 ka BP).Additionally, the thawing-freezing folders discovered in the late Late Pleistocene proluvium are 39.83±3.84 ka BP in age. The study on the ice-wedge pseudomorphs showed that the air temperature was lowered by up to 6~7 ℃ in the source area of the Yellow River when the ice-wedge pseudomorphs and thawing-freezing folds developed.

  3. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria)

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J.; Spötl, Christoph


    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ˜120-110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ˜70-60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ˜55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ˜45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  4. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria).

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J; Spötl, Christoph


    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ∼120-110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ∼70-60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ∼55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ∼45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  5. A pollen-based environmental reconstruction in Lake Hazar (Eastern Turkey) during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene: Example for the Eastern Mediterranean Realm

    Biltekin, Demet; Kadir Eris, Kürsad; Namik Cagatay, Memet; Nagihan Arslan, Tugce; Akcer On, Sena; Acar, Dursun


    Eastern Mediterranean realm historically is a melting area for ancient civilisations. This region has been therefore anthropogenically influenced since the Late Pleistocene. The understanding the processes between vegetation and climate, pollen analysis is a significant proxy in the investigation of past climate, vegetation records and the human influence on the environment. In this research, we carried out the environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene using multi-proxy analysis (palynology, XRF core scanner, magnetic susceptibility and TOC) in the sediment core obtained from 54.39 m depth on the northern shelf of Lake Hazar using a percussion piston corer. Lake Hazar (38° 31' N-39° 25' E) is located at ca. 1255 m above sea level, 22 km south-east of Elazıǧ city in eastern Turkey in the south-east Taurus Mountains. It is an oligotrophic, alkaline soda and a tectonic lake being situated on East Anatolian Fault Zone (EAFZ). The chronology of the sediment core has been determined using AMS radiocarbon method. We present the first pollen record from the core sediments in Lake Hazar, providing insight into multi-millennial scale climatic changes over the last ~15 14C ka BP. In the piston core, the Bølling/Allerød period is associated by the presence of Pistacia reflecting milder winter conditions with high biological productivity. Onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) period is marked by increase in herbaceous plants and lake level lowering that can also be documented by high magnetic susceptibility and Ca/Ti ratio. The spread of deciduous Quercus at the beginning of Holocene can be attributed to significant forestation due to a high humidity that was presumably sufficient for the establishment of oak forest. An increase in Quercus continued in most of the early and middle Holocene. The 3rd millenium crisis is strongly characterized by an increase in herbal elements, and a decline in Quercus, pointing to dry climatic conditions. The most striking

  6. The role of tropical cyclones on landscape dynamics in southern Baja California, Mexico based on Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial stratigraphy

    McDonald, Eric; Antinao, Jose Luis; Rhodes, Edward J.; Brown, Nathan; Gosse, John


    Region-wide alluvial records provide evidence that time-transgressive changes in climate can be a major driver of landscape evolution. Historically, landfall of eastern Pacific tropical cyclones in southwestern North America during the late summer and early fall provide the strongest storms that have demonstrated geomorphic impact on the landscape. The alluvial fan record of the southern portion of Baja California (Mexico) was investigated to determine if linkages exist between region-wide fluvial deposits and tropical cyclones. The regional distribution and Pleistocene to Holocene morphostratigraphy of alluvial fans has been established for the southern portion of Baja California with primary focus on the La Paz and San José del Cabo basins. Six discrete morphopedosedimentary alluvial units (Qt1 through Qt6) were differentiated across the region using a combination of geomorphologic mapping, sedimentological analysis, and soil development further reinforced with geochronology using radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence and cosmogenic depth-profiles. A first phase of regional aggradation began before ~ 100 ka (Qt1) and culminated ~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 are conformed of multiple 1-3 m thick alluvial packages deposited in upper-flow regime and representing individual storms. Aggradational units (Qt1-Qt4) covered broad (>2 km) channels in the form of sheetflood deposition while incisional stage deposits are mostly confined to channels of ~0.5-2 km width. Continuous deposition of the thicker sequences is demonstrated by closely spaced luminescence dates in vertical profiles. In a few places disconformities between major units are evident and indicated by partly eroded buried soils. Analysis of historical terraces as part of the younger units

  7. High-resolution Late Pleistocene paleomagnetic secular variation record from Laguna Potrok Aike, Southern Patagonia (Argentina): preliminary results from the ICDP-PASADO drilling

    Lisé-Pronovost, Agathe; St-Onge, Guillaume; Haberzettl, Torsten; Pasado Science Team


    High-resolution paleomagnetic reconstructions from sedimentary sequences are scarce in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, the millennial- to centennial-scale variability of the geomagnetic field is under-represented in the Southern Hemisphere relative to the Northern Hemisphere and the possible global nature of that variability cannot be assessed. Here we present the first high-resolution Late Pleistocene paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) reconstruction from the continental archive Laguna Potrok Aike south of 42°S in South America. Laguna Potrok Aike (51°58'S, 70°23'W) is a maar lake located in the Pali Aike Volcanic Field in southern Patagonia (Argentina). Previous studies revealed very high Holocene sedimentation rates (> 100 cm/ka) in the center of the lake. During the austral spring 2008, the multi-national Potrok Aike maar lake Sediment Archive Drilling prOject (PASADO) science team drilled two ~100 m holes under the framework of the International Continental scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). A preliminary Holocene age model based on comparison of magnetic susceptibility data from the PASADO core with the well-dated (radiocarbon- and tephra-based chronology) core located nearby in the center of the lake (PTA03-12) indicates a continuous deposition of ~19 m of lacustrine sediments since the last 16 ka cal. BP. Hysteresis measurements using an alternating gradient force magnetometer indicate a magnetic assemblage dominated by magnetite grains in the pseudo-single domain range. Principal component analysis (PCA) inclination and declination profiles were constructed from the stepwise alternating field demagnetization of the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) measured on u-channels at 1 cm intervals using a 2G Enterprises cryogenic magnetometer. The PCA inclinations vary around the expected geocentric axial dipole (GAD) inclination for the latitude of the coring site and the maximum angular deviation (MAD) values are generally lower than 5°, indicating

  8. Investigations of the Origin of the Magnetic Remanence in Late Pleistocene Lacustrine Sediments in the Mono Basin, CA

    Vasquez, N.; Corley, A. D.


    In the Mono Basin, CA, fine sand, silt, and volcanic ash deposited in Pleistocene Lake Russell is exposed on the margin of Mono Lake, and on Paoha Island in the lake. The silt records the Mono Lake Excursion (MLE: Denham and Cox, 1971) and several tens of thousands of years of paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV: Denham and Cox, 1971; Liddicoat, 1976; Lund et al., 1988). The sediment is believed to be an accurate recorder of PSV because the MLE has the same signal at widely separated localities in the basin (Denham, 1974; Liddicoat and Coe, 1979; Liddicoat, 1992) with the exception at wave-cut cliffs on the southeast side of the lake (Coe and Liddicoat, 1994). Magnetite, titanomagnetite, and titanomaghemite are present in the sediment (Denham and Cox, 1971; Liddicoat, 1976; Liddicoat and Coe, 1979), which is glacial flour from the adjacent Sierra Nevada (Lajoie, 1968). X-rays of the sediment and lineation measurements show patterns of normal bedding with layers aligned such that the minimum axes are within 5-10 degrees of normal bedding, with 10 percent foliation and 1 percent lineation (Coe and Liddicoat, 1994). We explore reasons for the difference in part of the PSV record at the wave-cut cliffs beyond the interpretation of Coe and Liddicoat (1994) that paleomagnetic field strength is a controlling factor. Possibilities include the sedimentation rate - at localities on the margin of Mono Lake the rate is about 60 percent less than at the wave-cut cliffs - and lithology of the sediment. At Mill Creek on the northwest side of Mono Lake, the non-magnetic sediment fraction is coarser-grained than at the wave-cut cliffs by a factor of about two, and there is a similar difference in the total inorganic carbon (TIC) percentage by weight for the two localities. (Spokowski et al., 2011) Studies of the sediment at two localities in the basin where the Hilina Pali Excursion (Teanby et al., 2002) might be recorded (Wilson Creek and South Shore Cliffs; Liddicoat and Coe

  9. Humidity changes in southern Tunisia during the Late Pleistocene inferred from U-Th dating of mollusc shells

    Causse, Christiane; Ghaleb, Bassam; Chkir, Najiba; Zouari, Kamel; Ben Ouezdou, Hedi; Mamou, A


    Calcareous deposits, mainly consisting of mollusc shell accumulations, which have been dated by the U/Th disequilibrium method, mark the shorelines of paleolake highstands in the Great Chotts Area of Southern Tunisia. The 5 sites studied consist of discontinuous accumulations of fossils of marine-like organisms e.g.: Cerastoderma glaucum, Melania tuberculata, Melanopsis praemorsa, Cerithium rupestre. U/Th isochron plots and age frequency histograms for 39 shell samples are reported here. Limited variations for U content and {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U activity ratios (AR) of shells support the hypothesis of closure of the geochemical system with respect to this element. It is remarkable that {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U AR of shells collected in Chott Fejej or Chott Jerid are clustered around different values, reflecting probably different groundwater recharge from the Continental Intercalaire (CI) or Complexe Terminal (CT) aquifers. Furthermore waters collected near Wadi el Akarit show {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U AR values comparable to those observed for shells. {sup 14}C determinations made on aliquots of some of these samples suggested an age distribution between 18 and 34 ka BP. The U/Th data of these 39 shell samples imply that 4 distinct flood episodes of these lakes occurred at about 30, 95-100, 130-150 and 180-200 ka. For the episode centred around 30 ka, the frequency histogram of ages shows a multimodal age group that could represent the existence of several humid pulses rather than a unique event. Moreover, the comparison of {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 18}O with those of older humid Pleistocene phases, when very large palaeolakes have been recorded, suggests that these young carbonate shells are not related to a true highstand lake. It is suggested that they represent a period of less humid climatic conditions with carbonate accumulation in minor water ponds in which intensive biological activity could have taken place. It should be noted that this period was less

  10. Use of Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotopes to Study Late Pleistocene to Holocene Environmental Change in the Waipaoa Sedimentary System, New Zealand

    Childress, L. B.; Leithold, E. L.; Blair, N. E.; Brulet, B. R.


    The stable isotopic composition of organic matter in continental margin sediments provides a useful, long- term record of environmental change. The Waipaoa River watershed, New Zealand, represents a system of interest due to its very large sediment supply and well known, relatively recent history of anthropogenic disturbance. Three cores taken by the RV Marion Dufresne in January 2006 on the continental shelf offshore from the river mouth provide a record extending into the late Pleistocene, dating as far back as 14,000 years. Analyses of terrestrial sources, soil profiles, sedimentary rocks and riverine sediments from within the watershed create a more holistic understanding of the current and past source to sink relationships associated with the Waipaoa sedimentary system and its influence upon the marine isotopic record. Shoreline progradation, hillslope erosion and gully incision, and the capture of river tributaries are examples of terrestrial processes that are hypothesized to influence isotopic ratios and may leave identifiable imprints in the marine stratigraphic record. By coupling the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope records with radiocarbon data a timeline of environmental processes in the area is derived as well as more detailed source apportionments.

  11. Response of alluvial systems to Late Pleistocene climate changes recorded by environmental magnetism in the Añavieja Basin (Iberian Range, NE Spain)

    Oliva-Urcia, B.; Muñoz, A.; Larrasoaña, J.C.; Luzon, A.; Perez, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Jiang, Z.; Liu, Q.; Roman-Berdi, T.


    Environmental magnetic proxies were analyzed in a relatively monotonous, ~25.3m thick alluvial sedimentary sequence drilled in the Añavieja Basin (NE Spain). Results from the core AÑ2 suggest that the concentrationdependent magnetic parameters mainly reflect variations in the content of detrital magnetite, sourced in the catchment rocks and soils of the basin, via changes in the dynamics of alluvial fans due to temperature changes in the northern hemisphere during the Late Pleistocene. The correspondence between the magnetic proxies and the temperature variations in the North Atlantic region (NGRIP curve) indicates that higher (lower) concentrations and finer (coarser) magnetite grains coincide with warm (cold) periods. We propose that during cold periods, a sparser vegetation cover favored the incoming of higher energy runoff bearing coarser sediments to the basin that are relatively impoverished in magnetite. In contrast, during warm periods, the wider distribution of the vegetation cover associated with the lower runoff energy lead to finer, magnetite-richer sediment input to the basin. Maghemite, presumably of pedogenic origin, appears to be present also in the studied alluvial sediments. Further studies are necessary to unravel its palaeoclimatic significance. (Author)

  12. Evidence for the equal resilience of Triodia spp. (Poaceae), from different functional groups, to frequent fire dating back to the late Pleistocene.

    Armstrong, G


    Species with different regenerative responses to fire are hypothesised to coexist by utilising the different temporal and spatial niche opportunities created by the stochasticity of the fire regime. This is strongly supported by observations of instability of species' presence and abundance at the local scale while these are stable at the community scale. However, observations of species coexistence in fire-prone communities are limited to several decades only. To improve the robustness of this hypothesis, coalescent analysis, using chloroplast microsatellites, was undertaken on three sympatric species of Triodia from different functional groups in the fire-prone Kimberley region of Western Australia. The results inferred that T. bitextura, an obligate resprouter, Triodia sp., an obligate seeder, and T. epactia, a facultative resprouter, had mean T(mrca) values of 65k, 40k and 111k generations, respectively. Using a mutation rate of 3.2 × 10(-5) and a generation time of 5 years gave T(mrca) values of 436k, 203k and 556 k years, respectively. These results provide evidence for the coexistence of these species to the same fire regime dating back to the late Pleistocene. It also demonstrates the long-term resilience of an obligate seeder, Triodia sp., in a frequently burnt environment at the community scale.

  13. A draft de novo genome assembly for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus reveals evidence for a rapid decline in effective population size beginning in the Late Pleistocene.

    Yvette A Halley

    Full Text Available Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao. More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within 14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts.

  14. A draft de novo genome assembly for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) reveals evidence for a rapid decline in effective population size beginning in the Late Pleistocene.

    Halley, Yvette A; Dowd, Scot E; Decker, Jared E; Seabury, Paul M; Bhattarai, Eric; Johnson, Charles D; Rollins, Dale; Tizard, Ian R; Brightsmith, Donald J; Peterson, Markus J; Taylor, Jeremy F; Seabury, Christopher M


    Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite) have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao). More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within 14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum) would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts.

  15. Middle to Late Pleistocene environmental and climatic reconstruction of the human occurrence at Grotta Maggiore di San Bernardino (Vicenza, Italy) through the small-mammal assemblage

    López-García, Juan Manuel; Luzi, Elisa; Peresani, Marco


    Grotta Maggiore di San Bernardino, located at an altitude of 135 m a.s.l. in the Berici Hills in northeastern Italy, is an archaeological site with a discontinuous sedimentary sequence dating from Marine Isotope Stage 7 (MIS 7) to MIS 3. In this paper we present for the first time a palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstruction of the sequence based on small-mammal (insectivore, bat and rodent) assemblages. Coupled with biochronological data and absolute dating together with previous studies on large mammals, birds and other studies on small mammals and pollen from comparable time-spans in Italy, the results enable us clearly to identify distinct climatic periods: the end of MIS 7 (7c to 7a) in units VIII-VII, MIS 5d in unit V, and probably MIS 5b in unit IV and an indeterminate MIS 3 interstadial in units III-II. Finally, the study shows that the early Middle Palaeolithic human occupation in Italy occurs during mild and temperate sub-stages of MIS 7 and that human groups with the same techno-cultural background (Mousterian) were well adapted to the changing environmental and climatic conditions of the Middle to Late Pleistocene in this part of southern Europe.

  16. A late Pleistocene refugium in Mediterranean North Africa? Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from stable isotope analyses of land snail shells (Haua Fteah, Libya)

    Prendergast, A. L.; Stevens, R. E.; O'Connell, T. C.; Hill, E. A.; Hunt, C. O.; Barker, G. W.


    The late Pleistocene to Holocene archaeological record of North Africa is key to understanding the emergence of anatomically modern humans into West Asia and Europe, and the broadening of subsistence strategies in the shift from hunter-gatherer to pastoral-agricultural lifeways. Some contend that these developments were modulated by major shifts in climate and environment. Evaluation of this hypothesis requires the pairing of local and regional climate records with well-dated archaeological sequences. The Haua Fteah archaeological site in the Gebel Akhdar region of Libya provides a key site to test this hypothesis as the cave contains one of the longest and most complete sequences of human occupation in North Africa as well as abundant material for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. This study uses stable isotope analyses (δ18O and δ13C) of the terrestrial mollusc Helix melanostoma to construct a palaeoenvironmental framework for interpreting North African human-environment interactions from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic (∼30,000 to 5000 years ago). The land snail stable isotope records from Haua Fteah suggests that cool arid conditions in the cave peaked during marine isotope stage (MIS) 2. This stage was, however, only marginally drier than previous and subsequent stages and coincided with an increase in occupation density in the cave. This suggests that the Gebel Akhdar may have served as an environmental refugium from the more extreme aridity in the surrounding Sahara and arid coastal plains for Late Stone Age (LSA) populations in North Africa. Conditions became progressively wetter towards the Holocene. However, generally wetter conditions were interrupted by two arid episodes at c. 8.0 ka and 7.3 ka that appear to coincide with regional changes reflected elsewhere in the Mediterranean basin.

  17. Age estimates and uplift rates for Late Pleistocene marine terraces: Southern Oregon portion of the Cascadia Forearc

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Kelsey, Harvey M.; Miller, Gifford H.; Kennedy, George L.; Whelan, Joseph F.; McInelly, Galan W.


    Marine terraces are prominent landforms along the southern Oregon coast, which forms part of the forearc region of the Cascadia subduction zone. Interest in the Cascadia subduction zone has increased because recent investigations have suggested that slip along plates at certain types of convergent margins is characteristically accompanied by large earthquakes. In addition, other investigations have suggested that convergent margins can be broadly classified by the magnitude of their uplift rates. With these hypotheses in mind, we generated new uranium series, amino acid, and stable isotope data for southern Oregon marine terrace fossils. These data, along with terrace elevations and two alternative estimates of sea level at the time of terrace formation, allow us to determine terrace ages and uplift rates. Uranium series analysis of fossil coral yields an age of 83±5 ka for the Whisky Run terrace at Coquille Point in Bandon, Oregon. A combination of amino acid and oxygen isotope data suggest ages of about 80 and 105 ka for the lowest two terraces at Cape Blanco. These ages indicate uplift rates of 0.45-1.05 and 0.81-1.49 m/kyr for Coquille Point and Cape Blanco, respectively. Late Quaternary uplift rates of marine terraces yield information about deformation in the overriding plate, but it is unclear if such data vary systematically with convergent margin type. In order to assess the utility of the southern Oregon uplift rates for predicting the behavior of the Cascadia subduction zone, we compared late Quaternary uplift rates derived from terrace data from subduction zones around the world. On the basis of this comparison the southern Oregon rates of vertical deformation are not unusually high or low. Furthermore, late Quaternary uplift rates show little relationship to the type of convergent margin. These observations suggest that local structures may play a large role in uplift rate variability. In addition, while the type of convergent margin may place an

  18. Age estimates and uplift rates for late Pleistocene marine terraces: Southern Oregon portion of the Cascadia forearc

    Muhs, D.R.; Whelan, J.F. (Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)); Kelsey, H.M.; McInelly, G.W. (Western Washington Univ., Bellingham (United States)); Miller, G.H. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (United States)); Kennedy, G.L. (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, CA (United States))


    Interest in the Cascadia subduction zone has increased because recent investigations have suggested that slip along plates at certain types of convergent margins is characteristically accompanied by large earthquakes. In addition, other investigations have suggested that convergent margins can be broadly classified by the magnitude of their uplift rates. The authors generated new uranium series, amino acid, and stable isotope data for southern Oregon marine terrace fossils. These data, along with terrace elevations and two alternative estimates of sea level at the time of terrace formation, allow one to determine terrace ages and uplift rates. Uranium series analysis of fossil coral yields an age of 83 {plus minus} 5 ka for the Whisky Run terrace at Coquille Point in Bandon, Oregon. A combination of amino acid and oxygen isotope data suggest ages of about 80 and 105 ka for the lowest two terraces at Cape Blanco. These ages indicate uplift rates of 0.45-1.05 and 0.81-1.49 m/kyr for Coquille Point and Cape Blanco, respectively. In order to assess the utility of the southern Oregon uplift rates for predicting the behavior of the Cascadia subduction zone, the authors compared late Quaternary uplift rates derived from terrace data from subduction zones around the world. On the basis of this comparison the southern Oregon rates of vertical deformation are not usually high or low. Furthermore, late Quaternary uplift rates show little relationship to the type of convergent margin. In the case of the southern Oregon coast, variability in uplift rate probably reflects local structures in the overriding plate, and the rate of uplift cannot be used as a simple index of the potential for great earthquakes along the southern Cascadia subduction zone.

  19. Estimation of the shortening rate since late Pleistocene in the Aksu area on the southern flank of the Tianshan, China

    WANG; Xin


    [1]Molnar, P., Tapponnier, P., Cenozoic tectonics of Asia: Effects on a continental collision, Science, 1975, 189: 419-426.[2]Molnar, P., Deng Qidong, Faulting associated with large earthquakes and the average rate of deformation in central and eastern Asia, J. Geophys. Res., 1984, 89: 6203-6227.[3]Hendrix, M. S., Dumitru, T. A., Graham, S. A., Late Oligocene-early Miocene unroofing in the Chinese Tianshan: An early effect of the India-Asia collision, Geology, 1994, 22: 487-490.[4]Sobel, R. E., Dumitru, T. A., Thrusting and exhumation around the margins of the western Tarim Basin during the India-Asia collision, J. Geophys. Res., 1997, 102: 5043-5063.[5]Ghose, S., Hamburger, M. W., Virieux, J., Three-dimentional velocity structure and earthquake locations beneath the northern Tianshan of Kyrgyzstan, central Asia, J. Geophys. Res., 1998, 103: 2725-2748.[6]Ghose, S., Hamburger, M. W., Ammon, C. J., Source parameters of moderate-sized earthquakes in the Tianshan, central Asia from regional moment tensor inversion, Geophys. Res. lett., 1998, 25: 3181-3184.[7]Abdrakhmatov, K. Ye, Aldazhanov, S. A., Hager, B. H. et al., Relatively recent construction of the Tianshan inferred from GPS measurements of present-day curstal deformation rates, Nature, 1996, 384: 450-452.[8]Wang Qi, Ding Guoyu, Qiao Xuejun et al., Present-day Tianshan's quick shortening and the south-north block's relative movement, Chinese Science Bulletin (in Chinese), 2000, 45(14): 1543-1547.[9]Zhu Wenyao, Wang Xiaoya, Chen Yuyi et al., Crustal motion of Chinese mainland monitored by GPS, Science in China, Ser. D, 2000, 43(2): 394-400.[10]Avouac, J. P., Tapponnier, P., Bai, M. et al., Active thrusting and folding along the northern Tianshan and late cenozoic rotation of the Tarim relative to Dzungaria and Kazakhstan, J. Geopgys. Res., 1993, 98: 6755-6804.[11]Burtman, V. S.,Skobelev, S. F., Molnar, P., Late cenozoic slip on the Talas-Ferghana fault, the Tianshan

  20. Late-Pleistocene to precolumbian behind-the-arc mafic volcanism in the eastern Mexican Volcanic Belt; implications for future hazards

    Siebert, Lee; Carrasco-Núñez, Gerardo


    An area of widespread alkaline-to-subalkaline volcanism lies at the northern end of the Cofre de Perote-Citlaltépetl (Pico de Orizaba) volcanic chain in the eastern Mexican Volcanic Belt (MVB). Two principal areas were active. About a dozen latest-Pleistocene to precolumbian vents form the 11-km-wide, E-W-trending Cofre de Perote vent cluster (CPVC) at 2300-2800 m elevation on the flank of the largely Pleistocene Cofre de Perote shield volcano and produced an extensive lava field that covers >100 km 2. More widely dispersed vents form the Naolinco volcanic field (NVF) in the Sierra de Chiconquiaco north of the city of Jalapa (Xalapa). Three generations of flows are delineated by cone and lava-flow morphology, degree of vegetation and cultivation, and radiocarbon dating. The flows lie in the behind-the-arc portion of the northeastern part of the MVB and show major- and trace-element chemical patterns transitional between intraplate and subduction zone environments. Flows of the oldest group originated from La Joya cinder cone (radiocarbon ages ˜42 000 yr BP) at the eastern end of the CPVC. This cone fed an olivine-basaltic flow field of ˜20 km 2 that extends about 14 km southeast to underlie the heavily populated northern outskirts of Jalapa, the capital city of the state of Veracruz. The Central Cone Group (CCG), of intermediate age, consists of four morphologically youthful cinder cones and associated vents that were the source of a lava field>27 km 2 of late-Pleistocene or Holocene age. The youngest group includes the westernmost flow, from Cerro Colorado, and a lava flow ˜2980 BP from the Rincón de Chapultepec scoria cone of the NVF. The latest eruption, from the compound El Volcancillo scoria cone, occurred about 870 radiocarbon years ago and produced two chemically and rheologically diverse lava flows that are among the youngest precolumbian flows in México and resemble paired aa-pahoehoe flows from Mauna Loa volcano. The El Volcancillo eruption

  1. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a Middle Pleistocene cave bear reconstructed from ultrashort DNA fragments.

    Dabney, Jesse; Knapp, Michael; Glocke, Isabelle; Gansauge, Marie-Theres; Weihmann, Antje; Nickel, Birgit; Valdiosera, Cristina; García, Nuria; Pääbo, Svante; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Meyer, Matthias


    Although an inverse relationship is expected in ancient DNA samples between the number of surviving DNA fragments and their length, ancient DNA sequencing libraries are strikingly deficient in molecules shorter than 40 bp. We find that a loss of short molecules can occur during DNA extraction and present an improved silica-based extraction protocol that enables their efficient retrieval. In combination with single-stranded DNA library preparation, this method enabled us to reconstruct the mitochondrial genome sequence from a Middle Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus deningeri) bone excavated at Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the U. deningeri sequence forms an early diverging sister lineage to all Western European Late Pleistocene cave bears. Our results prove that authentic ancient DNA can be preserved for hundreds of thousand years outside of permafrost. Moreover, the techniques presented enable the retrieval of phylogenetically informative sequences from samples in which virtually all DNA is diminished to fragments shorter than 50 bp.

  2. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Kodar Mountains, south-central Siberia, constrained by Be-10 exposure dating

    Margold, Martin; Jansen, John D.; Gurinov, Artem L.; Reznichenko, Natalya V.; Codilean, Alexandru T.; Fink, David


    The glacial history of the mountainous Transbaikalia region NE of Lake Baikal, Siberia, has so far received little attention. The Kodar Mountains exceed 3000 m in elevation and small cirque glaciers currently occur in the central parts of the range. Yet, greatly expanded glaciation in the past is evidenced by massive moraine complexes at the mouth of glacial valleys in the Chara Depression (part of the Baikal rift system), and along the Vitim River valley to the NW. The moraines document the existence of large valley glaciers that reached to over 120 kilometres in length. We applied Be-10 exposure dating to determine the timing of glacier advances that formed the major moraines: 19 samples from boulders on 8 moraine ridges in 5 moraine complexes. Our results indicate extensive glaciation in the Kodar Mountains at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum, with our ages spanning from about 20 ka to the Late Glacial. We attribute the age spread on some of the moraines to boulder exhumation linked to permafrost dynamics.

  3. Speculation on the timing and nature of Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherer colonization of the Tibetan Plateau

    P. J. Brantingham; MA Haizhou; J. W. Olsen; GAO Xing; D. B. Madsen; D. E. Rhode


    Hunter-gatherer populations in greater northeast Asia experienced dramatic range expansions during the early Upper Paleolithic (45-22 ka) and the late Upper Paleolithic (18-10 ka), both of which led to intensive occupations of cold desert environments including the Mongolian Gobi and northwest China. Range contractions under the cold, arid extremes of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 22-18 ka) may have entailed widespread population extirpations. The high elevation Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is significantly more extreme in both climate and environment than either the Gobi or the Siberian taiga forests, and provides an ideal setting to test fundamental models of human biogeog-raphy in the context of regional population fluctuations. The area is presently occupied primarily by nomadic pastoralists, but it is clear that these complex middle Holocene (<6 ka) economic adaptations were not a necessary prerequisite for successful colonization of the high elevation Plateau. Exploratory field-work in 2000-2001 has established that Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were present on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau by at least 12 ka and possibly much earlier. Aspeculative model for the colonization process is developed and preliminary archaeological data in support of the model are presented.

  4. The influence of Late Pleistocene geomorphological inheritance and Holocene hydromorphic regimes on floodwater farming in the Talgar catchment, southeast Kazakhstan, Central Asia

    Macklin, Mark G.; Panyushkina, Irina P.; Toonen, Willem H. J.; Chang, Claudia; Tourtellotte, Perry A.; Duller, Geoff A. T.; Wang, Hong; Prins, Maarten A.


    In comparison to Southwest Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the relationship between Holocene river dynamics, climate change and floodwater farming in Central Asia is significantly under researched. To address this, a multi-disciplinary research project was begun in 2011 centred on the Talgar catchment, a south-bank tributary of the Ili River, southeast Kazakhstan. Building on archaeological excavations and surveys conducted over the past 20 years, we have undertaken investigations of Holocene human adaptations to changing hydromorphic regimes in the Tien Shan piedmont region, Central Asia. Fluvial geochronologies have been reconstructed over the last 20,000 years using Optically Stimulated Luminescence and 14C dating, and are compared with human settlement histories from the Eneolithic to the medieval period. Phases of Late Pleistocene and Holocene river aggradation at c. 17,400-6420, 4130-2880 and 910-500 cal. BC and between the mid-18th and early 20th centuries were coeval with cooler and wetter neoglacial episodes. Entrenchment and floodplain soil development (c. 2880-2490 cal. BC and cal. AD 1300-1640) coincided with warmer and drier conditions. Prior to the modern period, floodwater farming in the Talgar River reached its height in the late Iron Age (400 cal. BC - cal. AD 1) with more than 70 settlement sites and 700 burial mounds. This period of agricultural expansion corresponds to a phase of reduced flooding, river stability and glacier retreat in the Tien Shan Mountains. Late Iron age agriculturists appear to have been opportunistic by exploiting a phase of moderate flows within an alluvial fan environment, which contained a series of partially entrenched distributary channels that could be easily 'engineered' to facilitate floodwater farming. Holocene climate change was therefore not a proximate cause for the development and demise of this relatively short-lived (c. 200 years) period of Iron Age farming. River dynamics in the Tien Shan piedmont are

  5. Timing and characteristics of Late Pleistocene and Holocene wetter periods in the Eastern Desert and Sinai of Egypt, based on 14C dating and stable isotope analysis of spring tufa deposits

    Hamdan, Mohamed A.; Brook, George A.


    There is very little dated evidence on wet periods in the Eastern Desert and Sinai Peninsula of Egypt during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. To obtain such information, we have studied the petrography, isotope geochemistry and AMS radiocarbon ages of mostly relict tufas deposited by springs draining perched ground water bodies in metamorphic and volcanic rocks. The tufas unconformably overly Precambrian basic igneous rocks (basalt, diabase and gabbro). As the ages of tufa carbonate are frequently older than the true ages of the deposits because of the incorporation of old, 14C-dead carbon, we have dated both the carbonate matrix and insoluble organic material of the tufas. These ages show that the tufas were largely formed during two broad time periods, the most recent from 12,058 to 6678 cal yr BP (African Humid Period), and the other from ˜31,200-22,500 cal yr BP, with preferential growth during the coldest times of this period namely during Heinrich Events 2 and 3 (H2 and H3) and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The time span between 19,000-9000 cal yr BP, including the YD and H1, appears to have been relatively more arid than the earlier LGM or H2 periods or the later Holocene. The Late Pleistocene tufas are depleted in 18O relative to the Holocene tufas and were deposited at a lower temperature (˜14.0°-20.8 °C vs. 18.4°-23.4 °C). We believe that the Holocene tufas in the Sinai were formed by rainfall from the Mediterranean and those in the southern part of the Eastern Desert by African monsoon rainfall derived from the Red Sea-Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. In contrast, the moisture that fed the Late Pleistocene tufas, which are depleted in 18O relative to Holocene deposits, and progressively depleted from north to south, was probably brought by the Westerlies from the Atlantic-Mediterranean Sea when the Westerly circulation was pushed southwards during the coldest periods of the Late Pleistocene. Periods of tufa deposition correlate with major

  6. Spain as an emergency air traffic hub during volcanic air fall events? Evidence of past volcanic ash air fall over Europe during the late Pleistocene

    Hardiman, Mark; Lane, Christine; Blockley, Simon P. E.; Moreno, Ana; Valero-Garcés, Blas; Ortiz, José E.; Torres, Trino; Lowe, John J.; Menzies, Martin A.


    Past volcanic eruptions often leave visible ash layers in the geological record, for example in marine or lake sedimentary sequences. Recent developments, however, have shown that non-visible volcanic ash layers are also commonly preserved in sedimentary deposits. These augment the record of past volcanic events by demonstrating that past ash dispersals have been more numerous and widely disseminated in Europe than previously appreciated. The dispersal ‘footprints' of some large late Pleistocene European eruptions are examined here in the light of the recent Eyjafjallajökull eruption. For example, the Vedde Ash which was erupted from Iceland around 12 thousand years ago, delivered distal (and non-visible) glass deposits as far south as Switzerland and as far east as the Ural Mountains in Russia, with an overall European distribution remarkably similar to the dominant tracks of the recent Eyjafjallajökull plumes. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption has demonstrated that relatively small amounts of distal volcanic ash in the atmosphere can seriously disrupt aviation activity, with attendant economic and other consequences. It has raised fundamental questions about the likelihood of larger or more prolonged volcanic activity in the near future, and the possibility of even more serious consequences than those experienced recently. Given that there are several other volcanic centres that could cause such disruption in Europe (e.g. Campania and other volcanic centres in Italy; Aegean volcanoes), a key question is whether there are parts of Europe less prone to ash plumes and which could therefore operate as emergency air traffic hubs during times of ash dispersal. Although not generated to answer this question, the recent geological record might provide a basis for seeking the answer. For example, four palaeo-records covering the time frame of 8 - 40 Ka BP that are geographically distributed across Spain have been examined for non-visible distal ash content. All four have

  7. Holocene late Pleistocene non-tropical carbonate sediments and tectonic history of the western rift basin margin of the southern Gulf of California

    Halfar, Jochen; Godinez-Orta, Lucio; Goodfriend, Glenn A.; Mucciarone, David A.; Ingle, James C.; Holden, Peter


    Using high-resolution seismic reflection profiling and dating of (1) shallow marine vibracores and (2) sediments collected from uplifted marine terraces we reconstruct the tectonic history and sediment accumulation patterns of Holocene to late Pleistocene warm-temperate to subtropical carbonates in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. The study was conducted in the vicinity of La Paz where carbonates form along the fault bounded narrow western shelf of the tectonically active Gulf of California rift basin. The non-tropical nature of the setting is responsible for (1) poor cementation of the bioclastic carbonates, and (2) a composition which is dominated by rhodoliths (coralline red algae), corals and mollusks. Unrimmed carbonate flats forming in small pocket bays and a rhodolith bioherm, which has a surface area of more than 20 km 2 and is up to 16 m thick, constitute the major carbonate factories. Holocene carbonate accumulation rates were deduced from seismic and core data and are highest on the rhodolith bioherm (260 cm/ka) and in subtidal zones of pocket bays (210 cm/ka), and lowest on the inner and middle shelf (100 cm/ka). Taken together, rates of carbonate accumulation are intermediate in magnitude between higher rates recorded in fully tropical carbonate settings and lower rates typical of cool-water carbonates. Seismic reflection profiles demonstrate that Isla Espiritu Santo in the center of the study area is a west dipping fault block, which is tectonically influenced by two distinct faults, the La Paz and Espiritu Santo faults. The latter fault accommodates at least 700 m of east-side down normal offset, and forms a steep eastern escarpment leading into the La Paz slope basin. Some of the sediments produced in the shallow carbonate factories of the narrow La Paz shelf are transported across this escarpment and are redeposited in the slope basin at a water depth of 750 m. Uranium-series dates of marine terraces exposed on Isla Espiritu Santo indicate

  8. Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene (2.4-1.25 Ma) paleoproductivity changes in the Bering Sea: IODP expedition 323 Hole U1343E

    Kim, Sunghan; Khim, Boo-Keun; Takahashi, Kozo


    Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene paleoproductivity changes in the Bering Sea were reconstructed using geochemical concentrations and mass accumulation rates (MARs) of CaCO3, biogenic opal, and total organic carbon (TOC), and sedimentary nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) at IODP Expedition 323 Hole U1343E, drilled in the northern slope area (1956 m deep) of the Bering Sea. CaCO3 concentration is generally low, but prominent CaCO3 peaks occur intermittently due to subseafloor authigenic carbonate formation rather than biogenic accumulation, regardless of glacial-interglacial variations. Biogenic opal concentrations reflect orbital-scale glacial-interglacial variations. However, TOC concentration did not show clear glacial-interglacial variation, probably due to poor preservation. The sedimentary δ15N values vary synchronously with biogenic opal concentration on orbital timescales. The co-varying pattern of opal productivity and δ15N values at Hole U1343E is a result of nutrient utilization controlled by diatom productivity in the Bering slope area where Fe is not a limiting factor. Biogenic opal and TOC MARs showed a temporal shift at around 1.9 Ma from a high productivity period under nutrient-enriched conditions to a low productivity period under relatively nutrient-depleted conditions. High diatom productivity with low δ15N values before 1.9 Ma is associated with abundant nutrient supply by upwelling in relation to strong surface current system. This productivity decrease at about 1.9 Ma was also found in the southern Bering Sea (Site U1341) and may be related to global opal reorganization.

  9. New data on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene glacial, climate and relative sea-level changes at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (South Shetlands Islands, West Antarctica)

    Verkulich, Sergey; Pushina, Zina; Tatur, Andrej


    New data on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene glacial, climate and relative sea-level changes at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (South Shetlands Islands, West Antarctica) Verkulich S. R. (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia) Pushina Z.V. (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia) Tatur A. (Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland) During the 2008-2009 austral summer, co-operative Russian - Polish paleogeographical investigations allowed to refine the understanding of the past environmental events at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island. Old marine deposits (ca. 30000 yrs BP) with shells, whale bones and marine algae in situ were found in the western coastal and northern inland territories at the altitudes of 20-40 m a.s.l. that evidences the covering of considerable part of the peninsula by relatively warm sea waters before the Last Glacial Maximum. Quite good preservation of these deposits supposes relatively small thickness and weak erosional potential of ice masses overlying the area during the LGM. The early Holocene phase of the peninsula deglaciation was caused by both climate warming and marine transgression, which left the deposits with fossil flora and fauna at heights up to 15 m a.s.l. (maximum rise of the relative sea-level 7000-8000 yrs BP). During the middle Holocene, glacier contraction in the area continued (on the whole) due to mainly favorable climatic conditions. The presence of marine and terrestrial deposit blocks (with shells, algae, mosses) in moraine ridges on the surface of Collins Ice Cap signifies that this glacier could vanish from the peninsula during climate optimum (ca. 4000-3000 yrs BP). The processes of new formation and growth of the ice cap started probably ca. 2000 yrs BP; within the last 1000 years the limited advance of the glacier occurred (likely corresponding to the Little Ice Age), and was replaced then by modern process of its decay.

  10. Late Pleistocene Variations in the Water Current and Ice Rafting Transportations of Organic Matter in the Central Arctic Ocean (ACEX Hole M0004C)

    Yamamoto, M.; Sugisaki, S.; Sakamoto, T.


    Little is known about the source of organic matter and the response of sedimentary organic matter composition to glacial-interglacial changes in the central Arctic Ocean. Here we have generated late Pleistocene records of biomarkers and ice rafted debris (IRD) from IODP-Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) Hole M0004C to understand the glacial-interglacial changes of mass transportation in the Arctic Ocean. Major biomarkers detected in Hole M0004C were long-chain n-alkanes, n-fatty acids and n-alkan-1-ols, derived from fresh higher plants, and gem-alkanes (branched aliphatic alkanes with a quaternary substituted carbon atom), derived from unknown source. Minor biomarkers were oleanenes of angiosperm origin, unsaturated fatty acids, bacteria-derived anteiso- and iso-fatty acids, various hydroxy acids, formed by hydroxylation of n-fatty acids by aerobic bacteria, cholesterol and sitosterol, and hopanes, formed by diagenetic alteration of bacterial biohopanoids. There was no concrete evidence for in situ production of phytoplanktons. The concentrations of these biomarkers varied with IRD number variation. During periods of abundant IRD, diagenetic hopanes were abundant, suggesting that clastic materials were supplied by ice rafting. During periods of scarce IRD, the other biomarkers such as long-chain compounds were abundant, suggesting that the riverine discharge was enhanced. The IRD and biomarker variations were synchronized with the eastward expansion of the Fennoscandinavian Ice Sheet to northen Siberia, suggesting that the ice cover of northen Siberia is critical in switching mass transportation mechanisms in the Arctic Ocean.

  11. The genetic structure of the mountain forest butterfly Erebia euryale unravels the late Pleistocene and postglacial history of the mountain coniferous forest biome in Europe.

    Schmitt, Thomas; Haubrich, Karola


    The distribution of the mountain coniferous forest biome in Europe throughout time is not sufficiently understood. One character species of this habitat type is the large ringlet, Erebia euryale well reflecting the extension of this biome today, and the genetic differentiation of this species among and within mountain systems may unravel the late Pleistocene history of this habitat type. We therefore analysed the allozyme pattern of 381 E. euryale individuals from 11 populations in four different European mountain systems (Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, Rila). All loci analysed were polymorphic. The mean F(ST) over all samples was high (20%). Furthermore, the mean genetic distance among samples was quite high (0.049). We found four different groups well supported by cluster analyses, bootstraps and hierarchical variance analyses: Pyrenees, western Alps, eastern Alps and southeastern Europe (Carpathians and Rila). The genetic diversity of the populations was highest in the southeastern European group and stepwise decreased westwards. Interestingly, the populations from Bulgaria and Romania were almost identical; therefore, we assume that they were not separated by the Danube Valley, at least during the last ice age. On the contrary, the differentiation among the three western Alps populations was considerable. For all these reasons, we assume that (i) the most important refugial area for the coniferous mountain forest biome in Europe has been located in southeastern Europe including at least parts of the Carpathians and the Bulgarian mountains; (ii) important refugial areas for this biome existed at the southeastern edge of the Alps; (iii) fragments of this habitat types survived along the southwestern Alps, but in a more scattered distribution; and (iv) relatively small relicts have persisted somewhere at the foothills of the Pyrenees.

  12. Late Pleistocene evolution of the Rhine-Meuse system in the southern North Sea basin: imprints of climate change, sea-level oscillation and glacio-isostacy

    Busschers, F. S.; Kasse, C.; van Balen, R. T.; Vandenberghe, J.; Cohen, K. M.; Weerts, H. J. T.; Wallinga, J.; Johns, C.; Cleveringa, P.; Bunnik, F. P. M.


    High-resolution continuous core material, geophysical measurements, and hundreds of archived core descriptions enabled to identify 13 Late Pleistocene Rhine-Meuse sedimentary units in the infill of the southern part of the North Sea basin (the Netherlands, northwestern Europe). This sediment record and a large set of Optical Stimulated Luminescence dates, 14C dates and biostratigraphical data, allowed to establish detailed relationships between climate change, sea-level oscillation, glaciation history and the sedimentary development of the Rhine fluvial system during the last glacial cycle (Marine Isotope Stages 5e-2, Eemian-Weichselian). A well-preserved Eemian sediment record was encountered as the infill of a Late Saalian (MIS6) subglacial basin. Part of this record reflects groundwater rise controlled (fine-grained) sedimentation as a result of postglacial (early) Eemian sea-level rise. It shows strong analogy to developments known from the Holocene Rhine-Meuse delta. Outside of the glacial depressions near coastal deposits are only fragmentarily preserved. The Early Glacial Rhine sediment record is dominated by organic debris and peat layers, marking landscape stability and low fluvial activity. Part of this record may have been formed under near coastal conditions. Significant amounts of reworked marine biomarkers in the lag-deposits of Early Pleniglacial (MIS4) fluvial systems indicate that this period is characterized by extensive reworking of older (MIS5) near-coastal sediments. Despite the marked Early Pleniglacial climatic cooling, input of new sediment from the drainage basin was relatively low, a feature that is related to the presence of regolith protective relic soil complexes in the basin. During the early Middle Pleniglacial, a major Rhine avulsion indicates the system was in an aggrading mode and that sediment supply into the lower reaches of the Rhine had strongly increased. This increase in sediment supply coincided with the timing of major

  13. Transitional changes in microfossil assemblages in the Japan Sea from the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene related to global climatic and local tectonic events

    Itaki, Takuya


    Many micropaleontological studies based on data from on-land sections, oil wells, and deep-sea drilling cores have provided important information about environmental changes in the Japan Sea that are related to the global climate and the local tectonics of the Japanese Islands. Here, major changes in the microfossil assemblages during the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene are reviewed. Late Pliocene (3.5-2.7 Ma) surface-water assemblages were characterized mainly by cold-temperate planktonic flora and fauna (nannofossils, diatoms, radiolarians, and planktonic foraminifera), suggesting that nutrient-rich North Pacific surface waters entered the Japan Sea via northern straits. The common occurrence of Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians during this period also suggests that deep water from the North Pacific entered the Japan Sea via the northern straits, indicating a sill depth >500 m. A weak warm-water influence is recognized along the Japanese coast, suggesting a small inflow of warm water via a southern strait. Nannofossil and sublittoral ostracod assemblages record an abrupt cooling event at 2.75 Ma that correlates with the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Subsequently, cold intermediate- and deep-water assemblages of ostracods and radiolarians increased in abundance, suggesting active ventilation and the formation of the Japan Sea Proper Water, associated with a strengthened winter monsoon. Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians also disappeared around 2.75 Ma, which is attributed to the intermittent occurrence of deep anoxic environments and limited migration from the North Pacific, resulting from the near-closure or shallowing of the northern strait by a eustatic fall in sea level and tectonic uplift of northeastern Japan. A notable reduction in primary productivity from 2.3 to 1.3 Ma also suggests that the nutrient supply from the North Pacific was restricted by the near-closure of the northern strait. An increase in the abundance of subtropical

  14. Late Pleistocene-Holocene uplift driven terrace formation and climate-tectonic interplay from a seismically active intraplate setting: An example from Kachchh, Western India

    Prizomwala, S. P.; Das, Archana; Chauhan, G.; Solanki, T.; Basavaiah, N.; Bhatt, Nilesh; Thakkar, M. G.; Rastogi, B. K.


    terrace, we reported a minimum uplift rate of 1.04 mm/a for the eastern KMF during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period, hinting seismically active nature of the KMF during this period. The terrace formation in the eastern Northern Hill Range is mostly regulated by tectonic uplifts along the KMF.

  15. Reconstruction of Equilibrium Line Altitudes of Nevado Coropuna Glaciers (Southern Peru) from the Late Pleistocene to the present

    Úbeda, J.; Palacios, D.; Vázquez, L.


    The Nevado Coropuna (15°31'S-72°39'W) is a volcanic complex located 200 km NE of the city of Arequipa, in the Southern Peruvian Andes. The summit area in the complex is covered with a glacier system formed by dozens of branches descending in all directions totaling many km2 in surface area. The study of the volcanic complex and its glaciers is of great interest because it is the main water reserve for tens of thousands of people, because of the risk scenario created by the presence of ice masses on a volcano with relatively recent activity, and because it constitutes an excellent geoindicator of the effects of climate change on ice masses in the western mountain chain of the Central Andes. This research aims to analyze glacier evolution using as geoindicators variations in glacier surface and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs), defining deglaciation rates based on those variations and preparing forecasts with them on when the ice masses might disappear if the same rates were to occur in the future. In addition, a first estimation is attempted of the chronologies of the last phase of volcanic activity and the last phase of maximum glacier advance that can be attributed to the Late Glacial or Last Glacial Maximum periods. To achieve these aims, digital topography with 50m contour interval, two orthophotos of the central section of the Coropuna complex (15-6-1955 and 21-10-1986), an ASTER satellite image (12-11-2007) and geomorphological mapping of the volcanic complex created in a previous phase of the research (Ubeda, 2007) were integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The GIS was used to determine the global extent of the glacier system, and in more detail, that of two groups (NE and SE) in 1955, 1986 and 2007. Using the geomorphological cartography as a basis, the extent of the glaciers during their last advance in the Little Ice Age (LIA) and their last maximum advance were calculated. Next, surface areas for all phases were calculated using

  16. Insights on the opening of the Galerian mammal migration pathway from magnetostratigraphy of the Pleistocene marine-continental transition in the Arda River section (northern Italy)

    Monesi, Edoardo; Muttoni, Giovanni; Scardia, Giancarlo; Felletti, Fabrizio; Bona, Fabio; Sala, Benedetto; Tremolada, Fabrizio; Francou, Carlo; Raineri, Gianluca


    We investigated the magnetostratigraphy of the Arda River section (northern Italy) where the transition from marine to continental sedimentation occurring in the Po River basin during the Pleistocene is registered. Four magnetic polarity reversals were used to construct an age model of sedimentation aided by marine biostratigraphy and tied to a standard δ18O curve from the literature. The section spans from the Olduvai subchron (1.94-1.78 Ma) across the Jaramillo subchron (1.07-0.99 Ma) up to the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (0.78 Ma). The onset of continental deposition occurred during marine isotope stage (MIS) 30 at ˜1.04 Ma. An association of Villafranchian and Early Galerian mammals, including Sus strozzii and Ursus dolinensis, has been found in the continental sediments dated to MIS 29-27 (˜0.99 Ma). Above follows a prominent fluvial conglomerate attributed to the first major lowstand of the Pleistocene culminating with MIS 22 at ˜0.9 Ma during the late Early Pleistocene climate turnover (EPT). These and other data from the literature are used to reconstruct the onset of continental deposition in the greater Po basin and shed light on the opening of the migration pathway that brought far-traveled Galerian mammal immigrants to enter Europe for the first time during the EPT.

  17. Potential Interference Among The Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption, Heinrich Event 4 and The Middle/upper Palaeolithic Shift In Late Pleistocene Europe

    Fedele, F. G.; Giaccio, B.; Isaia, R.; Orsi, G.

    The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption (Phlegraean Fields Caldera) was the largest volcanic eruption in the Greater Mediterranean area over the past 200 Ka (at least 150 km3 DRE). Ash layers correlated with CI have been found in sediments of the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Y5) and East Europe, from Italy to the former USSR. The recent dating of the CI eruption at 39.3 Ka BP draws attention to the coincidence be- tween this volcanic catastrophe and the suite of coeval biocultural modifications in Old World prehistory, here termed the European Late Pleistocene shift (ELPS). These included the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic cultural transition and the supposed change from Neanderthal to "modern" Homo sapiens anatomy, still a subject of sustained de- bate. The first results of our investigations show that: (1) at several archaeological sites of peninsular Italy a distinct tephra layer corresponding to the CI is regularly interbedded between the last documented Middle Palaeolithic and the earliest appear- ance of unquestionable Upper Palaeolithic assemblages; (2) at the same sites the CI tephra coincides with a interruption of occupation, several millennia long; (3) in the GISP2 Greenland ice-core, Lago Grande di Monticchio (southern Italy) lacustrine se- quences, and KET 8003 Tyrrhenian sea-core, a large volcanogenic sulfate signal (375 ppb, at 40,062 yr BP) to be correlated with the CI eruption and/or CI tephra layer occurs just before a sharp climatic shift which coincides with the onset of Heinrich event 4 (HE4). The concurrence of the CI eruption, Palaeolithic site abandonment and beginning of HE4 suggests that the overlapping of CI eruption and HE4 climatic im- pacts induced ecosystem crisis on a fairly large scale - human systems included - and well beyond the direct-impact zone. Moreover, the occurrence of the CI eruption just before HE4 probably corroborates the positive climate-volcanism feedback supposed for other high magnitude eruptions (e.g. Toba, 74 Ka

  18. The generation of a diverse suite of Late Pleistocene and Holocene basalt through dacite lavas from the northern Cascade arc at Mount Baker, Washington

    Baggerman, Troy David; Debari, S. M.


    Mt. Baker is a dominantly andesitic stratovolcano in the northern Cascade arc. In this study, we show that the andesites are not all derived from similar sources, and that open-system processes were dominant during their petrogenesis. To this end, we discuss petrographic observations, mineral chemistry, and whole rock major and trace element chemistry for three of Mt. Baker's late Pleistocene to Holocene lava flow units. These include the basalt and basaltic andesite of Sulphur Creek (SC) (51.4-55.8 wt% SiO2, Mg# 57-58), the Mg-rich andesite of Glacier Creek (GC) (58.3-58.7 wt% SiO2, Mg# 63-64), and the andesite and dacite of Boulder Glacier (BG) (60.2-64.2 wt% SiO2, Mg# 50-57). Phenocryst populations in all units display varying degrees of reaction and disequilibrium textures along with complicated zoning patterns indicative of open-system processes. All lavas are medium-K and calc-alkaline, but each unit displays distinctive trace element and REE characteristics that do not correlate with the average SiO2 content of the unit. The mafic lavas of SC have relatively elevated REE abundances with the lowest (La/Yb)N (~4.5). The intermediate GC andesites (Mg- and Ni-rich) have the lowest REE abundances and the highest (La/Yb)N (~6.7) with strongly depleted HREE. The more felsic BG lavas have intermediate REE abundances and (La/Yb)N (~6.4). The high-Mg character of the GC andesites can be explained by addition of 4% of a xenocrystic olivine component. However, their depleted REE patterns are similar to other high-Mg andesites reported from Mt. Baker and require a distinct mantle source. The two dominantly andesitic units (GC and BG) are different enough from each other that they could not have been derived from the same parent basalt. Nor could either of them have been derived from the SC basalt by crystal fractionation processes. Crystal fractionation also cannot explain the compositional diversity within each unit. Compositional diversity within the SC unit (basalt to

  19. (UnResolved contradictions in the Late Pleistocene glacial chronology of the Southern Carpathians - new samples and recalculated cosmogenic radionuclide age estimates



    recent constants for the exposure age calculations has not been considered in the most recent review on the timing of the LGM (Hughes et al., 2013.Main objective of our study is to utilize the potential offered by the cosmogenic in situ produced 10Be dating to disentangle the contradictions in the available Southern Carpathian Late Pleistocene glacial chronology (Kuhlemann et al, 2013a; Reuther et al, 2004, 2007. We recalculate 10Be data published by Reuther et al. (2007 in accordance with the new half-life and production rate of 10Be. Besides, a new sample set has been collected to establish a precise chronological framework supported by in-situ exposure dating of several additional moraine generations.

  20. Pollen and lithological data from the Bukovynka Cave deposits as recorders of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene climatic change in the eastern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains (Ukraine

    Nataliia GERASIMENKO


    Full Text Available The study of clastic sediments of the BukovynkaCaveshows biotic and climatic changes during the Middle Pleniglacial (the Trapeznyi Chamber, Late Glacial and Holocene (the Sukhyi Chamber in the south-eastern part of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The artesian BukovynkaCaveis located near the villageof Stal’nivtsi(the Chernivtsi region, in the PrutRiver basin. It is developed in the Miocene gypsum strata. The Quaternary clastic infilling of the cave, as well as mammal taphonomy has been previously studied in the Trapeznyi Chamber (Vremir et al., 2000; Ridush, 2004; Ridush et al., 2012, whereas palaeomagnetic research and its palaeoenvironmental implication has been provided for the Sukhyi Chamber (Bondar and Ridush, 2014. The results of pollen and grain-size studies of clastic deposits in both chambers, supported by mammal finds, are presented in this paper. In the Chernivtsi region, the pollen study has been previously performed (without 14C-dating on the Upper Pleistocene loess-paleosol section of Snyatyn and on the Onut site of the Holocene flood-plain deposits of the River Prut (Artyushenko et al., 1982. 39 samples from the cave sediments have been processed for grain-size analyses using the ‘pipette’ technique by Kachinsky (1965. In order to get pollen from clastic sediments, the following technique has been applied: heating with 10% HCl and 10% KOH, cold treatment with HF, disintegration in a solution of Na4P2O7 and separation in heavy liquid (CdI2 and KI with a specific gravity 2.2. The abundance and good preservation of pollen show that the cave chambers turned periodically into sedimentation traps. Mammal bones are also mostly well preserved. Re-deposited pollen are abundant in the Trapeznyi Chamber but occur very rarely in the Suchyi Chamber. The present-day vegetation near the cave is a meadow-steppe surrounded by Carpinus-Quercus forest. The high proportion of Pinus sylvestris pollen in the surface soil samples (30-40% does not

  1. New localities of Quaternary fossil Bears (Ursus sp. L. (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae

    Slaveya Stoycheva


    Full Text Available Bear bones were reported for first time in four Bulgarian caves: Mazata (near Hristo Danovo village, Stara Planina Mnt. - Ursus cf ingressus, Ursus sp., Kokalenata (near Bulgarka hut, Stara Planina Mnt. - Ursus cf ingressus, Kiliykite (near Stanchov Han village, Stara Planina Mnt. - Ursus sp. and Vodnata Modarska (near the Lilkovo village, Western Rhodopes Mnt. - Ursus spelaeus species complex.

  2. The northernmost and latest occurrence of the fossil porcupine (Hystrix brachyura vinogradovi Argyropulo, 1941) in the Altai Mountains in the Late Pleistocene (ca. 32,000-41,000 cal BP)

    Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Kosintsev, Pavel A.; Vasiliev, Sergei K.; Fadeeva, Tatyana V.; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.


    Several new finds of the Late Pleistocene porcupine (Hystrix brachyura vinogradovi) in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia and the Urals occur far north of previously assigned range for porcupine. These finds have necessitated a renewed study of this species's chronology and spatial distribution. We conclude that the oldest records of this porcupine in the Ural Mountains date to MIS 5e, and its geographic range possibly included also the Altai at that time. Directly radiocarbon-dated porcupine bones in the Altai fall in MIS 3 (ca. 32,000-41,000 cal BP). It is the northernmost record of this species and the youngest find outside its current geographic range.

  3. Paudorf locus typicus (Lower Austria) revisited – The potential of the classic loess outcrop for Middle to Late Pleistocene landscape reconstructions

    Sprafke, Tobias; Terhorst, Birgit; Peticzka, Robert;


    sequence of loess-like sediment below, including a more than 2 m thick pedocomplex in its basal part, is an exceptional archive of landscape evolution from the Middle Pleistocene. Herein we present detailed paleopedological and sedimentological surveys, as well as first micromorphological observations...

  4. Causes of Late Pleistocene water level change in Lake Victoria, Equatorial East Africa, derived from clumped isotopes of land snails and fresh water mollusks. (Invited)

    Zaarur, S.; Affek, H. P.; Tryon, C.; Peppe, D. J.; Faith, J.


    mean annual precipitation that is significantly greater than modern. However, this is inconsistent with regional climate reconstructions. This suggests that either lake level was controlled by non-climatic factors, or that local climate in the Lake Victoria basin was different than regional patterns of climate across eastern Africa. We use oxygen and clumped isotopes of modern and fossil shells (Corbicula sp., Melanoides sp. and Bellamya unicolor) from this 18 m beach outcrop on Mfangano Island to (1) compare with modern lake water δ18O values and (2) calculate paleo-water compositions. We combine these results with calculated snail body water δ18O composition (using oxygen and clumped isotopes) of land snails (Limicoloria cf. martensiana) from Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, to study hydrological changes of Lake Victoria. We use these data to evaluate the relative importance of climate change and tectonics as mechanisms for the Late Pleistocene expansion of Lake Victoria.

  5. Bottom water production variability in the Ross Sea slope during the Late-Pleistocene-Holocene as revealed by benthic foraminifera and sediment geochemistry

    Asioli, A.; Langone, L.; Tateo, F.; Giannossi, M. L.; Giglio, F.; Summa, V.; Piva, A.; Ridente, D.; Trincardi, F.


    The Antarctic area produces bottom waters that ventilate the vast majority of the deep basins in the rest of the world ocean. The rate of formation in the source area and the strength of these cold bottom waters affect their flow toward the equator and are key factors affecting the Global Thermohaline Circulation during modern and past climate conditions. We present the results of a multidisciplinary study carried out on a core collected in 2377m of water depth on the slope off the Drygalski Basin (Ross Sea), along the modern path of the bottom waters. The goal of this research is to detect a qualitative signal of possible changes in the rate of bottom water production during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene by integrating micropaleontological and geochemical proxies. The micropaleontological signal is represented by the quantitative and qualitative variations of the agglutinated benthic foraminifera assemblages, while the amount of TOC, nitrogen, δ13C, δ15N, biogenic silica, CaCO3 in the sediment, along with the bulk rock mineralogy, provide information on the paleoproductivity and allow reconstruction of changes in the paleocirculation. The chronology is supported by 14C AMS datings on organic matter. Although this study is still in progress, the results obtained allow the following observations: 1) the Holocene sequence includes a major turnover around 8-8.5 calib kyr BP, leading to reduced nutrient utilization, probably reflecting an increased nutrient supply induced by an enhanced Upper Circumpolar Deep Water upwelling; 2) within this general context, the total concentration of benthic foraminifera preserved in the fossil component records millennial scale cycles of variable amplitude after 8.5 calib kyr BP and to present time. This oscillatory trend is paralleled by other parameters, such as the magnetic susceptibility, the dry density, the sheet silicates and the δ15N; 3) minima in foraminifera concentration reflect relatively increased dissolution, weaker

  6. Morpho-Sedimentary Impacts By The Late-Pleistocene - Holocene Jökulhlaups In The Þjórsá-Tungnaá Fluvio-Glacial System

    Schneider, Jean Luc; van Vliet-Lanoe, Brigitte; Naaim, Mohamed; Salles, Tristan; Bjornsson, Helgi; Palsson, Finnur


    In Iceland, jökulhlaups correspond to glacial outburst floods that are generally related to sublagial volcanic and hydrothermal activities. They affect the main fluvial outwash plains around the ice caps. They result of the sudden outflow of a large volume of melt water with variable sediment charges drained from a (sub)glacial or an ice-dammed marginal lake that feeds short (hours to days) cataclysmic floods with peak discharges (103 to 107 m3.s-1), up to 10-100 times the magnitude of classical hydrometeorological fluvial floods. Despite their short duration, and because of large peak discharges, they have important erosive and sediment transport capacities. Consequently, repeated events have a strong morpho-sedimentary impact on the inundated areas. The connected watersheds of the Þjórsá and Tungnaá rivers (200 km long; ˜5000 km2, South Island), west of Vatnajökull, correspond to the largest periglacial fluvial system in Iceland. It has drained numerous jökulhlaup floods during the Late Pleistocene deglaciation and the Holocene during periods of increase of the volcanic activity and heat flow. Jökulhlaups were emitted from at least two outlets along the western edge of Vatnajökull that fed the Kaldakvísl and Tungnaá rivers. The subglacial depressions (calderas) of the Bárðarbunga-Hamarinn volcanic system are favorable to the storage of large volumes of water that can feed major jökulhlaups. The Þjórsá-Tungnaá jökulhlaup system can be subdivided into three parts: (1) the source located at the outlets of the subglacial hydraulic network, (2) a proximal transit zone along which erosional processes are dominant (erosively incised rocky substratum - scablands, abraded scoria cones, scour structures, residual buttes of the sedimentary cover) with minor lateral slackwater deposits, flood overflow ponded lakes, and hydraulic dunes along constrictions of the fluvial network, and (3) a distal depositional zone that corresponds to the coastal sandur, the

  7. Modeling right-lateral offset of a Late Pleistocene terrace riser along the Polaris fault using ground based LiDAR imagery

    Howle, J. F.; Bawden, G. W.; Hunter, L. E.; Rose, R. S.


    High resolution (centimeter level) three-dimensional point-cloud imagery of offset glacial outwash deposits were collected by using ground based tripod LiDAR (T-LiDAR) to characterize the cumulative fault slip across the recently identified Polaris fault (Hunter et al., 2009) near Truckee, California. The type-section site for the Polaris fault is located 6.5 km east of Truckee where progressive right-lateral displacement of middle to late Pleistocene deposits is evident. Glacial outwash deposits, aggraded during the Tioga glaciation, form a flat lying ‘fill’ terrace on both the north and south sides of the modern Truckee River. During the Tioga deglaciation melt water incised into the terrace producing fluvial scarps or terrace risers (Birkeland, 1964). Subsequently, the terrace risers on both banks have been right-laterally offset by the Polaris fault. By using T-LiDAR on an elevated tripod (4.25 m high), we collected 3D high-resolution (thousands of points per square meter; ± 4 mm) point-cloud imagery of the offset terrace risers. Vegetation was removed from the data using commercial software, and large protruding boulders were manually deleted to generate a bare-earth point-cloud dataset with an average data density of over 240 points per square meter. From the bare-earth point cloud we mathematically reconstructed a pristine terrace/scarp morphology on both sides of the fault, defined coupled sets of piercing points, and extracted a corresponding displacement vector. First, the Polaris fault was approximated as a vertical plane that bisects the offset terrace risers, as well as bisecting linear swales and tectonic depressions in the outwash terrace. Then, piercing points to the vertical fault plane were constructed from the geometry of the geomorphic elements on either side of the fault. On each side of the fault, the best-fit modeled outwash plane is projected laterally and the best-fit modeled terrace riser projected upward to a virtual intersection in

  8. Are organohalogen contaminants a bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS


    Tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland contain the highest concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among subpopulations of any mammalian species in the Arctic. Negative associations also have been found between OHC concentrations and bone mineral density and liver...... histology parameters for this subpopulation of polar bears. The present study examined the OHC concentrations and adverse effects on renal tissue for 75 polar bears collected during 1999 to 2002. Specific lesions were diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening, mesangial glomerular deposits, tubular...

  9. Late Pleistocene ice margin fluctuations in the Nahanni National Park-UNESCO World Heritage Site and their impact on glacial lake formation and architecture of drainage systems across the Yukon-NWT continental divide

    Duk-Rodkin, A.; Barendregt, R. W.


    In the late Pleistocene the southern Mackenzie region was glaciated by ice masses from a Cordilleran and continental source (Laurentide). Stratigraphic and geomorphologic evidence indicate that the two glaciers occupied this region at different times during the Late Pleistocene. The continental ice sheet advanced over the foothills and up major valleys reaching its maximum extent, ca. 30 ka. B. P. This took place when Cordilleran glaciers were in their initial stages of development. The Laurentide Ice Sheet blocked the drainage of the South Nahanni River near Virginia Falls, forming a glacial lake which inundated an area of approximately 900 km2 at its maximum stand, and had an outlet to the southwest, across the continental divide into the Yukon Territory and eventually into the Pacific Ocean. Lacustrine sediments at various sites reach thicknesses ranging from 110 to 120 metres, at an elevation of around 700 m. Cordilleran glaciers advanced eastward and approximately 5000 years later blocked this southwestward drainage, rerouting it to the east and north along the Mackenzie Mountain front. The drainage was confined between the mountains and continental ice margin where it incised major canyons into the limestone bedrock, and produced a spectacular karst landscape, which today forms part of the Nahanni National Park. During the retreat of the Laurentide and advance of Cordilleran glaciers, glacial Lake Nahanni cut an outlet to the east at First Canyon. This outlet drained into a continuous northbound network of marginal meltwater channels joining the north-flowing drainage that eventually reached the Arctic Ocean, and during further retreat of the ice sheet established the Mackenzie River in its modern location. The presence of Laurentide ice in this region is evidenced by large granite boulders carried from the Canadian Shield. Erratics are found up to 100 km west of the mountain front. Neotectonic activity in the area is interpreted from exposures such as those

  10. Late Pleistocene steppe lion Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss, 1810) footprints and bone records from open air sites in northern Germany - Evidence of hyena-lion antagonism and scavenging in Europe

    Diedrich, Cajus G.


    Bone remains and a trackway of Pantheraichnus bottropensis nov. ichg. ichnsp. of the Late Pleistocene lion Panthera leo spelaea ( Goldfuss, 1810) have been recovered from Bottrop and other open air sites in northern Germany. Some of these bones are from open air hyena den sites. A relative high proportion of lion bones (20%) exhibit bite, chew or nibble marks, or bone crushing and nibbling caused by a large carnivore. Repeated patterns of similar bone damage have been compared to bone remains found at hyena dens in gypsum karst areas and cave sites in northern Germany. Ice Age spotted hyenas have been the main antagonists and the main scavengers on lion carcasses. The remains appear to have been imported often by hyenas into their communal dens, supporting the theory of strong hyena-lion antagonism, similar to the well documented antagonism between modern African lions and spotted hyenas. Most of the lion bones from the open air hyena den at Bottrop are probably a result of such antagonism, as are the rare remains of these carnivores found within large hyena prey bone accumulations along the Pleistocene rivers. The Emscher River terrace also has the largest quantity of hyena remains from open air river terrace sites in northern Germany. Their cub remains, and incomplete chewed prey bones from mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses, typical of hyena activity, underline the character of these sites as cub-raising and communal dens, where their prey was accumulated along the riverbanks in a similar manner to modern African hyenas.




    Full Text Available The Early Pleistocene sedimentary succession of the Dandiero (Buia Basin (Danakil Depression, Eritrea has preserved a rich paleontological, paleoanthropological, and archeological record circa one million years old. Fieldwork undertaken between 1995 and 2003 led to the collection of fossil vertebrate remains now stored at the National Museum of Eritrea. Bones were recovered in different localities of the Dandiero Basin, where abundant archaeological and paleontological remains outcrop from the eroded sediments. The faunal collection of 436 animal bones from the Buia Basin, mostly derived from Uadi Aalad area, have undergone taphonomic analysis. Even though bone surfaces are poorly preserved due to abrasion, our work demonstrates carcass exploitation. Some specimens, mostly representing Hippopotamus gorgops and medium- to large-sized bovids, show traces of butchering left by stone tools. We also document, as far as we know for the first time, a single case of butchering involving a femur of a crocodile.   

  12. Last straw versus Blitzkrieg overkill: Climate-driven changes in the Arctic Siberian mammoth population and the Late Pleistocene extinction problem

    Nikolskiy, P. A.; Sulerzhitsky, L. D.; Pitulko, V. V.


    A set of radiocarbon dates on woolly mammoth were obtained from several regions of Arctic Siberia: the New Siberian Islands ( n = 68), north of the Yana-Indigirka Lowland ( n = 43), and the Taimyr Peninsula ( n = 18). Based on these and earlier published dates ( n = 201) from the East Arctic, a comparative analysis of the time-related density distribution of 14C dates was conducted. It was shown that the frequencies of 14C dates under certain conditions reflect temporal fluctuations in mammoth numbers. At the end of the Pleistocene the number of mammoths in the East Arctic changed in a cyclic manner in keeping with a general "Milankovitch-like" trend. The fluctuations in numbers at the end of the Pleistocene occurred synchronously with paleoenvironmental changes controlled by global climatic change. There were three minima of relative mammoth numbers during the last 50 000 years: 22 000, 14 500-19 000, and 9500 radiocarbon years ago, or around 26 000, 16-20 000, and 10 500 calendar years respectively. The last mammoths lived on the New Siberian Islands, which were connected to the continent at that time, 9470 ± 40 radiocarbon years ago (10 700 ± 70 calendar years BP). This new youngest date approximates the extinction time of mammoths in the last continental refugium of the Holarctic. The adverse combination of environmental parameters was apparently a major factor in the critical reduction in mammoth numbers. The dispersal of humans into the Arctic areas of Siberia no later than 28 000 radiocarbon years ago did not overtly influence animal numbers. Humans were not responsible for the destruction of a sustainable mammoth population. The expanding human population could have become fatal to mammoths during strong the minima of their numbers, one of which occurred at the very beginning of the Holocene.

  13. Pollen analyses of Pleistocene hyaena coprolites from Montenegro and Serbia

    Argant Jacqueline


    Full Text Available The results of pollen analyses of hyaena coprolites from the Early Pleistocene cave of Trlica in northern Montenegro and the Late Pleistocene cave of Baranica in southeast Serbia are described. The Early Pleistocene Pachycrocuta brevirostris, and the Late Pleistocene Crocuta spelaea are coprolite-producing species. Although the pollen concentration was rather low, the presented analyses add considerably to the much-needed knowledge of the vegetation of the central Balkans during the Pleistocene. Pollen extracted from a coprolite from the Baranica cave indicates an open landscape with the presence of steppe taxa, which is in accordance with the recorded conditions and faunal remains. Pollen analysis of the Early Pleistocene samples from Trlica indicate fresh and temperate humid climatic conditions, as well as the co-existence of several biotopes which formed a mosaic landscape in the vicinity of the cave.

  14. Cogenetic late Pleistocene rhyolite and cumulate diorites from Augustine Volcano revealed by SIMS 238U-230Th dating of zircon, and implications for silicic magma generation by extraction from mush

    Coombs, Michelle L.; Vazquez, Jorge A.


    Volcano, a frequently active andesitic island stratocone, erupted a late Pleistocene rhyolite pumice fall that is temporally linked through zircon geochronology to cumulate dioritic blocks brought to the surface in Augustine's 2006 eruption. Zircon from the rhyolite yield a 238U-230Th age of ˜25 ka for their unpolished rims, and their interiors yield a bimodal age populations at ˜26 ka and a minority at ˜41 ka. Zircon from dioritic blocks, ripped from Augustine's shallow magmatic plumbing system and ejected during the 2006 eruption, have interiors defining a ˜26 ka age population that is indistinguishable from that for the rhyolite; unpolished rims on the dioritic zircon are dominantly younger (≤12 ka) indicating subsequent crystallization. Zircon from rhyolite and diorite overlap in U, Hf, Ti, and REE concentrations although diorites also contain a second population of high-U, high temperature grains. Andesites that brought dioritic blocks to the surface in 2006 contain zircon with young (≤9 ka) rims and a scattering of older ages, but few zircon that crystallized during the 26 ka interval. Both the Pleistocene-age rhyolite and the 2006 dioritic inclusions plot along a whole-rock compositional trend distinct from mid-Holocene-present andesites and dacites, and the diorites, rhyolite, and two early Holocene dacites define linear unmixing trends often oblique to the main andesite array and consistent with melt (rhyolite) extraction from a mush (dacites), leaving behind a cumulate amphibole-bearing residue (diorites). Rare zircon antecrysts up to ˜300 ka from all rock types indicate that a Quaternary center has been present longer than preserved surficial deposits.

  15. Isotopic Constraints (U, Th, Pb, Sr, Ar) on the Timing of Magma Generation, Storage and Eruption of a Late-Pleistocene Subvolcanic Granite, Alid Volcanic Center, Eritrea

    Lowenstern, J. B.; Charlier, B. L.; Wooden, J. L.; Lanphere, M. A.; Clynne, M. A.; Bullen, T. D.


    Isotopic analyses demonstrate that a shallow granophyric intrusion from the Alid volcanic center (AVC) was generated, intruded and crystallized over a 20,000-year period in the latest Pleistocene. The granophyre is not exposed, but was ejected as unmelted blocks within a ~1 km3 pyroclastic flow deposit around 15 ka and is a subvolcanic equivalent of the erupted rhyolitic pumice (Lowenstern et al., 1997: J Petrol 12, p. 1707-1721). The rock contains 2.59) is 15.2+/- 5.8 ka (all errors are 2 σ ). Two other splits with lower density (thus higher in Na) yielded ages older than 24 ka, and may retain some excess Ar. Thus, the time between intrusion and complete crystallization for the granophyre was Danakil Depression and are found as unmelted lithic xenoliths in lavas and tuffs of the AVC. Pb isotopes also rule out significant assimilation of Precambrian basement during genesis of the young granophyre. Similarly zircon grains, analyzed with the Stanford-USGS SHRIMP-RG, show little evidence for inheritance, with only a single 760 Ma zircon (U-Pb age) that was also petrographically different from the 130 other zircons in the mount. The other zircons yielded SHRIMP 238U230Th disequilibrium ages of Alidpage.html

  16. 长白山现代理论雪线和古雪线高度%Present and Late Pleistocene equilibrium line altitudes in Changbai Mountains, Northeast China

    张威; 崔之久; 闫玲


    According to the glacial landforms and deposits with the optically stimulated lumi nescence (OSL) dating results, two glacial stages of the last glacial cycle (LGC) and Late Glacial were identified. The Late Glacial stage (Meteorological Station glacier advance) tool place about 11 ka (11.3±1.2 ka), and the last glacial maximum (LGM), named Black Wind Mouth glacier advance, occurred at 20 ka (20.0±2.1 ka). Based on the Ohmura's formula in which there is a relationship between summer (JJA) atmospheric temperature (T) and the annual precipitation (P) at ELA, the present theoretical equilibrium line altitude (ELAt) in Changbai Mountains was 3380+100 m. Six methods of accumulation-area ratio (AAR) maximum elevation of lateral moraines (MELM), toe-to headwall altitude ratios (THAR), the terminal to summit altitudinal (TSAM), the altitude of cirque floor (CF), and the terminal to average elevation of the catchment area (Hofer) were used for calculation of the former ELAs in different stages. These methods provided the ELA for a range of 2250-2383 m with an average value of 2320±20 m during the LGM, which is 200 m higher than the value of previ- ous investigation. The snowlines during the Late Glacial are 2490 m on northern slope, and 2440 m on western slope. The results show that the snowline on northern slope is 50 m higher than that on western slope during the Late Glacial, and the average snowline is 2465m. The △ELA values were more than 1000 m during the LGM, and about 920 m lower than now during the Late Glacial stage respectively. Compared with Taiwanese and Japanese moun- tains in East Asia during the LGM, the effect of the uplift on EI_A in Changbai Mountains dur- ing the glaciations (i.e. 20 m uplift in the LGM and 11 m in the Late Glacial) is not obvious.

  17. Dark humic alluvial paleosols in Central and Southern Mexico: Micromorphological indicators of Late Pleistocene megafauna habitats Paleosuelos aluviales con humus oscuro en el Centro y Sur de México: indicadores micromorfológicos de los hábitats de la megafauna del Pleistoceno tardío Paleosolos aluviais com húmus escuro no Centro e Sul do México: indicadores micromorfológicos dos habitats da megafauna do Pleistocénico tardio

    Rosa E. Tovar; Sergey Sedov; Berenice Solís; Elizabeth Solleiro


    During the Late Pleistocene, Mexico had a richer fauna than today with many different forms of megafauna that are now extinct. However, the ecosystems they inhabited and the particular ecological niches that they occupied are still poorly understood. Most of the findings of Pleistocene megafauna have been in alluvial deposits that present rich opportunities for paleoecological studies using paleopedological records. Floodplain paleosols commonly are poorly developed. However, micromorphologic...

  18. Brahe vs. Ursus: Videnskabelig uredelighed i renæssancen

    Schlichtkrull, Torsten


    I efteråret 1584 havde Tycho Brahe besøg på af sin slægtning Erik Lange – og han kom ikke alene: Med i følget var en ung, selvlært matematiker, Nicolaus Ursus, som under besøget på Hven blev taget i at snuse lige lovlig meget i Tychos papirer. Det var netop på den tid, Tycho arbejdede på sit...... verdenssystem, som han udgav i 1588 – samme år, som bemeldte Ursus også udgav et verdenssystem, som til forveksling lignede Tychos. Tycho var overbevist om, at Ursus havde stjålet hans system og ville have ham retsforfulgt for det intellektuelle tyveri. Men var Ursus overhovedet skyldig?...

  19. Pitfalls in comparing modern hair and fossil bone collagen C and N isotopic data to reconstruct ancient diets: a case study with cave bears (Ursus spelaeus).

    Bocherens, Hervé; Grandal-d'Anglade, Aurora; Hobson, Keith A


    Stable isotope analyses provide one of the few means to evaluate diet of extinct taxa. However, interpreting isotope data from bone collagen of extinct animals based on isotopic patterns in different tissues of modern animal proxies is precarious. For example, three corrections are needed before making comparisons of recent hair and ancient bone collagen: calibration of carbon-13 variations in atmospheric CO2, different isotopic discrimination between diet-hair keratin and diet-bone collagen, and time averaging of bone collagen versus short-term record in hair keratin. Recently, Robu et al. [Isotopic evidence for dietary flexibility among European Late Pleistocene cave bears (Ursus spelaeus). Can J Zool. 2013;91:227-234] published an article comparing extant carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotopic data of European cave bear bone collagen with those of Yellowstone Park grizzly bear hair in order to test the prevailing assumption of a largely vegetarian diet among cave bears. The authors concluded that cave bears were carnivores. This work is unfortunately unfounded as the authors failed to consider the necessary corrections listed above. When these corrections are applied to the Romanian cave bears, these individuals can be then interpreted without involving consumption of high trophic-level food, and environmental changes are probably the reason for the unusual isotopic composition of these cave bears in comparison with other European cave bears, rather than a change of diet. We caution researchers to pay careful attention to these factors when interpreting feeding ecology of extinct fauna using stable isotope techniques.

  20. Late Pliocene To Pleistocene Tectonic Activity In SW Portugal: The S.Teotónio-Aljezur- Sinceira Fault System And Evidence For Coastal Uplift

    Figueiredo, P.; Cabral, J.; Rockwell, T.


    mainly by Mesozoic limestones and exhibits a generally lower topography accented by karstic morphology. In both areas, little work has been done to map the sequence of marine terraces, nor to determine their ages, although the majority of them are likely Pleistocene. The highest raised marine deposits reach an altitude of 370 m ~13 km inland and may be as old as Pliocene in age. Inland, the Säo Teotónio-Aljezur-Sinceira fault system (STASFS) extends NNE-SSW for 50 km, parallel and close to the southwest Portuguese coast, and controls the development of several small Cenozoic tectonic basins. It comprises onshore faults which may relate to the ongoing plate boundary deformation. This fault system expresses primarily sinistral strike-slip with a minor reverse component. Four cenozoic strike-slip basins occur along the STASFS, generally with lengths of less than 5 km and a maximum width of 1.5 km, filled with Miocene to Pleistocene sediments. In some areas, fault-related post-Pliocene vertical displacements of up to 100 m may have occurred, but generally they only reach a few tens of meters. This coastal region is therefore particularly appropriate for establishing the offshore-onshore link through a detailed neotectonic study of the active faults, including exploration with paleoseismological techniques, and the vertical deformation field using marine terraces as a reference frame.

  1. Late Pleistocene to Holocene sedimentation and hydrocarbon seeps on the continental shelf of a steep, tectonically active margin, southern California, USA

    Draut, Amy E.; Hart, Patrick E.; Lorenson, T.D.; Ryan, Holly F.; Wong, Florence L.; Sliter, Ray W.; Conrad, James E.


    Small, steep, uplifting coastal watersheds are prolific sediment producers that contribute significantly to the global marine sediment budget. This study illustrates how sedimentation evolves in one such system where the continental shelf is largely sediment-starved, with most terrestrial sediment bypassing the shelf in favor of deposition in deeper basins. The Santa Barbara-Ventura coast of southern California, USA, is considered a classic area for the study of active tectonics and of Tertiary and Quaternary climatic evolution, interpretations of which depend upon an understanding of sedimentation patterns. High-resolution seismic-reflection data over >570 km2 of this shelf show that sediment production is concentrated in a few drainage basins, with the Ventura and Santa Clara River deltas containing most of the upper Pleistocene to Holocene sediment on the shelf. Away from those deltas, the major factor controlling shelf sedimentation is the interaction of wave energy with coastline geometry. Depocenters containing sediment 5-20 m thick exist opposite broad coastal embayments, whereas relict material (bedrock below a regional unconformity) is exposed at the sea floor in areas of the shelf opposite coastal headlands. Locally, natural hydrocarbon seeps interact with sediment deposition either to produce elevated tar-and-sediment mounds or as gas plumes that hinder sediment settling. As much as 80% of fluvial sediment delivered by the Ventura and Santa Clara Rivers is transported off the shelf (some into the Santa Barbara Basin and some into the Santa Monica Basin via Hueneme Canyon), leaving a shelf with relatively little recent sediment accumulation. Understanding factors that control large-scale sediment dispersal along a rapidly uplifting coast that produces substantial quantities of sediment has implications for interpreting the ancient stratigraphic record of active and transform continental margins, and for inferring the distribution of hydrocarbon resources

  2. A new record of Equus (Mammalia: Equidae from the Late Pleistocene of central-south Chile Un nuevo registro de Equus (Mammalia: Equidae para el Pleistoceno Superior de Osorno, Chile



    Full Text Available Fourteen dental and bone parts of a horse excavated from the Pilauco paleontological site, Osorno (40°39' S-73°07' W are analysed and interpreted. This site was formed in association with a peat bog located on the banks of the old Damas River and has conserved abundant late Pleistocene mammalian fauna and flora materials. A date of 11457 ± 140 14C yrs B.P. was obtained from a molar and agrees with our stratigraphic age model. We have identified the fossils as pertaining to the species Equus (Amerhippus andium, which confirms its presence in central-south Chile. Furthermore, the recorded geographic location indicate that the metapodial adaptations of the specimens previously described agree with the reconstructed late Pleistocene landscape of Pilauco, dominated by soft volcanic soils and isolated forest patches over large extensions of grasslands.Se analizan e interpretan 14 fósiles correspondientes a dientes y huesos de caballo registrados en el sitio Pilauco, Osorno (40°39' S-73°07' W. El sitio se formó asociado a un pantano en un borde del antiguo río Damas; en él se ha conservado abundante material de mastofauna y flora pleistocénica. Una fecha radiocarbónica de 11457 ± 140 A.P obtenida de un molar, es concordante con el modelo de edad del sitio. La identificación taxonómica permite asociar a los fósiles a la especie Equus (Amerhippus andium, lo que confirma la presencia de la especie en el centro-sur de Chile. Por otra parte, la posición geográfica de los hallazgos y la reconstrucción del paisaje indicarían que se trata de ejemplares cuyas adaptaciones en los metapodios son concordantes para el paisaje pleistocénico de Pilauco dominado por suelos volcánicos blandos, con presencia de bosquetes dispersos en grandes extensiones de praderas de gramíneas.

  3. Fluvial system response to late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level change on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

    Schumann, R. Randall; Pigati, Jeffery S.; McGeehin, John P.


    Santa Rosa Island (SRI) is one of four east-west aligned islands forming the northern Channel Islands chain, and one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park, California, USA. The island setting provides an unparalleled environment in which to record the response of fluvial systems to major changes of sea level. Many of the larger streams on the island occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep- to vertical-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12–14 m above the present channel. The period of falling sea level between the end of the last interglacial highstand at ~ 80 ka and the last glacial lowstand at ~ 21 ka was marked by erosion and incision in the uplands and by deposition of alluvial sediment on the exposed marine shelf. Sea level rose relatively rapidly following the last glacial lowstand of − 106 m, triggering a shift from an erosional to a depositional sedimentary regime. Accumulation of sediment occurred first through vertical and lateral accretion in broad, shallow channels on the shelf. Channel avulsion and delta sedimentation produced widespread deposition, creating lobes or wedges of sediment distributed across relatively large areas of the shelf during the latest Pleistocene. Backfilling of valleys onshore (landward of present sea level) appears to have progressed in a more orderly and predictable fashion throughout the Holocene primarily because the streams were confined to their valleys. Vertical aggradation locally reduced stream gradients, causing frequent overbank flooding and lateral channel shift by meandering and/or avulsion. Local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic controls also affected the timing and magnitudes of these cut, fill, and flood events, and are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation within the valleys continued until at least 500 years ago

  4. Fluvial system response to late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level change on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

    Schumann, R. Randall; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; McGeehin, John P.


    Santa Rosa Island (SRI) is one of four east-west aligned islands forming the northern Channel Islands chain, and one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park, California, USA. The island setting provides an unparalleled environment in which to record the response of fluvial systems to major changes of sea level. Many of the larger streams on the island occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep- to vertical-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12-14 m above the present channel. The period of falling sea level between the end of the last interglacial highstand at ~ 80 ka and the last glacial lowstand at ~ 21 ka was marked by erosion and incision in the uplands and by deposition of alluvial sediment on the exposed marine shelf. Sea level rose relatively rapidly following the last glacial lowstand of - 106 m, triggering a shift from an erosional to a depositional sedimentary regime. Accumulation of sediment occurred first through vertical and lateral accretion in broad, shallow channels on the shelf. Channel avulsion and delta sedimentation produced widespread deposition, creating lobes or wedges of sediment distributed across relatively large areas of the shelf during the latest Pleistocene. Backfilling of valleys onshore (landward of present sea level) appears to have progressed in a more orderly and predictable fashion throughout the Holocene primarily because the streams were confined to their valleys. Vertical aggradation locally reduced stream gradients, causing frequent overbank flooding and lateral channel shift by meandering and/or avulsion. Local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic controls also affected the timing and magnitudes of these cut, fill, and flood events, and are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation within the valleys continued until at least 500 years ago, followed by

  5. Evolution of the siliciclastic-carbonate shelf system of the northern Kenyan coastal belt in response to Late Pleistocene-Holocene relative sea level changes

    Accordi, Giovanni; Carbone, Federico


    A classification of depositional environments of the Lamu Archipelago is proposed based on a sedimentary facies analysis of unconsolidated and hard bottoms of the study area. The genesis of the siliciclastic-carbonate depositional pattern, typical of this East African region, is closely related both to the presence of a quartz-dominate Pleistocene riverine net-flooded during the Holocene sea level rise-and to the coeval development on the shallow shelf of a coral ecosystem producing vast skeletal sediments. The present facies pattern originates from the variable contribution in time and space of three sediment types: skeletal carbonate, quartz and palimpsest debris. The facies analysis allowed to distinguish 10 depositional facies and to differentiate them into three main types of substratum: soft bottom, reefal hard bottom and non-reefal hard bottom. These three types define both the loose facies typical of the channelized coastal belt and several facies of the shallow shelf. In the first, the amounts and textures of the stored sediment are strictly related to three major geomorphic types of substratum: sheltered mangal flat, shallow channel and deep channel. In the second and the third, a wide range of textures is related to coastal flats, benches, islets and emerging rocks. This modern facies pattern is implemented through a series of evolutionary phases: i-during the Last Interglacial Period, since isotope substage 5b, the shallow shelf-above -20 m-is permanently exposed for about 80 ka, with erosion, karstification and cuts of river channels through the shelf; ii-after the Last Glacial Maximum, when the sea level fell to about 110-115 m b.p.s.l. (below present sea level) at 18-17 ka BP, the sea level rose at -20 m for about 9 ka, flooding the shallow shelf area and gradually drowning the riverine net; iii-the maximum flooding of the coastal belt was reached at about 4.5 ka BP, when a gradual moisture reduction caused a decrease of siliciclastic sediment supply

  6. Tephrochronology of the Mont-Dore volcanic Massif (Massif Central, France): new 40Ar/39Ar constraints on the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene activity

    Nomade, Sébastien; Pastre, Jean-François; Nehlig, Pierre; Guillou, Hervé; Scao, Vincent; Scaillet, Stéphane


    The Mont-Dore Massif (500 km2), the youngest stratovolcano of the French Massif Central, consists of two volcanic edifices: the Guéry and the Sancy. To improve our knowledge of the oldest explosive stages of the Mont-Dore Massif, we studied 40Ar/39Ar-dated (through single-grain laser and step-heating experiments) 11 pyroclastic units from the Guéry stratovolcano. We demonstrate that the explosive history of the Guéry can be divided into four cycles of explosive eruption activity between 3.09 and 1.46 Ma (G.I to G.IV). We have also ascertained that deposits associated with the 3.1-3.0-Ma rhyolitic activity, which includes the 5-km3 "Grande Nappe" ignimbrite, are not recorded in the central part of the Mont-Dore Massif. All the pyroclastites found in the left bank of the Dordogne River belong to a later explosive phase (2.86-2.58 Ma, G.II) and were channelled down into valleys or topographic lows where they are currently nested. This later activity also gave rise to most of the volcanic products in the Perrier Plateau (30 km east of the Mont-Dore Massif); three quarters of the volcano-sedimentary sequence (up to 100 m thick) was emplaced within less than 20 ky, associated with several flank collapses in the northeastern part of the Guéry. The age of the "Fournet flora" (2.69 ± 0.01 Ma) found within an ash bed belonging to G.II suggests that temperate forests already existed in the French Massif Central before the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. The Guéry's third explosive eruption activity cycle (G.III) lasted between 2.36 and 1.91 Ma. It encompassed the Guéry Lake and Morangie pumice and ash deposits, as well as seven other important events recorded as centimetric ash beds some 60 to 100 km southeast of the Massif in the Velay region. We propose a general tephrochronology for the Mont-Dore stratovolcano covering the last 3.1 My. This chronology is based on 44 40Ar/39Ar-dated events belonging to eight explosive eruption cycles each lasting between 100 and 200

  7. Dating Lake Tahoe (CA/NV) and Mono Lake (CA) sediment using palaeomagnetic secular variation as a chronology for late Pleistocene palaeoclimate in the U.S. Great Basin

    Liddicoat, Joseph


    In 1976, six meters of graded and varved sediment were recovered in three piston cores from Lake Tahoe, CA/NV, and used for palaeomagnetic and sedimentologic investigations (Palmer et al., 1979; Denham, 1981). The long-term changes (secular variation) in the Lake Tahoe palaeomagnetic record were compared to secular variation in exposed lacustrine sediment of the Wilson Creek Formation (Lajoie, 1993) in the Mono Basin, CA, (Denham and Cox, 1971), 100 km away. During the more than 30 years since the coring was done in Lake Tahoe, the record of palaeomagnetic secular variation in the Mono Basin and elsewhere in the Great Basin has been refined (Liddicoat and Coe, 1979; Lund et al., 1988, Liddicoat and Coe, 1997; Liddicoat and Coe, 1998; Benson et al., 1998; Negrini and Davis, 1992; Kent et al., 2002; Zimmerman et al., 2006) to allow a reexamination of the palaeomagnetic directions and environmental magnetic record in the Lake Tahoe cores and the age of those sediments. Inferences are also possible about the sedimentological importance during the recording of the palaeomagnetic field at Lake Tahoe and possibly in the Mono Basin, and the age of the Lake Tahoe sediment recovered, which postdates the Mono Lake Excursion. The age of the Mono Lake Excursion and Wilson Creek Formation is relevant to investigations of Late Pleistocene palaeoclimate reconstructions for the U.S. Great Basin (Zimmerman et al., 2006).

  8. Geochemistry and Genesis of the Pampean and Post-Pampean Formations (Late Pleistocene-Holocene), Central and Northern Argentina Pampas and Its Adjacent Region-An Approaching Case Study

    Roberto Torra


    Littoral siliciclastic shallow marine horizontal conformable beds (a heterolithic succession), Middle to Late Miocene, outcropping in northeastern Argentina (Ituzaingó Formation) and overlying transitional conformable horizontal regolithic mantle-rock bed derived from them (the Pampean and Post-Pampean Formations), were geochemically analyzed. The focus of this study is placed on the application of geochemical parameter and signature analyses related with the aforementioned geological units, which are of subcontinental extension into South America. The encountered results show an outstandingly similar geochemical behaviour between them. The main conclusion is that regolithic mantle-rock beds were derived from the littoral shallow marine mudstone (silty-argillaceous) beds. This is in oposition to previous aeolian processes proposed early in the 50's and later. These mudstone beds constitute important sections of the littoral shallow marine sequence beds (outcropping HST parasequence). Such regolitization proposed for the Pampean and Post-Pampean Formations predominantly developed in-situ during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The main erosional and mobilized agents were the surface free water (pluvial, fluvial and laminar water sheets) and vadose water. So, the wind flows and/or the immense air flow hurricanes are of insignificant sedimentological influence. Otherwise, there is not a proved appropiate sandy-silty reservoir for a reasonable support of the "aeolian hypothesis", as well as clear aeolian structures settled in the regolithic mantle-rock bed. In spite of these lines of equality textural-structural evidence, the geochemical values for both major elements and trace elements, demonstrate that the Miocene heterolithic marine succession was the mother rock of the overlying regolithic mantle-rock bed, which was formed as an in-situ mantle-rock bed.

  9. Late Miocene-Pleistocene evolution of India-Eurasia convergence partitioning between the Bhutan Himalaya and the Shillong Plateau: New evidences from foreland basin deposits along the Dungsam Chu section, eastern Bhutan

    Coutand, Isabelle; Barrier, Laurie; Govin, Gwladys; Grujic, Djordje; Hoorn, Carina; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Najman, Yani


    The Shillong Plateau is a unique basement-cored uplift in the foreland of the eastern Himalaya that accommodates part of the India-Eurasia convergence since the late Miocene. It was uplifted in the late Pliocene to 1600 m, potentially inducing regional climatic perturbations by orographically condensing part of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) precipitations along its southern flank. As such, the eastern Himalaya-Shillong Plateau-ISM is suited to investigate effects of tectonics, climate, and erosion in a mountain range-broken foreland system. This study focuses on a 2200 m thick sedimentary section of the Siwalik Group strategically located in the lee of the Shillong Plateau along the Dungsam Chu at the front of the eastern Bhutan Himalaya. We have performed magnetostratigraphy constrained by vitrinite reflectance and detrital apatite fission track dating, combined with sedimentological and palynological analyses. We show that (1) the section was deposited between 7 and 1 Ma in a marginal marine deltaic transitioning into continental environment after 5 Ma, (2) depositional environments and paleoclimate were humid with no major change during the depositional period indicating that the orographic effect of the Shillong Plateau had an unexpected limited impact on the paleoclimate of the Bhutanese foothills, and (3) the diminution of the flexural subsidence in the basin and/or of the detrital input from the range is attributable to a slowdown of the displacement rates along the Main Boundary Thrust in eastern Bhutan during the latest Miocene-Pleistocene, in response to increasing partitioning of the India-Eurasia convergence into the active faults bounding the Shillong Plateau.

  10. Oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica. Reconstructing changes in surface water hydrography and silicic acid utilization in the late Pleistocene subarctic Pacific

    Maier, Edith


    Deglacial variations in upper ocean nutrient dynamics and stratification in high latitudes, as well as associated changes in thermohaline overturning circulation, are thought to have played a key role in changing atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. This thesis examines the relationship between past changes in subarctic Pacific upper ocean stratification and nutrient (silicic acid) utilization, using oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica, for the first time at millennial-scale resolution and analyzed with a new and efficient instrumentation set-up. The isotopic data, presented in three manuscripts, show a consistent picture of millennial-scale variability in upper ocean stratification and silicic acid utilization during the last ∝50 ka BP, e.g. indicating that the subarctic Pacific was a source region for atmospheric CO{sub 2} during the last deglaciation (late Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Boelling/Alleroed). The presented results demonstrate the high potential of combined diatom oxygen and silicon stable isotope analysis especially for, but not restricted to, marine regions characterized by a low biogenic carbonate content like the subarctic Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

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

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


    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.

  12. A late-Middle Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage 6) vegetated surface buried by Old Crow tephra at the Palisades, interior Alaska

    Reyes, A.V.; Jensen, B.J.L.; Zazula, G.D.; Ager, T.A.; Kuzmina, S.; La, Farge C.; Froese, D.G.


    A 40??cm thick primary bed of Old Crow tephra (131??????11??ka), an important stratigraphic marker in eastern Beringia, directly overlies a vegetated surface at Palisades West, on the Yukon River in central Alaska. Analyses of insect, bryophyte, and vascular plant macrofossils from the buried surface and underlying organic-rich silt suggest the local presence of an aquatic environment and mesic shrub-tundra at the time of tephra deposition. Autochthonous plant and insect macrofossils from peat directly overlying Old Crow tephra suggest similar aquatic habitats and hydric to mesic tundra environments, though pollen counts indicate a substantial herbaceous component to the regional tundra vegetation. Trace amounts of arboreal pollen in sediments associated with the tephra probably reflect reworking from older deposits, rather than the local presence of trees. The revised glass fission-track age for Old Crow tephra places its deposition closer to the time of the last interglaciation than earlier age determinations, but stratigraphy and paleoecology of sites with Old Crow tephra indicate a late Marine Isotope Stage 6 age. Regional permafrost degradation and associated thaw slumping are responsible for the close stratigraphic and paleoecological relations between Old Crow tephra and last interglacial deposits at some sites in eastern Beringia. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Pleistocene horses (genus Equus in the central Balkans

    Forsten Ann


    Full Text Available A review of the fossil horses of the genus Equus from the central Balkans, a mountainous area comprising Serbia and Montenegro, is presented in this paper. The time period covered by the finds is from the late Early to and including the Late Pleistocene, but the record is not complete: the dated finds are Late Pleistocene in age, while Early and Middle Pleistocene are poorly represented. The horses found resemble those from neighbouring countries from the same time period, probably showing the importance of river valleys as migration routes. The Morava River valley runs in a roughly south-to-north direction, connecting, via the Danube and Tisa River valleys the Hungarian Pannonian Plain in the north with northern Greece in the south, via the Vardar River valley in Macedonia. In Pleistocene, large mammals, including horses, probably used this route for dispersal.

  14. Exploring Globorotalia truncatulinoides coiling ratios as a proxy for subtropical gyre dynamics in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean during late Pleistocene Ice Ages

    Billups, K.; Hudson, C.; Kunz, H.; Rew, I.


    We explore the use of the coiling direction of planktic foraminifer Globorotalia truncatulinoides in sediment cores from the northwestern subtropical Atlantic Ocean as a proxy for variations in the intensity of the western boundary of the subtropical gyre over the past 280 kyr. Core-top sediments from the study region are dominated by the left coiling variety consistent with the deep permanent thermocline at the study sites (KNR140-37PC and Ocean Drilling Program Site 1059). Downcore G. truncatulinoides (sinistral) maxima occur in conjunction with 14 out of the 25 (Northern and Southern Hemisphere) precession maxima contained in the study interval. The agreement between the dominance of left coiling tests and the precession index of the Southern Hemisphere, in particular, supports a link between a deep thermocline in the northwestern subtropical Atlantic and northward flow of equatorially sourced warm surface currents, a situation analogous to the Late Holocene. Interglacial marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 5 lacks G. truncatulinoides (s) minima attesting to the relative stability of the western boundary during an interval of prolonged global warmth. G. truncatulinoides (s) disappear during the glacial extremes of MIS 2, 6, and 8 implying a weaker western boundary current at these times. Our results support that the coiling direction of this species is sensitive to variations in hydrography of the western boundary of the subtropical gyre. Because of the association between G. truncatulinoides (s) and precession maxima in both hemispheres, results support the importance of oceanic heat transport in half-precession climate variability in the North Atlantic.

  15. A tale of two eras: Pliocene-Pleistocene unroofing of Cenozoic and late Archean zircons from active metamorphic core complexes, Solomon Sea, Papua New Guinea

    Baldwin, Suzanne L.; Ireland, Trevor R.


    U/Pb ion microprobe analyses of zircons from gneisses and granodiorites exposed in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, and from conglomerate sections of the Goodenough No. 1 well in the adjacent Trobriand Basin, provide constraints on the age of magmatism, peak metamorphism, and nature of rocks unroofed during initial stages of metamorphic core complex formation in the Solomon Sea. The youngest populations of zircons from felsic gneisses and granodiorites indicate late Pliocene 206Pb*/238U ages. No inherited zircons were identified in the granodiorites, and the 206Pb*/238U ages (1.65 ± 0.18 Ma; 1.98 ± 0.08 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted as crystallization ages. These synkinematically emplaced granodiorites, intruded into actively extending continental crust, are some of the youngest known granitoids currently exposed at the Earth' surface. Zircon ages from felsic gneisses (2.63 ± 0.16 Ma; 2.72 ± 0.28 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted to date zircon growth subsequent to eclogite facies metamorphism. Felsic gneiss samples also contained zircon xenocrysts from Cretaceous-Miocene protoliths. In striking contrast, zircons from igneous and metamorphic clasts from the Goodenough No. 1 well indicate a single population with a 207Pb*/206/Pb* age of 2781 ± 9 Ma (2σ). We speculate that they are derived from basement rocks unroofed during initial stages of development of the D&Entrecasteaux metamorphic core complexes. These results provide the first direct evidence for the existence of Archean protoliths in the basement rocks of southeastern Papua New Guinea.

  16. High-resolution shear-wave seismics across the Carlsberg Fault zone south of Copenhagen - Implications for linking Mesozoic and late Pleistocene structures

    Kammann, Janina; Hübscher, Christian; Boldreel, Lars Ole; Nielsen, Lars


    The Carlsberg Fault zone (CFZ) is a NNW-SSE striking structure close to the transition zone between the Danish Basin and the Baltic Shield. We examine the fault evolution by combining very-high-resolution onshore shear-wave seismic data, one conventional onshore seismic profile and marine reflection seismic profiles. The faulting geometry indicates a strong influence of Triassic subsidence and rifting in the Central European Basin System. Growth strata within the CFZ surrounding Höllviken Graben reveal syntectonic sedimentation in the Lower Triassic, indicating the opening to be a result of Triassic rifting. In the Upper Cretaceous growth faulting documents continued rifting. These findings contrast the Late Cretaceous to Paleogene inversion tectonics in neighboring structures, such as the Tornquist Zone. The high-resolution shear-wave seismic method was used to image faulting in Quaternary and Danian layers in the CFZ. The portable compact vibrator source ElViS III S8 was used to acquire a 1150 m long seismic section on the island Amager, south of Copenhagen. The shallow subsurface in the investigation area is dominated by Quaternary glacial till deposits in the upper 5-11 m and Danian limestone below. In the shear-wave profile, we imaged the uppermost 30 m of the western part of CFZ. The complex fault zone comprises normal block faults and one reverse block fault. The observed faults cut through the Danian as well as the Quaternary overburden. Hence, there are strong indicators for ongoing faulting, like mapped faulting in Quaternary sediments and ongoing subsidence of the eastern block of the CFZ as interpreted by other authors. The lack of earthquakes localized in the fault zone implies that either the frequency of occurring earthquakes is too small to be recorded in the observation time-span, or that the movement of the shallow sub-surface layers may be due to other sources than purely tectonic processes.

  17. Hippidion saldiasi Roth, 1899 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla en el Pleistoceno tardío de Calama, norte de Chile Late Pleistocene Hippidion saldiasi Roth, 1899 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla from Calama, northern Chile



    Full Text Available Se describen restos del género Hippidion procedentes de la zona del desierto de Atacama (Calama, Segunda Región de Chile. El conjunto analizado corresponde a un esqueleto bastante completo proveniente del yacimiento Betecsa 1, así como escasas unidades del yacimiento Kamac Mayu. En ambos sitios se identifica H. saldiasi. A partir de dos dataciones radiométricas por AMS del ejemplar estudiado, los restos se sitúan estratigráficamente en el Pleistoceno Superior (21.070 ± 100 AP y 21.380 ± 100 14C AP. Se infieren datos ambientales y de dieta a partir de análisis de isótopos estables en los restos de Hippidion saldiasi del sitio Betecsa 1 cuyo valor de δ13C en hueso fue de -15,45 y el valor en esmalte de dientes fue de -16,68, sugiriendo una alimentación con pastos C3. El cráneo recuperado es el primero conocido de esta especieThis paper describes the Hippidion bones recovered from the Atacama Desert (Calama, Second Region of Chile. The analyzed assemblage corresponds to a nearly complete skeleton from Betecsa 1 site and more poorly preserved remains from Kamac Mayu site. In both H. saldiasi is identified. Two 14C radiometric determinations indicate late Pleistocene age for these remains (21,070 ± 100 BP and 21,380 ± 100 BP. Environmental and diet inferences from stable isotope analysis are also presented. The δ13C value from Betecsa 1 horses (-15.45 from bone sample and -16.68 from enamel sample suggest a dietary adaptation exclusively C3 feeders. This is the first skull and associated skeleton recovered of this species

  18. The Balitx landslide (Mallorca, Spain) and its possible seismic origin: active spreading since the Late Pleistocene; El deslizamiento de Balitx (Mallorca) y su posible origen sismico. Procesos activos desde el Pleistoceno superior

    Mateos, R. M.; Rodriguez-Peces, M. J.; Azanon, J. M.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, J.; Roldan, F. J.; Garcia-Moreno, I.; Galabert, B.; Garcia-Mayordomo, J.


    The Balitx landslide, located on the steep coastal side of the Tramuntana range on the island of Mallorca, is a large translational rock landslide in which the failure surface coincides with the reactivation of an earlier normal fault. The dating of calcite striae on the fault plane with U/Th techniques reveals that the last movement was over 400 kyr ago, which falls outside of the range of this method. The volume of the landslide is estimated to be over 700 million cubic metres, with a north-westward displacement of 300 m. Active extensional cracks as well as block spreads have been identified along the main scarp, together with displacement and toppling of blocks, the beginning of which coincides with oxygen isotope stage OIS 5a (Late Pleistocene = 83 kyr), a wetter and warmer period than the present. Currently active decametre-long cracks up to 50 m wide can be seen to affect the displaced materials. They reveal the rupture of the displaced block into several units at different speeds. A retrospective analysis of slope stability has been carried out, taking into account different scenarios according to three critical sea stands. All the scenarios are stable, with a safety factor of over 1.35. These results support the thesis that the Balitx landslide could have been triggered by seismicity. A study of the Balitx landslide under dynamic conditions reveals that the landslide could have been triggered by a moderate-to-high-magnitude earthquake (Mw=6.0) located close to the landslide (10-30 km) and probably related to some of the active faults identified in Majorca, such as the Palma Fault. (Author) 58 refs.

  19. New evidence of the sabertooth cat Smilodon (Carnivora: Machairodontinae in the late Pleistocene of southern Chilean Patagonia Nueva evidencia del gato dientes de sable Smilodon (Carnivora: Machairodontinae en el Pleistoceno tardío de Patagonia meridional chilena



    Full Text Available Southern Patagonia is rich in late Pleistocene mammals, especially herbivores such as Camelids, Equids and Xenarthrans. Carnivores, on the other hand, are not commonly found in the paleontological record. One genus, Smilodon, is of particular interest because its presence in the region has not been demonstrated. In this paper, we present new fossil dental evidence that supports the presence of Smilodon populator (Lund in the region. This evidence corresponds to the most southern record of the genus in the world, and the final step in the colonization of South America after the Great American Biotic Interchange. An AMS radiocarbon date on teeth indicates that the remains from Southern Chilean Patagonia are the most recent record for the genus in South America.Surpatagonia es particularmente rica en mamíferos finiplesitocenos, particularmente camélidos, équidos y xenartros. Los carnívoros, por su parte, se encuentran representados en menor número en el registro paleontológico. Dentro de estos, el género Smilodon, es de particular interés debido a que su presencia en la región no ha sido convincentemente demostrada. En este trabajo presentamos evidencia dental que permite confirmar la presencia de Smilodon populator (Lund en la región. Esta evidencia corresponde al registro más sureño de este taxón y al paso final en la colonización de América del Sur después del Gran Intercambio Biótico Americano. Un fechado radiocarbónico directo AMS indica que los restos de Patagonia del Sur corresponden a los registros más tardíos para este género en el subcontinente.

  20. New insights into the paleoclimatic interpretation of the temperature dependence of the magnetic susceptibility and magnetization of Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau

    Zan, Jinbo; Fang, Xiaomin; Yan, Maodu; Li, Bingshuai


    The temperature dependence of magnetic susceptibility (χ-T curves) and magnetization (M-T curves) has been used as a routine rock magnetic tool to characterize the magnetic mineralogy and magnetic granulometry of Chinese loess/palaeosols. However, paleoclimatic interpretation of these thermomagnetic analyses remains controversial. In the present study, total organic carbon (TOC), thermomagnetic and low-temperature magnetic experiments on Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) have been conducted. We found that the M (T) cooling curves at room temperature were mostly lower than the corresponding heating curves, whereas for the χ (T) analyses the cooling curves at room temperature were always much higher than the heating curves. Low-temperature magnetic measurements demonstrated that a large amount of superparamagnetic ferrimagnetic particles were produced during the thermal treatment and resulted in the aforementioned differences. This finding further indicated that the use of the M - T curves to estimate the relative content of maghemite in the loess/paleosols from the CLP was problematic. In addition, a positive correlation exists between the TOC and the frequency-dependent susceptibility (χFD) in the CLP, suggesting that stronger pedogenesis would result in the simultaneous increase in the content of both maghemite and organic matter. Consequently, the parameters △χ1 (representing the relative content of pedogenic maghemite), △χ2 ([χph-χ] +△χ1) and χph (related to the organic matter concentration), which can be calculated from the χ - T analyses, can potentially be used as new indicators of pedogenesis and paleoclimate in Central Asia and the CLP.

  1. New insights into the palaeoclimatic interpretation of the temperature dependence of the magnetic susceptibility and magnetization of Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau

    Zan, Jinbo; Fang, Xiaomin; Yan, Maodu; Li, Bingshuai


    The temperature dependence of magnetic susceptibility (χ-T curves) and magnetization (M-T curves) has been used as a routine rock magnetic tool to characterize the magnetic mineralogy and magnetic granulometry of Chinese loess/palaeosols. However, palaeoclimatic interpretation of these thermomagnetic analyses remains controversial. In the present study, total organic carbon (TOC), thermomagnetic and low-temperature magnetic experiments on Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) have been conducted. We found that the M (T) cooling curves at room temperature were mostly lower than the corresponding heating curves, whereas for the χ (T) analyses the cooling curves at room temperature were always much higher than the heating curves. Low-temperature magnetic measurements demonstrated that a large amount of superparamagnetic ferrimagnetic particles were produced during the thermal treatment and resulted in the aforementioned differences. This finding further indicated that the use of the M-T curves to estimate the relative content of maghemite in the loess/palaeosols from the CLP was problematic. In addition, a positive correlation exists between the TOC and the frequency-dependent susceptibility (χFD) in the CLP, suggesting that stronger pedogenesis would result in the simultaneous increase in the content of both maghemite and organic matter. Consequently, the parameters ▵χ1 (representing the relative content of pedogenic maghemite), ▵χ2 ([χph - χ] +▵χ1) and χph (related to the organic matter concentration), which can be calculated from the χ-T analyses, can potentially be used as new indicators of pedogenesis and palaeoclimate in Central Asia and the CLP.

  2. Synchronous extinction of North America's Pleistocene mammals

    Faith, J. Tyler; Surovell, Todd A.


    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.


    何忠; 周杰; 赖忠平; 杨林海; 隆浩; 梁剑鸣


    climatic change history.Chronological control is crucial in such reconstructions.Desert evolution and climatic change of high resolution in the Mu Us Desert are still poorly understood in part due to limited numerical dating results.In order to further examine the Late Pleistocene sand dune development and climatic changes in this region,five sand dune sections along a northwest-southeast transect in the Mu Us Desert were investigated and sampled.The chronological framework was constructed by dating 19 samples using quartz optically stimulated luminescence(OSL)and single aliquot regenerative-dose(SAR)protocol.A dose recovery test and a preheat plateau showed that the SAR protocol is appropriate for equivalent dose (De)determination for the samples under study.The concentrations of uranium,thorium and potassium were measured by neutron activation analysis.Magnetic susceptibility was measured on a mass of 10g of ground sediment with a Bartington MS2-B Magnetic Susceptibility Meter.The grain size was determined using a Mastersizer-S laser analyzer with(NaPO3)6 as dispersing agent after pretreatment with 10% HCl and 10% H2O2 to remove secondary carbonates and organic material respectively.Combined with lithologic stratigraphy,grain size,magnetic susceptibility and the luminescence chronology obtained,the sand dune development and climatic changes in the Mu Us Desert during the Late Pleistocene are discussed.Aeolian sand layers with wind-ripple lamination imply lower effective moisture,low vegetation cover and sand dune mobilization.The sandy paleosols represent higher effective moisture,higher vegetation cover and weak aeolian activity.Our results indicate that the Mu Us desert experienced multiple alternations of mobile and fixed episodes:the sand was mobilized approximately at 91.0ka,71.0ka,48.0ka,22.Oka,11.6ka,5.0ka,1.1 ka,1.0ka,0.4ka,and was fixed approximately at 65 ka and Holocene optimum period(8.5~5.0ka).The more and thicker sand layers and increasing coarsening of

  4. 澧阳平原晚更新世晚期至全新世早中期环境演变及其对人类活动的影响%The Environmental Change of Late Pleistocene to Early and Middle Holocene and Its Impact on Human Activities in Liyang Plain, Hunan Province, China

    郭媛媛; 莫多闻; 毛龙江; 郭伟民


    通过对澧阳平原野外调查,多剖面地层对比分析及岩板垱(YBD)剖面样品的粒度、地球化学元素分析和年代测定,揭示该区晚更新世晚期至全新世早中期环境演变,并探讨其对人类活动的影响。研究结果表明,30~6 ka B.P.间,澧阳平原由冲沟发育的黄土台地向河湖发育的平原丘岗地貌过渡;气候环境经历了弱暖湿-气候变差-凉湿-波动回暖-暖湿的变化;更新世末至全新世早期稻作农业的出现与该区的环境条件和文化基础密切相关;环境演变也推动了古人类活动范围和聚落特征的变化。%Based on detailed field surveys, comparison of strata of typical profiles and experimental analysis (in-cluding grain size, geochemical analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating) of samples col-lected at the Yanbangdang (YBD) site, we explored the environmental evolution from Late Pleistocene to Mid-dle Holocene and its impact on human activities, especially on the origin and development of rice agriculture in Liyang Plain. The results showed that the climate of the Liyang Pain during 30-6 ka B.P. experienced five stages:relatively warm and humid in the Late Pleistocene, cool and humid during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), fluctuated warming in the terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene, and warm and humid during the Middle Holocene. In the Late Pleistocene, landforms of the Liyang Plain were characterized by tablelands drained by rivers and gullies in the Late Pleistocene, with topographic relief much higher than present. As cli-matic amelioration during the terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene, continuous filling and siltation oc-curred in Liyang Plain and large areas of wetland was formed. Landscapes of the Liyang Plain at this time were mainly plains and hillocks with dense rivers and lakes and the topographic relief was gradually reduced. During the Middle Holocene, landforms of Liyang Plain were mainly

  5. Coral associations of the Pleistocene Ironshore Formation, Grand Cayman

    Hunter, I. G.; Jones, B.


    The 125-ka sea level, which was approximately 6 m above present-day sea level, led to the partial flooding of many Caribbean islands. On Grand. Cayman, this event led to the formation of the large Ironshore Lagoon that covered most of the western half of the island and numerous, small embayments along the south, east, and north coasts. At that time, at least 33 coral species grew in waters around Grand Cayman. This fauna, like the modern coral fauna of Grand Cayman, was dominated by Montastrea annularis, Porites porites, Acropora polmata, and A. cervicornis. Scolymia cubensis and Mycetophyllia ferox, not previously identified from the Late Pleistocene, are found in the Pleistocene patch reefs. Madracis mirabilis, Colpophyllia breviserialis, Agaricia tenuifolia, A. lamarcki, A. undata, Millepora spp., Mycetophyllia reesi, M. aliciae, and M. danaana, found on modern reefs, have not been identified from the Late Pleistocene reefs. Conversely, Pocillopora sp. cf. P. palmata, which is found in Late Pleistocene reefs, is absent on the modern reefs around Grand Cayman. The corals in the Ironshore Formation of Grand Cayman have been divided into 10 associations according to their dominant species, overall composition, and faunal diversity. Many of these associations are similar to the modern associations around Grand Cayman. Each of the Pleistocene coral associations, which can be accurately located on the known Late Pleistocene paleogeography of Grand Cayman, developed in distinct environmental settings. Overall trends identified in the modern settings are also apparent in the Late Pleistocene faunas. Thus, the diversity of the coral faunas increased from the interior of the Ironshore Lagoon to the reef crest. Similarly, the coral diversity in the Pleistocene patch reefs was related to the size of the reefs and their position relative to breaks in the barrier reef. The barrier reef included corals that are incapable of sediment rejection; whereas the patch reefs lacked

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

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


    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.

  7. Trichinella surveillance in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Oregon, USA.

    Mortenson, J A; Kent, M L; Fowler, D R; Chomel, B B; Immell, D A


    We used serology and muscle digestion to test black bears (Ursus americanus) from western Oregon, USA, for Trichinella. Results indicate black bears in Oregon are not part of a sylvatic cycle for Trichinella, and risk of human exposure to Trichinella larvae from eating black bear meat from Oregon appears low.

  8. Interhemispheric Correlation of Late Pleistocene Glacial Events

    Lowell, T. V.; Heusser, C. J.; Andersen, B. G.; Moreno, P. I.; Hauser, A.; Heusser, L. E.; Schluchter, C.; Marchant, D. R.; Denton, G. H.


    A radiocarbon chronology shows that piedmont glacier lobes in the Chilean Andes achieved maxima during the last glaciation at 13,900 to 14,890, 21,000, 23,060, 26,940, 29,600, and >=33,500 carbon-14 years before present (14C yr B.P.) in a cold and wet Subantarctic Parkland environment. The last glaciation ended with massive collapse of ice lobes close to 14,000 14C yr B.P., accompanied by an influx of North Patagonian Rain Forest species. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, additional glacial maxima are registered at 17,720 14C yr B.P., and at the beginning of the Younger Dryas at 11,050 14C yr B.P. These glacial maxima in mid-latitude mountains rimming the South Pacific were coeval with ice-rafting pulses in the North Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the last termination began suddenly and simultaneously in both polar hemispheres before the resumption of the modern mode of deep-water production in the Nordic Seas. Such interhemispheric coupling implies a global atmospheric signal rather than regional climatic changes caused by North Atlantic thermohaline switches or Laurentide ice surges.

  9. Pleistocene Paleoart of Australia

    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available Pleistocene rock art is abundant in Australia, but has so far received only limited attention. Instead there has been a trend, begun over a century ago, to search for presumed depictions of extinct megafauna and the tracks of such species. All these notions have been discredited, however, and the current evidence suggests that figurative depiction was introduced only during the Holocene, never reaching Tasmania. Nevertheless, some Australian rock art has been attributed to the Pleistocene by direct dating methods, and its nature implies that a significant portion of the surviving corpus of rock art may also be of such age. In particular much of Australian cave art is of the Ice Age, or appears to be so, and any heavily weathered or patinated petroglyphs on particularly hard rocks are good candidates for Pleistocene antiquity. On the other hand, there is very limited evidence of mobiliary paleoart of such age in Australia.

  10. Discussion on the evidence of three Late-Pleistocene "transgressions" in the western Taiwan Strait waters%台湾海峡西部海域晚更新世3次“海侵”依据的探讨

    周定成; 孙全; 许志峰


    晚更新世是全球气候环境与海陆变迁频繁的重要地质时期.通过对上世纪80年代采集的活塞柱状样(长度<6.5 m)的分析研究,曾提出晚更新世台湾海峡存在“金门海侵”、“福州海侵”、“海峡海侵”3次海侵.为提高台湾海峡第四纪地质研究和认知水平,本文探讨了3次“海侵”的立论依据,认为现有柱状样沉积层是晚更新世一全新世的浅表层沉积.台湾海峡具有开放性沉积条件,该浅表层沉积层的14C年龄数据应用于地层年代可能偏老.此3次“海侵”地层划分依据不足,存在疑点,尤其是“海峡海侵”.台湾海峡海底已发现数量及种类丰富的晚更新世各气候带陆生哺乳类动物遗骨,并有古人类遗骨化石,这些表明台湾海峡海底在玉木冰期鼎盛时期曾经出露成陆,并可能成为东亚大陆东缘冰期海退的海滨平原上,惟一有各种气候带古动物与古人类的生存地和避难地.%Late-Pleistocene was an important geological age witnessing frequent climatic environment and sea-land changes throughout the world. The events of Late-Pleistocene in Taiwan Strait, can be understood through the strata of that age. On the basis of the study of columnar samples ( <6.5 m) taken from the Taiwan Strait in the 1980s, three transgressions ("Jinmen", "Fuzhou", and "Strait" transgressions) in Late-Pleistocene were discovered. It was believed that the Taiwan Strait was a shallow sea environment with water depths of 30 ~ 60 m, and did not outcrop 18 000 a ago during the height of Wurm glaciation. The current study analyzed the evidence of these three transgressions, especially the "Strait Transgression". Firstly, the sedimentary layer of columnar samples makes us believe that it belongs to the superficial-surface sedimentary layer of Q3 - Q4. Since the Taiwan Strait has an open sedimentary environment, uC-dating of this layer may appear older than its chronological age. Late-Pleistocene

  11. A phase-space model for Pleistocene ice volume

    Imbrie, John Z; Lisiecki, Lorraine E


    We present a phase-space model that simulates Pleistocene ice volume changes based on Earth's orbital parameters. Terminations in the model are triggered by a combination of ice volume and orbital forcing and agree well with age estimates for Late Pleistocene terminations. The average phase at which model terminations begin is approximately 90 +/- 90 degrees before the maxima in all three orbital cycles. The large variability in phase is likely caused by interactions between the three cycles and ice volume. Unlike previous ice volume models, this model produces an orbitally driven increase in 100-kyr power during the mid-Pleistocene transition without any change in model parameters. This supports the hypothesis that Pleistocene variations in the 100-kyr power of glacial cycles could be caused, at least in part, by changes in Earth's orbital parameters, such as amplitude modulation of the 100-kyr eccentricity cycle, rather than changes within the climate system.

  12. Serologic survey of Toxoplasma gondii in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus), from Alaska, 1988 to 1991.

    Chomel, B B; Zarnke, R L; Kasten, R W; Kass, P H; Mendes, E


    We tested 644 serum samples from 480 grizzly bears and 40 black bears from Alaska (USA), collected between 1988 and 1991, for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, using a commercially available latex agglutination test (LAT). A titer > or = 64 was considered positive. Serum antibody prevalence for T. gondii in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) was 18% (87 of 480). Prevalence ranged from 9% (seven of 77) on Kodiak Island to 28% (15 of 54) in northern Alaska. Prevalence was directly correlated to age. No grizzly bears grizzly bears captured north of the Arctic Circle. Antibody prevalence in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Interior Alaska was 15% (six of 40), similar to the prevalence in grizzly bears from the same area (13%; five of 40).

  13. TL Evidence of Debris Flow Developments in the Late Pleistocene of Yunnan Jiangjia Valley Basin%晚更新世云南蒋家沟流域泥石流发育的热释光证据

    赵秋月; 魏明建; 宋波; 周锐; 张彬


    The debris flow sediments record the chronology in precipitation and climate change of local historical period has important implications .A serious of dating methods were applied to debris flow deposits chronology . Attempted to utilize thermoluminescence (TL) single aliquot regenerative dose (SAR) of ancient debris flow deposits dating at Daduo in Dongchuan , Yunnan Province, achieved the equivalent dose values of 12 samples of the section, measured U, Th, K content of each sample by neutron activation technique , calculated the annual dose, obtained the range of development time is 44.4~27.1 Ka BP.It indicated that the debris flow was still developed in the late Pleistocene:the physical weathering of rocks in glacial was stronger which made minerals more broken and the precipitation in interglacial was more abuandant .The annual dose was ranther changeable which can be mainly attributed to the large scatter of water content between ancient and modern and the content of U, Th and K with depth.Standard deviation of U was 17%, Th was 12%and K was 11%.Ages of correc-tion which was divided by arithmetic average annual dose rate had good internal consistency .The preliminary research results show that the SAR protocol of TL is a potential dating method in obtaining the chronology of de -brris flow deposits.%由于泥石流沉积物记录的时间信息对当地历史时期的降水量和气候变化等具有重要的指示意义,先后有一系列的测年方法在泥石流沉积物测年中应用,在此基础上尝试利用热释光(TL)单片再生剂量法(SAR)对云南东川地区达朵古泥石流堆积台进行测年。得到该剖面上12个样品的等效剂量值,采用中子活化分析技术测定各样品U、Th、K含量,算得年剂量率,获得达朵台地发育的时间范围为44.4~27.1 ka BP。该台地在形成时期多次受到小江流水的改造作用,致使古今含水率差异较大、放射性元素U、Th、K的含量

  14. Genetic variation in the southern pines: evolution, migration, and adaptation following the pleistocene

    Ronald Schmidtling


    Climate has certainly changed over time, requiring genetic change or migration of forest tree species. Little is known about the location of the southern pines during the Pleistocene glaciation, which ended around 14,000 years ago. Macrofossils of spruce (Picea spp.) dating from the late Pleistocene, which are typical of climates much cooler than...

  15. First report of Taenia arctos (Cestoda: Taeniidae) from grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in North America.

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; Verocai, Guilherme G; Duignan, Pádraig J


    The cestode Taenia arctos was found at necropsy in the small intestine of a grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and a black bear (Ursus americanus) from Kananaskis Country in southwestern Alberta, Canada. The autolysis of the tapeworm specimens precluded detailed morphological characterization of the parasites but molecular analysis based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene confirmed their identity as T. arctos. This is the first report of T. arctos from definitive hosts in North America. Its detection in Canadian grizzly and black bears further supports the Holarctic distribution of this tapeworm species and its specificity for ursids as final hosts. Previously, T. arctos was unambiguously described at its adult stage in brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) from Finland, and as larval stages in Eurasian elk (Alces alces) from Finland and moose (Alces americanus) from Alaska, USA. Given the morphological similarity between T. arctos and other Taenia species, the present study underlines the potential for misidentification of tapeworm taxa in previous parasitological reports from bears and moose across North America. The biogeographical history of both definitive and intermediate hosts in the Holarctic suggests an ancient interaction between U. arctos, Alces spp., and T. arctos, and a relatively recent host-switching event in U. americanus.

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

    Price, Gilbert J.


    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.

  17. Mercury biomagnification in polar bears ( Ursus maritimus)

    Horton, T. W.; Blum, J. D.; Xie, Z.; Hren, M.; Chamberlain, C. P.


    Mercury biomagnification occurs in a variety of ecosystems resulting in greater potential for toxicological effects in higher-level trophic feeders. However, Hg transport pathways through different foodweb channels are not well known, particularly in high-latitude systems affected by atmospheric Hg deposition associated with snow and ice. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios and Hg concentrations determined for 26 late 19th and early 20th century polar bear hair specimens collected from cataloged museum collections elucidate relationships between high latitude marine foodweb structure and Hg transport pathways. Nitrogen and carbon isotopic compositions suggest that polar bears derive nutrition from both open water (pelagic) and ice associated (sympagic) foodweb channels. Correlation between Hg concentrations and nitrogen isotope compositions indicate mercury biomagnification occurred in most of the polar bears investigated. Interpretation of stable isotope based foodweb structure in concert with Hg concentrations further suggests that Hg biomagnification occurred to a greater degree in polar bears participating in pelagic foodweb channels.

  18. Pleistocene glaciation of the Biokovo Massif

    Manja Žebre


    Full Text Available Biokovo massif is situated in the coastal part of the Dinaric Mountains in Croatia. Detailed morphographic and morphometric analysis of the highest parts of the massif were used to determine the extent and characteristics of Late Pleistocene glaciation. The reconstruction of glaciers and calculations of equilibrium line altitude (ELA were carried out. Our research revealed that on the north-eastern side of the highest peak Sveti Jure two cirque glaciers with an overall area of 1 km2 were formed and their ELA was 1515 m a.s.l.

  19. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    Kyriakos Tsangaras


    Full Text Available Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV. Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos and black bear (Ursus americanus but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.

  20. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) prevent trabecular bone loss during disuse (hibernation).

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Wojda, Samantha J; Barlow, Lindsay N; Drummer, Thomas D; Castillo, Alesha B; Kennedy, Oran; Condon, Keith W; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Donahue, Seth W


    Disuse typically causes an imbalance in bone formation and bone resorption, leading to losses of cortical and trabecular bone. In contrast, bears maintain balanced intracortical remodeling and prevent cortical bone loss during disuse (hibernation). Trabecular bone, however, is more detrimentally affected than cortical bone in other animal models of disuse. Here we investigated the effects of hibernation on bone remodeling, architectural properties, and mineral density of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bear (Ursus americanus) trabecular bone in several skeletal locations. There were no differences in bone volume fraction or tissue mineral density between hibernating and active bears or between pre- and post-hibernation bears in the ilium, distal femur, or calcaneus. Though indices of cellular activity level (mineral apposition rate, osteoid thickness) decreased, trabecular bone resorption and formation indices remained balanced in hibernating grizzly bears. These data suggest that bears prevent bone loss during disuse by maintaining a balance between bone formation and bone resorption, which consequently preserves bone structure and strength. Further investigation of bone metabolism in hibernating bears may lead to the translation of mechanisms preventing disuse-induced bone loss in bears into novel treatments for osteoporosis.

  1. Pleistocene oceanographie changes indicated by deep sea benthic foraminifera in the northern Indian Ocean

    Rai, Ajai K.; Srinivasan, M. S.


    An attempt has been made to understand the Pleistocene bottom water history in response to the paleoclimatic changes in the northern Indian Ocean employing quantitative analyses of deep sea benthic foraminifera at the DSDP sites 219 and 238. Among the 150 benthic foraminifera recorded a few species show dominance with changing percent frequencies during most of the sequence. The dominant benthic foraminiferal assemblages suggest that most of the Pleistocene bottom waters at site 219 and Early Pleistocene bottom waters at site 238 are of North Indian Deep Water (NIDW) origin. However, Late Pleistocene assemblage at site 238 appears to be closely associated with a water mass intermediate between North Indian Deep Water (NIDW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Uvigerina proboscidea is the most dominant benthic foraminiferal species present during the Pleistocene at both the sites. A marked increase in the relative abundance of U. proboscidea along with less diverse and equitable fauna during Early Pleistocene suggests a relative cooling, an intensified oceanic circulation and upwelling of nutrient rich bottom waters resulting in high surface productivity. At the same time, low sediment accumulation rate during Early Pleistocene reveals increased winnowing of the sediments possibly due to more corrosive and cold bottom waters. The Late Pleistocene in general, is marked by relatively warm and stable bottom waters as reflected by low abundance of U. proboscidea and more diverse and equitable benthic fauna. The lower depth range for the occurrence of Bulimina aculeate in the Indian Ocean is around 2300 m, similar to that of many other areas. B. aculeata also shows marked increase in its abundance near the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary while a sudden decrease in the relative abundance of Stilostomella lepidula occurs close to the Early/Late Pleistocene boundary.


    Rafael Labarca Encina


    Full Text Available  Se presenta un análisis osteométrico uni y multivariado con los materiales fósiles -principalmente huesos cortos y falanges- de Vicugna sp. del yacimiento Cueva Lago Sofía 4 (13500 – 11000 AP, ubicado en la provincia de Última Esperanza (Región de Magallanes, Chile. Los resultados indican que los elementos analizados poseen un tamaño compatible con los registrados para Vicugna vicugna, no superando en ningún caso a los especímenes conocidos para Vicugna gracilis del Pleistoceno de la región Pampeana. Esto confirma la información morfológica y de ADN antiguo que indicaba la presencia de Vicugna vicugna en la Patagonia meridional chilena. Se discuten los resultados en términos taxonómicos, biogeográficos y paleoecológicos sugiriendo que la presencia de este taxón fuera de su rango actual de distribución se debió a las condiciones ambientales compartidas entre la Puna y Patagonia austral durante la transición Pleistoceno-Holoceno. La extinción de V. vicugna se habría debido al impacto de los cambios climáticos ocurridos al inicio del Holoceno producto de su dieta pastadora y etología no migratoria y territorial, a lo que se habría sumado una caza por parte de depredadores humanos y no humanos.Palabras clave: género Vicugna, osteometría, Pleistoceno, Patagonia AbstractThis contribution presents the results of single and multi-variable osteometric analyses performed on a sample of short bones and phalanxes assigned to Vicugna sp. from Lago Sofía Cave 4 site (13500 – 11000 BP, Región de Magallanes, Chile. The elements analyzed show a similar size to the reference collections for Vicugna vicugna, and do not exceed the metrics for the pampean pleistocenic specimens of Vicugna gracilis. This confirms the morphological and ancient DNA data that indicated the presence of vicuña in southern Chilean Patagonia. The taxonomic, biogeographic and palaeoecologic discussion of these results, suggests that the presence of this


    Ferguson, Sylvia H; Novak, Janelle; Hecht, Silke; Craig, Linden E


    Hydrocephalus has been reported in a variety of species, including the North American black bear ( Ursus americanus ). This report describes three cases of hydrocephalus in this species from wild bears aged 3-4 mo considered retrospectively from necropsy records of one institution. Clinical signs included cortical blindness and ataxia. Primary gross findings were doming of the skull, gyri compression and flattening, and lateral ventricle dilation. Two cases had severe bilateral ventricular dilation with loss of the septum pellucidum; atrophy of the surrounding corpus callosum; and bilateral periventricular tears involving the caudate nuclei, internal capsule, and adjacent cerebrum. Histologically, the cases with periventricular tearing had severe axonal loss and degeneration, malacia, hemorrhage, and variable periventricular astrocytosis. All cases were likely congenital, given the bears' age and lack of an apparent acquired obstruction.

  4. Serosurvey of selected zoonotic agents in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Rah, H.; Chomel, B.B.; Follmann, E.H.; Kasten, R.W.; Hew, C.H.; Farver, T.B.; Garner, G.W.; Amstrup, Steven C.


    Between 1982 and 1999 blood samples were collected from 500 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, to determine the seroprevalence of Brucella species, Toxoplasma gondii, and Trichinella species infections. The bears were classified into four age groups, cubs, yearlings, subadults and adults. Brucella and Toxoplasma antibodies were detected by agglutination (a buffered acidified card antigen and rapid automated presumptive test for brucellosis and a commercial latex agglutination test for toxoplasmosis); an ELISA was used to detect Thichinella antibodies. The overall seroprevalence of Brucella species was 5 per cent, and subadults and yearlings were 2.62 times (95 per cent confidence interval 1-02 to 6-82) more likely to be seropositive for Brucella species than adults and their cubs. The antibody prevalence for Toxoplasma gondii was 6 per cent, and for Trichinella species 55.6 per cent. The prevalence of antibodies to Trichinella species increased with age (P<0.001).

  5. Steroid hormone profile in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjorn Munro; Bytingsvik, Jenny


    The polar bear is an iconic Arctic species, threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as pollution and climate change. Successful reproduction of polar bears depends on a functioning steroid hormone system, which is susceptible to effects of persistent organic pollutants. The present study...... is the first study to report circulating concentrations of nine steroid hormones (i.e., estrogens, androgens and progestagens) in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, condition, location and reproductive status on steroid profile in female polar...... bears. Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone, androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in blood (serum) of free-living female polar bears (n = 15) from Svalbard, Norway, by gas...

  6. Acquired arteriovenous fistula in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Tuttle, Allison D; MacLean, Robert A; Linder, Keith; Cullen, John M; Wolfe, Barbara A; Loomis, Michael


    A captive adult male grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated due to multifocal wounds of the skin and subcutaneous tissues sustained as a result of trauma from another grizzly bear. On presentation, one lesion that was located in the perineal region seemed to be a deep puncture with purple tissue protruding from it. This perineal wound did not heal in the same manner or rate as did the other wounds. Twenty-five days after initial detection, substantial active hemorrhage from the lesion occurred and necessitated anesthesia for examination of the bear. The entire lesion was surgically excised, which later proved curative. An acquired arteriovenous fistula was diagnosed via histopathology. Arteriovenous fistulas can develop after traumatic injury and should be considered as a potential complication in bears with nonhealing wounds.


    Mitchell, Jeffrey W; Thomovsky, Stephanie A; Chen, Annie V; Layton, Arthur W; Haldorson, Gary; Tucker, Russell L; Roberts, Gregory


    A 3-yr-old female spayed grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated for seizure activity along with lethargy, inappetence, dull mentation, and aggressive behavior. Magnetic resonance (MR) examination of the brain revealed a contrast-enhanced right cerebellar mass with multifocal smaller nodules located in the left cerebellum, thalamus, hippocampus, and cerebrum with resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed mild mononuclear pleocytosis, with differentials including inflammatory versus neoplastic processes. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid were also submitted for polymerase chain reaction and agar gel immunodiffusion to rule out infectious causes of meningitis/encephalitis. While awaiting these results, the bear was placed on steroid and antibiotic therapy. Over the next week, the bear deteriorated; she died 1 wk after MR. A complete postmortem examination, including immunohistochemisty, revealed the cerebellar mass to be a medulloblastoma. This is the only case report, to the authors' knowledge, describing a medulloblastoma in a grizzly bear.

  8. Disseminated pleomorphic myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Mete, A; Woods, L; Famini, D; Anderson, M


    The pathological and diagnostic features of a widely disseminated pleomorphic high-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma are described in a 23-year-old male brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Firm, solid, white to tan neoplastic nodules, often with cavitated or soft grey-red necrotic centres, were observed throughout most internal organs, subcutaneous tissues and skeletal muscles on gross examination. Microscopically, the tumour consisted of pleomorphic spindle cells forming interlacing fascicles with a focal storiform pattern with large numbers of bizarre polygonal multinucleate cells, frequently within a collagenous stroma. Immunohistochemistry, Masson's trichrome stain and transmission electron microscopy designated the myofibroblast as the cell of origin. This is the first case of a high-grade myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear.

  9. Palaeogeography of the Caspian Sea marine Pleistocene

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


    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. High resolution studies of gully erosion, sedimentation processes, and land use changes since the late Pleistocene and future trajectories in the Kazimierz Dolny area (Nałęczów Plateau, SE-Poland)

    Dotterweich, M.; Rodzik, J.; Zgłobicki, W.; Schmitt, A.; Schmidtchen, G.; Bork, H. R.


    This paper presents the results of 30 years of research on the Doły Podmularskie gully system (catchment 0.35 km2 in size), which is situated in the south-western part of the loess-covered Nałęczów Plateau in SE-Poland. Detailed topographic, stratigraphic and pedologic investigations, and monitoring of a tributary gully (gully area: 0.7 ha, catchment: 2.5 ha), combined with historical, archaeological and palaeoecological records reveal a long and complex history in terms of the temporal and spatial extent and the impact of land use on gully erosion, and the long-term feed-back mechanisms between land use changes and natural processes since the end of the Pleistocene are also expressed. Phases of gully erosion and subsequent filling occurred in the Bronze Age and around the 10th to 11th century. The most severe deepening and expansion of the gully took place in the 17th century. The results also show that field structures and land use intensity had a significant influence on the frequency and magnitude of run-off, soil erosion, piping, and landslide events. The last significant erosion phase started in the mid-19th century with renewed headward retreatment and down-cutting into older gully fills. Today, most of the catchment is either forested or the land is covered in berry shrubs. In the future, the area will continue to produce sediments, because of the steep slopes and because there are still areas of bare soil with a low resistance to erosion, a legacy from past land uses, which will remain a factor affecting soil erosion and sedimentation processes in the future. This study is an example of how important it is to observe and understand slow geomorphologic processes, changes and rare extreme events in the light of land use changes when investigating long-term human-environment interactions.

  11. The Pleistocene Gomphotheres (Proboscidea) from South America: Diversity, Habitats and Feeding Ecology

    Prado, José Luis; Alberdi Alonso, María Teresa; Azanza, Beatriz; Sánchez Chillón, Begoña; Frassinetti, D.


    Gomphotheres were recorded in South America from the early-middle Pleistocene (Ensenadan Land-mammal Age) to the late Pleistocene (Lujanian Land-mammal Age). They arrived in South America during the “Great American Biotic Interchange”. Only two genera are recognised: Cuvieronius, which has only one species, Cuvieronius hyodon; and Stegomastodon, which has two species, Stegomastodon waringi and Stegomastodon platensis. The small Cuvieronius utilised the Andean corridor and it was a...

  12. Pleistocene Paleoart of Europe

    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available As in Australia, Pleistocene rock art is relatively abundant in Europe, but it has so far received much more attention than the combined Ice Age paleoart of the rest of the world. Since archaeology initially rejected its authenticity for several decades, the cave art of France and Spain and the portable paleoart from various regions of Europe have been the subjects of thousands of studies. It is shown, however, that much of the published information is unreliable and subjective, and that fundamental trends in the evidence have been misunderstood. In particular, the data implies that the paleoart of the Early Upper Paleolithic, the work of robust humans such as Neanderthals, is considerably more sophisticated and developed that that of more recent times. Thus, the European paleoart demonstrates that the teleological model of cultural “evolution” is false, which is to be expected because evolution is purely dysteleological. This is confirmed by the extensive record of pre-Upper Paleolithic European paleoart, which is comprehensively reviewed in this paper.

  13. Calibration of amino acid racemization (AAR) kinetics in United States mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Quaternary mollusks using 87Sr/ 86Sr analyses: Evaluation of kinetic models and estimation of regional Late Pleistocene temperature history

    Wehmiller, J. F.; Harris, W.B.; Boutin, B.S.; Farrell, K.M.


    The use of amino acid racemization (AAR) for estimating ages of Quaternary fossils usually requires a combination of kinetic and effective temperature modeling or independent age calibration of analyzed samples. Because of limited availability of calibration samples, age estimates are often based on model extrapolations from single calibration points over wide ranges of D/L values. Here we present paired AAR and 87Sr/ 86Sr results for Pleistocene mollusks from the North Carolina Coastal Plain, USA. 87Sr/ 86Sr age estimates, derived from the lookup table of McArthur et al. [McArthur, J.M., Howarth, R.J., Bailey, T.R., 2001. Strontium isotopic stratigraphy: LOWESS version 3: best fit to the marine Sr-isotopic curve for 0-509 Ma and accompanying Look-up table for deriving numerical age. Journal of Geology 109, 155-169], provide independent age calibration over the full range of amino acid D/L values, thereby allowing comparisons of alternative kinetic models for seven amino acids. The often-used parabolic kinetic model is found to be insufficient to explain the pattern of racemization, although the kinetic pathways for valine racemization and isoleucine epimerization can be closely approximated with this function. Logarithmic and power law regressions more accurately represent the racemization pathways for all amino acids. The reliability of a non-linear model for leucine racemization, developed and refined over the past 20 years, is confirmed by the 87Sr/ 86Sr age results. This age model indicates that the subsurface record (up to 80m thick) of the North Carolina Coastal Plain spans the entire Quaternary, back to ???2.5Ma. The calibrated kinetics derived from this age model yield an estimate of the effective temperature for the study region of 11??2??C., from which we estimate full glacial (Last Glacial Maximum - LGM) temperatures for the region on the order of 7-10??C cooler than present. These temperatures compare favorably with independent paleoclimate information

  14. Acquired umbilical hernias in four captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Velguth, Karen E; Rochat, Mark C; Langan, Jennifer N; Backues, Kay


    Umbilical hernias are a common occurrence in domestic animals and humans but have not been well documented in polar bears. Surgical reduction and herniorrhaphies were performed to correct acquired hernias in the region of the umbilicus in four adult captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) housed in North American zoos. Two of the four bears were clinically unaffected by their hernias prior to surgery. One bear showed signs of severe discomfort following acute enlargement of the hernia. In another bear, re-herniation led to acute abdominal pain due to gastric entrapment and strangulation. The hernias in three bears were surgically repaired by debridement of the hernia ring and direct apposition of the abdominal wall, while the large defect in the most severely affected bear was closed using polypropylene mesh to prevent excessive tension. The cases in this series demonstrate that while small hernias may remain clinically inconsequential for long periods of time, enlargement or recurrence of the defect can lead to incarceration and acute abdominal crisis. Umbilical herniation has not been reported in free-ranging polar bears, and it is suspected that factors such as body condition, limited exercise, or enclosure design potentially contribute to the development of umbilical hernias in captive polar bears.

  15. Platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos compared to man

    Särndahl Eva


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Information on hemostasis and platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos is of importance for understanding the physiological, protective changes during hibernation. Objective The study objective was to document platelet activity values in brown bears shortly after leaving the den and compare them to platelet function in healthy humans. Methods Blood was drawn from immobilized wild brown bears 7-10 days after leaving the den in mid April. Blood samples from healthy human adults before and after clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid administration served as control. We analyzed blood samples by standard blood testing and platelet aggregation was quantified after stimulation with various agonists using multiple electrode aggregometry within 3 hours of sampling. Results Blood samples were collected from 6 bears (3 females between 1 and 16 years old and from 10 healthy humans. Results of adenosine diphosphate, aspirin, and thrombin receptor activating peptide tests in bears were all half or less of those in humans. Platelet and white blood cell counts did not differ between species but brown bears had more and smaller red blood cells compared with humans. Conclusion Using three different tests, we conclude that platelet function is lower in brown bears compared to humans. Our findings represent the first descriptive study on platelet function in brown bears and may contribute to explain how bears can endure denning without obvious thrombus building. However, the possibility that our findings reflect test-dependent and not true biological variations in platelet reactivity needs further studies.

  16. Obliquity and precession as pacemakers of Pleistocene deglaciations

    Feng, Fabo


    The Milankovitch theory states that the orbital eccentricity, precession, and obliquity of the Earth influence our climate by modulating the summer insolation at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Despite considerable success of this theory in explaining climate change over the Pleistocene epoch (2.6 to 0.01 Myr ago), it is inconclusive with regard to which combination of orbital elements paced the 100 kyr glacial-interglacial cycles over the late Pleistocene. Here we explore the role of the orbital elements in pacing the Pleistocene deglaciations by modeling ice-volume variations in a Bayesian approach. When comparing models, this approach takes into account the uncertainties in the data as well as the different degrees of model complexity. We find that the Earth's obliquity (axial tilt) plays a dominant role in pacing the glacial cycles over the whole Pleistocene, while precession only becomes important in pacing major deglaciations after the transition of the dominant period from 41 kyr to 100 kyr ...

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

    Hayward, Bruce W.


    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.

  18. Questioning current practice in brown bear, Ursus arctos, conservation in Europe that undervalues taxonomy

    Gippoliti, S.


    The present paper highlights problems associated with the currently–accepted taxonomy of brown bear, Ursus arctos, and their consequences for conservation at the European level. The enormous morphological variability within Ursus arctos is not acknowledged in current taxonomy and conservation practice. Seven major clades are recognized in Ursus arctos by molecular researchers, and although Western Europe maintains most of the populations belonging to the relict Clade 1 brown bear lineage, no reference to this is made in current conservation policy. Furthermore, the tiny population of Apennine brown bears, characterized by unique skull morphology, is not even recognized as a distinct ESU (evolutionari significant unit) by current European legislation, nor is it included in the IUCN Red List. This may have serious consequences as brown bear conservation in Western Europe has been mainly based on restocking and reintroduction programs. (Author)

  19. El registro más completo de un Hoplophorini (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae para los Pisos/Edades Chapadmalalense-Marplatense (Plioceno tardío-Pleistoceno temprano The most complete record of a Hoplophorini (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae for the Chapadmalalan-Marplatan Stages (Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

    Alfredo E Zurita


    by Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis (Ameghino in Rovereto, a fossil guide of the Upper Chapadmalalan Stage, and the Plohophorini Plohophorus figuratus Ameghino. On the other hand, the "Hoplophorinae" Hoplophorini are glyptodonts that have its first records during the Huayquerian (late Miocene and "Araucanian" Stages (late Miocene-early Pliocene, but they are almost absents during the Chapadmalalan-Marplatan Stages (Pliocene-early Pleistocene. Later, the Hoplophorini (Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto are, together with Glyptodon Owen, the most common South American Pleistocene Glyptodontidae. In this contribution we report the first record of a Chapadmalalan Hoplophorini, assigned to the genus Eosclerocalyptus C. Ameghino (Eosclerocalyptus cf. E. lineatus, coming from the Mar del Plata locality, Buenos Aires province (Argentina. This new material, represented by a complete dorsal carapace, was exhumed from the upper section of the Chapadmalalan Formation. From a morphological perspective, this dorsal carapace shows an intermediate size between E. tapinocephalus Cabrera, E. proximus (Moreno & Mercerat and Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto. Together with cf. Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis and Plohophorus figuratus Ameghino those records represents the most entire Pliocene Glyptodontidae known and, in addition, it partially complete the stratigraphical distribution of the Glyptodontidae Hoplophorini.

  20. Anthropogenic Origin of Siliceous Scoria Droplets from Pleistocene and Holocene Archeaological Sites in Northern Syria

    Thy, Peter; Willcox, George; Barfod, Gry;


    Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event. The !ndi......Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event...

  1. Blindness in a wild American black bear cub (Ursus americanus).

    Dombrowski, Elizabeth; McGregor, Glenna F; Bauer, Bianca S; Parker, Dennilyn; Grahn, Bruce H


    An approximately six-month-old wild American black bear (Ursus americanus) was found wandering in Saskatchewan and was presented to the Veterinary Medical Centre of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for apparent blindness. Clinical examination confirmed an inability to navigate a photopic maze, bilateral tapetal hyper-reflectivity, fundi devoid of retinal vessels, and small pale optic nerve papillae. Single-flash electroretinography revealed A and B-wave amplitudes of approximately 40 and 140 microvolts, respectively, in both eyes. Histologic abnormalities included bilateral optic papillary mineralization and bilateral segmental optic nerve degeneration, with occasional intralesional lymphocytes confirmed with immunohistochemistry for CD3+. There was also bilateral multifocal retinal dysplasia, gliosis, lymphocytic retinitis, a complete lack of retinal blood vessels, an intravitreal vascular membrane, and a mild lymphocytic-plasmacytic uveitis with small pre-iridal cellular membranes. The presence of a positive ERG in a blind bear with numerous retinal ganglion cells and degenerative changes in the optic nerve are most consistent with vision loss due to optic nerve injury, which given the young age of the bear likely occurred during ocular development. The presence of ocular inflammation suggests this injury resulted from an inflammatory/infectious process. The etiology could not be determined. Hepatic concentrations of vitamin A were within the normal reference range for domestic species. Pan-herpesvirus PCR and immunohistochemistry for canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii were negative, although this does not rule out these or other infectious etiologies. This represents the first case report of neonatal or congenital ocular abnormalities in an ursid species.

  2. Cardiac function adaptations in hibernating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T


    Research on the cardiovascular physiology of hibernating mammals may provide insight into evolutionary adaptations; however, anesthesia used to handle wild animals may affect the cardiovascular parameters of interest. To overcome these potential biases, we investigated the functional cardiac phenotype of the hibernating grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) during the active, transitional and hibernating phases over a 4 year period in conscious rather than anesthetized bears. The bears were captive born and serially studied from the age of 5 months to 4 years. Heart rate was significantly different from active (82.6 +/- 7.7 beats/min) to hibernating states (17.8 +/- 2.8 beats/min). There was no difference from the active to the hibernating state in diastolic and stroke volume parameters or in left atrial area. Left ventricular volume:mass was significantly increased during hibernation indicating decreased ventricular mass. Ejection fraction of the left ventricle was not different between active and hibernating states. In contrast, total left atrial emptying fraction was significantly reduced during hibernation (17.8 +/- 2.8%) as compared to the active state (40.8 +/- 1.9%). Reduced atrial chamber function was also supported by reduced atrial contraction blood flow velocities and atrial contraction ejection fraction during hibernation; 7.1 +/- 2.8% as compared to 20.7 +/- 3% during the active state. Changes in the diastolic cardiac filling cycle, especially atrial chamber contribution to ventricular filling, appear to be the most prominent macroscopic functional change during hibernation. Thus, we propose that these changes in atrial chamber function constitute a major adaptation during hibernation which allows the myocardium to conserve energy, avoid chamber dilation and remain healthy during a period of extremely low heart rates. These findings will aid in rational approaches to identifying underlying molecular mechanisms.

  3. Single-grain OSL chronologies for Middle Palaeolithic deposits at El Mnasra and El Harhoura 2, Morocco: implications for Late Pleistocene human-environment interactions along the Atlantic coast of northwest Africa.

    Jacobs, Zenobia; Roberts, Richard G; Nespoulet, Roland; El Hajraoui, Mohammed Abdeljalil; Debénath, André


    Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) measurements were made on individual, sand-sized grains of quartz from Middle Palaeolithic deposits at two cave sites (El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra) on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. We were able to calculate OSL ages for 32 of the 33 samples collected from the Middle Palaeolithic deposits, including the earliest and latest Aterian levels at both sites. These ages reveal periods of occupation between about 110 and 95 ka (thousands of years ago), and at ~75 ka. A late Middle Palaeolithic occupation of El Harhoura 2 is also recorded at ~55 ka. Our single-grain OSL chronologies largely support previous age estimates from El Mnasra and other sites along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, but are generally more precise, reproducible and stratigraphically more coherent (i.e., fewer age reversals). We compare the single-grain ages for El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra with those obtained from single- and multi-grain OSL dating of Middle Palaeolithic deposits in the nearby sites of Contrebandiers and Dar es-Soltan 1 and 2, and with records of past regional environments preserved in sediment cores collected from off the coast of northwest Africa. A conspicuous feature of the new chronologies is the close correspondence between the three identified episodes of human occupation and periods of wetter climate and expanded grassland habitat. Owing to the precision of the single-grain OSL ages, we are able to discern gaps in occupation during Marine Isotope Stages 5 and 4, which may represent drier periods with reduced vegetation cover. We propose that these climatic conditions can be correlated with events in the North Atlantic Ocean that exert a major control on abrupt, millennial-scale fluctuations between wet and dry periods in northwest and central North Africa.

  4. Late-Quaternary biogeographic scenarios for the brown bear ( Ursus arctos), a wild mammal model species

    Davison, John; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Bray, Sarah C.; Korsten, Marju; Tammeleht, Egle; Hindrikson, Maris; Østbye, Kjartan; Østbye, Eivind; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Austin, Jeremy; Cooper, Alan; Saarma, Urmas


    This review provides an up-to-date synthesis of the matrilineal phylogeography of a uniquely well-studied Holarctic mammal, the brown bear. We extend current knowledge by presenting a DNA sequence derived from one of the earliest known fossils of a polar bear (dated to 115 000 years before present), a species that shares a paraphyletic mitochondrial association with brown bears. A molecular clock analysis of 140 mitochondrial DNA sequences, including our new polar bear sequence, provides novel insights into the times of origin for different brown bear clades. We propose a number of regional biogeographic scenarios based on genetic data, divergence time estimates and paleontological records. The case of the brown bear provides an example for researchers working with less well-studied taxa: it shows clearly that phylogeographic models based on patterns of modern genetic variation alone can be substantially improved by including data on historical patterns of genetic diversity in the form of ancient DNA sequences derived from accurately dated samples and by using an approach to divergence-time estimation that suits the data under analysis. Using such approaches it has been possible to (i) establish that the processes shaping modern genetic diversity in brown bears acted recently, within the last three glacial cycles; (ii) distinguish among hypotheses concerning species' responses to climatic oscillations in accordance with the lack of phylogeographic structure that existed in brown bears prior to the last glacial maximum (LGM); (iii) reassess theories linking monophyletic brown bear populations to particular LGM refuge areas; and (iv) identify vicariance events and track analogous patterns of migration by brown bears out of Eurasia to North America and Japan.

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

    Evgeny I Rogaev


    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Presencia de Antifer ultra Ameghino (=Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela (Artiodactyla, Cervidae en el Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano de Chile central (30-35°S Presence of Antifer ultra Ameghino (=Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela in the late Pleistocene-early Holocene of Central Chile (30-35°S

    Rafael Labarca E


    Full Text Available El presente trabajo discute el estatus taxonómico de la especie Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela, 1984, definida a partir de astas completas procedentes de la laguna Taguatagua y la quebrada de Quereo (Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano, en Chile central (30-35°S. Se concluye, a partir de un estudio morfológico y morfométrico detallado, que Antifer niemeyeri debe ser considerado sinónimo de Antifer ultra Ameghino, 1889 dados los caracteres anatómicos compartidos con esta especie. Los resultados amplían la distribución geográfica del taxón, que previamente se registraba en Argentina, Uruguay y sur de Brasil, y confirman su biocrón para el Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano (edad Lu-janense, aun cuando las fechas radiocarbónicas de Chile central (ca. 9.900 años 14C AP corresponden a las más tardías para la especie. A la luz de la evidencia paleoclimática disponible, se vincula A ultra durante el Pleistoceno de Chile central a ambientes cálidos y abiertos. Considerando estos requerimientos, se discute su posible vía de ingreso al actual territorio chileno a través de corredores ubicados hacia el sur del macizo andino, y su coexistencia con Hippocamelus bisulcus Molina, 1782. De acuerdo a la información estratigráfica y paleoambiental, se postula que ambas especies habrían sido alopátridas, por lo menos en el área de estudio.This paper discusses the taxonomic status of Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela, 1984, defined from complete antlers from Taguatagua lake and Quereo canyon, both located in central Chile (30-35°S. From a detailed morphological and moiphometrical study, it is concluded that Antifer niemeyeri should be considered synonymous with Antifer ultra Ameghino, 1889, due to the anatomical characters shared between both forms. These results expand the geographical distribution of this taxa previously recorded in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil, confirming their late Pleistocene-early Holocene biochron, in spite

  7. Abrupt Climate Change and Origin of Chinese Agriculture from the End of Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene%晚更新世末期-全新世早期的气候突变和中国农业的起源

    侯光良; 肖景义


    农业起源和气候变化关系的研究,对于目前人类社会对全球变暖的响应与适应有一定借鉴意义.农业起源需具备一定环境和人口压力、适合的地形、适宜野生稻和黍(粟)生长的气候环境、有从事高级采集一农业活动的文化背景等条件.根据环境演变和考古资料,晚更新世末期一全新世早期,中国经历了一系列气候变化事件.气候变化刺激了农业的形成与发展,新仙女木时期巨大的环境一人口压力促进了农业的产生;8.2 ka BP气候干冷事件推动了农业的扩张.根据农业起源时期的地理环境和典型遗址分布,结合农业起源需具备的条件,综合分析发现:太行山南麓、汾渭谷地一带应该是北方黍(粟)作农业起源地,长江中下游平原一南岭北麓过渡地带应该是南方稻作起源地.%The research on the relationship between Chinese agricultural origin and climate change can be actively used as a significant reference for present human beings' response and adaptation to global warming. Conditions required for the origin of agriculture are: certain environmental premises, population pressure, appropriate landform, suitable climatic conditions for wild rice and millet, cultural background and inheritance of advanced harvesting and agricultural activities. According to the data of the environmental changes and those of archaeology, it can be known that during the period from the end of late Pleistocene to early Holocene China experienced a series of events of climate change. The climate change stimulated the formation and development of agriculture; the tremendous pressure of environment and population during the YD period brought about the existence of agriculture and the event of dramatically cold-dry variation 8.2 kaBP provoked the expansion of agriculture, turning it into the leading industry. Comprehensively analyzing the climate, vegetation, landforms and other natural factors during the

  8. Impacts of Human Recreation on Brown Bears (Ursus arctos): A Review and New Management Tool

    Jennifer K. Fortin; Karyn D. Rode; Grant V. Hilderbrand; Jim Wilder; Sean Farley; Carole Jorgensen; Bruce G. Marcot


    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus...

  9. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects

    Nuijten, R.J.M.; Hendriks, A.J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Schipper, A.M.


    Abstract Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds bio-accu

  10. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects

    Nuijten, R.J.M.; Hendriks, A.J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Schipper, A.M.


    Abstract Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds


    Serum samples from 419 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea (collected 1990 - 2000) and 108 polar bears from East Greenland (collected 1999 - 2004) were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibody prevalences were ...

  12. One of the last wild brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Netherlands (Noordwijk)

    van der Plicht, Johannes; Kuijper, Wim J.; Verheijen, Ivo K.A.; Ramcharan, André; Kolfschoten, T. van


    Early in 2016, bones of a left front leg of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) were found in the dunes between Noordwijk and Zandvoort (Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen - Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes). The stratigraphical composition of the find horizon was identified as the old surface (palaeosoil) of the s

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

    Chester, David K.


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

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

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L


    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. Isotope studies of fossil bones of Pleistocene Yakut horses

    A. Di Matteo


    Full Text Available Well-conserved carcasses of ancient large mammals can be found in permafrost of North-eastern Siberia. Mummified remains of ancient horses are rather rare ones. Complex stable isotope studies of 5 mummies and several horses’ bones from Northern Yakutia were carried out. Results obtained testify to possibility to use carbon isotope composition of hydroxylapatite carbonate from horses’ bones as palaeoclimatic indicator. It was determined relative (warmer or cooler, more dry or humid environmental conditions during our horses’ lives. Preliminary data allow us to suppose that in Late Pleistocene lived in similar landscapes as well in Yakutia as Western Europe.

  16. The late Pleistocene dispersal of modern humans in the Americas.

    Goebel, Ted; Waters, Michael R; O'Rourke, Dennis H


    When did humans colonize the Americas? From where did they come and what routes did they take? These questions have gripped scientists for decades, but until recently answers have proven difficult to find. Current genetic evidence implies dispersal from a single Siberian population toward the Bering Land Bridge no earlier than about 30,000 years ago (and possibly after 22,000 years ago), then migration from Beringia to the Americas sometime after 16,500 years ago. The archaeological records of Siberia and Beringia generally support these findings, as do archaeological sites in North and South America dating to as early as 15,000 years ago. If this is the time of colonization, geological data from western Canada suggest that humans dispersed along the recently deglaciated Pacific coastline.

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

    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


    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 (tropical Africa.

  18. Atlantic overturning responses to Late Pleistocene climate forcings.

    Lisiecki, Lorraine E; Raymo, Maureen E; Curry, William B


    The factors driving glacial changes in ocean overturning circulation are not well understood. On the basis of a comparison of 20 climate variables over the past four glacial cycles, the SPECMAP project proposed that summer insolation at high northern latitudes (that is, Milankovitch forcing) drives the same sequence of ocean circulation and other climate responses over 100-kyr eccentricity cycles, 41-kyr obliquity cycles and 23-kyr precession cycles. SPECMAP analysed the circulation response at only a few sites in the Atlantic Ocean, however, and the phase of circulation response has been shown to vary by site and orbital band. Here we test the SPECMAP hypothesis by measuring the phase of orbital responses in benthic delta(13)C (a proxy indicator of ocean nutrient content) at 24 sites throughout the Atlantic over the past 425 kyr. On the basis of delta(13)C responses at 3,000-4,010 m water depth, we find that maxima in Milankovitch forcing are associated with greater mid-depth overturning in the obliquity band but less overturning in the precession band. This suggests that Atlantic overturning is strongly sensitive to factors beyond ice volume and summer insolation at high northern latitudes. A better understanding of these processes could lead to improvements in model estimates of overturning rates, which range from a 40 per cent increase to a 40 per cent decrease at the Last Glacial Maximum and a 10-50 per cent decrease over the next 140 yr in response to projected increases in atmospheric CO(2) (ref. 4).


    van der Plicht, J.; Imamura, M.; Sakamoto, M.; Boaretto, E.; Rebollo Franco, N.R.


    We have radiocarbon dated series of tree rings from 2 fossil trees (named ND-113 and the Fuji tree) buried in fossil volcanic avalanche deposits in Japan. They are dendrochronologically floating, dating beyond the tree-ring part of the C-14 calibration curve. The trees show about 350 and 400 annual

  20. Late-Quaternary recharge determined from chloride in shallow groundwater in the central Great Plains

    MacFarlane, PA; Clark, JF; Davisson, ML; Hudson, GB; Whittemore, DO


    An extensive suite of isotopic and geochemical tracers in groundwater has been used to provide hydrologic assessments of the hierarchy of flow systems in aquifers underlying the central Great Plains (southeastern Colorado and western Kansas) of the United States and to determine the late Pleistocene and Holocene paleotemperature and paleorecharge record. Hydrogeologic and geochemical tracer data permit classification of the samples into late Holocene, late Pleistocene-early Holocene, and much...

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

    González Sampériz, Penélope


    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

  2. Plio-Pleistocene time evolution of the 100-ky cycle in marine paleoclimate records

    Park, Jeffrey; Maasch, Kirk A.


    To constrain theories for the dynamical evolution of global ice mass through the late Neogene, it is important to determine whether major changes in the record were gradual or rapid. Of particular interest is the evolution of the near 100-ky ice age cycle in the middle Pleistocene. We have applied a new technique based on multiple taper spectrum analysis which allows us to model the time evolution of quasi-periodic signals. This technique uses both phase and amplitude information, and enables us to address the question of abrupt versus gradual onset of the 100-ky periodicity in the middle Pleistocene.

  3. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans.

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


    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.

  4. Acute Chagas' cardiopathy in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Guadalajara, Mexico

    Jaime-Andrade G. J.


    Full Text Available We report a 24 year old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus who contracted Chagas' infection at the Guadalajara Zoo, in Jalisco, México, and died of acute Chagas' carditis 15 days later. The histopathological findings are described, as well as the presence of triatomines (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infected with Trypanosoma cruzi collected within 5 meters from the place where the animal lived in the city of Guadalajara.




    Full Text Available We here present che preliminary results of the analysis of the fossil bird assemblages found in the lignite deposits of the Pietrafitta Mine (Perugia, Central Italy. A rich vertebrate association, mainly mammals, has been retrieved in Pietrafitta, which is the richest local fauna of the Farneta Faunal Unit (late Villafranchian, early Pleistocene. Avian remains of Podicipedidae, Ardeidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Anatidae, Phasianidae and Rallidae have been identified, for most of which Pietrafitta represents the earliest occurrence in Italy. The Pietrafitta fossil bird association is the first Italian bird assemblage of the Early Pleistocene and seems to be one of the most important ones for the early Pleistocene in Europe, especially because it contains mainly aquatic birds, often rare in many other European deposits. 

  6. On the palaeobiology of the extinct cave bear Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER. Insights from stable isotope analysis

    Grandal-D'Anglade, Aurora; Pérez-Rama, Marta; Fernández-Mosquera, Daniel


    Isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N) of bone collagen are used more and more to obtain the paleobiological data of fossil species. By means of these signatures, for example, the diet type of an extint species may be inferred. Also, the climate in which this species developed may greatly influence on the isotopic signature of its bone collagen. This influence is firstly produced in the initial material of the trophic chain but also may produce variations due to physiological changes caused by climatic changes in the species involved in this trophic chain. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER) is a species of broad distribution in the European Pleistocene sites that has been studied from the isotopic point of view, trying to establish its diet type. For the moment, the results vary: though in most cases the isotopic values indicate a preferably herbivore diet type, differences exist between sites of different geographic zones and chronologies. Taking into account that climate influences on the cave bear's physiology through the physiological mechanism of hibernation, it is expected that in bears that lived in different climatic phases, the isotopic signatures will be also different. During hibernation a recycling of nitrogenised compounds is produced for protein synthesis, including bone collagen, so it is expected that the isotopic signature, at least of Nitrogen, will be altered with respect to the synthesized collagen when the bear is active and feeds normally. However, it is difficult to establish up to what extent the isotopic signatures due to hibernation or diet are overlapped. To study the physiological effect of hibernation on isotopic signatures we have selected bone remains of cave bears from populations whose chronologies correspond to different climatic moments, and in different ontogenetic stages, coming from Galician caves (NW of the Iberian Peninsula). Adult individuals show different isotopic signatures depending on their chronology. Juvenile

  7. Plio-Pleistocene aardvarks (Mammalia, Tubulidentata from East Africa

    T. Lehmann


    Full Text Available The Tubulidentata are unique among mammals for being the only order represented nowadays by a single living species, Orycteropus afer: the aardvark. Nevertheless, it is one of the least studied mammalian orders. Aardvarks are currently distributed all over sub-Saharan Africa, but the fossil record extends their spatial range to Europe and Asia. The earliest known Tubulidentata are ca. 20 million years old. About 14 species and three to four genera have been recognised so far, but since the late Pliocene, aardvarks have only been represented by a single genus and are restricted to Africa. The extant aardvark is the only species of Tubulidentata with a large distribution area, i.e. the African continent. There are three known Plio-Pleistocene African species of aardvark: Orycteropus afer (Pallas, 1766, O. crassidens MacInnes, 1956, and O. djourabensis Lehmann et al., 2004. Fossils of these species have been discovered in North-Africa, Kenya, and Chad respectively. The present study is focused on the aardvark material found in the Plio-Pleistocene of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya. New specimens from Asa Issie (Ethiopia and East Turkana (Kenya are described, and published ones are re-examined in the light of the latest discoveries. This study demonstrates that Kenyan specimens identified as O. crassidens are in fact representatives of the Chadian O. djourabensis. Moreover, additional material from Ethiopia and Kenya shows a close relationship with the latter species too. The presence of specimens of O. djourabensis in Chad and in Kenya during the Plio-Pleistocene implies that this taxon is the oldest-known species of aardvark to have experienced a continental dispersal. It also shows that Tubulidentates were able to cross Africa from east-west during Plio-Pleistocene times, despite the presence of the Rift Valley. It is however not possible to infer the centre of origin of O. djourabensis. Finally, this study suggests that two species of aardvark

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

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


    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.

  9. Complete Genome Sequence of a Rabies Virus Strain Isolated from a Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) in Primorsky Krai, Russia (November 2014).

    Shchelkanov, Michael Y; Deviatkin, Andrei A; Ananiev, Vasily Y; Dedkov, Vladimir G; Shipulin, German A; Sokol, Nataliya N; Dombrovskaya, Irina E; Galkina, Irina V; Shmelev, Mikhail E; Gorelikov, Vladimir N; Kozhan, Valentina N; Prosyannikova, Marina N; Aramilev, Sergei V; Fomenko, Pavel V


    We report here the complete genome sequence (GenBank KP997032) of rabies virus strain RABV/Ursus arctos/Russia/Primorye/PO-01/2014, isolated in November 2014 from a brown bear (Ursus arctos) that attacked a person in Primorsky Krai (Russian Federation). This strain was clustered into the Eurasian genetic subgroup of genotype 1 (street rage).

  10. New body mass estimates of British Pleistocene wolves: Palaeoenvironmental implications and competitive interactions

    Flower, L. O. H.


    Body mass was reconstructed for early Middle Pleistocene Canis mosbachensis and late Middle to Late Pleistocene Canis lupus from key assemblages in Britain, to explore the presence of temporal size variability and whether size fluctuations were related to changes in climate and environment or to differences in Pleistocene carnivore community structure. Using the well-known body mass predictor of lower carnassial (m1) tooth length, combined with an extant canid dataset incorporating 25 species, least squares regression was used to assess allometric scaling prior to modelling the relationship between body mass and m1 length, producing a new predictive equation of Pleistocene canid body mass. The medium-sized C. mosbachensis had relatively stable body mass, with remarkable consistency in size compared to populations in the late Early Pleistocene of Europe. Periodical fluctuations in climatic conditions had a minimal effect on C. mosbachensis size over time, with the terrestrial connection between Britain and mainland Europe at this time key in promoting body mass stability by enabling movement away from less favourable conditions and to follow prey into refugia. Overall changes in carnivore guild structure were of minimal influence to C. mosbachensis in Britain, as the continued predominance of larger carnivores, in particular a larger canid, effectively constrained C. mosbachensis. In contrast, the body mass of larger-sized C. lupus was highly temporally varied, with an increasing size trend evident into the Devensian. Similar body size in the penultimate interglacial (MIS 7) and Middle Devensian (MIS 3) populations likely reflects palaeoenvironmental similarity and comparable carnivore community and prey spectrums, with larger predators effectively constraining C. lupus. However, the severely cold conditions of the Early Devensian (MIS 5a) may have caused a Bergmannian response in wolves, leading to their comparatively much larger size, with C. lupus further

  11. Mammal diversity during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Eastern Europe.

    Puzachenko, Andrei Yurievich; Markova, Anastasia Konstantinovna


    Fossil record data on the mammal diversity and species richness are of importance for the reconstruction of the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition. In Eastern Europe, the transformations during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition consisted mainly in changes in zonal structure and local fauna composition (Markova & Kolfschoten 2008). We investigated the species richness and the analogues of the α, β diversity indexes (in the sense of Whittaker 1972) of large and medium size mammals for 13 climate-stratigraphic units dating to the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene, from the Hasselo Stadial (44-39 kBP) to the Subatlantic period and the present day. The biological diversity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the Holocene thermal optimum was investigated in more detail using information about all mammalian taxa (PALEOFAUNA database; Markova 1995). One of our results show that the α, β diversity values show only a negative correlation with the temperature conditions during the Late Pleistocene, the period that is characterized by the so-called 'Mammoth Fauna' complex. For the Holocene faunas the diversity indexes are nearly independent from physical conditions; the α diversity index decreased and the β diversity index increased. The relatively low α diversity and high β diversity indexes for the present-day faunas are referred to the decrease of the population number of some forest species in historical time and the increase of the dominance of unspecialized species or the species connected with intra-zonal ecosystems. The study shows furthermore the occurrence of several East European 'centers' with a high mammal diversity, which are relatively stable during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The orientation of the boundaries between the large geographical mammal assemblages depended, particularly in the northwestern part of Eastern Europe, on the expansion of the Scandinavian ice sheet. © 2013 International

  12. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

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


    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 ...

  13. Pleistocene dynamics of the Pacific South Equatorial Countercurrent

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


    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.

  14. Evolution of the Pleistocene Climate Continuum

    Meyers, S. R.; Hinnov, L. A.


    Orbital-climate theory provides a powerful deterministic framework for the analysis of Pleistocene climate change, and has become a cornerstone of modern Paleoclimatology. The stochastic component of Pleistocene climate has received considerably less attention, although some studies have argued for the dominance of stochastic climate processes. Undoubtedly, a complete understanding of the controls on Pleistocene climate change necessitates an assessment of both deterministic and stochastic processes, as well as potential linkages between the two. In this study, we investigate changes in the dominance of deterministic versus stochastic climate processes associated with evolution of the Pleistocene climate system. Achievement of this objective requires: (1) careful selection and analysis of paleoclimate data series, to isolate true climate noise from other proxy noise sources (e.g., proxy fidelity, time-scale distortion, diagenesis, analytical error), and (2) application of quantitative methods capable of separating deterministic periodic signals (the spectral "lines") from the stochastic component of climate (the spectral "continuum"). This study focuses on an analysis of published benthic foraminifera oxygen isotopic records using a number of techniques rooted in Thomson's multi-taper method, which is specifically designed to separate deterministic "line" energy from stochastic "continuum" energy. Our analysis indicates large, and sometimes abrupt, changes in the relative dominance of stochastic versus deterministic energy. These changes in energy distribution parallel the evolution of the Pleistocene climate system. This analysis also demonstrates linkages between stochastic and deterministic climate processes, and yields insight into the mechanisms of Pleistocene climate change.

  15. Serological survey of selected canine viral pathogens and zoonoses in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) from Alaska.

    Chomel, B B; Kasten, R W; Chappuis, G; Soulier, M; Kikuchi, Y


    Between 1988 and 1991, 644 serum samples were collected from 480 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and 40 black bears (Ursus americanus) from Alaska, United States of America, and were tested for selected canine viral infections and zoonoses. Antibody prevalence in grizzly bears was 0% for parvovirus, 8.3% (40/480) for distemper, 14% (68/480) for infectious hepatitis, 16.5% (79/480) for brucellosis, 19% (93/480) for tularaemia and 47% (225/478) for trichinellosis. In black bears, prevalence ranged from 0% for distemper and parvovirus to 27.5% for trichinellosis and 32% for tularaemia. Antibody prevalence for brucellosis (2.5%) and tularaemia (32%) were identical for grizzly bears and black bears from the geographical area of interior Alaska. Links between differences in prevalence and the origin of the grizzly bears were observed. Antibodies to canine distemper virus and infectious hepatitis virus were mainly detected in grizzly bears from Kodiak Island and the Alaskan Peninsula. Brucellosis antibodies were prevalent in grizzly bears from western and northern Alaska, whereas tularaemia antibodies were detected in grizzly bears from interior Alaska and the Arctic. There was a strong gradient for antibodies to Trichinella spp. from southern to northern Alaska. For most diseases, antibody prevalence increased with age. However, for several infections, no antibodies were detected in grizzly bears aged from 0 to 2 years, in contrast to the presence of those infections in black bears. Grizzly bears served as excellent sentinels for surveillance of zoonotic infections in wildlife in Alaska.


    Irina Streletskaya


    Full Text Available The Kara Sea coasts were studied using comprehensive stratigraphic and geocryological methods. The paper presents the new analytical studies of ground ice and Quaternary deposits of Western Taymyr and presents the results of spore and pollen, foraminifera, grain-size, mineralogical, geochemical, oxygen isotopic, and other analyses. Several stratigraphic-geocryological transects from Yenisey and Gydan Bays enable us to refine the stratigraphy and palaeogeographical reconstruction of the environments and freezing of Late Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. Marine sedimentation conditions during the late Kargino time (MIS3 changed to continental conditions in MIS2 and MIS1. Marine sediments were frozen syn- and epigenetically with cryotexture and ground ice formation. Ice wedges formation corresponds to the end of the Pleistocene (MIS2 and during cooler periods of the Holocene.

  17. Magnetic iron-nickel sulphides in the Pliocene and Pleistocene marine marls from the Vrica section (Calabria, Italy)

    Velzen, A.J. van; Dekkers, M.J.; Zijderveld, J.D.A.


    The rock magnetic properties of the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene open-marine marls from the Vrica section in Calabria (Italy) point to magnetic sulphide as the main magnetic mineral and remanence carrier. The maximum blocking temperatures, however, are between 340 and 360°C, which is too high

  18. Studies on endoparasites of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the southeastern United States.

    Crum, J M; Nettles, V F; Davidson, W R


    Examination of 53 black bears (Ursus americanus) from six states in the southeastern United States revealed at least 17 species of endoparasites, including Sarcocystis sp., Spirometra mansonoides (spargana), Macracanthorhynchus ingens, Ancylostoma caninum, Arthrocephalus lotoris, Baylisascaris transfuga, Capillaria aerophila, Capillaria putorii, Crenosoma sp., Cyathospirura sp., Dirofilaria immitis, Gnathostoma sp., Gongylonema pulchrum, microfilariae, Molineus barbatus, Physaloptera sp. and Strongyloides sp. Twelve of these represent new host records for black bear, and two are considered to be new species. Data are presented on prevalence, intensity and geographic distribution of each species. Pathologic effects were associated with infections of spargana of S. mansonoides and adults of C. aerophilia.

  19. Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) by Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

    Mattson, David J.; Arundel, Terry A.


    We report a discovery of black bears (Ursus americanus) consuming seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) on north slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona, in high-elevation, mixed-species conifer forest. In one instance, a bear had obtained seeds from cones excavated from a larder horde made by a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine by bears had not been previously documented. This discovery adds to the number of species of pine used by bears for food as well as the geographic range within which the behavior occurs.

  20. Homo naledi and Pleistocene hominin evolution in subequatorial Africa

    Berger, Lee R; Hawks, John; Dirks, Paul HGM; Elliott, Marina; Roberts, Eric M


    New discoveries and dating of fossil remains from the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, have strong implications for our understanding of Pleistocene human evolution in Africa. Direct dating of Homo naledi fossils from the Dinaledi Chamber (Berger et al., 2015) shows that they were deposited between about 236 ka and 335 ka (Dirks et al., 2017), placing H. naledi in the later Middle Pleistocene. Hawks and colleagues (Hawks et al., 2017) report the discovery of a second chamber within the Rising Star system (Dirks et al., 2015) that contains H. naledi remains. Previously, only large-brained modern humans or their close relatives had been demonstrated to exist at this late time in Africa, but the fossil evidence for any hominins in subequatorial Africa was very sparse. It is now evident that a diversity of hominin lineages existed in this region, with some divergent lineages contributing DNA to living humans and at least H. naledi representing a survivor from the earliest stages of diversification within Homo. The existence of a diverse array of hominins in subequatorial comports with our present knowledge of diversity across other savanna-adapted species, as well as with palaeoclimate and paleoenvironmental data. H. naledi casts the fossil and archaeological records into a new light, as we cannot exclude that this lineage was responsible for the production of Acheulean or Middle Stone Age tool industries. DOI: PMID:28483041

  1. Middle Pleistocene hominids from Olduvai Gorge, northern Tanzania.

    Rightmire, G P


    Cranial, dental, and mandibular remains of eight Olduvai hominids are described in detail. Four individuals were recovered in situ in Beds II to IV, while three more are most probably derived from Bed IV, the Masek Beds and the Lower Ndutu Beds. One specimen is of uncertain provenance. Deposits from which the fossils were collected range from late Lower Pleistocene to Middle Pleistocene in age. Of particular interest are three fragmentary lower jaws, which can be compared to mandibles of Homo erectus known from localities in Northwest Africa and China. Olduvai hominid 22, a nearly complete half mandible with crowns of P3-M2 in place, shares many anatomical features with fossils from Ternifine and Choukoutien. This individual is also similar to a jaw from the Kapthurin Formation west of Lake Baringo, Kenya. How best to interpret these comparisons is not clear, but in view of marked similarities between specimens representing geographically diverse populations from different time periods, it may be unwise to rely on mandibular evidence alone to document the presence of regional lineages. Gradual change and continuity within a sequence of Northwest African Homo fossils has been endorsed by many workers, but such hypotheses cannot be tested adequately with the fragmentary jaws available.

  2. Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene melilitic volcanic rocks of the Bohemian Massif: petrology and mineral chemistry

    Skála Roman


    Full Text Available Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene volcanic rocks of the Bohemian Massif represent the easternmost part of the Central European Volcanic Province. These alkaline volcanic series include rare melilitic rocks occurring as dykes, sills, scoria cones and flows. They occur in three volcanic periods: (i the Late Cretaceous to Paleocene period (80–59 Ma in northern Bohemia including adjacent territories of Saxony and Lusatia, (ii the Mid Eocene to Late Miocene (32.3–5.9 Ma period disseminated in the Ohře Rift, the Cheb–Domažlice Graben, Vogtland, and Silesia and (iii the Early to Late Pleistocene period (1.0–0.26 Ma in western Bohemia. Melilitic magmas of the Eocene to Miocene and Pleistocene periods show a primitive mantle source [(143Nd/144Ndt=0.51280–0.51287; (87Sr/86Srt=0.7034–0.7038] while those of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene period display a broad scatter of Sr–Nd ratios. The (143Nd/144Ndt ratios (0.51272–0.51282 of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene rocks suggest a partly heterogeneous mantle source, and their (87Sr/86Srt ratios (0.7033–0.7049 point to an additional late- to post-magmatic hydrothermal contribution. Major rock-forming minerals include forsterite, diopside, melilite, nepheline, sodalite group minerals, phlogopite, Cr- and Ti-bearing spinels. Crystallization pressures and temperatures of clinopyroxene vary widely between ~1 to 2 GPa and between 1000 to 1200 °C, respectively. Nepheline crystallized at about 500 to 770 °C. Geochemical and isotopic similarities of these rocks occurring from the Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene suggest that they had similar mantle sources and similar processes of magma development by partial melting of a heterogeneous carbonatized mantle source.

  3. Cathodoluminescent bimineralic ooids from the Pleistocene of the Florida continental shelf

    Major, R. P.; Halley, Robert B.; Lukas, Karen J.


    A bored and encrusted late Pleistocene ooid grainstone was recovered from the seafloor at a depth of approximately 40 m on the outer continental shelf of eastern Florida. Ooid cortices are dominantly bimineralic, generally consisting of inner layers of radial magnesian calcite and outer layers of tangential aragonite. Ooid nuclei are dominantly rounded cryptocrystalline grains, although quartz grains and a variety of skeletal grains also occur as nuclei. Ooids are partially cemented by blocky calcite, and interparticle porosity is partially filled by micrite.

  4. Effects of Pleistocene environmental changes on the distribution and community structure of the mammalian fauna of Mexico

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Ponce, Eduardo


    Biological communities in Mexico experienced profound changes in species composition and structure as a consequence of the environmental fluctuations during the Pleistocene. Based on the recent and fossil Mexican mammal checklists, we determine the distribution, composition, diversity, and community structure of late Pleistocene mammalian faunas, and analyze extinction patterns and response of individual species to environmental changes. We conclude that (1) differential extinctions occurred at family, genus, and species level, with a major impact on species heavier than 100 kg, including the extinction all proboscideans and several ruminants; (2) Pleistocene mammal communities in Mexico were more diverse than recent ones; and (3) the current assemblages of species are relatively young. Furthermore, Pleistocene relicts support the presence of biogeographic corridors; important refugia existed as well as centers of speciation in isolated regions. We identified seven corridors: eastern USA-Sierra Madre Oriental corridor, Rocky Mountains-Sierra Madre Occidental corridor, Central United States-Northern Mexico corridor, Transvolcanic Belt-Sierra Madre del Sur corridor, western USA-Baja California corridor, Tamaulipas-Central America gulf lowlands corridor, and Sonora-Central America Pacific lowlands corridor. Our study suggests that present mammalian assemblages are very different than the ones in the late Pleistocene.

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

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


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


    RENEAU, STEVEN L. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; DRAKOS, PAUL G. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; MORGAN, GARY S. [Los Alamos National Laboratory


    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. Evidence against a Pleistocene desert refugium in the Lower Colorado River Basin

    Holmgren, Camille A.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Peñalba, M. Cristina; Delgadillo, José; Zuravnsky, Kristin; Hunter, Kimberly L.; Rylander, Kate A.; Weiss, Jeremy L.


    Aim The absence of Sonoran Desert plants in late Pleistocene-aged packrat middens has led to speculation that they survived glacial episodes either in refugia as intact associations (Clementsian community concept) or in dry microsites within chaparral or woodland according to individualistic species responses (Gleasonian community concept). To test these hypotheses, we developed a midden record from one likely refugium in north-eastern Baja California, Mexico. We also measured stomatal guard cell size in fossil leaves to further evaluate site-level individualistic responses of Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) ploidy races to climatic changes, including monsoonal history, over the late Quaternary.

  8. Dispersal of Pleistocene Equus (Family Equidae) into South America and Calibration of GABI 3 Based on Evidence from Tarija, Bolivia

    Bruce J Macfadden


    The dispersal of Equus into South America during the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI) represented a major event for Pleistocene land-mammal age chronology on that continent. It has been argued that this dispersal occurred during the late Pleistocene, ∼0.125 Ma, and it defines the base of the Lujanian South American Land Mammal Age (SALMA). In this scenario, Equus dispersed during the fourth and latest recognized phase of the interchange, i.e., GABI 4. Although Equus was widely distrib...

  9. Early Pleistocene climate in western arid central Asia inferred from loess-palaeosol sequences.

    Wang, Xin; Wei, Haitao; Taheri, Mehdi; Khormali, Farhad; Danukalova, Guzel; Chen, Fahu


    Arid central Asia (ACA) is one of the most arid regions in the mid-latitudes and one of the main potential dust sources for the northern hemisphere. The lack of in situ early Pleistocene loess/dust records from ACA hinders our comprehensive understanding of the spatio-temporal record of aeolian loess accumulation and long term climatic changes in Asia as a whole. Here, we report the results of sedimentological, chronological and climatic studies of early Pleistocene loess-palaeosol sequences (LPS) from the northeastern Iranian Golestan Province (NIGP) in the western part of ACA. Our results reveal that: 1) Accumulation of loess on the NIGP commenced at ~2.4-1.8 Ma, making it the oldest loess known so far in western ACA; 2) the climate during the early Pleistocene in the NIGP was semi-arid, but wetter, warmer, and less windy than during the late Pleistocene and present interglacial; 3) orbital-scale palaeoclimatic changes in ACA during the early Pleistoceneare in-phase with those of monsoonal Asia, a relationship which was probably related to the growth and decay of northern hemisphere ice sheets.

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

    Sotnikova, Marina V; Foronova, Irina V


    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.

  11. Human talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain).

    Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gracia, Ana; Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis


    Here we present and describe comparatively 25 talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). These tali belong to 14 individuals (11 adult and three immature). Although variation among Middle and Late Pleistocene tali tends to be subtle, this study has identified unique morphological characteristics of the SH tali. They are vertically shorter than those of Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens, and show a shorter head and a broader lateral malleolar facet than all of the samples. Moreover, a few shared characters with Neanderthals are consistent with the hypothesis that the SH population and Neanderthals are sister groups. These shared characters are a broad lateral malleolar facet, a trochlear height intermediate between modern humans and Late Pleistocene H. sapiens, and a short middle calcaneal facet. It has been possible to propose sex assignment for the SH tali based on their size. Stature estimates based on these fossils give a mean stature of 174.4 cm for males and 161.9 cm for females, similar to that obtained based on the long bones from this same site. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Geomorphic and sedimentary responses of the Bull Creek Valley (Southern High Plains, USA) to Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change

    Arauza, Hanna M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Bement, Leland C.; Carter, Brian J.; Conley, Travis; Woldergauy, Ammanuel; Johnson, William C.; Jaiswal, Priyank


    Fluvial geomorphology and stratigraphy often reflect past environmental and climate conditions. This study examines the response of Bull Creek, a small ephemeral creek in the Oklahoma panhandle, to environmental conditions through the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Fluvial terraces were mapped and their stratigraphy and sedimentology documented throughout the course of the main valley. Based on their elevations, terraces were broadly grouped into a late-Pleistocene fill terrace (T3) and two Holocene fill-cut terrace sets (T2 and T1). Terrace systems are marked by similar stratigraphies recording the general environmental conditions of the time. Sedimentary sequences preserved in terrace fills record the transition from a perennial fluvial system during the late glacial period and the Younger Dryas to a semiarid environment dominated by loess accumulation and punctuated by flood events during the middle to late Holocene. The highest rates of aeolian accumulation within the valley occurred during the early to middle Holocene. Our data provide significant new information regarding the late-Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history for this region, located between the well-studied Southern and Central High Plains of North America.

  13. Modest global-scale cooling despite extensive early Pleistocene ice sheets

    Shakun, Jeremy D.


    Expanded continental ice sheets and lowered greenhouse gases were the major radiative perturbations at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and while they had similar magnitudes when averaged over the globe, their spatial distributions were dramatically different. It is consequently unclear how much each contributed to cooling around the world, and the overall global mean cooling in turn. Part of the difficulty in separating their effects is that ice sheets and greenhouse gases closely covaried over the late Pleistocene. The situation may have been different during the early Pleistocene though. Then, the ice sheets seem to have, at least on occasion, reached extents comparable to the LGM, but CO2 levels were relatively high, similar to those of late Pleistocene interglacials. A global compilation of 11 sea surface temperature records shows substantially less cooling in most regions during the Marine Isotope Stage 100 and 98 glacials at ∼2.5 Ma than during the LGM, suggesting that the thermal reach of the ice sheets was relatively limited and perhaps consistent with a more important role for greenhouse gases in driving temperatures around much of the world.

  14. Chewing lice Trichodectes pinguis pinguis in Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos

    Núria Fandos Esteruelas


    Full Text Available In April 2014 and 2015, we noted localized alopecia (neck, forelimbs, and chest and hyperpigmentation on two adult brown bears (Ursus arctos captured in central-south Sweden for ecological studies under the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. In spring 2015, a brown bear was shot because of human-wildlife conflict in the same region. This bear also had extensive alopecia and hyperpigmentation. Ectoparasites were collected from the affected skin areas in all three individuals and preserved in ethanol for identification. Based on morphological characteristics, the lice were identified as Trichodectes spp. and Trichodectes pinguis pinguis. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of chewing lice in free-ranging brown bears in Scandinavia.

  15. Population viability and connectivity of the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus)

    Laufenberg, Jared S.; Clark, Joseph D.


    In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) granted Ursus americanus luteolus (Louisiana black bear) threatened status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, listing loss and fragmentation of habitat as the primary threats. A study was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the University of Tennessee, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the USFWS to estimate demographic rates and genetic structure of Louisiana black bear populations; evaluate relations between environmental and anthropogenic factors and demographic, genetic, and movement characteristics of Louisiana black bear populations; and develop data-driven stochastic population projection models to assess long-term persistence of individual subpopulations and the overall black bear population in Louisiana.

  16. Optimized methods for high-throughput analysis of hair samples for American black bears (Ursus americanus

    Thea V Kristensen


    Full Text Available Noninvasive sampling has revolutionized the study of species that are difficult or dangerous to study using traditional methods. Early studies were often confined to small populations as genotyping large numbers of samples was prohibitively costly and labor intensive. Here we describe optimized protocols designed to reduce the costs and effort required for microsatellite genotyping and sex determination for American black bears (Ursus americanus. We redesigned primers for six microsatellite loci, designed novel primers for the amelogenin gene for genetic determination of sex, and optimized conditions for a nine-locus multiplex PCR. Our high-throughput methods will enable researchers to include larger sample sizes in studies of black bears, providing data in a timely fashion that can be used to inform population management.

  17. Activity patterns of brown bears (Ursus arctos on the Deosai Plateau, northern Pakistan

    M. A. Nawaz


    Full Text Available Ondersoek is ingestel na die daaglikse aktiwiteite van Himalaja-bruinbere (Ursus arctos in die Deosai Nasionale Park, noordelike Pakistan, oor ’n tydperk van vier jaar (1993 – 1995 en 1999. Bere spandeer die grootste gedeelte van die dag aan voeding, gevolg deur beweging. Rus en ander aktiwiteite gekombineerd vorm ’n wesentlike gedeelte van die daaglikse program. Geen betekenisvolle verskil in die daaglikse tydsbegroting kon tussen manlike en vroulike individue aangetoon word nie, maar onvolwassenes beweeg beduidend meer rond as beide volwassenes of jong beertjies en eenjariges. Afwykende aktiwiteitspatrone wat gedurende die somer van 1999 opgemerk is, kan aan menslike versteuring wat deur die Kargil-oorlog tussen Indië en Pakistan teweeggebring is, toegeskryf word.

  18. Enlarged clitoris in wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be misdiagnosed as pseudohermaphroditism

    Sonne, C; Leifsson, P S; Dietz, R


    A 23-year-old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) killed in an Inuit hunt in East Greenland on July 9, 1999 had a significantly enlarged clitoris resembling, in size, form and colour, those of previously reported 'pseudohermaphroditic' polar bears from Svalbard. It has been suggested that an enzyme...... and internal reproductive organs of the present were similar to a reference group of 23 normal adult female polar bears from East Greenland collected in 1999-2002. The aberrant bear was a female genotype, and macroscopic examination of her internal reproductive organs indicated that she was reproductively....... It is hence possible that the previously reported adult female polar bear pseudohermaphrodites from Svalbard are in fact misdiagnoses. Therefore, future studies examining pseudohermaphroditism in wildlife should consider that certain occurrences are natural events, e.g., enlarged clitoris in the present East...

  19. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix; Avila-Arcos, María; Stenglein, Mark D; Chen, Wei; Sun, Wei; Mazzoni, Camila J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D


    Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs. Molecular dating indicates the group originated bef