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Heine, K. 1998. Climate change over the past 135.000 years in the Namib Desert (Namibia) derived from proxy data. Palaeoecology of Africa and the surrounding islands, 25: 171-198


Description:

Climate change over the past 135.000 years in the Namib Desert (Namibia) derived from proxy data.

Summary / Notes:

The study of natural climate change over glacial-interglacial timescales improves the understanding of the mechanics of climate. But this approach is limited by the number and distribution of well-dated and reliable palaeoenvironmental records. A much discussed question is the conflicting evidence for precipitation changes during the last glacial maximum in the Namib Desert, and the apparent shift of the zones of cyclonic winter rain and tropical summer rain in southern Africa. Here I present new data from the Namib Desert and from the continental interior of southern Africa to reconstruct precipitation changes in the hyper-arid coastal Namib Desert for the past 135,000 years. A re-evaluation of the palaeoenvironmental archives indicate that the hyper-arid Namib Desert experienced no significant changes in precipitation during the late Quaternary. One of the most important terrestrial records in the arid Namib Desert is a sequence of cave sinter in the Rossing Cave. The preliminary data from the speleothem indicate hyper-arid conditions in the coastal Namib Desert. These results agree with the palaeoclimatic interpretation of other desert sediments and with the results from AGCM (atmospheric general circulation model) experiments. Keywords: Namibia, Namib Desert, Kuiseb River, Orange River, Sossus Vlei, ephemeral river, river drainage, drainage pattern, palaeoclimate, palaeoenvironment, desert sediments, fluvial deposits, geomorphology, calcretes, gypsum soils.

Year: 1998

Type: Book, Book Section, Booklet

Origin: DRFN DLIB

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