Report

Mediterranean Moisture Source for an Early-Holocene Humid Period in the Northern Red Sea

Science  04 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5616, pp. 118-121
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080325

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Abstract

Paleosalinity and terrigenous sediment input changes reconstructed on two sediment cores from the northernmost Red Sea were used to infer hydrological changes at the southern margin of the Mediterranean climate zone during the Holocene. Between approximately 9.25 and 7.25 thousand years ago, about 3‰ reduced surface water salinities and enhanced fluvial sediment input suggest substantially higher rainfall and freshwater runoff, which thereafter decreased to modern values. The northern Red Sea humid interval is best explained by enhancement and southward extension of rainfall from Mediterranean sources, possibly involving strengthened early-Holocene Arctic Oscillation patterns and a regional monsoon-type circulation induced by increased land-sea temperature contrasts. We conclude that Afro-Asian monsoonal rains did not cross the subtropical desert zone during the early to mid-Holocene.

  • These authors contributed equally to the paper.

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