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High-Resolution Holocene Environmental Changes in the Thar Desert, Northwestern India

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Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 125-128
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.125

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Abstract

Sediments from Lunkaransar dry lake in northwestern India reveal regional water table and lake level fluctuations over decades to centuries during the Holocene that are attributed to changes in the southwestern Indian monsoon rains. The lake levels were very shallow and fluctuated often in the early Holocene and then rose abruptly around 6300 carbon-14 years before the present (14C yr B.P.). The lake completely desiccated around 4800 14C yr B.P. The end of this 1500-year wet period coincided with a period of intense dune destabilization. The major Harrapan-Indus civilization began and flourished in this region 1000 years after desiccation of the lake during arid climate and was not synchronous with the lacustral phase.

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