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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Southern perspectives on climate and the environment from...

Clim. Past, 12, 1435-1444, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-12-1435-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 05 Jul 2016

Research article | 05 Jul 2016

Constant wind regimes during the Last Glacial Maximum and early Holocene: evidence from Little Llangothlin Lagoon, New England Tablelands, eastern Australia

James Shulmeister1, Justine Kemp2, Kathryn E. Fitzsimmons3, and Allen Gontz4,a James Shulmeister et al.
  • 1School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072, Queensland, Australia
  • 2Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Queensland, Australia
  • 3Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
  • 4School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
  • acurrent address: Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA

Abstract. Here we present the results of a multi-proxy investigation – integrating geomorphology, ground-penetrating radar, and luminescence dating – of a high-elevation lunette and beach berm in northern New South Wales, eastern Australia. The lunette occurs on the eastern shore of Little Llangothlin Lagoon and provides evidence for a lake high stand combined with persistent westerly winds at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM – centring on 21.5ka) and during the early Holocene (ca. 9 and 6ka). The reconstructed atmospheric circulation is similar to the present-day conditions, and we infer no significant changes in circulation at those times, as compared to the present day. Our results suggest that the Southern Hemisphere westerlies were minimally displaced in this sector of Australasia during the latter part of the last ice age. Our observations also support evidence for a more positive water balance at the LGM and early Holocene in this part of the Australian sub-tropics.

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This paper highlights that small dunes (lunettes) formed on the eastern side of a lake in the Australian sub-tropics at the height of the last ice age (about 21,000 years ago) and in the early part of the current interglacial (9–6,000 years ago). This means that it was fairly wet at these times and also that there were strong westerly winds to form the dunes. Today strong westerly winds occur in winter, and we infer that the same was also true at those times, suggesting no change in circulation.
This paper highlights that small dunes (lunettes) formed on the eastern side of a lake in the...
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