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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 6 | Copyright
Clim. Past, 6, 807-816, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-6-807-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Dec 2010

Research article | 15 Dec 2010

Late Holocene climate variability in the southwestern Mediterranean region: an integrated marine and terrestrial geochemical approach

C. Martín-Puertas1, F. Jiménez-Espejo2, F. Martínez-Ruiz2, V. Nieto-Moreno2, M. Rodrigo2, M. P. Mata3, and B. L. Valero-Garcés4 C. Martín-Puertas et al.
  • 1German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Facultad de Ciencias, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)-Univ. de Granada, Campus Fuentenueva, 18002 Granada, Spain
  • 3Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Área de cambio global, C/ La Calera, 28760, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain
  • 4Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). Apdo 13034, 50080, Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract. A combination of marine (Alboran Sea cores, ODP 976 and TTR 300 G) and terrestrial (Zoñar Lake, Andalucia, Spain) geochemical proxies provides a high-resolution reconstruction of climate variability and human influence in the southwestern Mediterranean region for the last 4000 years at inter-centennial resolution. Proxies respond to changes in precipitation rather than temperature alone. Our combined terrestrial and marine archive documents a succession of dry and wet periods coherent with the North Atlantic climate signal. A dry period occurred prior to 2.7 cal ka BP – synchronously to the global aridity crisis of the third-millennium BC – and during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1.4–0.7 cal ka BP). Wetter conditions prevailed from 2.7 to 1.4 cal ka BP. Hydrological signatures during the Little Ice Age are highly variable but consistent with more humidity than the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Additionally, Pb anomalies in sediments at the end of the Bronze Age suggest anthropogenic pollution earlier than the Roman Empire development in the Iberian Peninsula. The Late Holocene climate evolution of the in the study area confirms the see-saw pattern between the eastern and western Mediterranean regions and the higher influence of the North Atlantic dynamics in the western Mediterranean.

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