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Organic carbon burial in Mediterranean sapropels intensified during Green Sahara Periods since 3.2 Myr ago
Grant, K.M.; Amarathunga, U.; Amies, J.D.; Hu, P.; Qian, Y.; Penny, T.; Rodriguez-Sanz, L.; Zhao, X.; Heslop, D.; Liebrand, D.; Hennekam, R.; Westerhold, T.; Gilmore, S.; Lourens, L.J.; Roberts, A.P.; Rohling, E.J. (2022). Organic carbon burial in Mediterranean sapropels intensified during Green Sahara Periods since 3.2 Myr ago. Commun. Earth Environ. 3(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00339-9

Bijhorende data:
In: Communications Earth & Environment. Springer Nature: London. ISSN 2662-4435, meer

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Author keywords
    Palaeoceanography; Palaeoclimate

Auteurs  Top 
  • Grant, K.M.
  • Amarathunga, U.
  • Amies, J.D.
  • Hu, P.
  • Qian, Y.
  • Penny, T.
  • Rodriguez-Sanz, L.
  • Zhao, X.
  • Heslop, D.
  • Liebrand, D.
  • Hennekam, R., meer
  • Westerhold, T.
  • Gilmore, S.
  • Lourens, L.J.
  • Roberts, A.P.
  • Rohling, E.J.

Abstract
    Dark organic-rich layers (sapropels) have accumulated in Mediterranean sediments since the Miocene due to deep-sea dysoxia and enhanced carbon burial at times of intensified North African run-off during Green Sahara Periods (GSPs). The existence of orbital precession-dominated Saharan aridity/humidity cycles is well known, but lack of long-term, high-resolution records hinders understanding of their relationship with environmental evolution. Here we present continuous, high-resolution geochemical and environmental magnetic records for the Eastern Mediterranean spanning the past 5.2 million years, which reveal that organic burial intensified 3.2 Myr ago. We deduce that fluvial terrigenous sediment inputs during GSPs doubled abruptly at this time, whereas monsoon run-off intensity remained relatively constant. We hypothesize that increased sediment mobilization resulted from an abrupt non-linear North African landscape response associated with a major increase in arid:humid contrasts between GSPs and intervening dry periods. The timing strongly suggests a link to the onset of intensified northern hemisphere glaciation.

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