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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Indus
  • monsoon
  • Holocene
  • Red Sea
  • subsidence
  • drought

Index Terms

  • 4901 Paleoceanography: Abrupt/rapid climate change
  • 4904 Paleoceanography: Atmospheric transport and circulation
  • 1616 Global Change: Climate variability
  • 9320 Geographic Location: Asia



Late Holocene Drought Pattern Over West Asia

M. Staubwasser

A 5000 year long temperature-corrected δ18O record from planktonic foraminifera off shore from the Indus river delta reconstructs fluvial discharge variability that closely mimics a record of northern Red Sea water column stratification, derived from the difference in δ18O between benthic and planktonic foraminifera. Multicentennial drought (pluvial) conditions over the Indus region correspond to high (low) stratification in the northern Red Sea. The well-described present-day pattern of atmospheric subsidence and uplift over west Asia provides a probable physical mechanism responsible for the observed correlation of the two widely separated paleoclimate records. The pattern is known to respond directly to the upper tropospheric thermal structure in both seasons of the South Asian monsoon domain and exerts a fundamental control of northern Red Sea turnover through large-scale eastern Mediterranean advection and subsidence of cold air from the north.

Citation: Staubwasser, M. (2012), Late Holocene drought pattern over west Asia, in Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 198, edited by L. Giosan et al., 89–96, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2012GM001223.

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