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Unravelling the Holocene environmental history of south-western Iberia through a palynological study of Lake Medina sediments

Abstract

Lake Medina is a small, shallow and endorheic salt lake sensitive to climate variation in south-western Spain, close to Cádiz in western Andalusia. It is located in an evaporitic and karstic environment, and a saline lake affected by highly seasonal precipitation and evaporation. Geochemical and mineralogical data of core CO1313 combined with a robust age model show variation that contributes to the understanding of palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic change. This study shows a pollen record that has been conducted on core CO1313, together with charcoal and non-pollen palynomorph analyses. The environmental and climatological history reconstruction of Lake Medina starts in early Holocene times (at 9.5 cal. ka BP) and shows intensified pasture and land use during middle-Holocene times as well as the 8.2 and 4.2 cal. ka BP abrupt climate events. Oxidation of plant remnants and resulting non-preservation at certain times reinforces the hypothesis of intense climate effects on vegetation during the 4.2 cal. ka BP climate event. Yet, oxidation of plant residues during other episodes shows other periods that were also affected by reduced precipitation. From around 2 cal. ka BP onwards, a recent trend towards aridification and enforced seasonality was detected.

Bibliography

Schröder, T., López-Sáez, J., Hoff, J., Reicherter, K. (2019): Unravelling the Holocene environmental history of south-western Iberia through a palynological study of Lake Medina sediments. – In: The Holocene, DOI: 10.1177/0959683619865590

Authors Schröder, Tabea and López-Sáez, José Antonio and Hoff, Jasmijn van ´t and Reicherter, Klaus
Type article
Title Unravelling the Holocene environmental history of south-western Iberia through a palynological study of Lake Medina sediments
DOI 10.1177/0959683619865590
Journal The Holocene
Year 2019
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