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Timing and intensity of humid interglacial and interstadial periods from the Eemian in the southwestern Mediterranean region: new chronological and stable isotope data from Aït Said ou Idder (Middle Atlas) and comparison with other regional tufa deposits (Morocco and southern Spain)

Abstract : Abstract. In the last few decades, multidisciplinary research on calcareous tufas as palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic records has intensively grown, which has provided an increasing number of well-documented sites. Consequently, inter-site comparisons and regional- to continental-scale reviews have developed, discussing the link between tufa distribution and climate or providing diachronic comparisons of climatic and environmental conditions prevailing during Quaternary interglacials (and interstadials). This paper proposes such a review for the southeastern Mediterranean area, including new dating and isotopic data from Aït Said ou Idder (northern Morocco) to be compared with available regional data, in order to discuss the intensity of some humid periods of the last 125 kyr. According to several radiocarbon and U–Th dates, three chronological phases are indeed identified at Aït Said ou Idder: the Holocene, the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) interstadial 8 and the Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 5e. Similarly, other tufa deposits from both Morocco and southern Spain (mostly Andalusia) appear to have preferentially developed during interglacial or interstadial periods, marked by maximal developments of the Mediterranean forest as reported in the palynological records from regional marine cores. Furthermore, isotopic data (δ18O and δ13C) from Aït Said ou Idder (and from other southeastern Mediterranean tufa deposits where available) suggest no significant difference in terms of temperature or air mass circulation between the Holocene, D–O 8 and MIS 5e. In terms of humidity conditions, no evidence of strong aridity is recorded even if D–O 8 appears drier than both interglacials. Conditions seems slightly wetter during the Holocene than during MIS 5e, but δ13C values at Aït Said ou Idder could also reflect strong differences in the seasonality of these interglacials. We demonstrate that calcareous tufa deposits have promising potential for discussing, in both space and time, the climate variability in the southeastern Mediterranean area, but new investigations, including dating and stable isotopes, are required to accurately feed such discussions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03614708
Contributor : Julie Dabkowski Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 21, 2022 - 9:44:27 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 10:12:31 AM

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Julie Dabkowski, Quentin Wackenheim, Christophe Falguères, Denis Fiorillo, Olivier Tombret, et al.. Timing and intensity of humid interglacial and interstadial periods from the Eemian in the southwestern Mediterranean region: new chronological and stable isotope data from Aït Said ou Idder (Middle Atlas) and comparison with other regional tufa deposits (Morocco and southern Spain). E&G Quaternary Science Journal, German Quaternary Association (DEUQUA), 2022, 71 (1), pp.45-58. ⟨10.5194/egqsj-71-45-2022⟩. ⟨hal-03614708⟩

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