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Paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes around 2200 BC in sediment cores from the northern Red Sea

Arz, H. W., Kaiser, J. and Fleitmann, D. (2015) Paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes around 2200 BC in sediment cores from the northern Red Sea. In: Meller, H., Arz, H. W., Jung, R. and Risch, R. (eds.) 2200 BC: a climatic breakdown as a cause for the collapse of the old world? Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle (Saale), pp. 53-61. ISBN 9783944507293

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Abstract/Summary

The northern Red Sea is a climatically very sensitive, restricted, and desert surrounded marginal sea that is located between the Mediterranean and Afro-SW-Asian monsoonal rainfall regimes. Marine sediment cores with high sedimentation rates from this region document pronounced climate variability making them well-suited to study climatic changes from around 2000 to 2500 BCE. Sediments from the brine-filled Shaban Deep in the northern Red Sea document multi-decadal environmental changes during the mid-Holocene possibly linked to shifts in the AO/NAO system and solar variability. The anoxic sedimentation is disrupted around 2200 kyrs BCE and our records indicate a positive sea surface salinity excursion and increased basin ventilation that likely relates to a major “evaporation event”. The timing and strengths of the environmental changes around 2200 BCE suggest that this event is the regional expression of a major drought event at 2200 BCE. Though paleorecords from the nearby northern Gulf of Aqaba show dryer conditions around this period but not as pronounced as in the Shaban Deep record. The comparison of these records with other regional paleoenvironmental reconstructions exemplarily underlines the complexity in evaluating the climate change around 2200 BCE.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:68697
Publisher:Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte

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