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Tracking rainfall in the northern Mediterranean borderlands during sapropel deposition

Abstract : The role of mid-latitude precipitation in the hydrological forcing leading to the deposition of sapropels in the Mediterranean Sea remains unclear. The new GDEC-4-2 borehole, East Corsica margin (northern Tyrrhenian Sea), provides the first precisely dated evidence for enhanced rainfall in the Western Mediterranean during warm intervals of interglacial periods over the last 547 kyr. Comparison of GDEC-4-2 proxy records with pollen sequences and speleothems from the central and eastern Mediterranean reveals that these pluvial events were regional in character and occurred probably in response to the intensification of the Mediterranean storm track along the northern Mediterranean borderlands in autumn/winter. Our dataset suggests that the timing of maxima of the Mediterranean autumn/winter storm track precipitation coincide with that of the North African summer monsoon and sapropel deposition. Besides highlighting a close coupling between mid- and low-latitude hydrological changes, our findings suggest that during warm intervals of interglacial periods the reduced sea-surface water salinities, together with the high flux of nutrient and organic matter, produced by the monsoonal Nile (and wadi-systems) floods, were maintained throughout the winter by the Mediterranean rainfall. This provides an important additional constraint on the hydrological perturbation causing sapropel formation.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 11:29:30 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 3:27:26 AM

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Samuel Toucanne, Charlie Morelle Angue Minto'O, Christophe Fontanier, Maria-Angela Bassetti, Stephan J. Jorry, et al.. Tracking rainfall in the northern Mediterranean borderlands during sapropel deposition. Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2015, 129, p. 178-195. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.10.016⟩. ⟨hal-01227898⟩



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