A holocene record of allochthonous, aeolian mineral grains in an australian alpine lake; implications for the history of climate change in southeastern australia

  • Stanley S
  • De Deckker P
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Abstract

A radiocarbon-dated core, NC, taken in the alpine Blue Lake in the Snowy Mountains of southeastern Australia provides a Holocene record of sedimentation that consists mainly of organic clays. Two types of quartz grains are recovered from 81 samples from the core. One type consists of angular grains, with frequently shattered faces, which originates from granitic lithologies present within the small catchment area of the lake. The other type is characteristically rounded to subrounded, often textured with frequent silica coating and is considered to have been deposited within the lake and its catchment by aeolian processes. These aeolian grains are thought to have been transported along the main dust path that ferries aeolian dust from the Mallee region, west of the Snowy Mountains, as far as the southeastern Tasman Sea. Aeolian grains with the largest size occur over approximately the last 1.6 ka of the Holocene and this indicates an increase of climatic instability, with arid phases that commenced about 3.5 ka. At 2 ka, a wet period in southeastern Australia coincided with low aeolian input at Blue Lake. The period of consistent reduced aeolian activity spans the 7.6 to 5.5 ka interval at Blue Lake.

Author-supplied keywords

  • AMS radiocarbon dating
  • Aeolian activity
  • Alpine lake
  • Blue Lake
  • Climate change
  • Holocene
  • Quartz grain micromorphology
  • Snowy Mountains
  • Wind strength

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Authors

  • Shawn Stanley

  • Patrick De Deckker

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