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Holocene Paleoclimates of Southern Arabia from Lacustrine Deposits of the Dhamar Highlands, Yemen


This paper presents new evidence from the Dhamar highlands, Yemen, of paleohydrologic response to fluctuations in Holocene climate. Stratigraphic, geochemical, and chronological analyses of highland peat and lacustrine deposits contribute to knowledge of the timing of early Holocene moisture changes on the Arabian Peninsula, providing a backdrop to understanding early cultural development in the Arabian highlands. The location of the Dhamar highlands, characterized by intermontane valleys surrounded by the highest mountains on the Arabian Peninsula and adjacent to the Indian Ocean is ideal for examining the influence of the Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) on the moisture history of this region. Fluctuations in the lacustrine and paleosol records of the Dhamar highlands reflect both local changes in paleohydrology and regional influences on the Holocene paleoclimatic conditions in southwest Arabia. In addition, a peat deposit with a radiocarbon age of 10,253 ± 10,560 cal yr BP documents some of the earliest Holocene high moisture conditions on the Arabian Peninsula.

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Quaternary Research
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