Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A Record of Holocene Climate Change from Lake Geochemical Analyses in Southeastern Arabia

  • Adrian G. Parker (a1), Andrew S. Goudie (a2), Stephen Stokes (a2), Kevin White (a3), Martin J. Hodson (a4), Michelle Manning (a4) and Derek Kennet (a5)...

Lacustrine sediments from southeastern Arabia reveal variations in lake level corresponding to changes in the strength and duration of Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) summer rainfall and winter cyclonic rainfall. The late glacial/Holocene transition of the region was characterised by the development of mega-linear dunes. These dunes became stabilised and vegetated during the early Holocene and interdunal lakes formed in response to the incursion of the IOM at approximately 8500 cal yr BP with the development of C3 dominated savanna grasslands. The IOM weakened ca. 6000 cal yr BP with the onset of regional aridity, aeolian sedimentation and dune reactivation and accretion. Despite this reduction in precipitation, the lake was maintained by winter dominated rainfall. There was a shift to drier adapted C4 grasslands across the dune field. Lake sediment geochemical analyses record precipitation minima at 8200, 5000 and 4200 cal yr BP that coincide with Bond events in the North Atlantic. A number of these events correspond with changes in cultural periods, suggesting that climate was a key mechanism affecting human occupation and exploitation of this region.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Fax: +44 1865 483937. E-mail (A.G. Parker).
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R.E. Alley , P.A. Mayewski , T. Sowers , M. Stuiver , K.C. Taylor , and P.U. Clark Holocene climate instability: a prominent, widespread event 8200 yr ago. Geology 25, (1997). 483486.

H.W. Arz , F. Lamy , J. Pätzold , P.J. Müller , and M. Prins Mediterranean moisture source for an early-Holocene humid period in the northern Red Sea. Science 300, (2003). 118121.

M. Bar-Matthews , A. Ayalon , and A. Kaufman Late Quaternary paleoclimate in the eastern Mediterranean region from stable isotope analysis of speleothems at Soreq Cave, Israel. Quaternary Research 47, (1997). 155168.

G. Bond , W. Showers , M. Cheseby , R. Lotti , P. Almasi , P. deMenocal , P. Priore , H. Cullen , I. Hadjas , and G. Bonani A pervasive millennial-scale cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and glacial climates. Science 278, (1997). 12571265.

R. Boucharlet , R. Dalongeville , A. Hesse , and M. Millet Occupation humaine et environment au 5e et au 4e millenie sur la Côte Sharjah-Umm al Qaiwain (UAE). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 2, (1991). 93100.

H.E. Bray , and S. Stokes Chronologies for Late Quaternary barchan dune reactivation in the southeastern Arabian Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, (2003). 10271033.

S.J. Burns , A. Matter , N. Frank , and A. Mangini Speleothem-based palaeoclimate record from northern Oman. Geology 26, (1998). 499502.

H.M. Cullen , P.B. deMenocal , S. Hemming , G. Hemming , F.H. Brown , T. Guilderson , and F. Sirocko Climate change and the collapse of the Akkadian Empire: evidence from the deep-sea. Geology 28, (2000). 379382.

P. deMenocal , J. Ortiz , T. Guilderson , M. Sarnthein , L. Baker , and M. Yarunsinsky Abrupt onset and termination of the African Humid Period: rapid climate responses to gradual insolation forcing. Quaternary Science Reviews 19, (2000). 347361.

Y. Enzel , L.L. Ely , S. Mishra , R. Ramesh , R. Amit , B. Lazar , S.N. Rajaguru , V.R. Baker , and A. Sandler High-resolution Holocene environmental changes in the Thar desert, northwestern India. Science 284, (1999). 125128.

Y. Enzel , R. Bookman , D. Sharon , G. Haim , U. Dayan , B. Ziv , and M. Stein Late Holocene climates of the Near East deduced from Dead Sea level variations and modern regional winter rainfall. Quaternary Research 60, (2003). 263273.

D. Fleitman , S.J. Burns , M. Mudelsee , U. Neff , J. Kramers , A. Mangini , and A. Matter Holocene forcing of the Indian monsoon recorded in a stalactite from southern Oman. Science 300, (2003). 17371739.

F. Gasse , and E. Van Campo Abrupt post-glacial climatic events in West Africa and North Africa monsoon domains. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 126, (1994). 435456.

A.S. Goudie , A.G. Parker , K. White , A. Al-Farraj , and P. Bull Desert Loess in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Journal of Arid Environments 46, (2000). 123135.

A. Goudie , A. Parker , and A. Al-Farraj Coastal change in Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates): a cartographic analysis. Geographical Journal 166, (2000). 1425.

A.S. Goudie , A. Colls , S. Stokes , A.G. Parker , K. White , and A. Al-Farraj Latest Pleistocene dune construction at the north-eastern edge of the Rub al Khali, United Arab Emirates. Sedimentology 47, (2000). 10111021.

A. Gupta , D.M. Anderson , and J.T. Overpeck Abrupt changes in the Asian southwest monsoon during the Holocene and their links to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature 421, (2003). 354356.

S. Ishida , A.G. Parker , D. Kennet , and M.J. Hodson Phytolith analysis from the archaeological site of Kush, Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Quaternary Research 59, (2003). 310321.

D. Kennet Kush: a Sasanian and Islamic-period archaeological tell in Ras al Khaimah (U.A.E.). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 8, (1997). 284302.

K. Lambeck Shoreline reconstructions for the Persian Gulf since the last glacial maximum. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 142, (1996). 4357.

D.C. Leuschner , and F. Sirocko Orbital insolation forcing of the Indian Monsoon—A motor for global climate change?. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 197, (2003). 8395.

A. Lückge , H. Doose-Rolinski , A.A. Khan , H. Schulz , and U. Von Rad Monsoonal variability in the northeastern Arabian Sea during the past 5000 years: geochemical evidence from laminated sediments. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 167, (2001). 273286.

P. Magee The chronology of the southeast Arabian Iron Age. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 7, (1996). 240252.

P. Magee Settlement patterns, polities and regional complexity in the southeast Arabian Iron Age. Paléorient 24, (1999). 4960.

P. Magee The impact of southeast Arabian intra-regional trade on settlement location and organization during the Iron Age II period. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 15, (2004). 2442.

P. Magee , and R. Carter Agglomeration and diversification: Southeastern Arabia between 1400 and 1100 BC. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 10, (1999). 161179.

P. Magee , E. Thompson , A. Mackay , P. Kottaras , and L. Weeks Further evidence of desert settlement complexity: report on the 2001 excavations at the Iron Age site of Muweilah, Emirate of Sharjah UAE. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 13, (2002). 133156.

H.A. McClure Radiocarbon chronology of late Quaternary lakes in the Arabian desert. Nature 263, (1976). 755

U. Neff , S.J. Burns , A. Mangini , M. Mudelsee , D. Fleitmann , and A. Matter Strong coherence between solar variability and the monsoon in Oman between 9 and 6 kyr ago. Nature 411, (2001). 290293.

A.G. Parker , L. Eckersley , M.M. Smith , A.S. Goudie , S. Stokes , K. White , and M.J. Hodson Holocene vegetation dynamics in the northeastern Rub' al-Khali desert, Arabian Peninsula: a pollen, phytolith and carbon isotope study. Journal of Quaternary Science 19, (2004). 665676.

M.D. Petraglia , and A. Alsharekh The Middle Palaeolithic in Arabia: implications for modern human origins, behaviour and dispersals. Antiquity 77, (2003). 671684.

D. Potts The late prehistoric, protohistoric, and early historic periods in eastern Arabia (ca. 5000–1200 BC). Journal of World Prehistory 7, (1993). 163212.

J. Rose The question of Upper Pleistocene connections between East Africa and South Arabia. Current Anthropology 45, (2004). 551555.

J. Rose New evidence for the expansion of an Upper Pleistocene population out of East Africa. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 14, (2004). 205216.

E. Schultz , and J.W. Whitney Upper Pleistocene and Holocene lakes in the An Nafud, Saudi Arabia. Hydrobiologia 143, (1986). 175190.

R. Sinha , and W. Smykatz-Kloss Thermal characterization of lacustrine dolomites from the Sambhar Lake playa, Thar desert, India. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry 71, (2003). 739750.

M. Staubwasser , F. Sirocko , P.M. Grootes , and H. Erlenkeuser South Asian monsoon climate change and radiocarbon in the Arabian Sea during the early and mid Holocene. Paleoceanography 17, (2002). 1063

M. Staubwasser , F. Sirocko , P.M. Grootes , and M. Segl Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilisation and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability. Geophysical Research Letters 30, (2003). 1425 1029/2002GLO016822

R. Thompson , and F. Oldfield Environmental Magnetism. (1986). Allen and Unwin, London.

M. Totland , I. Jarvis , and K.E. Jarvis Assessment of dissolution techniques for the analysis of geological samples by plasma spectrometry. Chemical Geology 95, (1992). 3562.

M. Uerpmann Structuring the Late Stone Age of southeastern Arabia. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 3, (1992). 65109.

M. Uerpmann , and H.P. Uerpmann Ubaid pottery in the eastern Gulf—New evidence from Umm al-Qaiwain (UAE). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 7, (1996). 125129.

J. Walden , J.P. Smith , and R.V. Dackcombe Mineral magnetic analyses as a means of lithostratigraphic correlation and provenance indication of glacial diamicts: intra- and inter- unit variation. Journal of Quaternary Science 7, (1992). 257270.

K. White , A.S. Goudie , A.G. Parker , and A. al-Farraj Mapping the geochemistry of the northern Rub′ al Khali using multispectral remote sensing techniques. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 26, (2001). 735748.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 64 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 23rd May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.