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Interglacial Environments in Presently Hyperarid Sahara : Palaeoclimatic Implications

  • N. Petit-Maire
Chapter
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 282)

Abstract

A lacustrine transgression took place in the whole Sahara, during the warm 5e stage, and lasted at least 50 000 years. During the early Holocene, a sahelian biotope existed up to 23°N and a sahelo-sudanian one up to 20°N; the limnological and biological optimum was between 8 500 and 6 500 B.P., the onset of the wet phase at c 9 500 B.P. A weakening of current and upwelling along the saharan atlantic shore is evidenced between 6 000 and 4 000 B.P. Palaeoprecipitations are estimated.

Palaeometeorological models which take into account the influence of changing Earth orbital parameters (Berger and Tricot, 1986) show major changes in global monsoons during the last climatic cycle (Kutzbach, 1981; Kutzbach and Otto-Bliesner, 1982; Kutzbach and Guetter, 1986; Kutzbach, 1987; Prell and Kutzbach, 1987). The response of continental West Africa to interglacial conditions is recorded in oceanic sedimentation (Sarnthein, 1976, 1982; Rossignol-Strick, 1983) and for the last climatic optimum, by the lacustrine evolution in the tropical belt (Kutzbach and Street-Perrott, 1985).

In this paper, we shall discuss the climatic situation of three now hyperarid areas of the Sahara (Leroux 1983) during the last two interglacials. They provided a good Th/U and 14C time resolution for palaeohydrological, palaeobotanical, palaeontological and palaeoanthropological data, observed on the surface and, in the case of northern Mali, along continuous sections and cores.

Keywords

Lake Deposit Global Monsoon Holocene Lake Surface Connection Calcareous Crust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Petit-Maire
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géologie du QuaternaireCNRSMarseille CedexFrance

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