Decoupling of monsoon activity across the northern and southern Indo-Pacific during the Late Glacial

R. F. Denniston, Y. Asmerom, V. J. Polyak, A. D. Wanamaker, C. C. Ummenhofer, W. F. Humphreys, J. Cugley, D. Woods, S. Lucker

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies of stalagmites from the Southern Hemisphere tropics of Indonesia reveal two shifts in monsoon activity not apparent in records from the Northern Hemisphere sectors of the Austral-Asian monsoon system: an interval of enhanced rainfall at ∼19 ka, immediately prior to Heinrich Stadial 1, and a sharp increase in precipitation at ∼9 ka. Determining whether these events are site-specific or regional is important for understanding the full range of sensitivities of the Austral-Asian monsoon. We present a discontinuous 40 kyr carbon isotope record of stalagmites from two caves in the Kimberley region of the north-central Australian tropics. Heinrich stadials are represented by pronounced negative carbon isotopic anomalies, indicative of enhanced rainfall associated with a southward shift of the intertropical convergence zone and consistent with hydroclimatic changes observed across Asia and the Indo-Pacific. Between 20 and 8 ka, however, the Kimberley stalagmites, like the Indonesian record, reveal decoupling of monsoon behavior from Southeast Asia, including the early deglacial wet period (which we term the Late Glacial Pluvial) and the abrupt strengthening of early Holocene monsoon rainfall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


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