- Holocene (2) (remove)
- Geomorphological investigations of sediment traps on Lanzarote (Canary Islands) as a key for the interpretation of a palaeoclimate archive off NW Africa (2009)
- On Lanzarote (Canary Islands) Late Quaternary Saharan dust and volcanic material were trapped in Miocence to Pliocene valleys dammed by volcanic lava flows. These trapped sediments are potentially interesting as they can be natural archives useful to reconstruct the terrestrial palaeoclimate history of the NW African margin. Nevertheless, slope wash processes altered the primarily eolian deposits, making climatic interpretation not straightforward. Geomorphological mapping, GIS calculations and sedimentological investigations were used to unravel these processes influencing the temporal resolution of the palaeoclimatic archive, demonstrating that they average the palaeoclimatic signal by some ka. Thus, despite the colluvial geomorphic environment, the valley fillings can be used for palaeoclimatic interpretation of events with a length of at least some ka. The youngest sediments, deposited since at least 2.5 ka, are anthropogenically triggered and thus cannot be used for palaeoclimatic interpretation. The results show that the input of Saharan dust at Lanzarote increased during the last 1.0 Ma and especially during the Early/Middle Holocene.
- Dating Saharan dust deposits on Lanzarote (Canary Islands) by luminescence dating techniques and their implication for palaeoclimate reconstruction of NW Africa. (2008)
- Lava flow dammed valleys (Vegas) on Lanzarote (Canary Islands) represent unique sediment traps, filled with autochthonous volcanic material and allochthonous Saharan dust. These sediments and the intercalated palaeosoil sediments document past environmental change of the last glacial-interglacial cycles, both on Lanzarote and in NW Africa. A reliable chronology must be established to use these sediment archives for palaeoclimate reconstructions. Owing to the lack of organic material and the limiting time range of the 14Cdating method, luminescence dating is the most promising method for these sediments. However, the fluvio-eolian character of these sediments is a major problem for luminescence dating, because these sediments are prone to insufficient resetting of the parent luminescence signal (bleaching) prior to sedimentation. To check for the best age estimates, we compare the bleaching behavior of (1) different grain sizes (coarse- versus fine-grain quartz OSL) and (2) different minerals (fine-grain feldspar IRSL versus fine-grain quartz OSL). The results show that owing to its bleaching characteristics, quartz is the preferable mineral for luminescence dating. On the basis of the fine- and coarse-grain quartz OSL age estimates, a chronostratigraphy up to 100 ka could be established. Beyond this age limit for OSL quartz, the chronostratigraphy could be extended up to 180 ka by correlating the vega sediments with dated marine sediment archives.