Monsoon Variability Preserved in Australian Stalagmites During the Early Holocene

April 11th, 2011

Recent studies from Borneo and Indonesia have increased our understanding of the evolution of the Indonesian-Australian Summer Monsoon (InAuSM) system over the past 10,000 years (the Holocene epoch).  However, little is known about the InAuSM in Australia or at centennial time-scales. Here we present carbon and oxygen stable isotope data from two stalagmites collected from cave KNI-51, located in the northern Kimberley region of tropical Western Australia, that preserve evidence of centennial- and millennial-scale trends in the InAuSM during the early Holocene. Monsoon intensity and variability are attributed to movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); insolation appears to have played a limited role on InAuSM variability during the Holocene.

Elizabeth Greaves, ’11
Houston, TX
Major: Geology

Sponsor: Rhawn Denniston

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