Early Pleistocene climatic cycles in continental deposits of the Lesser Caucasus of Armenia inferred from palynology, magnetostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar dating - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2010

Early Pleistocene climatic cycles in continental deposits of the Lesser Caucasus of Armenia inferred from palynology, magnetostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar dating

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Abstract

Plio-Pleistocene diatomitic sequences in the Shamb paleo-lake (South Armenia, Lesser Caucasus) offer a rare opportunity to give new insights on the paleo-climate of Western Asia. We present an integrated palynological, 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic and magnetostratigraphic study for the most complete section in the sedimentary deposits of the Shamb paleo-lake. 40Ar/39Ar dating of two volcaniclastic layers provided ages of 1.24 ± 0.03 and 1.16 ± 0.02 Ma (2. Magnetostratigraphic data show that the entire Shamb section is of reversed polarity which, combined with 40Ar/39Ar dating, suggests that the entire section correlates with part of the Matuyama period (1.785-1.070 Ma). Pollen assemblages and macroremains diversity clearly show an alternation of glacial and interglacial phases. Age calibrations and accumulation rate extrapolation allow a direct correlation of climate changes with the global isotopic curve, and show that the Shamb section probably ranges from approximately 1.300 to 1.080 Ma (marine isotopic stages 40 to 31). The vegetation of the Lesser Caucasus developed in a mosaic pattern in a Pleistocene continental, mostly arid climate, comparable to the present-day climate. The observed vegetation changes record a dominant climate response to the obliquity orbital parameter, but the influence of precession could not be established from the Shamb data. Pollen and macroflora both indicate that glacial periods were cold and dry and that interglacials were warm with local humidity. The early Pleistocene climatic model for Western Asia is thus similar to the climatic model for the Mediterranean area.
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hal-00470353 , version 1 (06-04-2010)

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Sebastien Joannin, Jean-Jacques Cornee, Philippe Münch, Michel Fornari, Iuliana Vasiliev, et al.. Early Pleistocene climatic cycles in continental deposits of the Lesser Caucasus of Armenia inferred from palynology, magnetostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar dating. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2010, 291 (1-4), pp.149-158. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2010.01.007⟩. ⟨hal-00470353⟩
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