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Nile Delta vegetation response to Holocene climate variability

Christopher E. Bernhardt, Benjamin P. Horton and Jean-Daniel Stanley
Nile Delta vegetation response to Holocene climate variability
Geology (Boulder) (May 2012) 40 (7): 615-618


A 7000 yr palynologic record from Burullus Lagoon, Nile Delta, Egypt, is assessed to investigate changes in terrestrial vegetation in response to Nile flow. Previous studies in this region have shown that sea-level rise in the early to mid-Holocene, and markedly increased human land use during the past several centuries, altered vegetation in and around the lagoon. The pollen record from this study documents changes in delta vegetation that likely reflect variations in Nile flow. We suggest that Cyperaceae pollen is a sensitive marker of precipitation over the Nile headwaters and the resultant Nile flow. Decreases in Cyperaceae pollen, interpreted as a marker for diminished Nile flow, as well as the increase in relative abundance of microscopic charcoal, occurred at ca. 6000-5500, ca. 5000, ca. 4200, and ca. 3000 cal. yr B.P. (calibrated years before present). These correspond to extreme regional and global aridity events associated with a more southerly mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. These changes, also recorded by other proxy studies, indicate that several marked regional drought events affected the Nile Delta region and impacted ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern civilizations.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 40
Serial Issue: 7
Title: Nile Delta vegetation response to Holocene climate variability
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States
Pages: 615-618
Published: 20120523
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2012-065482
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2012174; accessed on June 7, 2012
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
Source Medium: WWW
N31°23'42" - N41°23'42", E30°40'36" - E30°40'36"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania, USA, United StatesSmithsonian Institution, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201234
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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