Abstract

Paleohydrology and paleoecology of the region around the Chemchane sabkha (Mauritania) are reconstructed from the comparative analyses of mineralogy, stable isotope ratios of bulk carbonates, and palynology from sediment cores. The age of the section is from ca. 13.5 ka to the middle Holocene. Maximum lake expansion between about 8.3 and 6.5 ka is recorded in a girdle of stromatolite carbonates. These document a lower-salinity lake concomitant with a general establishment of Sahel-Sudan vegetation. The Chemchane area is the northernmost (lat 21°N) occurrence of humid- phase elements that are related to maximum intensity of monsoon activity during the early Holocene.

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