Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Clim. Past, 10, 1857–1869, 2014

Special issue: Western Pacific paleoceanography – an ocean history...

Clim. Past, 10, 1857–1869, 2014

Research article 22 Oct 2014

Research article | 22 Oct 2014

Late Holocene environmental reconstructions and their implications on flood events, typhoon, and agricultural activities in NE Taiwan

L.-C. Wang2,1, H. Behling1, T.-Q. Lee3, H.-C. Li4, C.-A. Huh3, L.-J. Shiau5, and Y.-P. Chang6 L.-C. Wang et al.
  • 1Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Collection Management Department, National Taiwan Museum, Taipei 100, Taiwan
  • 3Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 128, Taiwan
  • 4Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
  • 5Institute of Applied Geosciences, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan
  • 6Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan

Abstract. We reconstructed paleoenvironmental changes from a sediment archive of a lake in the floodplain of the Ilan Plain of NE Taiwan on multi-decadal resolution for the last ca. 1900 years. On the basis of pollen and diatom records, we evaluated past floods, typhoons, and agricultural activities in this area which are sensitive to the hydrological conditions in the western Pacific. Considering the high sedimentation rates with low microfossil preservations in our sedimentary record, multiple flood events were. identified during the period AD 100–1400. During the Little Ice Age phase 1 (LIA 1 – AD 1400–1620), the abundant occurrences of wetland plant (Cyperaceae) and diatom frustules imply less flood events under stable climate conditions in this period. Between AD 500 and 700 and the Little Ice Age phase 2 (LIA 2 – AD 1630–1850), the frequent typhoons were inferred by coarse sediments and planktonic diatoms, which represented more dynamical climate conditions than in the LIA 1. By comparing our results with the reconstructed changes in tropical hydrological conditions, we suggested that the local hydrology in NE Taiwan is strongly influenced by typhoon-triggered heavy rainfalls, which could be influenced by the variation of global temperature, the expansion of the Pacific warm pool, and the intensification of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.