Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Clim. Past, 7, 987–999, 2011
Clim. Past, 7, 987–999, 2011

Research article 21 Sep 2011

Research article | 21 Sep 2011

Sub-decadal- to decadal-scale climate cyclicity during the Holsteinian interglacial (MIS 11) evidenced in annually laminated sediments

A. Koutsodendris1, A. Brauer2, H. Pälike3, U. C. Müller1, P. Dulski2, A. F. Lotter4, and J. Pross1 A. Koutsodendris et al.
  • 1Paleoenvironmental Dynamics Group, Institute of Geosciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.2 Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, University of Southampton, Waterfront Campus, European Way, SO14 3ZH Southampton, UK
  • 4Institute of Environmental Biology, Palaeoecology, Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 4, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. To unravel the short-term climate variability during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, which represents a close analogue to the Holocene with regard to orbital boundary conditions, we performed microfacies and time series analyses on a ~3200-yr-long record of annually laminated Holsteinian lake sediments from Dethlingen, northern Germany. These biogenic varves comprise two sub-layers: a light sub-layer, which is controlled by spring/summer diatom blooms, and a dark sub-layer consisting mainly of amorphous organic matter and fragmented diatom frustules deposited during autumn/winter. Time series analyses were performed on the thickness of the light and dark sub-layers. Signals exceeding the 95% and 99% confidence levels occur at periods that are near-identical to those known from modern instrumental data and Holocene palaeoclimatic records. Spectral peaks at periods of 90, 25, and 10.5 yr are likely associated with the 88-, 22- and 11-yr solar cycles, respectively. This variability is mainly expressed in the light sub-layer spectra, suggesting solar influence on the palaeoproductivity of the lake. Significant signals at periods between 3 and 5 yr and at ∼6 yr are strongest expressed in the dark sub-layer spectra and may reflect an influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) during autumn/winter. Our results suggest that solar forcing and ENSO/NAO-like variability influenced central European climate during MIS 11 similarly to the present interglacial, thus demonstrating the comparability of the two interglacial periods at sub-decadal to decadal timescales.