Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-11-5401-2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-11-5401-2015

  17 Nov 2015

17 Nov 2015

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal CP but the revision was not accepted.

Impact of Holocene climate variability on lacustrine records and human settlements in South Greenland

T. Guillemot1, V. Bichet1, A. Simonneau2, D. Rius1, C. Massa1, E. Gauthier1, H. Richard1, and M. Magny1 T. Guillemot et al.
  • 1Université de Bourgogne/Franche-Comté, Laboratoire Chrono-environnement, CNRS UMR 6249, 16 route de Gray 25030 Besançon, France
  • 2Université d'Orléans, ISTO, CNRS UMR 7327, 1A rue de la Férollerie 45071 Orléans, France

Abstract. Due to its sensitivity to climate changes, south Greenland is a particularly suitable area to study past global climate changes and their influence on locale Human settlements. A paleohydrological investigation was therefore carried out on two river-fed lakes: Lake Qallimiut and Little Kangerluluup, both located close to the Labrador Sea in the historic farming center of Greenland. Two sediment cores (QAL-2011 and LKG-2011), spanning the last four millennia, were retrieved and showed similar thin laminae, described by high magnetic susceptibility and density, high titanium and TOC / TN atomic ratio, and coarse grain size. They are also characterized either by inverse grading followed by normal grading or by normal grading only and a prevalence of red amorphous particles and lignocellulosic fragments, typical of flood deposits.

Flood events showed similar trend in both records: they mainly occurred during cooler and wetter periods characterized by weaker Greenlandic paleo-temperatures, substantial glacier advances, and a high precipitation on the Greenlandic Ice Sheet and North Atlantic ice-rafting events. They can therefore be interpreted as a result of ice and snow-melting episodes. They occurred especially during rapid climate changes (RCC) such as the Middle to Late Holocene transition around 2250 BC, the Sub-boreal/Sub-atlantic transition around 700 BC and the Little Ice Age (LIA) between AD 1300 and AD 1900, separated by cycles of 1500 years and driven by solar forcing. These global RCC revealed by QAL-2011 and LKG-2011 flood events may have influenced Human settlements in south Greenland, especially the paleo-Eskimo cultures and the Norse settlement, and have been mainly responsible for their demise.

T. Guillemot et al.

 
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Status: closed
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T. Guillemot et al.

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Short summary
To reconstruct past climate changes and their influence on Human settlements, we have study lacustrine sediments retrieved from two Greenlandic lakes (Lake Qallimiut and Little Kangerluluup), recording at high resolution past environmental changes. 37 flood events are identified in these cores, resulting of ice and snow-melting episodes. They are mainly occurred during cooler and wetter periods and and have been mainly responsible for the Human demise.