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Late Holocene sea-level changes and paleoclimate recorded in Lake Lungué, southern Mozambique
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique; .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3388-2965
2017 (English)In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616XArticle in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

We report on late Holocene paleoenvironmental and sea-level changes in southern Mozambique, based on analysis of diatom stratigraphy, mineral magnetic susceptibility, Saturation Isothermal Remnant Magnetization (SIRM) and organic carbon content in a sediment core from Lake Lungué, located ca. 30 km north of Xai Xai City in the Limpopo River floodplain. Eleven radiocarbon dates performed on terrestrial shells allowed establishment of an age-depth model. High content of brackish-marine taxa, especially Diploneis suborbicularis and Navicula yarrensis, suggests that the Lake Lungué basin was part of the Indian Ocean coastal zone between ca. 740 and 910 CE, suggesting higher relative sea-level during this phase. A similar diatom distribution in older parts of the sequence, of unknown age, indicates that the site was connected to the Indian Ocean also at some stage prior to 740 CE. Between ca. 910 and 1130 CE the basin was under a combined effect of sporadic marine water influx and Limpopo River actions. A freshwater lake was established sometime between 1130 and 1360 CE, when the basin became less affected by marine influences due to lower sea-levels. Instead, the lake system was more influenced by Limpopo River meandering dynamics and flooding events, and eventually isolated into a more or less independent lake ecosystem where diatom diversity most likely responded to lake levels fluctuations driven by shifts in relative humidity and rainfall amounts within the floodplain and also from upstream sources. During this phase, high abundance of freshwater planktonic species, i.e. Aulacoseira granulata and A. ambigua, indicates high lake levels and wetter conditions dated to ca. 1360–1560 CE. From 1560 CE until present, the lake has been subject to drier conditions and higher evaporation as indicated by lower lake levels, reported by a decline in freshwater planktonic taxa and increase in brackish taxa, e.g. Amphora robusta.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Limpopo River, Lake level changes, Human impact, Diatom, Mineral magnetic properties
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Quaternary Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144400DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.06.022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144400DiVA: diva2:1112276
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-06-21

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Raúl Sitoe, SandraRisberg, JanNorström, ElinWesterberg, Lars-Ove
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