A late Quaternary record of monsoon variability in the northwest Kimberley, Australia
Understanding of the late Quaternary environment of Australia's vast Kimberley region has to date been hindered by the region's lack of classic palaeoenvironmental archives such as deep lake sediments. However, mound spring peat deposits in the region have been found to be a potentially rich archive of palaeoenvironmental data. Here we present a high resolution record from Black Springs mound spring in the Kimberley's northwest, filling some of the current gaps in knowledge of the region's environmental history. This builds on a ~6000 year record developed from the same site and indicates that since the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition the Australian summer monsoon has varied greatly in intensity, with an increase in monsoonal precipitation from ~14,000 yr BP and pronounced drying in the late Holocene. Despite some chronological uncertainties thought to be due to the inclusion of younger, microscopic root fragments, changes in the record compare well with other records of climatic change from the Kimberley, and across tropical northern Australia.
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