Year

2017

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (Science)

Department

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Abstract

The aim of this project was to establish the first long (LGM to present), high-resolution, monsoonal climate record, from terrestrial archives within the core monsoon region. This was achieved by developing a new record from Table Top Swamp (TTS) within Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, a site where the Australian Summer Monsoon (ASM) dominates the climate.

As one of the dominant climate systems affecting Australia, understanding the operation of the monsoon is crucial for understanding Australian landscape dynamics, biological systems and human occupation history. In addition understanding past changes contributes to our ability to predict future changes, for example under climate change scenarios. Importantly it is unclear if the monsoon was active before and during the Last Glacial Maximum. There are two hypothesis of how the monsoon may have operated in response to cooling or warming; either, 1) the mean position of ASM may have changed resulting in the influence of the ASM becoming weaker or stronger at particular locations such as TTS, or 2) the ASM may have switched on or off in response to warming and cooling phases.

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