EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Southern African hydroclimate during the Late Quaternary: integrating source to sink and multi-archive studies

Annette Hahn1, Hayley Cawthra2,3, Green Andrew4, Humphries Marc5, Schefuß Enno1, and Zabel Matthias1
Annette Hahn et al.
  • 1MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 2Geophysics and Remote Sensing Unit, Council for Geoscience, PO Box 572, Bellville 7535, South Africa
  • 3African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • 4Geological Sciences, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, South Africa
  • 5Molecular Sciences Institute, School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Southern Africa is located at the interface of sub-tropical and temperate climate zones as well as between two major warm and cold ocean current systems (Agulhas and Benguela), respectively. This makes it a key region for understanding global climate dynamics and highly sensitive to future climatic change. A growing number of paleo-archives have revealed small-scale climatic dipoles in this region and the driving mechanisms of the complex climatic variability often in this region remain unclear. Several regional studies have suggested a synchronicity with the southern hemisphere and thus inferred a direct insolation forcing while others have observed a synchronicity with northern hemispheric climate and associated this with a teleconnection mechanism. In order to decipher the complex climatic processes affecting this region it is necessary to integrate on- and offshore paleo-archives as well as various paleo-environmental indicators (proxies). For the correct interpretation of the various proxies a source to sink approach is necessary determining the origin of the different terrestrial sedimentary components and their potential alterations during transport and deposition. With a focus on marine and lacustrine sedimentary archives along the west, south, and east coast of southern Africa we are now able to reconstruct Late Quaternary climate variability on regional scales. We propose a new conceptual model describing latitudinal shifts of rainfall zones as tropical and temperate climate systems shift over glacial and interglacial cycles. New insights allow us to resolve some of the apparent contradictions between paleoclimate records from the region. 


How to cite: Hahn, A., Cawthra, H., Andrew, G., Marc, H., Enno, S., and Matthias, Z.: Southern African hydroclimate during the Late Quaternary: integrating source to sink and multi-archive studies , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8481,, 2020