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Evidence for last interglacial chronology and environmental change from Southern Europe

Brauer, A.; Allen, J.R.M.; Mingram, J.; Dulski, P.; Wulf, S.; Huntley, B.


A. Brauer

J.R.M. Allen

J. Mingram

P. Dulski

S. Wulf

B. Huntley


Establishing phase relationships between earth-system components during periods of rapid global change is vital to understanding the underlying processes. It requires records of each component with independent and accurate chronologies. Until now, no continental record extending from the present to the penultimate glacial had such a chronology to our knowledge. Here, we present such a record from the annually laminated sediments of Lago Grande di Monticchio, southern Italy. Using this record we determine the duration (17.70 ± 0.20 ka) and age of onset (127.20 ± 1.60 ka B.P.) of the last interglacial, as reflected by terrestrial ecosystems. This record also reveals that the transitions at the beginning and end of the interglacial spanned only 100 and 150 years, respectively. Comparison with records of other earth-system components reveals complex leads and lags. During the penultimate deglaciation phase relationships are similar to those during the most recent deglaciation, peaks in Antarctic warming and atmospheric methane both leading Northern Hemisphere terrestrial warming. It is notable, however, that there is no evidence at Monticchio of a Younger Dryas-like oscillation during the penultimate deglaciation. Warming into the first major interstadial event after the last interglacial is characterized by markedly different phase relationships to those of the deglaciations, warming at Monticchio coinciding with Antarctic warming and leading the atmospheric methane increase. Diachroneity is seen at the end of the interglacial; several global proxies indicate progressive cooling after 115 ka B.P., whereas the main terrestrial response in the Mediterranean region is abrupt and occurs at 109.50 ± 1.40 ka B.P.


Brauer, A., Allen, J., Mingram, J., Dulski, P., Wulf, S., & Huntley, B. (2007). Evidence for last interglacial chronology and environmental change from Southern Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(2), 450-455.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2007
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2008
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Print ISSN 0027-8424
Electronic ISSN 1091-6490
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 104
Issue 2
Pages 450-455
Keywords Eemian, Phase relationships, Pollen, Varves.