The value of environmental changes for estimation of the time of arrival of people in the Australian region

Kershaw, Peter, Van der Kaars, Sander, Moss, Patrick, Turney, Chris S., Rule, Sue, McKenzie, Merna and Opdyke, Brad (2007). The value of environmental changes for estimation of the time of arrival of people in the Australian region. In: Norm R. Catto, Quarternary International; XVII Inqua Congress the Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary. XVII International Union for Quaternary Research Congress - The Topics: Heat Engine of the Quarternary, Cairns, Australia, (205-206). 28 July to 3 August 2007. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.04.001


Author Kershaw, Peter
Van der Kaars, Sander
Moss, Patrick
Turney, Chris S.
Rule, Sue
McKenzie, Merna
Opdyke, Brad
Title of paper The value of environmental changes for estimation of the time of arrival of people in the Australian region
Conference name XVII International Union for Quaternary Research Congress - The Topics: Heat Engine of the Quarternary
Conference location Cairns, Australia
Conference dates 28 July to 3 August 2007
Convener Professor John Chappell
Proceedings title Quarternary International; XVII Inqua Congress the Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Publication Year 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Published abstract
DOI 10.1016/j.quaint.2007.04.001
ISSN 1040-6182
Editor Norm R. Catto
Volume 167-168
Issue Supplement 1
Start page 205
End page 206
Total pages 2
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Continuous pollen and charcoal records, predominantly from marine sediments, provide a good spatial coverage of patterns of change in vegetation, climate and biomass burning within the northern Australian - southern Indonesian region and southeastern Australia, through the Late Quaternary period. Northern Hemisphere insolation and ice volume forcing is conspicuous on orbital timescales with general expansion of wetter communities under higher precipitation during Interglacials and their contraction under drier glacials. However, this picture is regionally complicated by both southern hemisphere monsoon and long term ENSO influences. The charcoal records suggest a complex pattern of burning with generally more frequent or intense fires during climate transitions and also drier periods except when and where fuel availability was limiting. Superimposed on this largely cyclical pattern are sustained alterations, within the last 300,000 to 200,000 years, to more open canopied vegetation and in associated charcoal signatures. It is considered that regional reorganizations of oceanic and atmospheric circulation were the major causes of the early part of this trend although a human contribution cannot be totally discounted. Marked and sustained changes in vegetation and burning patterns in a number of records within isotope stage 3, corresponding generally with dated archaeological evidence for the presence of people and for megafaunal extinction, suggest that this may have been the time of the major, if not the first, invasion of Australasia by people within the Pleistocene period. However, the pattern is not consistent and there is a dilution of evidence of marked change with increasing latitude. Reasons for spatial variation, including the degree of sensitivity of the existing vegetation to human impact, differences in the degree to which pollen and charcoal assemblages would register human influences and regional climate controls, will be considered.
Subjects 260113 Palynology
E1
780104 Earth sciences
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 30 Apr 2008, 21:37:49 EST by Deirdre Timo on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management