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Quaternary, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This SEM image (credit: Sabine Wulf) shows glass shards from a volcanic ash layer preserved within a Mediterranean marine sediment core. These ash layers in Quaternary sediments can allow for the precise correlation of marine proxy records from different regions such that geographically asynchronous environmental changes may be resolved. They can also be used to date the eruptions which produced them. In the presented paper, ash layers from Eastern Mediterranean marine sediments are characterised, providing a correlation between sediments of the Levantine and Aegean seas and also a precise date for a major Eemian eruption of the Santorini volcano. View this paper.
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ground Penetrating Radar Investigation of Late Pleistocene Shorelines of Pluvial Lake Clover, Elko County, Nevada, USA
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010009 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Beach ridges constructed by pluvial Lake Clover in Elko County, Nevada during the Late Pleistocene were investigated with ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The primary objective was to document the internal architecture of these shorelines and to evaluate whether they were constructed during lake rise [...] Read more.
Beach ridges constructed by pluvial Lake Clover in Elko County, Nevada during the Late Pleistocene were investigated with ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The primary objective was to document the internal architecture of these shorelines and to evaluate whether they were constructed during lake rise or fall. GPR data were collected with a ground-coupled 400-Mhz antenna and SIR-3000 controller. To constrain the morphology of the ridges, detailed topographic surveys were collected with a Topcon GTS-235W total station referenced to a second class 0 vertical survey point. GPR transects crossed the beach ridge built by Lake Clover at its highstand of 1725 m, along with seven other ridges down to the lowest beach at 1712 m. An average dielectric permittivity of 5.0, typical for dry sand and gravel, was calculated from GPR surveys in the vicinity of hand-excavations that encountered prominent stratigraphic discontinuities at known depths. Assuming this value, consistent radar signals were returned to a depth of ~3 m. Beach ridges are resolvable as ~90 to 150-cm thick stratified packages of gravelly sand overlying a prominent lakeward-dipping reflector, interpreted as the pre-lake land surface. Many ridges contain a package of sediment resembling a buried berm at their core, typically offset in a landward direction from the geomorphic crest of the beach ridge. Sequences of lakeward-dipping reflectors are resolvable beneath the beach face of all ridges. No evidence was observed to indicate that beach ridges were submerged by higher water levels after their formation. Instead, the GPR data are consistent with a model of sequential ridge formation during a monotonic lake regression. Full article
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Open AccessReply
Response to Comments by Daniel Gebregiorgis et al. “A Brief Commentary on the Interpretation of Chinese Speleothem δ18O Records as Summer Monsoon Intensity Tracers”. Quaternary 2020, 3, 7
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010008 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 683
Abstract
We would like to thank Gebregiorgis et al [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Speleothem Records and Climate)
Open AccessComment
A Brief Commentary on the Interpretation of Chinese Speleothem δ18O Records as Summer Monsoon Intensity Tracers
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010007 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Zhang et al [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Speleothem Records and Climate)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Detection and Characterisation of Eemian Marine Tephra Layers within the Sapropel S5 Sediments of the Aegean and Levantine Seas
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010006 - 13 Mar 2020
Viewed by 935
Abstract
The Eemian was the last interglacial period (~130 to 115 ka BP) to precede the current interglacial. In Eastern Mediterranean marine sediments, it is marked by a well-developed and organic-rich “sapropel” layer (S5), which is thought to reflect an intensification and northward migration [...] Read more.
The Eemian was the last interglacial period (~130 to 115 ka BP) to precede the current interglacial. In Eastern Mediterranean marine sediments, it is marked by a well-developed and organic-rich “sapropel” layer (S5), which is thought to reflect an intensification and northward migration of the African monsoon rain belt over orbital timescales. However, despite the importance of these sediments, very little proxy-independent stratigraphic information is available to enable rigorous correlation of these sediments across the region. This paper presents the first detailed study of visible and non-visible (cryptotephra) layers found within these sediments at three marine coring sites: ODP Site 967B (Levantine Basin), KL51 (South East of Crete) and LC21 (Southern Aegean Sea). Major element analyses of the glass component were used to distinguish four distinct tephra events of Santorini (e.g., Vourvoulos eruption) and possible Anatolian provenance occurring during the formation of S5. Interpolation of core chronologies provides provisional eruption ages for the uppermost tephra (unknown Santorini, 121.8 ± 2.9 ka) and lowermost tephra (Anatolia or Kos/Yali/Nisyros, 126.4 ± 2.9 ka). These newly characterised tephra deposits have also been set into the regional tephrostratigraphy to illustrate the potential to precisely synchronise marine proxy records with their terrestrial counterparts, and also contribute to the establishment of a more detailed volcanic history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Annually Laminated Lake Sediments—Recent Progress
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010005 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
The collection of papers entitled “Annually Laminated Lake Sediments” illustrates the recent progress made in varved sediment research and highlights the variety of methodological approaches and research directions used. The contributions cover the monitoring of modern sediment fluxes using sediment traps, geochronological and [...] Read more.
The collection of papers entitled “Annually Laminated Lake Sediments” illustrates the recent progress made in varved sediment research and highlights the variety of methodological approaches and research directions used. The contributions cover the monitoring of modern sediment fluxes using sediment traps, geochronological and sedimentological analyses of varves, multi-proxy investigations, including geochemical and biological proxies, as well as spatiotemporal analyses based on multi-core studies supported by satellite images. The scientific issues discussed the influences of hydroclimatological phenomena on short-term changes in sediment flux, the relationships between biogeochemical processes in the water column and the formation of varves, the preservation of environmental signals in varves, and possibilities of synchronizing varved records with other high-resolution environmental archives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Annually Laminated Lake Sediments) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
The Dodo and the Red Hen, A Saga of Extinction, Misunderstanding, and Name Transfer: A Review
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010004 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1320
Abstract
The chronology of observations of two extinct flightless birds in 17th century Mauritius, the dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and the red hen (Aphanapteryx bonasia), and what names or descriptions were used for them, is re-examined. It was concluded that the balance [...] Read more.
The chronology of observations of two extinct flightless birds in 17th century Mauritius, the dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and the red hen (Aphanapteryx bonasia), and what names or descriptions were used for them, is re-examined. It was concluded that the balance of probabilities is strongly against birds called dodaarsen without descriptions in the 1680s being dodos rather than red hens. The dodo had disappeared earlier due to predation by pigs, but a hiatus in settlement broke observational continuity, yet folklore preserved the name and transferred it to the red hen. The dodo’s extinction thus happened unobserved. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sedimentary Landscape of Mun Valley Prehistoric Site: Construction History of Moated Site of Ban Non Wat, Northeast Thailand
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010003 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 632
Abstract
This research examines the sedimentological evidence of human occupation on different cultural layers at the prehistoric archaeological sites in northeast Thailand. This study focuses on the sedimentological characters of stratigraphic layers identified at the prehistoric occupation sites of Ban Non Wat and Nong [...] Read more.
This research examines the sedimentological evidence of human occupation on different cultural layers at the prehistoric archaeological sites in northeast Thailand. This study focuses on the sedimentological characters of stratigraphic layers identified at the prehistoric occupation sites of Ban Non Wat and Nong Hua Raet, to demonstrate the capacity of such analyses to elucidate the modification of sediments by past anthropogenic activity, and eventually to contribute to an enhanced understanding of the behaviour of ancient people. The primary intention of this paper is, therefore, to point out potential uses of particle analysis in identifying human–landscape interventions, testing whether meaningful differentiation is possible, and if not, whether this may nevertheless be used to understand the sedimentological relationships between different features. The study finds that although there is relatively little differentiation between sediments across the archaeological site, some insight is possible in identifying relationships between the natural sediments of the floodplain, the channels associated with the archaeological sites, and the archaeological sediments themselves. It is, for example, now possible to raise new questions regarding the construction history of the sites, the history of human behaviour at these sites, socio-spatial relationships between paleo-social activity and natural resources, and fine-scale landscape associations between sites. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Quaternary in 2019
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010002 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 638
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Modern Analogue Approach Applied to High-Resolution Varved Sediments—A Synthesis for Lake Montcortès (Central Pyrenees)
Quaternary 2020, 3(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat3010001 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
In Quaternary paleosciences, the rationale behind analogical inference presupposes that former processes can be explained by causes operating now, although their intensity and rates can vary through time. In this paper we synthesised the results of different modern analogue studies performed in a [...] Read more.
In Quaternary paleosciences, the rationale behind analogical inference presupposes that former processes can be explained by causes operating now, although their intensity and rates can vary through time. In this paper we synthesised the results of different modern analogue studies performed in a varved lake. We discuss their potential value to obtain best results from high resolution past records. Different biogeochemical contemporary processes revealed seasonality and year-to-year variability, e.g., calcite precipitation, lake oxygenation, production and deposition of pollen and phytoplankton growth. Fingerprints of the first two of these processes were clearly evidenced in the varve-sublayers and allow understanding related to past events. Pollen studies suggested the possibility of identifying and characterizing seasonal layers even in the absence of varves. Marker pigments in the water column were tightly associated with phytoplankton groups living today; most of them were identified in the sediment record as well. We observed that 50% of these marker pigments were destroyed between deposition and permanent burying. In another study, seasonality in the production/distribution of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) and derived temperature estimates were investigated in catchment soils and particles settling in the lake. The signatures of brGDGTs in depositional environments mainly were representative of stable conditions of soils in the catchment that last over decades; no brGDGTs seemed to be produced within the lake. The main contribution of this review is to show the advantages and limitations of a multiproxy modern-analogue approach in Lake Montcortès as a case study and proposing new working hypotheses for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Annually Laminated Lake Sediments) Printed Edition available
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