Land-sea linkages on the Algerian Margin over the last 14 kyrs BP: climate variability at orbital to centennial timescales

Date 2022
Author(s) Coussin Vincent1, Penaud Aurélie1, Combourieu-Nebout Nathalie2, Peyron Odile3, Sicre Marie-Alexandrine4, Tisnerat-Laborde Nadine5, Cattaneo Antonio1, Babonneau Nathalie1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Brest, CNRS, Ifremer, Geo-ocean, UMR6538, F-29850 Plouzané, France
2 : HNHP, CNRS, UMR 7194, Département de Préhistoire du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, F-75013 Paris, France
3 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, UMR 5554, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France
4 : LOCEAN, CNRS, Sorbonne Université,Campus Pierre et Marie Curie, F75005 Paris, France
5 : Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, UMR 8212 UVSQ-CNRS-CEA, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
DOI 10.17882/89514
Publisher SEANOE
Keyword(s) Holocene, Dinocysts, Pollen, Biomarkers, Clay analysis, Modern Analogue Technique, Algerian Current, African Humid Period, Upwelling

Past and present environmental conditions over the Holocene along the Algerian coast involve complex atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere interactions and anthropogenic activities on adjacent watersheds. Atlantic Ocean surface waters entering the western Mediterranean Sea at the Gibraltar Strait leads to the Algerian Current, which flows along the North African coast in a succession of strong and large-scale eddies. Deep-water upwelling plumes are other recurrent hydrological features of the Algerian margin impacting on regional environmental features. However, vegetation and paleohydrological changes that occurred over the Holocene have not been described so far. To fill this gap, a suite of paleoclimate proxies was analysed in the marine core MD04-2801 (2,067 m water depth) at a secular-scale resolution over the last 14 kyrs BP. Terrestrial (pollen grains) and marine (dinoflagellate cysts or dinocysts) palynological assemblages, as well as sedimentological (grain-size analysis and XRD-based quantitative analysis of clay minerals) and biomarkers (alkenones and n-alkanes), were determined to explore the links between past sea surface hydrological conditions and regional environmental changes on nearby watersheds.

Our data underline the unique character of our results in terms of dinocyst assemblages including the over-representation of heterotrophic dinocyst taxa (Brigantedinium spp.) signing for strong planktonic productivity in the study area. The Modern Analogue Technique applied to the new pollen and dinocyst assemblages reconstructed in this study also provides unique climatic and hydrological quantifications, respectively. We then discuss the links between dryness on land and surface hydrological conditions, and notably : (i) recurrent upwelling cells during the relatively dry climate conditions of the Younger Dryas (12.7 to 11.7 ka BP), the Early Holocene (11.7 to 8.2 ka BP) and from 6 ka BP onwards, (ii) enhanced fluvial discharges between 8.2 and 6 ka BP during the African Humid Period concomitant with the colonization of coastlands by the Mediterranean forest.

Licence CC-BY-NC
Acknowledgements This work was part of a PhD thesis (V.C.) financed by the Région Bretagne and UBO (Univ Brest). This work was supported by the French national programme (CNRS) LEFE-EC2CO (“DATAPOL”) and by the ISblue project, Interdisciplinary graduate school for the blue planet (ANR-17-EURE-0015), co-funded by a grant from the French government under the program "Investissements d'Avenir". This work was also supported by the INSU-Mistrals Progam - PaleoMex part. We thank Yannick Miras for the help in Non Pollen Palynomorph determination and discussion about their ecological signature. This is also a ISEM contribution.
Sensor metadata

All measurements details are provided in Coussin et al (submitted) : Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

File Size Format Processing Access
Age model, XRF, MSCL, Grain size, Isotopic, palynologic (dinocysts and pollen) and biomarkers data 410 KB XLS, XLSX Quality controlled data Open access
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Coussin Vincent, Penaud Aurélie, Combourieu-Nebout Nathalie, Peyron Odile, Sicre Marie-Alexandrine, Tisnerat-Laborde Nadine, Cattaneo Antonio, Babonneau Nathalie (2022). Land-sea linkages on the Algerian Margin over the last 14 kyrs BP: climate variability at orbital to centennial timescales. SEANOE.