An 8 ka record of vegetation cover, fire history and moisture availability from North-Central Mongolia

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Show simple item record Molhoek, Emily 2015-08-21T01:21:07Z 2015-08-21T01:21:07Z 2007-05
dc.description Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2007 en_US
dc.description.abstract Analysis of pollen, charcoal, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes ([delta]¹³C and [delta]¹⁵N) from a sediment core of Mongolian Lake Terhiyn-Tsagaan show increases in moisture availability coincident with mid- to late Holocene expansion of the Asian monsoon. The lake is freshwater and located in an intermontane depression on the flanks of the Hangai Range of north-central Mongolia. The site lies within the forest-steppe biome ~400 m below tree line. The low C:N of the sediments indicates that organic matter is primarily composed of autochthonous material. Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae pollen are indicators of dry steppe and semi-desert vegetation, whereas Poaceae pollen is more abundant in humid meadow-steppe or forest-steppe assemblages. An aridity index, calculated by dividing Artemisia + Chenopodiaceae by Poaceae pollen, is used to identify changes in moisture availability. High aridity indices and spikes of charcoal influx record relatively humid conditions at the site between 8.0 and 5.5 k years BP. Low charcoal influx rates and peak values of the aridity index between 4.5 and 4.0 k years BP correspond to a documented interval of drought in southern Asia and northern Africa attributed to a weak Asian monsoon. A decrease in charcoal influx since 7.5 k years BP combined with progressive increase in [delta]¹⁵N indicates increasing aridification from the mid-Holocene to nearly the present. Intervals of humidification at Lake Terhiyn-Tsagaan are thus synchronous with the waxing and waning of the Asian monsoon and out of phase with humid intervals recorded at Lake Telmen, approximately 250 km to the northwest. It is possible that the Terhiyn-Tsagaan drainage lies at the northern and/or western edge of the region that received precipitation from an expanded Holocene summer monsoon. en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents 1. Introduction -- 1.1. Objectives and research questions -- 1.2. Mongolian history -- 1.3. Climate -- 1.3.1. Monsoon circulation -- 1.3.2. Modern climate -- 1.3.3. Holocene climate -- 1.3.4. Mongolian climate change records -- Lake status records -- Lake Telmen and Dood -- Tree-ring studies -- Solongogyn Davaa -- Northeastern mongolia -- Mongolian-American tree-ring project (MATRIP) -- 1.4. Proxies of past environments -- 1.4.1. AMS radiocarbon dating -- Advantages of AMS dating -- Limitations of AMS dating -- 1.4.2. Palynology -- Semi-quantitative indices -- Limitations of palynological analysis -- 1.4.3. Charcoal analysis -- Charcoal identification -- 1.4.4. Stable isotope analysis -- C/N ratios -- [Delta]¹³C -- [Delta]¹⁵C -- 2. Background -- 2.1. Physiography -- 2.2. Rivers -- 2.3. Vegetation of present day Mongolia -- 2.4. Wind patterns -- 2.5. Lake Terhiyn Tsagaan -- 2.5.1. Location -- 2.5.2. Vegetation -- 2.5.3. Lake basin -- 2.5.4. Lake formation -- Volcanism -- 3. Methods -- 3.1. Sediment core -- 3.2. Chronology : AMS radiocarbon dating -- 3.3. Palynology -- 3.3.1. Sample preparation -- 3.3.2. Pollen slide analysis -- 3.4. Charcoal analysis -- 3.4.1. Laboratory techniques -- 3.4.2. Microscopy and charcoal imaging -- 3.5. Stable isotopes -- 4. Results -- 4.1. Sediment core -- 4.2. AMS dates -- 4.3. Pollen data -- 4.3.1. Pollen abundances -- 4.3.2. Pollen zones -- 4.4. Charcoal -- 4.5. Stable isotopes -- 4.5.1. Carbon stable isotope values -- 4.5.2. Nitrogen stable isotope values -- 4.5.3. C/N ratios -- 4.6. Correlation of proxies -- 5. Discussion and conclusions -- 5.1. Vegetation and climate reconstruction -- 5.2. Summary of past environmental changes in the Terhiyn-Tsagaan -- Region -- 5.3. Comparison with other data sources -- 5.4. Conclusions -- Works cited -- Appendix. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title An 8 ka record of vegetation cover, fire history and moisture availability from North-Central Mongolia en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US ms en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of Geology and Geophysics en_US

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