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Master of Science (M.S.)
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We present a continuous high-resolution precisely dated multiproxy record of hydroclimate variability at Anjohibe in northwestern Madagascar using speleothem AB13. The record spanned ~4,484 to ~2,863 years BP and showed general agreement with previously published speleothem records from the same approximate location. However, a speleothem record from Rodrigues Island, located ~1,600 km to the east of Madagascar, did not align, suggesting that paleoclimate records from Rodrigues Island may not serve as accurate proxies for northwestern Madagascar, as has been previously suggested. Stalagmite AB13 also provides a detailed record of rainfall variability during the 4.2 ka event, the abrupt climate disturbance associated with the collapse of several early human civilizations. Between ~3,900 – 4,300 years BP, Anjohibe experienced two periods of moderate drying. The most significant climate perturbation in the record was a drought that lasted ~300 years with peak dryness at ~3,000 years BP. This extended drought may have contributed to the reduction of the local perennial wetland environments and thus may have implications for the extirpation of Malagasy pygmy hippopotamuses in this part of the dry deciduous forest.
Stephen J. Burns
Raymond S. Bradley
Williams, Raspberry, "A Speleothem Record of Hydroclimate Variability in Northwestern Madagascar during the Mid-Late Holocene" (2023). Masters Theses. 1282.
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