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Agwu, Chiori O C; Beug, Hans-Jürgen (1982): Palynology of marine sediment cores from the West African coast. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Agwu, COC; Beug, H-J (1982): Palynological studies of marine sediments off the West African coast. Meteor Forschungsergebnisse, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Reihe C Geologie und Geophysik, Gebrüder Bornträger, Berlin, Stuttgart, C36, 1-30

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Seven sediment cores from the cruises of the "Meteor" and "Valdivia" were examined palynologically. The cores were retrieved from the lower continental slope in the area of between 33.5° N and 8° N, off the West African coast. Most of the cores contain sediments from the last Glacial and Interglacial period. In some cases, the Holocene sediments are missing. Some individual cores contain sediments also from earlier Glacial and Interglacial periods. The main reason for making this palynological study was to find out the differences between the vegetation of Glacial and Interglacial periods in those parts of West Africa which at present belong to the Mediterranean zone, the Sahara and the zones of the savannas and tropical forests. In today's Mediterranean vegetation zone at core 33.5° N, forests and deciduous forests in particular, are missing during Glacial conditions. Semi-deserts are found instead of these. In the early isotope stage 1, there is a very significant development of forests which contain evergreen oaks; this is the Mediterranean type of vegestation development. The Sahara type of vegetation development is shown in four cores from between 27° N and 19° N. The differences between Glacial and Interglacial periods are very small. It must be assumed therefore that in this latitudes, both Glacial and Interglacial conditions gave rise to desert generally. The results are in favour of a slightly more arid climate during Glacial and more humid one during Interglacial periods. The southern boundary of the Sahara and the adjacent savannas with grassland and tropical woods were situated more to the south during the Glacial periods than they were during the Interglacial ones.
In front of today's savanna belt, it can be seen from the palynological results that there are considerable differences between the vegetation of Glacial and Interglacial periods. The woods are more important in Interglacial periods. During the Glacial periods these are replaced from north to south decreasingly by grassland (savanna and rainforest type of vegetation development). The southern limit of the Sahara during stage 2 was somewhat between 12° N and 8° N which is between 1.5 and 5 degrees in latitude further south than it i s today.
Not only do these differences in climate and vegetation apply to the maximum of the last Glacial and for the Holocene, but they apparently apply also to the older Glacial and Interglacial periods, where they have been found in the profiles. The North African deset belt can be said to have expanded during Glacial times both towards the north and towards the south. All the available evidence of this study indicates that the grass land or the semi-desert of the Southern Europe cam einto connection with those of the N Africa; there could not have been any forest zone between them. The present study was also a good opportunity for investigating some of the basic marine palynological problems. The very well known overrepresentation of pollen grains of the genus Pinus in marine sediments can be traced as fa as 21° N. The present southern limit for the genus Pinus is on the Canaries and on the African continent as approximately 31° N. Highest values of Ephedra pollen grains even occur south of the main area of the present distribution of that genus. These does not seem to be any satisfactory explanation for this. In general, it would appear that the transport of pollen grains from the north is more important than transport from the south.
The results so far, indicate strongly that further palynological studies are necessary. These should concentrate particularly on cores from between 33° N and 27° N as well as between 17° N and 10° N. It would also be useful to have a more detailed examination of sediments from the last Intergalcial period (substage 5 e). Absolute pollen counts and more general examination of surface samples would be desirable. Surface samples should be taken from the shelf down to the bottom of the continental slope in different latitudes.
Median Latitude: 21.176104 * Median Longitude: -15.914186 * South-bound Latitude: 7.701000 * West-bound Longitude: -18.930000 * North-bound Latitude: 33.620000 * East-bound Longitude: -9.408333
Date/Time Start: 1971-10-31T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1973-03-22T15:12:00
GIK12309-3 * Latitude: 26.838330 * Longitude: -15.110000 * Date/Time: 1971-10-31T00:00:00 * Elevation: -2749.0 m * Recovery: 7.5 m * Location: East Atlantic * Campaign: M25 * Basis: Meteor (1964) * Method/Device: Sphincter corer (SPC)
GIK12310-4 * Latitude: 23.498333 * Longitude: -18.716667 * Date/Time: 1971-11-02T00:00:00 * Elevation: -3080.0 m * Recovery: 5.57 m * Location: East Atlantic * Campaign: M25 * Basis: Meteor (1964) * Method/Device: Kasten corer (KAL)
GIK12329-6 * Latitude: 19.371700 * Longitude: -18.930000 * Date/Time: 1971-11-09T00:00:00 * Elevation: -3320.0 m * Recovery: 8.45 m * Location: East Atlantic * Campaign: M25 * Basis: Meteor (1964) * Method/Device: Sphincter corer (SPC) * Comment: offset to GIK12329-4 = 9 cm
7 datasets

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