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Castañeda, Isla S; Mulitza, Stefan; Schefuß, Enno; Lopes dos Santos, Raquel A; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Schouten, Stefan (2009): Stable oxygen and carbon isotopes ratios of sediment core GeoB9528-3 [dataset publication series]. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Castañeda, IS et al. (2009): Wet phases in the Sahara/Sahel region and human migration patterns in North Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(48), 20159-20163,

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The carbon isotopic composition of individual plant leaf waxes (a proxy for C3 vs. C4 vegetation) in a marine sediment core collected from beneath the plume of Sahara-derived dust in northwest Africa reveals three periods during the past 192,000 years when the central Sahara/Sahel contained C3 plants (likely trees), indicating substantially wetter conditions than at present. Our data suggest that variability in the strength of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is a main control on vegetation distribution in central North Africa, and we note expansions of C3 vegetation during the African Humid Period (early Holocene) and within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (approx. 50-45 ka) and MIS 5 (approx. 120-110 ka). The wet periods within MIS 3 and 5 coincide with major human migration events out of sub-Saharan Africa. Our results thus suggest that changes in AMOC influenced North African climate and, at times, contributed to amenable conditions in the central Sahara/Sahel, allowing humans to cross this otherwise inhospitable region.
Latitude: 9.166000 * Longitude: -17.663500
Date/Time Start: 2005-06-24T01:23:00 * Date/Time End: 2005-06-24T01:23:00
GeoB9528-3 (313) * Latitude: 9.166000 * Longitude: -17.663500 * Date/Time: 2005-06-24T01:23:00 * Elevation: -3057.0 m * Recovery: 9.66 m * Campaign: M65/1 * Basis: Meteor (1986) * Method/Device: Gravity corer (Kiel type) (SL) * Comment: geology, 966 cm
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