Zucca, Claudio and Sechi, Daniele and Andreucci, Stefano and Shaddad, Sameh and Deroma, Mario and Madrau, Salvatore and Previtali, Franco and Pascucci, Vincenzo and Kapur, S. (2014) Pedogenic and palaeoclimatic evidence from an Eemian calcrete in north-western Sardinia (Italy). European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 65 (4), p. 420-435. ISSN 1351-0754. eISSN 1365-2389. Article.
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A multidisciplinary approach was followed to study the pedogenic and palaeoclimatic information preserved in a buried palaeosol belonging to a Late Quaternary succession located along the bay of Alghero (north-western Sardinia). The bay is dominated by a 5-km long sandy beach-ridge system backing an N-S oriented lagoon system (Calich). The succession studied is characterized by basal shallow marine deposits, followed by clayey lagoon sediments and colluvial strata and capped by a relatively thick aeolianite. The research was based on pedological and sedimentological analyses, supported by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating and by an in-depth micro-morphological study. Three main climatic pulses were highlighted during the Eemian. A wet period, with intense carbonate leaching occurred at the very beginning of the Eemian interglacial followed by very dry climatic conditions. This dry phase was long and arid enough to allow the formation of a thick calcrete hardpan, a typical feature of semi-arid environments. The hardpan is dated at about 120 ka (kilo annum) and this dry event is tentatively associated with the late Eemian arid pulse (LEAP). The last phase of the Eemian recorded the restoration of a wetter climate. Finally, the succession indicated that even in a cooler environment, the central Mediterranean most probably maintained temperate conditions at least until the end of the MIS 5c (about 95 ka; early Würm).
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