Interrelationship between Paleovegetation in Southern and Central California and Northeast Pacific Atmospheric and Oceanographic Processes over the Last ~30 kyr

과거 3만년 동안 캘리포니아 남부와 중부지역의 고식생 변화와 북동태평양 대기 및 해양순환 변동과의 연관성 연구

  • 서연지 (한국해양과학기술원 대양자원연구센터)
  • Received : 2019.06.10
  • Accepted : 2019.08.12
  • Published : 2019.09.30


Understanding the interaction between climate and the water cycle is critical especially in a drought sensitive region such as California. This study explored hydrologic changes in central and southern California in relation to the glacial-interglacial climate cycles over the last 30 thousand years. To do this, we reconstructed paleovegetation using plant wax carbon isotopic compositions (${\delta}^{13}C$) preserved in marine sediment cores retrieved from the central California continental shelf (ODP Site 1018) and Santa Barbara Basin (ODP Site 893A). The results were then compared to the existing sea surface temperature (SST) and pollen records from the same cores to understand terrestrial hydrology in relation to oceanographic processes. The Last Glacial was generally dry both in central and southern California, indicated by grassland expansion, confirming the previously suggested notion that the westerly storm track that supplies the majority of the precipitation in California may not have moved southward during the glacial period. Southern California was drier than central California during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This drying trend may have been associated with the weakening of the California Current and northerly winds leading to the early increase in SST in southern California and decline in both offshore and coastal upwelling. The climate was wetter during the Holocene in both regions compared to the glacial period and forest coverage increased accordingly. We attribute this wetter condition to the precipitation contribution increase from the tropics. Overall, we found a clear synchronicity between the terrestrial and marine environment which showed that the terrestrial vegetation composition in California is greatly affected by not only the global climate states but also regional oceanographic and atmospheric conditions that regulate the timing and amount of precipitation over California.


Supported by : 한국해양과학기술원


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