The timing of late Quaternary monsoon precipitation maxima in the southwest United States.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/184766
Title:
The timing of late Quaternary monsoon precipitation maxima in the southwest United States.
Author:
Shafer, David Scott.
Issue Date:
1989
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The southwest monsoon is responsible for a summer precipitation maximum for much of the southwest U.S. Biostratigraphies of pollen, plant macrofossils, and aquatic fossils in lakes from near modern monsoon boundaries in conjunction with climate modelling suggests variations in strength of the monsoon system during the late Quaternary. At Montezuma Well, Arizona, high percentages of Pinus and Juniperus pollen as well as maximum influxes of Quercus and Gramineae pollen suggest a shift from dominantly winter to summer precipitation between ca. 12,000 and 9000 yr BP. Maximum aridity occurred 7000-4000 yr BP, coincident with lowest lake levels. In the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau, high Artemisia to Chenopodiaceae-Amaranthus pollen ratios suggests precipitation maxima until ca. 6000 yr BP at Fryingpan Lake and 5000 yr BP at Posy Lake. Pollen records suggest that Pinus edulis, P. ponderosa, and Quercus gambelii, were present on the western Colorado Plateau throughout the Holocene. Expansion of shadscale steppe vegetation at low elevations and upslope movement of ecotones for Pinus edulis, P. ponderosa, and Q. gambelii after ca. 6000 yr BP and low lake levels ca. 5000-3700 yr BP, suggest a period of maximum aridity from decreased summer precipitation. In the San Luis Valley, Colorado, pollen records from Head Lake on the basin floor suggest an expansion of oaks and junipers at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary that may indicate increased summer precipitation. Lake levels of Head Lake fell sharply after ca. 9500 yr BP. Pollen records from Como Lake in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains suggest that Pinus ponderosa was established in the area by ca. 12,000 yr BP and Pinus edulis by ca. 9500 yr BP. Highland regions such as the High Plateaus (until ca. 6000-5000 yr BP) and central Colorado (until ca. 4000 yr BP) may have experienced Holocene summer precipitation maxima later into the Holocene than sites in lower elevation regions. Regional orographic uplift as a catalyst for convective summer precipitation may be responsible for the duration of summer precipitation maxima in these regions. On a longitudinal gradient, sites to the west such as in the southern Great Basin and Mohave Desert may have recorded enhanced summer precipitation earlier, reflecting different histories of the low-level jets in the southwest. The paleoecologic record generally confirm predictions of general circulation models (GCMs) that southwest monsoon circulation was enhanced from 12,000-6000 yr BP in response to peaks in annual (11,500-11,000 yr BP) and summer insolation (10,000-9000 yr BP) during the late Quaternary.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Monsoons -- Southwest, New.; Paleobiogeography -- Southwest, New.; Paleobotany -- Holocene.; Paleobotany -- Southwest, New.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Geosciences; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Davis, Owen K.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleThe timing of late Quaternary monsoon precipitation maxima in the southwest United States.en_US
dc.creatorShafer, David Scott.en_US
dc.contributor.authorShafer, David Scott.en_US
dc.date.issued1989en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe southwest monsoon is responsible for a summer precipitation maximum for much of the southwest U.S. Biostratigraphies of pollen, plant macrofossils, and aquatic fossils in lakes from near modern monsoon boundaries in conjunction with climate modelling suggests variations in strength of the monsoon system during the late Quaternary. At Montezuma Well, Arizona, high percentages of Pinus and Juniperus pollen as well as maximum influxes of Quercus and Gramineae pollen suggest a shift from dominantly winter to summer precipitation between ca. 12,000 and 9000 yr BP. Maximum aridity occurred 7000-4000 yr BP, coincident with lowest lake levels. In the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau, high Artemisia to Chenopodiaceae-Amaranthus pollen ratios suggests precipitation maxima until ca. 6000 yr BP at Fryingpan Lake and 5000 yr BP at Posy Lake. Pollen records suggest that Pinus edulis, P. ponderosa, and Quercus gambelii, were present on the western Colorado Plateau throughout the Holocene. Expansion of shadscale steppe vegetation at low elevations and upslope movement of ecotones for Pinus edulis, P. ponderosa, and Q. gambelii after ca. 6000 yr BP and low lake levels ca. 5000-3700 yr BP, suggest a period of maximum aridity from decreased summer precipitation. In the San Luis Valley, Colorado, pollen records from Head Lake on the basin floor suggest an expansion of oaks and junipers at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary that may indicate increased summer precipitation. Lake levels of Head Lake fell sharply after ca. 9500 yr BP. Pollen records from Como Lake in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains suggest that Pinus ponderosa was established in the area by ca. 12,000 yr BP and Pinus edulis by ca. 9500 yr BP. Highland regions such as the High Plateaus (until ca. 6000-5000 yr BP) and central Colorado (until ca. 4000 yr BP) may have experienced Holocene summer precipitation maxima later into the Holocene than sites in lower elevation regions. Regional orographic uplift as a catalyst for convective summer precipitation may be responsible for the duration of summer precipitation maxima in these regions. On a longitudinal gradient, sites to the west such as in the southern Great Basin and Mohave Desert may have recorded enhanced summer precipitation earlier, reflecting different histories of the low-level jets in the southwest. The paleoecologic record generally confirm predictions of general circulation models (GCMs) that southwest monsoon circulation was enhanced from 12,000-6000 yr BP in response to peaks in annual (11,500-11,000 yr BP) and summer insolation (10,000-9000 yr BP) during the late Quaternary.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectMonsoons -- Southwest, New.en_US
dc.subjectPaleobiogeography -- Southwest, New.en_US
dc.subjectPaleobotany -- Holocene.en_US
dc.subjectPaleobotany -- Southwest, New.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGeosciencesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Owen K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCohen, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMartin, Paulen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberParrish, Judithen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSellers, Williamen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9000146en_US
dc.identifier.oclc702680764en_US
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