Journal article

A pluvial episode identified in arid Australia during the Medieval Climatic Anomaly

TJ Cohen, GC Nanson, JD Jansen, LA Gliganic, J-H May, JR Larsen, ID Goodwin, S Browning, DM Price

Quaternary Science Reviews | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2012


Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from a relict shoreline on Lake Callabonna record a major pluvial episode in southern central Australia between 1050 ± 70 and 1100 ± 60 Common Era (CE), within the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA). During this pluvial interval Lake Callabonna filled to 10-12 times the volume of the largest historical filling (1974) and reached maximum depths of 4-5 m, compared to the 0.5-1.0 m achieved today. Until now there has been no direct evidence for the MCA in the arid interior of Australia. A multi-proxy, analogue-based atmospheric circulation reconstruction indicates that the pluvial episode was associated with an anomalous meridional atmospheric circulati..

View full abstract


Awarded by ARC

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was undertaken as part of ARC Discovery funding (DP1096911) to GCN and TJC. We would like to thank Gerard and Karina Sheehan of Moolwatana homestead for their hospitality and access to sites. We also thank the reviewers for improving the quality of the manuscript.