Journal article

Late Quaternary mega-lakes fed by the northern and southern river systems of central Australia: Varying moisture sources and increased continental aridity

TJ Cohen, GC Nanson, JD Jansen, BG Jones, Z Jacobs, JR Larsen, J-H May, P Treble, DM Price, AM Smith

Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology | ELSEVIER | Published : 2012


Optically stimulated and thermoluminescence ages from relict shorelines, along with accelerator mass spectrometer 14C ages from freshwater molluscs reveal a record of variable moisture sources supplied by northern and southern river systems to Lake Mega-Frome in southern central Australia during the late Quaternary. Additional lacustrine, palynological and terrestrial proxies are used to reconstruct a record that extends back to 105ka, confirming that Lakes Mega-Frome and Mega-Eyre were joined to create the largest system of palaeolakes on the Australian continent as recently as 50-47ka. The palaeohydrological record indicates a progressive shift to more arid conditions, with marked drying a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC Discovery funding

Awarded by UK NERC fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was undertaken as part of ARC Discovery funding (DP0667182) to GCN and BGJ and University of Wollongong GeoQuest funding to TIC. Jansen was funded by a UK NERC fellowship (NE/EO14143/1). We would like to thank John McEntee of Erudina homestead and Gerard and Karina Sheehan of Moolwatana homestead for their hospitality and access to sites. We would also like to thank Anders Hallan for assistance in the identification of the molluscs. Rod Wells assisted in the collection of the Mairs Cave stalagmites whilst staff at the Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the National Parks and Wildlife of South Australia enabled the collection of KHSCS2 with the assistance of K.C. Moriarty. M.T. McCulloch is thanked for providing access to the clean labs and INS facility at RSES at the Australian National University for the work on the Kangaroo Island flowstones. Adam Williams, Andrew Jenkinson and Vladimir Levchenko from ANSTO assisted in AMS sample preparation and analysis. Graham Grootemat compiled the rainfall data for Fig. 2 whilst David Zeko undertook the preliminary SRTM data analysis. Mike Pook (CSIRO) and Ian Goodwin (MQ - Climate Futures) are thanked for thought-provoking discussions whilst reviews by Giff Miller and Lauren Birgenheier greatly improved the quality of the manuscript.