By P. Giresse
West Africa and the japanese Atlantic stretching from Mauritania within the north to Namibia within the south provide a wide latitudinal stretch incorporating approximately symmetrical climatic gradients from the Equator. at the time scale of Quaternary Glacial and Interglacial cycles, at the present time, we own well-documented and lately released marine sedimentary documents exhibiting alterations in oceanic and atmospheric circulations and terrestrial fluxes. Deep-sea sediment files comprise quite a lot of palaeoenvironmental signs like oxygen and carbon isotopes, alkenones, foraminiferal and different planktonic assemblages over the years sessions as much as and bigger than 125,000 years. those are indications of temperature and stream shifts and make allowance Interglacial and Glacial comparisons on a nearby and inter-hemispheric scale. although, this attempt to synthesize the prevailing wisdom can't but aspire to a world modelling. Linking with terrestrial documents, albeit spatially patchy and usually missing a company chronology, this booklet issues to shorter time scale chronologies from lakes, marshes and river deposits. various and never very popular literature, either French and English, is said the following. finally, the ebook documents contemporary wisdom of the 1st steps of human career of often adverse environments and considers the environmental influence of historical and glossy societies. * Covers the new stories approximately marine Quaternary environments off West Africa, in addition to continental Quaternary environments of tropical and sub-tropical West Africa (over 10,000 to 100,000 years)* Compares the parallel among palaeoenvironmental tendencies in line with latitudinal gradients
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Extra info for Tropical and sub-tropical West Africa: marine and continental changes during the late Quaternary
_. '-'-- 10 ~ s 40 ~ 50~ 30 ~ (b) 40~ 20 ~ 10 ~ 0~ 10 ~ 20~ ,,~o N 1"" July 1993 'J "" ~ 30 ~ 20 ~ ---" r" ,,... ~ , i 10 ~ 10 ~ s - 3 ---SOoh a \ i 50~ 1981) and can be linked with the March-June period of highest insolation in the Sahara. About 190 Tg matter is emitted every year from the source regions of the Sahara towards the Caribbean. Only a small portion of about 44 Tg is deposited on the continent and the remaining quantity of 146 Tg passes over the African western coast (d'Almeida, 1989).
_~ . . . 50 ~ 40 ~ 30 ~ , 20 ~ 10~ 0~ 10 ~ 20 ~ 30 ~ 40 ~ 50 ~ 60~ South North i i ~ ' ~ , . l z t .. / " ................ :~'":::, ~':i. ii ......... i. 'ii::i;i:~. i :5;::; 54-i-~. ,"1:! &:~ ,, r ": . ~2 9 Lower . -: . . . I, Discovery Seamount 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Latitude [~ Fig. 1. Present day stratification of the main water masses and flow across the western Atlantic as displayed (a) by salinity contour lines (%o) and (b) by ~518Cvalues of dissolved inorganic carbon (adapted from Berger and Wefer, 1996).
As off Mauritania prevailing winds induce a coastal upwelling during austral winter. This upwelling is more intense and frequent than the Mauritanian one, it occurs in a number of cells south of about 18~ with a major, semi-permanent cell at 27~ (Shannon and Nelson, 1996). The typical westward extent of the upwelling is between 150 and 250 km off the coast. This flow feeds into a broad, northwestward-flowing South Equatorial Current (SEC), located just south of the equator. As this SEC approaches the Brazilian coast, it divides into two branches separated by the South Equatorial Counter Current (SECC), which moves surface water eastwards.
Tropical and sub-tropical West Africa: marine and continental changes during the late Quaternary by P. Giresse