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Principal Investigators: Enno Schefuß (University of Bremen), Martin Werner (AWI Bremerhaven), Gerit Lohmann (AWI Bremerhaven)
Project Scientists: Britta Beckmann (Postdoc, MARUM Bremen), Barbara Haese (PhD student, AWI Bremerhaven)




Contrasting signatures of Holocene changes in NW African hydrology. Abrupt increase of dust flux at the end of the African Humid Period (deMenocal et al., 2000) and gradual decline of paleo-salinity estimates in the Gulf of Guinea (Weldeab et al., 2007).

HYDRACENE strives for a better understanding of the hydrologic evolution of the North-West African monsoon system over the Holocene, in particular during abrupt climate changes, and resolve causal factors, such as atmosphere-vegetation feedback and shifts in the monsoonal rainbelt due to sea surface temperature gradients. As a new scientific approach, we propose to quantitatively calibrate the hydrological signal based on compound-specific hydrogen isotope changes of plant lipids and apply this new proxy to conduct paleo-hydrologic reconstructions at North-West African key sites in high temporal resolution. These isotope analyses will be complemented by detailed climate modeling studies using a state-of-the-art Earth System model equipped to simulate isotopic fractionations in the hydrological cycle. For this project, the model will be further enhanced by a leaf-water module, allowing a direct proxy- model comparison. Different time-slice simulations will be performed to adequately cover the hydrologic evolution of the North African monsoon over the Holocene. Additionally, the sensitivity of continental hydrology to bio- geophysical feedbacks, variable sea surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 changes will be evaluated.


Quantitative and semi-quantitative paleo-hydrology reconstructions, calibration of compound-specific hydrogen isotope changes, coupled climate modelling (including oxygen isotopes)

Marine records off NW Africa

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