Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Heinrich Event 4 Characterised in Southwestern Europe by the Use of Terrestrial Proxies

In the North Atlantic Ocean Heinrich Event 4 (H4) is well documented at 40-39 ka. Analyses have been carried out on deep-sea cores from around the Iberian coast to characterise the H4 event, though there has been no data collected on the response by terrestrial ecosystems to this event. In this study the authors1 carried out the first analysis of terrestrial proxies to characterise the H4 event on land by using an assemblage of small vertebrates comprised of small mammals, squamates and amphibians, recovered from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeological-palaeontological site on the seaboard in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. In northeastern Iberia the H4 event  has been shown by this assemblage to have been characterised by terrestrial conditions that were harsher and drier than at present. The results produced by the authors1 were compared with pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large mammal data recovered from this site, as well as with the general fluctuations of the H4 event, and with other sites that record H3 and H5 events, the previous and subsequent Heinrich Events, that have been found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The conclusion they reached was that the same patterns occurred in the terrestrial proxies as had been found in deep sea cores from the margins of Iberia.


Sources & Further reading

  1. López-García, J. M., Blain, H.-A., Bennàsar, M., Sanz, M., and Daura, J.: Heinrich event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe, Clim. Past, 9, 1053-1064, doi:10.5194/cp-9-1053-2013, 2013


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 23/05/2013

Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
Photo Galleries
Site Map
                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading