|A Holocene palaeoenviromental study of a sediment core from Ile de la Possession, Iles Crozet, sub-Antarctica|Ooms, M.; Van de Vijver, B.; Temmerman, S.; Beyens, L. (2011). A Holocene palaeoenviromental study of a sediment core from Ile de la Possession, Iles Crozet, sub-Antarctica. Antarctic Science 23(5): 431-441. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954102011000277
In: Antarctic Science. Cambridge University Press: Oxford. ISSN 0954-1020, more
diatom; palaeoecology; volcanic eruption
Ile de la Possession is one of the few islands in the southern Indian Ocean, making the island a valuable place to reconstruct past environmental and climatic changes. In this study a peat sediment core was analysed to reconstruct the changes that occurred before, during and after the eruption of the Morne Rouge (10 000–5500 14C yr BP) volcano. In addition to sedimentological analyses, diatom communities were used to reconstruct humidity and altitude, based on existing transfer functions. Radiocarbon dating of a tephra layer showed that the Morne Rouge volcano erupted between 6700–6600 cal. yr BP, giving a much more precise time scale for this event. The eruption was preceded by a tsunami flooding, indicated by the high numbers of marine diatoms found immediately before the tephra layer. After the eruption pioneer diatom species recolonized the coring site. Evidence is presented of the late climatic optimum around 3050 cal. yr BP, preceded by a cooling event until 6600 cal. yr BP. Nutrient input from elephant seals and wandering albatrosses obscured the climate signal for the last 600 cal yr BP.