A relationship between dunes, fire and climate recorded in the Holocene deposits of Quebec

Abstract

During the past 5,000 yr BP the Tropics have experienced an increase in aridity and aeolian activity in both maritime and continental areas1–4. In contrast the onset and subsequent development of post-Hypsithermal climates in northern latitudes were primarily conducive to global cooling. It is suggested here that aeolian activity in cold environments represents a direct response to this long-term cooling trend that began after 6,000–5,000 yr BP, at the end of the climatic optimum5–9. This study establishes the Holocene chronology of sand dunes near the outer forest limit in northern Quebec (Fig. 1). I show here that fires initiate the aeolian activity, and that the fire–dune relationship is typical of cooling period. On this basis, a palaeoclimatic reconstruction since the climatic optimum is proposed.

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Filion, L. A relationship between dunes, fire and climate recorded in the Holocene deposits of Quebec. Nature 309, 543–546 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1038/309543a0

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