The island of Lampedusa lies on the northern edge of the African continental shelf, but during some Quaternary marine lowstands it was joined to the African continent. The study and dating of the aeolian, alluvial, detrital sediments, calcareous crusts and speleothems have established that the climatic-environmental variations recorded on the island can be related chronologically to those known for northern Libya, Tunisia and the Italian peninsula. During the Last Glacial Maximum, phases of Saharan dust accumulation on Lampedusa occurred, and were coeval with dust accumulation in crater lakes and on high mountains in central-southern Italy, and with phases of glacial advance in the Apennines and in the Alps. During the late Holocene, accumulation of Saharan dust on Lampedusa occurred but there was little accumulation of dust on the northern side of the Mediterranean Sea. With the new data from Lampedusa, it is possible to envisage two different scenarios of atmospheric circulation relating to the Last Glacial Maximum and to the late Holocene. During the Last Glacial Maximum, southerly atmospheric circulation brought rainfall to the southern slopes of the Alps and to the Apennines. During the late Holocene, a prevalent westerly atmospheric circulation became established in the northern Mediterranean. © 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)