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Into the mega-monsoon: Annual floods of the Nile River during the last African Humid Period

Feb 26, 2024, 10:00 Uhr
MARUM Seminar
MARUM seminar room 2070

Dr. Cecile Blanchet

GFZ Potsdam

Understanding how large river systems will respond to an invigorated hydrological cycle as simulated under higher global temperatures is a pressing issue. I will present a 1500 yr-long annually-laminated (varved) record that tracks the seasonal discharge of the Nile River during the wetter-than-present Early Holocene. This unique record depicts the mobilization of large amounts of sediments during strong summer floods that probably rendered the Nile valley uninhabitable. More frequent and rapid switching between extreme (strong and weak) floods between 9.2 and 8.5 ka BP indicate highly instable fluvial dynamics. On interannual timescales, flood variability is paced by El Niño-Southern Oscillation while multi-decadal oscillatory modes drive the changes in extreme flood events. These pacemakers are also identified in Nile flow records from the Common Era, which demonstrates their stationarity under different climatic conditions.

Cecile Blanchet
Cecile Blanchet