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Short communication: Massive erosion in monsoonal central India linked to late Holocene land cover degradation

Giosan, L; Ponton, C; Usman, M; Blusztajn, J; Fuller, D; Galy, V; Haghipour, N; ... Eglinton, T; + view all (2017) Short communication: Massive erosion in monsoonal central India linked to late Holocene land cover degradation. Earth Surface Dynamics , 5 (4) pp. 781-789. 10.5194/esurf-2017-35. Green open access

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Abstract

Soil erosion plays a crucial role in transferring sediment and carbon from land to sea, yet little is known about the rhythm and rates of soil erosion prior to the most recent few centuries. Here we reconstruct a Holocene erosional history from central India, as integrated by the Godavari River in a sediment core from the Bay of Bengal. We quantify terrigenous fluxes, fingerprint sources for the lithogenic fraction and assess the age of the exported terrigenous carbon. Taken together, our data show that the monsoon decline in the late Holocene, later exacerbated by the Neolithic adoption and Iron Age extensification of agriculture on the Deccan Plateau, significantly increased soil erosion and the age of exported organic carbon. Despite a constantly elevated sea level since the middle Holocene, this erosion acceleration led to rapid continental margin growth. We conclude that in monsoon conditions, aridity boosts rather than supresses sediment and carbon export acting as a veritable monsoon erosional pump modulated by landcover conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Short communication: Massive erosion in monsoonal central India linked to late Holocene land cover degradation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/esurf-2017-35
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-35
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1565330
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