The paleoclimate of Jordan during the Pleisto-cene as a possible indicator for future climate change: an overview

Abdulkader M. Abed
Department of Geology, The University of  Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
 
Abstract: Several fresh to brackish water paleolakes were formed and sustained in Jordan during the warmer and wetter periods of the Pleistocene: including Umari Lake during the Marine Isotope Stage MIS 9 at 330 Ka (thousand/year), Mudawwara and Samra Lakes during the MIS 5 130-70 Ka, Lisan and Jafr Lakes 30-33 and 25-27 Ka respectively, and the Burqu’ Lake during the Holo-cene Optimum 9-6 Ka.    Studies on the mineralogy of the lake sediments and of their fossil remains all indicate that the water of the lakes was initially fresh but became more brackish at times depending on the climate change. Most of these lakes were more than 1000 km2 in area and from 10 to few hundred metres deep, with possible water temperature of between 15-20°C.  Present-day climate cannot account for the presence of such lakes in the arid to semi arid area of Jordan.  Therefore more intense and wetter Mediter-ranean cyclones in winter coupled with Arabian monsoon or even Arabian-Indian monsoon in summer would have  affected major parts of Jordan up to latitude 31° 32´ during the warmer periods of the Pleistocene and brought more rain to establish and sustain such lakes.    However, summer monsoon rains currently postulated for Jordan and adja-cent areas remain controversial and are not fully accepted by other workers in this area of research. Consequently, more detail work on the paleoclimate of the Jordan is needed.
 
Key words: Paleoclimate, Paleolakes, Monsoon rain, Jordan, Arabia, Sahara

Jordan Journal of Natural History, 1, (2014),  8-34.

Other articles published in the same issue: Jordan Journal of Natural History, vol.1, iss. 1.

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