Klaus Heine


Extreme floods around AD 1700 in the northern Namib Desert, Namibia, and in the Orange River catchment, South Africa - Were they forced by a decrease of solar irradiance during the Little Ice Age?

Klaus Heine, Jörg Völkel

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 1, pp. 61-80 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.2011.S1.5

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We review recent advances in the study of palaeofloods and in the reconstructions of climatefeatures from sedimentary archives in the Namib Desert. Global environments are knownto have varied over the past millennia, but the spatial patterns of these variations have remainedpoorly understood. We used palaeoflood sediments to reconstruct rainfall patterns over the last500 years (Little Ice Age). During the Little Ice Age, the northern Namib Desert and the OrangeRiver catchment experienced palaeofloods that exceeded those of the millennium prior and ofthe two centuries since. During the last two centuries, floods remained well below the Little IceAge maximum levels. The patterns of hydrological changes imply dynamic responses of rainfallto solar irradiance forcing changes involving the Benguela El Niño oscillation.

Keywords: palaeofloods, slackwater deposits, tropical-temperate-trough, solar irradiance, Little Ice Age, Namib Desert

Klaus Heine, Institute of Geography, University, D-93040 Regensburg, Germany
Jörg Völkel, Technische Universität München, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Research Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85350 Freising, Germany

Human and climate impacts on the Holocene landscape development in southern Germany

Klaus Heine, Hans-peter Niller

Geographia Polonica (2003) vol. 76, iss. 2, pp. 109-122 | Full text

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Human activities have affected the paleoenvironmental system in the South Bavarian loess rolling hills and adjacent areas since neolithic times. The Holocene landscape history, influenced by human and/or climatic forces, can only be reconstructed if colluvial deposits, soils and floodplain sediments (flood loam, Auenlehm) of small and large river valleys are investigated in a synoptic way: the onset of the sedimentation of colluvial deposits took place hundreds to thousands years earlier than the formation of the floodplain sediments. The time delay between sedimentation on the hills and in the flood-plain areas depends on the steepness and morphology of the paleorelief. A morphodyna-mic cascade system illustrates the different ages of the sediments. As important geoarchi-ves, colluvial deposits document the beginning of the human-caused landscape changes, but they cannot record climatic signals. On the other hand, floodplain sediments alone cannot be used to represent the age, nature and extent of prehistoric erosion.

Keywords: colluvial deposits, Holocene landscape, human activities, morphody-namic cascade system, paleoenvironmental system, prehistoric soil erosion, Southern Bavaria

Klaus Heine, Institute of Geography, University, D-93040 Regensburg, Germany
Hans-peter Niller, Department of Geography (Physical Geography), Universitätsstr. 31, 93040 Regensburg, Germany