[Aqualist] Quaternary top 27
phesse at els.mq.edu.au
Thu Jun 30 10:08:14 EST 2005
Results so far of the Australasian Quaternary Top 10 (no NZ selections
so far, but extending north)
In no particular order and from a variety of contributors. Some
references are unreliable (or non-existent).
If you know the reference, think there's a better one or have your own
new suggestions then please send me a message.
Two interesting responses were, 1. suspicion (where is all this
heading?), 2. I want the references but don't have any contribution. In
answer to the first: I don't know yet. It was an idle thought
(displacement activity while marking essays) which may appear in QA as a
short article. In the long term, there is some thought in the back of my
mind about our preparations for INQUA in Cairns but the connection to
this activity is not clear even to me. In answer to the second:
everyone has been influenced by earlier work so everyone can make a
contribution. Hopefully we all learn a bit too.
thanks to all who have replied so far
Peter Kershaw, Fawn Ginn, Mike Barbetti, Martin Williams, Tim Barrows,
Gresley Wakelin-King, Simon Clarke, Stuart Pearson, and a couple of
others at the recent palaeoclimate modelling meeting.
1 Riverine Plain (Schumm 1964, Geol Soc Am Prof. Paper; Bowler 1967 J
Geol Soc Aust 14: 287; Page et al. 1996, JQS 11: 311)
2 Jim Bowler's 'Aridity in Australia' paper (1976, Earth Sci Rev,
3 Keilambete (Bowler 1968? One of the first uses of radiocarbon in
Australia and to a lake record. First dated palaeohydrological record?)
4 Mungo (Bowler et al. 1972, Nature 240: 48; 1998, Archaeol. Oceania
33:120; 2003, Nature 421:837 CD;)
5 Huon Peninsula. Considering that New Guinea has been geographically
connected to Australia for much of the Quaternary, seems important to
include (still of global significance and undertaken by Australians
6 Lynch's Crater . Kershaw, A.P. (1974) may be useful as demonstrated
marked variation in nature and extent of rainforest and idea of burning
(without charcoal) seems to have stood the test of time
7 Walker, D and Flenley, J.R. (1979) Late Quaternary vegetational
history of the Enga Province of Upland Papua New Guinea. Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 186: 265-344 for early
tropical insights into vegetation dynamics and climate.
8. Lake George. Singh et al, 1981. J Geol Soc Aust. 28: 435. is
significant in being one of the first systematic charcoal papers and
pointing conclusively to the role of fire here as well as to continuing
9. Nn territory OSL (TL?) dates for people, breaking the radiocabon
barrier. (Roberts et al. 1990, Nature 345: 153 ?)
10. Heinrich, I. and J. C. G. Banks (2005). Dendroclimatological
potential of the Australian red cedar. Australian Journal of Botany
11. Riversleigh, although it is Tertiary it's very relevant to the
megafauna and modern fauna stories
12 14C calibration measurements (15k cal BP to 2000 AD) especially from
13 Galloway, 1965. This paper finally dispelled the myth that
'glacials' were 'pluvial', rather dramatic drops in temperature greatly
reduced evaporation at the same time precipitation was also greatly
reduced. This set the stage for much of the later Australian Quaternary
hydrological work, and his climate estimates are still pretty much spot
on. All without dating!
14. Edgeworth David 1901. A lesser known classic. One of the first
geologists to dabble in the Quaternary of Australia. He recognised
glaciation up at Kosciuszko and estimated the age of deglaciation at
10-20,000 years (refined to 12,000 in the next paper). We've only been
able to better this a century later! This is one of the first 'dates' in
the whole of Quaternary geology when radiation had just been discovered
and radiocarbon wasn't even a dream. He also came up with a 3-phase
glaciation model before the Penck and Bruckner Alpine Model (which
Galloway later rejected).
15 Flannery T. F. (1990) Pleistocene faunal loss: implications of the
aftershock for Australia's past and future. Archaeol. Oceania 25,
16 Horton D. (1984) Red kangaroos: last of the Australian megafauna.
In: Quaternary Extinctions: a Prehistoric Revolution (eds P. S. Martin &
R. G. Klein) pp. 639-80. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.
17 Pauline English's Lake Lewis Basin paper (2001, Quaternary
International v 83-85, pp 81-101) is a "must-read" for the
newbieAustralian. It makes a vivid picture of inland landscapes changing
with changing water balance.
18 Clark's on environmental change
19 Kershaw's Greater Australia paper in Antiquity
20 Bowman's Tansley Review
21 Nott's Plunge Pools for extreme events
22 Mary Bourke's Slack water deposits for extreme events in centre
23 Smith's Archaeology that proves occupation and vegetation in
central Oz during LGM
24 half a dozen comprehensive reviews spanning the last thirty years or
25 Dodson's Progess in Physical Geography paper using Barrington Tops
and time series analysis
26 Looking further afield to the north and west, there's the Wallace
Line, Flores and hobbits, glaciers in Irian Jaya, PNG archeology,
highland horticulture, and then of couse John Campbell's work on
rockshelters and rock art (eg Laura).
27 Atherton tablelands/Cairns area: geological guides would be worth
listing, especially Quaternary volcanism, Undarra lava tubes (there was
a story in the Australian Geographic some years ago).
BMR Geology and Geophysics Australia put out a Bibliography (up to
1994) of references on Quaternary Climate in Australia. Here is the link
to the government website:
More information about the Aqualist