Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Item metadata
Title: Climate and environments during Marine Isotope Stage 11 in the central Iberian Peninsula: the herpetofaunal assemblage from the Acheulean site of Áridos-1, Madrid
Authors: Blain, Hugues-Alexandre
Santonja, Manuel
Pérez-González, Alfredo
Panera Gallego, Joaquín
Rubio Jara, Susana
Keywords: Herpetofauna;Middle Pleistocene;Acheulean;Marine isotope stage 11;Western Mediterranean;Spain
Issue Date: Jun-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary Science Reviews, 2014, 94, 7-21
Abstract: The interglacial episodes of the Quaternary Period are currently the focus of a great deal of attention within the scientific community, primarily because they can help us to understand how the climate of the current interglacial may have evolved without human intervention and to assess the impact of these climate changes on ecological systems. In the central Iberian Peninsula, the archaeological site of Áridos-1 (Arganda, Madrid), with numeric dates of 379.7 ± 45 ka obtained by AAR for the upper part of the sedimentological unit of Arganda I, in combination with the evolved state of the small mammals, has been chronologically attributed to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11. Given the diversified faunal assemblages delivered by the 1976 excavations, Áridos-1 is probably one of the best terrestrial candidates for an understanding of the climatic and environmental conditions that prevailed in central Spain during the MIS 11 interglacial. In consequence, the fossil amphibians and squamate reptiles stored in the collections of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional of Madrid have been newly described and quantified in order to apply the mutual climatic range and habitat weighting methods for estimating quantitative data. The Mediterranean climate is shown to have been warmer and wetter than today in central Spain during MIS 11, with the mean annual temperature 1.7 °C higher and mean annual precipitation 223.9 mm higher than at present. The monthly climatic reconstruction shows differences in the distribution of precipitation over the course of the year, with more abundant precipitation during the winter months, at the beginning of spring and at the end of fall (from October to March) and less precipitation than today during the summer months and at the end of spring (from May to August), suggesting stronger rainfall seasonality between winter and summer than currently occurs. Such climate reconstruction is consistent with other European MIS 11 paleoclimatic records. The paleoenvironmental reconstruction based on the herpetofaunal assemblage suggests a patchy landscape with a large representation of dry meadows, scrubland and rocky habitats together with well-evidenced aquatic habitats. Such open environments during a warm and humid forestal period are seen to be connected with the location of the site in a large river valley, where open vegetation would have been partly initiated and certainly maintained by the grazing, browsing, trampling and tree-felling activities of large mammals.
ISSN: 0277-3791
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.04.009
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología
Geocronología y Geología

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons