I.R. Hall , S.R. Hemming , L.J. LeVay , S. Barker , M.A. Berke , L. Brentegani , T. Caley , A. Cartagena-Sierra , C.D. Charles , J.J. Coenen , J.G. Crespin , A.M. Franzese , J. Gruetzner , X. Han , S.K.V. Hines , F.J. Jimenez Espejo , J. Just , A. Koutsodendris , K. Kubota , N. Lathika , R.D. Norris , T. Periera dos Santos , R. Robinson , J.M. Rolinson , M.H. Simon , D. Tangunan , J.J.L. van der Lubbe , M. Yamane , H. Zhang
30 September 2017
Site U1478 is located in the northernmost Natal Valley, on the Inharrime Terrace (25°49.26′S; 34°46.14′E), ~75 nmi east of the Limpopo River at a water depth of 488 m below sea level (mbsl). The Site U1478 primary objectives are to: (1) Recover a complete high-resolution sedimentary succession that spans the last 2 my, including the mid-Pleistocene transition, from the Mozambique margin close to the Limpopo River; (2) Generate a high-resolution Pleistocene profile of southern African continental climate changes on orbital and suborbital timescales; (3) Establish linking between southern African terrestrial climates and southwest Indian Ocean heat budgets, notably warm-water transports along the southeast African margin and associated ocean-atmosphere heat and moisture transfer; (4) Examine the relationship between such climate variability and early human evolution; and (5) Reconstruct upstream control on Agulhas leakage through headwater variability (Mozambique Current) during periods of orbitally modulated and suborbitally accelerated climate changes. Specific questions that will be addressed include the following: Did the long-term climatic developments of the Pleistocene alter the atmospheric circulation and rainfall patterns over southeast Africa, inducing far-field responses to East African uplift, monsoon dynamics, and migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) (Johnson et al., 2011; Schefuß et al., 2011; Trauth et al., 2009)? Did variable Agulhas Current warm-water transports contribute to and modulate the impacts of shifting air boundaries and rainfall patterns over southeast Africa and possibly offset these patterns from those over southwest Africa and the Namib (Dupont et al., 2005, 2011; Maslin et al., 2012)?