High Indian native Staubwasser

Core/Site name:

Arabian Sea




marine sediments (coretop)

Proxy measurement:

Planktonic oxygen isotopes

Sampling resolution:


Climate sensitivity:

total annual rainfall

Dating resolution:

ca 1 measurement every 10cm

Dating information:

Radiocarbon ages; delta O18 PDB 210 year average; delta O18 PDB


-40 yr BP


10962 BP (14C)

All uncertainties:

Radiocarbon dates were converted to calendar age using a variable reservoir correction between 565 and 1300 years (details see Staubwasser et al. 2002) and the INTCAL 98 calibration record (Stuiver et al. 1998).The dating is mostly based on G.sacc., with error +-40 years.


Planktonic oxygen isotope ratios off the Indus delta reveal climate changes with a multi-centennial pacing during the last 6 ka, with the most prominent change recorded at 4.2 ka BP. Opposing isotopic trends across the northern Arabian Sea surface at that time indicate a reduction in Indus river discharge and suggest that later cycles also reflect variations in total annual rainfall over south Asia. The 4.2 ka event is coherent with the termination of urban Harappan civilization in the Indus valley. Thus, drought may have initiated southeastward habitat tracking within the Harappan cultural domain. The late Holocene drought cycles following the 4.2 ka BP event vary between 200 and 800 years and are coherent with the evolution of cosmogenic 14C production rates. This suggests that solar variability is one fundamental cause behind Holocene rainfall changes over south Asia.

Data entered by name:

Colombaroli, Daniele

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Staubwasser, M., F. Sirocko, P.M. Grootes, and M. Segl. 2003. Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilization and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability. Geophysical Research Letters 30:1425.

Data storage link 1:


Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: Ocean2k