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Keywords:

  • monsoon;
  • Holocene;
  • Lake Rara;
  • Himalayas;
  • speleothem

Abstract

The Himalayas are a key location for understanding centennial- to millennial-scale variations in the Asian monsoon, yet few studies of the late Holocene have been conducted in this sensitive area. Direct evidence for shifts in monsoonal wind strength is often limited to marine proxy records, while terrestrial reconstructions (e.g. lake levels and spleothems) focus on precipitation. Here, we present the first evidence of terrestrial summer monsoon wind strength changes from Lake Rara, western Nepal, based on Mn/Ti ratios, a proxy for lake stratification. These data indicate a link between the Arabian Sea and the Himalayas, suggesting that centennial- to millennial-scale changes in wind strength occurred synchronously. Distinct similarity is also observed between Lake Rara and the southern part of China, which may support previous suggestions that the southern part of China is influenced by Indian summer monsoon. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.