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Hawaiian Quaternary Paleoenvironments: A Review of Geological, Pedological, and Botanical Evidence.

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Title:Hawaiian Quaternary Paleoenvironments: A Review of Geological, Pedological, and Botanical Evidence.
Authors:Gavenda, Robert T.
Date Issued:Jul 1992
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Gavenda RT. 1992. Hawaiian quaternary paleoenvironments: a review of geological, pedological, and botanical evidence. Pac Sci 46(3): 295-307.
Abstract:Climates in Hawaii during glacial periods were relatively wetter
and cooler than interglacial climates. Eolian deposits indicate that northeasterly
trade winds predominated during glacial periods. Orographic rainfall patterns
were probably similar to those of today except that they were shifted downward
in response to lowered sea levels and a depressed inversion level. Botanical
evidence indicates that some areas probably received more than double their
current annual rainfall. Greater rainfall during glacial periods was probably
responsible for the formation of highly weathered soils that are now in semiarid
climates. More intense periglacial processes may have operated during glacial
periods. Snowline on Mauna Kea was depressed about 900 m and glaciation
may have occurred because of lower air temperature and greater cloudiness.
Ocean temperature was probably also slightly cooler. At low elevations,
interglacial climates were drier than glacial climates because of the influence
higher sea levels had on orographic rainfall distribution. Trade winds still
predominated but the inversion level was higher, which may have caused greater
rainfall at high elevations. Pedological evidence indicates a highly erosive
environment before the formation of the Kaena shoreline at about 650,000 yr
ago. Climatic conditions at that time are not known. Subsequent environmental
conditions have not been as conducive to erosion, and the past several hundred
thousand years have witnessed relative landscape stability.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 46, Number 3, 1992

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