Cores taken from an ombrotrophic peat bog in the coastal zone of Halland, southwest Sweden, were examined for wind transported mineral grains, pollen and humidity indicators. The core covers the period from 6500 cal. yr BP to present. Ombrotrophic conditions existed from ca. 4200 cal. yr BP onwards. Bog surface wetness fluctuated strongly until ca. 3700 cal. yr BP, with an apparent dominance of dry summer conditions from 4800-4500 cal. yr BP. Local wet shifts occurred around 4300, 2800, 2400 and 1500 cal. yr BP, whereas the most recent 600 years of the record show increasingly dry conditions. Mineral grain content, interpreted as aeolian sand influx (ASI), was used as a proxy for (winter) storm frequency and intensity until ca. 1500 cal. yr BP, after which increasing human impact, as reconstructed by pollen analysis, became a second important potential cause for increased sand drift. Strongly increased storminess occurred at 4800, 4200, 2800-2200, 1500, 1100 and 400-50 cal. yr BP, indicating a dominance of cold and stormy winters during these periods. Many of these storm periods apparently coincide with storm events in other sites in southwestern Scandinavia, suggesting that our ASI record reflects a regional scale climatic signal. Furthermore these stormy periods correlate to well-known cold phases in the North Atlantic region, suggesting a link to large-scale fluctuations in atmospheric circulation patterns.
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