We have undertaken a comparative study of down-core variation in multiproxy palaeoclimate data (magnetic susceptibility, calcium carbonate content and total organic carbon) from two coastal water bodies (Myall and Tuggerah Lakes) in temperate eastern Australia to identify local, regional and global-forcing factors within Holocene estuarine sediments. The two lakes lie within the same temperate climate zone adjacent to the Tasman Sea, but are not part of the same catchment and drain different geological provinces. One is essentially a freshwater coastal lake whereas the other is a brackish back-barrier lagoon. Despite these differences, data from two sites in each of the two lakes have allowed us to investigate and compare cyclicity in otherwise uniform, single facies sediments within the frequency range of 200-2000 years, limited by the sedimentation rate within the lakes and our sample requirements. We have auto- and cross-correlated strong periodicities at similar to 360 years, similar to 500-530 years, similar to 270-290 years, 420-450 years and similar to 210 years, and subordinate periods of similar to 650 years, 1200-1400 years and similar to 1800 years. Our thesis is that climate is the only regionally available mechanism available to control common millennial and centennial scale cyclicity in these sediments, given the geographical and other differences. However, regional climate may not be the dominant effect at any single time and either location. Within the range of frequency spectral peaks we have identified, several fall within known long-term periodical fluctuations of sun spot activity; however, feedback loops associated with short-term orbital variation, such as Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, and the relationship between these and palaeo-ENSO variation, are also possible contributors.
Journal of Quaternary Science Vol. 20, no. 4, p. 327-347