Holocene paleoclimates of India

Sushma Prasad*, Yehouda Enzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive summary of the available palaeoclimate records from India and compare the results from different proxies. The results indicate (i) fluctuating lake levels during the early Holocene. The period of relatively higher lake levels from increased precipitation efficiency was reached only ∼7.2-6.0 cal kyr BP, possibly due to increased contribution from winter rainfall; (ii) the onset of aridity in NW India could have begun as early as ∼5.3 cal kyr BP. Subsequently, there were multiple wet events but of shorter duration and smaller magnitude than during the mid Holocene; (iii) there is evidence of several short term climate events in the proxy record. However, in the absence of a rigorous chronological framework a detailed regional correlation is not possible at this stage. Finally, a comparison between marine and terrestrial records indicates that episodes of strongest and weakest monsoon winds were not always associated with wettest and driest episodes respectively in the NW Indian lakes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)442-453
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
YE research was supported by NSF grants EAR-9104489 and EAR-9417896 to Lisa L. Ely and V.R. Baker. YE also appreciates fruitful discussions with R.J. Wasson, S.N. Rajaguru, S. Misra and M. Staubwasser that helped formulate new ideas. SP acknowledges useful discussions with K. Rupa Kumar, H. Borgaonkar and S.K. Gupta.


  • Dunes
  • Events
  • Holocene
  • India
  • Indus valley civilisation
  • Lakes
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Pollens


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