An 85-ka record of climate change in lowland Central America.

Hodell, David A., Anselmetti, Flavio S., Ariztegui, Daniel, Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H., Gilli, Adrian, Grzesik, Dustin A., Guilderson, Thomas J., Müller, Andreas D., Bush, Mark B., Correa-Metriu, Alexander, Escobar, Jaime and Kutterolf, Steffen (2008) An 85-ka record of climate change in lowland Central America. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 . pp. 1152-1165. DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.02.008.

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Drill cores obtained from Lake Petén Itzá, Petén, Guatemala, contain a ∼85-kyr record of terrestrial climate from lowland Central America that was used to reconstruct hydrologic changes in the northern Neotropics during the last glaciation. Sediments are composed of alternating clay and gypsum reflecting relatively wet and dry climate conditions, respectively. From ∼85 to 48 ka, sediments were dominated by carbonate clay indicating moist conditions during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5a, 4, and early 3. The first gypsum layer was deposited at ∼48 ka, signifying a shift toward drier hydrologic conditions and the onset of wet–dry oscillations. During the latter part of MIS 3, Petén climate varied between wetter conditions during interstadials and drier states during stadials. The pattern of clay–gypsum (wet–dry) oscillations during the latter part of MIS 3 (∼48–23 ka) closely resembles the temperature records from Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic marine sediment cores and precipitation proxies from the Cariaco Basin. The most arid periods coincided with Heinrich Events when cold sea surface temperatures prevailed in the North Atlantic, meridional overturning circulation was reduced, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) was displaced southward. A thick clay unit was deposited from 23 to 18 ka suggesting deposition in a deep lake, and pollen accumulated during the same period indicates vegetation consisted of a temperate pine-oak forest. This finding contradicts previous inferences that climate was arid during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) chronozone (21±2 ka). At ∼18 ka, Petén climate switched from moist to arid conditions and remained dry from 18 to 14.7 ka during the early deglaciation. Moister conditions prevailed during the warmer Bolling–Allerod (14.7–12.8 ka) with the exception of a brief return to dry conditions at ∼13.8 ka that coincides with the Older Dryas and meltwater pulse 1A. The onset of the Younger Dryas at 12.8 ka marked the return of gypsum and hence dry conditions. The lake continued to precipitate gypsum until ∼10.3 ka when rainfall increased markedly in the early Holocene.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Climate change, drill cores, Lake Petén Itzá, Petén, Guatemala
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C4
OceanRep > SFB 574
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.02.008
ISSN: 0277-3791
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:52
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:03

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