Millennial-scale climate variability during the Last Glacial period in the tropical Andes

S. C. Fritz, P. A. Baker, E. Ekdahl, G. O. Seltzer, L. R. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Millennial-scale climate variation during the Last Glacial period is evident in many locations worldwide, but it is unclear if such variation occurred in the interior of tropical South America, and, if so, how the low-latitude variation was related to its high-latitude counterpart. A high-resolution record, derived from the deep drilling of sediments on the floor of Lake Titicaca in the southern tropical Andes, is presented that shows clear evidence of millennial-scale climate variation between ∼60 and 20 ka BP. This variation is manifested by alternations of two interbedded sedimentary units. The two units have distinctive sedimentary, geochemical, and paleobiotic properties that are controlled by the relative abundance of terrigenous or nearshore components versus pelagic components. The sediments of more terrigenous or nearshore nature likely were deposited during regionally wetter climates when river transport of water and sediment was higher, whereas the sediments of more pelagic character were deposited during somewhat drier climates regionally. The majority of the wet periods inferred from the Lake Titicaca sediment record are correlated with the cold events in the Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic sediment cores, indicating that increased intensity of the South American summer monsoon was part of near-global scale climate excursions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1024
Number of pages8
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume29
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology

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