A Geochemical and Sedimentary Record of High Southern Latitude Holocene Climate Evolution from Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego

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Situated at the southern margin of the hemispheric westerly wind belt and immediately north of the Antarctic Polar Frontal zone, Tierra del Fuego is well-positioned to monitor coupled changes in the ocean-atmosphere system of the high southern latitudes. Here we describe a Holocene paleoclimate record from sediment cores obtained from Lago Fagnano, a large lake in southern Tierra del Fuego at 55{sup o}S, to investigate past changes in climate related to these two important features of the global climate system. We use an AMS radiocarbon chronology for the last 8,000 years based on pollen concentrates, thereby avoiding contamination from bedrock-derived ... continued below

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Moy, C M; Dunbar, R B; Guilderson, T P; Waldmann, N; Mucciarone, D A; Recasens, C et al. November 19, 2010.

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Situated at the southern margin of the hemispheric westerly wind belt and immediately north of the Antarctic Polar Frontal zone, Tierra del Fuego is well-positioned to monitor coupled changes in the ocean-atmosphere system of the high southern latitudes. Here we describe a Holocene paleoclimate record from sediment cores obtained from Lago Fagnano, a large lake in southern Tierra del Fuego at 55{sup o}S, to investigate past changes in climate related to these two important features of the global climate system. We use an AMS radiocarbon chronology for the last 8,000 years based on pollen concentrates, thereby avoiding contamination from bedrock-derived lignite. Our chronology is consistent with a tephrochronologic age date for deposits from the middle Holocene Volcan Hudson eruption. Combining bulk organic isotopic ({delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 15}N) and elemental (C and N) parameters with physical sediment properties allow us to better understand sediment provenance and transport mechanisms and to interpret Holocene climate and tectonic change during the last 8,000 years. Co-variability and long-term trends in C/N ratio, carbon accumulation rate, and magnetic susceptibility reflect an overall Holocene increase in the delivery of terrestrial organic and lithogenic material to the deep eastern basin. We attribute this variability to westerly wind-derived precipitation. Increased wind strength and precipitation in the late Holocene drives the Nothofagus forest eastward and enhances run-off and terrigenous inputs to the lake. Superimposed on the long-term trend are a series of abrupt 9 negative departures in C/N ratio, which constrain the presence of seismically-driven mass flow events in the record. We identify an increase in bulk {delta}{sup 13}C between 7,000 and 5,000 cal yr BP that we attribute to enhanced aquatic productivity driven by warmer summer temperatures. The Lago Fagnano {delta}{sup 13}C record shows similarities with Holocene records of sea surface temperature from the mid-latitude Chilean continental shelf and Antarctic air temperatures from the Taylor Dome ice core record in East Antarctica. Mid-Holocene warming occurred simultaneously across the Antarctic Frontal Zone, and in particular, in locations currently influenced by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

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PDF-file: 46 pages; size: 4.7 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, vol. 302, no. 1-2, February 1, 2011, pp. 1-13; Journal Volume: 302; Journal Issue: 1-2

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  • Report No.: LLNL-JRNL-462784
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1016301
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc843747

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  • November 19, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 3 p.m.

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Moy, C M; Dunbar, R B; Guilderson, T P; Waldmann, N; Mucciarone, D A; Recasens, C et al. A Geochemical and Sedimentary Record of High Southern Latitude Holocene Climate Evolution from Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego, article, November 19, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc843747/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.