Volcanism and climate change as drivers in Holocene depositional dynamic of Laguna del Maule (Andes of central Chile – 36° S)

Frugone-Álvarez, Matías; Latorre, Claudio; Barreiro-Lostres, Fernando; Giralt, Santiago; Moreno, Ana; Polanco-Martínez, Josué; Maldonado, Antonio; Carrevedo, María Laura; Bernárdez, Patricia; Prego, Ricardo; Delgado Huertas, Antonio; Fuentealba, Magdalena; Valero-Garcés, Blas

Late Quaternary volcanic basins are active landscapes from which detailed archives of past climate and seismic and volcanic activity can be obtained. A multidisciplinary study performed on a transect of sediment cores was used to reconstruct the depositional evolution of the high-elevation Laguna del Maule (LdM) (36inline-formula S, 2180 m a.s.l., Chilean Andes). The recovered 5 m composite sediment sequence includes two thick turbidite units (LT1 and LT2) and numerous tephra layers (23 ash and 6 lapilli). We produced an age model based on nine new inline-formula14C AMS dates, existing inline-formula210Pb and inline-formula137Cs data, and the Quizapú ash horizon (1932 CE). According to this age model, the relatively drier Early Holocene was followed by a phase of increased productivity during the mid-Holocene and higher lake levels after 4.0 ka cal BP. Major hydroclimate transitions occurred at ca. 11, 8.0, 4.0 and 0.5 ka cal BP. Decreased summer insolation and winter precipitation due to a southward shift in the southern westerly winds and a strengthened Pacific Subtropical High could explain Early Holocene lower lake levels. Increased biological productivity during the mid-Holocene (inline-formula∼8.0 to 6.0 ka cal BP) is coeval with a warm–dry phase described for much of southern South America. Periods of higher lake productivity are synchronous to a higher frequency of volcanic events. During the Late Holocene, the tephra layers show compositional changes suggesting a transition from silica-rich to silica-poor magmas at around 4.0 ka cal BP. This transition was synchronous with increased variability of sedimentary facies and geochemical proxies, indicating higher lake levels and increased moisture at LdM after 4.0 ka cal BP, most likely caused by the inception of current El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (ENSO–PDO) dynamics in central Chile.

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Frugone-Álvarez, Matías / Latorre, Claudio / Barreiro-Lostres, Fernando / et al: Volcanism and climate change as drivers in Holocene depositional dynamic of Laguna del Maule (Andes of central Chile – 36° S). 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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