Chironomid-inferred Holocene temperature reconstruction in Basa de la Mora Lake (Central Pyrenees)

Pol Tarrats, Oliver Heiri, Blas Valero-Garcés, Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles, Narcís Prat, Maria Rieradevall, Penélope González-Sampériz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present the first Holocene chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction for the Iberian Peninsula. A sequence from the shallow mountain lake Basa de la Mora (1914 m a.s.l., Central Pyrenees) was analysed and the reconstruction was performed by means of a merged Norwegian–Swiss chironomid calibration dataset. The presence of a multiproxy study conducted in the same lake, as well as other available regional temperature estimations, allowed the comparison of our results with distinct local and regional records in order to disentangle different temperature and hydrological and seasonal patterns throughout the Holocene. The sampling resolution does not allow analysing rapid climatic oscillations, but provides insights into general Holocene trends. Overall, we found increasing temperatures at the onset of the Holocene, reaching the highest values during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (in our record ca. 7800 cal. yr BP). High temperatures were observed until ca. 6000 yr BP, when a decline of ca. 1.5ºC was inferred and the lowest temperature values throughout the sequence were reconstructed during the period 4200–2000 cal. yr BP coinciding with the first part of the late Holocene. Finally, an increasing trend in temperature values characterized the last two millennia, although we interpret this reconstructed temperature rise with caution as distinguishing between climatic and anthropogenic influences on the chironomid record in this youngest section of the Holocene is challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1696
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding support was provided by the Spanish Inter-Ministry Commission of Science and Technology (CICYT) through the projects DINAMO2 (CGL2012-33063), DINAMO3 (CGL2015-69160-R) and GRACCIE-CONSOLIDER (CSD2007-00067) and by the Spanish National Parks Autonomous Agency (OAPN) through the project HORDA (83/2008). Additional financial support has been provided by the Government of Aragon through the project PM073/2007 and by Geoparque del Sobrarbe through the project ‘High resolution chronological control of Basa de la Mora’. P.T. was supported by a predoctoral FI-DGR grant from the Government of Catalonia.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chironomidae
  • Central Pyrenees
  • Holocene
  • multiproxy
  • seasonality
  • temperature reconstruction

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • ESP4


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