Sediments from Lake Chalco in central Mexico spanning from ca. 150 to 35 ka ago provide evidence of paleoclimatic variability in the North American tropics associated with the end of Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 6, the transition to the last interglacial (MIS 5.5, ca. 130-115 ka ago), and part of the last glacial (MIS 5.4 to early MIS 3, 115 to 35 ka ago). We applied a multiproxy approach based on the analysis of mineral magnetism, diatom assemblages and major elements geochemistry. The reconstructed paleoenvironmental history identify the end of the globally cool MIS 6 as wetter than present, with high lake level, and a subsequent change to drier climates at the onset of the last interglacial (ca. 130 ka). Large amplitude changes in most of the analyzed parameters from ca. 130 to 74 ka are approximately coincident with MIS 5 (130-71 ka). The amplitude of these changes decreases in MIS 4 (71-57 ka) and the early part of MIS 3 (57-35 ka). We proposed that the inferred climatic oscillations follow insolation variations during MIS 6 and part of MIS 5 (150-88 ka). Low summer and spring insolation and lower seasonality inhibited evaporation and favored high lake levels. Conversely, maxima in spring and summer insolation promoted dry conditions and low lake levels. The major wet-cold glacial and dry-warm interglacial relationship found in Lake Titicaca (Bolivia) and Lake Chalco records shows the sensitivity of high altitude tropical sites to climatic variability.
- Magnetic properties
- North America