Holocene hydrologic variation at Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru, and its relationship to North Atlantic climate variation

P. A. Baker, S. C. Fritz, J. Garland, E. Ekdahl

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69 Scopus citations

Abstract

A growing number of sites in the Northern Hemisphere show centennial- to millennial-scale climate variation that has been correlated with change in solar variability or with change in North Atlantic circulation. However, it is unclear how (or whether) these oscillations in the climate system are manifest in the Southern Hemisphere because of a lack of sites with suitably high sampling resolution. In this paper, we reconstruct the lake-level history of Lake Titicaca, using the carbon isotopic content of sedimentary organic matter, to evaluate centennial- to millennial-scale precipitation variation and its phasing relative to sites in the Northern Hemisphere. The pattern and timing of lake-level change in Lake Titicaca is similar to the ice-rafted debris record of Holocene Bond events, demonstrating a possible coupling between precipitation variation on the Altiplano and North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures (SSTs). The cold periods of the Holocene Bond events correspond with periods of increased precipitation on the Altiplano. Holocene precipitation variability on the Altiplano is anti-phased with respect to precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere monsoon region. More generally, the tropical Andes underwent large changes in precipitation on centennial-to-millennial timescales during the Holocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-662
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume20
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Altiplano
  • Bond events
  • Palaeoclimate
  • South America
  • Tropics

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