Isotopic evidence for late Quaternary climatic change in tropical South America

G. Seltzer, D. Rodbell, S. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


The tropical hydrologic cycle affects atmospheric trace gases and global climate change, and thus records of hydrologic change encompassing a variety of time scales from the low latitudes are important in paleoclimatology. Isotopic analysis of calcite from Lake Junin, Peru, provides a record of hydrologic variability that spans the last glacial-interglacial transition in the southern tropics. The record reveals a 6‰ enrichment in δ 18 O calcite during the late glacial followed by a gradual depletion during the Holocene, which can be interpreted as a decrease followed by a long-term increase in effective moisture. Close agreement between δ 18 O calcite and rainy season insolation indicates that long-term changes in tropical hydrology were linked to orbital variations. Furthermore, hydrologic change was out of phase in the northern and southern tropics over this time period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

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  • Andes
  • Carbonates
  • Climate change
  • Insolation
  • Lakes
  • Stable isotopes

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