Revealing the last 13,500 years of environmental history from the multiproxy record of a mountain lake (Lago Enol, northern Iberian Peninsula)

Ana Moreno, Lourdes López-Merino, Manel Leira, Javier Marco-Barba, Penélope González-Sampériz, Blas L. Valero-Garcés, José Antonio López-Sáez, Luisa Santos, Pilar Mata, Emi Ito

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88 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the Holocene sequence from Lago Enol (43°16′N, 4°59′W, 1,070 m a. s. l.), Cantabrian Mountains, northern Spain. A multiproxy analysis provided comprehensive information about regional humidity and temperature changes. The analysis included sedimentological descriptions, physical properties, organic carbon and carbonate content, mineralogy and geochemical composition together with biological proxies including diatom and ostracod assemblages. A detailed pollen study enabled reconstruction of variations in vegetation cover, which were interpreted in the context of climate changes and human impact. Four distinct stages were recognized for the last 13,500 years: (1) a cold and dry episode that includes the Younger Dryas event (13,500-11,600 cal. year BP); (2) a humid and warmer period characterizing the onset of the Holocene (11,600-8,700 cal. year BP); (3) a tendency toward a drier climate during the middle Holocene (8,700-4,650 cal. year BP); and (4) a return to humid conditions following landscape modification by human activity (pastoral activities, deforestation) in the late Holocene (4,650-2,200 cal. year BP). Superimposed on relatively stable landscape conditions (e. g. maintenance of well established forests), the typical environmental variability of the southern European region is observed at this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-349
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

Keywords

  • Diatoms
  • Holocene
  • Lake sediments
  • Northern Iberian Peninsula
  • Ostracods
  • Pollen
  • Scanning XRF

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    Moreno, A., López-Merino, L., Leira, M., Marco-Barba, J., González-Sampériz, P., Valero-Garcés, B. L., López-Sáez, J. A., Santos, L., Mata, P., & Ito, E. (2011). Revealing the last 13,500 years of environmental history from the multiproxy record of a mountain lake (Lago Enol, northern Iberian Peninsula). Journal of Paleolimnology, 46(3), 327-349. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10933-009-9387-7