Late Holocene sea-surface temperature and precipitation variability in northern Patagonia, Chile (Jacaf Fjord, 44°S)

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2009-06-12
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Sepulveda, Julio
Pantoja, Silvio
Hughen, Konrad A.
Bertrand, Sebastien
Figueroa, Dante
Leon, Tania
Drenzek, Nicholas J.
Lange, Carina B.
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Holocene
Westerly Winds
Chile
Northern Patagonia
Jacaf fjord
Precipitation
Sea surface temperature
Lipid biomarkers
Abstract
A high-resolution multi-proxy study including the elemental and isotopic composition of bulk organic matter, land plant-derived biomarkers, and alkenone-based sea surface temperature (SST) from a marine sedimentary record obtained from the Jacaf Fjord in northern Chilean Patagonia (~ 44°20'S) provided a detailed reconstruction of continental runoff, precipitation, and summer SST spanning the last 1750 years. We observed two different regimes of climate variability in our record: a relatively dry/warm period before 900 cal yr BP (lower runoff and average SST 1°C warmer than present-day) and a wet/cold period after 750 cal yr BP (higher runoff and average SST 1°C colder than present-day). Relatively colder SSTs were found during 750-600 and 450-250 cal yr BP, where the latter period roughly corresponds to the interval defined for the Little Ice Age (LIA). Similar climatic swings have been observed previously in continental and marine archives of the last two millennia from central and southern Chile, suggesting a strong latitudinal sensitivity to changes in the Southern Westerly Winds, the main source of precipitation in southern Chile, and validating the regional nature of the LIA. Our results reveal the importance of the Chilean fjord system for recording climate changes of regional and global significance.
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Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Quaternary Research 72 (2009): 400-409, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2009.06.010.
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