A 28,000-Year Marine Record of Climate Change
Quaternary Research, 1999, Vol.51, No..1, pp.83-93
University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Marine sediment cores from the continental slope off midlatitude Chile (33 degrees S) were studied with regard to grain-size distributions and clay mineral composition. The data provide a 28,000-yr C-14 accelerator mass spectrometry-dated record of variations in the terrigenous sediment supply reflecting modifications of weathering conditions and sediment source areas in the continental hinterland. These variations can be interpreted in terms of the paleoclimatic evolution of mid-latitude Chile and are compared to existing terrestrial records. Glacial climates (28,000-18,000 cal yr B.P.) were generally cold-humid with a cold-semiarid interval between 26,000 and 22,000 cal yr B.P. The deglaciation was characterized by a trend toward more arid conditions.
During the middle Holocene (8000-4000 cal yr B.P.), comparatively stable climatic conditions prevailed with increased aridity in the Coastal Range. The late Holocene (4000-0 cal yr B.P.) was marked by more variable paleoclimates with generally more humid conditions. Variations of rainfall in mid-latitude Chile are most likely controlled by shifts of the latitudinal position of the Southern Westerlies. Compared to the Holocene, the southern westerly wind belt was located significantly farther north during the last glacial maximum. Less important variations of the latitudinal position of the Southern Westerlies also occurred on shorter time scales, (C) 1999 University of Washington.