A 5000 Year Record of Andean South American Summer Monsoon Variability from Laguna de Ubaque, Colombia

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Owen Michael Rudloff, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, United States, Broxton W Bird, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Department of Earth Sciences,, IN, IN, United States and Jaime Escobar, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia
Our understanding of Northern Hemisphere South American summer monsoon (SASM) dynamics during the Holocene has been limited by the small number of terrestrial paleoclimate records from this region. In order to increase our knowledge of SASM variability and to better inform our predictions of its response to ongoing rapid climate change, we require high-resolution paleoclimate records from the Northern Hemisphere Andes. To this end, we present sub-decadally resolved sedimentological and geochemical data from Laguna de Ubaque that spans the last 5000 years. Located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes, Laguna de Ubaque (2070 m asl) is a small, east facing moraine-dammed lake in the upper part of the Rio Meta watershed near Bogotá containing finely laminated clastic sediments. Dry bulk density, %organic matter, %carbonate and magnetic susceptibility (MS) results from Ubaque suggest a period of intense precipitation between 3500 and 2000 years BP interrupted by a 300 yr dry interval centered at 2700 years BP. Following this event, generally drier conditions characterize the last 2000 years. Although considerably lower amplitude than the middle Holocene pluvial events, variability in the sedimentological data support climatic responses during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; 900 to 1200 CE) and Little Ice Age (LIA; 1450 to 1900 CE) that are consistent with other records of local Andean conditions. In particular, reduced MS during the MCA suggests a reduction in terrestrial material being washed into the lake as a result of generally drier conditions. The LIA on the other hand shows a two phase structure with increased MS between 1450 and 1600 CE, suggesting wetter conditions during the onset of the LIA, and reduced MS between 1600 and 1900 CE, suggesting a return to drier conditions during the latter part of the LIA. These LIA trends are similar to the Quelccaya accumulation record, possibly supporting an in-phase relationship between the South American Hemispheres. By comparing our precipitation proxies with other terrestrial records, as well as Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST) and global climate reconstructions, we will examine the relationship between Northern and Southern Hemisphere Andean climate responses to assess the validity of existing theories on the modes of climate change in the region.