Climatic Impact of the Bølling–Allerød over Eastern South America

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Maria Carolina Amorim Catunda, USP University of Sao Paulo, Sedimentary and Environmental Geology Department, São Paulo, Brazil
The last deglaciation was marked by large scale and rapid changes in rainfall over the tropics. Previous studies have correlated pulses of increased terrigenous input off semi arid northeastern South America with abrupt cold events in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. However, deglacial climate changes in other areas of South America are still not resolved. Here we reconstruct deglacial (23-11.5 cal ka BP) continental conditions over eastern Brazil based on (i) Ti/Ca of a radiocarbon dated marine sediment core as a proxy for Doce River (draining eastern Brazil) terrigenous input, and (ii) δ18O of a suite of U-Th dated stalagmites from eastern Brazil. Our marine core was recovered from 1100 m water depth on the tropical Brazilian continental slope, while our stalagmites come from Lapa Sem Fim cave. Both the Doce River and Lapa Sem Fim cave are located in the highly populated and economically active eastern Brazil, where most of the rainfall is related to the activity of the South America Monsoon System (SAMS). The Ti/Ca record is relatively stable showing high proportions of Ti in relationship to Ca throughout the deglacial, with a major excursion towards lower values indicating a decrease in terrigenous input synchronous to the Bølling–Allerød. Interestingly, speleothem δ18O also record this major excursion as less negative values. Together, our results suggest a major decrease in precipitation likely related to a weakening of the SAMS. We further compared our results with the output of the SYNTRACE run of CCSM3 fully coupled climate model with transient forcing for the last deglaciation. Geochemical records and model output show a very good coupling and suggest that the eastern Brazil experienced the driest period of the whole last deglaciation during the Bølling–Allerød and this dry spell was indeed related to a decreased SAMS intensity.