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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Iberian high-resolution terrestrial archives: timing and mechanisms of abrupt climate change during the Holocene


This proposal intends to analyse the structure and timing of selected periods of abrupt climate change in the northern Iberian Peninsula during the Holocene based on high-resolution terrestrial records. A scientific strategy has been designed to identify, analyse and evaluate the previously observed and described periods of abrupt climate change. The feasibility of the main goals of the project is assured by the availability of exceptional high-resolution lacustrine cores and speleothems from northern Iberia.

More than 200m of lake sediments were collected in eight lakes in Spain last spring. Initial core descriptions and preliminary dates demonstrate the outstanding value of these records as high-resolution paleoclimate archives. Speleothems selected for this study come from caves where calibration studies are in progress. The selected proxies are physical, sedimentological and geochemical properties from the lake cores and stable isotopes from the speleothem records. Integration of this broad set of proxies will allow interpreting lake dynamics and speleothem growth in terms of aridity/humidity variations. One of the main aims of this project is to achieve a well-constrained chronology for the last 11500 years. For the lake records the presence of laminate d intervals will help to construct a 14C AMS age model able to resolve annual or decadal variations at least during some time intervals. Age models for the selected speleothems will be based on U/Th series analysed by TIMS.

The integration of the proposed terrestrial sequences will allow to:
(1) describe the periods of abrupt climate change in northern Iberia since last deglaciation,
(2) better understand the mechanisms that produce that variability,
(3) find out the periodicities and phase relationships between the climate processes and
(4) compare and correlate the abrupt changes in the continent with those observed in nearby marine cores.

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Serrano, 117

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