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Lacustrine records of Holocene flood pulse dynamics in the Upper Paraguay River watershed (Pantanal wetlands, Brazil)

Quaternary Research

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2012.05.015

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Abstract

The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland and a biodiversity hotspot, yet its response to Quaternary environmental change is unclear. To address this problem, sediment cores from shallow lakes connected to the UpperParaguayRiver (PR) were analyzed and radiocarbon dated to track changes in sedimentary environments. Stratal relations, detrital particle size, multiple biogeochemical indicators, and sponge spicules suggest fluctuating lake-level lowstand conditions between ~ 11,000 and 5300 cal yr BP, punctuated by sporadic and in some cases erosive flood flows. A hiatus has been recorded from ~ 5300 to 2600 cal yr BP, spurred by confinement of the PR within its channel during an episode of profound regional drought. Sustained PR flooding caused a transgression after ~ 2600 cal yr BP, with lake-level highstand conditions appearing during the Little Ice Age. Holocene PR floodpulsedynamics are best explained by variability in effective precipitation, likely driven by insolation and tropical sea-surface temperature gradients. Our results provide novel support for hypotheses on: (1) stratigraphic discontinuity of floodplain sedimentary archives; (2) late Holocene methane flux from Southern Hemisphere wetlands; and (3) pre-colonial indigenous ceramics traditions in western Brazil.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Lacustrine records of Holocene flood pulse dynamics in the Upper Paraguay River watershed (Pantanal wetlands, Brazil)
Series title:
Quaternary Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.yqres.2012.05.015
Volume
78
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s):
Central Energy Resources Science Center
Description:
10 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Quaternary Research
First page:
285
Last page:
294
Number of Pages:
11
Country:
Brazil
Other Geospatial:
Pantanal Wetlands;Paraguay River