A 121-ka record of Western Andean fluvial response to suborbital climate cycles recorded by rhythmic grain size variations of the Lima fluvial fan

Willem Viveen, Jorge Sanjurjo-Sanchez, Gustavo Bravo-Lembcke, Rodrigo Uribe-Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A complete, fluvial stratigraphic record for the last glacial period of the Western Andes in Peru is not available due to preservation issues and spatial variability in sedimentation. Deposits are typically restricted to incomplete records of fluvial terraces or localised occurrences of alluvial fans and landslides. These landforms are thought to have formed under a regime of climate cyclicity controlling increases in precipitation. Because of the fragmented preservation of these deposits, as well as dating uncertainties, it remains unclear if orbital climate cycles, such as the precession cycle, or suborbital cycles, such as the wet Heinrich events, are driving Andean sedimentation. In this paper, we try to answer this question through a sedimentological–stratigraphical analysis of a much more complete sedimentary sequence than usually found in the region. We present the results of a grain size analysis of 5000 clasts and 13 new luminescence ages of a 52-m-long, stratigraphic section of the Lima fluvial fan in Peru. Bayesian age–depth modelling resulted in a robust chronostratigraphic framework and derived sedimentation rates. The stratigraphic record registered sedimentation from 121.7 ± 4 to (Formula presented.) ka. Three major sedimentation periods occurred between 121.7 to (Formula presented.), 87 ± 1 to (Formula presented.), and (Formula presented.) to (Formula presented.) ka. These periods registered various unconformities and coarsening–fining upward sequences which chronologically correlate to suborbital pluvial periods, recognised from speleothems and lake records, that drove fluvial deposition. They also correlate with the timing of other recognised sedimentation events throughout the Western Andes. Marine regression resulted in fan progradation and not in incision. The Lima fan stratigraphy represents therefore the most complete, last glacial fluvial record for the Peruvian Western Andes to date and it highlights the potential of fluvial fans as recorders of suborbital climate variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2326-2347
Number of pages22
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume49
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Andes
  • Peru
  • climate change
  • fluvial
  • luminescence dating
  • quaternary

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