Precipitation changes over the eastern Bolivian Andes inferred from speleothem (δ18O) records for the last 1400 years

James Apaéstegui, Francisco William Cruz, Mathias Vuille, Jens Fohlmeister, Jhan Carlo Espinoza, Abdelfettah Sifeddine, Nicolas Strikis, Jean Loup Guyot, Roberto Ventura, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards

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34 Citas (Scopus)


Here we present high-resolution δ18O records obtained from speleothems collected in the eastern Bolivian Andes. The stable isotope records are related to the regional- to large-scale atmospheric circulation over South America and allow interpreting changes in δ18O during the last 1400 yr as a function of changes in precipitation regimes over the southern tropical Andes. Two distinct phases with more negative δ18O values, interpreted as periods of increased convective activity over the eastern Andean Cordillera in Bolivia are observed concomitantly with periods of global climate anomalies during the last millennium, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) respectively. Changes in the Bolivian δ18O record during the LIA are apparently related to a southward displacement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which acts as a main moisture driver to intensify convection over the tropical continent. During the MCA, however, the increased convective activity observed in the Bolivian record is likely the result of a different mechanism, which implies moisture sourced mainly from the southern tropical Atlantic. This interpretation is consistent with paleoclimate records further to the north in the tropical Andes that show progressively drier conditions during this time period, indicating a more northerly position of the ITCZ. The transition period between the MCA and the LIA shows a slight tendency toward increased δ18O values, indicating weakened convective activity. Our results also reveal a non-stationary anti-phased behavior between the δ18O reconstructions from Bolivia and northeastern Brazil that confirms a continental-scale east–west teleconnection across South America during the LIA.
Idioma originalEspañol
Páginas (desde-hasta)124-134
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónEarth and Planetary Science Letters
EstadoPublicada - 15 jul. 2018
Publicado de forma externa

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