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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2012

Michael M. McGlue
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Aguinaldo Silva
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ciências do Ambiente, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul — UFMS-CPAN, Av. Rio Branco, 1270, CEP 79304‐902, Corumbá, MS, Brazil
Hiran Zani
Affiliation:
Divisão de Sensoriamento Remoto, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais — INPE, Av. dos Astronautas, 1758, CEP 12201‐970, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
Fabrício A. Corradini
Affiliation:
Faculdade de Geografia, Universidade Federal do Pará — UFPA, Folha 31, Quadra 7, Lote Especial S/N, CEP 68501‐970, Marabá, PA, Brazil
Mauro Parolin
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Estudos Paleoambientais da Fecilcam (LEPAFE), Faculdade Estadual de Ciências e Letras de Campo Mourão, Av. Comendador Norberto Marcondes, 733, CEP‐87303‐100, Campo Mourão, PR, Brazil
Erin J. Abel
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Andrew S. Cohen
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Mario L. Assine
Affiliation:
Departamento de Geologia Aplicada — IGCE, Universidade Estadual Paulista — UNESP/Campus Rio Claro, Av. 24-A, 1515, CEP 13506‐900, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
Geoffrey S. Ellis
Affiliation:
Central Energy Resources Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 25046, Denver Federal Center MS 977, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Mark A. Trees
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Sidney Kuerten
Affiliation:
Departamento de Geografia, Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul - UEMS, Av. 11 de Dezembro, 1425 Vila Camisão, CEP 79240-000, Jardim, MS, Brazil
Frederico dos Santos Gradella
Affiliation:
Programa de Geografia, Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará — UFOPA, Av. Marechal Rondon, s/n — Caranazal Santarém, CEP 68040‐070, Pará, Brazil
Giliane Gessica Rasbold
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Estudos Paleoambientais da Fecilcam (LEPAFE), Faculdade Estadual de Ciências e Letras de Campo Mourão, Av. Comendador Norberto Marcondes, 733, CEP‐87303‐100, Campo Mourão, PR, Brazil
Corresponding
E-mail address:

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 Upper Paraguay River (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 flood pulse dynamics 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.

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University of Washington

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