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Climate variability in the Spanish Pyrenees during the last 30,000 yr revealed by the El Portalet sequence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

P. González-Sampériz*
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
B.L. Valero-Garcés
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
A. Moreno
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
G. Jalut
LADYBIO Univ. Paul Sabatier-UMR 5172, 29 rue Jeanne Marvig, 31055 Toulouse, France
J.M. García-Ruiz
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
C. Martí-Bono
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
A. Delgado-Huertas
Estación Experimental de El Zaidín, CSIC, C/ Albareda 1, 18008 Granada, Spain
A. Navas
Estación Experimental Aula Dei, CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain
T. Otto
LADYBIO Univ. Paul Sabatier-UMR 5172, 29 rue Jeanne Marvig, 31055 Toulouse, France
J.J. Dedoubat
LADYBIO Univ. Paul Sabatier-UMR 5172, 29 rue Jeanne Marvig, 31055 Toulouse, France
Corresponding author. Fax: +34 976 716019. E-mail (P. Gonz�lez-Samp�riz).


Palynological, sedimentological and stable isotopic analyses of carbonates and organic matter performed on the El Portalet sequence (1802 m a.s.l., 42°48′00ʺN, 0°23′52ʺW) reflect the paleoclimatic evolution and vegetation history in the central-western Spanish Pyrenees over the last 30,000 yr, and provide a high-resolution record for the late glacial period. Our results confirm previous observations that deglaciation occurred earlier in the Pyrenees than in northern European and Alpine sites and point to a glacial readvance from 22,500 to 18,000 cal yr BP, coinciding with the global last glacial maximum. The patterns shown by the new, high-resolution pollen data from this continental sequence, chronologically constrained by 13 AMS 14C dates, seem to correlate with the rapid climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores during the last glacial–interglacial transition. Abrupt events observed in northern latitudes (Heinrich events 3 to 1, Oldest and Older Dryas stades, Intra-Allerød Cold Period, and 8200 cal yr BP event) were also identified for the first time in a lacustrine sequence from the central-western Pyrenees as cold and arid periods. The coherent response of the vegetation and the lake system to abrupt climate changes implies an efficient translation of climate variability from the North Atlantic to mid latitudes.

Research Article
University of Washington

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