A palaeolimnological investigation of central Patagonian climate during the Holocene.

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


    The southern westerly winds are the dominant control on climate in central Patagonia, and there is ample evidence of changes in the position and strength of the winds throughout the Holocene, but the timing, nature and extent of these changes is unclear. This study addresses the lack of palaeoclimatic data for the region east of the North Patagonian Icecap to address the uncertainties surrounding Holocene climate in the central Patagonian region.

    By correlating multi-proxy (sediment δ13C & C/N, chironomids and magnetic susceptability) data from two palaeoclimatic reconstructions derived from lake sediment sequences, this study identi es a unique climate history for central Patagonia, where mid-Holocene shifts observed elsewhere in Patagonia are subdued, but late-Holocene aridity between 1,300 2,800 years B.P. and cooler conditions from c.1,500 years B.P. onwards are present. Chironomid stratigraphies appear to respond primarily to lake level changes, and recently developed chironomid temperature transfer functions fail to provide reasonable estimates of temperature change over the past c.120 years at these study sites.

    Modern vegetation δ13C, C/N and modern water δ2H and δ18O data are presented, along with age/depth models for the two study sites derived from 14C, 210Pb, 137Cs and tephrochronological markers. Geochemical data for a number of previously known and unknown tephras are also presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Southampton
    Award date1 Jan 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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