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A ~6000 yr diatom record of mid- to late Holocene fluctuations in the level of Lago Wiñaymarca, Lake Titicaca (Peru/Bolivia)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2017

D. Marie Weide*
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA
Sherilyn C. Fritz
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA
Christine A. Hastorf
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
Maria C. Bruno
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013, USA
Paul A. Baker
Affiliation:
Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
Stephane Guedron
Affiliation:
Université Grenoble Alpes, IRD, ISTerre, F-38000 Grenoble, France Laboratorio de Hidroquímica, Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Campus Universitario de Cota Cota, casilla 3161, La Paz, Bolivia
Wout Salenbien
Affiliation:
Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
*
*Corresponding author at: Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 214 Bessey Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA. E-mail address: dmarieweide@gmail.com (D.M. Weide).

Abstract

A multidecadal-scale lake-level reconstruction for Lago Wiñaymarca, the southern basin of Lake Titicaca, has been generated from diatom species abundance data. These data suggest that ~6500 cal yr BP Lago Wiñaymarca was dry, as indicated by a sediment unconformity. At ~4400 cal yr BP, the basin began to fill, as indicated by the dominance of shallow epiphytic species. It remained somewhat saline with extensive wetlands and abundant aquatic plants until ~3800 cal yr BP, when epiphytic species were replaced by planktic saline-indifferent species, suggesting a saline shallow lake. Wiñaymarca remained a relatively shallow lake that fluctuated on a multidecadal scale until ~1250 cal yr BP, when freshwater planktic species increased, suggesting a rise in lake level with a concomitant decrease in salinity. The lake became gradually fresher, dominated by deep, freshwater species from ~850 cal yr BP. By ~80 cal yr BP, saline-tolerant species were rare, and the lake was dominated by freshwater planktic diatoms, resembling the fresh and deep lake of today. These results reveal a more dynamic and chronologically specific record of lake-level fluctuations and associated ecological conditions that provide important new data for paleoclimatologists and archaeologists, to better understand human-environmental dynamics during the mid- to late Holocene.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2017 

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A ~6000 yr diatom record of mid- to late Holocene fluctuations in the level of Lago Wiñaymarca, Lake Titicaca (Peru/Bolivia)
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