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Ice-Core Pollen Record of Climatic Changes in the Central Andes during the last 400 yr

  • Kam-biu Liu (a1), Carl A. Reese (a2) and Lonnie G. Thompson (a3)

This paper presents a high-resolution ice-core pollen record from the Sajama Ice Cap, Bolivia, that spans the last 400 yr. The pollen record corroborates the oxygen isotopic and ice accumulation records from the Quelccaya Ice Cap and supports the scenario that the Little Ice Age (LIA) consisted of two distinct phases�"a wet period from AD 1500 to 1700, and a dry period from AD 1700 to 1880. During the dry period xerophytic shrubs expanded to replace puna grasses on the Altiplano, as suggested by a dramatic drop in the Poaceae/Asteraceae (P/A) pollen ratio. The environment around Sajama was probably similar to the desert-like shrublands of the Southern Bolivian Highlands and western Andean slopes today. The striking similarity between the Sajama and Quelccaya proxy records suggests that climatic changes during the Little Ice Age occurred synchronously across the Altiplano.

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*Corresponding author. Fax: +1 225 578 4420. E-mail address: (K-b. Liu).
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Quaternary Research
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