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Precise radiocarbon dating of Late-Glacial cooling in mid-latitude South America

  • Irka Hajdas (a1), Georges Bonani (a1), Patricio I. Moreno (a2) and Daniel Ariztegui (a3)
Abstract

Variability of atmospheric 14C content often complicates radiocarbon-based chronologies; however, specific features such as periods of constant 14C age or steep changes in radiocarbon ages can be useful stratigraphic markers. The Younger Dryas event in the Northern Hemisphere is one of those periods, showing conspicuous 14C wiggles. Although the origin of those variations is not fully understood, we can make practical use of them and determine: (i) whether the Younger Dryas was global in extent; if so, (ii) were the initial cooling and the final warming synchronous worldwide; and (iii) what are the implications of these similarities/differences? Here we report high-resolution AMS 14C chronologies from the mid-latitudes of South America that pinpoint a cool episode between 11,400 and 10,20014C yr B.P. The onset of the final cool episode of the Late Glacial in the southern mid-latitudes, i.e., the Huelmo/Mascardi Cold Reversal, preceded the onset of the Younger Dryas cold event by ∼550 calendar years. Both events ended during a radiocarbon-age plateau at ∼10,20014C yr B.P. Thus, the Huelmo/Mascardi Cold Reversal encompasses the Younger Dryas, as well as a couple of short-term cool/warm oscillations that immediately preceded its onset in the North Atlantic region.

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*Corresponding author. Fax: +4116331067. E-mail address: hajdas@phys.ethz.ch (I. Hajdas).
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