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Precipitation reconstruction in Chapada Diamantina (BA) during the Late Quaternary through isotopic records (O e C) on stalagmites

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Eline Alves de Souza Barreto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Geociências (IG/BT)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Francisco William da Cruz Júnior; Augusto Sarreiro Auler; William Sallun Filho
Advisor: Francisco William da Cruz Júnior

Speleothem records of stable oxygen (d18O) and carbon isotope ratios (d13C) and speleothem growth rates, precisely dated by U/Th method, were used to reconstruct past changes in precipitation in the last 93,000 years B.P. from Chapada Diamantina region, Bahia State. The paleoclimatic reconstruction takes into account results from a calibration study performed in two caves in the Chapada Diamantina region. It was found a robust relationship between isotope signature in precipitation and cave drip water and also evidenced adequate environmental conditions for speleothem deposition in isotopic equilibrium with drip water. The interpretation of the speleothem d18O records is based on the relationship between isotope composition of precipitation and rainfall amount from IAEA-GNIP stations in Brazil and also results from climate experiments coupled with d18O in precipitation using ECHAM-4. These data indicate the amount effect as the dominant isotope fractionation factor controlling the d18O variations in meteoric water forming speleothems, which is characterized by a decrease in the d18O values with an increase in rainfall amount. Speleothem d18O records allow reconstructing the regional paleoprecipitation patterns on both orbital and millennial time-scales during last glacial period and Holocene. These records indicate an increase (decrease) in paleoprecipitation over central Bahia during low (high) summer insolation (10ºS) phases. This relationship is evident is most of this new speleothem record, except in the period between 40 and 20 ka B.P., when dry climate conditions predominate in the region even during the low insolation phases. However, this relationship is exactly the contrary of the one reported from southern/southeastern Brazil and Central Andes paleoclimate studies. Furthermore, the precipitation variations in Chapada Diamantina are in phase with records from Northern Hemisphere on orbital time-scales, particularly from China and Venezuela. These results suggest a direct influence of the South American Monsoon System (SAMS) on long-term changes in precipitation over northeastern Brazil, which is primarily controlled by gradual changes in summer insolation. Abrupt wet events are defined on millennial time-scales in the Chapada Diamantina records by low values of d18O e d13C and high speleothem growth rates. They occurred under prevalence of cold conditions in Northern Hemisphere, triggered by major changes in oceanic circulation in Atlantic Ocean, during Heinrich and Younger Dryas (YD) events. On the other hand, abrupt decreases in regional precipitation are coincident with some of the Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) e Bølling-Allerød (B-A), which are typical warm events in Northern Hemisphere. However, differently from the isotope-climate relationship established on orbital times, the impact of these millennial events on the precipitation variations of Bahia is similar to what is documented in speleothem, lake and marine records from Brazil and Central Andes and opposite to changes described in China and Venezuela, among many other records from Northern Hemisphere. The climate mechanism behind the origin of these millennial events is associated with changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The Heinrich events are linked to periods of weaker AMOC and sea surface temperature gradients that favor a mean southern position of Intertropical Convergence Zone, which results in very wet conditions in Bahia. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 08/01997-0 - Late Quaternary paleoclimate in Sergipe and Bahia States from oxygen and carbon isotope ratios on speleothems
Grantee:Eline Alves de Souza Barreto
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master