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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Peer-reviewed publication

Late Glacial–Holocene climatic transition record at the Argentinian Andean piedmont between 33 and 34° S

The Arroyo La Estacada (~ 33°28′ S, 69°02′ W), eastern Andean piedmont of Argentina, cuts through an extensive piedmont aggradational unit composed of a dominant Late Pleistocene–early Holocene (LP–EH) alluvial sequence that includes several paleosols.

One of these paleosols developed affecting the topmost part of likely Late Glacial aeolian deposits aggraded into a floodplain environment by the end of the Late Pleistocene. The paleosol shows variable grade of development along the arroyo outcrops. Organic matter humification, carbonate accumulation and redox processes were the dominant processes associated with paleosol formation. By the early Holocene, when the formation of the paleosol ended, renewed alluvial aggradation and high magnitude flooding events affected the arroyo’s floodplain environment. Accordignly, a period of relative landscape stability in the Arroyo La Estacada basin is inferred from the paleosol developed by the LP–EH transition in response to the climatic conditions in the Andes cordillera piedmont after the Late Glacial arid conditions. The analyzed Late Glacial–Holocene alluvial record of the Andean piedmont constitutes a suitable record of the LP–EH climatic transition in the extra-Andean region of Argentina. It is in agreement with regional paleoclimatic evidence along the southern tip of the South American continent, where other pedosedimentary sequences record similar late Quaternary paleoenvironmental changes over both fluvial and interfluvial areas.