Maar lake Laguna Potrok Aike is located north of the Strait of Magellan (south-eastern Patagonia). Seismic reflection profiles revealed a highly dynamic palaeoclimate history. Dunes were identified in the eastern part of the lake at approximately 30 to 80 m below the lake floor overlying older lacustrine strata and suggest that the region experienced dry conditions probably combined with strong westerly winds. It is quite likely that this can be linked to a major dust event recorded in the Antarctic ice cores during MIS 4. The dunes are overlain by a series of palaeo-shorelines indicating a stepwise water level evolution of a new lake established after this dry period, and thus a change towards wetter conditions. After the initial, rapid and stepwise lake-level rise, the basin became deeper and wider, and sediments deposited on the lake shoulder at approximately 33 m below present day lake level point towards a long period of lake-level highstand between roughly 53.5 ka cal. BP and 30 ka cal. BP with a maximum lake level some 200 m higher than the desiccation horizon. This highstand was then followed by a regressional phase of uncertain age, although it must have happened some time between approximately 30 ka cal. BP and 6750 yrs cal. BP. Dryer conditions during the Mid-Holocene are evidenced by a dropping lake level, resulting in a basin-wide erosional unconformity on the lake shoulder. A second stepwise transgression between ca 5.8 to 5.4 ka cal. BP and ca 4.7 to 4 ka cal. BP with palaeo-shorelines deposited on the lake shoulder unconformity indicates again a change towards wetter conditions.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES I (2009-2013) > TOPIC 3: Lessons from the Past > WP 3.2: Tectonic, Climate and Biosphere Development from Greenhouse to Icehouse