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Environmental processes in Rano Aroi (Easter Island) peat geochemistry forced by climate variability during the last 70 kyr
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 92014 (English)In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 414, p. 438-450Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We analyze the geochemistry of Rano Aroi mire record (Easter Island) using bulk peat composition (C, N, S) and stable isotopes (delta C-13, delta N-15, delta S-34) and major, minor and trace elemental compositions obtained by ICP-AES (Al, Ti, Zr, Sc, V, Y, Fe, Mn, Th, Ba, Ca, Mg and Sr). Peat geochemistry and the pollen record are used to reconstruct the environmental changes during the last 70 kyr BP. Principal component analysis on ICP-AES data revealed that three main components account for the chemical signatures of the peat. The first component, characterized by lithogenic elements (combined signal of V. Al, Sc, Y, Cr, Cd, Ti, Zr and Cu), evidences long-term changes in the basal fluxes of mineral material into the mire. This component, in combination with stable isotopes and pollen data suggests a link between soil erosion and vegetation cover changes in the Rano Aroi watershed. The second component is identified by the signal of Fe, Mn, Th, Ba, Zr and Ti, and is indicative of strong runoff events during enhanced precipitation periods. The third component (tied mainly to Ca, Sr and Mg) reflects a strong peat oxidation event that occurred during an arid period with more frequent droughts, sometime between 39 and 31 kyr BP. Correlation coefficients and a multiple regression model (PCR analysis) between peat organic chemistry and the principal components of ICP-AES analysis were calculated. Isotope chemistry of the peat organic matter further contributes to define Rano Aroi environmental history: delta C-13 data corroborates a vegetation shift documented by the palynological record from C-4 to C-3 between 55 and 45 cal kyr BP; the delta N-15 record identifies periods of changes in mire productivity and denitrification processes, while the delta S-34 peat signature indicates a marine origin of S and significant diagenetic cycling. The geochemical and environmental evolution of Rano Aroi mire is coherent with the regional climatic variability and suggests that climate was the main forcing in mire evolution during the last 70 kyr BP. The coupling of geochemical and biological proxies improves our ability to decipher depositional processes in tropical and subtropical peatlands and to use these sequences for paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate reconstructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 414, p. 438-450
Keywords [en]
Peat record, Easter Island, Stable isotopes, Major and trace element, Environmental reconstruction, Pollen analysis
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160575DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.09.025ISI: 000345202500036OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160575DiVA, id: diva2:1254478
Available from: 2018-10-09 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved

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Margalef, O.Martínez Cortizas, A.Kylander, MalinPla-Rabes, S.Sáez, A.Giralt, S.
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Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
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