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Title: Testing the late-Holocene climate signal from ombrotrophic bogs in southernmost Chile and the Falkland Islands : a multi-proxy, multi-profile and multi-site approach
Author: Rice, Emma May
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 3067
Awarding Body: University of Plymouth
Current Institution: University of Plymouth
Date of Award: 2017
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Peatlands in Southern South America (SSA), in the path of the Southern Westerly Wind belt (SWW), offer the potential of reliable palaeoclimate archives. This investigation aimed to test the late-Holocene climate signal related to variability of the SWW. Three sites were investigated: San Juan and Karukinka bog, southernmost Chile and San Carlos, a Sphagnum dominated bog, discovered in the Falkland Islands, to form a regional comparison. A multi-proxy approach was used, combining both palaeoecological and stable isotopic methods. At one site, Karukinka, intra-site replicability was tested across three profiles located along a microtopographical gradient. A low number of statistically significant correlations between proxies were evident. KAR-EM-1, the low-hummock profile, displayed the highest number of significant correlations, suggesting an optimal coring location. Chronological uncertainty in the high-hummock profile, KAR-EM-3, was the focus of discussion. Intra-site replicability between the palaeoecological records was improved by plotting the records against a ‘master chronology’, from the mid-hummock profile, KAR-EM-2, assuming a synchronous acrotelm-catotelm boundary across the profiles. The testate amoeba inferred depth to water table (WTD) reconstructions offered the highest intra-site coherence, while the stable isotope records suggested generally poor intra-site replicability. A semi-quantitative method of intra-site comparison was carried out which resulted in a number of climate scenarios. The inter-site comparison assessed correlations between the records from the three sites. A lack of significant correlations between the sites may have been due to regional climate variations and differences in the temporal resolution of the records. Robust climatic inferences were limited to the last 300 years. The WTD reconstructions displayed the highest inter-site coherence and suggested a drying trend after AD 1930 due to a southerly shift of the SWW. Late-Holocene climate variability was inferred from the palaeoecological records from Karukinka. Two periods were identified: a MCA period of generally wetter conditions (AD 750-1100) and a LIA period of overall drier conditions (~AD 1100-1900) during a southerly and northerly shifted SWW respectively, driven by solar variability and polar cell strengthening.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Peatlands ; Southern South America ; Southern Westerly Wind belt ; late-Holocene ; palaeoclimate ; palaeoecological records ; multi-proxy