The San Nicolás succession of the Cauca paleolake: A late Holocene laminated ria lake record from the Neotropics



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The stratigraphic, geochemical, and organic matter study of the late Holocene San Nicolás succession of the Cauca paleolake (Santa Fé-Sopetrán pull-apart basin) in the middle Cauca Valley, northern Colombia, suggests that it was deposited in a ria lake environment, at sedimentary accumulation rates in excess of 600 cm ky-1 between ~3500 and ~500 yr BP. Laminated deposition occurred, first under igapo (black-water), and then under varzea (white-water) conditions. The transition occurred ca. 3000 yr BP, a time of major change in El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) behavior in the Cariaco Basin, thus reflecting the southern migration of the intertropical convergence zone and intensified rain upstream the Cauca Valley. A second, but less conspicuous change occurred ca. 2000 yr BP, which apparently corresponds to the intensified and/or more frequent ENSO activity in the Galapagos Islands. Our contribution describes, for the first time, a ria lake sedimentary succession from the northern Andes and demonstrates the high potential of these hitherto undervalued deposits for the reconstruction of the paleohydrological history of the northern Andes. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


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