Response of alluvial systems to Late Pleistocene climate changes recorded by environmental magnetism in the Añavieja Basin (Iberian Range, NE Spain)
Keywords:Magnetite, Environmental magnetism, Añavieja Basin, Alluvial sequence, Vegetation cover, Temperature, NGRIP curve
Environmental magnetic proxies were analyzed in a relatively monotonous, ~25.3m thick alluvial sedimentary sequence drilled in the Añavieja Basin (NE Spain). Results from the core AÑ2 suggest that the concentrationdependent magnetic parameters mainly reflect variations in the content of detrital magnetite, sourced in the catchment rocks and soils of the basin, via changes in the dynamics of alluvial fans due to temperature changes in the northern hemisphere during the Late Pleistocene. The correspondence between the magnetic proxies and the temperature variations in the North Atlantic region (NGRIP curve) indicates that higher (lower) concentrations and finer (coarser) magnetite grains coincide with warm (cold) periods. We propose that during cold periods, a sparser vegetation cover favored the incoming of higher energy runoff bearing coarser sediments to the basin that are relatively impoverished in magnetite. In contrast, during warm periods, the wider distribution of the vegetation cover associated with the lower runoff energy lead to finer, magnetite-richer sediment input to the basin. Maghemite, presumably of pedogenic origin, appears to be present also in the studied alluvial sediments. Further studies are necessary to unravel its palaeoclimatic significance.
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