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Paleoclimate Controls on Borehole Geophysics Signals in Lacustrine Deposits of Lake Chalco, Central Mexico

Understanding the moisture history of low latitudes from the most recent glacial period of the latest Pleistocene to post-glacial warmth in continental tropical regions is hampered by the lack of continuous time series. We conducted downhole spectral gamma ray and magnetic susceptibility logs over 300 m of lacustrine deposits of Lake Chalco (Mexico City) to reconstruct an age-depth model using an astronomical and correlative approach, and to reconstruct long-term moisture availability. Our results suggest that the Lake Chalco sediments contain several rhythmic alterations with a quasi-cyclic pattern comparable to the Pleistocene benthic stack. This allows us to calculate a time span of about 500,000 years for this sediment deposition. We have developed three proxies for moisture, detrital input, and salinity, all based on the physical aspects of gamma ray spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility. Our results indicate that Lake Chalco formed during Marine Isotope Stage 13 (MIS13) and the lake level gradually increased over time until the interglacial of MIS9. Moisture content is generally higher during interglacials than during glacials. However, two periods, namely MIS6 and MIS4, have higher moisture contents. We developed a model by comparing the obtained moisture proxy with climatic drivers, to understand how different climate systems drove effective moisture availability in the Chalco sub-basin over the past 500,000 years. Carbon dioxide, eccentricity, and precession are all key drivers of the moisture content of Lake Chalco over the past 500,000 years.


Mehrdad Sardar Abadi1, Christian Zeeden1, Arne Ulfers1, Thomas Wonik1
1leibniz institute for applied geophysics, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022
Central America