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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


VALDES, JORGE; ORTLIEB, LUC  and  SIFEDDINE, ABDEL. Variations of Punta Angamos upwelling system (23 S) and the Oxygen Minimum Zone during the recent past: An approximation from sedimentary record of Mejillones del Sur Bay. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2003, vol.76, n.3, pp.347-362. ISSN 0716-078X.

Geochemical (organic carbon, biogenic silica and cadmium) and petrographic (organic matter) parameters analyzed in a sediment core of Mejillones del Sur Bay, have been used to reconstruct past variations in superficial biological productivity and subsuperficial oxygenation, during the last 2,000 years. This study tends to demonstrate that into the bay, the productivity has diminished up to the present, while the Oxygen Minimum Zone has intensified. Productivity variations can be attributed to changes in the upwelling intensity associated to changes in local wind system, and/or to displacement of the Punta Angamos upwelling center closer or far away of the bay. The variations of the subsuperficial oxygenation can be attributed to deep position changes of de Oxygen Minimum Zone. The geochemical and petrographic analysis of this study show a good correlation with bioindicator studies carried out in other sediment core of the bay, and reinforce the hypothesis that climatic events like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period are recorded in this bay of northern Chile. The present study shows that the first climatic event was characterized by a high superficial productivity and a low subsuperficial oxygen disponibility, while the latter climatic event was characterized by a low productivity and a better subsuperficial oxygenation.

Keywords : geochemistry; petrography; organic matter; paleoceanography; Chile.

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