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Sci Adv. 2018 Aug 29;4(8):eaar2514. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar2514. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Lake Tauca highstand (Heinrich Stadial 1a) driven by a southward shift of the Bolivian High.

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Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, UMR 7358 CNRS-Université de Lorraine, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France.
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway.
Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Département Géosciences, Environnement et Société-Institut des Géosciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
Université de Grenoble Alpes, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), CNRS, Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement, F-38000 Grenoble, France.
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS Laboratoire de Géographie Physique, 92195 Meudon, France.
ETH, Geological Institute, Sonneggstrasse 5, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


Heinrich events are characterized by worldwide climate modifications. Over the Altiplano endorheic basin (high tropical Andes), the second half of Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1a) was coeval with the highstand of the giant paleolake Tauca. However, the atmospheric mechanisms underlying this wet event are still unknown at the regional to global scale. We use cosmic-ray exposure ages of glacial landforms to reconstruct the spatial variability in the equilibrium line altitude of the HS1a Altiplano glaciers. By combining glacier and lake modeling, we reconstruct a precipitation map for the HS1a period. Our results show that paleoprecipitation mainly increased along the Eastern Cordillera, whereas the southwestern region of the basin remained relatively dry. This pattern indicates a southward expansion of the easterlies, which is interpreted as being a consequence of a southward shift of the Bolivian High. The results provide a new understanding of atmospheric teleconnections during HS1 and of rainfall redistribution in a changing climate.

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