Paleolimnological reconstruction of the centennial eutrophication processes in a sub-tropical South American reservoir
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Reservoirs hold a detailed record of the changes in the input of sediments and nutrients over decades to centuries. Paleolimnological multi-proxy analysis makes it possible to reconstruct baseline conditions to infer early evidence of environmental change. Our study aims to reconstruct historical human impacts derived from urban development on the San Roque reservoir (Cordoba, Argentina) related to the centennial dynamics of sedimentary and eutrophication processes. A paleolimnological record, dated by Pb-210 and Cs-137, made it possible to identify two stages during the environmental evolution of the San Roque reservoir. Physical processes, such as fluvial discharge and water level variation, dominantly ruled stage 1 (Unit C) during the initial infilling of the reservoir. Nutrient load and eutrophication processes controlled stage 2 (Units B and A). Stage 1 (77-55 cm; AD 1921 to 1965) occurred before and after the second dam was built and while the level of water increased by approximate to + 8 m; it displayed a high variation in mean grain size and maximum values of magnetic susceptibility. Stage 2 (AD 1965-2017) records a new reservoir base level and the maintenance of high water levels and comparatively more stable conditions. Regarding the eutrophication process throughout stage 2, three sub-stages were defined: a) Sub-stage I (AD 1965-1985) is a period of incipient eutrophication; b) Sub-stage II (AD 1985-2005) is an interval of increase of eutrophication as shown by the increase in several organic proxies related to the abundance of phytoplankton. Echinenone, zeaxanthin and myxoxanthophyll indicate that cyanobacteria increased concentration by three-to four-fold in comparison with the previous sub-stage. c) Sub-stage III (AD 2005-2017) shows the transition to a hypereutrophic state. Diatomea (fuco and diato), dinophyceae (diadino), chlorophyta (lut) and cryptophyta (alto) groups show a comparatively higher contribution. Our results mostly highlight that during the last century the main drivers of changes in the environmental state of the San Roque reservoir were trophic, fluvial and hydrometeorological. These results might provide tools for anticipating future scenarios for water management plans under increasing anthropic pressure.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemJournal of South American Earth Sciences. Vol 103, November 2020, 102707
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