Deep drilling of the Chalco Basin, Valley of Mexico
A workshop is planned to work toward a scientific drilling project to recover the ~500 m sedimentary sequence contained in the Lake Chalco basin in the Valley of Mexico. These sediment sequences have the potential to provide an ~800,000 year record of North American climate. This would be a unique climate archive that could develop into the "type sequence" for paleoclimate studies in the Americas. These sediments also contain imprints of the tectonic and volcanic history of the Valley of Mexico. Finally, a better understanding of the sediments of the Valley of Mexico has implications for resource management, and regional planning due to extraction of water and associated subsidence that potentially impacts huge members of residents.
We have assembled an international team interested in the drilling of Lake Chalco, including PIs from the USA (Brown, Werne), Mexico (Caballero, Ortega, Lozano-Garcia), Germany (Trauth, Schwalb), and Spain (Valero-Garces). We will foster synergistic interactions among scientific communities in the U.S., Europe and Mexico (and will encourage Asian and Latin American participation) both during the workshop and during anticipated future drilling and scientific investigations of the Chalco Basin.
The primary scientific objective of the Lake Chalco drilling to be discussed at the proposed workshop is to obtain a continous, high-resolution record of past climates in the continental neotropics over the past ~800 kyr. Understanding mechanisms that caused rapid global climate changes in the past is a key problem in paleoclimate research, and is critical for predicting impacts of future climate changes on timescales that affect humans. GCM simulations suggest that it is difficult to propagate thermohaline-induced changes, such as temperature perturbations in the high-latitude North Atlantic region, into the tropics and around the globe (Manabe and Stouffer, 1997). An alternate suggestion is that abrupt climate changes may initiate in the tropics and propagate from there into high latitudes (Stocker, 1998). In order to evaluate the relative role of low latitudes in initiating and propagating abrupt global climate changes, we first need information regarding the geographical distribution, patterns and timing of abrupt changes in the tropics, particularly records to help define the nature of variability in the Intertropical Convergence Zone.
(Figure: Excerpt from Map Of The Valley Of Mexico and the Surrounding Mountains, by Bruff, J. Goldsborough; Disturnell, John, 1847, highlighting Lake Chalco.)
Central America, Mexico, Lake Chalco
19.5° N, 99° W (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)
Project Start and End
- workshop date: March 4 to 9, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico
- Erik Thorson Brown, University of Minnesota at Duluth, Large Lakes Observatory
- Maria del Socorro Lozano Garcia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología
- Antje Schwalb, Technical University of Braunschweig, Institute of Environmental Geology, Institute for Geosystems and Bioindications
- Victoria C. Smith, University of Oxford, Research Laboratory for Archeology and the History of Art
- Blas Lorenzo Valero-Garcés, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Departamento de Procesos Geoambientales y Cambio Global
- Josef Peter Werne, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Geology and Planetary Sciences
- Frank Preusser, University of Freiburg, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Department of General Geology and Structural Geology
- Margarita Caballero Miranda, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geofísica
- Enrique Cabral Cano, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geofísica, Departamento de Geomagnetismo y Exploración
- Peter J. Fawcett, University of New Mexico, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
- Jens Kallmeyer, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.3, Geomicrobiology
- Eric Morales Casique, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología, Departamento de Geología Regional
- Anders J. Noren, University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Department of Earth Sciences, Limnological Research Center
- Beatriz Ortega Guerrero, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geofísica
- Sebastian Watt, University of Birmingham, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Liseth Carolina Pérez Alvarado, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología
- Amy E. Myrbo, University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Department of Earth Sciences, Limnological Research Center
- Byron A. Steinman, University of Minnesota at Duluth, Large Lakes Observatory
CHALCO, Hydrology, ICDP-2014/05, Lake Chalco, MEXIDRILL, Paleoclimate, Volcanic And Seismic Hazards
- Presite surveys and workshops are ongoing
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