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Potrok Aike Maar Lake Sediment Archive Drilling Project (PASADO)



Lake Potrok AikeAn international research group is applying for the research initiative "Potrok Aike Maar Lake Sediment Archive Drilling Project" (PASADO) within the framework of ICDP. The project will address several key issues related to the evolution of maar craters, to quantitative climatic and environmental reconstruction, fire history, tephra and dust deposition and palaeosecular variation of the Earth's magnetic field for the last several glacial to interglacial cycles. Moreover, dust and tephra records will provide links to marine sediment archives and ice cores. Obtained reconstructions of climate variability will be compared to climate simulations from GCM's to detect signals of climatic forcing.

Laguna Potrok Aike is located at 52°S within a 770 ka old maar of the Pali Aike Volcanic Field, southern Patagonia, Argentina. Due to its location the study site is well positioned to capture the dynamics of changes in atmospheric circulation of the southern mid-latitudes with a time resolution out of reach for marine sediments. This region is also the source area of the dust that fertilises the southern ocean with all its implications on the global carbon cycle. Recent seismic studies indicate that the lake basin of Laguna Potrok Aike contains an approximately 300 m thick, continuous sedimentary archive of geological, environmental and climatical processes. This record represents one of the longest and most continuous lake archives for non-tropical South America and the entire southern hemisphere. The sedimentary sequence of Laguna Potrok Aike can be recovered with coring technology available in the framework of ICDP, i.e. using the GLAD800 drilling system.

(Photo ©: SALSA team)



South America, Argentina, Southern Patagonia, Province of Santa Cruz, Laguna Potrok Aike



51° 58' 58'' S, 70° 22' 42'' W (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • Drilling was carried out from September to November 2008, core subsampling was accomplished in 2009 and analyses finished by 2012. In 2013 the PASADO special issue of the journal Quaternary Science Reviews will be printed, providing the highlights of this ICDP project.


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Bernd Zolitschka, University of Bremen, Institute of Geography
  • Flavio Anselmetti, University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences
  • Daniel Raul Ariztegui, Université de Genève, Sciences de la Terre et de l'environnement, Limnogeology and Geomicrobiology
  • Raymond S. Bradley, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Geosciences
  • Laurie L. Brown, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Geosciences
  • Hugo Corbella, Argentine Museum of Natural History
  • Hugo Corbella, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral, Unidad Académica Río Gallegos
  • Pierre Francus, Université du Québec á Québec, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement
  • Andreas Lücke, Research Center Jülich, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, 3: Agrosphere - ICG IV: Agrosphere
  • Nora Irene Maidana, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Departemento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental
  • Christian Ohlendorf, University of Bremen, Institute of Geography
  • Frank Schäbitz, University of Colorado at Arvada, Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center
  • Stefan Wastegård, University of Stockholm, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Department of Physical Geography


Cooperating Principal Investigators

No Co-PIs found for this project


Partners and Contractors



Argentina, Atmospheric Dust, Climate Modeling, GLAD800, ICDP-2007/01, Lake Drilling, Maar Formation, Maar Lake, PASADO, Patagonia, Potrok Aike, Quantitative Climate Reconstruction, Southern Hemispheric Westerlies, Volcanology


Current State
  • ICDP deep drilling was accomplished in November 2008. Core splitting and scanning of Site 2 was finished in May 2009. Subsampling of the composite profile of Site 2 was finished in December 2009. Core splitting and scanning of Site 1 was carried out in 2010. Analyses and data processing were mostly finished in 2012. Publication is ongoing: see special issue of Quaternary Science Reviews to be out in 2013! Many of the data sets published in this special issue are available at PANGAEA, the information system that aims at archiving, publishing and distributing data from global change research.




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