Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the last glacial cycle in the continental Iberia: the Cañizar de Villarquemado sequence (Teruel)

P. González-Sampériz, E. García-Prieto, J. Aranbarri, Blas Lorenzo Valero-Garcés, A. Moreno, Graciela Gil-Romera, Miguel Sevilla-Callejo, L. Santos, M. Morellón, P. Mata, Antonia Andrade, José Sebastián Carrión


El Cañizar de Villarquemado sequence (North-eastern Iberian Peninsula) stands as an exceptional palaeoenvironmental record for the last 130 000 years. The preliminary multidisciplinary study carried out so far include pollen and sedimentological analyses, comprising geochemical, X ray fluorescence (XRF), mineralogical, organic and inorganic content (TOC/TIC) analyses. The chronological model has been established combining AMS 14C on the first 20 m of sediment and OSL methods on the remaining 54 m to the bottom. The sedimentary sequence is essentially formed by alternating facies of peatbogs and wetlands with those of distal alluvial fan deposits and others of carbonate lake. The results currently obtained support relatively humid conditions at El Cañizar de Villarquemado during a likely MIS6-MIS5 period, as errors linked to the age model prevent us to guarantee precisely the period boundaries. Despite indications of humidity, the regional vegetation variations during the MIS6-MIS5 period, essentially represented by Juniperus, were constrained by the intense continentality of the area, resulting in unexpected pollen assemblages for an interglacial period as the Eemian. The most arid phase of the sequence is registered during the MIS3, as shown by the available sedimentological and palynological results, while the MIS2 presents greater local and regional variability as proved by the sedimentary facies and aquatics and the other pollen spectra, respectively. The Holocene presents an abrupt onset regarding palaeohydrology while terrestrial vegetation, dominated by pine instead than Juniperus as in the sequence’s bottom, show a resilient response as these are well adapted communities to extreme continentality. The later development of both, evergreen and marcescent Quercus, together with the presence of pine woodland, indicate very different climatic conditions between the MIS5 and MIS1 interglacial periods.


hydrological variability, continentality, resilience, aridity, Eemian, Holocene, last glacial cycle,


© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540