Geography Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research

Document Type


Publication Date




A previous study of carbon isotopes in the sediments of a glacial lake in Costa Rica led to the hypothesis that changes in the migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the course of the Holocene significantly affected the hydrology of the surrounding high-elevation páramo ecosystem. This hypothesis was based on millennial-scale changes in terrestrial n-alkane carbon isotope (δ13C) values in a sediment core from Lago de las Morrenas 1, a tarn on the Chirripó massif of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Here we present terrestrial n-alkane hydrogen isotope (δD) data, a more direct proxy of ecosystem drought stress, from the same core. These new data support the previous hypothesis and confirm that the effects of millennial-scale ITCZ dynamics in the circum-Caribbean region were not restricted to tropical lowlands. In southern Central America, these dynamics may have played a fundamental role in millennial-scale fire dynamics in high-elevation páramo ecosystems.

Submission Type

Publisher's Version

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."