[PISDP] PISDP - Lake Petén Itzá Scientific Drilling Project

Climate & Ecosystems

Year of Application: 2004

Expedition ID: 5033

Current Status: completed

climate change
global environment
lake drilling
maya clay
Master Data

Dr. Burkhard Scharf (PI)
Prof. Dr. Antje Schwalb (PI)
Dr. Wolfgang Riss (PI)
Prof. Dr. Gerald Haug (PI)

Dr. Steffen Kutterolf (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Anja Schwarz (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Sergio Cohuo Durán (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Laura Anahi Macario Gonzalez (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Liseth Perez (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Thorsten Bauersachs (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Miguel Vences (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Lorenz Schwark (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Peter Frenzel (Scientific Participant)
Jochem Kück (OSG)
Dr. Ulrich Harms (OSG)

Projektstart: 2 January, 2005
Projektdauer: 2
Geologisches Alter: Pleistocene

Latitude: 16°59'58''N

South America

Regionen & Städte:

Lago Petén Itá

Longitude: 89°47'44''W



soft sediment

Drilling Data

Drilling Depth: 1533.6
Core Yield: 1400.4
Core Length: 1419.6
Amount of Drill Holes: 21
Amount of Drill Locations: 7

Core Length-Drill Depth-Ratio: 91.31
Core Yield-Core Length-Ratio: 98.65


We propose to use GLAD800 to drill a series of sites in Lake Peten-Itza, northern Guatemala, to recover sedimentary sequences along a depth transect from ~30 m to near the deepest point (~150 m) in the lake. Six primary and four alternative drilling sites have been identified on the basis of two detailed seismic surveys. A sequence stratigraphic approach will be employed to constrain the vertical range of past lake level variations for glacial, interstadial, and interglacial stages during the late Pleistocene. The basal age of the sections to be drilled is not certain but we estimate that sequences should span at least the last several glacial-to-interglacial cycles. The sediment archives and pore waters recovered by drilling will be used to test hypotheses related to three broad scientific themes: 1. Paleoclimatic history of the northern lowland Neotropics on orbital to suborbital time scales emphasizing marine-terrestrial linkages (e.g., Cariaco Basin, Greenland ice cores, etc.). 2. Paleoecology and biogeography of the Maya tropical lowland forest including the history of vegetation change and disturbance by humans, climate change, and fire. 3. Biogeochemical cycling in deep lake sediments emphasizing integrated studies of microbiology, geochemistry (interstitial waters), and mineral authigenesis/diagenesis. The research proposed here will result in the first comprehensive investigation into the microbial ecology and dominant geomicrobiological mediated processes occurring in deep subsurface lacustrine sediments. Science management and drilling operation plans are proposed to successfully achieve both scientific and technical objectives of the project. An international team of research scientists has been assembled to produce a comprehensive suite of paleoenvironmental and biogeochemical measurements on the cores and pore fluids recovered from Lake Peten-Itza.

Related Publications

Pérez, Liseth, Correa-Metrio, Alex, Cohuo, Sergio, González, Laura Macario, Echeverría-Galindo, Paula, Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason, Kutterolf, Steffen, Stockhecke, Mona, Schenk, Frederik, Bauersachs, Thorsten, Schwalb, Antje (2021). "Ecological turnover in neotropical freshwater and terrestrial communities during episodes of abrupt climate change" Quaternary Research p26-36

Cohuo, S., Macario-González, L., Wagner, S., Naumann, K., Echeverría-Galindo, P., Pérez, L., Curtis, J., Brenner, M., Schwalb, A. (2020). "Influence of late Quaternary climate on the biogeography of Neotropical aquatic species as reflected by non-marine ostracodes" Biogeosciences p145-161

Cohuo, Sergio, Macario-González, Laura, Pérez, Liseth, Sylvestre, Florence, Paillès, Christine, Curtis, Jason H., Kutterolf, Steffen, Wojewódka, Marta, Zawisza, Edyta, Szeroczyńska, Krystyna, Schwalb, Antje (2018). "Climate ultrastructure and aquatic community response to Heinrich Stadials (HS5a-HS1) in the continental northern Neotropics" Quaternary Science Reviews 197 p75-91

Macario-Gonzalez, Laura, Cohuo, Sergio, Elias-Gutierrez, Manuel, Vences, Miguel, Perez, Liseth, Schwalb, Antje (2018). "Integrative taxonomy of freshwater ostracodes (Crustacea: Ostracoda) of the Yucatán Peninsula, implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions in the northern Neotropical region" Zoologischer Anzeiger 275 p20-36

Macario Gonzalez, Laura Anahi (2017). "Environmental history of the last 400,000 years in the northern Neotropical region based on Lake Petén Itzá sediments" Dissertation

Cohuo Duran, Sergio (2017). "Late Quaternary abrupt climatic changes in the northern Neotropical region and their influence on aquatic ecosystem stability" Dissertation

Cohuo Duran, Sergio, Macario-González, Laura, Pérez, Liseth, Schwalb, Antje (2017). "Overview of Neotropical-Caribbean freshwater ostracode fauna (Crustacea, Ostracoda): identifying areas of endemism and assessing biogeographical affinities" Hydrobiologia 786 p5-21

Kutterolf, S., Schindlbeck, J. C., Anselmetti, F. S., Ariztegui, D., Brenner, M., Curtis, J., Schmid, D., Hodell, D. A., Mueller, A., Pérez, L., Pérez, W., Schwalb, A., Frische, M., Wang, K. L. (2016). "A 400-ka tephrochronological framework for Central America from Lake Petén Itzá (Guatemala) sediments" Quaternary Science Reviews 150 p200-220

Wojewódka, Marta, Zawisza, Edyta, Cohuo, Sergio, Macario-González, Laura, Schwalb, Antje, Zawiska, Izabela, Pérez, Liseth (2016). "Ecology of Cladocera species from Central America based on subfossil assemblages" Advances in Oceanography and Limnology 7 p151-162

Pérez, Liseth, Lorenschat, Julia, Massaferro, Julieta, Pailles, Christine, Sylvestre, Florence, Hollwedel, Werner, Brandorff, Gerd-Oltmann, Brenner, Mark, Gerald, Islebe, Lozano, María del Socorro, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2013). "Bioindicators of climate and trophic state in lowland and highland aquatic ecosystems of the Northern Neotropics" Revista de Biología Tropical 61 p603-644

Pérez, Liseth, Curtis, Jason, Brenner, Mark, Hodell, David, Escobar, Jaime, Lozano, Socorro, Schwalb, Antje (2013). "Stable isotope values (δ18O & δ13C) of multiple ostracode species in a large Neotropical lake as indicators of past changes in hydrology" Quaternary Science Reviews 66 p96-111

Escobar, Jaime, Hodell, David A., Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H., Gilli, Adrian, Mueller, Andreas D., Anselmetti, Flavio S., Ariztegui, Daniel, Grzesik, Dustin A., Pérez, Liseth, Schwalb, Antje, Guilderson, Thomas P. (2012). "A ∼43-ka record of paleoenvironmental change in the Central American lowlands inferred from stable isotopes of lacustrine ostracods" Quaternary Science Reviews p92-104

Pérez, LISETH, Lorenschat, JULIA, Brenner, MARK, Scharf, BURKHARD, Schwalb, ANTJE, Cano, E, Shuster, J (2012). "Non-marine ostracodes (Crustacea) of Guatemala" Biodiversidad de Guatemala 2 p121-131

Pérez, Liseth, Bugja, Rita, Lorenschat, Julia, Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason, Hoelzmann, Philipp, Islebe, Gerald, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2011). "Aquatic ecosystems of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), Belize, and Guatemala" Hydrobiologia 661 p407-433

Pérez, Liseth, Frenzel, Peter, Brenner, Mark, Escobar, Jaime, Hoelzmann, Philipp, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2011). "Late Quaternary (24–10 ka BP) environmental history of the Neotropical lowlands inferred from ostracodes in sediments of Lago Petén Itzá, Guatemala" Journal of Paleolimnology 46 p59-74

Alexander Correa-Metrio, Mark B. Bush, Liseth Pérez, Antje Schwalb, Kenneth R. Cabrera (2011). "Pollen distribution along climatic and biogeographic gradients in northern Central America" The Holocene 21 p681-692

Perez, Liseth, Lorenschat, Julia, Bugja, Rita, Brenner, Mark, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2010). "Distribution, diversity and ecology of modern freshwater ostracodes (Crustacea), and hydrochemical characteristics of Lago Petén Itzá, Guatemala" Journal of Limnology 69 (1) p146-159

Pérez, Liseth, Lorenschat, Julia, Brenner, Mark, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2010). "Extant freshwater ostracodes (Crustacea: Ostracoda) from Lago Petén Itzá, Guatemala" Revista de Biología Tropical 58 (3) p871-895

Pérez, Liseth (2010). "Non-marine ostracodes from the Yucatán Peninsula as late Quaternary paleoenvironmental indicators" Dissertation

Pérez, Liseth, Bugja, Rita, Massaferro, Julieta, Steeb, Philip, van Geldern, Robert, Frenzel, Peter, Brenner, Mark, Scharf, Burkhard, Schwalb, Antje (2010). "Post-Columbian environmental history of Lago Petén Itzá, Guatemala" Rev. Mex. Cienc. Geol p490-507

Hodell, David A, Anselmetti, Flavio S, Ariztegui, Daniel, Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H, Gilli, Adrian, Grzesik, Dustin A, Guilderson, Thomas J, Müller, Andreas D, Bush, Mark B, Correa-Metrio, Alexander, Escobar, Jaime, Kutterolf, Steffen (2008). "An 85-ka record of climate change in lowland Central America" Quaternary Science Reviews 27, no. 11-12 p1152-1165

PÉREZ, L., , ALFARO, G., PALMIERI, M, DIX, M., MALDONADO, M., ISLEBE, G., SCHARF, B., SCHWALB. A. (2008). "Paleoclima y paleoecología de las tierras bajas del norte de los neotrópicos: investigación limnológica y extracción de sedimentos del lago Petén Itzá (Guatemala). " Revista de la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala 18 p65-83