Quaternary palaeohydrological evolution of a playa lake: Salada Mediana, central Ebro Basin, Spain

Authors

  • Blas L. Valero-GarcÉs,

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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  • 1 Antonio Delgado-Huertas,

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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  • 2 Ana Navas,

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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  • 3 Javier MachÍn,

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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  • 3 PenÉlope GonzÁlez-SampÉriz,

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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  • and 1 Kerry Kelts 4

    1. 1 Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain (E-mail: blas@ipe.csic.es; pgonzal@posta.unizar.es) 2Estacion Experimental del Zaidin CSIC, Prof. Albareda 18008 Granada, Spain3Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CSIC, Apdo 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain4Limnological Research Center, U of MN, 220 Pillsbury Hall, Minneapolis MN-55455, USA
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Abstract

Sedimentary features, mineralogy, bulk geochemical composition, stable isotope analyses and pollen data from sediment cores were used to reconstruct the Late Quaternary depositional evolution of the Salada Mediana playa lake (central Ebro Basin, northeastern Spain). The 150-cm-long sediment core sequence is composed of gypsum- and dolomite-rich muds (Lower and Middle sections) and black, laminated, calcite-bearing sediments (Upper section). The Salada Mediana formed as a karstic depression in the Miocene gypsum substratum during the Late Pleistocene. The Lower section was deposited in a sulphate–carbonate saline lake that ended with a period of desiccation and basin floor deflation. Subsequent deposition (Middle section) took place in a playa-lake system. Two cycles of lower water table and expanded saline mud flats occurred. The Holocene sequence is missing, probably as a result of aeolian erosion. Sedimentation resumed only a few centuries ago, and saline pan environments dominated until modern times. The Salada Mediana facies succession was mainly governed by fluctuations in the hydrological balance, brine composition, and salinity; however, aeolian processes (detrital input and deflation) and recycling of previously precipitated salts also played a significant role.

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