Holocene hydroclimate of the subtropical Mexico: A state of the art

Priyadarsi D. Roy, Jesús David Quiroz-Jiménez, Claudia M. Chávez-Lara, José Luis Sánchez-Zavala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The semiarid and arid subtropical Mexico has heterogeneous modern climate, and its different parts receive rainfall associated with the North American Monsoon (NAM) system, tropical storms, and westerlies. Increase in the number of paleoclimate registers with multidisciplinary studies has improved our understanding of this complex desert ecosystem during the intervals of millennial-scale global climate changes that occurred over the Holocene. This chapter describes and synthesizes the information of vegetation and dynamics of precipitation-desertification reconstructed from biological, physical, and chemical proxies in geological deposits (e.g., lacustrine deposit, paleosol, pack rat midden, sand dune, and speleothem) into four different climate regions (i.e., northeastern Mexico, NAM, desert, and south Baja) of the subtropical Mexico. The proxy records are compared with different climate forcings such as insolation strength, mean position of Intertropical Convergence Zone, El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity, and sea surface temperatures of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Heterogeneity in hydroclimates of these climate regions is evaluated with respect to previously proposed hypotheses and a new hypothesis associated with size of the Atlantic warm pool. Tropical storms and their trajectories played important roles and contributed to the variable hydroclimates. ENSO was the dominant forcing during the late Holocene, and it generally caused reduction in total annual precipitation and enhancement in the aridity. Some parts, however, received more winter precipitation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Holocene and Anthropocene Environmental History of Mexico
Subtitle of host publicationA Paleoecological Approach on Mesoamerica
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9783030317195
ISBN (Print)9783030317188
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2019


  • Hypothesis
  • Paleoclimate
  • Paleovegetation
  • Proxy
  • Register

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