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The MexiDrill project is funded under the joint NSF/NERC scheme (July 2018-2023). This project draws upon 500m-long sediment cores collected on the southern edge of Mexico City in 2016, as part of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program. The cores recovered in the project provide one of the longest continuous climate records from tropical North America, allowing reconstruction of climate through past glacial cycles and investigation of rates of climate and environmental change and ecosystem responses. The UK (NERC funded) side of the project will focus on developing this chronology (using radiocarbon dates and Ar/Ar ages) and investigating the volcanic record. The volcanic eruption deposits in the core originate from a number of local volcanic sources, including large eruptions from volcanoes such as Popocatépetl and Nevado de Toluca, and some large eruptions with regional-scale ash dispersal that may be used to correlate the core with other climatic archives. As well as providing important chronological constraints, the volcanic deposits will significantly extend knowledge of volcanic hazards in the region.

UK research team:

Professor Victoria Smith (tephrochronology and volcanic geology)

Dr Sebastian Watt (tephrochronology and volcanic geology)

Dr Maarten Blaauw (radiocarbon chronology)

Professor Darren Mark (Ar/Ar chronology)

Dr Alistair Hodgetts - Doctoral researcher on the project (2017-2022)

Dr Ivan Sunyé-Puchol – Postdoctoral Researcher on the project (2018-2020). Now a Marie- Skłodowska Research Fellow at the University of Sapienza.

Papers from the project:

Brown, E.T., Caballero, M., Cano, E.C., Fawcett, P.J., Lozano-García, S., Ortega, B., Pérez, L., Schwalb, A., Smith, V., Steinman, B.A., Stockhecke, M., Valero-Garcés, B., Watt, S., Wattrus, N.J., Werne, J.P., Wonik, T., Myrbo, A.E., Noren, A.J., Grady, R.O. amp apos, Schnurrenberger, D., Team, the M., 2019. Scientific drilling of Lake Chalco, Basin of Mexico (MexiDrill). Scientific Drilling 26, 1–15.

Martínez-Abarca, R., Ortega-Guerrero, B., Lozano-García, S., Caballero, M., Valero-Garcés, B., McGee, D., Brown, E.T., Stockhecke, M., Hodgetts, A.G.E., 2021. Sedimentary stratigraphy of Lake Chalco (Central Mexico) during its formative stages. International Journal of Earth Sciences 1–21.

Sunyé-Puchol, I., Hodgetts, A.G.E., Watt, S.F.L., Arce, J.L., Barfod, D., Mark, D.F., Sosa-Ceballos, G., Siebe, C., Dymock, R.C., Blaauw, M., & Smith, V.C. (2022). Reconstructing the middle to late Pleistocene explosive eruption histories of Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl and Tláloc-Telapón volcanoes in Central México. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 421, 107413. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2021.107413

Valero-Garcés, B. et al. (2021). Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Upper Pleistocene to Holocene Lake Chalco Drill Cores (Mexico Basin). In: Rosen, M.R., Finkelstein, D.B., Park Boush, L., Pla-Pueyo, S. (eds) Limnogeology: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities. Syntheses in Limnogeology. Springer, Cham.

Further information on the project:

US research

Video on the Chalco project

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