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Human Traces webinar series: Tackling the evolution and dynamics of the Anthropocene from sedimentary records in artificial lakes of Central Argentina: The water quality challenge

Online meeting
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Nathalie Dubois
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Date: 20 October 2023
Time: 14:00 UTC
Speaker: Dr. Silvana Halac
Title: Tackling the evolution and dynamics of the Anthropocene from sedimentary records in artificial lakes of Central Argentina:  The water quality challenge
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Artificial lakes play a crucial role in human societies by providing various benefits such as water supply, irrigation, flood control, recreation, food production and renewable energy.

In South America, reservoirs are predominantly concentrated in Brazil, but they are also found in semi-arid regions like the central and northwest parts of Argentina. Given the current global environmental deterioration of reservoirs in South America, primarily caused by human activities, and the relatively short duration of instrumental monitoring (approximately 20 years), the paleolimnological archives of these reservoirs offer a unique opportunity to reconstruct their environmental trajectory from their initial state to the present.

In Central Argentina, the majority of reservoirs are located in Cordoba. Among them, the San Roque reservoir holds the distinction of being the oldest in South America, having been constructed in 1888. It is a hypereutrophic system that has been monitored on a monthly basis since 1999 until the present day. The interdisciplinary approach utilized in these studies incorporated the field of geography, enabling the examination of the intricate connection between natural and social dimensions. This approach has further allowed for the correlation of various environmental scenarios with changes in land use along the watershed.


Silvana Halac is a researcher at the Earth Sciences Research Center (Conicet, Argentina) and holds a professorship at the National University of Cordoba. Her research primarily revolves around the study of continental water systems, with a specific focus on understanding their dynamics, functioning, and the impact of human activities on them. She is particularly interested in investigating the sedimentary fill in reservoirs and lakes to reconstruct the environmental processes that have taken place during the Anthropocene era. To complement this line of research, she also analyzes contemporary limnological data, specifically focusing on the eutrophication process, hydroclimatic variations, and land use patterns. By integrating both past and present environmental data, her aim is to provide tools for the effective management and restoration of inland aquatic systems.


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