Lithostratigraphic and Magnetostratigraphic Data From Late Cenozoic Glacial and Proglacial Sequences Underlying the Altiplano at La Paz, Bolivia

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Roberts, N. J., Barendregt, R. W., & Clague, J. J. (2018). Lithostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic data from late Cenozoic glacial and proglacial sequences underlying the Altiplano at La Paz, Bolivia. Data in Brief19, 965–987. DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.05.038.

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Plio-Pleistocene transition
Mid-Piacenzian warm period
Glacial stratigraphy
South America
Central Andes
Detrital remanent magnetization
Magnetic susceptibility

We provide lithostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic data derived from a Plio-Pleistocene continental sediment sequence underlying the Altiplano plateau at La Paz, Bolivia. The record comprises six sections along the upper Río La Paz valley, totaling over one kilometre of exposure and forming a ~20-km transect oblique to the adjacent Cordillera Real. Lithostratigraphic characterization includes lithologic and stratigraphic descriptions of units and their contacts. We targeted gravel and diamicton units for paleomagnetic sampling to address gaps in the only previous magnetostratigraphic study from this area. Paleomagnetic data – magnetic susceptibility and primary remanent magnetization revealed by progressive alternating field demagnetization – are derived from 808 individually oriented samples of flat-lying, fine-grained sediments. The datasets enable characterization of paleo-surfaces within the sequence, correlation between stratigraphic sections, and differentiation of asynchronous, but lithologically similar units. Correlation of the composite polarity sequence to the geomagnetic polarity time scale supports a range of late Cenozoic paleoenvironmental topics of regional to global importance: the number and ages of early glaciations in the tropical Andes; interhemispheric comparison of paleoclimate during the Plio-Pleistocene climatic transition; timing of and controls on inter-American faunal exchange; and the variability of Earth's paleomagnetic field.

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