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Title: Palaeoclimate interpretation of stable isotope data from lake sediment archives
Authors: Leng, Melanie J.
Marshall, Jim D.
First Published: Apr-2004
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary Science Reviews, 2004, 23 (7-8), pp. 811–831
Abstract: The isotope composition of authigenic and biogenic carbonates and diatom silica are commonly used as palaeoclimate proxies from lake sediments. This article reviews the controls on the isotope composition of lacustrine skeletal and non-skeletal deposits and illustrates how stable isotope studies contribute to an understanding of changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, evaporation and the carbon cycle. It highlights the differences in the palaeoclimate potential of a wide range of lakes ranging from open to closed lake basins. A large number of the case histories, but not all, are drawn from studies of temperate lakes from Europe. Large closed lake systems, in the tropics and elsewhere, lose water predominantly through evaporation, and contain sediments with variable and generally high δ[superscript 18]O values. Fluctuations in the isotope composition of authigenic or biogenic minerals are mainly a function of long-term changes in the precipitation/evaporation ratio. In contrast small open lakes which have a degree of through-flow typically contain sediments with δ[superscript 18]O values that vary by no more than a few ‰. These variations are generally ascribed to variations in temperature or the isotope composition of precipitation (δp), from which either an annual or seasonally specific signal can be gained. These types of lakes are common in Northern Europe and at high altitudes. The interpretation of isotope data from a lacustrine succession requires a knowledge of the local processes that might control and modify the signal. Their effects need to be quantified, and a robust calibration using the modern lake system is necessary to establish the relationship between the measured signal, the isotopic composition of the host waters, and climate.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2003.06.012
ISSN: 0277-3791
eISSN: 1873-457X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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