Holocene paleolimnological changes in Lake Skallen Oike in the Syowa Station area of Antarctica inferred from organic components in a sediment core (Sk4C-02)

Genki I. Matsumoto, Yukinori Tani, Koji Seto, Tomoko Tazawa, Masumi Yamamuro, Takahiro Watanabe, Toshio Nakamura, Tetsuo Takemura, Satoshi Imura, Hiroshi Kanda

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Antarctic climate changes influence environmental changes at both regional and local scales. Here we report Holocene paleolimnological changes in lake sediment core Sk4C-02 (length 378.0 cm) from Lake Skallen Oike in the Soya Kaigan region of East Antarctica inferred from analyses of sedimentary facies, a range of organic components, isotope ratios of organic carbon and nitrogen, and carbon-14 dating by Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometry. The sediment core was composed of clayish mud (378.0-152.5 cm) overlain by organic sediments (152.5 cm-surface). The age of the surface and the core bottom were 150 (AD1950-1640) and ca. 7,030 ± 73 calibrated years before present (cal BP), respectively, and the mean sedimentation rate was estimated to be 0.55 mm/year. Multi-proxy analyses revealed that the principal environmental change in the core is a transition from marine to lacustrine environments which occurred at a depth of 152.5 cm (ca. 3,590 cal BP). This was caused by relative sea level change brought about by ongoing retreat of glaciers during the mid-Holocene warming of Antarctica, and ongoing isostatic uplift which outpaced changes in global (eustatic) sea level. The mean isostatic uplift rate was calculated to be 2.8 mm/year. The coastal marine period (378.0-152.5 cm, ca. 7,030-3,590 cal BP) was characterized by low biological production with the predominance of diatoms. During the transition period from marine to freshwater conditions (152.5-approximately 135 cm, ca. 3,590-3,290 cal BP) the lake was stratified with marine water overlain by freshwater, with a chemocline and an anoxic (sulfidic) layer in the bottom of the photic zone. Green sulfur bacteria and Cryptophyta were the major photosynthetic organisms. The Cryptophyta appeared to be tolerant of the moderate salinity and stratified water conditions. The lacustrine period (approximately 135 cm-surface, ca. 3,290 cal BP-present) was characterized by high biological production by green algae (e. g. Comarium clepsydra and Oedegonium spp.) with some contributions from cyanobacteria and diatoms. Biological production during this period was 8.7 times higher than during the coastal marine period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-693
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug


  • AMS carbon-14 dating
  • Antarctic lake
  • Organic components
  • Paleolimnological change
  • Sediment core
  • Uplifting rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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