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Compositional variations in sedimentary lacustrine organic matter and their implications for high Alpine Holocene environmental changes: Lake St. Moritz, Switzerland

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Farrimond


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Organic mailer accumulation and preservation in lakes with different geomorphological and climatic regimes, is directly influenced not only by local but also by regional and more global climatic conditions. Thus, compositional variations in lacustrine organic matter can be used as good indicators of paleoenvironmental conditions of deposition. Relatively high average TOC (1.0 6.5 wt%) and good lamination characterize most of the Holocene sequence of Lake St. Moritz, an Alpine lake located in SE Switzerland. However, variations in the type and quality of the organic matter at discrete intervals have been distinguished using hulk parameters and biomarker distributions. The most prominent change occurs at the Late Glacial Holocene boundary, where δ10C(10m). Hydrogen Index and lipid concentrations indicate it substantial increase in primary productivity Organic mailer production and preservation appear to dominate from the early Holocene until approximately 3.8 Ka BP, although variations in sterol contents and fatty acid distributions indicate superimposed fluctuations, such as between 8.3 and 8.1 Ka BP and 5.1 to 4.8 Ka BP. These variations in the lake trophic-state can be correlated with other proglacial lakes in the region, as well as with similar lacustrine records on both sides of the Alps. The result of this comparison indicates a synchronous character of major to medium-amplitude climatic shifts on a European scale.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ariztegui D, Farrimond P, McKenzie JA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry

Year of Conference: 1996

Pages: 453-461

ISSN: 0146-6380

Publisher: Organic Geochemistry


DOI: 10.1016/0146-6380(96)00046-0