EGU2020-8574, updated on 10 Jan 2022
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Environmental and climate dynamics in northeastern Siberia according to diatom oxygen isotopes

Svetlana Kostrova1,2, Hanno Meyer1, Luidmila Pestryakova3, Boris Biskaborn1, Francisco Fernandoy4, and Marlene Baumer5
Svetlana Kostrova et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany (;;
  • 2Vinogradov Institute of Geochemistry, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia (
  • 3North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, Institute of Natural Sciences, Yakutsk, Russia (
  • 4Facultad de Ingeniería, Laboratorio de análisis isotópico, Universidad Andrés Bello, Viña del Mar, Chile (
  • 5Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (

The sedimentary sequence from Lake Emanda (65°17′N; 135°45′E; 675 m a.s.l), one large freshwater body (33.1 km2) in the continuous permafrost of the Verkhoyansk Mountains, has been investigated within the German-Russian ‘Paleolimnological Transect’ (PLOT) project. It provided important insight into the environmental and climate dynamics in northeastern Siberia.

Well preserved diatoms occur only in the upper 125-cm interval of a 6.1-m sediment core (Co1412) covering the last ca. 13.4 cal. ka BP, and are mostly dominated by Cyclotella iris (up to 84%). The diatom succession is enriched by fragilarioid assemblages in the interval from ca. 11.0 to 13.0 cal. ka BP, while Aulacoseira ambigua is more frequent between 8.5 and 6.5 cal. ka BP. Diatoms were purified to > 98% SiO2 and < 0.8% Al2O3 suitable for oxygen isotope (δ18Odiatom) analysis. The δ18Odiatom values were corrected for contamination and range between +22.5‰ and +27.3‰. Maximum δ18Odiatom values (+26.7 to +27.3‰) are registered between 9.0 and 9.9 cal. ka BP and probably reflect a thermal maximum and/or very dry conditions in Early Holocene. The absolute minimum (+22.5‰) in the δ18Odiatom record is marked at 0.4 cal. ka BP and likely corresponds to the Little Ice Age. In general, a gradual depletion of 4.8‰ in δ18Odiatom is observed within the last 10 cal. ka, in line with an overall Holocene temperature decrease.

Our conclusions are based on a comprehensive investigation of both the modern hydrological system and diatom species analyses. The most recent δ18Odiatom = +24.2‰ combined with the present day lake water isotope composition (mean δ18Olake = −16.5‰), indicates a reasonable water−silica isotope fractionation (α = 1.0414) yielding a water temperature of 12 °C. The data demonstrate that the δ18Odiatom variability is associated with changes in the lake water isotopic composition rather than with lake temperature. The present water isotopic composition of Lake Emanda displays substantial evaporation effects, likely further influenced by air temperature and atmospheric circulation.

How to cite: Kostrova, S., Meyer, H., Pestryakova, L., Biskaborn, B., Fernandoy, F., and Baumer, M.: Environmental and climate dynamics in northeastern Siberia according to diatom oxygen isotopes, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8574,, 2020.

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