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Mediterranean climate since the Middle Pleistocene: a 640 ka stable isotope record from Lake Ohrid (Albania/Macedonia)

Lacey, J.H.; Leng, M.J.; Francke, A.; Sloane, H.J.; Milodowski, A.; Vogel, H.; Baumgarten, H.; Wagner, B.. 2015 Mediterranean climate since the Middle Pleistocene: a 640 ka stable isotope record from Lake Ohrid (Albania/Macedonia). Biogeosciences Discussions, 12 (16). 13427-13481. 10.5194/bgd-12-13427-2015

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Abstract/Summary

Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania) is an ancient lake with a unique biodiversity and a site of global significance for investigating the influence of climate, geological and tectonic events on the generation of endemic populations. Here, we present oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope data on carbonate from the upper ca. 248 m of sediment cores recovered as part of the Scientific Collaboration on Past Speciation Conditions in Lake Ohrid (SCOPSCO) project, covering the past 640 ka. Previous studies on short cores from the lake (up to 15 m, < 140 ka) have indicated the Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC) content of sediments to be highly sensitive to climate change over the last glacial–interglacial cycle, comprising abundant endogenic calcite through interglacials and being almost absent in glacials, apart from discrete bands of early diagenetic authigenic siderite. Isotope measurements on endogenic calcite (δ18Oc and δ13Cc) reveal variations both between and within interglacials that suggest the lake has been subject to hydroclimate fluctuations on orbital and millennial timescales. We also measured isotopes on authigenic siderite (δ18Os and δ13Cs) and, with the δ18OCc and δ18Os, reconstruct δ18O of lakewater (δ18Olw) through the 640 ka. Overall, glacials have lower δ18Olw when compared to interglacials, most likely due to cooler summer temperatures, a higher proportion of winter precipitation (snowfall), and a reduced inflow from adjacent Lake Prespa. The isotope stratigraphy suggests Lake Ohrid experienced a period of general stability through Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 15 to MIS 13, highlighting MIS 14 as a particularly warm glacial, and was isotopically freshest during MIS 9. After MIS 9, the variability between glacial and interglacial δ18Olw is enhanced and the lake became increasingly evaporated through to present day with MIS 5 having the highest average δ18Olw. Our results provide new evidence for long-term climate change in the northern Mediterranean region, which will form the basis to better understand the influence of major environmental events on biological evolution within the lake.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.5194/bgd-12-13427-2015
ISSN: 1810-6285
Date made live: 21 Aug 2015 07:47 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511631

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