A 1000-year isotope-based record of climate variability inferred from the sediments of Lake Yukidori, East Antarctica

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Australasian Quaternary Association Inc.
Anthropogenic contributors to global warming are extensively altering climate and ice melt patterns in the polar regions. The Antarctic ice sheet is responsible for aspects of global climate regulation. It is vital to construct a comprehensive model of historical climate fluctuations and their consequences in the region, to effectively predict future scenarios under the current climate regime. To supplement detailed ice core records, Antarctic coastal lake sediments are a valuable paleoclimate and hydrological proxy, providing alternative indicators of environmental and climatic changes in ice-free areas. Here, we analysed a sediment core from Lake Yukidori on the Langhovde Peninsula of East Antarctica. The Yukidori sediments consist of organic rich sediments, mostly derived from aquatic mosses which grow on the lake floor. The lake itself is freely drained and freshwater, receiving water from snowmelt in a relatively small, mountainous catchment. Bulk sediment carbon and nitrogen concentration and carbon, nitrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios were used to infer changes in lake primary productivity and the oxygen isotope composition of precipitation over the last 1000 years. The 18O/16O data exhibit marked centennial-scale variability and no marked change in the recent, post-industrial period. 15N/14N data, by contrast, suggest a notable increase in lake primary productivity in the last century, possibly a result of an increase in the seasonal ice-free period. Further work is needed to improve the chronology of the recent sediments at Lake Yukidori, and to validate these proxies in this remote environment.
Climates, Antarctica, Sediments, Coastal regions, Environment, Watersheds, Oxygen isotopes, Carbon
Toben, L., Rudd, R., Jacobsen, G., & Tyler, J. (2022). A 1000-year isotope-based record of climate variability inferred from the sediments of Lake Yukidori, East Antarctica. Paper presented to the AQUA 2022 Conference, 6-8th December, Adelaide, (pp. 165). Retrieved from: https://aqua.org.au/conference/aqua-2022/aqua-2022-conference-program-and-abstracts/