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Holocene Paleohydrology and Paleoclimate at Treeline, North-Central Russia, Inferred from Oxygen Isotope Records in Lake Sediment Cellulose

  • Brent B. Wolfe (a1), Thomas W. D. Edwards (a2), Ramon Aravena (a1), Steven L. Forman (a2), Barry G. Warner (a3), Andrei A. Velichko (a4) and Glen M. MacDonald (a5)...

Lake-water oxygen-isotope histories for three lakes in northern Russia, derived from the cellulose oxygen-isotope stratigraphies of sediment cores, provide the basis for preliminary reconstruction of Holocene paleohydrology in two regions along the boreal treeline. Deconvolution of shifting precipitation δ18O from secondary evaporative isotopic enrichment is aided by knowledge of the distribution of isotopes in modern precipitation, the isotopic composition of paleo-waters preserved in frozen peat deposits, as well as other supporting paleoclimatic information. These data indicate that during the early Holocene, when the boreal treeline advanced to the current arctic coastline, conditions in the lower Yenisey River region were moist compared to the present, whereas greater aridity prevailed to the east near the lower Lena River. This longitudinal moisture gradient is consistent with the suggestion that oceanic forcing (increased sea-surface temperatures in the Nordic Seas and reduced sea-ice cover) was a major contributor to the development of a more maritime climate in western Eurasia, in addition to increased summer insolation. East of the Taimyr Peninsula, large tracts of the continental shelf exposed by glacial sea-level drawdown may have suppressed maritime climatic influence in what are now coastal areas. In contrast, during the late Holocene the two regions have apparently experienced coherent shifts in effective moisture. The similarity of the records may primarily reflect reduced North Atlantic influence in the Nordic Seas and southward retreat of coastline in eastern Siberia, coupled with declining summer insolation.

Corresponding author
1Also: Institut für Hydrologie, GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, 85764 Oberschleissheim, Germany.
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