Skip to main content

A multi-proxy approach to assessing isolation basin stratigraphy from the Lofoten Islands, Norway

  • Nicholas L. Balascio (a1), Zhaohui Zhang (a1), Raymond S. Bradley (a1), Bianca Perren (a2), Svein Olaf Dahl (a3) (a4) and Jostein Bakke (a3) (a4)...

This study takes a comprehensive approach to characterizing the isolation sequence of Heimerdalsvatnet, a coastal lake in the Lofoten Islands, northern Norway. We use established methods and explore new techniques to assess changes in marine influence. Bathymetric and sub-bottom profiles were acquired to examine basin-wide sedimentation and a 5.8 m sediment core spanning the last 7800 cal yr BP was analyzed. We measured magnetic susceptibility, bulk organic matter properties, molecular biomarkers, diatom assemblages, and elemental profiles acquired by scanning X-ray fluorescence. These characteristics of the sediment reflect detailed changes in salinity and water column conditions as the lake was progressively isolated. Three distinct litho/chemo-stratigraphic units represent a restricted marine phase (7800–6500 cal yr BP), a transitional phase characterized by intermittent marine influence (6500–4900 cal yr BP), and complete isolation and freshwater sedimentation (4900 cal yr BP to present). Although there are uncertainties in the estimate of the threshold elevation of the lake, the timing of these phases generally corresponds with previous interpretations of the local relative sea-level history. This record captures sea-level regression following the Tapes transgression and supports the interpretation of a subsequent sea-level stillstand, dated in Heimerdalsvatnet from 6500 to 4900 cal yr BP.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (N.L. VBalascio).
Hide All
1 Current address: Department of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China.
Hide All
Alloway, B.V., Larsen, G., Lowe, D.J., Shane, P.A.R., and Westgate, J.A. Tephrochronology. Elias, S.A. Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. (2006). Elsevier, Oxford. 28692898.
Bargel, T.H., (2003). Quaternary geological mapping of Fennoscandia and Nordland: deglaciation, deposits, stratigraphy and applications. Ph.D. thesis. Department of Geology and Mineral Resources Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, pp. 324.
Barrick, R.C., Hedges, J.I., and Peterson, M.L. Hydrocarbon geochemistry of the Puget Sound region. 1. Sedimentary acyclic hydrocarbons. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 44, (1980). 13491362.
Bendle, J.A.P., Rosell-Melé, A., Cox, N.J., and Shennan, I. Alkenones, alkenoates and organic matter in coastal environments of N.W. Scotland: assessment of potential application for sea-level reconstruction. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 10, (2009). Q12003
Bergström, E. Den prerecenta lokalglaciationens utbredningshistoria inom Skanderna. Naturgeografiska institutionen, University of Stockholm. Forskningsrapport 16, (1973). 214
Corner, G.D., and Haugane, E. Marine-lacustrine stratigraphy of raised coastal basins and postglacial sea-level change at Lyngen and Vanna, Troms, northern Norway. Nor. Geol. Tidsskr. 73, (1993). 175197.
Corner, G.D., Yevzerov, V.Y., Kolka, V.V., and Møller, J.J. Isolation basin stratigraphy and Holocene relative sea-level change at the Norwegian-Russian border north of Nikel, northwest Russia. Boreas 28, (1999). 146166.
Corner, G.D., Kolka, V.V., Yevzerov, V.Y., and Møller, J.J. Postglacial relative sea-level change and stratigraphy of raised coastal basins on Kola Peninsula, northwest Russia. Glob. Planet. Change 31, (2001). 155177.
Croudace, I.W., Rindby, A., and Rothwell, R.G. ITRAX: description and evaluation of a new multi-function X-ray core scanner. Rothwell, R.G. New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 267. (2006). 51564.
Davies, S.M., Elmquist, M., Bergman, J., Wohlfarth, B., and Hammarlund, D. Cryptotephra sedimentation processes within two lacustrine sequences from west central Sweden. Holocene 17, (2007). 319330.
Gearing, P.J., Gearing, J.N., Lytle, T.F., and Lytle, J.S. Hydrocarbons in 60 north east Gulf of Mexico Shelf sediments: a preliminary study. Geochimica et Cosmochim Acta 40, (1976). 10051017.
Hall, V.A., and Pilcher, J.R. Late-Quaternary Icelandic tephras in Ireland and Great Britain: detection, characterization and usefulness. Holocene 12, (2002). 223230.
Hutchinson, I., James, T.S., Clague, J.J., Barrie, J.V., Conway, K.W., (2004). Reconstruction of late Quaternary sea-level change in southwestern British Columbia from sediments in isolation basins. Boreas, 33, 183194.
Kjemperud, A. Diatom changes in sediments of basins possessing marine/lacustrine transitions in Frosta, Nord-Troendelag, Norway. Boreas 10, (1981). 2738.
Lamb, A.L., Wilson, G.P., and Leng, M.J. A review of coastal paleoclimate and relative sea-level reconstructions using δ13C and C/N ratios in organic material. Earth Sci. Rev. 75, (2006). 2957.
Larsen, G., Newton, A.J., Dugmore, A.J., and Vilmundardóttir, E.G. Geochemistry, dispersal, volumes and chronology of Holocene silicic tephra layers from the Katla volcanic system, Iceland. J. Quatern. Sci. 16, (2001). 119132.
Lloyd, J. Combined foraminiferal and thecamoebian environmental reconstruction from an isolation basin in NW Scotland: implications for sea-level studies. J. Foramin. Res. 30, (2000). 294305.
Long, A.J., Roberts, D.H., and Wright, M.R. Isolation basin stratigraphy and Holocene relative sea-level change on Arveprinsen Ejland, Disko Bugt, West Greenland. J. Quatern. Sci. 14, (1999). 323345.
Mackie, E.A.V., Leng, M.J., Lloyd, J.M., and Arrowsmith, C. Bulk organic δ13C and C/N ratios as palaeosalinity indicators within a Scottish isolation basin. J. Quatern. Sci. 20, (2005). 303312.
Mackie, E.A.V., Lloyd, J.M., Leng, M.J., Bentley, M.J., and Arrowsmith, C. Assessment of δ13C and C/N ratios in bulk organic matter as palaeosalinity indicators in Holocene and Lateglacial isolation basin sediments, northwest Scotland. J. Quatern. Sci. 22, (2007). 579591.
Marthinussen, M. 14C-datings referring to shore lines, transgressions and glacial substages in northern Norway. Nor. Geol. Unders. 215, (1962). 3767.
Meyers, P.A. Preservation of elemental and isotopic source identification of sedimentary organic matter. Chem. Geol. 114, (1994). 289302.
Meyers, P.A. Applications of organic geochemistry to paleolimnological reconstructions: a summary of examples from the Laurentian Great Lakes. Org. Geochem. 34, (2003). 261289.
Mills, K., Mackay, A.W., Bradley, R.S., and Finney, B. Diatom and stable isotope records of late-Holocene lake ontogeny at Indrepollen, Lofoten, NW Norway: a response to glacio-isostasy and Neoglacial cooling. Holocene 19, (2009). 261271.
Møller, J.J. Holocene shore displacement at Nappstraumen, Lofoten, North Norway. Nor. Geol. Tidsskr. 64, (1984). 15.
Møller, J.J. Coastal caves and their relation to early postglacial shore levels in Lofoten and Vesterålen, North Norway. Nor. Geol. Unders. 400, (1985). 5165.
Møller, J.J. Holocene transgression maximum about 6000 years BP at Ramså, Vesterålen, North Norway. Nor. Geogr. Tidsskr. 40, (1986). 7784.
Møller, J.J. Shoreline relation and prehistoric settlement in northern Norway. Nor. Geogr. Tidsskr. 41, (1987). 4560.
Møller, J.J. Geometric simulation and mapping of Holocene relative sea-level changes in northern Norway. J. Coast. Res. 5, (1989). 403417.
Pilcher, J.R., Hall, V.A., and McCormac, F.G. An outline tephrochronology for the Holocene of the north of Ireland. J. Quatern. Sci. 11, (1996). 485494.
Pilcher, J., Bradley, R.S., Francus, P., and Anderson, L. A Holocene tephra record from the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway. Boreas 34, (2005). 136156.
Plunkett, G.M., Pilcher, J.R., McCormac, F.G., and Hall, V.A. New dates for the first millennium BC tephra isochrones in Ireland. Holocene 14, (2004). 780786.
Reimer, P.J., Baillie, M.G.L., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Bertrand, C.J.H., Blackwell, P.G., Buck, C.E., Burr, G.S., Cutler, K.B., Damon, P.E., Edwards, R.L., Fairbanks, R.G., Friedrich, M., Guilderson, T.P., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kromer, B., McCormac, F.G., Manning, S.W., Ramsey, C.B., Reimer, R.W., Remmele, S., Southon, J.R., Stuiver, M., Talamo, S., Taylor, F.W., van der Plicht, J., and Weyhenmeyer, C.E. IntCal04 Terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 26–0 ka BP. Radiocarbon 46, (2004). 10291058.
Renberg, I. A procedure for preparing large sets of diatom slides from sediment cores. J. Paleolimnol. 4, (1990). 8790.
Robson, J.N., and Rowland, S.J. Identification of novel widely distributed sedimentary acyclic sesterterpenoids. Nature 324, (1986). 561563.
Rowland, S.J., and Robson, J.N. The widespread occurrence of highly branched acyclic C20, C25 and C30 hydrocarbons in recent sediments and biota-a review. Mar. Environ. Res. 30, (1990). 191216.
Rowland, S.J., Yon, D.A., Lewis, C.A., and Maxwell, J.R. Occurrence of 2, 6, 10-trimethyl-7-(3-methylbutyl)-dodecane and related hydrocarbons in the green alga Enteromorpha prolifera and sediments. Org. Geochem. 8, (1985). 207213.
Shennan, I. Flandrian sea-level changes in the Fenland. II: Tendencies of sea-level movement, altitudinal changes, and local and regional factors. J. Quatern. Sci. 1, (1986). 155179.
Shennan, I., Innes, J.B., Long, A.J., and Zong, Y. Holocene relative sea-level changes and coastal vegetation history at Kentra Moss, Argyll, northwest Scotland. Marine Geology 124, (1995). 4359.
Shennan, I., Horton, B., Innes, J., Gehrels, R., Lloyd, L., McArthur, J., and Rutherford, M. Late Quaternary sea-level changes, crustal movements and coastal evolution in Northumberland, UK. J. Quatern. Sci. 15, (2000). 215237.
Sparrenbom, C.J., Bennike, O., Björk, S., and Lambeck, K. Holocene relative sea-level changes in the Qaqortoq area, southern Greenland. Boreas 35, (2006). 171187.
Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. Extended 14C database and revised CALIB radiocarbon calibration program. Radiocarbon 35, (1993). 215230.
Svendsen, J.I., and Mangerud, J. Sea-level changes and pollen stratigraphy on the outer coast of Sunnmøre, western Norway. Nor. Geol. Tidsskr. 70, (1990). 111134.
Talbot, M.R. Nitrogen isotopes in palaeolimnology. Last, W.M., and Smol, J.P. Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments. Volumne 2: Physical and Geochemical Methods. (2001). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 401439.
Turney, C.S.M. Extraction of rhyolitic component of Vedde microtephra from minerogenic lake sediments. J. Paleolimnol. 19, (1998). 199206.
Utne, A. En veidekulturs-boplass I Lofoten. (1973). University of Tromsø, Storbåthallaren ved Nappstraumen. Thesis.
Vestøl, O. Determination of postglacial land uplift in Fennoscandia from leveling, tide-gauges and continuous GPS stations using least squares collocation. J. Geodesy 80, (2006). 248258.
Vorren, K.-D., and Moe, D. The early Holocene climate and sea-level changes in Lofoten and Vesterålen, North Norway. Nor. Geol. Tidsskr. 66, (1986). 135143.
Vorren, T.O., Vorren, K.-D., Alm, T., Gulliksen, S., and Løvlie, R. The last deglaciation (20, 000 to 11, 000 B.P.) on Andøya, northern Norway. Boreas 17, (1988). 4177.
Wang, R.L., and Williams, W.D. Biogeochemical changes in the sediments of Lake Cantara South, a saline lake in South Australia. Hydrobiologia 457, (2001). 1724.
Westman, P., and Hedenström, A. Environmental changes during isolation processes from the Litorina Sea as reflected by diatoms and geochemical parameters — a case study. Holocene 12, (2002). 531540.
Wilson, G.P., Lamb, A.L., Leng, M.J., Gonzalez, S., and Huddart, D. δ13C and C/N as potential coastal palaeoenvironmental indicators in the Mersey Estuary, UK. Quatern. Sci. Rev. 24, (2005). 20152029.
Xu, Y.P., Jaffe, R., Wachnicka, A., and Gaiser, E.E. Occurrence of C25 highly branched isoprenoids (HBIs) in Florida Bay: paleoenvironmental indicators of diatom-derived organic matter inputs. Org. Geochem. 37, (2006). 847859.
Yon, D.A., Maxwell, J.R., and Ryback, G. 2, 6, 10-trimethyl-7-(3-methylbutyl)-dodecane, a novel sedimentary biological marker compound. Tetrahedron Lett. 23, (1982). 21432146.
Zhang, Z., and Sachs, J.P. Hydrogen isotope fractionation in freshwater algae: I. Variations among lipids and species. Org. Geochem. 38, (2007). 582608.
Zhang, Z.H., Zhao, M.X., Yang, X.D., Wang, S.M., Jiang, X.H., Oldfield, F., and Eglinton, G. A hydrocarbon biomarker record for the last 40 kyr of plant input to Lake Heqing, southwestern China. Org. Geochem. 35, (2004). 595613.
Zong, Y. Implications of Paralia Sulcata abundance in Scottish isolation basin studies. Diatom Res. 12, (1997). 125150.
Zong, Y., and Horton, B.P. Diatom-based tidal-level transfer functions as an aid in reconstructing Quaternary history of sea-level movements in the UK. J. Quatern. Sci. 14, (1999). 153167.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 20 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 20th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.