Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 7411)
The history (45–0 ka BP) of the aquatic vegetation composition of the shallow alpine Lake Luanhaizi from the NE Tibetan Plateau is inferred from aquatic plant macrofossil frequencies and aquatic pollen and algae concentrations in the sediments. C/N (range: 0.3–100), δ13C (range: −28 to −15‰), and n-alkane measurements yielded further information on the quantitative composition of sedimentary organic matter. The inferred primary production of the former lake ecosystem has been examined in respect of the alternative stable state theory of shallow lakes [Scheffer, M., 1989. Alternative stable states in eutrophic, shallow freshwater systems: a minimal model. Hydrobiological Bulletin 23, 73–83]. Switches between clear and turbid water conditions are explained by a colder climate and forest decline in the catchment area of Lake Luanhaizi. The macrofossil-based reconstruction of past water depth and salinity ranges, as well as other organic matter (OM) proxies allowed climatic inferences of the summer monsoon intensity during the late Quaternary. Around 45 ka BP, conditions similar to or even moister than present-day climate occurred. The Lake Luanhaizi record is further evidence against an extensive glaciation of the Tibetan Plateau and its bordering mountain ranges during the Last Glacial Maximum. Highest lake levels and consequently a strong summer monsoon are recorded for the early Holocene period, while gradually decreasing lake levels are reconstructed for the middle and late Holocene.
(2005): A late Quaternary lake record from the Qilian Mountains (NW China): evolution of the primary production and the water depth reconstructed from macrofossil, pollen, biomarker, and isotope data. Global and Planetary Change, 46, 1-4, 361-379.