Onset and termination of the late-glacial climate reversal in the high-resolution diatom and sedimentary records from the annually laminated SG06 core from Lake Suigetsu, Japan

Suigetsu 2006 Project Members, Annette Kossler, Pavel Tarasov, Gordon Schlolaut, Takeshi Nakagawa, Michael Marshall, Achim Brauer, Richard Staff, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Charlotte Bryant, Henry Lamb, Dieter Demske, Katsuya Gotanda, Tsuyoshi Haraguchi, Yusuke Yokoyama, Hitoshi Yonenobu, Ryuji Tada

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Abstract

High-resolution diatom, sediment and pollen analyses of two sections from the annually laminated SG06 core from Lake Suigetsu were used to study the onset and termination of the late-glacial climate reversal in central Japan. Its broadly recognised counterpart is the Younger Dryas or Greenland Stadial-1 (ca. 12.85–11.65 cal. kyr BP based on the NGRIP ice core records). Our study suggests that accumulation of the analysed late-glacial sediments occurred in a deep and relatively cold water meso-eutrophic lake with a strong mixing regime and relatively high silica content. Combining these results together with available pollen-based environmental reconstructions we suggest that climate cooling, together with an intensified winter monsoon and thicker snow cover could influence changes in regional vegetation, sedimentation processes and trophic status of the lake during the transition from the last interstadial to stadial around Lake Suigetsu. A decrease in total pollen concentration and increase in Fagus pollen percentage indicate local vegetation stress/disturbances and suggest that cooling started at least 2–3 decades prior to the major shift in the inorganic sediment (accumulation of detrital layers) and in diatom assemblages (change from Aulacoseira ambigua to Aulacoseira subarctica dominance), which took about 10 years. The transition from the last stadial to the Holocene again shows that vegetation in the lake catchment area reacted first to the regional climate change, i.e. to the weakening of the winter monsoon and decrease in winter snow accumulation. The increase in the vegetation cover density and reduced volume of surface runoff associated with the decrease in melt water supply is likely responsible for the reduced soil erosion activity which caused the cessation in detrital layer accumulation and consequent decrease in the amount of nutrients brought to the lake and lowering of the water nutrient status. The latter process finally influenced changes in the diatom assemblages, including the return to dominance of A. subarctica ca. 30 years after the virtual disappearance of detrital layers from the sediment. Our results demonstrate the rapid response of the Lake Suigetsu system to the global cooling and subsequent warming, and allow clear definition of the onset and termination of the late-glacial climate reversal. Despite the fact that the lake system shows a more abrupt shift from the warm to cold (and cold to warm) environments than terrestrial records of vegetation demonstrate, we do not see any delayed response of local vegetation to the climate change. This last conclusion is of particular importance for application of the SG06 pollen record for quantitative climate reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume306
Issue number3-4
Early online date14 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Annually laminated sediment
  • Climatic changes
  • East Asian monsoon
  • Freshwater diatoms
  • Younger Dryas-like climate reversal

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