Long-chain alkenones in the lake sediments of North-Minusinsk Basin (South Siberia): implications for paleoclimate reconstructions


  • Bulkhin, A.O. 1, 2
  • Zykov, V.V. 1
  • Marchenko, D.N. 1, 2
  • Boyandin, A.N. 1
  • Rogozin, D.Y. 1, 2
  • 1 Institute of Biophysics SB RAS, 50/50 Akademgorodok str., Krasnoyarsk, 660036, Russia
    2 Siberian Federal University (SibFU), 79 Svobodny ave., Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia




alkenones, salinity indicator, lake sediments, South Siberia, paleoclimatology


The core-top calibration study of 22 lakes indicates that in salt lakes the total alkenones increase sharply at a salinity of about 20 g/L, while alkenones are absent in the sediments of freshwater lakes. For the first time, this study shows that the Uk40 and Uk40’ unsaturation indices are positively correlated with salinity and thus can be used to reconstruct salinity. The C37/C38 ratio is negatively correlated with salinity, and therefore this parameter can be used as an indicator of salinity. Also, the %C37:4 indicator is not correlated with salinity. It was found that the average chain length of alkenones increases with salinity, but the correlation was weak. Analysis of the alkenone composition and 18S rRNA suggests that all lakes are inhabited by Group II haptophytes, except for one freshwater lake, where the Group I of LCA-producing haptophytes was found. The taxonomic composition of haptophyte algae and the alkenone composition in the lakes were comparable to those in the lakes of the Canadian Prairies, apparently due to the similarity of climatic factors and the ionic composition of lake water in the two regions.