Seasonal sedimentation in saline Lake Shira (Siberia, Russia) and meromixis: implications for regional paleoclimate reconstructions


  • Rogozin, D.Yu. 1, 2
  • Darin, A.V. 3
  • Zykov, V.V. 1
  • Kalugin, I.A. 3
  • Bulkhin, A.O. 1, 2
  • 1 Institute of Biophysics Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBP SB RAS), 50/50 Akademgorodok Str., Krasnoyarsk region, Krasnoyarsk, 660036, Russia
    2 Siberian Federal University (SibFU), 79 Svobodny Pr., Krasnoyarsk region, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
    3 Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 3 Koptyuga Pr., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia



meromictic lake, sediment traps, stratification, okenone, molybdenum, XRF analysis, holomixis, climate change


Detailed studies of processes of sediment record formation are necessary for accurate sediment-derived paleo-environmental reconstructions. We conducted the multi-year seasonal sediment evolution of sediment fluxes of chemical elements, organic and inorganic carbon, total nitrogen, and photosynthetic pigments for a period from 2012 to 2017. In 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018, we estimated the contents of photosynthetic pigments in the uppermost sediment layers frozen in situ with a freeze-corer. In 2015 and 2016, a rare event of transition from meromixis (i.e. long-term hypolimnetic anoxia) to holomixis was observed, which was accompanied by the temporary disappearance of hydrogen sulfide from the water column in spring and a decrease in hydrogen sulfide in other seasons compared to the meromictic state. We have demonstrated that okenone and Mo in the Lake Shira sediments reflect the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water column. However, the okenone showed smoothened multi-year dynamics without a pronounced seasonal one. Therefore, the okenone can be a proxy of sulphidic conditions in photic zone and weakly depend on seasons whereas Mo can be used as an indicator of winter periods when analyzed in cores with annual resolution. Sedimentation fluxes of other substances showed typical seasonal dynamics with a minimum in winter and a  maximum in late summer and autumn. All chemical elements in the sedimentation flow can be roughly divided into those associated with organic matter and terrigenous-chemogenous. The components of the second group showed a pronounced peak of sedimentation in autumn 2012 and summer 2017 presumably due to the increased amount of precipitation at that time. This demonstrates the relationship between the terrigenous components and the climate humidity for this lake. Besides, it reflects the irregularity of annual varves composition.