Articles | Volume 8, issue 5
Research article
17 Oct 2012
Research article |  | 17 Oct 2012

A 250 ka oxygen isotope record from diatoms at Lake El'gygytgyn, far east Russian Arctic

B. Chapligin, H. Meyer, G. E. A. Swann, C. Meyer-Jacob, and H.-W. Hubberten

Abstract. In 2003 sediment core Lz1024 was drilled at Lake El'gygytgyn, far east Russian Arctic, in an area of the Northern Hemisphere which has not been glaciated for the last 3.6 Ma. Biogenic silica was used for analysing the oxygen isotope composition (δ18Odiatom) in the upper 13 m long section dating back about 250 ka with samples dominated by one taxa in the <10 μm fraction (Cyclotella ocellata). Downcore variations in δ18O values show that glacial-interglacial cycles are present throughout the core and δ18Odiatom-values are mainly controlled by δ18Oprecipitation. Changes reflect the Holocene Thermal Maximum, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the interglacial periods corresponding to MIS 5.5 and MIS 7 with a peak-to-peak amplitude between LGM and MIS 5.5 of Δ18O = 5.3‰. This corresponds to a mean annual air temperature difference of about 9 °C. Our record is the first continuous δ18Odiatom record from an Arctic lake sediment core directly responding to precipitation and dating back more than 250 ka and correlates well with the stacked marine δ18O LR04 (r = 0.58) and δD EPICA Dome-C record (r = 0.69). With δ18O results indicating strong links to both marine and ice-core records, records from Lake El'gygytgyn can be used to further investigate the sensitivity of the Arctic climate to both past and future global climatic changes.