24 Jan 2023
24 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

A global compilation of diatom silica oxygen isotope records from lake sediment – trends, and implications for climate reconstruction

Philip Meister1, Anne Alexandre2, Hannah Bailey3, Philip Barker4, Boris K. Biskaborn1, Ellie Broadman5, Rosine Cartier2,6, Bernhard Chapligin1, Martine Couapel2, Jonathan R. Dean7, Bernhard Diekmann1,8, Poppy Harding9, Andrew C. G. Henderson10, Armand Hernandez11, Ulrike Herzschuh1,12,13, Svetlana S. Kostrova1, Jack Lacey14, Melanie J. Leng14,15, Andreas Lücke16, Anson W. Mackay17, Eniko Katalin Magyari18, Biljana Narancic19,1, Cécile Porchier20, Gunhild Rosqvist21, Aldo Shemesh22, Corinne Sonzogni2, George E. A. Swann23, Florence Sylvestre2, and Hanno Meyer1 Philip Meister et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems, Potsdam, 14473, Germany
  • 2Aix Marseille University, CNRS, IRD, INRAE, Coll France, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, 13545, France
  • 3Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, P.O.Box 8000, Finland
  • 4Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom
  • 5Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, AZ 85721-0045, United States
  • 6Lund University, Department of Geology, Lund, 223 62, Sweden
  • 7Department of Geography, Geology & Environment, University of Hull, HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
  • 8Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, 14476, Germany
  • 9Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Geography, Egham Hill, Egham Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK
  • 10School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK, UK
  • 11GRICA Group, Centro Interdisciplinar de Química e Bioloxía (CICA), Faculty of Sciences, Universidade da Coruña, A Coruña, 15008, Spain
  • 12Institute of Environmental Science and Geography, University of Potsdam, 14476, Germany
  • 13Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, 14476, Germany
  • 14National Environmental Isotope Facility, Isotope Geosciences Facility, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 15Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK
  • 16Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Agrosphere Institute IBG-3, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, 52428, Germany
  • 17Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
  • 18Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography, MTA-MTM-ELTE Research Group for Paleontology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, 1117, Hungary
  • 19Laboratoire de Paléoécologie Aquatique, Centre d’Études nordiques & Département de géographie, Université Laval, Laval, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 20Department of Geography, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
  • 21Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden
  • 22Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
  • 23School of Geography, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Abstract. Oxygen isotopes in biogenic silica (δ18OBSi) from lake sediments allow for quantitative reconstruction of past hydroclimate and proxy–model comparison in terrestrial environments. The signals of individual records have been attributed to different factors, such as air temperature (Tair), atmospheric circulation patterns, hydrological changes and lake evaporation. While every lake will have its own set of drivers of d18O, here we explore the extent to which regional or even global signals emerge from a series of palaeoenvironmental records. For this purpose, we have identified and compiled 71 down–core records published to date and complemented these datasets with additional lake basin parameters (e.g. lake water residence time and catchment size) to best characterize the signal properties. Records feature widely different temporal coverage and resolution ranging from decadal–scale records covering the last 150 years to records with multi–millennial scale resolution spanning glacial–interglacial cycles. Best coverage in number of records (N = 37) and datapoints (N = 2112) is available for northern hemispheric (NH) extra–tropic regions throughout the Holocene (corresponding to Marine Isotope Stage 1; MIS 1). To address the different variabilities and temporal offsets, records were brought to a common temporal resolution by binning and subsequently filtered for hydrologically open lakes with lake water residence times < 100 yrs. For mid– to high–latitude (> 45° N) lakes, we find common δ18OBSi patterns during both the Holocene and the Common Era and maxima and minima corresponding to known climate episodes such as the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM), Neoglacial Cooling, Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA). These patterns are in line with long–term Tair changes supported by previously published climate reconstructions from other archives as well as Holocene summer insolation changes. In conclusion, oxygen isotope records from NH extratopic lake sediments feature a common climate signal at centennial (for CE) and millennial (for Holocene) time scales despite stemming from different lakes in different geographic locations and constitute a valuable proxy for past climate reconstructions.

Philip Meister et al.

Status: open (until 21 Mar 2023)

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Philip Meister et al.

Philip Meister et al.


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Short summary
Atoms of the element Oxygen exists in different varieties which have slightly different masses and behave differently in the global water cycle during e.g. rain formation and evaporation. Diatoms are microscopic algaea which use oxygen in building their shells and thereby store the oxygen signature of the water they live in. We have compiled and analyzed previously published data from diatoms from lake sediments around the globe and found common patterns suggesting a common climate signal.