24 Jan 2023
 | 24 Jan 2023
Status: a revised version of 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 Meister, Anne Alexandre, Hannah Bailey, Philip Barker, Boris K. Biskaborn, Ellie Broadman, Rosine Cartier, Bernhard Chapligin, Martine Couapel, Jonathan R. Dean, Bernhard Diekmann, Poppy Harding, Andrew C. G. Henderson, Armand Hernandez, Ulrike Herzschuh, Svetlana S. Kostrova, Jack Lacey, Melanie J. Leng, Andreas Lücke, Anson W. Mackay, Eniko Katalin Magyari, Biljana Narancic, Cécile Porchier, Gunhild Rosqvist, Aldo Shemesh, Corinne Sonzogni, George E. A. Swann, Florence Sylvestre, and Hanno Meyer

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: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-96', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Mar 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Hanno Meyer, 26 Oct 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2022-96', Witold Bagniewski, 23 May 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Hanno Meyer, 26 Oct 2023
  • EC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-96', Denis-Didier Rousseau, 06 Jul 2023
    • AC4: 'Reply on EC1', Hanno Meyer, 26 Oct 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on cp-2022-96', Heinz Wanner, 05 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC3', Hanno Meyer, 26 Oct 2023

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.