Basin-wide sedimentation changes and deglacial lake-level rise in the Hovsgol basin, NW Mongolia

TitleBasin-wide sedimentation changes and deglacial lake-level rise in the Hovsgol basin, NW Mongolia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsProkopenko, AA, Kuzmin, MI, Wlliams, DF, Gelety, VF, Kalmychkov, GV, Gvozdkov, AN, Solotchin, PA
JournalQuaternary International
Date PublishedJul
Accession NumberWOS:000229140200007

A study of 15 gravity cores reveals consistent patterns of lithologic change throughout the Lake Hovsgol basin. Sediments of the last glacial are composed of calcareous clayey silt with an admixture of coarse material from sand to gravel. During the last deglaciation, a basin-wide deposition of finely laminated carbonate mud took place and was ultimately succeeded by the deposition of diatomaccous clayey ooze during the entire Holocene interval. Diatom productivity in Lake Hovsgol during the early Holocene was higher than today, but declined by ca. 6.6 cal ka BP. Sedimentation rate estimates for post-glacial section range from 1.5 to over 6.7 cm/ka for different parts of Lake Hovsgol. Rates appear to have decreased in the late Holocene.The last glacial maximum (LGM) corresponded to a dramatic low stand of Lake Hovsgol on the order of 100 m below today's level, as reflected by littoral facies retrieved in cores from intermediate depths. Age dating of plant fragments in these sediments suggests that lake level started rising no later than 15.4 cal ka BP. By the beginning of the Holocene, Lake Hovsgol evolved from a low-level closed basin lake to an overflowing freshwater lake. The observed dramatic lithologic change and evidence for lake-level change suggest that Lake Hovsgol may in fact serve as a sensitive 'water gauge' in continental interior Asia and that the Hovsgol sedimentary record preserves reliable proxies for past changes in effective moisture balance in the Lake Baikal catchment area. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.