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Mineral-magnetic record of Late Quaternary climatic changes in a high Alpine lake

By L. Lanci, A. Hirt, W. Lowrie, A.F. Lotter, G. Lemcke and M. Sturm

Abstract

The magnetic properties of a sediment core from a high altitude lake in the Swiss Alps were compared with\ud palynological and geochemical data to link climatic and mineral magnetic variations. According to pollen data, the\ud sediments extend from the present to the Younger Dryas, i.e., they cover more than 10,000 years of environmental\ud change in the Alps. The major change in magnetic properties corresponds to the climatic warming of the early Holocene.\ud High-coercivity magnetic minerals that characterize the late-glacial period almost disappeared during the Holocene and the\ud concentration of ferrimagnetic minerals increased sharply. The contribution of superparamagnetic grains also decreased in\ud the Holocene sediments. Similar variations in SP content and coercivity, of smaller magnitude, are found in the Holocene\ud and are interpreted to represent minor climatic variations. Comparison with the historical record of the last 1000 years\ud confirms this interpretation. The magnetic mineralogy, the superparamagnetic contents, and the IRM intensity in the\ud coarse-grained, late-glacial sediments are similar to those measured in the catchment bedrock. This indicates a detrital\ud origin. The different properties and the higher concentration of magnetic minerals in the Holocene sediments are due\ud to authigenic phases. Magnetic properties provide a high resolution record of climatic change. They are sensitive even\ud to small variations that are not recorded in the pollen or LOI data. Magnetic parameters show fine-scale variation and\ud constitute a valuable supplement to conventional climatic indicators

Topics: Biologie, environmental analysis, glaciolacustrine sedimentation, magnetization, Holocene, climate, alpine environment
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/19723
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