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Arctic lake sediments as records of climate change using rock magnetic properties and paleomagnetic data

Kathryn J Murdock, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Two lakes were studied in detail for rock magnetic properties: Lake El'gygytgyn, a crater lake formed 3.6Ma in the Far Eastern Russian Arctic, and Heimerdalsvatnet, a Holocene coastal lake located in the Lofotens off the coast of northern Norway. These two lakes have vastly different environmental histories, the former a terrestrial lake formed from a meteor impact and never covered by continental ice sheets whereas the latter went from a coastal marine setting to a completely lacustrine environment due to isostatic rebound and sea level fluctuations. Their differences are considerable, however they provide the opportunity to compare Arctic lake systems to discern similarities and differences in their magnetic properties for application to future climatic investigations. Paleomagnetic measurements and down-core magnetic susceptibility were performed at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam for Lake El'gygytgyn and at the Laboratoire de paleomagnétisme sédimentaire at ISMER for Heimerdalsvatnet. Rock magnetic properties were measured at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Institute of Rock Magnetism, and/or Trinity College. These measurements included: magnetic susceptibility, hysteresis parameters, Curie temperatures, and low-temperature magnetic behavior. Imaging of magnetite grains was also performed. Magnetic susceptibility measurements in Lake El'gygytgyn suggested a correlation between glacials (interglacials) and low (high) susceptibility. The large range in susceptibility indicated there could be magnetite dissolution. The first study supported this hypothesis with evidence at low temperatures (10-35K) of minerals such as siderite, rhodochrosite, and/or vivianite which could form from iron released during dissolution. Marine Isotope Stage 31 was investigated for rock magnetic properties that could continue to support or oppose findings from the first study. It was determined the presence of siderite only occurred in interglacial periods whereas its absence (and probably presence of vivianite) related to glacial periods, indicating more reduced environments during glacials versus interglacials. Heimerdalsvatnet paleomagnetic data from the marine environment (lower part of the core) revealed scattered directions whereas data from the upper part of the core (lacustrine environment) showed better consistency. Rock magnetic measurements showed some variation downcore, however the measurements are not dependable since the amount of paramagnetic material was overwhelming compared to any ferromagnetic mineral present.

Subject Area

Geology|Geophysics|Paleoclimate Science

Recommended Citation

Murdock, Kathryn J, "Arctic lake sediments as records of climate change using rock magnetic properties and paleomagnetic data" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3589105.