Possible Climatic Signal Recorded by Alkenone Distributions in Sediments from Freshwater and Saline Lakes on the Skarvsnes and Skallen Areas, Antarctica

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Ken Sawada1, Mayumi Takeda1 and Yoshinori Takano2, (1)Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, (2)JAMSTEC, Yokosuka, Japan
The distribution of long-chain (C37 – C39) alkenones in marine sediment has been well documented to record paleo-sea surface temperatures. The alkenones were also found in sediments of terrestrial saline lakes, and recently the calibrations of alkenone unsaturation indices - temperature have been established in continental areas. Furthermore, these biomarkers have been identified in lacustrine sediments on high-latitudinal terrestrial areas such as Greenland and Antarctica. In the present study, the alkenones were identified in the lacustrine sediment cores in freshwater (Lake Naga-ike) and saline lakes (Lake Suribati and Lake Funazoko) on the Skarvsnes, and a saline lake (Lake Skallen Oh-ike) on the Skallen, Antarctica. Here, we report that the alkenone distribution in the Antarctic lakes was examined as paleotemperature proxy.

C37-C38 Tetra- and tri-unsaturated alkenones and C37 tetra- and tri-unsaturated alkenoates are identified in all sediment samples. The C37 di-unsaturated (C37:2) alkenones can be identified in sediments of surface layers (0-15 cm) of Lake Naga-ike and layers of 160-190 cm depth, in which age is ca. 3000 years BP by 14C dating, in Lake Skallen Ohike, and alkenone unsaturation index (UK37) is analyzed from these sediments. By using a calibration obtained from a culture strain Chrysotila lamellosa as reported by Nakamura et al. (2014), paleotemperatures are calculated to be 9.2-15ºC in surface sediments of Lake Naga-ike and 6.8-8.6ºC in Lake Skallen Oh-ike, respectively. The estimated temperatures are concordant with summer temperature of lake waters observed in Lake Naga-ike. Also, the highest concentrations of the alkenones and alkenoates are observed in deeper (older) sediment layers from Lake Naga-ikes, which has not been connected the ocean and intruded sea water. This implies that the alkenones are originated from indigenous biological organism(s) in Antarctic lake water. The class distributions (unsaturation ratios) of alkenones varied with core depths in Lake Naga-ike and Lake Suribati, whereas these are nearly constant with core depths in Lake Funazoko. These variations presumably depended on changes of climatic and environmental conditions in lake water. Thus, it is suggested that the alkenone proxies can be applicable for Antarctic climate changes.