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Keywords:

  • stable isotopes;
  • lake hydrology;
  • humidity;
  • late Holocene;
  • central Sweden

Abstract

Stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C) of lacustrine carbonates (Chara spp. algae and Pisidium spp. molluscs) from a lake sedimentary sequence in central Sweden were analysed to infer changes in lake hydrology and climate during the late Holocene. Results from analysis of lake water isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) show that Lake Blektjärnen water isotope composition is responsive to the balance between evaporation and input water (E/I ratio). A high E/I ratio results from a dry and probably warmer climate, decreasing the relative importance of precipitation input. Under such conditions evaporation and atmospheric equilibration probably enrich lake water in 18O and 13C, respectively, which is reflected in the isotopic composition of the carbonates in the lake. From the relatively positive Chara δ18O values we infer that conditions were dry and warm between 4400 and 4000 cal. a BP, whereas more negative values indicate that conditions were wetter and probably cooler between 4000 and 3000 cal. a BP. A drier climate is inferred from more positive values between 2500 and 1000 cal. a BP. However, a successive depletion after ca. 1750 cal. a BP, also detected in several other δ18O records (carbonate and diatom), suggest increasingly wetter conditions in Scandinavia after that time, which is probably related to increased strength of the zonal flow. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.