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ISSN 0016-7029, Geochemistry International, 2020, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 408–422. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2020.
Russian Text © The Author(s), 2020, published in Geokhimiya, 2020, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 362–378.
Bottom Sediments of the West Siberian Arctic Lakes
as Indicators of Environmental Changes
Yu. G. Tatsiia, *, T. I. Moiseenkoa, **, L. V. Razumovskiib, ***, A. P. Borisova,
V. Yu. Khoroshavinc, and D. Yu. Baranova
a
Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry (GEOKHI), Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Kosygina 19, Moscow, 119991 Russia
bInstitute of Water Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Gubkina 3, Moscow, 119333 Russia
cTyumen State University, Earth Science Institute, ul. Volodarskogo 6, Tyumen, 625003 Russia
*e-mail: [email protected]
**e-mail: [email protected]
***e-mail: [email protected]
Received January 31, 2019; revised May 22, 2019; accepted May 22, 2019
Abstract—Bottom sediment cores from the Langtibeito (Yamal Peninsula) and Gol’tsovoe (Gydan Peninsula) background arctic lakes are studied. The sedimentation rate estimated from 210Pb and 137Cs accounted
for 0.17 and 0.20 cm/y, respectively. The element composition, grain-size composition, and loss on ignition
were determined layer-by-layer in both cores. The element concentrations in the bottom sediments of both
lakes throughout the entire core length are at the background level. The mercury content in the subsurface
layers of sediments in both lakes, unlike other elements, was much higher than its local background contents.
This is likely related to its atmospheric influx through transboundary transport. The comparison of diatom
and grain-size data revealed the rebuilding of lake ecosystems in response to lake shoaling. The bioindication
methods are promising for reconstructing the recent climatic changes in arctic regions.
Keywords: Arctic lakes, West Siberia, bottom sediments, element composition, mercury, sedimentation rate,
grain-size composition, diatom analysis
DOI: 10.1134/S0016702920040114
INTRODUCTION
Arctic lakes are sensitive indicators of global environmental and climatic changes. At the same time, the
state of lake ecosystems is controlled by regional and
transboundary transfers of pollutants. The bottom
sediments of arctic lakes unaffected by direct anthropogenic impact represent peculiar paleoclimatic and
paleogeochemical archives. They bear information on
the biogeochemical processes at the catchment and in
the lake, which reflect climatic and environmental
changes. The vulnerability of Arctic environment
causes the high reactivity of ecosystems, which predetermines the informative “record” of these changes in
bottom sequences, including changes in biogeochemical cycles, global fluxes of airborne pollutants, as well
as climate dynamics and ecosystem state, which are
recorded in the geochemical composition and diatom
remains in bottom sediments. At present, the studies
of diatom assemblages and geochemical composition
of lake sediments are regarded as generally accepted
and essential method for reconstructing climatic and
ecological events.
The paleolimnological studies of lakes are focus of
large international programs, for instance, of the the
Pole-Equator-Pole (pole–equator–pole for Europe
and Africa) and CAPE (Circumpolar paleoenvironment – circumpolar environment in the past) programs. Schools of diatom analysis in USA (Stockner
and Benson, 1967; Stockner, 1975); Sweden (Tolonen,
1978; Renberg et al., 1978), and Great Britain (Batterbee et al., 2002) play a leading role in studying lake
sediments as information sources of the recent
changes caused by anthropogenic impact.
Diatom algae are microscopic unicellular organisms, which are essential part and important component of lake ecosystems. They are well preserved in
sediments owing to the siliceous frustule (valves).
A wide spectrum of bioindicator features makes it
possible to verify the diatom analysis with chemical,
grain-size, and other data on lake sediments. A qualitatively new stage for diatom-based reconstructions
was related to the application of isotope method, in
particular, the analyzing 210 Pb and 137Cs relations
(Lotter and Hofmann, 2003).
408
BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
409
Table 1. Characteristics of the studied lakes (Report…, 2011)
Lake
Area, km2
lake
drainage system
Ratio
of areas
10.3
8.2
0.8
43.5
3.0
7.71
8.1
2.1
9.6
3.5
7.39
Coordinates
Langtibeito 71.063917;
70.321806
Gol’tsovoe 71.423333,
78.849444
3.87
Innovation techniques for reconstructing hydrological parameters on the basis of diatom assemblages
were developed to study the anthropogenic-induced
changes (Moiseenko and Razumovsky, 2009; Razumovskii, 2012).
In Russia, the complex studies of bottom sediments
were carried out in the Kola North (Dauvalter, 1995;
Moiseenko et al., 1998, 2002; Solovieva, 2002; Razumovskii, 2012), Pechora basin (Walker et al., 2009), as
well as in the northern Transurals (Laing et al., 1999),
Urals (Cremer et al., 2004; Maslennikova et al., 2014),
Siberia (Laing and Smol, 2000), and Chukotka
(Kharitonov, 2010). At the same time, only a few
works are available on the sediments of the Russian
arctic lakes.
The northern West Siberia is a region of the intense
exploration of hydrocarbon deposits. This region comprises >200 reservoirs annually yielding 290–310 Mt oil
and 35–40 billion m3 natural gas. The largest gas fields
(Bovanenkovskoe, Kharasaveiskoe, and Tambeyskoe
fields) are located in the Arctic zone. The intense development of gas-condensate deposits with oil margins
(Novoportovskoe, Tambeyskoe) accompanying by
building of gas pipe line and natural gas liquefaction
complex (Yamal-SPG) has began on Yamal Peninsula
in 2010. This caused the growth of anthropogenic load
on the West Siberian Arctic environment.
The aim of our studies is the reconstruction of environmental and climatic changes in the Arctic regions of
West Siberia, the estimate of long-term element sedimentation dynamics and the state of ecosystem, and
revealing a possible anthropogenic input in these
changes during industrial activity related to the exploration of petroleum deposits.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Characteristics of the area. The study of environmental, including climatic, changes, were carried out
in the Arctic zone of West Siberia, in the Yamal–
Nenets Autonomous Okrug. In August, 2011, bottom
sediment cores were collected from two lakes: Lake
Langtibeito in the north of the Yamal Peninsula
(Yamal district) and Lake Gol’tsovoe in the northern
part of the Gydan Peninsula (Tazovskii district). Both
the lakes are located in the Arctic tundra zone, which
is characterized by a long-term snow cover (about
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Height above sea
level, m
Average
depth, m
рН
Mineralization,
mg/L
354.5
41.15
10 months) and a short cold (1–5°С) summer. The
lakes are of glacial origin. Table 1 presents their coordinates and preliminary limnological data.
Tundra lakes are fed by atmospheric precipitates
and water derived during seasonal thawing of permafrost. In the bottom sediments of the glacial lithogenesis zones, sedimentary material sharply dominate
over organics and is represented by clay and loam with
a weakly alkaline medium (Strakhov, 1963).
The host rocks of the lake basins in tundra of the
Yamal and Gydan peninsulas are represented by Quaternary marine and glacial-marine sediments varying
from coarse-grained sands to finely dispersed clays.
The lake floor is made up either of marine clays or glacial sand–loams, which determined the water mineralization.
Sampling. The bottom sediments were collected by
researchers from the Tyumen State University in the
framework of megaproject no. 220 11G34.31.0036
“Formation of Water Quality under Environmental and
Climatic Changes of West Siberia”. The cores were collected from the central parts of lakes by the Edelman
Eijkelkamp corer (the cores are up to 70 cm long and
diameter 4 cm) for sediment analysis and by C-1 microbenthometer (stratometer) (diameter 4 cm) for diatom
analysis. The water depth in sampling points was 3.6 m
at Lake Langtibeito and 2.5 m at Lake Gol’tsovoe. The
length of cores collected on the Langtibeito and
Gol’tsovoe lakes were 57 and 48 cm long, respectively,
and cores collected by stratometer, 10 and 23 cm long,
respectively. In field conditions, the cores were cut into
1-cm slices, while cores collected by stratometer, into
0.5-cm slices. Each slice was placed in a plastic bag and
has preserved in a frozen state up to analysis.
Analysis. Under laboratory conditions, the samples
were dried up to constant weight at room temperature
and crushed.
Both the cores were dated layer-by-layer by the
measurement of 210Pb and 137Cs isotopes. The measurements were carried out by direct method using a
low-background gamma-spectrometric complex with
detector made up of the planar-type extrapure germanium BEGe3825 and multichannel pulse analyzer
(Stepanets et al., 2010).
The loss on ignition (LOI) was determined by
keeping samples in a muffle furnace at 550°С for no
less than two hours (up to constant weight).
2020
410
TATSII et al.
2000
1950
(а)
Dating
1900
1850
(b)
Dating
1950
1900
2000
5
25
210
4
0
5
10
15 20 25
Depth, cm
30
35
0
10
0
5
15
20
10
Depth, cm, см
25
30
8
Cs activity, Bq/kg
20
4
137
5
1
Pb activity, Bq/kg
2
137
10
210
3
15
12
Cs activity, Bq/kg
20
30
Pb
Cs
210
Pb activity, Bq/kg
137
0
Fig. 1. Distribution of 210Pb and 137Cs activities in the bottom sediment cores from the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe (b) lakes
and core dating.
Individual layers of bottoms sediments were analyzed for grain-size composition by a dry sieving into
several fractions: >0.1 (sand), 0.1–0.04 (coarse aleurite), and <0.04 mm (aleurite–pelite).
The element composition of bottom sediments
(63 elements) after acid digestion was determined
using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry
(ICP-MS). Mercury was determined by pyrolysis
from a solid sample (20–100 mg, n = 3) with the preliminary accumulation on a gold collector and
recording on АА spectrometer. The spectrometer was
calibrated using saturated mercury vapor (Tatsii and
Stakheev, 2001).
Sampling and treatment for diatom analysis,
preparation of specimens, calculation and identification of diatom frustules were carried out using standard techniques (Davydova, 1985; Renberg, 1990;
Razumovskii and Moiseenko, 2009). In addition to
the conventional diatom analysis, we also applied a
principle of unification of bioindication methods
(UBM) (Moiseenko and Razumovsky, 2009). The
generally accepted ecological characteristics of species
were refined from (Davydova, 1985; Kamenik et al.,
2001; Battarbee et al., 2002; Schmidt et al., 2002;
Barinova et al., 2006).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The studied lakes were formed on the watersheds,
the hydrogeological conditions of which are mainly
determined by the presence of > 300–500 m thick permafrost rocks.
The Lake Langtibeito drainage basin is located in
the area of the epigenetically frozen Middle Quater-
nary glacial and upper Quaternary marine sediments.
The lake basin is made up of medium-grained sands
with the high content of ferrous iron compounds. The
sands are mainly composed of quartz (85–90%), with
minor limonite, epidote, pyroxenes and amphiboles,
hydromica, and iron hydroxides. The rocks of marine
genesis are the sources of carbonates reaching, on
average, up to average 0.5%. The total amount of
water-soluble salts in local sediments varies from 0.01
to 1% (Cryosphere…, 2013), which explains an elevated
water mineralization in the lake.
The mineral, grain-size, and chemical composition of sediments of Lake Gol’tsovoe are controlled by
permafrost Upper Quaternary sediments of alluvial–
marine and marine origin. The lake bottom is made up
of ice-bearing sandy–loamy sequence, which contains
60% of feldspar–quartz sands. They are dominated by
dust-size varieties (45%), while loams respectively
occupy 40%. The loams occur as interlayers and lenses
in sandy sequence, while the fine fraction in the loam
is represented by limonite and iron hydroxides
(Geocryology of the USSR, 1989).
Dating. The layer-by-layer determination of activity of disequilibrium 210Pb throughout the studied
cores was conducted to date the layers and to determine the average sedimentation rates. The determinations were carried out assuming a constant 210Pb flux
(CRS model meaning a constant-rate-of-supply),
constant sedimentation rates with time (linear model),
and the absence of postsedimentation migration of
210
Pb. The 137Cs activity was measured to control the
results of 210Pb determination. Joint variations of 210Pb
and 137Cs are shown in Fig. 1. The sedimentation rates in
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1850
1900
1950
5
4
3
2
5
10
15
20 <0.04 mm
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
>0.10 mm
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
1
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90100 0
Loss on ignition, %
Grain-size analysis, %
(b)
1850
1900
1950
2000
50
40
30
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
<0.04 mm
>0.10 mm
20
10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90100 0
Loss on ignition, %
Grain-size analysis, %
(a)
Depth, cm
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Depth, cm
the lakes estimated from the isotopic activity accounted
for 0.170 ± 0.035 (210Pb) and 0.166 ± 0.033 (137Cs) for
Lake Longtibeito and 0.20 ± 0.04 cm/yr for both isotopes for Lake Gol’tsovoe.
The grain-size composition and loss on ignition. The
cores from both lakes are dark with gray-green tint and
show no clearly expressed thin layerage. Nevertheless,
they are clearly stratified. In the Lake Langtibeito
core, the upper loam layer near border with water
(approximately 1.5 cm) has light brown color owing to
the presence of iron oxides and hydroxides. Then up to
depth of 8 cm – greenish-brown loam. In Lake
Gol’tsovoe, the uppermost 23-cm layer of the core is
represented by greenish-brown loam with fine sand
admixture. The lower parts of both cores are composed of greenish brown sand, which is supposedly the
sandy floor representing a mineral base overlain by
finely dispersed sedimentary material, which consists
of greenish brown ooze, loam, and greenish brown
medium-grained sand. This is also supported by the
length of the core collected by the gravity stratometer,
which stopped at the denser sandy layer.
The visual estimate was mainly confirmed by the
grain-size analysis and loss on ignition (Fig. 2). The
grain-size composition revealed loam heterogeneity.
The uppermost 10-cm of the Langtibeito core is dominated by silty–pelitic fraction (Fig. 2a), and a 7–8 cm
horizon contains 70% of <0.04-mm fraction. In contrast, the lower horizons (approximately from 10 cm)
show a sharp increase of sand fraction, while the
<0.04-mm fraction accounts for less than 10%. The
loss on ignition demonstrates the extremely low content of organic matter, but the upper 10 cm of this core
have the higher LOI values (4–9%) than the lower
sandy horizons (~1%).
The content of fine fraction (<0.04 mm) in the
uppermost part of the Lake Gol’tsovoe core is much
lower and reaches maximum at a depth of 17–20 cm
(Fig. 2b), while bottom sediments from the horizon
23 cm become more sandy. The loss on ignition values for this lake are more consistent with grain-size
analysis than in Lake Langtibeito, although have
lower values (<5%).
It is difficult to estimate reliably the content of
organic matter on the basis of such low LOI values. The
main problem consists in that most of minerals contain
structurally bound water, which is gradually released
during heating. Therefore, the content of organic carbon and LOI values could be significantly different.
With increase of Сorg content, the LOI to carbon ratio
approaches 2, but sharply increases at LOI below 10%
(Mackereth, 1966). Nevertheless, the LOI values in the
upper loam parts of both cores exceed significantly
those of the lower sandy portions and unambiguously
indicate an extremely low content of organic matter.
Geochemical composition. Sampled cores, in spite
of definite differences between lakes, are very close in
chemical composition and concentrations of both
2000
BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
Fig. 2. Grain-size composition, loss on ignition, and dating of sediment cores of the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe
(b) lakes.
2020
412
TATSII et al.
1
1.5
1.0
2
0.5
0
Al
Fe
Ca
Mg
Ti
Mn
P
Li
Be
S
Sc
V
Cr
Co
Ni
Cu
Zn
Ga
Al
Rb
Sr
Y
Zr
Nb
Mo
Ag
Sb
Cs
Ba
La
Ce
Pr
Nd
Sm
Eu
Gd
Tb
Ho
Er
Tm
Yb
Lu
Hf
Ta
W
Hg
Tl
Pb
Th
U
Enrichment factor
2.0
Fig. 3. Enrichment factors of elements in the sediment cores from the Langtibeito (1) and Gol’tsovoe (2) lakes. The enrichment
factors were calculated for maximum concentrations of elements in the cores relative average concentrations in clay shales with
normalization by Sc.
typomorphic and trace elements. Both the lakes are
characterized by more or less expressed increase of
concentrations from lower parts to the core top practically for all elements. For Lake Langtibeito, this
increase is better expressed. The concentrations of
most elements in the bottom sediment cores of the
lakes are approximately at the same level, in spite of
the significant differences in water composition. However, even their maximum contents do not exceed the
average concentrations for sedimentary rocks (clay
shales, and in most cases, sandstones, Table 2). The
enrichment factors calculated relative to the average
contents in shales (normalized to Sc) are no more than
1.0 for the maximum contents of all elements in the
Gol’tsovoe bottom sediment core and 2.0, for the
Langtibeito core (Fig. 3). Based on these data, the
concentrations of these elements in bottom sediments
correspond to background contents, while the lakes
can be considered as background lakes. The Re, In,
Pt, Au, Se, Rh, Pd, Te, and Cd concentrations are
below the detection limits.
Distribution of some elements throughout the core
length is shown in Fig. 4.
The layer-by-layer analysis allowed us to reveal
several features in the element distribution along the
cores. Both lakes show a gradual upward increase of
element concentrations to the surface, which is better
expressed in Lake Langtibeito. The uppermost 1.5-cm
interval of this lake (light brown clay loam) shows a
sharp growth (by 1.5–2 times) of Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni,
V, Zn, as well as total sulfur and Fe and Mn oxides
(Fig. 4а). Such distribution can be explained by the
income of elements in bottom sediments through sedimentation on the Fe and Mn hydroxides, by processes
Table 2. Average contents of some elements in the sedimentary rocks (Turekian and Wedepohl, 1961; Ronov et al., 1990)
and studied sediment cores of the studied lakes, mg/kg
Concentration, mg/kg
As
Shales
Clay, clay shales
Sandstone
Langtibeito Top. Maximum
(loam)
Bottom. Average
(sand. below 20 cm)
Gol’tsovoe Top. maximum
(loam)
Bottom. average
(sand. Below 30 cm)
Ba
Co
Cr
13
580 19 90
6.6 800 20 100
1 n × 10 0.3 35
2.6 681
5.6 31
2.3
578
3.3
648
1.16 563
2.7 15
10
54
3.7 21.6
Cu
Hg
45
0.4
57
0.4
n
0.03
8.5 0.075
Mo
0.26 68
0.2 95
0.2
2
0.28 15
3.4 0.004 0.14
23
Ni
5
0.078 0.33 27
4.9 0.005 0.16
Pb
20
20
7
11.5
S
Sr
Tl
V
2400 300 1.4 130
3000 450 1
130
240 20 0.82 20
200 172 0.37 37
8.8
12
6.5 8.4
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Zn
95
80
15
25
72 126 0.26
20
11
230 214 0.35
79
48
81 132 0.26
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Depth, cm
Depth, cm
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Depth, cm
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
0
%
1.0
Fe2O3
1.5
La
5
Cr
mg/kg
10
V
15
S
As
Ni
Pb
mg/kg
4
8
Zn
12 0
Cu
1800
1850
1900
1950
2000
Si
Ba
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
0
2000 5
1950 10
15
20
1900
25
1850 30
35
1800 40
45
50
55
mg/kg
200 400 600 800
Co
mg/kg
mg/kg
5 10 15 20 25 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Al2O3
0
5
1950 10
15
1900 20
25
1850 30
35
1800 40
45
50
55
mg/kg
40 80 120 160 200
2000
%
Fe2O3
2
3
La
10
Cr
Ni
Zn
mg/kg
10 20 30 40 50
Al2O3
As
Pb
mg/kg
mg/kg
5 15 20 0 2 4 6 8 10 120
V
mg/kg
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
1
(b)
Concentration
%
2 4 6 8 10 12
1800
1850
1800
1850
1900
1950
Sr
Ba
1800
1850
1900
1950
2000
mg/kg
200 400 600 800
Cu
2000
mg/kg
50 100 150 200 250
S
1900
1950
mg/kg
50 100 150 200 250
2000
Co
Fig. 4. Concentration profiles of elements in the bottom sediment cores of the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe (b) lakes.
0
mg/kg
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
0.5
(а)
Concentration
%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
413
414
TATSII et al.
0
10
(a)
Concentration, µg/kg
20 30 40 50 60
70
80
0
10
(b)
Concentration, µg/kg
20 30 40 50 60
70
80
2000
2000
5
5
10
10
1950
1950
15
20
20
1900
25
1850
30
Depth, cm
Depth, cm
15
1900
25
30
1850
35
35
40
40
45
45
50
50
55
Fig. 5. Mercury in the sediments of the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe (b) lakes.
on the bottom sediment–water interface, and by sulfide formation. An increase of some elements in the
surface layer could be also caused by the intense exploration of the Nizhne-Tambeyskoe gas-condensate
field at a distance of a few tens of kilometers from the
lake, which is accompanied by gas flaring and the
development of wind erosion owing to the disturbance
of vegetation cover (Yamal SPG..., 2014). At the same
time, it should be noted that the element concentrations in the upper horizon of bottom sediments and elevated contents of some elements in separate horizons
remain within background concentrations (Fig. 3а).
The distribution of all elements (besides mercury)
shows a poor correlation with grain-size and LOI data.
The distribution of elements in the bottom sediment
core from Lake Gol’tsovoe, in contrast, well correlates
with LOI and grain-size data (fraction <0.04 mm)
(Fig. 2b). The peculiar feature of the core is an
increase of concentrations of practically all elements
within 22–16 cm interval. The concentrations of some
elements (Bi, Cr, Cu, Li, Mg, Ni, Stot, Th, V, and Zn)
in these horizons are over two times higher. Such an
increase would be explained by a significant increase
of aleurite–pelite fraction (almost up to 50%), but this
would hardly affect practically all (>50) elements. An
increase of this fraction up to 70% in the Langtibeito
core did not cause significant changes of concentrations. The reason and mechanism of such distribution
yet remain unclear.
Mercury in bottom sediments. The mercury behavior in the bottom sediments of the studied lakes sig-
nificantly differ from the distribution of other elements in its excellent correlation with grain size and
LOI data for both lakes (Fig. 5), as well as with results
obtained for parallel cores (Morozova et al., 2015).
Unlike the distribution of other elements in the bottom sediments of Lake Langtibeito (Fig. 5a), the
increase in mercury concentrations begins on the
sand–loam transition of the core. This transition, at a
lesser length of loam section in Lake Gol’tsovoe, has
the more expressed character.
An increase of Hg content in Lake Gol’tsovoe also
begins in the sand–loam transition zone (approximately 27–30 cm), but has a less expressed character
(Fig. 5b). For this lake the mercury distribution shows
two peaks: at depths of 16–20 cm (as for other elements) and 7 cm. Unlike other elements, a sharp
increase of Hg concentrations is observed in the
uppermost 2 cm (Fig. 4b).
The local background mercury contents in the bottom sediments of the lakes were determined from the
mercury contents in sandy portions of the cores: in
10–47 cm layers of Lake Langtibeito and 27–55 cm
layers of Lake Gol’tsovoe. These values accounted for
4.5 ± 1.3 and 5.4 ± 1.2 ng/g for the Langtibeito and
Gol’tsovoe lakes, respectively. The higher contents of
the finest fraction (<0.04 mm) throughout the entire
loam part of the Langtibeito core explain the high
mercury content in this part. The insignificant contents of this fraction in sandy portions of the cores
from both lakes correspond to the low (background)
mercury contents. It is characteristic that the mercury
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BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
contents in the upper layers of bottom sediments of
both lakes reach approximately equal values. The
enrichment factor for mercury in the uppermost layers
of bottom sediments relative to the local background
(mercury content in the lower layers) accounted for
16.9 and 14.4 for the Langtibeito and Gol’tsovoe lakes,
respectively, which are much higher than for other elements. This may indicate a similar mercury influx
from atmosphere owing to the transboundary transport. A source could be the Norilsk industrial district
and petroleum complexes of Yamal (gas flaring).
Diatom analysis. The quantitative and qualitative
compositions of fresh-water diatom assemblages are
tightly related to the chemical composition of water
and represent bioindicators, which are able to reflect
environmental and climatic changes. They have a
well-preserved siliceous frustule of a complex structure, which well preserved in the fossil state. Therefore, the composition of diatoms in bottom sediments
can be used to estimate the state of ecosystems and environment in the past and to reveal the dynamics of climate and unfavorable processes. The rate of intraspecies evolution in this algal group is small relative to the
formation time of Late Quaternary sediments. The species composition of fresh-water diatom assemblages
practically did not change for the last 10–20 thou years.
Thus, the diatom algae are a key group in reconstructing the ecological paleoenvironments of fresh-water
basins (Razumovskii and Moiseenko, 2009; Moiseenko et al., 2000).
For the diatom analysis, the upper (loamy) parts of
the columns were used –10-cm of Lake Langtibeito
and 23-cm of Lake Gol’tsovoe.
The revealed diatom flora of bottom sediments of
Lake Langtibeito includes 124 species, which are
ascribed to 34 genera of Bacillariophyta. The frustules
are well preserved. Planktic diatoms account for 15%
of the total taxa. Benthic diatoms amounting up to
82% of total taxa are characterized by the widest species diversity. All these diatoms are fresh-water. Three
species of ancient marine redeposited diatoms
(Grunowiella gemmata, Paralia sulcata, and Stephanopyxis turris) were identified in samples. The frustules
and fragments of Paralia sulcata were found throughout the entire core section, especially many of them in
the uppermost sediment layer.
The diatom diagram (Fig. 6) shows the distribution
of some dominant and indicator diatom species
throughout the core, as well as four ecozones distinguished on the basis of diatom assemblages in the Langtibeito core.
Within the depth interval of 7–9.5 cm (zone D-I)
at the transition from greenish-brown sand to greenish-brown loam, the content of frustules is high. In this
zone, the diatom assemblages are dominated by species
Staurosirella pinnata. The contents of other species are
as follows: genera Achnanthes (Achnanthes calcar)
account for up to 50%, Navicula (N. järnefeltii), up to
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10%, and genera Staurosira (Staurosira venter), up to
14%. A few frustule specimens from swampy species of
genera Eunotia (E. pectinalis var. minor) and Pinnularia (P. microstauron) account for <3%, and Cavinula
(C. pseudoscutiformis), up to 5%. Planktic species are
mainly ascribed to genus Aulacoseira and account for up
to 15% (Aulacoseira italica), while single planktic species Tabellaria flocculosa occur only in this horizon.
Upsection, at a depth of 5–7 cm (zone D-II), the
greenish-brown loam contains diatom assemblages
with the predominance of epiphytic fresh-water–
saltish-water Staurosira construens (up to 20%). The
dominant bottom species are also Staurosirella pinnata
(@до 17%), which is widespread in fresh, sometimes
slightly saltish waters (light halophile, oligosaprobe).
They are accompanied by foulers Staurosira venter,
Achnanthes lanceolata, A. aff. Frigidam, and others.
The third zone (D-III) distinguished within the
interval of 1.5–5 cm, as compared to the previous
zone, shows a growth of diatom abundance. The predominant species is Staurosirella pinnata (up to 39%),
which is accompanied with Staurosira venter (up to
7%). The number of epiphytic species increases, primarily through an increase of genus Achnanthes
(Achnanthes lanceolata (up to 10%), A. lanceolata spp.
dubia (up to 2%), Achnanthes bioretii (up to 5%), and
others). The number of planktic species (Aulacoseira
alpigena) decreases. The swampy species Pinnularia
practically disappear, while species of genus Eunotia
occur as single specimens.
In the fourth zone (D-IV), within an interval of 0–
1.5 см, the frustules concentration remains high. This
horizon is peculiar in the absence of dominant species;
the assemblages include 59 diatom species, most of
which account for from 3 to 7% of the total taxa. The
most abundant species are Staurosira construens (up
to 7%), S. venter (up to 6%), Staurosirella pinnata (up
to 7%). Achnanthes aff. frigida (up to 6%), A. lanceolata (up to 5%), A. petersenii (up to 3%), A. bioretii (up
to 3%), Amphora lybica (up to 5%), Aulacoseira italica
(up to 4%), Diploneis elliptica (up to 3%), and others.
The diatom assemblages are dominated by bottom
species (up to 54%), with significant number of epiphytes (up to 42%).
The species composition and categories of ecological groups in the diatom assemblages of Lake Langtibeito are typical of fresh-water cold basins with weakly
alkaline or neutral medium. Nevertheless, it should be
noted that the diatom assemblages of this lake differ
from lacustrine assemblages of the European North
Russia in the absence of clearly expressed dominants
and the wide species diversity (124 species). In particular, only Staurosirella pinnata reaches 39% in separate horizons. Based on the pH values, the lake was
mainly characterized by weakly alkaline and neutral
waters. In general, the diatom assemblages throughout
the core are indicative of littoral zone with neutral–
weakly alkaline medium and the predominance of
2020
5 0 10 0
20
40
70
60
30
50
50
50
40
40
30
4 0 30 0 20 0 50 0
(@морская переотложенная)
Paralia suleata
Staurosirella pinnata
S. venter
Staurosira construens
Navicula jarhefeltii
Gyrosigma kuetzingii
Eunotia granulate
Diploneis elliptica
C. pseudoscutiformis
Cavinula cocconeiformis
Caloneis bacillum
Aulacosera granulata
Amphora lybica
A. aff. frigida
A. petersenii
A. lanceolata ssp. dubia
A. devei
10 0
7%
Ecozones
0
A. lanceolata
TATSII et al.
Achnanthes calcar
416
D-IV
2010
1
3
4
5
1980
D-II
Depth, cm
1990
D-III
2000
2
6
1970
7
D-I
8
1960
9
Fig. 6. Diatom diagram for the bottom sediments of Lake Langtibeito with subdivision into ecozones and dating.
benthic (bottom and epiphytic) diatoms; the abundance of planktic diatom algae is relatively insignificant (Fig. 8).
Some conclusions can be drawn from obtained distributions. An insignificant growth of epiphytic diatoms in zone D-II as compared to the first sedimentation stage (D-I) may indicate a possible insignificant
lake level decrease, while a continuing growth of epiphytic diatoms in zone D-III suggests a further level
decrease. The predominance of bottom and epiphytic
diatoms at extremely mixed composition of diatom
assemblages devoid of clearly expressed dominant in
zone D-IV could be caused by instable varying conditions, which prevented significant development of
definite species.
The bottom sediments of Lake Gol’tsovoe contain
scarce but sufficiently taxonomically diverse diatom
flora: 107 diatom species and varieties, as well as 5 taxa
of marine flagellate alga (silicoflagellate). The freshwater and fresh-water–saltish diatoms comprise 70 taxa,
including 8 planktic species, 44 bottom diatoms, and
27 foulers. The saltish-water diatoms surviving light
salination of host basin include five species. The bottom diatoms reached the widest species diversity, with
the most representative Pinnularia (17 species) and
Navicula (7 species). The foulers are represented by
27 species and varieties. These are Eunotia (9 species),
Cymbella (7 species), and Fragilaria (3 species). Other
genera include the lesser number of species. All
frustules of fresh-water diatoms are well-preserved
and ascribed to the recent flora.
In addition to the recent diatoms, all studied samples contain redeposited marine diatoms and silicoflagellates of Paleogene age. In total, we established
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50
40 0
50 0
50
20 0
60
70
10 0
80
8 0
Paralia sulcata s.l.
Synura sphagnicola
Tabellaria fenestrata
Synedra ulna
Staurosira construens
Pinnularia interrupta
Navicula menisculus
Martyiana martyi
Hantzchia amphioxis
Fragillaria virescens
Eunotia praerupt
80
417
80 0
60 %
Ecozones
0
Aulacoseira granulata
Amphora ovalis var. lybica
BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
2010
2
2000
4
1990
6
1980
8
1970
D-IV
Depth, cm
D-III
10
1960
12
1950
14
1940
16
1930
18
1920
20
1910
22
1900
D-II
D-I
Fig. 7. Diatom diagram for bottom sediments of Lake Gol’tsovoe with subdivision into ecozones and dating.
22 diatom taxa and 5 flagellate taxa. The redeposited
diatoms are dominated by Paralia sulcata and Aulacoseira sp., which were found in all samples with high
quantitative estimates. Less abundant Coscinodiscus
payeri and Stephanopyxis turris occur in most samples.
Fragments of species Grunoviella gemmata and Hemiaulus sp. were found almost in all samples, while other
diatom species and silicoflagellates are very scarce.
The most abundant silicoflagellates are Dictyocha
transitoria.
The studied core is characterized by the presence of
golden algae (Chrysophyta) in some samples. The species was determined as Synura sphagnicola Korschikov.
It is ascribed to the holarctic planktic algae typical of
stagnant fresh waters. Synura sphagnicola was identified in 10 samples of the considered core, and scales of
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this alga reach over 75% of total algae amount in sediments within 10–10.5 cm interval.
The diatom diagram (Fig. 7) demonstrates the distribution of some dominant and indicator diatom species throughout the section. Based on the composition
and character of the diatom assemblages, we distinguished four zones reflecting the change in sedimentation conditions.
In zone D-I within the depth interval of 22.5–18 cm,
bottom sediments are represented by greenish-brown
loam with numerous dark brown spots of organics. It
is characterized by poor diatom assemblages, which
are dominated by foulers Fragilaria virescens (up to
20%), Tabellaria fenestrata (up to 8%), Staurosira construens (up to 7%), and Eunotia praerupta (up to 6%).
Bottom species Amphora ovalis and Navicula menisculus are ascribed to the subdominants. Upsection, the
2020
418
TATSII et al.
(а)
Content, %
0
20
40
60
80
Grain-size
composition, %
0
50
100
2010
100
0–1
D-IV
1–2
2000
2–3
D-III
1990
Ecozones
Horizon, cm
3–4
4–5
5–6
1980
D-II
6–7
1970
7–8
D-I
8–9
1960
9–10
(b)
Content, %
20
40
60
0–1
1–2
2–3
3–4
4–5
5–6
6–7
7–8
8–9
9–10
10–11
11–12
12–13
13–14
14–15
15–16
16–17
17–18
18–19
19–20
20–21
21–22
22–23
80
100
D-IV
2000
1980
D-III
Ecozones
Horizon, cm
0
Grain-size
composition, %
0
50
100
1960
1940
D-II
1920
D-I
1900
Plankton
Bottom
Foulers
<0.04 mm
>0.1 mm
Fig. 8. Diagram of distribution of ecological diatom groups, grain-size composition, and dating, and ecozones in the sediments
of the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe (b) lakes.
amount of foulers within the interval decreases from 70
to 23%. The upper part of the interval is marked by the
appearance of Synura sphagnicola, as well as by the population peak of planktic Aulacoseira granulata. Redeposited diatoms varies from 20 to 65% of total diatoms.
In Zone D-II (17.5–12 cm, loam with numerous
inclusions of organic black-brown ooze), diatom
assemblages are dominated by Fragilaria virescens (up
to 18%), Martyiana martyi (up to 18%), Staurosira
construens (up to 11%), while Tabellaria fenestrata pre-
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BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
dominating in the lower layer becomes subdominant.
A list of subdominants is supplemented by epiphytic
diatoms of genera Eunotia, which reached 8% in the
upper part of the interval. This zone contains bottom
species (P. interrupta, P. viridis), which are absent in
the underlying sediments. Synura sphagnicola sporadically occur. The amount of foulers decreases from 87
to 18% upsection within the interval. The redeposited
diatoms amount from 35 to 60%.
In Zone D-III (11.5–6 cm), the number of inclusions of black-brown organic ooze decreases upward.
This assemblage demonstrates a decrease of population
and species diversity of fresh-water diatoms. Most samples are dominated by Synura sphagnicola, reaching
75%. In the fresh-water assemblage, the role of indifferent species (Hantzchia amphioxis) and halophiles (Synedra ulna – up to 7%) increases, while the amount of
halophobes (Eunotia praerupta, Fragilaria virescens,
Pinnularia interrupta, planktic species Aulacoseira granulata), decreases. This zone preserve a large number of
Staurosira construens (8–9%). This interval is characterized by the lowest content of redeposited diatoms
(varies from 10 to 30%). The abundance of foulers
within the interval decreases upward from 55 to 35%,
except for 10–10.5 cm interval. The wide abundance of
Synura sphagnicola suggests a possible increase of the
basin area and an increase of its trophic status.
The upper zone D-IV (5.5–1 cm) yielded poor
scarce diatom assemblages. The dominant species are
Martyiana martyi (up to 18%), as well as Fragilaria
virescens, Staurosira construens in the lower part of the
interval. Subdominants are Eunotia praerupta, Navicula menisculus, and N. pupula. The amount of foulers
upward the interval decreases from 55 до 35% (except
for 2–2.5 cm interval). Synura sphagnicola was found in
two horizons (4–4.5 and 2–2.5 cm). Horizon 0–0.5 cm
contains sporadic redeposited diatoms. The amount of
redeposited diatoms increases relative to the underlying
sediments. In terms of composition and relations
between diatom species, zone D-I is close to zone D-II,
but differs in extremely poor diatom assemblage.
The studied diatom assemblages of the Gol’tsovoe
core make it possible to reconstruct the conditions in
the lake basin during the accumulation of the uppermost 22.5 cm of bottom sediments. Characteristic feature is the low number of diatoms, the constant presence of redeposited marine Paleogene species, as well
as golden algae found in most samples. Four sedimentation stages were distinguished on the basis of relations between dominant species, as well as between
diatom groups with different habitat. A change in proportions between bottom species and foulers with
upward decrease of the latters within each stage suggest lake-level variations, with some increase of the
lake depth at each successive sedimentation stage.
At the first stage (D-I), the diatom assemblages
characterize the conditions of formation of littoral
zone with neutral–weakly alkaline medium. The secGEOCHEMISTRY INTERNATIONAL
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ond stage (D-II) was characterized by an increase of
eutrophication of the basin. The third stage (D-III) is
marked by the appearance of golden algae in most
horizons, the number of which exceeded that of freshwater diatoms. The diatom assemblage shows an
increase of species – indifferents and halophiles. This
is likely related to the increase of the lake area and
simultaneous increase of its trophic status. At the
fourth stage (D-IV), the low abundance of diatoms
further decreases. This is likely caused by the deterioration of conditions, in particular, cooling and salination of the basin. During the entire studied sedimentation period, redeposited diatoms represented by marine
Paleogene (likely Eocene) species were involved in sediments.
The distributions of ecological algal groups
throughout the cores from the Langtibeito and
Gol’tsovoe lakes are shown in Fig. 8. The correlation
of diatom data with grain-size composition showed
that the grain-size composition of lake sediments of
the studied lakes in 1950–1960s was characterized by a
clear decrease of fine dispersed fraction and increase
of coarse-grained fraction. This was related with a
pronounced restructuring in ecosystems of both lakes,
which is also characterized by a significance decrease
of relative abundance of planktic species and an
increase of percentage of foulers and bottom species.
Such processes of rebuilding of ecosystem are usually related to lake shoaling. Both these processes
likely have climatic reasons, because the lakes have
different size and are sufficiently far away from each
other. Since both lakes are located in the permafrost
zone, it is reasonable to suggest a short-term climate
aridization, with simultaneous erosion of surrounding
rocks and their subsequent influx into shoaling lakes.
The assumption of regional climatic reasons of these
time-limited processes is also supported by the different
duration and the rate of “response” of ecosystems of
these lakes. In larger Lake Langtibeito, changes in the
grain-size composition occurred slightly later, and phytoplanktic assemblages did not disappear completely. In
Lake Gol’tsovoe, the finely dispersed fraction disappeared slightly earlier, while phytoplanktic species are
absent in the diatom assemblages.
The multi-factor nature of these processes, including different distance of lakes from coastal marine
bays, also should be taken into account.
Estimate of environmental dynamics and the latest
lake evolution. In addition to the conventional versions
of diatom analysis, we applied a principle of unification of bioindication method (Moiseenko and Razumovskii, 2009).
According to the new method, the pH values are
reconstructed using the evaluation procedure of saprobity index (S) according to Slàdeček (1973).
S =
2020
∑s × k,
∑k
i
420
TATSII et al.
(a)
0.9
0
S
1.1
1.0
1.2
pH
6.9 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3
1.3
15
16
t, °C
17
18
19
20
D-IV
1
2
Diatom ecozones
Depth, cm
3
4
5
6
D-III
D-II
7
8
D-I
9
10
t, °C
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Diatom ecozones
D-IV
Depth, cm
(b)
pH
S
0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 6.0 6.2 6.4 6.6 6.8 7.0 7.2 7.4
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
D-III
D-II
D-I
Fig. 9. Variations of parameters of hydroenvironments: saprobity, pH, and temperature in the Langtibeito (a) and Gol’tsovoe (b)
lakes.
where si is an individual value of saprobity for each
indicator taxon; k is the coefficient of relative abundance of each indicator taxon calculated on a six-stage
scale (Manual…, 1992).
Correspondingly, the values of pH and temperature (Тo) were calculated by analogy to the evaluation
of saprobity index S:
pH =
∑ ph × k ;
∑k
i
T° =
∑t × k ,
∑k
i
where phi and ti are the individual values for each indicator taxon.
If there is data for given taxon in the form of
numerical interval, its average value was calculated:
phi =
( phmin + phmax )
(t + t )
; ti = min max .
2
2
The starting data base for pH and Тo calculations
was taken from (Barinova et al., 2006).
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BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF THE WEST SIBERIAN ARCTIC LAKES
It should be especially emphasized that the main
advantage of our technique is the reliable reconstruction of rates and trends of pH and Тo variations instead
of calculation of definite values.
In samples of bottom sediments from Lake Langtibeito, 57 saprobity indicator taxa were identified. The
pH indicator group includes 71 taxa; while the temperature indicator group includes 13 taxa.
The calculation showed that paleotemperatures
varied within 19.7–15.8°С (Fig. 9а). This indicates a
strong heating of water column during “open water”
periods and the degradation of ice sheet. Significant
changes of saprobity index (S) were not recorded
(1.24–0.99). The lake is characterized as an oligosaprobic basin, which is typical of these latitudes.
The calculation of pH values confirmed the conclusions based on the conventional diatom analysis
that the basin water was slightly weakly alkaline or
neutral, with pH values varying within 6.93–7.2.
No significant correlations were found between the
saprobity, temperature, and pH values.
Samples from the bottom sediments of Lake
Gol’tsovoe yielded 47 saprobity indicator taxa. The
pH- and temperature-related groups include, respectively, 70 and 17 taxa. Calculations of paleotemperatures showed that the lake was a cold water basin
(16.75–10.0°С) (Fig. 9b). For the cold transpolar lake,
it has a sufficiently high trophic status: the average value
of saprobity index (Sav) is 1.46, which practically falls on
the boundary between oligosaprobic and β-mesosaprobic zones. The pH values vary within 7.34–6.16.
Changes in pH values may be determined by transgressive effects on the lake area.
Variations of saprobity, temperature, and pH show
no any significant correlations. However, a certain
relationship is observed between ecozones distinguished by classical methods of diatom analysis and
nature of variations of reconstructed hydrological
parameters.
The studies of lake sediments demonstrated the
high prospect of diatom-based bioindication analysis
for reconstructing the recent climatic changes in the
Arctic areas of West Siberia.
CONCLUSIONS
The study of bottom sediment cores from two arctic
lakes, Langtibeito (Yamal Peninsula) and Gol’tsovoe
(Gydan Peninsula), showed that the core lithology represented by loam in the upper part and sand at the base
shows no significant effect on the element distribution.
The studied bottom sediments are characterized by
the extremely low content of organic matter (based on
loss on ignition results) even in the upper loam portion. The enrichment factors calculated relative to the
average contents in clay shales are <2 even for maxiGEOCHEMISTRY INTERNATIONAL
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mum concentrations, indicating that the studied lakes
can be regarded as background.
The mercury content, unlike other elements, is
much higher than the local background in the subsurface layers of bottom sediments of both lakes. This can
be related to the atmospheric influx of the metal
through transboundary transport.
The sedimentation rate estimated from 210Pb and
137
Cs activity accounted for 0.17 and 0.20 cm/y for
Langtibeito and Gol’tsovoe, respectivelyThe comparison of the diatom analysis and grain-size data revealed
the rebuilding of lake ecosystem, which is recorded in a
significant change of proportions of different diatom
groups. This can be related to the lake shoaling in
response to climatic changes. The diatom-based bioindication methods is promising tool for reconstructing
the recent climatic changes in arctic regions.
FUNDING
The studies were financially supported by the Russian
Foundation for Basic Research (project nos. 18-05-60012
and 17-05-00673/19).
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GEOCHEMISTRY INTERNATIONAL
SPELL: OK
Translated by M. Bogina
Vol. 58
No. 4
2020