Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 105–121 | Cite as

Influence of climate fluctuation on clay formation in the Baikal drainage basin

  • Takayuki Sakai
  • Koji Minoura
  • Mitsuyuki Soma
  • Yukinori Tani
  • Atsushi Tanaka
  • Fumiko Nara
  • Nobuyasu Itoh
  • Takayoshi Kawai


Sedimentary cores BDP 96 and 98 and VER 96-2 St. 3 from Academician Ridge in Lake Baikal were investigated to investigate the effect of climatic fluctuations on rock weathering and clay formation in the Baikal drainage basin. Illite, smectite, vermiculite, and kaolinite were identified as the major clay minerals in the sediments by X-ray diffraction analysis. Biotite in gravels in alluvial soils of the Baikal drainage area weathers through illite to vermiculite, smectite, and finally to kaolinite. To investigate the relationship between weathering and climate, we measured the clay content and the concentration of biogenic silica in the sediments. High surface productivity (increased biogenic silica) and high chemical weathering (decreased clay content) occurred simultaneously, showing that crustal weathering and soil formation were enhanced under warm climatic conditions.

Clay formation was enhanced in the watershed from the Late Miocene to the Middle Pliocene, and mechanical weathering of rocks increased during glacial intervals after the climate began to cool in Late Pliocene time. This change in the weathering mode in the watershed reduced the nutrient flux and aquatic productivity of Lake Baikal.


Biogenic silica Clay Climate change Lake Baikal Weathering 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takayuki Sakai
    • 1
  • Koji Minoura
    • 1
  • Mitsuyuki Soma
    • 2
  • Yukinori Tani
    • 2
  • Atsushi Tanaka
    • 3
  • Fumiko Nara
    • 4
  • Nobuyasu Itoh
    • 5
  • Takayoshi Kawai
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental SciencesUniversity of ShizuokaShizuokaJapan
  3. 3.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryTokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan
  5. 5.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTsukubaJapan
  6. 6.Division of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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