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Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 547–563 | Cite as

Natural and anthropogenic aquatic environmental changes reconstructed by paleolimnological analyses in Lake Kitaura, central Japan

  • Tomonori Naya
  • Yoshihiro Tanimura
  • Yutaka Kanai
  • Fujio Kumon
  • Kazuo Amano
Original Paper

Abstract

In order to assess the recent anthropogenic environmental changes in Lake Kitaura, central Japan, changes during the past few centuries were reconstructed from results of radiometric and tephrochlonological age determination, magnetic susceptibility measurements, total organic carbon analyses, total nitrogen analyses and fossil diatom analyses on a sediment core from the lake. A total of six major and sub-zones are recognized according to the diatom fossil assemblages, and we discuss aquatic environmental change in Lake Kitaura mainly based on these diatom assemblage change. Zone Ia and Zone Ib (older than AD 1707) are marine to brackish. In Zone IIa (AD␣1707–AD 1836), most of the brackish diatoms disappeared, and were replaced by freshwater species indicating a decrease in salinity. We interpret the salinity decrease in Zone I–IIa as a sea-level fall during the Little Ice Age. The salinity of the lake decreased to near freshwater conditions in Zone IIb (AD 1836–AD 1970), which could arise from alteration in River Tone or development of a sandspit in the mouth of River Tone in addition to sea-level change. In Zone IIIa (AD 1970–AD 1987), the diatom assemblage indicates a freshwater environment, and sedimentation rates increase rapidly. These changes reflect sedimentary environment change and an ecosystem transition due to the construction of the tide gate. In Zone IIIb (AD 1987–AD 2002), the diatom flux (valves cm−2 y−1) increased and species composition changed. The changes in Zone IIIb show a good agreement with limnological monitoring data gathered from the lake. These paleolimnological data suggest that the recent human-induced changes of the aquatic environment of the lake after the 1970s exceed rates during the period concerned in this study.

Keywords

Lake Kitaura (Lake Kasumigaura) Diatoms Coastal lagoon Anthropogenic impact Tide gate Japan 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many former students of the Center for Water Environment Studies and geology seminar of Ibaraki University for their field surveys and laboratory work. We also thank Dr. K. Ikehara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) for ensuring laboratory analysis in AIST. Special thanks are expressed to Dr. A. J. Martin of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency for correcting the English manuscript. This study was partly supported by the Grant-in-Aid from Fukada Geological Institute.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomonori Naya
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Tanimura
    • 2
  • Yutaka Kanai
    • 3
  • Fujio Kumon
    • 4
  • Kazuo Amano
    • 5
  1. 1.Water Environmental Research LaboratoryKasumigaura Environmental Science Center, Ibaraki PrefectureTsuchiura, IbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of GeologyNational Science MuseumTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Research Center for Deep Geological Environments, Geological Survey of JapanNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)Tsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of ScienceIbaraki UniversityMito, IbarakiJapan

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