Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 445–452 | Cite as

Signature of long supercycles in the Pleistocene history of Asian limnic systems

  • Mikhail Albertovich Phedorin
  • Andrey P. Fedotov
  • Svetlana S. Vorobieva
  • Galina A. Ziborova
Original Paper


The analysis of sediment chemistry and biota in drill cores from Lake Khubsugul in Mongolia (KDP-01) and Lake Baikal in Siberia (BDP-96/1), two great Eurasian freshwater lakes, detected prominent climate and biological events at 460–420 and 670 kyrs BP in addition to the orbital cycles of precession, tilt and eccentricity. The revealed long-term events were associated with notable changes in biodiversity and geography/landscapes, mainly in water budgets and weathering patterns. The span between 460–420 and 670 kyrs BP was the time when the climate and geographic conditions differed from those before and after these events. The corresponding 33–24 m (670–460 kyr) interval of the Khubsugul core lacked the usual signature of the Milankovitch glacial/interglacial cycles. Events of approximately these ages were found in some other continental ecosystems and in oceanic δ13C records. The two events may mark the phases of a 300–500-kyr long supercycle (or megastadial) in the evolution of continental ecosystems. Among other causes (e.g., regional tectonic events), this periodicity, being globally correlated, may be associated with the 400-kyr cycle of the Earth’s orbital eccentricity.


Pleistocene cycles Limnic records Asia Lake Khubsugul Lake Baikal 



The study was carried out as part of Program 16.8 of the Russian Academy of Science and the Integration project 62 of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science. We are grateful to all colleagues from Siberian Synchrotron Centre for the technical support of our XRF measurements and to Dr. A. Prokopenko from University of South Carolina for critical remarks. We are indebted to Dr. Elizabeth Helene Gierlowski-Kordesch for the thoughtful review of the manuscript and useful suggestions that improved its style and content.


  1. An Z (2000) The history and variability of the east Asian paleomonsoon climate. Quat Sci Rev 19(1–5):171–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berger A, Loutre MF (1991) Insolation values for the climate of the last 10 million years. Quat Sci Rev 10(4):297–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baikal Drilling Project BDP-96 (Leg II) Members (1997) Continuous paleoclimate record of last 5 MA from Lake Baikal, Siberia. EOS American Geophyiscal Union, Transactions 78(51):597–604Google Scholar
  4. Ding ZL, Derbyshire E, Yang SL, Sun JM, Liu TS (2005) Stepwise expansion of desert environment across northern China in the past 3.5 Ma and implications for monsoon evolution. Earth Planet Sci Lett 237(1–2):45–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fedotov AP, Chebykin EP, Semenov MY, Vorobyova SS, Osipov EY, Golobokova LP, Pogodaeva TV, Zheleznyakova TO, Grachev MA, Tomurhuu D, Oyunchimeg T, Narantsetseg T, Tomurtogoo O, Dolgikh PT, Arsenyuk MI, De Batist M (2004a) Changes in the volume and salinity of Lake Khubsugul (Mongolia) in response to global climate changes in the upper Pleistocene and the Holocene. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 209(1–4):245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fedotov A, Kazansky AY, Tomurhuu D, Matasova G, Ziborova G, Zheleznyakova T, Vorobyova S, Phedorin M, Goldberg E, Oyunchimeg T, Narantsetseg T, Vologina E, Yuldashev A, Kalugin I, Tomurtogoo O, Grachev M (2004b) A 1-Myr record of paleoclimates from Lake Khubsugul, Mongolia. EOS 85(40):387–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ghil M, Allen RM, Dettinger MD, Ide K, Kondrashov D, Mann ME, Robertson A, Saunders A, Tian Y, Varadi F, Yiou P (2002) Advanced spectral methods for climatic time series. Rev Geophys 40(1):3.1–3.41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goldberg EL, Phedorin MA, Grachev MA, Bobrov VA, Dolbnya IP, Khlystov OM, Levina OV, Ziborova GA (2000) Geochemical signals of orbital forcing in the records of paleoclimates found in the sediments of Lake Baikal. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 448(1–2):384–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goldberg EL, Grachev MA, Phedorin MA, Kalugin IA, Khlystov OM, Mezentsev SN, Azarova IN, Vorobyeva SS, Zheleznyakova TO, Kulipanov GN, Kondratyev VI, Miginsky EG, Tsukanov VM, Zolotarev KV, Trunova VA, Kolmogorov YP, Bobrov VA (2001) Application of synchrotron X-ray fluorescent analysis to studies of the records of paleoclimates of Eurasia stored in the sediments of Lake Baikal and Lake Teletskoye. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 470(1–2):388–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grachev MA, Vorobieva SS, Likhoshway EV, Goldberg EL, Levina OV, Khlystov OM (1998) A high-resolution diatom record of the paleoclimates of East Siberia for the last 2.5 My from Lake Baikal. Quat Sci Rev 17(12):1101–1106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kashiwaya K, Ochiai S, Sakai H, Kawai T (2001) Orbit-related long-term climate cycles revealed in a 12-Myr continental record from Lake Baikal. Nature 410(6824):71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kuzmin MI, Grachev MA, Williams DF, Kawai T, Horie S, Oberhaensli H (1997) A continuous record of the paleoclimates of the last 4.5 million years from Lake Baikal. Geologiya i Geofizika (Russ Geol Geophys) 38(5):1020–1023Google Scholar
  13. Lisiecki LE, Raymo ME (2005) A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records. Paleoceanography 20:PA1003Google Scholar
  14. Markgraf V (ed) (2001) Interhemispheric climate linkages. Academic Press, San Diego, 454 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Phedorin MA, Bobrov VA, Chebykin YP, Goldberg EL, Melgunov MS, Filippova SV, Zolotarev KV (2000a) Comparison of synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence with conventional techniques for the analysis of sedimentary samples. Geostand Newsl 24(2):205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Phedorin MA, Goldberg EL, Grachev MA, Levina OL, Khlystov OM, Dolbnya IP (2000b) The comparison of biogenic silica, Br and Nd distributions in the sediments of Lake Baikal as proxies of changing paleoclimates of the last 480 ky. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 448(1–2):400–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Phedorin MA, Goldberg EL (2005) Prediction of absolute concentrations of elements from SR XRF scan measurements of natural wet sediments. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 543(1):274–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shackleton N (1996) Timescale calibration, ODP 677. IGBP PAGES/World Data Center-A for Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series # 96–018. NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder Colorado, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 328 ppGoogle Scholar
  20. Wang P, Tian J, Cheng X, Liu C, Xu J (2004) Major Pleistocene stages in a carbon perspective: the South China Sea record and its global comparison. Paleoceanography 19:PA4005Google Scholar
  21. Zolotarev KV, Goldberg EL, Kondratyev VI, Kulipanov GN, Miginsky EG, Tsukanov VM, Phedorin MA, Kolmogorov YP (2001) Scanning SR-XRF beamline for analysis of bottom sediments. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 470(1–2):376–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikhail Albertovich Phedorin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrey P. Fedotov
    • 1
  • Svetlana S. Vorobieva
    • 1
  • Galina A. Ziborova
    • 1
  1. 1.Limnological InstituteSiberian Branch of Russian Academy of ScienceIrkutskRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Petroleum Geology and GeophysicsSiberian Branch of Russian Academy of ScienceNovosibirskRussia

Personalised recommendations