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