Climate-related cyclic deposition of carbonate and organic matter in Holocene lacustrine sediment, Lower Michigan, USA

Jennifer A. Nelson, Kathy Licht, Catherine Yansa, and Gabriel Fillippelli

    Records from lake sediment cores are critical for assessing the relative stability of climate and ecosystems over the Holocene. Duck Lake in south-central Lower Michigan, USA, was the focus of a study that identified how changes in the geochemical variables in lake sediments relate to variations in regional climate and local land use during the Holocene. More than 8.5 m of lacustrine sediment were recovered using Livingston and freeze corers and analyzed for organic carbon, inorganic (carbonate) carbon, total nitrogen, and trace metals. Repeating packages of sediment (110 cm thick) that grade from light (inorganic carbon-rich) to dark (organic carbon-rich) were found from the surface to a depth of about 8 m. Variations in the highresolution gray scale data from core X-radiographs are highly correlated to the relative amount of inorganic carbon. Geochemical analyses of the upper 8.5 m of sediment revealed a wide range of values: 0.0510.6% for inorganic carbon (i.e. 0.589% calcium carbonate) and 1.128% for organic carbon (i.e. 2.770% organic matter). Organic carbon to nitrogen ratios indicate that most of the sediment organic matter is produced within the lake. A core chronology based on eight AMS radiocarbon dates shows low sediment accumulation rates (0.05 cm/ year) from 10,000 to 3,800 cal year BP and higher sediment accumulation rates (0.10.3 cm/year) from 3,800 cal year BP to present. We suggest that carbonate accumulates during relatively dry times, whereas organic matter accumulation dominates when nutrient input to the lake is enhanced by wetter climate. The Duck Lake core records a distinct low point in inorganic carbon deposition that may be related to the 8.2 ka cooling event now documented from several sites in North America. Spectral analysis of gray scale values shows significant *200-year periodicities over the past 8,000 years, hypothesized to result from climate changes induced by solar forcing. Concentrations of trace metals (e.g. lead, iron, copper, zinc) indicate the onset of regional anthropogenic influence about 150 cal year BP.