Holocene fluctuations of a meromictic Lake in southern British Columbia

Holocene deposits of Mahoney Lake, a meromictic saline lake located in a closed basin in the semi-arid Okanagan Valley, contain evidence of frequent and marked changes in lake depth (up to >12 m/100¹⁴C yr) probably caused by short-term changes in effective precipitation. We studied a 5.45-m-long core comprising a basal layer of inorganic mud overlain by a succession of layers of calcareous laminated and nonlaminated organic mud, marl, and sand. We used Mazama tephra to adjust nine radiocarbon ages for the hardwater effect. Meromixis developed ca. 9000¹⁴C yr B.P., and the lake has been episodically meromictic for about half the time since. Because of close linkages between sediments and depositional environments in meromictic and saline lakes, we infer that laminated sediments indicate meromictic conditions and high lake levels (>ca. 12 m water depth), whereas thick marl layers and nonlaminated sediments indicate nonmeromictic conditions and thus low lake levels (<ca. 8 m depth). Many of the inferred short-term climatic changes have not been identified in previous studies in northwestern North America, perhaps because of insensitive climatic proxies, inadequate temporal resolution, or discounting of anomalous findings.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Lowe, D.J., Green, J.D., Northcote, T.G. & Hall, K.J. (1997). Holocene fluctuations of a meromictic Lake in southern British Columbia. Quaternary Research, 48(1), 100-113.
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