A multi-proxy sediment record of late Holocene and recent climate change from a lake near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

Shan Jiang, Xiaodong Liu, Jing Sun, Linxi Yuan, Liguang Sun, Yuhong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The Arctic constitutes a unique and important environment with a significant role in the dynamics and evolution of the earth system. Arctic lake sediments, which accumulate slowly over time, contain abundant information about the biological communities that lived within the water body, as well as in the surrounding catchment. In this study, we collected a sediment core from Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, performed multi-proxy analyses on sediment pigments, mineral magnetic susceptibility, various sediment quality (i. e. organic matter content, CaCO3 content, carbon and nitrogen isotope), and diatom composition, and reconstructed the history of ecosystem responses to environmental variations, especially regarding aquatic productivity and lake catchment surface processes. Ny-Ålesund has undergone distinct ecological and climatic changes. During the Little Ice Age, the cold climate was unfavourable for the growth of lake algae, and therefore the lake primary productivity declined. After about AD 1890 and during the 20th century, the warming climate and reduced ice cover led to rapid lithological change and growth of lake algae, enhanced lake primary productivity, and increased input of nutrients derived from increased chemical weathering into the lake. The lake ecosystem on Ny-Ålesund has had rapid responses to climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-480
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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