, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 157-168

Climatic changes during the past 1300 years as deduced from the sediments of Lake Nakatsuna, central Japan

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Abstract

Limnological features and sediment characteristics were studied in Lake Nakatsuna, a mesotrophic lake in central Japan. The lake is dimictic, and is anoxic in the hypolimnion during thermal stratification from May to September. In an attempt to reconstruct paleoclimatic changes around the lake, a sediment core taken from the lake center spanning the past 1300 years was analyzed for its organic and inorganic contents. Climatic influences were examined on the variation of total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), and sand contents. Short- and long-term fluctuations in TOC, TN, and sand contents are evident, and variation in atmospheric temperature appears to be important for their long-term variability. The sediment record from AD 900 to 1200 indicates hot summers and warm winters with less snow accumulation, whereas the record from AD 1200 to 1950 is characterized by high variation of temperature, with three cool phases from AD 1300 to 1470, 1700 to 1760, and 1850 to 1950. The warm period from AD 900 to 1200 corresponds well to the Medieval Warm Period, and the second and third cool phases are related to the Little Ice Age.

Received: February 16, 2001 / Accepted: June 7, 2001