, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 55-70,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Sep 2011

Conditions for deposition of annually laminated sediments in small meromictic lakes: a case study of Lake Suminko (northern Poland)


A three-year field study was conducted in Lake Suminko, Poland, to gain an understanding of the limnological variables that influence the formation and spatial extent of annually laminated sediments in the lake. The water body is divided into three depth strata, the mixolimnion, chemocline and monimolimnion, each defined by distinct values of temperature, electrical conductivity and oxygen concentration. Typical for meromictic lakes, the monimolimnion remains perennially anoxic and is rich in dissolved solids and nutrients. The annual pattern of particle flux in Lake Suminko is closely related to biochemical processes in the euphotic zone. During winter months we observed very low accumulation rates of non-carbonaceous matter, while during the rest of the year, three periods of calcite deposition were recorded (April, July–August, and October–November). The periods of high calcite deposition corresponded with algal blooms and oxygen concentration maxima. Two principal factors contribute to meromixis in Lake Suminko: (1) the basin is sheltered, preventing wind mixing, and (2) biochemical processes in the lake associated with high lacustrine productivity. Meromictic conditions must control the formation and preservation of laminated sediments in the lake because preserved laminations occur only in areas where the lake floor lies below monimolimnetic waters.