Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 471-480

First online:

Limnic Responses to Increased Effective Humidity during the 8200 cal. yr BP Cooling Event in Southern Sweden

  • Dan HammarlundAffiliated withGeoBiosphere Science Centre, Quaternary Sciences, Lund University Email author 
  • , Svante BjörckAffiliated withGeoBiosphere Science Centre, Quaternary Sciences, Lund University
  • , Bjørn BuchardtAffiliated withGeological Institute, University of Copenhagen
  • , Charlotte T. ThomsenAffiliated withGeological Institute, University of Copenhagen

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Highly resolved sediment stratigraphic and stable isotope records from a lake in south-central Sweden give evidence of relatively humid summers during the wide-spread cold event at c. 8200 cal. BP. A transient lake-level rise led to increased catchment erosion followed by enhanced phytoplankton production and disturbance of the Chara-dominated algal community. An associated increase in the deposition of organic material resulted in hypolimnetic oxygen deficit and methane formation as inferred from elevated sulphur content of the sediments and strong depletion in 13C of bulk organic material. In combination with dry and cold winter conditions as revealed by other proxy records, these data suggest the development of a strongly seasonal climate in northwestern Europe in response to altered atmospheric circulation at this stage. Enhanced zonal circulation with frequent cyclonic activity and increased effective humidity probably characterized the summer climate of southern and central Scandinavia, consistent with conditions inferred for continental Europe. In contrast, the winter climate was dominated by blocking high-pressure circulation, giving rise to cold and dry conditions.


Carbon isotopes Holocene Lake sediments Oxygen isotopes Palaeoclimate Sulphur content