Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 1143–1158 | Cite as

Sediment dynamics in an upland temperate catchment: changing sediment sources, rates and deposition

  • Robert G. Hatfield
  • Barbara A. Maher
  • Jacqueline M. Pates
  • Philip A. Barker
Original Paper

Abstract

We examine sediment dynamics in an upland, temperate lake system, Lake Bassenthwaite (NW England), in the context of changing climate and land use, using magnetic and physical core properties. Dating and analysis of the sedimentary records of nine recovered cores identify spatially variable sedimentation rates across the deep lake basin. Mineral magnetic techniques, supported by independent geochemical analyses, identify significant variations both in sediment source and flux over the last ∼2100 years. Between ∼100 years BC and ∼1700 AD, sediment fluxes to the lake were low and dominated by material sourced from within the River Derwent sub-catchment (providing 80% of the hydraulic load at the present day). Post-1700 AD, the lake sediments became dominantly sourced from Newlands Beck (presently providing ∼10% of the lake’s hydraulic load). Three successive, major pulses of erosion and increased sediment flux appear linked to specific activities within the catchment, specifically: mining activities and associated deforestation in the mid-late nineteenth century; agricultural intensification in the mid-twentieth century and, within the last decade, the additional possible impact of climate change. These results are important for all upland areas as modifications in climate become progressively superimposed upon the effects of previous and/or ongoing anthropogenic catchment disturbance.

Keywords

Environmental magnetism Magnetic susceptibility Sediment tracing Lake sediments Land use change Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a Lancaster University 40th Anniversary studentship to RGH. BAM gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Royal Society. We would like to thank Dr. Ian Winfield for the bathymetry data, Victoria Keeton for analysis of water content and dry bulk density on some of the lake cores and Katherine Day for undertaking 210Pb analyses on BASS 5.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Hatfield
    • 1
  • Barbara A. Maher
    • 1
  • Jacqueline M. Pates
    • 2
  • Philip A. Barker
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Magnetism and Palaeomagnetism, Lancaster Environment Centre, Department of GeographyUniversity of LancasterLancasterUK
  2. 2.Lancaster Environment Centre, Environmental Science DepartmentUniversity of LancasterLancasterUK
  3. 3.Lancaster Environment Centre, Department of GeographyUniversity of LancasterLancasterUK

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