Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 203–215

Diatom-inferred palaeoenvironmental changes of a Pliocene lake disturbed by volcanic activity

  • G. Vilaclara
  • G. Martinez-Mekler
  • E. Cuna
  • E. Ugalde
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10933-009-9397-5

Cite this article as:
Vilaclara, G., Martinez-Mekler, G., Cuna, E. et al. J Paleolimnol (2010) 44: 203. doi:10.1007/s10933-009-9397-5


Lake development in geologically active basins is a complex phenomenon as shown by the bed of the Pliocene Tlaxcala paleolake disturbed by volcanic eruptions in central Mexico. A 5-m layered freshwater diatomite outcrop section shows volcanic ashes throughout a bottom Stephanodiscus zone up to a more recent Aulacoseira zone. A 0.5-m transition region begins with an abrupt decrease in volcanic inputs and ends with a shift to Aulacoseira solida (Eulenstein) Krammer. Sediment analysis points to a shallow eutrophic lake in the bottom zone undergoing a transition to higher water volume leading to a threshold depth for the species shift. The lake was apparently deeper and mesotrophic thereafter. A common interpretation is to attribute such a volume change to a moisture increase. However, evidence of geological activity, mainly volcanism and faulting, suggests that it could have also been rooted in geomorphological changes of the lake basin.


Limnogeology Pliocene paleolake Geologic activity Volcanism Layered diatomite Diatoms Computed tomography Lake development 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Vilaclara
    • 1
  • G. Martinez-Mekler
    • 2
    • 3
  • E. Cuna
    • 1
    • 4
  • E. Ugalde
    • 5
  1. 1.Limnología Tropical, UIICSE, División de Investigación y Posgrado, FES-IztacalaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoTlalnepantlaMéxico
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias FísicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCuernavacaMéxico
  3. 3.Centro de Ciencias de la ComplejidadUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCoyoacán, México CityMéxico
  4. 4.Posgrado de Ciencias del Mar y LimnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCoyoacán, México CityMéxico
  5. 5.Instituto de FísicaUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMéxico

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