Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 56, Issue 2–3, pp 239–252 | Cite as

Sedimentological and geochemical responses of Lake Żabińskie (north-eastern Poland) to erosion changes during the last millennium

  • Alicja Bonk
  • Małgorzata Kinder
  • Dirk Enters
  • Martin Grosjean
  • Carsten Meyer-Jacob
  • Wojciech Tylmann
Original Paper


Increased erosion triggered by land-use changes is a major process that influences lake sedimentation. We explored the record of erosion intensity in annually laminated sediments of Lake Żabińskie, northeast Poland. A 1000-year-long, annually resolved suite of sedimentological (varve thickness, sediment accumulation rate) and geochemical data (scanning XRF, loss on ignition, biogenic silica) was analyzed with multivariate statistics. PCA indicated erosion was a major process responsible for changes in the chemical composition of the sediments. Analysis of sedimentary facies enabled identification of major phases of erosion that influenced lake sedimentation. These phases are consistent with the history of land use, inferred from pollen analysis. From AD 1000 to 1610, conditions around and in Lake Żabińskie were relatively stable, with low erosion intensity in the catchment and a dominance of carbonate sedimentation. Between AD 1610 and 1740, higher lake productivity and increased delivery of minerogenic material were caused by development of settlements in the region and widespread deforestation. The most prominent changes were observed between AD 1740 and 1880, when further land clearance and increased agricultural activity caused intensified soil erosion and higher lake productivity. Landscape clearance also created better conditions for water column mixing, which led to changes in redox conditions in the hypolimnion. The most recent period (AD 1880–2010) was characterized by partial reforestation and a gradual decrease in the intensity of erosional processes.


Varves Land-use change Sediment accumulation rate Microfacies Multivariate statistics Human impact 



We thank the CLIMPOL project members, in particular Agnieszka Wacnik, for providing palynological data, their support and comments on this manuscript. This study was supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union, Project CLIMPOL (PSPB-086/2010).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicja Bonk
    • 1
  • Małgorzata Kinder
    • 1
  • Dirk Enters
    • 2
  • Martin Grosjean
    • 3
  • Carsten Meyer-Jacob
    • 4
  • Wojciech Tylmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Oceanography and GeographyUniversity of GdańskGdańskPoland
  2. 2.Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal ResearchWilhelmshavenGermany
  3. 3.Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and Institute of GeographyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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