Holocene Paleoclimate Interpreted by Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes of Ostracods From Xiada Co Lake on the Tibetan Plateau

Date

2017

Authors

West, Matthew A.

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Abstract

Insights into climate changes that occurred during the Holocene in Asia may be found in the multiple glacial lakes that occur in the Tibetan Plateau (TP). A small core from one of these lakes, Xiada Co Lake, located in the western region of the TP was recovered to investigate the ostracod fauna (Crustacea: Ostracoda) and stable isotope values of ostracod shells from the last 5,000 years. The δ18O values provide insights into the temperature variations and the δ18O of lake water. The δ13C values provide insights into the dissolved inorganic carbon of the lake, which is a factor of surrounding vegetation, primary productivity, and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere.

Samples were taken at equal intervals from the core. From these samples, species of ostracods belonging to three genera were identified. Limnocythere inopinata is found in most regions to the east of Xiada Co, while the two other species, Leucocythere dorsotuberosa and Subulacypris sp., are mostly found in the southern TP. Stable C and O isotopic values were obtained from the analysis of Leucocythere dorsotuberosa and Subulacypris sp.

Over the past 5,000 years, the TP has undergone significant changes, which include increases and decreases in precipitation and evaporation, as a result of shifts in the Westerlies and the Indian and East Asian monsoon systems. This preliminary study contributes information for the western end of the TP, and it can result in a better understanding of how regional climate shifted in this area.

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Geosciences