Original paper

Physicochemical analyses of surface sediments from the Lonar Lake, central India – implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Basavaiah, N.; Wiesner, M. G.; Anoop, A.; Menzel, P.; Nowaczyk, N. R.; Deenadayalan, K.; Brauer, A.; Gaye, B.; Naumann, R.; Riedel, N.; Prasad, M. S. Stebich


We report the results of our investigations on the catchment area, surface sediments, and hydrology of the monsoonal Lonar Lake, central India. Our results indicate that the lake is currently stratified with an anoxic bottom layer, and there is a spatial heterogeneity in the sensitivity of sediment parameters to different environmental processes. In the shallow (0?5 m) near shore oxic-suboxic environments the lithogenic and terrestrial organic content is high and spatially variable, and the organics show degradation in the oxic part. Due to aerial exposure resulting from lake level changes of at least 3 m, the evaporitic carbonates are not completely preserved. In the deep water (> 5 m) anoxic environment the lithogenics are uniformly distributed and the ?13C is an indicator not only for aquatic vs. terrestrial plants but also of lake pH and salinity. The isotopic composition of the evaporites is dependent not only on the isotopic composition of source water (monsoon rainfall and stream inflow) and evaporation, but is also influenced by proximity to the isotopically depleted stream inflow. We conclude that in the deep water environment lithogenic content, and isotopic composition of organic matter can be used for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.


isotopeslonar lakemagnetic parametersmodern surface sedimentsmonsoonpalaeoenvironmental proxies