Orbital forcing of continental climate during the Pleistocene: a complete astronomically tuned climatic record from Lake Baikal, SE Siberia

Alexander A. Prokopenko, Linda A. Hinnov, Douglas F. Williams, Mikhail I. Kuzmin

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158 Scopus citations


A new composite BDP-96 biogenic silica record over the entire Pleistocene was generated by splicing BDP-96-1 and BDP-96-2 drill cores from Lake Baikal, crosschecked against a similar record from a nearby BDP-98 drill core. A new astronomically tuned age model is proposed based on correlating peak biogenic silica responses with the timing of September perihelia. This target is derived from analysis of regional climate proxy responses during the Holocene, the last interglacial and around paleomagnetic reversals. By resolving virtually every precessional cycle during the Pleistocene, the new age model represents a major improvement compared with previously reported Lake Baikal timescales. The astronomically tuned ages of the Pleistocene paleomagnetic reversals are consistent with published dates. The minimal tuning approach we used (precession only) has also aligned high signal power in a narrow obliquity band, confirming the strong presence of orbital forcing. There are also strong ca 100-ka scale cycles, but these are not aligned with the orbital eccentricity. Despite the location of Lake Baikal in a continental interior that is highly sensitive to insolation forcing, the tuned biogenic silica record reveals a consistent phase difference of -32° (ca 4 ka) relative to insolation in the obliquity band. An inherent lag embedded in a continental proxy record, not driven by global ice volume, is an intriguing finding. Another new observation is that long-term changes in sedimentation rates in Lake Baikal appear to be related to the amplitude of orbital forcing; both amplitudes and sedimentation rates undergo significant changes during MIS 24-MIS 19 interval corresponding to the Middle Pleistocene Transition. With potential for linking continental and marine climato-stratigraphies, the new Baikal record serves a new benchmark correlation target in continental Eurasia, as an alternative to June 65°N insolation and ODP-correlated timescales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3431-3457
Number of pages27
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work on BDP drill cores was implemented as a part of the Baikal Drilling Project supported by the US National Science Foundation Grant EAR-9614770, Science and Technology Agency of Japan, and the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. The completion of this study was made possible with support from the Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina, and from the Department of Environmental Sciences, Nagoya University, thanks to the kind invitation from T. Kawai. L. Hinnov was supported by US National Science Foundation Grant EAR-0137799. The Lake Hovsgol study was supported by US NSF Grants ATM-0228571 and ATM-0402351.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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