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Russian Geology and Geophysics

2003 year, number 7


A.A. Prokopenko, E.B. Karabanov*, M.I. Kuz'min*, D.F. Williams**, and G.K. Khursevich***
United Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the RAS,
3 prosp. Akad. Koptyuga, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
* Vinogradov Institute of Geochemistry, Siberian Branch of the RAS,
1a ul. Favorskogo, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
** Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina,
Columbia, South Carolina, SC 29208, USA
*** Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus,
7 ul. Kuprevicha, Minsk, 220141, Belarus
Keywords: Paleoclimatic record, climate change, bottom sediments, Lake Baikal
Pages: 593-606


The paper presents new biogenic silica (BiSi) and total organic carbon (TOC) data for the past 130 kyr from BDP-98 and BDP-96-2 cores, respectively, showing a distinct climate periodicity correlated with Late Pleistocene rhythms. The high-resolution sedimentary records from Lake Baikal allow approaching the problem of the length of the last interglacial and stability of its climate in the Northern Hemisphere. The Siberian archives for the interval of 70 to 130 kyr contain brief sub-Milankovitch millenial-scale excursions correlated with events in the high-resolution records of North Atlantic ice cores and European continental pollen sequences. The correlation of the mid-Eemian cooling about 122 kyr BP and the cold Montaigu event about 103 kyr BP with low production signals in the Baikal cores evidence for a climatic connection between the geographically distant North Atlantic, continental Europe, and continental Siberia regions. This connection was well pronounced during interglacials and interstadials and weak during the later glaciation: The 5a/4 transition at 70-74 kyr BP is recorded as an abrupt irreversible cooling at Baikal but as two notable warm episodes in European and North Atlantic data.
Rapid warm/cold transitions in the Baikal record, especially the Kazantsevo/Early Zyrjanka transition, indicate that glaciation in Siberia began at 115-116 kyr BP, or 5-8 kyr earlier than in Europe and in the North Atlantic, as inferred from independent age models.
The continuous climate record from Lake Baikal provides a solid stratigraphic background for detailed correlation of Siberian continental sections.