Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

A multi-proxy paleoenvironmental interpretation spanning the last glacial cycle (ca. 117 ± 8.5 ka BP) from a lake sediment stratigraphy from Lake Kai Iwi, Northland, New Zealand

Evans, G.; Augustinus, P.; Gadd, P.; Zawadzki, A.; Ditchfield, A.; Hopkins, J.
Journal / Source
Journal of Paleolimnology
A 9.3-m-long lake sediment core from dune-impounded Lake Kai Iwi in Northland, New Zealand provides a nearly continuous record of environmental changes from multi-proxy organic, physical index, and µ-XRF elemental data sets. The chronology for the upper 3 m of the core was established by 210Pb, 14C and tephrochronology and includes Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 1 (Holocene), MIS 2 and late MIS 3. From this well-dated section of the core stratigraphy we were able to infer the environmental proxies that respond to wind and/or precipitation during cool periods (MIS 2 and 4) and with the warm periods (MIS 1 and 5). Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis were performed on the µ-XRF elemental data set including elements common in lake sediments (P, S, Fe, Ti, K, Ca, and Si) and five ratios (Sr/Ca, Br/Cl, Mn/Fe, Ti/K, and Inc/coh) to identify patterns in the µ-XRF proxy data associated with environmental change manifesting as changes in precipitation and wind deposition. The PCA indicates that Component (PC)-1 represents detrital versus organic deposition, and PC-2 is associated with nutrient influx versus anoxic conditions in the lake. The cool periods of MIS 2 and 4 are apparent in the µ-XRF data as having increased detrital influx in the form of Sr/Ca from marine derived sediments from the exposed continental shelf during low sea level indicating cool and dry conditions. Warmer and wetter periods (MIS 1 and 5) are identified by increased Ti/K influx from precipitation runoff and increased organic productivity as shown by Inc/coh and total organic carbon. The Holocene warm equivalent conditions of MIS 5e are not represented in the lower part of the Lake Kai Iwi core stratigraphy consistent with an extrapolated basal age of 117 ± 8.5 ka BP.