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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Microbial Membrane Tetraether lipid-inferred paleohydrology and paleotemperature of Lake Chenghai during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

Weiwei Sun1, Enlou Zhang1,2, Jie Chang1, James Shulmeister3,4, Michael I. Bird5,6, Cheng Zhao1,2, Qingfeng Jiang7, and Ji Shen1 Weiwei Sun et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • 2Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Science, Xian 710061, China
  • 3School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld, 4072, Australia
  • 4School of Earth and Environment, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 5ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland, 4870, Australia
  • 6College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland, 4870, Australia
  • 7School of Geography Sciences, Nantong University, Nantong, 226007, China

Abstract. Over the past few decades, paleoenvironmental studies in the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) region have mainly focused on precipitation change, with few published terrestrial temperature records from the region. We analyzed the distribution of isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (isoGDGTs) in the sediments of Lake Chenghai in southwest China across the Pleistocene–Holocene transition, to extract both regional hydrological and temperature signals for this important transition period. Lake-level was reconstructed from the relative abundance of crenarchaeol in isoGDGTs (%cren) and the crenarchaeol'/crenarchaeol ratio. The %cren-inferred lake-level identified a single lowstand (15.4–14.4 cal ka BP), while the crenarchaeol'/crenarchaeol ratio suggests relatively lower lake-level between 15.4–14.4 cal ka BP and 12.5–11.7 cal ka BP, corresponding to periods of weakened ISM during the Heinrich 1 (H1) and Younger Dryas (YD) cold event. A filtered TetraEther indeX consisting of 86 carbon atoms (TEX86 index) revealed that lake surface temperature reached present-day values during the YD cold event, and suggests a substantial warming of ~ 4 °C from the early Holocene to the mid-Holocene. Our paleotemperature record is generally consistent with other records in southwest China, suggesting that the distribution of isoGDGTs in Lake Chenghai sediments has potential for quantitative paleotemperature reconstruction.

Weiwei Sun et al.
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