Event layers in the Japanese Lake Suigetsu ‘SG06’ sediment core: description, interpretation and climatic implications

Schlolaut, G. et al. (2014) Event layers in the Japanese Lake Suigetsu ‘SG06’ sediment core: description, interpretation and climatic implications. Quaternary Science Reviews, 83, pp. 157-170. (doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.10.026)

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Event layers in lake sediments are indicators of past extreme events, mostly the results of floods or earthquakes. Detailed characterisation of the layers allows the discrimination of the sedimentation processes involved, such as surface runoff, landslides or subaqueous slope failures. These processes can then be interpreted in terms of their triggering mechanisms. Here we present a 40 ka event layer chronology from Lake Suigetsu, Japan. The event layers were characterised using a multi-proxy approach, employing light microscopy and μXRF for microfacies analysis. The vast majority of event layers in Lake Suigetsu was produced by flood events (362 out of 369), allowing the construction of the first long-term, quantitative (with respect to recurrence) and well dated flood chronology from the region. The flood layer frequency shows a high variability over the last 40 ka, and it appears that extreme precipitation events were decoupled from the average long-term precipitation. For instance, the flood layer frequency is highest in the Glacial at around 25 ka BP, at which time Japan was experiencing a generally cold and dry climate. Other cold episodes, such as Heinrich Event 1 or the Late Glacial stadial, show a low flood layer frequency. Both observations together exclude a simple, straightforward relationship with average precipitation and temperature. We argue that, especially during Glacial times, changes in typhoon genesis/typhoon tracks are the most likely control on the flood layer frequency, rather than changes in the monsoon front or snow melts. Spectral analysis of the flood chronology revealed periodic variations on centennial and millennial time scales, with 220 yr, 450 yr and a 2000 yr cyclicity most pronounced. However, the flood layer frequency appears to have not only been influenced by climate changes, but also by changes in erosion rates due to, for instance, earthquakes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bryant, Dr Charlotte and Staff, Dr Richard
Authors: Schlolaut, G., Brauer, A., Marshall, M.H., Nakagawa, T., Staff, R.A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Lamb, H.F., Bryant, C.L., Naumann, R., Dulski, P., Brock, F., Yokoyama, Y., Tada, R., and Haraguchi, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Quaternary Science Reviews
ISSN (Online):1873-457X
Published Online:07 December 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Quaternary Science Reviews 83: 157-170
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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