Holocene changes in atmospheric circulation recorded in the oxygen-isotope stratigraphy of lacustrine carbonates from northern Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The oxygen-isotope composition of local precipitation (delta(18)O(P)) is reconstructed from carbonate lake-sediment components in a sediment core covering the last 10000 calendar years from Lake Tibetanus, a small, hydrologically open, groundwater-fed take in the Abisko area, northern Sweden. Comparison of the delta(18)O(P) history with a pollen-based palaeotemperature record from the same core clearly reveals pronounced deviations from the normally expected temporal delta(18)O(P)-temperature relation (so-called 'Dansgaard relation') that may be a function of changing oceanicity. The transition from relatively moist, maritime conditions in the early Holocene to a much drier climate after 6500 cal. BP is reflected by major changes in forest extent and composition as recorded by pollen and plant macrofossil data. At the time of maximum influence of westerly air-mass circulation (high zonal index) c. 9500 cal. BP, brought about by high summer insolation and enhanced meridional pressure gradients. delta(18)O(P) at Lake Tibetanus was about 2%, higher than would be predicted by the modem isotope-temperature relation, The occurrence of long-term changes in delta(18)O(P)-temperature relations, which are more sensitive measures of palaeoclimate than either delta(18)O(P) or temperature alone, needs to be taken into account when extracting palaeoclimatic information from continental oxygen-isotope records.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • pollen-climate transfer functions, lacustrine carbonates, stratigraphy, oxygen-isotope, stable isotopes, palacoclimate, atmospheric circulation, Holocene, northern Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-351
JournalThe Holocene
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch