Paleochemistry of Lakes Agassiz and Manitoba based on ostracodes

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences


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The ionic composition and salinity of Lake Manitoba and its late-glacial precursor, Lake Agassiz, changed significantly over the past 11 000 years. The paleochemical record reported here is based on modern analog environments of ostracodes identified in a new 14.5 m core from southern Lake Manitoba. The ionic composition of Lake Manitoba today is dominated by Na+, Cl-, and HCO3-, with much less Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+. Evaporative concentration of modern Lake Manitoba water would lead to greater salinity and the near depletion of Ca2+ due to continued precipitation of calcite. During periods of highest salinity in the Holocene, however, Lake Manitoba supported Limnocythere staplini. Today this species inhabits waters in which [Ca2+] > [HCO3-], including springs associated with groundwater in Paleozoic bedrock discharging into Lake Winnipegosis (and eventually, after much dilution, into Lake Manitoba). Further complicating the Holocene record are intervals containing Limnocythere friabilis that suggest periodic influxes of dilute water, probably from the Assiniboine River, which bypasses Lake Manitoba today. The variations in Holocene paleochemistry indicated by the ostracode record imply changes in the proportion of overland flow plus precipitation relative to groundwater inputs to Lake Manitoba, independent of changes in evaporation relative to precipitation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Paleochemistry of Lakes Agassiz and Manitoba based on ostracodes
Series title Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume 34
Issue 5
Year Published 1997
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
First page 699
Last page 708