We report on Holocene surface-level variations of Lake Fryxell, Antarctica, as determined from multi-proxy analyses of 18 sediment cores. During this time accumulating sediments were predominantly aeolian sand with algal and carbonate laminae. Based on stratigraphy, mineralogy and diatom assemblages we suggest some carbonate laminae were deposited when lake level dropped, leading to concentration and subsequent precipitation of salts. Although lake level appears to have remained relatively stable throughout the Holocene, minor (<4.5 m below present) lowstands occurred at approximately 6400, 4700, 3800 and ??? 1600 cal. yr BP. The stability of Lake Fryxell during the Holocene contrasts with large-scale variability at other Dry Valleys lakes (eg, Lake Vanda) and with suggestions from chemical diffusion models of a near-desiccation at ???1200 cal. yr BP. The reason for the comparative stability of Lake Fryxell is uncertain, but may be the result of basin morphology and the number, aspect and proximity of meltwater sources. ?? 2008 SAGE Publications.
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Holocene depositional environments and surface-level changes at Lake Fryxell, Antarctica