US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Paleolimnology 21: 9–17, 1999.


Biogenic silica contents of sediments on the lower Selenga Delta and Buguldeika saddle in Lake Baikal show distinct fluctuations that reflect changes in diatom productivity, and ultimately, climate. The pattern of the upper 50 m of the section, dating from about 334 ka, is similar to that of the marine oxygen isotope record, increasingly so as the younger sediments become progressively finer grained and less locally derived with time. The last two interglaciations are marked by biogenic silica abundances similar to those of the Holocene. The equivalent of marine oxygenisotope stage 3 is distinctly intermediate in character between full glacial and full interglacial biogenic silica values. Following near zero values during the last glacial maximum, biogenic silica began to increase at about 13 ka. The rise in biogenic silica to Holocene values was interrupted by an abrupt decrease during Younger Dryas time, about 11 to 10 14C ka.