The history of subaquatic volcanism recorded in the sediments of Lake Kivu; East Africa
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Subaquatic volcanic activity has been ongoing in Lake Kivu since the early Holocene and has a dynamic effect on the biological productivity in the surface water, and the preservation of carbonate in the deep anoxic water. Groundwater discharge into the lake’s deepwater propels the upward advection of the water column that ultimately supplies nutrients to the surface water for biological production. The amount of nutrients supplied from the deepwater can be increased suddenly by (1) a cold meteorological event that drives deep seasonal mixing resulting in increased nutrients from below and oxygen from above, or (2) subaquatic volcanic activity that induces a buoyant hydrothermal plume, which entrains nutrients from the deepwater and results in anoxia or suboxic conditions in the surface water. Previous sedimentological studies in Lake Kivu have hypothesized that regional climatic changes are responsible for sudden changes in the preservation of carbonates in the Main Basin. Here we reveal that sublacustrine volcanic events most likely induce the abrupt changes to the geochemistry in the sediment in Lake Kivu. An unprecedented look into the sediment stratigraphy and geochemistry from high-resolution seismic-reflection, and 15N-isotope analyses was conducted in the Main Basin. The results reveal that buoyant hydrothermal plumes caused by subaquatic volcanic activity are a possible trigger for increased biological productivity and organic matter preservation, and that ongoing hydrothermal activity increases the alkalinity in the deepwater, leading to carbonate preservation. The onset of carbonate preservation since the 1970s that is currently observed in the sediment could indicate that hydrothermal discharge has recently increased in the lake. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Paleolimnology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectXRF; 15N; 15N; Lake sediment; Subaquatic volcanism; Limnic eruption; High-resolution seismic
NotesIt was possible to publish this article open access thanks to a Swiss National Licence with the publisher.
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