The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Svante Björck

Svante Björck

Professor emeritus

Svante Björck

Rapid hydrological changes during the Holocene revealed by stable isotope records of lacustrine carbonates from Lake Igelsjon, southern Sweden


  • Dan Hammarlund
  • Svante Björck
  • B Buchardt
  • C Israelson
  • C T Thomsen

Summary, in English

A Holocene sediment sequence from Lake Igelsjon, south central Sweden, was studied by stable oxygen- and carbon-isotope analyses of different carbonate components. The deposit, which covers the time-span from ca 11,500 cal BP to the present, was laid down in a small, kettle-hole lake, the hydrological balance of which is presently dominated by groundwater flow. Isotopic records obtained on bulk carbonates originating mainly from summer-produced, calcitic algal encrustations exhibit several rapid shifts of more than 2parts per thousand, likely reflecting pronounced hydrological variations. Corresponding isotopic data obtained on calcitic gastropod opercula from parts of the profile show subdued responses to major climatic shifts, probably related to an extended calcification season. The isotopic records were complemented by studies of modern isotope hydrology, and our interpretations are based on a simplistic climate-hydrology model in which variations in groundwater generation within the lake catchment produce changes in groundwater level and related adjustments of lake level and surface/volume ratio of the basin during the ice-free season. Assumed periods of decreased lake volume in a relatively dry climate (low lake level) are characterised by enrichment in O-18 and C-13 resulting from increased evaporation/inflow ratio and atmospheric equilibration, respectively. In clear contrast to this situation, intervals of more humid climatic conditions give rise to increased lake volume (high lake level), possibly surface over flow, and relatively depleted isotopic ratios. Relatively humid conditions, which may correlate to a wide-spread cooling event recorded by various proxies across the North Atlantic region, are indicated by distinct isotopic shifts at ca 8300 and 8000 cal BP, bracketing a period of O-18-depletion. The period between ca 8000 and 4000 cal BP was characterised by relatively dry and stable climatic conditions, whereas the subsequent part of the Holocene experienced a more humid and variable climate following marked and coherent depletions in O-18 and C-13 at ca 4000 cal BP. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year







Quaternary Science Reviews





Document type

Journal article




  • Geology




  • ISSN: 0277-3791