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

Late Holocene environmental history on Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic, based on diatom floristic changes and geochemistry in sediments of a volcanic crater lake


  • Sofia Holmgren
  • Karl Ljung
  • Svante Björck

Summary, in English

A late Holocene diatom stratigraphy of Bottom Pond (37050S, 12 70W) was studied and interpreted to infer paleolimnological and climate changes on Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic. The diatom flora of Bottom Pond is dominated by meroplanktonic Aulacoseira alpigena and A. distans and a benthic/epiphytic flora including Achnanthes spp., Naviculadicta spp., Eunotia taxa and Frustulia rhomboides.

The flora also includes an important terrestrial and aerophytic component, consisting of several Diadesmis spp., Navicula lapidosa, Nitzschia terrestris and some Pinnularia spp., at times dominating the

flora. Peaks of high terrestrial diatom abundances and low abundances and concentrations of Aulacoseira spp., correspond to periods of increased magnetic susceptibility and are interpreted to be the result of increased catchment erosion and/or precipitation

leading to enhanced in-wash of species living in the soils around the lake. The diatom record of Bottom Pond most likely registers both local responses to increased erosion in the catchment as well as climatic change of a more regional character. Comparisons

with the geochemical record in 2nd Pond on Nightingale Island show a correspondence between the two data sets at 2,000–1,750 cal yrs BP, most likely evidence of increased precipitation in the Tristan da Cunha region. The Tristan da Cunha archipelago is situated at the northern limit of the Southern hemisphere west wind belt and stronger and/ or a northward shift of the westerlies, are probably the main causes of the precipitation changes.


  • Quaternary Sciences
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year







Journal of Paleolimnology





Document type

Journal article




  • Geology


  • Diatoms
  • Holocene climate change
  • South Atlantic
  • Tristan da Cunha




  • ISSN: 0921-2728