The Baikal Drilling Project (BDP) is a multinational effort to investigate the paleoclimatic history and tectonic evolution of the Baikal sedimentary basin during the Late Neogene. In March 1993 the Baikal drilling system was successfuly deployed from a barge frozen into position over a topographic high, termed the Buguldeika saddle, in the southern basin of Lake Baikal. The BDP-93 scientific team, made up of Russian, American and Japanese scientists, successfully recovered the first long (>100 m) hydraulic piston cores from two holes in 354 m of water. High quality cores of 98 m (Hole 1) and 102 m (Hole 2), representing sedimentation over the last 500,000 years, were collected in 78 mm diameter plastic liners with an average recovery of 72% and 90%, respectively. Magnetic susceptibility logging reveals an excellent hole-to-hole correlation. In this report the scientific team describes the preliminary analytical results from BDP-93 hole 1 cores. Radiocarbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry provides an accurate chronology for the upper portion of Hole 1. Detailed lithologic characteristics, rock magnetic properties and inorganic element distributions show a significant change to the depositional environment occuring at 50 m subbottom depth, approximately 250,000 BP. This change may be due to uplift and rotation of the horst block in the Buguldeika saddle. The sedimentary section above 50 m is pelitic with varve-like laminae, whereas the section below 50 m contains a high proportion of sand and gravel horizons often organized into turbidite sequences. Accordingly, high resolution seismic records reveal a change in sonic velocity at this depth. It is inferred that sedimentation prior to 250 ka BP was from the west via the Buguldeika river system. After 250 ka BP the Buguldeika saddle reflects an increase in hemipelagic sediments admixed with fine-grained material from the Selenga River drainage basin, east of Lake Baikal. Variations in the spore-pollen assemblage, diatoms, biogenic silica content, rock magnetic properties, clay mineralogy and organic carbon in the upper 50 m of BDP-93-1 reveal a detailed record of climate change over approximately the last 250,000 years. These variables alternate in a pattern characteristic of glacial/interglacial climatic fluctuations. The present age model suggests that the climate signal recorded in Lake Baikal sediments is similar to Late Quaternary signals recorded in Chinese loess sections and in marine sediments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes