An isotope mass balance model for the correlation of freshwater bivalve shell (Unio pictorum) carbonate δ18O to climatic conditions and water δ18O in Lake Balaton (Hungary)
AbstractThe oxygen isotope composition of bivalve shells (δ18Oshell) can potentially record environmental variability of shallow lakes and therefore it has been extensively used as a proxy in the reconstruction of past climate and environmental conditions. As δ18Oshell reflects - besides the water temperature - the oxygen isotope composition of lake water (δ18OL), it is required to interpret the quality and impact of parameters influencing the δ18OL. Using the isotope mass balance model, I tested the hypothesis that Balaton lake water δ18O variability can be described as a result of the combined effects of three main climatic parameters such as river runoff, precipitation and evaporation. I calculated δ18OL time series for the period 1999-2008 for the whole water body at Siófok (eastern part of Lake Balaton, Hungary) based on measured precipitation, inflow and evaporation amount and measured inflow, precipitation δ18O and calculated vapour δ18O data. The comparison of the modelled δ18OL time series to measured surface δ18OL data revealed that δ18O of Balaton water is sensitive for variation of climatic parameters. This variability is most striking at the surface, while according to the results of the model, the whole water body itself is less sensitive. Monthly differences suggest that generally during summer the whole water body is mixed up, while moderate isotope stratification (0.3-0.7‰ difference between surface and whole water body) can be assumed in early spring and autumn. Predictions of shell δ18O values were made using the measured surface water δ18O data and the modelled δ18O values for the whole water body. High-resolution sampling was conducted on two Unio pictorum shells covering the period of 2001-2008, and both predictions were compared to measured shell δ18O records. The results showed that the prediction for the whole water body gives a better fit to the measured shell δ18O, suggesting that the whole water body better describes the isotope variability of shell carbonate. As a practical application of the isotope mass balance model was used to present the effect of precipitation and evaporation on δ18Oshell. The relationship between intra-shell δ18O-variability and precipitation amount (precipitation/evaporation ratio) were determined, which allows the quantified prediction the impact of meteorological parameters affecting the oxygen isotope composition of shell carbonate.
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