Reconstruction of Holocene paleoenvironments in the endorheic basin of Laguna de Gallocanta, Central Spain by investigation of mineralogical and geochemical characters from lacustrine sediments

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Abstract

The paper involves detailed geochemical and mineralogical analysis of lacustrine sediments from a 95 cm core profile collected in the closed lake basin of the Laguna de Gallocanta, central Iberian Chain. The environmental and depositional changes are confirmed by: (1) variations in concentrations of SiO2, CaO and P2O5, (2) Fe2O3:MnO-ratios, (3) ∑(CaO,MgO):SiO2-ratio, (4) statistical relationship of silica and phosphate content to metallic oxide content, (5) the Mg:Ca-ratio of protodolomites in relation to the position of the diffraction angle of dolomite's major diffraction peak (dol100), and (6) changes in mineralogical composition.

Three sedimentary units were identifyed and characterized by their mineralogical and geochemical composition. The deposition of the underlying strata (section 1) occurred under sub-arid conditions. The environment changed to sub-humid conditions during deposition of the sediments in section 2 (post Middle Ages). Increasing aridity influenced the accumulation of the upper sediments (section 3).

It is also proven that mineralogical analyses of lacustrine sediments allows mostly conclusions on the limnic environments during deposition. In contrast to this, geochemical features of lacustrine sediments indicate weathering and soil forming processes during deposition and the overall geomorphological system.

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