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  • Article
    Influence of hydraulic connectivity on carbon burial efficiency in Mackenzie Delta lake sediments
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-02-02) Lattaud, Julie ; Bröder, Lisa ; Haghipour, Negar ; Rickli, Joerg ; Giosan, Liviu ; Eglinton, Timothy I.
    The Arctic is undergoing accelerated changes in response to ongoing modifications to the climate system, and there is a need for local to regional scale records of past climate variability in order to put these changes into context. The Mackenzie Delta region in northern Canada is populated by numerous small shallow lakes. They are classified as no-, low-, and high-closure (NC, LC, and HC, respectively) lakes, reflecting varying degrees of connection to the river main stem, and have different sedimentation characteristics. This study examines sedimentological (mineral surface area, grain size), carbon isotopic (bulk and molecular-level) and inorganic isotopic (neodymium) characteristics of sediment cores from three lakes representing each class. We find that HC lake sediments exhibit strikingly different properties from the other lake sediments. Specifically, they are characterized by higher organic carbon loadings per unit mineral surface area and with relatively minor influence from allochthonous, petrogenic (rock-derived) organic carbon. In contrast, LC and NC lakes have the potential to record basin-scale climatic changes at a high resolution by virtue of enhanced detrital sedimentation. Overall the delta lakes have the capacity to bury about 2 MtC year−1, with little changes in the last 200 years. However, in the (near) future, an increased number of high closure lakes might change the carbon burial efficiency of the Mackenzie Delta as they seem to retain less carbon than NC and LC lakes.