Late Quaternary sedimentation dynamics in the Beenchime-Salaatinsky Crater, Northern Yakutia

Schwamborn G. J., Manthey C., Diekmann B., Raschke U., Zhuravlev A., Prokopiev A. V., ...More

Arktos, vol.6, pp.75-92, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41063-020-00077-w
  • Journal Name: Arktos
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-92
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Beenchime-Salaatinsky Crater (BSC) is located west of the Olenyok River in Northern Yakutia, ~ 260 km south-west of Tiksi and the Lena Delta. The age and origin (volcanic versus meteoritic) of this crater is poorly understood. The key scientific interest in re-visiting the BSC is the reappraisal of the Quaternary sedimentation dynamics for a better understanding of the sediment history and thickness in the basin. This aides for an assessment, if the site is prospective for a deeper drilling of a Quaternary (or Cenozoic) sediment archive. Soil pits and auger cores from slopes and lowland terrain in the basin were sampled and studied to infer sediment ages and transport dynamics. This also included a thermokarst lake placed in the centre of the basin. Studied properties include grain-size distribution, organic carbon and nitrogen contents (TOC and TN), heavy mineral compositions, δ 13 C of organic carbon, 14 C ages from sediment, δ 18 O and δD from ground ice and waters, and lake bathymetry from GPR profiling, in addition. We conclude that the crater floor in the BSC is underlain by fluvial/alluvial sediments from the MIS 3 period. Thermokarst lake formation took place during the Holocene Thermal Maximum between 7600 and 6100 cal yr BP. The lake has been shrinking hereafter. Fluvial/alluvial sedimentation along the drainage pattern was active again between 5700 to 1500 cal yr BP, and it was flanked by the accumulation of peaty and organic-rich sediments and the formation of ice-wedge polygons.