The object of this study is to test the assumption that cryogenic weathering (here understood as in-situ disintegration of rock under cold-climate conditions including ice as a weathering agent) preferentially breaks up quartz grains. We apply the results of laboratory tests to a Quaternary sediment record. The combination of silt production, relative quartz enrichment in the silt fraction, and quartz grain micromorphology is traced in a multi-100-kyr lake sediment archive as indicator data for cryogenic weathering. Constant cryogenic weathering conditions are inferred for at least the last 220 000 years from a lake sediment core of El'gygytgyn Crater, northeast Russia. This is the longest continuous terrestrial archive currently known for the continental Arctic.