Sediment and water geochemistry record of water-rock interactions in King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula


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Güneş Y. , Çelik Balcı N.

ANTARCTIC SCIENCE, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0954102021000560
  • Title of Journal : ANTARCTIC SCIENCE
  • Keywords: aerosol, chemical index of alteration, REE, trace elements, weathering, SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS, RARE-EARTH-ELEMENTS, ADMIRALTY BAY, DISSOLUTION, ECOSYSTEMS, CHEMISTRY, EVOLUTION, PROFILES, SUMMER

Abstract

We used a multidisciplinary approach integrating major, trace and rare earth element geochemistry, mineralogy of rocks and sediments along with the ionic composition of water reservoirs of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, to evaluate the record of water-rock interactions under Maritime Antarctic conditions. Our results showed that the ionic compositions of the streams and meltwaters predominantly reflect the atmospheric inputs, while lake waters have higher Na/Cl, Ca/Mg and HCO3/Cl ratios related to chemical weathering in lake sediments, but this did not allow for distinguishing purely silicate sources. Consistent with the trace and rare earth element data, various alteration indices and Index of Compositional Variability values denote the low degree of chemical weathering in the lake sediments. The records from the previously unexplored Mud Lake and Upper Lake suggest that the lakes of Admiralty Bay are better places to trace the impacts of a succession of environmental changes that have occurred in the watershed, while the stream channel sediments, when accompanied by water chemistry data, may provide a more representative composition of the source rocks than the lake sediments. These findings may help revealing the intensity of contemporary weathering in a colder climate with relatively few mineralogical changes accompanied by a lesser degree of elemental loss.