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Sediment core correlation and mapping of sediment accumulation rates in Lake Geneva (Switzerland, France) using Volume Magnetic Susceptibility

Published in Journal of Great Lakes Research. 1997, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 391-402
Abstract Studies of the relation between a lake and its watershed often need an accurate knowledge of sediment accumulation rates over large areas. We report here the combined method of sediment core correlation through Volume Magnetic Susceptibility profiles and sediment absolute dating, which permits drawing sediment accumulation rate maps. The Rhone River is the principal tributary to Lake Geneva, both in terms of water discharge and sediment load. Due principally to the construction of hydroelectric dams on major tributaries of the river, there has been an important modification to the yearly distribution of discharge. Although the total annual discharge is not affected the sediment load should be reduced because of the lower summer flows and sediment entrapment in dam reservoirs. To confirm this hypothesis, we analyze 82 sediment cores, recovered in the Rhone delta region in Lake Geneva. Volume Magnetic Susceptibility (VMS) profiles are used to successfully correlate 52 cores, using a "shifting and stretching" method. Two VMS peaks are dated as 1961 and 1943 using time markers ((137)Cs and Hg contamination) in seven cores. The numerous correlated VMS profiles enable maps of sediment accumulation rate to be constructed for two different periods. These maps show a clear decrease in sedimentation after 1961. From these maps, we estimate the sediment deficit to be 250,000 t y(-1). This value is comparable to the mass of sediment trapped in reservoirs located in the watershed.
Keywords Lake GenevaMagnetic susceptibilitySedimentDating
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LOIZEAU, Jean-Luc et al. Sediment core correlation and mapping of sediment accumulation rates in Lake Geneva (Switzerland, France) using Volume Magnetic Susceptibility. In: Journal of Great Lakes Research, 1997, vol. 23, n° 4, p. 391-402. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:17045

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Deposited on : 2011-09-27

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