Biogeochemical specifics of sapropel formation in Cisbaikalian undrained lakes (exemplified by Lake Ochki)

G. A. Leonova, V. A. Bobrov, S. K. Krivonogov, A. A. Bogush, V. A. Bychinskii, A. E. Mal'tsev, G. N. Anoshin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The biogeochemistry of organic lacustrine sediments (sapropels) has been poorly studied in Siberia. In this paper we show the specifics of sapropel formation caused by low pH and mineralization of water by the example of Lake Ochki in Cisbaikalia. The main sources of organic matter are zoo- and phytoplankton, which concentrate mostly basic chemical elements and also some alkaline, alkali-earth, and chalcophile elements and move them to the sediment. The calculated enrichment factors (EF) have shown that the lake plankton is strongly enriched with phosphorus and chalcophile elements. The calculations have also revealed a great contribution of the plankton to the elemental composition of sapropel (Mebio, %): P (-100), Cd (57), Br (45), Hg (40), Se and Na (30), Zn (23), K (21), and Ca (15). Elements are rather uniformly distributed throughout the 3.2m thick sapropel layer. Lithophile elements (Al, Sc, Ti, Y, Zr, Nb) and LREE are mostly from a terrigenous source. The high contents of mobile elements (Cd, Sb, Sn, Pb, Zn) in the upper part of sapropel are probably due to anthropogenic factors. The high Cu and Zn contents in some sapropel layers are probably related to the inflow of deep-level groundwaters, and the elevated contents of Hg, Cd, and Sb might have been caused by forest fires.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-761
Number of pages17
JournalRussian Geology and Geophysics
Issue number5
Early online date4 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biophile elements
  • Biosedimentation
  • Chemical species of elements
  • Live material (plankton)
  • Organic sediments (sapropel)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geology


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