Variation of magnetic properties in sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia, and its paleoclimatic significance

Document Type


Date of Original Version



We investigated the mineral-magnetic behavior of sediments from Lake Towuti located in the Eastern Sulawesi Ophiolite belt, Indonesia. Rock magnetic analysis supplemented by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy analysis were performed on sediment core TOW10-9B from the north basin of Lake Towuti to give insights on the environmental and sedimentary processes controlling the magnetic properties of the sediment and its paleoclimatic significance. The results show that the core has three distinct zones of varying magnetic properties. Careful examination demonstrates that these zones correspond to varying levels of iron oxide dissolution and magnetite precipitation that are climatically and environmentally dependent. The magnetically strongest zone is characterized by weak iron oxide dissolution and intense magnetite precipitation, likely driven by changes in the stratification and/or water level of the lake during dry conditions in Marine Isotope Stage 2 (MIS2) period, whereas the two magnetically weaker zones are characterized by signs of dissolution and correspond to relatively wet conditions, respectively, during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) and the Holocene. Although our data show that major changes in concentration dependent parameters, such as magnetic susceptibility and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), in Lake Towuti sediment correlate with changes in regional rainfall, many of the concentration changes are more strongly affected by in situ chemical processes than by changes in erosion and terrestrial sediment supply. These findings urge caution in the interpretation of magnetic mineral concentration profiles as indicators of clastic sediment inputs.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology