Abstract

We present results of mineralogical and crystallochemical studies of the Holocene carbonate sediments of a small saline lake localized in the Borgoi dry-steppe region, western Transbaikalia. Mg-calcites with a varying Mg content are predominant in the assemblage of endogenic carbonate minerals from bottom sediments. Mathematical modeling of the XRD spectra of carbonates permitted us to identify excess-Ca dolomites, which are an indicator of a shallow (playa) lake. The studies showed that the lacustrine Mg-calcites do not form a continuous series from low- to high-Mg varieties. We discuss the cause of this phenomenon and also consider the existing viewpoints of the structure of low-temperature Mg-calcites and excess-Ca dolomites and their formation conditions in lacustrine sediments. Juxtaposing the carbonate record with the data of lithological analysis, determined stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C), and distribution of some geochemical indicators of climatic changes, we reconstructed the intricate evolution of Lake Verkhnee Beloe, which was controlled by the regional climate since the postglacial period till the present day.

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