Despite years of exploration for mineral and hydrocarbon resources, the lakes of Western Papua have received very little attention from a limnogeologic perspective. In some cases not even the maximum water depth of the lakes is published. The only research carried out so far focused on the fish and invertebrate fauna of the lakes, because the macrofauna of Papuan Lakes is significantly different from other islands of western Indonesia. Most lakes harbor numerous endemic species. We carried out a first limnogeologic pilot campaign in spring 2016 to measure water column profiles and take short (max 80 cm long) sediment cores.Lake Sentani is seated in Mesozoic mafic bedrock and consists of four separate basins with maximum water depths of 30 to 40 m. Three basins are connected by shallow sills and one by a natural canal. Although all four basins share almost identical surface water chemistry and exhibit sub- to anoxic bottom waters, each basin has its distinct water column stratification and sediment geochemistry. Despite its coastal location and minimal elevation we could not identify an influx of seawater into the lake. Lake Ayamaru is located further inland on a densely forested karstified carbonate platform. The lake level has dropped significantly in recent years due to water loss into the karst, further reduction of open water surface is caused by massive growth of Pistia. Currently the lake has a maximum depth of around 2 m. Its sediment is mainly composed of carbonate minerals and methane saturated. Due to the carbonate bedrock the lake is highly alkaline (up to 20 meq/L) despite its very low salinity. The initial analyses show that these lakes offer unique biogeochemical conditions that require further in-depth studies.Our research will expand to lakes Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida, which are at almost 2000 m elevation. They have maximum depths of around 200 m and much colder surface waters (12-20°C) compared to the other two lakes that have about 30°C throughout the year.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2016
- 1051 Sedimentary geochemistry;
- GEOCHEMISTRYDE: 1165 Sedimentary geochronology;
- GEOCHRONOLOGYDE: 1520 Magnetostratigraphy;
- GEOMAGNETISM AND PALEOMAGNETISMDE: 1890 Wetlands;