Lacustrine environments

Montcortés lake, Catalonia


The fieldwork was underrtaken as part of Dr Min Cao PhD thesis.

The main objective of the research was to validate and undertake the application of biomarker climatic proxies in the context of a Mediterranean lake basin. To this end, the work consisted in the detailed observation of modern biomarker production, transport, deposition processes and compare them with instrumental records on a seasonal and interannual basins, to establish how the spatial and temporal patterns of variability of the biomarker signals integrated palaeonvironmental signals in the sedimentary record. The proxies studied are derived from n-alkyl and GDGT lipids. The site selected, Lake Montcortés in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, has been proven to be in previous studies a site sensitive to climate changes driven by Atlantic and Mediterranean influences and its sediments contain unique high resolution sequences deposited in the XXth century. In order to identify the likely sources of terrigenous biomarkers in lake Montcortés sediments, and to study their spatial and temporal (monthly/seasonal) variability, we collected a number of plant specimens and soil samples across the catchment for over a year.


Montly access to the lake and its catchment


 Lake Montcortés




 View site


ICREA research professor
Min Cao
Min Cao
PhD student
Pedro Rivas Ruiz
Pedro Rivas Ruiz
PhD student
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