Analyses of diatoms, ostracods, pollen and sediment mineralogy from a 524 cm core from a stratified, hypersaline crater lake, West Basin, Victoria, has revealed clear shifts in the lake's water balance and chemistry and the region's climate over the last 10 000 years. Diatom and ostracod analyses reveal lake water salinity changes which are consistent with the conditions suitable for the precipitation of the carbonate and other minerals identified using x-ray diffraction analysis. The fluctuations in lake water balance deduced from diatom and ostracod inferred lake salinity suggest that the lake began to fill at the beginning of the Holocene and was saline and shallow. Toward the mid-Holocene the water levels rose and yet the lake remained largely saline. The late Holocene is marked by a return to more shallow but fluctuating, water conditions. Through the whole period, the regional dryland vegetation was dominated by open sclerophyll woodland. Both the lacustrine and regional environments interpreted here are consistent with those from Holocene records elsewhere in the region.
The Holocene history of West Basin Lake, Victoria, Australia; chemical changes based on fossil biota and sediment mineralogy