The geochronology of a palaeolake at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition in the Muya-Kuanda Basin (Eastern Siberia, Russia)

  • Ineshin E.M. 1
  • Ruposov V.L. 2
  • Buyantuev V. 3
  • Voronin V.I. 3
  • Oskolkov V.A. 3
  • Moritz R.A. 3
  • Hommel P. 4
  • 1 Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russia
    2 Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia
    3 SIFIBER SB RAS, Irkutsk, Russia
    4 University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
Keywords: flooded forest horizon, dendrochronology, palaeoclimate, dammed lake, archaeological sites, fault valley, radiocarbon dating


This article presents new data on the study of preserved wood from flooded forests in the Muya-Kuanda Basin, Eastern Siberia. On the basis of the stratigraphic position of a buried tree stump horizon, the analysis of the associated alluvial deposits and a new programme of radiocarbon dating, the chronology of formation and collapse for a Late Pleistocene palаeolake in the Muya-Kuanda Basin can be precisely determined. The accuracy of dating of geological events with the radiocarbon method and the possibility of linking them to calendrical dates is discussed. As a result of this research it is possible to connect the geochronology of the lake with archaeological sites in the Vitim Basin, both upstream and downstream along the river. The reasons for the periodic formation of substantial bodies of water in the Muya-Kuanda Basin are also discussed, with implications for decision making with regard to the modern economic development of the region.