Modern sedimentation processes in Lake Towuti, Indonesia, revealed by the composition of surface sediments

Hasberg, Ascelina Katharina Maria; Bijaksana, Satria; Held, Peter; Just, Janna; Melles, Martin; Morlock, Marina Alexandra; Opitz, Stephan; Russell, James M.; Vogel, Hendrik; Wennrich, Volker (2019). Modern sedimentation processes in Lake Towuti, Indonesia, revealed by the composition of surface sediments. Sedimentology, 66(2), pp. 675-698. Blackwell Science 10.1111/sed.12503

hasberg_et_al-2018-Sedimentology.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract Lake Towuti on Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, is located within the heart of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool. This tropical lake is surrounded by ultramafic (ophiolitic) rocks and lateritic soils that create a unique ferruginous depositional setting. In order to understand modern sediment deposition in Lake Towuti, a set of 84 lake surface sediment samples was collected from across the entirety of the lake and samples were analyzed for their physical, chemical, mineralogical and biological constituents. End-member analyses were carried out to elucidate modern sediment origin, transport and depositional processes. This study found that allochthonous sediment, characterized by the concentrations of the elements Mg, Fe, Si and Al, as well as the clay and serpentine minerals, is dominated by fluvial supply from five distinct source areas. Granulometric data and the occurrence of organic matter of terrestrial origin suggest that in the southern and north-eastern parts of the lake the near-shore sediments may additionally be influenced by mass wasting. This at least is partly due to the particularly steep slopes in these areas. Furthermore, sediment composition suggests that sediment transport into deeper parts of the lake, particularly in the northern basin, is partly controlled by gravitational and density-driven processes such as turbidity currents. Directional sediment transport by persistent lake currents, in contrast, appears less important. Organic matter deposition in the ultra-oligotrophic lake, albeit limited, is dominated by autochthonous production, but with some contribution of fluvial and gravitational supply. Biogenic silica deposition, primarily from diatom frustules and sponge spicules, is very limited and is concentrated in only a few areas close to the shoreline that are characterized by shallow waters, but away from the areas of high suspension loads at the mouths of the major inlets. The results of this study build upon current and published work on short piston cores from Lake Towuti. Conversely, the results will support the interpretation of the depositional history and past climatic and environmental conditions derived from the composition of much longer records, which were obtained by the Towuti Drilling Project in May 2015 and are currently under investigation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Morlock, Marina Alexandra and Vogel, Hendrik


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Blackwell Science




Hendrik Vogel

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 10:55

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 20:40

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP), Lake Towuti, modern sedimentation, provenance analysis, redox conditions, tropical lake




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback