Spatial variability of recent sedimentation in Lake Ohrid (Albania/Macedonia)
- 1Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 49a, 50674 Cologne, Germany
- 2Institute for Lake Research, LUBW, Argenweg 50/1, 88045 Langenargen, Germany
- 3Department of Animal Ecology & Systematics, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26–32 (IFZ), 35392 Giessen, Germany
Abstract. Lake Ohrid is likely of Pliocene age and thus commonly referred to as the oldest existing lake in Europe. In this study spatial variability of recent sediment composition is assessed using >50 basin wide distributed surface sediment samples. Analysis of biogeochemical bulk parameters, selected metals, pigment concentrations as well as grain size distributions revealed a significant spatial heterogeneity in surface sediment composition. It implies that sedimentation in Lake Ohrid is controlled by an interaction of multiple natural and anthropogenic factors and processes. Major factors controlling surface sediment composition are related to differences in geological catchment characteristics, anthropogenic land use, and a counterclockwise rotating surface water current. In some instances processes controlling sediment composition also seem to impact distribution patterns of biodiversity, which suggests a common interaction of processes responsible for both patterns.