Lakes are inland bodies of standing water that form with the development of topographic closure and a source of water. Lakes are broadly distributed globally and exhibit diverse physical, chemical, and biological characteristics that profoundly influence how sediments accumulate in these aquatic environments. In this chapter, lake environments and sedimentary processes are examined. A common adage among scientists who study lacustrine basins and their sedimentary deposits is that “lakes are not small oceans.” Relatively low basin volume, rapid sediment accumulation, frequent high-amplitude changes in water level elevation, and a tight coupling between sediment and water supply makes the development of lacustrine stratigraphy over time very different than that of marginal marine settings. Lakes are remarkably sensitive to changes in climate and tectonic processes, and as a consequence their sediments serve as important archives of Earth history. Lake sediments also host economically important natural resources. Lacustrine sedimentation remains understudied in many areas of the world, yet new technological advances in sampling, most prominently continental scientific drilling, provide previously unavailable opportunities for exploration and discovery of lakes and their unusual deposits.
|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Geology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Volume 1-6, Second Edition|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2020|
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- Depositional environment
- Lacustrine basin
- Lacustrine delta
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (all)