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25 January 2023 Lake Tagimaucia Montane Lake as a Potential Late Holocene Environmental Archive in Fiji's Volcanic Highlands
James Terry, Kunal Singh, Michelle McKeown
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Lake Tagimaucia, a montane volcanic lake on Taveuni Island, is Fiji's only high-elevation lake. This study examined a lacustrine sediment core to explore the lake's potential as a palaeoenvironmental archive through the Late Holocene. Dating reveals no simple age–depth relationship due to sediment age-reversals. However, phases of fire activity are evidenced by two distinct charcoal bands. Catchment burns were probably related to significant ENSO-driven drought, although fire ignition by volcanic eruptions on Taveuni cannot be ruled out. Above the dominant charcoal band, the sediment profile exhibits notable positive shifts in organic matter, bulk density, δ13C, and C:N ratio. These peaks suggest a phase of accelerated catchment erosion, possibly triggered by post-burn instability. We introduce a conceptual model to explain the influence of sedge peat swamps on lake sedimentation processes. Surrounding sedge-dominated peatlands have extensively encroached Lake Tagimaucia. Floating peat mats, gradually accumulating through time, act as a repository of organic material that is stored directly on the lake surface. Episodes of drought and fire release old organics directly into the lake itself, probably contributing to the complex chronological sequence in the Late Holocene stratigraphy.

© 2022 by University of Hawai‘i Press. All rights reserved.
James Terry, Kunal Singh, and Michelle McKeown "Lake Tagimaucia Montane Lake as a Potential Late Holocene Environmental Archive in Fiji's Volcanic Highlands," Pacific Science 76(3), 289-311, (25 January 2023).
Accepted: 9 June 2022; Published: 25 January 2023
late Holocene
montane lake
sediment archive
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