Marine Geophysics and Hydroacoustics

Siberian Lakes

PLOT - Paleolimnological Transect: Quaternary Climate Gradients Along Northern Eurasia and Potentials for Deep Drilling


The German-Russian PLOT project (Paleolimnological Transect) aims at investigating the climatic and environmental changes in Northern Eurasia during the Late Quaternary, through analysis of sediment records within five lakes (Ladoga, Bolshoye Shuchye, Levinson-Lessing, Taymyr and Emanda). Together with Lake El‘gygytgyn (already drilled), they form a 6000 km-long transect that will provide a comprehensive record of the Late Quaternary environmental history of Northern Eurasia. more


Location of the lakes, whose sedimentary records have been investigated within the PLOT project (with the exception of Lake El‘gygytgyn, already drilled in the frame of the International Continental Drilling Program and used as the stratigraphic reference site).

In 2013, a pilot study was carried out in Lake Ladoga, where seismic data and sediment cores have been collected. In total, 1500 km of seismic reflection profiles have been acquired using a mini-GI gun and a 32-channel seismic streamer. The high-resolution of the seismic data allows us to document in detail the sedimentary processes that occurred in the lake during the preglacial and postglacial history. The nature of the material composing the uppermost units have been tied to coring information, which was retrieved during the same survey. Of particular interest, are the single to composite, giant (kilometer-scale) mounds, of which their internal architecture reveals a complex formation history.


Giant (kilometer-scale) sedimentary mound identified in Lake Ladoga during the seismic campaign in 2013.


Vessel on Lake Ladoga in Russia (Source: Sebastian Krastel)

In 2016, we undertook the second seismic campaign at Lakes Taymyr and Levinson-Lessing, in the Taymyr Peninsula. In total, ~70 km of new high-resolution seismic reflection profiles were collected on a floating platform, using a mini-GI-gun and a 32-channel seismic streamer. This configuration allowed us to capture the deepest sections of the lake, which was not possible with the seismic system used in 1996. Echosounder data were also gathered using an Innomar system, thus providing detailed imaging of the first tens of meters of sediments.

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(Source: Elodie Lebas)


Persons to contact:  Lars Wiesenberg, Elodie Lebas und Sebastian Krastel


  • Universität zu Köln
  • AARI St Petersburg, Russia


Forschungsfahrten und Expeditionen:

  • Lake Imandra August 2017
  • Lakes Levinson-Lessing and Taymyr on the Taymyr Peninsula – 10.07.16 – 13.08.16
  • Lake Ladoga with R/V Poseidon – 21.08.13 – 02.09.13



  • Lebas, E., S. Krastel, B. Wagner, R. Gromig, G. Fedorov, M. Baumer, N. Kostromina and H. Haflidason (2019). "Seismic Stratigraphical Record of Lake Levinson-Lessing, Taymyr Peninsula: Evidence for Ice-Sheet Dynamics and Lake-Level Fluctuations since the Early Weichselian." Boreas 48(2): 470-487.
  • Gromig, R., B. Wagner, V. Wennrich, G. Fedorov, L. Savelieva, E. Lebas, S. Krastel, D. Brill, A. Andreev, D. Subetto and M. Melles (2019). "Deglaciation History of Lake Ladoga (Northwestern Russia) Based on Varved Sediments." BOREAS.
  • E. Lebas, R. Gromig, S. Krastel, T. Averes, C. Görtz, B. Wagner, M. Melles, G. Fedorov (2017). Origin and formation of giant mounds in Lake Ladoga (Russia) from high-resolution seismic reflection data. AGU Fall Meeting, 11-15th December, New-Orleans, USA
  • E. Lebas, S. Krastel, B. Wagner, R. Gromig, G. Fedorov, M. Melles, (2017). Preliminary results of a seismic pre-site survey at Levinson-Lessing Lake, Northern Siberia. IODP/ICDP Colloquium, 14-16th March, Braunschweig, Germany
  • E. Lebas, S. Krastel, B. Wagner, R. Gromig, M. Melles, G. Fedorov, (2016), Seismic Investigation of Lakes Taymyr and Levinson-Lessing, Northern Eurasia – First Results, AGU Fall Meeting, 12-16th December, San Francisco, USA
  • M. Melles, S. Krastel, G. Fedorov, D.A. Subetto, L.A. Savelieva, A. Andreev, B. Wagner (2014). The preglacial sediment record of Lake Ladoga, Russia - first results from a seismic survey and sediment coring in 2013, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-2319-1, 2014