Use of high-resolution seismic reflection data for paleogeographical reconstruction of shallow Lake Yamanaka (Fuji Five Lakes, Japan)

L. Lamair*, A. Hubert-Ferrari, S. Yamamoto, O. Fujiwara, Y. Yokoyama, E. Garrett, M. De Batist, V. M.A. Heyvaert, Evelien Boes, Atsunori Nakamura, Stephen Obrochta, Masanobu Shishikura, Yosuke Miyairi, Helmut Brückner, Eisuke Ono, Svenja Riedesel, Koen De Rycker, Yoshiki Sato, Jan Walstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-resolution seismic profiles, combined with the integration of published drilling data, provide a detailed paleoenvironmental history of Lake Yamanaka (Fuji Five Lakes, Japan). This study presents a detailed analysis of the different depositional stages of the area currently occupied by Lake Yamanaka (floodplain wetland, river and lake). From ca. 5500 cal yr BP to ca. 5050 cal yr BP, the Yamanaka basin was occupied by floodplain wetlands. During that period, the landscape was very stable and erosion on northeastern flank of Mt. Fuji was relatively limited. From ca. 5050 cal yr BP to ca. 3050 cal yr BP, the water level increased and the floodplain wetlands became a lake. From ca. 3050 cal yr BP to ca. 2050 cal yr BP, the water level progressively decreased, leading to a reduction in lake extent. During this lowering of the lake's water level, a 1 km2 mass-transport deposit modified the physiography of the lake floor. From ca. 2050 cal yr BP to ca. 1050 cal yr BP, the lake disappeared and a river flowing towards the northwest occupied the depression. Ponds occupied morphological lows formed by mass-transport deposits. From ca. 1050 cal yr BP to the present day, the lake water level rose again, connecting the ponds with the main lake. Since then, the lake water level has continued to rise to the current level. Lake water level fluctuations are the results of several factors that could be interconnected: (i) changes in precipitation rates; (ii) margin destabilization (the Yamanaka mass-transport deposit), (iii) changes in river inlets and therefore variation in water supplies, (iv) volcanic eruptions (scoria fall-out and lava flows) and (v) changes in vegetation cover. This study highlights the importance of coupling sediment cores and high-resolution seismic reflection profiling to identify lateral variation and modification of sedimentary inputs through time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Early online date12 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2018


  • Depositional history
  • Lake level fluctuations
  • Mass-transport deposit
  • Mt. Fuji
  • Seismic reflection profiling
  • Volcanic eruptions

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