Abstract: The last 42,000 years of hydrological history of Lake Frome, a large playa located in the arid part of northern South Australia, which is hypersaline and most often dry today, is reconstructed using a combination of ostracod assemblages, other microfossil remains, and the trace elemental composition of the selected halobiont ostracod species of Diacypris and Reticypris. The Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca of ostracod valves from 2 cores relate to significant hydrological changes that affected the lake over time. The reconstruction of the Sr/Ca of the lake’s waters, based on the Sr/Ca of ostracod shells, shows that when the lake fills the waters originate mostly from runoff, not from hypersaline waters located below the lake or the surrounding aquifers. The Last Glacial Maximum saw gypsum deflation from the lake. Prior to 25K yBP, Frome had a stable hydrological regime, permanent water and low salinities, with occasional freshwater conditions between 42 and 33K yBP. From 25 to 20.3K yBP, salinities fluctuated and ephemeral conditions operated. After that, until ∼14.8K yBP, a brine pool was located below the lake and was therefore under a different hydrological regime. Between 13 and 11.2K yBP, wet conditions occurred, but such conditions were not seen again during the Holocene.
De Deckker, P., Magee, J. W., Shelley, J. M. G., 2011, Late Quaternary palaeohydrological changes in the large playa Lake Frome in central Australia, recorded from the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in ostracod valves and biotic remains, Volume:75, Journal Article, viewed 11 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14749.