Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua is an important component of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. In this paper, we use an indirect approach, a geochemical method combining with 137Cs and 210Pb CRS mode dating, to study the dynamics of the gentoo population and colony on Barton Peninsula, King George Island, in the maritime Antarctic. Five sediment profiles were sampled in the zone between the gentoo penguin colony and tundra vegetation on this peninsula and the sediment sequence and typical elements from penguin guano were analysed. Results showed that the levels for typical elements display a dramatic change at around 5 cm depth, indicating the strong impact of penguin guano. The sediments below 5 cm showed lower concentrations in these elements, suggesting that these sediments had received little impact from penguin guano. By Q-mode factor analysis, a method for decomposing multiple factors, we found that over the past sixty years the gentoo colony showed a rapid enlargement and the tundra vegetation had been destroyed. Possible factors responsible for the enlargement of the penguin colony are tentatively discussed.