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Reconstructing the growth and decay of palaeo-ice sheets is critical to understanding mechanisms of global climate change and associated sea-level fluctuations in the past, present and future. The significance of palaeo-ice sheets is further underlined by the broad range of disciplines concerned with reconstructing their behaviour, many of which have undergone a rapid expansion since the 1980s. In particular, there has been a major increase in the size and qualitative diversity of empirical data used to reconstruct and date ice sheets, and major improvements in our ability to simulate their dynamics in numerical ice sheet models. These developments have made it increasingly necessary to forge interdisciplinary links...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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Reconstructing climates of the past relies on a variety of evidence from a large number of sites to capture the varied features of climate and the spatial heterogeneity of climate change. This review summarizes available information from diverse Holocene paleoenvironmental records across eastern Beringia (Alaska, westernmost Canada and adjacent seas), and it quantifies the primary trends of temperature- and moisture-sensitive records based in part on midges, pollen, and biogeochemical indicators (compiled in the recently published Arctic Holocene database, and updated here to v2.1). The composite time series from these proxy records are compared with new summaries of mountain-glacier and lake-level fluctuations,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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A database of published and new relative sea-level (RSL) data for the past 16 ka constrains the sea-level histories of the Pacific coast of central North America (southern British Columbia to central California). Our reevaluation of the stratigraphic context and radiocarbon age of sea-level indicators from geological and archaeological investigations yields 600 sea-level index points and 241 sea-level limiting points. We subdivided the database into 12 regions based on the availability of data, tectonic setting, and distance from the former Cordilleran ice sheet. Most index (95%) and limiting points (54%) are <7 ka; older data come mainly from British Columbia and San Francisco Bay. The stratigraphic position of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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We present a Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) database for the Caribbean region (5°N to 25°N and 55°W to 90°W) that consists of 499 sea-level index points and 238 limiting dates. The database was compiled from multiple sea-level indicators (mangrove peat, microbial mats, beach rock and acroporid and massive corals). We subdivided the database into 20 regions to investigate the influence of tectonics and glacial isostatic adjustment on RSL. We account for the local-scale processes of sediment compaction and tidal range change using the stratigraphic position (overburden thickness) of index points and paleotidal modeling, respectively. We use a spatio-temporal empirical hierarchical model to estimate RSL position...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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Fossil records from sites overridden by or adjacent to the Laurentide Ice Sheet indicate that the climate of the last interglaciation (Oxygen-Isotope Substage 5e, ca. 130-116 ka) was warmer than today. Following the last interglaciation, the Laurentide Ice Sheet first developed during Stage 5 over Keewatin, Quebec and Baffin Island. Along its northern margin, the ice sheet reached its maximum extent of the last glaciation during Stage 5. The ice sheet advanced across Baffin Island onto the continental shelf early during Stage 5 (5d?), whereas the advance into the western Canadian Arctic occurred late during Stage 5 (5b?). The ice sheet also may have advanced into the St Lawrence Lowland during Substage 5b, although...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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Proposals for the formation of a late Wisconsinan ice shelf in the Gulf of Maine during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet are considered to be inappropriate. An Antarctic-type ice shelf does not fit the field data that indicate temperate glacial, terrestrial, and marine climates for the region between 18 ka and 12 ka. A temperate ice shelf has no modern analogues and may be physically impossible. The preponderance of stratified drift in the Gulf of Maine region supports temperate climates during late Wisconsinan time. It also indicates that glacial meltwater, rather than ice in either an ice sheet or ice shelf, was the primary transport mechanism of glacial sediment and the source for the glaciomarine mud....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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We propose a chronology of late Wisconsinan glacial fluctuations in middle North America, from Alberta to Wisconsin, based on radiocarbon dates derived solely from wood. Previous chronologies of the southwestern margin of the North American Continental Ice Sheet have depended to a considerable degree on radiocarbon dates from fine-grained organic sediment. This material is commonly contaminated with older carbon, resulting in chronologic confusion. By using only dates from wood, much of the confusion disappears. However, because of the scarcity of wood dates, only four of the sixteen identified fluctuations are accurately dated: an advance into Iowa about 14,000 to 13,500 BP, an advance into South Dakota and Iowa...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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One or more of three intense and persistent droughts impacted some Native American cultures in the early-11th, middle-12th and late-13th centuries, including the Anasazi, Fremont, Lovelock, and Mississippian (Cahokian) prehistorical cultures. Tree-ring-based reconstructions of precipitation and temperature indicate that warm drought periods occurred between AD 990 and 1060, AD 1135 and 1170, and AD 1276 and 1297. These droughts occurred during minima in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and may have been associated with positive values of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Each of the Native American cultures was supported, to a greater or lesser degree, by precipitation-dependent resources. Both the Four Corners...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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Beach ridges along the coastline of Lake Superior provide a long-term and detailed record of lake level fluctuations for the past 4000 cal BP. Although climate change has been invoked to explain these fluctuations, its role is still in debate. Here, we reconstruct water balance by employing peat samples collected from swale deposits present between beach ridge sequences at two locations along the coastline of Lake Superior. Carbon isotope ratios for Sphagnum remains from these peat deposits are used as a proxy for water balance because the presence or absence of water films on Sphagnum controls the overall isotope discrimination effects. Consequently, increased average water content in Sphagnum produces elevated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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High-resolution Os isotope stratigraphy can aid in reconstructing Pleistocene ice sheet fluctuation and elucidating the role of local and regional weathering fluxes on the marine Os residence time. This paper presents new Os isotope data from ocean cores adjacent to the West Greenland ice sheet that have excellent chronological controls. Cores MSM-520 and DA00-06 represent distal to proximal sites adjacent to two West Greenland ice streams. Core MSM-520 has a steadily decreasing Os signal over the last 10 kyr (187Os/188Os = 1.35–0.81). In contrast, Os isotopes from core DA00-06 (proximal to the calving front of Jakobshavn Isbræ) highlight four stages of ice stream retreat and advance over the past 10 kyr (187Os/188Os...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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The width of plate-boundary fault rupture at the Cascadia subduction zone, a dimension related to earthquake magnitude, remains uncertain because of the lack of quantitative information about land-level movements during past great-earthquake deformation cycles. Beneath a marsh at Alsea Bay, on the central Oregon coast, four sheets of tsunami-deposited sand blanket contacts between tidal mud and peat. Radiocarbon ages for the sheets match ages for similar evidence of regional coseismic subsidence and tsunamis during four of Cascadia's great earthquakes. Barring rapid, unrecorded postseismic uplift, reconstruction of changes in land level from core samples using diatom and foraminiferal transfer functions includes...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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High-resolution pollen records from North America show that terrestrial environments were affected by Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) and Heinrich climate variability during the last glacial. In the western, more mountainous regions, these climate changes are generally observed in the pollen records as altitudinal movements of climate-sensitive plant species, whereas in the southeast, they are recorded as latitudinal shifts in vegetation. Heinrich (HS) and Greenland (GS) stadials are generally correlated with cold and dry climate and Greenland interstadials (GI) with warm-wet phases. The pollen records from North America confirm that vegetation responds rapidly to millennial-scale climate variability, although the difficulties...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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Pliocene sediments from several sites in western North America contain ostracodes indicating deposition in lacustrine and wetland settings. The ostracodes offer a means of reconstructing the aquatic paleoenvironment. Because water temperature, chemistry, and lake volume are coupled to climate, reconstruction of these parameters provides a direct insight into Pliocene climate. The site ages were determined from tephrochronology, paleomagnetics, and associated mammals. The morphology of many ostracode species also provides direct information about the paleoenvironment in which they lived. During the Pliocene (about 3.5-2.5 Ma) some species have unusually ornate carapace morphology indicative of large geologically...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
New cosmogenic surface-exposure ages of moraine-crest boulders from southwestern Colorado are compared with published surface-exposure ages of boulders from moraine complexes in north-central Colorado and in west-central (Fremont Lake basin) Wyoming. 10Be data sets from the three areas were scaled to a single 10Be production rate of 5.4 at/g/yr at sea level and high latitude (SLHL), which represents the average 10Be production rate for two high-altitude, mid-latitude sites in the western United States (US) and Austria. Multiple nuclide ages on single boulders indicate that this 10Be production rate yields ages comparable to those calculated with a commonly used 36Cl production scheme. The average age and age range...
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We constructed a radiometrically calibrated proxy record of Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate change exceeding 230,000 yr duration, using pollen profiles from two cores taken through age-equivalent dry lakes - one core having greater age control (via 230Th alpha mass-spectrometry) and the other having greater stratigraphic completeness. The better dated of these two serial pollen records (Searles Lake) served as a reference section for improving the effective radiometric age control in a nearby and more complete pollen record (Owens Lake) because they: (1) are situated ~90 km apart in the same drainage system (on, and immediately leeward of, the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada), and (2) preserved strikingly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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??18O, ??13C, total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, and acid-leachable Li, Mg and Sr concentrations on 443 samples from 32 to 83 m depth in Owens Lake core OL-92 were analyzed to study the climatic and hydrological conditions between 60 and 155 ka with a resolution of ???200 a. The multi-proxy data show that Owens Lake overflowed during wet/cold conditions of marine isotope stages (MIS) 4, 5b and 6, and was closed during the dry/warm conditions of MIS 5a, c and e. The lake partially overflowed during MIS 5d. Our age model places the MIS 4/5 boundary at ca 72.5 ka and the MIS 5/6 boundary (Termination II) at ca 140 ka, agreeing with the Devils Hole chronology. The diametrical precipitation intensities between...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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The deglacial history of the Lake Michigan basin, including discharge and routing of meltwater, is complex because of the interaction among (1) glacial retreats and re-advances in the basin (2) the timing of occupation and the isostatic adjustment of lake outlets and (3) the depositional and erosional processes that left evidence of past lake levels. In the southern part of the basin, a restricted area little affected by differential isostasy, new studies of onshore and offshore areas allow refinement of a lake-level history that has evolved over 100 years. Important new data include the recognition of two periods of influx of meltwater from Lake Agassiz into the basin and details of the highstands gleaned from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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A simple hydrologic-isotopic-balance (HIBAL) model for application to paleolake ??18O records is presented. Inputs to the model include discharge, on-lake precipitation, evaporation, and the ??18O values of these fluid fluxes. Monthly values of climatic parameters that govern the fractionation of 18O and 16O during evaporation have been extracted from historical data sets and held constant in the model. The ability of the model to simulate changes in the hydrologic balance and the ??18O evolution of the mixed layer has been demonstrated using measured data from Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Simulations of the response in ??18O to step- and periodic-function changes in fluid inputs indicate that the hydrologic balance and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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The major-element glass geochemistry of 92 tephra samples from the southwest Alaska Peninsula provides the basis for establishing a Holocene tephrochronology for the region. Electron microprobe analysis has been combined with field descriptions of samples, stratigraphic relationships between tephra samples and sample localities, and glass shard micro-morphology to correlate these sampled distal tephra units throughout the area of Cold Bay and adjacent Morzhovoi Bay. Radiocarbon dating provides age constraints on correlated horizons. Previous research had clearly delineated only one horizon in the region, the so-called 'Funk/Fisher' ash, dating to between 8425 ± 350 and 9130 ± 140 14C yr BP. In addition to constraining...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews