Skip to main content
×
Home

A 40,000-yr record of environmental change from Burial Lake in Northwest Alaska

  • Mark B. Abbott (a1), Mary E. Edwards (a2) (a3) and Bruce P. Finney (a4)
Abstract
Abstract

Burial Lake in northwest Alaska records changes in water level and regional vegetation since ∼ 39,000 cal yr BP based on terrestrial macrofossil AMS radiocarbon dates. A sedimentary unconformity is dated between 34,800 and 23,200 cal yr BP. During all or some of this period there was a hiatus in deposition indicating a major drop in lake level and deflation of lacustrine sediments. MIS 3 vegetation was herb-shrub tundra; more xeric graminoid-herb tundra developed after 23,200 cal yr BP. The tundra gradually became more mesic after 17,000 cal yr BP. Expansions of Salix then Betula, at 15,000 and 14,000 cal yr BP, respectively, are coincident with a major rise in lake level marked by increasing fine-grained sediment and higher organic matter content. Several sites in the region display disrupted sedimentation and probable hiatuses during the last glacial maximum (LGM); together regional data indicate an arid interval prior to and during the LGM and continued low moisture levels until ∼ 15,000 cal yr BP. AMS 14C dates from Burial Lake are approximately synchronous with AMS 14C dates reported for the Betula expansion at nearby sites and sites across northern Alaska, but 1000–2000 yr younger than bulk-sediment dates.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Fax: +1 412 624 3914. E-mail addresses: mabbott1@pitt.edu (M.B. Abbott), M.E.Edwards@soton.ac.uk, ffmee@uaf.edu (M.E. Edwards), finney@isu.edu (B.P. Finney).
Footnotes
Hide All
1 Fax: + 44 23 8059 3295.
2 Fax: + 1 907 474 5101.
3 Fax: + 1 208 282 4570.
Footnotes
References
Hide All
Abbott M.B., and Stafford T.W. Radiocarbon geochemistry of ancient and modern lakes Arctic lakes, Baffin Island. Quaternary Research 45, (1996). 300311.
Abbott M.B., Finney B.P., Edwards M.E., and Kelts K.R. Lake-level reconstructions and paleohydrology of Birch Lake, central Alaska, based on seismic reflection profiles and core transects. Quaternary Research 53, (2000). 154166.
Ager T.A. Late Quaternary environmental history of the Tanana Valley, Alaska. Institute of Polar Studies, Report No. 54. (1975). Ohio State University, Columbus. (117 pp)
Ager T.A. Quaternary palynology and vegetational history of Alaska. Bryant V.M., and Holloway R.G. Pollen records of late-Quaternary North America sediments. (1985). American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation, Dallas. 353384.
Ager T.A. Late-Quaternary vegetation and climate history of the Bering Land Bridge from St. Michael Island, western Alaska. Quaternary Research 60, (2003). 1932.
Anderson P.M. Late Quaternary vegetational change in the Kotzebue Sound area, northwestern Alaska. Quaternary Research 24, (1985). 307321.
Anderson P.M. Late Quaternary pollen records from the Kobuk and Noatak River drainages, northwestern Alaska. Quaternary Research 29, (1988). 263276.
Anderson P.M., and Brubaker L.B. Vegetation history of north central Alaska: a mapped summary of Late-Quaternary pollen data. Quaternary Science Reviews 13, (1994). 7192.
Anderson P.M., Bartlein P.J., and Brubaker L.B. Late Quaternary history of tundra vegetation in Northwestern Alaska. Quaternary Research 41, (1994). 306315.
Barber V.A., and Finney B.P. Late Quaternary paleoclimatic reconstructions for interior Alaska based on paleolake-level data and hydrologic models. Journal of Paleolimnology 24, (2000). 2941.
Barber V.A., Juday G.P., and Finney B.P. Reduced growth in Alaskan white spruce from 20th century temperature-induced drought stress. Nature 405, (2000). 668673.
Bartlein J.P., Anderson P.M., Edwards M.E., and McDowell P.F. A framework for interpreting paleoclimatic variations in eastern Beringia. Quaternary International 10, (1991). 7383.
Bengtsson L., and Enell M. Chemical analysis. Berglund B.E. Handbook of holocene paleoecology and paleohydrology. (1986). J. Wiley, Chichester.
Berger G.W., and Anderson P.M. Extending the geochronometry of artic lake cores beyond the radiocarbon limit by using thermoluminescence. Journal of Geophysical Research 105, (2000). 1543915455.
Bigelow N.H. Late-Quaternary climate and vegetation in interior Alaska. (1997). University of Alaska, Fairbanks, PhD Dissertation.
Bigelow N.H., and Edwards M.E. A 14, 000 yr paleoenvironmental record from Windmill Lake, Central Alaska: evidence for high-frequency climatic and vegetation fluctuations. Quaternary Science Reviews 20, (2001). 203215.
Birks H.J.B. Modern pollen assemblages and vegetational history of the moraines of the Klutlan Glacier and its surroundings, Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Research 14, (1980). 101129.
Braconnot P., Otto-Bliesner B., Harrison S. et al. Results of PMIP2 coupled simulations of the Mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum—Part 1: experiments and large-scale features. Climate of the Past 3, (2007). 261277.
Brubaker L.B., Anderson P.A., Edwards M.E., and Lozhkin A.V. Beringia as a glacial refugium for boreal trees and shrubs: new perspectives from mapped pollen data. Journal of Biogeography 32, (2005). 833848.
Edwards M.E., and Dunwiddie P.W. Dendrochronological and palynological observations on Populus balsamifera in northern Alaska. Arctic and Alpine Research 17, (1985). 271278.
Edwards M.E., Anderson P.M., Garfinkel H.L., and Brubaker L.B. Late Wisconsin and Holocene vegetation history of the upper Koyukuk region, Brooks Range, Alaska. Canadian Journal of Botany 63, (1985). 616646.
Edwards M.E., Bigelow N.H., Finney B.P., and Eisner W.R. Records of aquatic pollen and sediment properties as indicators of late-Quaternary Alaskan lake levels. Journal of Paleolimnology 24, (2000). 5568.
Elias S.A., Short S.K., Nelson C.H., and Birks H.H. Life and times of the Bering Land Bridge. Nature 382, (1996). 6063.
Elias S.A., Short S.K., and Birks H.H. Late Wisconsin environments of the Bering Land Bridge. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 136, (1997). 293308.
Elias S.A., Hamilton T.D., Edwards M.E., Begét J.E., Krumhardt A.P., and Lavoie C. Late Pleistocene environments of the western Noatak Basin, northwestern Alaska. Geological Society of America Bulletin 111, (1999). 769789.
Faegri K., Kaland P.E., and Krzywinski K. Textbook of Pollen Analysis. 4th Edition (1989). Wiley, New York.
Fairbanks R.G., Mortlock R.A., Chiu T.C., Cao L., Kaplan A., Guilderson T.P., Fairbanks T.W., and Bloom A.L. Marine radiocarbon calibration curve spanning 0 to 50, 000 years BP based on paired 230Th/234U/238U and 14C dates on pristine corals. Quaternary Science Reviews 24, (2005). 17811796.
Guthrie R.D. Origin and causes of the mammoth steppe: a story of cloud cover, woolly mammal tooth pits, buckles, and inside-out Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 20, (2001). 549574.
Hamilton T.D. Quaternary glacial, lacustrine, and fluvial interactions in the western Noatak basin, Northwest Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 20, (2001). 371391.
Höfle C., Edwards M.E., Hopkins D.M., Mann D.H., and Ping C.-L. The full-glacial environment of the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, reconstructed from the 18, 000-year old Kitluk Paleosol. Quaternary Research 53, (2000). 143153.
Hopkins D.M. Aspects of the paleogeography of Beringia during the Late Pleistocene. Hopkins D.M., Matthews J.V., Schweger C.E., and Young S.B. Paleoecology of Beringia. (1982). Academic Press, New York. 328.
Johnsen S., Clausen H.B., Dansgaard W., Fuhrer K., Gunderstrup N., Hammer C.U., Iversen P., Jouzel J., Stauffer B., and Steffensen J.P. Irregular glacial interstadials revealed in a new Greenland ice core. Nature 359, (1992). 311313.
Mann D.H., Reanier R.E., Peteet D.M., Kunz M.L., and Johnson M. Environmental change and Arctic paleoindians. Arctic Anthropology 38, (2001). 119138.
Mann D.H., Peteet D.M., Reanier R.E., and Kunz M.L. Responses of an arctic landscape to Late Glacial and early Holocene climatic changes: the importance of moisture. Quaternary Science Reviews 21, (2002). 9971021.
Muhs D.R., Ager T.A., and Begét J.E. Vegetation and paleoclimate of the last interglacial period, central Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 20, (2001). 4161.
Muhs D.R., Ager T.A., Been J., Bradbury J.P., and Dean W.E. A late Quaternary record of eolian silt deposition in a maar lake, St. Michael Island, western Alaska. Quaternary Research 60, (2003). 110122.
Oswald W.W., Brubaker L.B., and Anderson P.M. Late Quaternary vegetational history of the Howard Pass area, northwestern Alaska. Canadian Journal of Botany 77, (1999). 570581.
Oswald W.W., Anderson P.M., Brown T.A., Brubaker L.B., Hu F.S., Lozhkin A.V., Tinner W., and Kaltenrieder P. Effects of sample mass and macrofossil type on radiocarbon dating of arctic and boreal lake sediments. The Holocene 15, (2005). 758767.
Péwé T.L. The Quaternary Geology of Alaska. USGS Professional Paper 385, (1975). (145 pp)
Reimer P.J., Baillie M.G.L., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck J.W., Bertrand C.J.H., Blackwell P.G., Buck C.E., Burr G.S., Cutler K.B., Damon P.E., Edwards R.L., Fairbanks R.G., Friedrich M., Guilderson T.P., Hogg A.G., Hughen K.A., Kromer B., McCormac F.G., Manning S.W., Ramsey C.B., Reimer R.W., Remmele S., Southon J.R., Stuiver M., Talamo S., Taylor F.W., van der Plicht J., and Weyhenmeyer C.E. IntCal04 Terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 26–0 ka. Radiocarbon 46, (2004). 10291058.
Wright H.E., Mann D.H., and Glaser P.H. Piston corers for peat and lake sediments. Ecology 65, (1984). 657659.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 78 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.