Skip to main content

Evidence for Millennial-Scale Climate Change During Marine Isotope Stages 2 and 3 at Little Lake, Western Oregon, U.S.A.

  • Laurie D. Grigg (a1), Cathy Whitlock (a1) and Walter E. Dean (a2)

Pollen and geochemical data from Little Lake, western Oregon, suggest several patterns of millennial-scale environmental change during marine isotope stage (MIS) 2 (14,100–27,600 cal yr B.P.) and the latter part of MIS 3 (27,600–42,500 cal yr B.P.). During MIS 3, a series of transitions between warm- and cold-adapted taxa indicate that temperatures oscillated by ca. 2°–4°C every 1000–3000 yr. Highs and lows in summer insolation during MIS 3 are generally associated with the warmest and coldest intervals. Warm periods at Little Lake correlate with warm sea-surface temperatures in the Santa Barbara Basin. Changes in the strength of the subtropical high and the jet stream may account for synchronous changes at the two sites. During MIS 2, shifts between mesic and xeric subalpine forests suggest changes in precipitation every 1000–3000 yr. Increases in Tsuga heterophylla pollen at 25,000 and 22,000 cal yr B.P. imply brief warmings. Minimum summer insolation and maximum global ice-volumes during MIS 2 correspond to cold and dry conditions. Fluctuations in precipitation at Little Lake do not correlate with changes in the Santa Barbara Basin and may be explained by variations in the strength of the glacial anticyclone and the position of the jet stream.

Hide All
Alley, N.F. (1979). Middle Wisconsin stratigraphy and climatic reconstruction, southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Quaternary Research 11, 213237.
Alley, R.B. (1998). Icing the North Atlantic. Nature 392, 335337.
Anderson, P.M., Bartlein, P.J., Brubaker, L.B., Gajewski, K., and Ritchie, J.C. (1989). Modern analogues of late-Quaternary pollen spectra from the Western Interior of North America. Journal of Biogeography 161, 573596.
Bard, E., Arnold, M., Hamelin, B., Tisnerat-Laborde, N., and Cabioch, G. (1998). Radiocarbon calibration by means of mass spectrometric 230Th/234U and 14C ages of corals: An updated database including samples from Barbados, Mururoa and Tahiti. Radiocarbon 40, 10851092.
Barnosky, C.W. (1981). A record of late Quaternary vegetation from Davis Lake, southern Puget Lowland Washington. Quaternary Research 16, 221239.
Barnosky, C.W. (1985). Late Quaternary vegetation near Battle Ground Lake, southern Puget Trough, Washington. Geological Society of America Bulletin 96, 263271.
Bartlein, P.J., Anderson, K.H., Anderson, P.M., Edwards, M.E., Mock, C.J., Thompson, R.S., Webb, R.S., Webb, T. III, and Whitlock, C. (1998). Paleoclimate simulations for North America over the past 21,000 years: Features of the simulated climate and comparisons with paleoenviornmental data. Quaternary Science Reviews 17, 549585.
Behl, R.J., and Kennett, J.P. (1996). Brief interstadial events in the Santa Barbara Basin, NE Pacific, during the past 60 kyr. Nature 379, 243246.
Benson, L. Records of millennial-scale climate change from the Great Basin of the western United States. Clark, P.U., Webb, R.S., and Keigwin, L.D. (1999). Mechansims of Global Climate Change at Millennial Time Scales. American Geophys. Union, Washington. 203225.
Berger, A. (1978). Long-term variations of caloric insolation resulting from Earth's orbital elements. Quaternary Research 9, 139167.
Bond, G.C., and Lotti, R. (1995). Iceberg discharges into the North Atlantic on millennial time scales during the last glaciation. Science 267, 10051009.
Bond, G.C., Showers, W., Cheseby, M., Lotti, R., Almasi, P., deMenocal, P., Priore, P., Cullen, H., Hajdas, I., and Bonani, G. (1997). A pervasive millennial-scale cycle in the North Atlantic Holocene and glacial climates. Science 278, 12571266.
Clark, P.U., and Bartlein, P.J. (1995). Correlation of late Pleistocene glaciation in the Western United States with North Atlantic Heinrich events. Geology 23, 483486.
Cwynar, L.C., Burden, E.B., and McAndrews, J.H. (1979). An inexpensive method for concentrating pollen and spores from fine grained sediments. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 16, 11151120.
Engleman, E.E., Jackson, L.L., Norton, D.R., and Fischer, A.G. (1985). Determination of carbonate carbon in geologic materials by coulometric titration. Chemical Geology 35, 125128.
Faegri, K., Kaland, P.E., and Krzywinski, K. (1989). Textbook of Pollen Analysis. Wiley, London.
Franklin, J.F., and Dyrness, C.T. (1988). Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington. Oregon State Univ. Press, Corvallis.
Gardner, J.V., Dean, W.E., and Dartnell, P. (1997). Biogenic sedimentation beneath the California current system for the past 30 kyr and its paleoceanographic significance. Paleoceanography 12, 207225.
Grigg, L.D., and Whitlock, C. (1998). Late-glacial vegetation and climate changes in western Oregon. Quaternary Research 49, 287298.
Grimm, E.C. Data analysis and display. Huntley, B. (1988). Vegetation History. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht. 4376.
Hendy, I.L., and Kennett, J.P. (1999). Latest Quaternary North Pacific surface-water responses imply atmosphere-driven climate instability. Geology 27, 291294.
Heusser, C.J., Heusser, L.E., and Peteet, D.M. (1999). Humptulips revisted: A revised interpretation of Quaternary vegetation and climate of western Washington, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 150, 191221.
Hicock, S.R., Lian, O.B., and Mathewes, R.W. (1999). `Bond cycles' recorded in terrestrial Pleistocene sediments of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Quaternary Science 14, 443449.
Hostetler, S.W., and Bartlein, P.J. (1986). Simulation of the potential responses of regional climate and surface processes in western North America to a canonical Heinrich event. Clark, P.U., Webb, R.S., and Keigwin, L.D. (1999). Mechanisms of Global Climate Change at Millennial Timescales. American Geophys. Union, Washington. 313327.
Heusser, C.J. (1972). Palynology and phytogeographical significance of a late-pleistocene refugium near Kalaloch, Washington. Quaternary Research 2, 189201.
Imbrie, J., Hays, J.D., Martinson, D.G., McIntyre, A., Mix, A.C., Morley, J.J., Pisias, N.G., Prell, W.L., and Shackleton, N.J. (1987). The orbital theory of Pleistocene climate: Support from a revised chronology of the marine δ18O record. Berger, A., Imbrie, J., Hays, J., Kukla, G., and Saltzman, B. (1984). Milankovitch and Climate. Reidel, Dordrecht. 269305.
Kitagawa, H., and van der Plicht, J. (1998). Atmospheric radiocarbon calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late Glacial fluctuations and cosmogenic istope production. Science 279, 11871190.
Lin, J.O., Broecker, W.S., Hemming, S.R., Hajdas, I., Anderson, R.F., Smith, G.I., Kelley, M., and Bonani, G. (1998). A reassessment of U-Th and 14C ages for late-glacial high-frequency hydrological events at Searles Lake, California. Quaternary Research 49, 1123.
Litchie, F. E., Golightly, D. W., and Lamothe, P. J. Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. in Methods for Geochemical Analysis. Baedecker, P. A., Ed., USGS Bulletin 1770, B1B10.
Long, C.J., Whitlock, C., Bartlein, P.J., and Millspaugh, S.H. (1998). A 9000-year fire history from the Oregon Coast Range, based on a high-resolution charcoal study. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 28, 774787.
Lund, D.C., and Mix, A.C. (1998). Millennial-scale deep water oscillations: Reflections of the North Atlantic in the deep Pacific from 10 to 60 ka. Paleoceanography 13, 1019.
Mathewes, R.W. (1991). Climatic conditions in the western and northern Cordillera during the last glaciation: Paleoecologcial evidence. Géographie Physique et Quaternaire 45, 333339.
Mazaud, A., Laj, C., Bard, E., Arnold, M., and Tric, E. (1991). Geomagnetic field control of 14C production over the last 80ky: Implications for the radiocarbon time-scale. Geophysical Research Letters 18, 18851888.
McAndrews, J.H., Berti, A.A., and Norris, G. (1973). Key to the Quaternary Pollen and Spores of the Great Lakes Region. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
Meidinger, D., and Pojar, J. (1991). Ecosystems of British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.
Meyers, P.A., and Ishiwatari, R. (1993). Lacustrine organic geochemistry—An overview of indicators of organic matter sources and diagenesis in lake sediments. Organic Geochemistry 20, 867900.
Mikolajewicz, U., Crowley, T.J., Schiller, A., and Voss, R. (1997). Modeling teleconnections between the North Atlantic and Pacific during the Younger Dryas. Nature 387, 384387.
Minckley, T.A., and Whitlock, C. (2000). Spatial variation of modern pollen rain in Oregon and southern Washington, USA. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 112, 97123.
Mock, C.J. (1996). Climatic controls and spatial variations of precipitation in the western United States. Jounal of Climate 9, 11111125.
Moore, P.D., and Webb, J.A. (1978). An Illustrated Guide to Pollen Analysis. Wiley, New York.
Overpeck, J.T., Webb, T. III, and Prentice, I.C. (1985). Quantitative interpretation of fossil pollen spectra: Dissimilarity coefficients and the method of modern analogs. Quaternary Research 23, 87108.
Pellat, M.G., Mathewes, R.W., and Walker, I.R. (1997). Pollen analysis and ordination of lake sediment-surface samples from coastal British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Botany 75, 799814.
Peteet, D., Del Genio, A., and Lo, K. (1997). Sensitivity of northern hemisphere air temperatures and snow expansion to North Pacific sea surface temperatures in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies general circulation model. Journal of Geophysical Research 102, 781791.
Raymo, M.E., Ganley, K., Carter, S., Oppo, D.W., and McManus, J. (1998). Millennial-scale climate instability during the early Pleistocene epoch. Nature 392, 699702.
Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. (1993). Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35, 215230.
Thompson, R, and Oldfield, F. Environmental Magnetism. Allen & Unwin, London.
Thompson, R.S., Whitlock, C., Bartlein, P.J., Harrison, S.P., and Spaulding, W.G. Climatic changes in the western United States since 18,000 yr B.P. Wright, H.E., Kutzbach, J.E., Ruddiman, W.F., Street-Perrott, F.A., Webb, T. III, and Bartlein, P.J. (1993). Global Climates since the Last Glacial Maximum. University of Minn. Press, Minneapolis. 468513.
Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., and Bartlein, P.J. (1999). Atlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America; introduction and conifers. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston.
Warner, B.G., Clague, J.J., and Mathewes, R.W. (1984). Geology and paleoecology of a Mid-Wisconsin peat from the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Research 21, 337350.
Whitlock, C., and Bartlein, P.J. (1997). Vegetation and climate change in northwest America during the past 125 kyr. Nature 388, 5761.
Whitlock, C., and Grigg, L.D. (1999). Paleoecological evidence of Milankovitch and Sub-Milankovitch climate variations in the western U.S. during the late Quaternary. Webb, R.S., Clark, P.U., and Keigwin, L.D. Mechanisms of Global Climate Change at Millennial Time Scales. American Geophys. Union, Washington. 227241.
Worona, M.A., and Whitlock, C. (1995). Late-Quaternary vegetation and climate history near Little Lake, central Coast Range, Oregon. Geological Society of America Bulletin 107, 867876.
Wright, H.E.J., Mann, D.H., and Glaser, P.H. (1983). Piston cores for peat and lake sediments. Ecology 65, 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? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

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

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed