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Late-Glacial to Early Holocene Climate Changes from a Central Appalachian Pollen and Macrofossil Record

  • Margaret Kneller (a1) and Dorothy Peteet (a1)

A late-glacial to early Holocene record of pollen, plant macrofossils, and charcoal has been obtained from two cores from Browns Pond in the central Appalachians of Virginia. An AMS radiocarbon chronology defines the timing of moist and cold excursions, superimposed on the overall warming trend from 14,200 to 750014C yr B.P. This site had cold, moist conditions from ca. 14,200 to 12,70014C yr B.P., with warming at 12,730, 11,280, and 10,05014C yr B.P. A decrease in deciduous broad-leaved tree taxa andPinus strobus(haploxylon) pollen, simultaneous with a reexpansion ofAbies,denotes a brief, cold reversal from 12,260 to 12,20014C yr B.P. A second cold reversal, inferred from increases in montane conifers, is centered at 750014C yr B.P. The cold reversals at Browns Pond may be synchronous with climate change in Greenland and northwestern Europe. Warming at 11,28014C yr B.P. shows the complexity of regional climate responses during the Younger Dryas chronozone.

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