Skip to main content

Late-Glacial Vegetation and Climate Change in Western Oregon

  • Laurie D. Grigg (a1) and Cathy Whitlock (a1)

Pollen records from two sites in western Oregon provide information on late-glacial variations in vegetation and climate and on the extent and character of Younger Dryas cooling in the Pacific Northwest. A subalpine forest was present at Little Lake, central Coast Range, between 15,700 and 14,850 cal yr B.P. A warm period between 14,850 and 14,500 cal yr B.P. is suggested by an increase in Pseudotsuga pollen and charcoal. The recurrence of subalpine forest at 14,500 cal yr B.P. implies a return to cool conditions. Another warming trend is evidenced by the reestablishment of Pseudotsuga forest at 14,250 cal yr B.P. Increased haploxylon Pinus pollen between 12,400 and 11,000 cal yr B.P. indicates cooler winters than before. After 11,000 cal yr B.P. warm dry conditions are implied by the expansion of Pseudotsuga. A subalpine parkland occupied Gordon Lake, western Cascade Range, until 14,500 cal yr B.P., when it was replaced during a warming trend by a montane forest. A rise in Pinuspollen from 12,800 to 11,000 cal yr B.P. suggests increased summer aridity. Pseudotsuga dominated the vegetation after 11,000 cal yr B.P. Other records from the Pacific Northwest show an expansion of Pinus from ca. 13,000 to 11,000 cal yr B.P. This expansion may be a response either to submillennial climate changes of Younger Dryas age or to millennial-scale climatic variations.

Hide All
Agee, J.K., 1993. Fire Ecology of Pacific Northwest Forests. Island Press, Washington.
Alley, R.B., Meese, D.A., Shuman, C.A., Gow, A.J., Taylor, K.C., Grootes, P.M., White, J.W.C., Ram, M., Waddington, E.D., Mayewski, P.A., Zielinski, G.A., 1993. Abrupt increase in Greenland snow accumulation at the end of the Younger Dryas event. Nature. 362 527529.
Bacon, C.R., 1983. Eruptive history of Mount Mazama and Crater Lake caldera, Cascade Range, U.S.A. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 18 57115.
Bard, E., Hamelin, B., Fairbanks, R.G., Zindler, A., 1990. Calibration of the14 . Nature. 345 405410.
Bard, E., Arnold, M., Fairbanks, R.G., Hamelin, B., 1993. 230 234 14 . Radiocarbon. 35 191199.
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.
Barnosky, C.W., Anderson, P.M., Bartlein, P.J., 1987. The northwestern U.S. during deglaciation: Vegetational history and paleoclimatic implications. North America and Adjacent Oceans during the Last Glaciation. Geological Society of America, Boulder, p. 289–232.
Bartlein, P.J., Edwards, M.E., Shafer, S.L., Barker, E.D. Jr., 1995. Calibration of radiocarbon ages and the interpretation of paleoenvironmental records. Quaternary Research. 44 417424.
Berger, A., 1978. Long-term variations of caloric insolation resulting from the Earth's orbital elements. Quaternary Research. 9 139167.
Broecker, W.S., 1994. Massive iceberg discharges as triggers for global change. Nature. 372 421424.
Cwynar, L.C., Burden, E., McAndrews, J.H., 1979. An inexpensive method for concentrating pollen and spores from fine grained sediments. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 16 11151120.
Davis, M.B., Brubaker, L.B., Webb, T. III, 1973. Calibration of absolute influx. Birks, H.J.B., West, R.G., Quaternary Plant Ecology. Wiley, New York, 109116.
Denton, G.H., Hendy, C.H., 1994. Younger Dryas age advance of Franz Josef Glacier in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Science. 264 14341437.
Engstrom, D.R., Hansen, B.C.S., Wright, H.E. Jr., 1990. A possible Younger Dryas record in southwestern Alaska. Science. 250 13831385.
Faegri, K., Kaland, P.E., Krzywinski, K., 1989. Textbook of Pollen Analysis. Wiley, London.
Fairbanks, R.G., 1989. A 17,000-year glacio-eustatic sea level record: Influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep-ocean circulation. Nature. 342 637642.
Fowells, H.A., 1965. Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States.
Franklin, J.F., Dryness, C.T., 1988. Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington. Oregon State Univ. Press, Corvallis.
Grigg, L.D., 1996. Late-Glacial Vegetation and Climate Change in Western Oregon. Univ. of Oregon.
Grimm, E.C., 1988. Data analysis and display. Huntley, B., Webb, T. III, Vegetation History. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 4376.
Hansen, B.C.S., Engstrom, D.R., 1996. Vegetation history of Pleasant Island, southeastern Alaska since 13,000 yr B.P. Quaternary Research. 46 161175.
Heine, J. T, Extent, timing, and climatic implications of glacier advances near Mount Rainier, Washington, USA, at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, Quaternary Science Reviews, 17.
Heusser, C.J., 1977. Quaternary palynology of the Pacific Slope of Washington. Quaternary Research. 8 282306.
Heusser, C.J., 1978. Modern pollen spectra from western Oregon. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 105 1417.
Keigwin, L.D., Jones, G.A., 1990. Deglacial climatic oscillations in the Gulf of California. Paleoceanography. 5 10091023.
Kennett, J.P., Ingram, B.L., 1995. A 20,000-year record of ocean circulation and climate change from the Santa Barbara basin. Nature. 377 305308.
Kromer, B., Becker, B., 1993. German oak and pine14 . Radiocarbon. 35 125135.
Lowell, T.V., Heusser, C.J., Anderson, B.G., Moreno, P.I., Hauser, A., Heusser, L.E., Schlüchter, C., Marchant, D.R., Denton, G.H., 1995. Interhemispheric correlation of late Pleistocene glacial events. Science. 269 15411549.
Mack, R.N., Bryant, V.M., Pell, W., 1978. Modern forest pollen spectra from eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Botanical Gazette. 138 249255.
Manabe, S., Stouffer, R.J., 1995. Simulation of abrupt climate change induced by freshwater input to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature. 378 165167.
Mathewes, R.W., 1993. Evidence for Younger Dryas-age cooling on the North Pacific coast of America. Quaternary Science Reviews. 12 321331.
Mazaud, A., Laj, C., Bard, E., Arnold, M., Tric, E., 1991. Geomagnetic field control of14 . Geophysical Research Letters. 18 18851888.
McAndrews, J.H., Berti, A.A., Norris, G., 1973. Key to the Quaternary Pollen and Spores of the Great Lakes Region. Life Sciences Miscellaneous PublicationsRoyal Ontario Museum Toronto.
Mikolajewicz, U., Crowley, T.J., Schiller, A., Voss, R., 1997. Modelling teleconnections between the North Atlantic and Pacific during the Younger Dryas. Nature. 387 384387.
Millspaugh, S.H., Whitlock, C., 1995. A 750-year fire history based on lake sediment records in central Yellowstone National Park. Holocene. 5 283292.
Minore, D, 1979, Comparative Autecological Characteristics of Northwestern Tree Species—A Literature Review.
Mock, C.J., 1996. Climatic controls and spatial variations of precipitation in the western United States. Journal of Climate. 9 11111125.
Moore, P.D., Webb, J.A., 1978. An Illustrated Guide to Pollen Analysis. Wiley, New York.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1964–1991, Multiple summaries of climatological data, Oregon section, Asheville, NC.
Pearson, G.W., Stuiver, M., 1993. High-precision bidecadal calibration of the radiocarbon time scale, 500–2500 BC. Radiocarbon. 35 2533.
Peltier, W.R., 1994. Ice age paleotopography. Science. 265 195201.
Porter, S.C., 1976. Pleistocene glaciation in the southern part of the North Cascade Range, Washington. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 87 6175.
Porter, S.C., 1978. Glacier Peak tephra in the North Cascade Range, Washington: Stratigraphy, distribution, and relationship to late-glacial events. Quaternary Research. 10 3041.
Sea, D.S., Whitlock, C., 1995. Postglacial vegetation and climate of the Cascade Range, central Oregon. Quaternary Research. 43 370381.
Stuiver, M., Becker, B., 1993. High-precision decadal calibration of the radiocarbon time scale, AD 1950–6000 BC. Radiocarbon. 35 3565.
Stuiver, M., Pearson, G.W., 1993. High-precision bidecadal calibration of the radiocarbon time scale, AD 1950–500 BC. and 2500–6000 BC. Radiocarbon. 35 123.
Stuiver, M., Reimer, P.J., 1993. Extended14 14 . Radiocarbon. 35 215230.
Thompson, R.S., Whitlock, C., Bartlein, P.J., Harrison, S.P., Spaulding, W.G., 1993. Climatic changes in the western United States since 18,000 yr B.P. Wright, H.E. Jr., Kutzbach, J.E., Ruddiman, W.F., Street-Perrott, F.A., Webb, T. III, Bartlein, P.J., Global Climates Since the Last Glacial Maximum. Univ. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 468513.
Törnqvist, T.E., De Jong, A.F.M., Oosterbaan, W.A., Van Der Borg, K., 1992. Accurate dating of organic deposits by AMS14 . Radiocarbon. 34 566577.
Tsukada, M., Sugita, S., Hibbert, D.M., 1981. Paleoecology of the Pacific Northwest I. Late Quaternary vegetation and climate. Verhandlungen der Internationalen Vereingung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie. 21 730737.
Whitlock, C., Bartlein, P.J., 1997. Vegetation and climate change in northwest America during the past 125 kyr. Nature. 388 5761.
Worona, M.A., 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. Jr., Mann, D.H., 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