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A multi-proxy paleolimnological reconstruction of Holocene climate conditions in the Great Basin, United States

  • Scott A. Reinemann (a1), David F. Porinchu (a1), Amy M. Bloom (a2), Bryan G. Mark (a1) and Jason E. Box (a1)...

A sediment core spanning ∼ 7000 cal yr BP recovered from Stella Lake, a small sub-alpine lake located in Great Basin National Park, Nevada, was analyzed for subfossil chironomids (non-biting midges), diatoms, and organic content (estimated by loss-on-ignition (LOI)). Subfossil chironomid analysis indicates that Stella Lake was characterized by a warm, middle Holocene, followed by a cool “Neoglacial” period, with the last two millennia characterized by a return to warmer conditions. Throughout the majority of the core the Stella Lake diatom-community composition is dominated by small, periphytic taxa which are suggestive of shallow, cool, alkaline, oligotrophic waters with extensive seasonal ice cover. A reconstruction of mean July air temperature (MJAT) was developed by applying a midge-based inference model for MJAT (two-component WA-PLS) consisting of 79 lakes and 54 midge taxa (r jack 2 = 0.55, RMSEP = 0.9°C). Comparison of the chironomid-inferred temperature record to existing regional paleoclimate reconstructions suggests that the midge-inferred temperatures correspond well to regional patterns. This multi-proxy record provides valuable insight into regional Holocene climate and environmental conditions by providing a quantitative reconstruction of peak Holocene warmth and aquatic ecosystem response to these changes in the Great Basin, a region projected to experience increased aridity and higher temperatures.

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Corresponding author. Fax: +1 614 292 6213. E-mail address: (S.A. Reinemann).
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