Rather than being a seamless transition from Late Glacial Maximum to the start of the Holocene between 15,000 and 8000 years ago, the warming during this period was punctuated by abrupt climatic instabilities. These include the Younger Dryas cold event, the Preboreal Oscillation, and an isolated cooling event around 8200 years ago (see Figure 1, bottom right). In the Great Lakes area the terrestrial fingerprints of these events are often present in pollen records, yet even greater details of the environmental course of deglaciation during the Holocene transition could be gleaned with high-resolution tree ring proxies. A campaign is under way to locate, sample, and analyze tree rings of surprisingly abundant subfossil wood preserved in the Great Lakes area to improve understanding of past (and possibly future) abrupt climate change in a region where these events may have even been triggered (e.g., by glacial meltwater discharge [Murton et al., 2010]) and where early human and megafauna populations were likely profoundly affected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)