Annually resolved temperature reconstructions from a late Pliocene-early Pleistocene polar forest on Bylot Island, Canada

Adam Z. Csank, Daniel Fortier, Steven Leavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we use δ18O ratios measured in tree rings of crossdated sub-fossil wood to reconstruct an annually resolved record of temperature and δ18O of meteoric water for an interglacial late Pliocene-early Pleistocene fossil forest found on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada. Our record represents the first crossdated record of Pliocene wood. Mean annual temperatures determined in this study average -3.4±3.8°C, which is 11.4±4.4°C warmer than present-day Bylot Island (-14.8±2.2°C). June-July temperatures average 13.5±1.1°C, approximately 12.6±1.6°C warmer than present-day. Meteoric water δ18O values average -15.5±2.9‰, ~2-6‰ more enriched than present values of precipitation δ18O. Our temperatures are comparable to mid-Pliocene modeled temperatures for the Arctic (3-5°C warmer than present), suggesting that interglacial warm periods in the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene may have been as warm as the mid-Pliocene warm period. That both the Bylot Island forest deposit and the Kap København deposit represent the remains of northern tree-line vegetation that lived during warm interglacial periods within the overall cool Plio-Pleistocene suggests that forest deposits in the Arctic capture a snapshot of interglacial conditions during the Plio-Pleistocene rather than the average Pliocene climate and may not be suitable records to study Pliocene cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume369
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Pliocene
Canada
Pleistocene
interglacial
temperature
Arctic region
meteoric water
old and fossil wood
Nunavut
growth rings
fossil
cooling
treeline
fossils
water
tree ring
climate
vegetation

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Pliocene climate
  • Stable isotopes
  • Temperature
  • Tree rings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Oceanography

Cite this

Annually resolved temperature reconstructions from a late Pliocene-early Pleistocene polar forest on Bylot Island, Canada. / Csank, Adam Z.; Fortier, Daniel; Leavitt, Steven.

In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 369, 01.01.2013, p. 313-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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