A record of Lateglacial/Holocene environmental change from a high-elevation site in the Intermountain West, USA
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Quaternary Science
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 103–112, January 2013
How to Cite
Brunelle, A., Minckley, T. A., Lips, E. and Burnett, P. (2013), A record of Lateglacial/Holocene environmental change from a high-elevation site in the Intermountain West, USA. J. Quaternary Sci., 28: 103–112. doi: 10.1002/jqs.2600
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 26 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 MAY 2012
- effective moisture;
- Medicine Bow Mountains;
- Snowy Range;
Records of past vegetation and fire history can be complicated by changes in the depositional environment of a sampling location. However, these changes can alternatively be used as a measure of climate variability. Our study site, ca. 18.0 cal. ka BP record from Little Brooklyn Lake, Wyoming, located near the crest of the Snowy Range, records three moisture states. Initially, the lake was likely a glacier-fed pond indicated by the presence of Pediastrum algae colonies. Around 13.0 cal. ka BP this pond transitioned to a meadow environment, suggested by the loss of Pediastrum algae colonies and slow sedimentation rates. Meadow conditions were maintained until ca. 5.0 cal. ka BP when Pediastrum algae colony abundance increased,indicating the formation of a shallow lake. From 18.0 to ca. 5.0 cal. ka BP, the pollen record is suggestive of alpine vegetation conditions with relatively high spruce and herbaceous taxa. Low charcoal influx also characterizes the period between 18.0 and 5.0 cal. ka BP. After 5.0 cal. ka BP, the coincidence of the formation of shallow lake and pollen data, indicating a shift to a spruce and fir forest, suggests an increase in effective moisture. Fire remained rare in this basin over the entire record, however, once the lake established sedimentation rates and charcoal influx increased. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.