Dry Climate Disconnected the Laurentian Great Lakes
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©2008. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 89, Issue 52, pages 541–542, 23 December 2008
How to Cite
2008), Dry Climate Disconnected the Laurentian Great Lakes, Eos Trans. AGU, 89(52), 541–542, doi:10.1029/2008EO520001., et al. (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
Recent studies have produced a new understanding of the hydrological history of North America's Great Lakes, showing that water levels fell several meters below lake basin outlets during an early postglacial dry climate in the Holocene (younger than 10,000 radiocarbon years, or about 11,500 calibrated or calendar years before present (B.P.)). Water levels in the Huron basin, for example, fell more than 20 meters below the basin overflow outlet between about 7900 and 7500 radiocarbon (about 8770–8290 calibrated) years B.P. Outlet rivers, including the Niagara River, presently falling 99 meters from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario (and hence Niagara Falls), ran dry. This newly recognized phase of low lake levels in a dry climate provides a case study for evaluating the sensitivity of the Great Lakes to current and future climate change.