Extreme sediment delivery events recorded in the contemporary sediment record of a montane lake, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia

Erik K Schiefer, Brian Menounos, Olav Slaymaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The extreme sediment delivery regime of a montane catchment was examined through the analysis of recent lacustrine varve deposits recovered from a high-density sampling program. Years of anomalously high sediment yield from the Green Lake watershed were identified over a 70-year period (1930-2000) based on whole-lake varve deposit volumes. Intra-annual sediment delivery events were categorized and described for those anomalous years using historical hydroclimatic data and the stratigraphic record observed within inflow proximal sediment cores. Extreme sediment delivery coincided with high discharge conditions and elevated sediment availability resulting from (1) rapid glacier recession of the early twentieth century, (2) late-summer and autumn rainstorm-generated floods, and (3) freshet floods caused by unusual snowmelt conditions. The thickness and physical characteristics of varves vary among years that experienced different types of moderate and extreme sediment delivery events in relation to the defined average-regime depositional model. Several hydroclimatic factors can interact to produce composite varve units of anomalous thickness. In some cases, geomorphic events, such as landslides and channel changes, contributed to extreme sediment delivery in the Green Lake catchment. The interaction of these geomorphic effects, coupled with the variable nature of associated hydroclimatic functions, complicate paleoenvironmental assessments based on the lacustrine varve record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1777-1790
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume43
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

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varve
mountain
coast
lake
sediment
catchment
channel change
rainstorm
geological record
sediment yield
snowmelt
twentieth century
sediment core
landslide
glacier
inflow
autumn
watershed
sampling
summer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Extreme sediment delivery events recorded in the contemporary sediment record of a montane lake, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. / Schiefer, Erik K; Menounos, Brian; Slaymaker, Olav.

In: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 43, No. 12, 12.2006, p. 1777-1790.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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