Holocene glacier fluctuations inferred from lacustrine sediment, Emerald Lake, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Taylor S. LaBrecque, Darrell S Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Physical and biological characteristics of lacustrine sediment from Emerald Lake were used to reconstruct the Holocene glacier history of Grewingk Glacier, southern Alaska. Emerald Lake is an ice-marginal threshold lake, receiving glaciofluvial sediment when Grewingk Glacier overtops the topographic divide that separates it from the lake. Sub-bottom acoustical profiles were used to locate core sites to maximize both the length and resolution of the sedimentary sequence recovered in the 4-m-long cores. The age model for the composite sequence is based on 13 14C ages and a 210Pb profile. A sharp transition from the basal inorganic mud to organic-rich mud at 11.4 ± 0.2 ka marks the initial retreat of Grewingk Glacier below the divide of Emerald Lake. The overlaying organic-rich mud is interrupted by stony mud that records a re-advance between 10.7 ± 0.2 and 9.8 ± 0.2 ka. The glacier did not spill meltwater into the lake again until the Little Ice Age, consistent with previously documented Little Ice Ages advances on the Kenai Peninsula. The retreat of Grewingk Glacier at 11.4 ka took place as temperature increased following the Younger Dryas, and the subsequent re-advance corresponds with a climate reversal beginning around 11 ka across southern Alaska.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Alaska
  • Glacier fluctuations
  • Grewingk Glacier
  • Holocene
  • Lake sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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