Sedimentologic and palynologic records of the last deglaciation and Holocene from Ballston Lake, New York

Toney, J.L. , Rodbell, D.T. and Miller, N.G. (2003) Sedimentologic and palynologic records of the last deglaciation and Holocene from Ballston Lake, New York. Quaternary Research, 60(2), pp. 189-199. (doi: 10.1016/S0033-5894(03)00093-0)

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Continuous pollen and sediment records from two ∼8.5-m-long cores document late Pleistocene and Holocene sedimentation and vegetation change in the Ballston Lake basin, eastern New York State. Pebbles at the base of both cores and the geomorphology of the watershed reflect the presence of the Mohawk River in the basin prior to ∼12,900 ± 70 cal yr B.P. Ballston Lake formed at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) by an avulsion of the Mohawk River. The transition from clay to gyttja with low magnetic susceptibility (MS), low bulk density, and high organic carbon indicates rapid warming and increased lake productivity beginning 11,020 cal yr B.P. MS measurements reveal that the influx of magnetic particles, associated with pre-Holocene clastic sedimentation, ceased after ∼10,780 cal yr B.P. The pollen record is subdivided into six zones: BL1 (12,920 to 11,020 cal yr B.P.) is dominated by boreal forest pollen; BL2 (11,020 to 10,780 cal yr B.P.) by pine (Pinus) forest pollen; BL3 (10,780 to 5290 cal yr B.P.) by hemlock (Tsuga) and mixed hardwood pollen; BL4 (5290 to 2680 cal yr B.P.) by mixed hardwood pollen; BL5a (2680 cal yr B.P. to 1030 cal yr B.P.) by conifer and mixed hardwood pollen; and BL5b (1030 cal B.P. to present) by increasing ragweed (Ambrosia) pollen. A 62% decrease in spruce (Picea) pollen in <320 cal years during BL1 reflects rapid warming at the end of the YD. Holocene pollen zones record more subtle climatic shifts than occurred at the end of the YD. One of the largest changes in the Holocene pollen spectra began ∼5300 cal yr B.P., and is characterized by a marked decline in hemlock pollen. This has been noted in other pollen records from the region and may record preferential selection of hemlock by a pathogen or parasites.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Toney, Professor Jaime
Authors: Toney, J.L., Rodbell, D.T., and Miller, N.G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Quaternary Research
Published Online:02 August 2003

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