Paleoclimatic Reconstruction
High Resolution Arctic Lake Sediments


Our current work involves three components:
(a) to extend the ~300 record of summer temperature we have derived from varved sediments in Lake Tuborg, central Ellesmere Island, to cover the last 2-3000 years, to place the dramatic changes observed over the last few centuries into a longer term perspective. In particular, we want to examine conditions around 1000 years ago, during the so-called Medieval Warm Period, the global significance of which remains controversial. We will use multiple dating approaches to provide confidence in the chronology, and to establish a secular paleomagnetic record for the region. This can then be used as a chronological template to help in dating other sedimentary records which are low in organic carbon.
(b) We will extend the geographical coverage of high resolution lake sediment studies south to southern Ellesmere Island, thereby establishing a network of annually resolved varved lake sedimentary records extending from ~83°N to ~76°N. across the Canadian High Arctic.
(c) In years 2 to 5, we will also conduct hydrological studies in selected basins, to clarify the climatic controls on sediment flux to these lakes, to improve paleoclimatic interpretations of the varved sediment records recovered. By combining these observations with earlier work, we will develop a comprehensive conceptual model of the climatic controls on sediment flux to arctic lakes.

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Climatology Lab | Department of Geosciences | University of Massachusetts

Last revised:  15 July 1998