Sophia Lake, Cornwallis Island

Research site & overview of results

Paleoclimatic Reconstruction
High Resolution Arctic Lake Sediments

Sophia Lake

The most southerly site in which recent work has been done is at Sophia Lake (75°06'N; 93°31'W), an unglacierized, relatively low-relief basin on Cornwallis Island. The watershed is comprised of carbonate lithology, and runoff is characterized by exceptionally low suspended sediment concentrations.

Sediments from the lake are laminated, although it has proven difficult to demonstrate conclusively that these are annual. As a result, the chronology based on numerous cores recovered from the lake remains tentative.

During three months at the site in 1994 we measured snowmelt runoff through a brief period. Subsequent rainfall events later in the summer produced sufficient streamflow responses to suggest that rainfall runoff may also contribute to the sediment record.


  1. Carsten Braun, Douglas R. Hardy, Raymond S. Bradley, and Michael J. Retelle, 2000, Streamflow and Suspended Sediment Transfer to Lake Sophia, Cornwallis Island, Nunavut, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 32, No. 4, p. 456-465.
  2. Braun, C., 1997. Streamflow and sediment transport prediction in two High Arctic watersheds, Nunavut, Canada. MS thesis, Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 167 pp.
  3. Braun, C. and Hardy, D., 1995. Climatic and lacustrine controls of varve formation, Canadian High Arctic: Paleotimes, 3, 10-11.
  4. Braun, C. and Hardy, D., 1995. Runoff and sediment discharge to Lake Sophia, Canadian High Arctic: Abstracts of the 25th Arctic Workshop, Quebec City, Quebec, March 16-18, 1995, p. 15-17.
  5. Hardy, D. and Braun, C., 1995. Hydrology and climatology of a High Arctic watershed:  New data set from Lake Sophia, Cornwallis Island:  Second Annual PALE Research Meeting abstracts, University of Washington, February 4-6, 1995.
  6. Braun, C. and Hardy, D., 1994 Streamflow and climate data for the Lake Sophia watershed, Cornwallis Island, Northwest Territories, Canada: 4th Abstracts of the National Student Conference on Northern Studies, Ottawa, November 26-27, 1994.

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Last updated: 09 January 2001