A flood-plain forest has been preserved beneath a lava flow that invaded the Inmachuk River Valley in the northern part of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, during the Pliocene Epoch. The fossil flora is of great biogeographic interest because of its position (Fig. 1) in a tundra region about 250 km east of Bering Strait, 75 km south of the Arctic Circle, and 65 km west of the northwestern limit of spruce-birch forest. It provides insight into the history of the development of the circumpolar boreal forest (taiga). A rich arthropod fauna casts light on the phylogeny of several modern insect genera and on the origin of modern tundra faunas. A potassium-argon analysis of the overlying basaltic lava provides our first radiometric age estimate (5.7??0.2 million years) for the Clamgulchian Stage, a Late Tertiary time-stratigraphic unit based on fossil plants and widely recognized in Alaska (Wolfe and Hopkins 1967) and northeastern Siberia. ?? 1971.
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A Pliocene flora and insect fauna from the Bering Strait region