A 14-m-thick section of marine and nonmarine sediments of the Gubik Formation of northern Alaska, exposed in bluffs near Ocean Point on the Colville River, has been studied by means of pollen analysis. Pollen from the marine sediments, of probable late Pliocene age, records a boreal forest of spruce and birch with minor amounts of alder in the adjacent terrestrial vegetation. Pine and perhaps true fir were probably at or near their northern limit here, but hemlocks and hardwoods were absent. The suggested environment for the Arctic Slope during the time represented by the marine sediments is similar to that of present-day Anchorage. Pollen floras from the overlying fluvial strata, of early or middle Pleistocene age, record predominantly herbaceous taxa indicating tundra conditions probably more severe than those of the present day. These deposits were most likely contemporaneous with glacial conditions in the Brooks Range to the south. Pollen of woody taxa (spruce, alder, birch, heaths) is rare through most of the section, although birch and alder percentages similar to those found in modern river sediments indicate an interstadial or interglacial warming in midsection. Inland climates during glacial episodes may have been similar to those of the present Arctic coast. ?? 1985.
Additional publication details
Pollen analysis of a late pliocene and early pleistocene section from the Gubik Formation of Arctic Alaska