Insect fossils and pollen from late Pleistocene nonmarine peat layers were recovered from cores from the shelf region of the Chukchi Sea at depths of about 50 m below sea level. The peats date to 11,300-11,000 yr B.P. and provide a limiting age for the regional Pleistocene-Holocene marine transgression. The insect fossils are indicative of arctic coastal habitats like those of the Mackenzie Delta region (mean July temperatures = 10.6-14??C) suggesting that 11,000 yr ago the exposed Chukchi Sea shelf had a climate substantially warmer than modern coastal regions of the Alaskan north slope. The pollen spectra are consistent with the age assignment to the Birch Interval (14,000-9000 yr B.P.). The data suggest a meadow-like graminoid tundra with birch shrubs and some willow shrubs growing in sheltered areas. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Paleoecology of late-glacial peats from the bering land bridge, Chukchi Sea shelf region, northwestern Alaska