The deepest part (29.5 m) of Elk Lake, Clearwater County, northwestern Minnesota, contains a complete Holocene section that is continuously varved. The varve components are predominantly autochthonous (CaCO3, organic matter, biogenic silica, and several iron and manganese minerals), but the varves do contain a minor detrital-clastic (aluminosilicate) component that is predominantly wind-borne (eolian) and provides an important record of atmospheric conditions. Singular spectrum analysis (SSA) and wavelet analysis of varve thickness recognized significant periodicities in the multicentennial and multidecadal bands that varied in power (i.e., variable significance) and position (i.e., variable period) within the periodic bands. Persistent periodicities of about 10, 22, 40, and 90 years, and, in particular, multicentennial periodicities in varve thickness and other proxy variables are similar to those in spectra of radiocarbon production, a proxy for past solar activity. This suggests that there may be a solar control, perhaps through geomagnetic effects on atmospheric circulation. Multicentennial and multidecadal periodicities also occur in wavelet spectra of relative gray-scale density. However, gray-scale density does not appear to correlate with any of the measured proxy variables, and at this point we do not know what controlled gray scale.
Additional publication details
A 1500-year record of climatic and environmental change in Elk Lake, Minnesota I: Varve thickness and gray-scale density