Marked changes in sediment types deposited in Cabin Lake, near Cordova, Alaska, represent environmental shifts during the early and late Holocene, including fluctuations in the terminal position of Sheridan Glacier. Cabin Lake is situated to receive meltwater during periods when the outwash plain of the advancing Sheridan Glacier had aggraded. A brief early Holocene advance from 11.2 to 11.0 cal ka is represented by glacial rock flour near the base of the sediment core. Non-glacial lake conditions were restored for about 1000 years before the water level in Cabin Lake lowered and the core site became a fen. The fen indicates drier-than-present conditions leading up to the Holocene thermal maximum. An unconformity spanning 5400 years during the mid-Holocene is overlain by peat until 1110 CE when meltwater from Sheridan Glacier returned to the basin. Three intervals of an advanced Sheridan Glacier are recorded in the Cabin Lake sediments during the late Holocene: 1110–1180, 1260–1540 and 1610–1780 CE. The sedimentary sequence also contains the first five reported tephra deposits from the Copper River delta region, and their geochemical signatures suggest that the sources are the Cook Inlet volcanoes Redoubt, Augustine and Crater Peak, and possibly Mt Churchill in the Wrangell Volcanic field.
Additional publication details
Early and late Holocene glacial fluctuations and tephrostratigraphy, Cabin Lake, Alaska