Coherent late-Holocene climate-driven shifts in the structure of three Rocky Mountain lakes

The Holocene
By: , and 

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Abstract

Large-scale atmospheric pressure centers, such as the Aleutian and Icelandic Low, have a demonstrated relationship with physical lake characteristics in contemporary monitoring studies, but the responses to these phenomena are rarely observed in lake records. We observe coherent changes in the stratification patterns of three deep (>30 m) lakes inferred from fossil diatom assemblages as a response to shifts in the location and intensity of the Aleutian Low and compare these changes with similar long-term changes observed in the δ18O record from the Yukon. Specifically, these records indicate that between 3.2 and 1.4 ka, the Aleutian Low shifted westward, resulting in an increased frequency of storm tracks across the Pacific Northwest during winter and spring. This change in atmospheric circulation ultimately produced deeper mixing in the upper waters of these three lake systems. Enhanced stratification between 4.5 and 3.3 ka and from 1.3 ka to present suggests a strengthened Aleutian Low and more meridional circulation.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Coherent late-Holocene climate-driven shifts in the structure of three Rocky Mountain lakes
Series title The Holocene
DOI 10.1177/0959683616632886
Volume 26
Issue 7
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher SAGE
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 1103
Last page 1111
Country United States
State Montana, Wyoming
Other Geospatial Beauty Lake, Emerald Lake, Upper Kintla Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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