100,000-year-long terrestrial record of millennial-scale linkage between eastern North American mid-latitude paleovegetation shifts and Greenland ice-core oxygen isotope trends

Quaternary Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

We document frequent, rapid, strong, millennial-scale paleovegetation shifts throughout the late Pleistocene, within a 100,000+ yr interval (~ 115–15 ka) of terrestrial sediments from the mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) of North America. High-resolution analyses of fossil pollen from one core locality revealed a continuously shifting sequence of thermally dependent forest assemblages, ranging between two endmembers: subtropical oak-tupelo-bald cypress-gum forest and high boreal spruce-pine forest. Sedimentary textural evidence indicates fluvial, paludal, and loess deposition, and paleosol formation, representing sequential freshwater to subaerial environments in which this record was deposited. Its total age"depth model, based on radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence ages, ranges from terrestrial oxygen isotope stages (OIS) 6 to 1. The particular core sub-interval presented here is correlative in trend and timing to that portion of the oxygen isotope sequence common among several Greenland ice cores: interstades GI2 to GI24 (≈ OIS2–5 d). This site thus provides the first evidence for an essentially complete series of "Dansgaard"Oeschger" climate events in the MAR. These data reveal that the ~ 100,000 yr preceding the Late Glacial and Holocene in the MAR of North America were characterized by frequently and dynamically changing climate states, and by vegetation shifts that closely tracked the Greenland paleoclimate sequence.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title 100,000-year-long terrestrial record of millennial-scale linkage between eastern North American mid-latitude paleovegetation shifts and Greenland ice-core oxygen isotope trends
Series title Quaternary Research
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.05.003
Volume 80
Issue 2
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 25 p.
First page 291
Last page 315