Last interglacial lake sediments preserved beneath Laurentide and Greenland Ice sheets provide insights into Arctic climate amplification and constrain 130 ka of ice-sheet history

Gifford H. Miller*, Alexander P. Wolfe, Yarrow Axford, Jason P. Briner, Helga Bueltmann, Sarah Crump, Donna Francis, Bianca Fréchette, Devon Gorbey, Meredith Kelly, Jamie McFarlin, Erich Osterberg, Jonathan Raberg, Martha Raynolds, Julio Sepúlveda, Elizabeth Thomas, Gregory de Wet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sediment cores from 13 lakes in a 1500 km transect along the eastern North American Arctic contain up to four superposed stratified interglacial units. All 13 lakes contain one unit with sediment similar in character and mass to Holocene gyttja, with 14C ages >40 ka, luminescence ages 90 to 120 ka, and pollen assemblages that require nearly complete Laurentide deglaciation, supporting a Last Interglacial (LIG; MIS 5e) age. Two lakes preserve an older interglacial, with luminescence ages suggesting an MIS 7 age. Four adjacent lakes record a thin, stratified organic unit between the LIG and Holocene units with 14C ages >50 ka, that is probably from late in MIS 5. Temperature estimates from biotic proxies suggest LIG summer temperatures 4–6°C above mid-20th century values; pollen, chironomids and DNA document a poleward expansion of woody plants and invertebrate species during the LIG, supporting arguments that positive feedbacks native to the Arctic amplified insolation-driven summer temperature increases. The stratigraphic succession implies the Laurentide Ice Sheet remained intact with sea level below -40 m from ~115 ka to ~11 ka, and places new constraints on the interpretation of cosmogenic radionuclide inventories in erratic boulders older than the Holocene throughout this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-1005
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Arctic amplification
  • Baffin Island
  • Last Interglacial
  • lakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Last interglacial lake sediments preserved beneath Laurentide and Greenland Ice sheets provide insights into Arctic climate amplification and constrain 130 ka of ice-sheet history'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this