, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 365-394
Date: 25 Jan 2007

Glaciolacustrine varved sediment as an alpine hydroclimatic proxy

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Abstract

The physical significance of a negative correlation between a varve record from Mud Lake, British Columbia, and temperature is discussed in the context of a process-network. The process-network is defined as the system of temporally and spatially connected processes involved in the transfer of a signal from climate to varved glaciolacustrine sediment. The six systems defining the network include climate, glacier, fluvial, geomorphic, terrestrial biologic and lacustrine systems to which each process belongs. A literature review outlines significant variation in the strength and character of correlations between components of the process-network and highlights that more comprehensive interpretations of varves as a hydroclimatic proxy require an improved understanding of the process-network. Documenting each process in the network is integral to informing a more complete model of this system, identifying processes that constitute signal transfer and assessing hydroclimatic proxies based on linear correlation. Such documentation is of growing importance as varved lacustrine sediments are increasingly used as a hydroclimatic proxy. The complex nature of the process-network requires greater emphasis on interdisciplinary cooperation and alternative methods to the linear statistical model.