, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 165-178

An expanded surface-water palaeotemperature inference model for use with fossil midges from eastern Canada

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Abstract

Using an expanded surface sample data set, representing lakes distributed across a transect from southernmost Canada to the Canadian High Arctic, a revised midge-palaeotemperature inference model was developed for eastern Canada. Modelling trials with weighted averaging (with classical and inverse deshrinking; with and without tolerance downweighting) and weighted averaging partial least squares (WA-PLS) regression, with and without square-root transformation of the species data, were used to identify the best model. Comparison of measured and predicted temperatures revealed that a 2 component WA-PLS model for square-root transformed percentage species data provided the model with the highest explained variance (r \(_{jack}^2 \) = 0.88) and the lowest error estimate (RMSEP jack  = 2.26 °C). Comparison of temperature inferences based on the new and old models indicates that the original model may have seriously under-estimated the magnitude of late-glacial temperature oscillations in Atlantic Canada. The new inferences suggest that summer surface water temperatures in Splan Pond, New Brunswick were approximately 10 to 12 °C immediately following deglaciation and during the Younger Dryas. During the Allerod and early Holocene, surface water temperatures of 20 to 24 °C were attained. The new model thus provides the basis for more accurate palaeotemperature reconstructions throughout easternmost Canada.