Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 489–505 | Cite as

Geochemical reconstruction of late Holocene drainage and mixing in Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory

  • Janice Brahney
  • John J. Clague
  • Brian Menounos
  • Thomas W. D. Edwards
Original Paper


The level of Kluane Lake in southwest Yukon Territory, Canada, has fluctuated tens of metres during the late Holocene. Contributions of sediment from different watersheds in the basin over the past 5,000 years were inferred from the elemental geochemistry of Kluane Lake sediment cores. Elements associated with organic material and oxyhydroxides were used to reconstruct redox fluctuations in the hypolimnion of the lake. The data reveal complex relationships between climate and river discharge during the late Holocene. A period of influx of Duke River sediment coincides with a relatively warm climate around 1,300 years BP. Discharge of Slims River into Kluane Lake occurred when Kaskawulsh Glacier advanced to the present drainage divide separating flow to the Pacific Ocean via Kaskawulsh and Alsek rivers from flow to Bering Sea via tributaries of Yukon River. During periods when neither Duke nor Slims river discharged into Kluane Lake, the level of the lake was low and stable thermal stratification developed, with anoxic and eventually euxinic conditions in the hypolimnion.


Lake sediment geochemistry Sediment provenance Constrained least squares Discriminant analysis Kluane Lake Yukon Territory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice Brahney
    • 1
  • John J. Clague
    • 1
  • Brian Menounos
    • 2
  • Thomas W. D. Edwards
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth ScienceSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.Department of Earth ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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