Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 209–224 | Cite as

Climate of the past millennium inferred from varved proglacial lake sediments on northeast Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

Original Paper

Abstract

This study uses 239+240Pu-dated varved sediments from Big Round Lake, a proglacial lake on northeast Baffin Island, Arctic Canada to generate a 1000-year-long, annual-resolution record of past climate. Varve thickness is positively correlated with July–August–September temperature measured at Clyde River, 70 km to the north of the lake (r = 0.46, p < 0.001). We therefore interpret the variability and trends in varve thickness to partially represent summer temperature. The coolest Little Ice Age temperatures occurred in this record from 1575 to 1760 AD and were approximately 1.5°C cooler than today (average from 1995 to 2005 AD) and 0.2°C cooler than the last millennium (average from 1000 to 2000 AD). Pre-twentieth-century warmth occurred during two intervals, 970–1150 AD and 1375–1575 AD; temperatures were approximately 1.2°C cooler than today, but 0.1°C warmer than the last millennium. The Big Round Lake varve-thickness record contains features similar to that reconstructed elsewhere in the eastern Canadian Arctic. This high-resolution quantitative record expands our understanding of arctic climate during the past millennium.

Keywords

Varves Late Holocene paleoclimate Arctic Lake sediments Air temperature proxy Paleolimnology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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