Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 569–588 | Cite as

Multi-proxy evidence of postglacial climate and environmental change at Two Frog Lake, central mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada

  • Jennifer M. Galloway
  • R. Timothy PattersonEmail author
  • Christine T. Doherty
  • Helen M. Roe
Original Paper


Pollen and diatoms preserved in the radiocarbon dated sediments of Two Frog Lake in the Seymour-Belize Inlet Complex of the central mainland coast of British Columbia document postglacial climate change. Two Frog Lake was isolated from the sea prior to 11,040 ± 50 yr BP (13,030 cal. yr BP) when the climate was cool and dry, and open Pinus contorta woodlands covered the landscape. These woodlands were replaced by a mixed conifer forest ca. 10,200 yr BP (ca. 12,300 cal. yr BP) when the climate became moister. A relatively dry and warm early Holocene climate allowed Pseudotsuga menziesii to migrate northward to this site where it grew with Picea, Tsuga heterophylla and Alnus. The climate became cooler and moister at ca. 8,000 yr BP (ca. 9,200 cal. yr BP), approximately 500–1,000 years prior to sites located south of Two Frog Lake and on the Queen Charlotte Islands, but contemporary with sites on the northern mainland coast of British Columbia and south coastal Alaska. Climate heterogeneity in central coastal British Columbia appears to have occurred on a synoptic scale, suggesting that atmospheric dynamics linked to a variable Aleutian Low pressure system may have had an important influence on early Holocene climate change in the Seymour-Belize Inlet Complex. The transition to cooler and moister conditions facilitated the expansion of Cupressaceae and the establishment of a modern-type coastal temperate rainforest dominated by Cupressaceae and T. heterophylla. This was associated with progressive lake acidification. Diatom changes independent of vegetation change during the late Holocene are correlative with the mid-Neoglacial period, when cooler temperatures altered diatom communities.


Pollen Diatoms Climate change Holocene Coastal British Columbia 



We are grateful for the assistance of the staff at the Pacific Geoscience Centre, Sidney, British Columbia, the crew of the CCG Vector and G. Alexander, cartographer, Queen’s University, Belfast. The comments of Marlow Pellatt and an anonymous reviewer greatly improved the manuscript. Funding for this research was provided by a Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Studies (CFCAS) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grants awarded to R. T. Patterson.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Galloway
    • 1
  • R. Timothy Patterson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine T. Doherty
    • 2
  • Helen M. Roe
    • 2
  1. 1.Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Center and Department of Earth SciencesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Geography, Archaeology and PalaeoecologyQueen’s UniversityBelfastUK

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