, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 235–252 | Cite as

Climatic changes in northwestern Ontario have had a greater effect on erosion and sediment accumulation than logging and fire: Evidence from 210Pb chronology in lake sediments

  • Jules M. Blais
  • Robert L. France
  • Lynda E. Kimpe
  • R. Jack Cornett


Sedimentation patterns in nine lake basins were examined where catchments were either clearcut, burned in recent history, or where there has been no recorded disturbance and the catchments consist of mature forests. Pronounced declines in sedimentation rates were observed in eight of eleven cores after 1980, in reference, clearcut, and burn lakes. The degree of change was positively correlated with the drainage ratio (catchment area: lake area), but was unrelated to land use history. The decline in sedimentation rates after 1980 coincide with a 60% decrease in catchment runoff and precipitation measured over the same time interval at the nearby Experimental Lakes Area. These results indicate that climatic changes over the past 20 years have had a greater effect on catchment erosion than either clearcutting or fire.


Climatic Change Sedimentation Sedimentation Rate Catchment Area Lake Sediment 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jules M. Blais
    • 1
  • Robert L. France
    • 2
  • Lynda E. Kimpe
    • 3
  • R. Jack Cornett
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Graduate School of DesignHarvard UniversityCambridgeU.S.A
  3. 3.Public Health SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Chalk River Nuclear LabsEnvironmental ResearchChalk RiverCanada

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