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Elucidating paleo dune activity and timing from wetlands in the lee of coastal sand dunes, Grand Mere Lakes, Michigan, USA

By
Barbara E. Hanes
Barbara E. Hanes
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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Timothy G. Fisher
Timothy G. Fisher
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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Richard H. Becker
Richard H. Becker
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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James M. Martin-Hayden
James M. Martin-Hayden
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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Published:
July 01, 2014

Eolian sand deposited in lakes downwind of coastal sand dunes can record a history of paleoclimatic fluctuations. The eolian sand signals from sediment within the Grand Mere Lakes, Michigan, which are downwind of sand dunes along southeastern coastal Lake Michigan, record the same sunspot, climate history, and lake-level fluctuations observed elsewhere along the east-central Lake Michigan coastline. Sediment cores were extracted from the Grand Mere Lakes in Berrien County, Michigan, and analyzed for variations in weight percentage of sand with depth, the sand signal, at 1 cm sampling intervals. Radiocarbon dates obtained from terrestrial macrofossils within the cores were used to develop age-depth models, from which sedimentation rates were derived, both for the varying sedimentary facies and the entire core. Spectral analyses of the sand signal data using both multi-taper and REDFIT methods indicate multiple periodicities that correspond to those from other regional and global studies, including Lake Michigan lake-level fluctuations, Lake Michigan coastal dune formation, and solar cycles. The common periodicities between the Grand Mere Lakes sand data and other studies suggest the sand-signal data set is not random, and is best explained as a record of paleo dune mobility. The appearance of the 80–110 year Gleissberg solar cycle in the data suggests that the storminess recorded by the eolian sand was influenced by periodic variability in extratropical cyclones across the Lake Michigan basin which, in turn, reflects variability in circulation patterns driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation, the variability of which has been associated with solar cycles.

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GSA Special Papers

Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes

Timothy G. Fisher
Timothy G. Fisher
Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, MS #604, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
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Edward C. Hansen
Edward C. Hansen
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Hope College, 35 East 12th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
508
ISBN print:
9780813725086
Publication date:
July 01, 2014

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