Abstract

In this study, the sediments exposed in a fluvial terrace and in the headwall of a thaw slump in the Eagle River valley, northern Yukon, provide new data about the timing of flooding of glacial Lake Old Crow, the formation of massive ground ice bodies, and the vegetation and the fauna in eastern Beringia during the late Quaternary. The stratigraphy and radiocarbon ages establish the following chronology of events: (1) a gravel fluvial terrace was deposited by an overflow from glacial Lake Hughes into glacial Lake Old Crow; (2) a carbonate silty clay was deposited during the maximum level of glacial Lake Old Crow at 15 120 14C year BP; (3) permafrost and large intrusive ice bodies aggraded through the glaciolacustrine and underlying sediments following the drainage of glacial Lake Old Crow from the site; (4) at 11 290 14C year BP, a shrub–sedge tundra colonized an uneven surface deformed by the bodies of ground ice; (5) a thaw lake drained at 6730 14C year BP after flooding the site; (6) during the early Holocene and from the previous major event onwards, material from the slope nearby the site buried the previous organic and inorganic sediment and the ice bodies; and (7) a bison (Bison) vertebra with conspicuous cut marks was dated to 12 210 ± 70 14C year BP. The age from the bison bone is amongst the most recent of the late Pleistocene bison specimens yet found in eastern Beringia.

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