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Multidecadal drought and Holocene climate instability in the Rocky Mountains

Jeffery R. Stone and Sherilyn C. Fritz
Multidecadal drought and Holocene climate instability in the Rocky Mountains
Geology (Boulder) (May 2006) 34 (5): 409-412

Abstract

Time series analysis of a diatom-inferred drought record suggests that Holocene hydroclimate of the northern Rocky Mountains has been characterized by oscillation between two mean climate states. The dominant climate state was initiated at the onset of the Holocene (ca. 11 ka); under this climate state, drought was strongly cyclic, recurring at frequencies that are similar to twentieth century multidecadal phase changes of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This pattern remained consistent throughout much of the mid-Holocene, continuing until ca. 4.5 ka. After this time the mean climate state changed, and drought recurrence became unstable; periods of cyclic drought alternated with periods of less predictable drought. The timing of this shift in climate was coincident with widespread severe drought in the mid-continent of North America. Overall, the strongest periodicity in severe drought occurred during the mid-Holocene, when temperatures in the northern Rocky Mountains were warmer than today.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Multidecadal drought and Holocene climate instability in the Rocky Mountains
Affiliation: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Geosciences, Lincoln, NE, United States
Pages: 409-412
Published: 200605
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 25
Accession Number: 2006-049746
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects.
N47°34'60" - N49°00'00", W115°01'00" - W112°52'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200627
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