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Varves in Elk Lake are composed of seasonally deposited laminations of diatoms, calcite, aragonite, and layers enriched in Mn, Fe, organic matter, and clay and/or silt. The proportions of these components and the character of varve laminations changed systematically over the past 10,000+ years and define a post-glacial lake rich in calcium and manganese, a mid-Holocene prairie lake with sediments enriched in clay and silt, and a modern lake rich in Fe. Sequential changes in varve composition during the three phases of lake development are the result of a maturing lake and drainage basin and a systematic shift in airstream...

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