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Elk Lake is near the present forest-prairie border in northwestern Minnesota, and is also located on the boundary between hard-water lakes that are typical of once-glaciated parts of the north-central United States and more saline prairie lakes of western Minnesota and the Dakotas. The sediments of the prairie lakes just west of Elk Lake are unusual in that they commonly contain high-Mg calcite and dolomite in addition to low-Mg calcite, which is the dominant carbonate mineral in most marl lakes. During the mid-Holocene dry period, prairie conditions expanded eastward into the forested regions of Minnesota. Variations in types and abundances...

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