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Planktonic diatoms dominate the Holocene varved-sediment record of Elk Lake, Minnesota. For the past ~10,400 yr, the lake never became shallow enough to allow large numbers of benthic and epiphytic diatoms to become deposited in the center of the lake. The relatively great depth of Elk Lake throughout this time is consistent with the continuous presence of varves in the record and the predominantly autochthonous character of sediment in the profundal part of the lake.

The planktonic diatom assemblages are dominated by two species, Fragilaria crotonensis and Stephanodiscus minutulus. They alternate in dominance on scales of hundreds to thousands of...

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