Abstract

Two independent paleoclimatic records from the Pacific coast of Canada indicate that a late-glacial warming trend was interrupted by a return to colder conditions between about 11,000 and 10,200 radiocarbon yr B.P., correlative with the classical Younger Dryas chronozone of the North Atlantic region. Fossil benthic foramnifera from three cores from the continental shelf dated by accelerator mass spectrometry show peak abundances of the cold-water indicator species Cassidulina reniforme at this time. Fossil-pollen spectra from two sites on the Queen Charlotte Islands record a shift from forest to open, herb-rich vegetation after 11,100 yr B.P., probably in response to colder and wetter conditions identified by pollen-climate transfer functions. These preliminary data for a cold oscillation between ca. 11000 and 10000 yr ago in the northeast Pacific argue that this deglacial phenomenon was not restricted to the North Atlantic, but was a hemispheric—and possibly global—event.

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