Twenty-one sediment cores were obtained from 20 lakes in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. Depth-age models were developed using 14C dating, and sediments were analyzed for loss-on-ignition (LOI), carbon-nitrogen ratio (C:N), and grain size distribution. Although some of these cores have been considered individually in previous studies, here the entire set of cores is evaluated collectively to identify consistent patterns, commonalities, and trends in the post-glacial interval. All lakes accumulated substantially greater amounts of submicron-size clastic material before ca. 9.5 ka BP. This pattern is interpreted as a signal of prolonged landscape instability following deglaciation. Values of LOI and C:N exhibit a strong, positive correlation in nearly all lakes, indicating that organic matter accumulation is controlled by the influx of terrestrial material. In the six lakes exhibiting the strongest correlation, and featuring the most robust inflowing streams, median grain size and the abundance of sand increased between 10 and 6 ka BP, simultaneous with increases in LOI and C:N. This correspondence is interpreted as evidence for frequent high-intensity storms during the early Holocene, likely driven by enhanced monsoonal circulation. The early parts of five of the records contain a sharp increase in LOI. Lakes exhibiting this pattern are typically smaller and shallower, and are located in less rugged watersheds. Finally, all six cores from the western Uinta Mountains contain evidence for an environmental perturbation ca. 4.5 ka BP. Although the nature of this event is unclear, these lakes accumulated notably finer-grained sediment with less organic matter at this time. This analysis illuminates the post-glacial history of this strategically located mountain range, and underscores the value inherent in analyzing cores from multiple lakes when reconstructing paleoclimatic history.
Research Article|May 02, 2019
Multiproxy lacustrine records of post-glacial environmental change from the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA
Jeffrey S. Munroe;
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Jeffrey S. Munroe, Benjamin J.C. Laabs; Multiproxy lacustrine records of post-glacial environmental change from the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B35056.1
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