Pollen analyses of 40 samples of duff and other surface materials from the major forest associations in the Chuska Mountains, New Mexico, show that a reasonably close correspondence exists between modern pollen rain and vegetation. This provides the basis for interpreting pollen diagrams for sediments from three lakes on the mountain crest at about 9000 feet elevation. The top 15–30 cm of black mud show pollen percentages much like those for the surface samples on the mountain crest; the black mud represents the Holocene. The underlying gray sediment shows pollen spectra (high Artemisia, high Picea) not matched by any surface samples in the Chuska Mountains but resembling those from above the tree line in the San Juan Mountains 125 miles to the northeast. The inferred Pleistocene age for these sediments is confirmed by three C-14 dates.

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