Abstract

The Late Pliocene (3.6–2.6 Ma) was a period of significant global warmth, considered a potential analogue for future anthropogenic climate change. Newly discovered fine-grained sediments from between the gold-bearing lower and upper White Channel Gravels show the presence of a wetland or lake within Bonanza Creek, Dawson Mining District, Yukon. This environment was surrounded by a diverse Pinaceae-dominated boreal forest with significant stands of angiosperms in favourable sites. Quantitative climate reconstructions derived from pollen and spores reveal a mean annual temperature at least 6 °C warmer than today with warm summers and relatively mild winters. Finally, the new pollen assemblage is used to discuss the age of the White Channel Gravels.

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