A Laminated Carbonate Record of Late Holocene Mid-Continental Hydroclimate: Geochemical and Sedimentological Results from Martin Lake, LaGrange County, Indiana

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Lucas G Stamps, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, United States, Broxton W Bird, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Department of Earth Sciences,, IN, IN, United States and William Gilhooly III, Indiana University Purdue Univ, Indianapolis, IN, United States
Paleoclimate records from the mid-continental United States that span the Holocene with sub-decadal resolution are rare. This is especially true for geochemical records that capture the isotopic composition of precipitation or local precipitation/evaporation balances. As a result, many questions remain about the hydrologic expression of abrupt climate events in this region that today is one of the world’s largest agricultural centers. Here, we present sedimentological, geochemical, and chronological data spanning the last 3,000 years from a set of sediment cores from Martin Lake in northeastern Indiana. Today, this kettle lake is hydrologically open with persistent water column stratification and bottom water anoxia. Radiometric dating shows that the lake formed at approximately 16,000 cal yr BP and continuously accumulated sediment thereafter. We focus here on developing a stable isotope record of the late Holocene at decadal resolution to provide a detailed view of precipitation isotopic variability during this time. The Midwest has been influenced by changes in atmospheric circulation patterns throughout the late Holocene, leading to climate events like the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly, which significantly changed temperature and precipitation regimes. The isotopic composition of precipitation in the Midwest has been shown to be heavily influenced by the source of atmospheric moisture as mediated by the Pacific North American mode of atmospheric variability that in turn affects the position of the Polar Front Jetstream. Using high-resolution stable isotope measurements and ultimately climate modeling, we seek to reconstruct the isotopic expression of late Holocene climate events in the mid continental United States and assess the possible relationship with these dominant modes of atmospheric variability. Future work includes extending this reconstruction through the Holocene and increasing the temporal resolution of the data.