A late Wisconsin (32–10k cal a BP) history of pluvials, droughts and vegetation in the Pacific south-west United States (Lake Elsinore, CA)

M. E. Kirby, L. Heusser, C. Scholz, R. Ramezan, M. A. Anderson, B. Markle, E. Rhodes, K. C. Glover, J. Fantozzi, C. Hiner, B. Price, H. Rangel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Continuous, sub-centennially resolved, paleo terrestrial records are rare from arid environments such as the Pacific south-west United States. Here, we present a multi-decadal to centennial resolution sediment core (Lake Elsinore, CA) to reconstruct late Wisconsin pluvials, droughts and vegetation. In general, the late Wisconsin is characterized by a wetter and colder climate than during the Holocene. Specifically, conditions between 32.3 and 24.9k cal a BP are characterized by large-amplitude hydrologic and ecologic variability. Highlighting this period is a ∼2000-year glacial mega-drought (27.6–25.7k cal a BP) during which the lake shallowed (3.2–4.5 m depth). This period is approximately coeval with a Lake Manix regression and an increase in xeric vegetation in the San Bernardino Mountains (Baldwin Lake). The Local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM) is bracketed between 23.3 and 19.7k cal a BP − a ∼3000-year interval characterized by reduced run-off (relative to the glacial), colder conditions and vegetative stability. Maximum sustained wetness follows the LLGM, beginning at 19.7 and peaking by 14.4k cal a BP. A two-step decrease in runoff characterizes the Lateglacial to Holocene transition; however, the vegetation change is more complex, particularly at the beginning of the Younger Dryas chronozone. By 12.6–12.4k cal a BP, the climate achieved near Holocene conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-254
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • California
  • drought
  • glacial
  • insolation
  • lakes
  • sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology

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