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, Christopher A 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 journalArticle

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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    Kirby, M. E., Heusser, L., Scholz, C. A., Ramezan, R., Anderson, M. A., Markle, B., Rhodes, E., Glover, K. C., Fantozzi, J., Hiner, C., Price, B., & Rangel, H. (2018). A late Wisconsin (32–10k cal a BP) history of pluvials, droughts and vegetation in the Pacific south-west United States (Lake Elsinore, CA). Journal of Quaternary Science, 33(2), 238-254. https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3018