HOLOCENE GEOLOGIC, OCEANOGRAPHIC AND CLIMATIC HISTORY INTERPRETED FROM LAMINATED SEDIMENTS AND MODERN OCEANOGRAPHY IN FJORDS ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST OF CANADA
In order to constrain the Holocene geologic history of this area, it is necessary to distinguish paleoceanograpic signals from overprinting episodes of rapid postglacial sea level change and sediment disturbance associated with seismic events. To accomplish this, we have combined our seven year continuous instrument record of modern coastal ocean dynamics and climate with a high-resolution analysis of modern depositional processes, to develop proxy measurements of past climate conditions recorded in the sediment record, and distinguish these from paleo-sea level and paleoseismic events. We are also developing methods of statistical time-series analyses of physical sediment properties throughout the entire Holocene to give an objective quantitative approach for detecting cyclicity in our data. Study results indicate that seismic events can be interpreted from the sediment record, sea level in the area appears to be falling from a higher sea level stand and the regional climate has oscillated on a variety of time scales throughout the Holocene. At times, climatic change has been highly abrupt.