Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 44-5
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


DOODY, Erica and BRINER, Jason P., Department of Geology, University at Buffalo, 126 Cooke Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

The latest Pleistocene was characterized by a series of abrupt warming and cooling events in the North Atlantic region, collectively known as the Bølling-Allerød and the Younger Dryas periods. The expression of these climate events are poorly understood in the Eastern Great Lakes region due to a lack of paleoclimate records that extend into the late Pleistocene. Additionally, there is strong evidence that suggests that these abrupt climate events were triggered by changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which raises questions as to whether climate in the eastern Great Lakes region can be influenced by changes in the AMOC or not. A 6.31 meter long peat core was extracted from a kettle bog in western New York, which has a basal age of 15,545 ± 55 cal yr BP. 14C dates were obtained using accelerator mass spectrometry dating on 9 woody samples taken from the core. Here, we present a pollen-based vegetation reconstruction of western New York and high resolution loss-on-ignition data to infer climate in the region for the interval 15,000 - 11,000 cal yr BP, which has a total of 6 radiocarbon dates. Initial pollen counts reveal a significant change to a spruce dominated landscape at the onset of the Older Dryas (14 kyr BP) and is indicative of abruptly shifting climate conditions at the time. The preliminary results suggest that although the eastern Great Lakes area is geographically far from the eastern coast, is still capable of responding to climatic shifts brought on by changes in the AMOC. Pollen assemblages will continue to be interpreted at a 4cm level resolution (equating to roughly 88 yr resolution). Once completed, we hope to provide new insight as to how the region reacted to rapidly shifting climate regimes during the late Pleistocene. It may improve the ability to predict future regional responses due to ongoing climate change.