Paper No. 5-7
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM
A MULTI-PROXY STUDY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE
Abrupt environmental changes documented in lake sediment records provide evidence that climate is not static, but responds systematically to a variety of forcing mechanisms in sometimes a rapid fashion. Lake sediments serve as archives of environmental changes taking place in a regionally-constrained area and provide a foundation for the reconstruction of climate and vegetation conditions and overall environmental patterns. A 5.5m sediment core was recovered from The Bowl in Acadia National Park and analyzed for loss-on-ignition, fossil pollen, charcoal, and a suite of environmental magnetic parameters. Radiocarbon dating indicates the sediment core spans the entire post-glacial period and was never submerged during the marine incursion. Results from this multi-proxy study suggest The Bowl experienced many of the traditional post-glacial environmental responses including coarse basal sediments reflective of an immature landscape, rapid warming and a shift to a more productive lake system at the conclusion of the Younger Dryas, and a long period of relatively stable environmental conditions supporting growth of the usual vegetation assemblages during the Holocene. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions such as this may provide valuable insight on possible landscape responses to future climate change and serve as theoretical analogs for the types of changes incipient in high latitudes today (e.g. shifting/changing vegetation assemblages).