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TitleEvidence of early Holocene closed-basin conditions in the Huron-Georgian basins from within the North Bay outlet of the upper Great Lakes
AuthorBrooks, G RORCID logo; Medioli, B E; Telka, A M
SourceJournal of Paleolimnology vol. 47, 2012 p. 469-492,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20080138
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS31L/04; 31L/05; 31L/06; 41I/01; 41I/02
AreaLake Huron; French River; North Bay; Great Lakes; Georgian Bay
Lat/Long WENS-81.2500 -79.0000 46.5000 45.7500
Subjectshydrogeology; environmental geology; Nature and Environment; Holocene; basins; basin analysis; lakes; bottom sediments; lake sediment thickness; lake sediments; lake sediment cores; lacustrine deposits; lacustrine environments; hydrologic environment; Huron Basin; Georgian Basin; Climate change; Cenozoic
Illustrationslocation maps; stratigraphic columns; tables; profiles
ProgramEnhancing resilience in a changing climate
Released2010 06 06
AbstractSub-bottom profiling and coring were undertaken at eight sub-basins along the lower French River and at five small lakes near North Bay, Ontario, to collect stratigraphical and chronological evidence to investigate whether lakes occupying the Huron - Georgian basins during the early- to mid-Holocene became hydrologically closed. All of the coring sites are located within the route of the North Bay outlet that carried outflow from the upper Great Lakes during this period. Sand beds containing organic detritus are present within five cores from Muskrat, Crombie and Deep bays that otherwise are composed of glaciolacustrine rhythmites or fine-grained lacustrine deposits. These sand beds are interpreted to represent intervals when water levels within the subbasins were lower than present, based on chronology, sediment texture, and macrofossil assemblages. It is inferred that the water surface in the Huron - Georgian basins fell below the level of the Dalles Rapids sill isolating the lower French River sub-basins from the large lake. A core from Depensier Lake, North Bay, contains an organic-rich sand interval within a thicker sand unit barren of organic materials. Macrofossils within this organic-rich interval are interpreted to be evidence of substantially diminished flow through the North Bay outlet channel. Radiocarbon dates of terrestrial macrofossils provide correlation of the sand beds between the French River cores as well as with the organic-rich sand in the Depensier Lake core. The possibility that the sand beds in the French River cores represent flood deposits rather than evidence of hydrologically closed conditions is considered, but rejected, based on the occurrence of multiple peaty layers and the record of shallow water conditions inferred from macrofossils within the upper sand bed of core MUS1, Muskrat Bay, in combination with the evidence of quiescent depositional conditions from similarly aged macrofossils in the core from Depensier Lake. Eight radiocarbon dates from the French River cores are incorporated into an elevation-age plot of paleo-indicators of water levels in the Huron - Georgian basins, using additional data from the literature. This plot and stratigraphic evidence from the Muskrat Bay cores indicates that separate closed-basin intervals occurred between 9.0 and 8.4, and 9.5 and 9.3 ka cal BP (* 8.1 and 7.6, and * 8.5 and 8.3 ka BP). The occurrence of these two closed-basin intervals between 9.6 and 8.4 ka cal BP (* 8.7 and 7.6 ka BP) implies that run-off derived exclusively from precipitation within the non-glaciated portions of the upper Great Lakes drainage basins was likely insufficient at this time to support an open-basin lake hydrology during the contemporary climate, which was colder and drier than present, without being supplemented from glacial Lake Agassiz overflow and/or Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater.

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