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TitleThe sedimentary and palynological records of Serpent River Bog, and revised early Holocene lake-level changes in the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay region
AuthorLewis, C F M; Anderson, T W
SourceJournal of Paleolimnology vol. 47, 2012 p. 391-410,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110337
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaSerpent River Bog; Lake Huron; Georgian Bay
Lat/Long WENS-82.4167 -82.3333 46.2083 46.1667
Subjectspaleontology; sedimentology; bogs; Holocene; lake water depths; lake sediment thickness; lake sediments; lake water; lakes; palynological analyses; palynology; palynostratigraphy; lithostratigraphy; Cenozoic
Illustrationslocation maps; sections; tables; diagrams; plots
ProgramPaleoenvironmental Perspectives on Climate Change, Climate Change Geoscience
AbstractSerpent River Bog lies north of North Channel, 10 m above Lake Huron and 15 m below the Nipissing Great Lake level. A 2.3 m Holocene
sequence contains distinct alternating beds of inorganic clastic clay and organic peat that are interpreted as evidence of successive inundation and isolation by highstands and lowstands of the large Huron-Basin lake. Lowstand phases are confirmed by the presence of shallow-water pollen and plant macrofossil remains in peat units. Twelve 14C dates on peat, wood and plant macrofossils combined with previously published 14C ages of lake-level indicators confirm much of the known early Holocene lake-level history with one notable exception. A new Late Mattawa highstand (8,390 [9,400 cal] - 8,220 [9,200 cal] BP) evidenced by a sticky blue-grey clay bed is tied to outburst floods of glacial Lake Minong during erosion of the Nadoway drift barrier in the eastern Lake Superior basin. A subsequent Late Mattawa highstand (8,110 [9,040 cal] - 8,060 [8,970 cal] BP) is attributed to enhanced meltwater inflows that first had deposited thick varves throughout Superior Basin. Inundation by the Nadoway floods and possibly the last Mattawa flood were likely responsible for termination of the Olson Forest (southern Lake Michigan). A pollen diagram supports the recognized progression of Holocene vegetation, and defines a subzone implying a very dry, cool climate about 7.8 - 7.5 (8.6 - 8.3 cal) ka BP based on the Alnus crispa profile during the Late Stanley lowstand. A new date of 9,470 ± 25 (10,680 - 10,750 cal) BP on basal peat over lacustrine clay at Espanola West Bog supports the previous interpretation of the Early Mattawa highstand at ca. 9,500 (10,740 cal) BP. The organic and clastic
sediment units at these two bogs are correlated with other records showing coherent evidence of Holocene repeated inundation and isolation around northern Lake Huron. Taken together the previous and new lake-level data suggest that the Huron and Georgian basin lakes were mainly closed lowstands throughout early Holocene time except for short-lived highstands. Three of the lowstands were exceptionally low, and likely caused three episodes of offshore sediment erosion which had been previously identified as seismo-stratigraphic sequence boundaries.