Holocene Hydroclimatic Reorganizations in Northwest Canada Inferred From Lacustrine Carbonate Oxygen Isotopes

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Abstract

Sub-centennial oxygen (δ18O) isotopes of ostracod and authigenic calcite from Squanga Lake provides evidence of hydroclimatic extremes and a series of post-glacial climate system reorganizations for the interior region of northwest Canada. Authigenic calcite δ18O values range from −16‰ to −21‰ and are presently similar to modern lake water and annual precipitation values. Ostracod δ18O record near identical trends with calcite, offset by +1.7 ± 0.6‰. At 11 ka BP (kaBP = thousands of years before 1950), higher δ18O values reflect decreased precipitation−evaporation (P−E) balance from residual ice sheet influences on moisture availability. A trend to lower δ18O values until ∼8 ka BP reflects a shift to wetter conditions, and reorganization of atmospheric circulation. The last millennium and modern era are relatively dry, though not as dry as the early Holocene extreme. North Pacific climate dynamics remained an important driver of P−E balance in northwest Canada throughout the Holocene.

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Lasher, G. E., Abbott, M. B., Anderson, L., Yasarer, L., Rosenmeier, M., & Finney, B. P. (2021). Holocene Hydroclimatic Reorganizations in Northwest Canada Inferred From Lacustrine Carbonate Oxygen Isotopes. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(16). https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL092948

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