A sedimentary and geochemical record of water-level changes from Rantin Lake, Yukon, Canada

D. P. Pompeani, B. A. Steinman, M. B. Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A multi-proxy analysis of two sediment cores from Rantin Lake are used to reconstruct past lake-level changes and to make inferences about millennial-scale variations in precipitation/evaporation (P/E) balance in the southern Yukon, Canada between 10,900 and 3,100 cal yr BP. Analyses of calcium carbonate and organic matter concentration, magnetic susceptibility, titanium content, dry bulk density, and macrofossils are used to reconstruct water-level changes. The development of sand layers and deformed sediments at the deep-water core site (i. e. Core A-06) prior to ~10,900 cal yr BP suggest that lake level was lower at this time. Fine-grained organic sediment deposited from 10,600 to 9,500 cal yr BP indicates a rise in lake level. The formation of an unconformity at the shallow cores site (Core C-06) and the deposition of shallow-water calcium carbonate-rich facies at the Core A-06 site between ~9,500 and ~8,500 cal yr BP suggest lower lake levels at this time. Shallow-water facies gradually transition into a sand layer that likely represents shoreline reworking during an extreme lowstand that occurred at ~8,400 cal yr BP. Following this low water level, fine-grained organic-rich sediment formed by ~8,200 cal yr BP, suggesting deeper water conditions at core site A-06. Calcium carbonate concentrations are relatively low in sediment deposited from ~6,300 to 3,100 cal yr BP in Core A-06, indicating that lake level was comparatively higher during the middle and late Holocene. In general, results from this study suggest that the early Holocene was characterized by high P/E from ~10,500 to 9,500 cal yr BP, low P/E from ~9,500 to 8,400 cal yr BP, and return to higher P/E from ~8,200 to 3,100 cal yr BP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Lindsey Watthaus, Bryan Friedman, Jordan Abbott and Lesleigh Anderson for their work in the field. We also thank Matthew Finkenbinder for his help with R and CLAM software, Kaitlin Clark for her work on XRD analysis and Ellen Fehrs for the loss-on-ignition analyses of Core A-06. Finally, we thank the National Science Foundation (ARCSS 0908200) and the University of Pittsburgh for supporting this research. This manuscript was greatly improved by the helpful suggestions from three anonymous reviewers.


  • Calcium carbonate
  • Climate
  • Drought
  • Holocene
  • Lake sediment
  • Pollen


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