Centennial-to-millennial hydrologic trends and variability along the North Atlantic Coast, USA, during the Holocene

Paige E. Newby, Bryan N. Shuman, Jeffrey P. Donnelly, Kristopher B. Karnauskas, Jeremiah Marsicek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Geophysical and sedimentary records from five lakes in Massachusetts reveal regionally coherent hydrologic variability during the Holocene. All of the lakes have risen since ∼9.0 ka, but multicentury droughts after 5.6 ka repeatedly lowered their water levels. Quantified water level histories from the three best-studied lakes share ≥70% of their reconstructed variance. Four prominent low-water phases at 4.9-4.6, 4.2-3.9, 2.9-2.1, and 1.3-1.2 ka were synchronous across coastal lakes, even after accounting for age uncertainties. The droughts also affected sites up to ∼200 km inland, but water level changes at 5.6-4.9 ka appear out of phase between inland and coastal lakes. During the enhanced multicentury variability after ∼5.6 ka, droughts coincided with cooling in Greenland and may indicate circulation changes across the North Atlantic region. Overall, the records demonstrate that current water levels are exceptionally high and confirm the sensitivity of water resources in the northeast U.S. to climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4300-4307
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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