Geomorphic and climatic change over the past 12,900yr at Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Kelly R. MacGregor, Catherine A. Riihimaki, Amy Myrbo, Mark D. Shapley, Krista Jankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Glaciated alpine landscapes are sensitive to changes in climate. Shifts in temperature and precipitation can cause significant changes to glacier size and terminus position, the production and delivery of organic mass, and in the hydrologic energy related to the transport of water and sediment through proglacial environments. A sediment core representing a 12,900-yr record collected from Swiftcurrent Lake, located on the eastern side of Glacier National Park, Montana, was analyzed to assess variability in Holocene and latest Pleistocene environment. The spectral signature of total organic carbon content (%TOC) since ~. 7.6. ka matches that of solar forcing over 70-500. yr timescales. Periodic inputs of dolomite to the lake reflect an increased footprint of Grinnell Glacier, and occur during periods when sediment sinks are reduced, glacial erosion is increased, and hydrologic energy is increased. Grain size, carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios, and %TOC broadly define the termination of the Younger Dryas chronozone at Swiftcurrent Lake, as well as major Holocene climate transitions. Variability in core parameters is linked to other records of temperature and aridity in the northern Rocky Mountains over the late Pleistocene and Holocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-90
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Fingerprint

glacier
national park
Holocene
climate change
proglacial environment
lake
Pleistocene
glacial erosion
climate
Younger Dryas
aridity
footprint
sediment
total organic carbon
sediment core
energy
dolomite
grain size
temperature
timescale

Keywords

  • Glacier National Park
  • Grain size
  • Holocene
  • Lake sediment core
  • Mazama ash
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Solar forcing
  • Sunspot cycle
  • Total organic carbon
  • Younger Dryas

Cite this

Geomorphic and climatic change over the past 12,900yr at Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. / MacGregor, Kelly R.; Riihimaki, Catherine A.; Myrbo, Amy; Shapley, Mark D.; Jankowski, Krista.

In: Quaternary Research, Vol. 75, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 80-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

MacGregor, Kelly R. ; Riihimaki, Catherine A. ; Myrbo, Amy ; Shapley, Mark D. ; Jankowski, Krista. / Geomorphic and climatic change over the past 12,900yr at Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. In: Quaternary Research. 2011 ; Vol. 75, No. 1. pp. 80-90.
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