Holocene climate change and landscape development from a low-Arctic tundra lake in the western Hudson Bay region of Manitoba, Canada

Philip Camill, Charles E. Umbanhowar, Christoph Geiss, William O. Hobbs, Mark B. Edlund, Avery Cook Shinneman, Jeffrey A. Dorale, Jason Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The low-Arctic region of western Hudson Bay in interior Canada is one of the most poorly described areas of North America in terms of Holocene climate history. Here, we present new data from a well-dated lake sediment core from northern Manitoba, Canada. We assemble one of the richest multi-proxy datasets to date for a low-Arctic lake and characterize terrestrial and lake processes and exchanges between them. These proxies include fossil pollen and diatom assemblages, charcoal, magnetic properties (susceptibility and remanance), mineral grain size, bulk density, organic-matter content, elemental geochemistry, sediment cation (K +, Mg 2+, Ca 2+, Fe 2+/Fe 3+) and macronutrient (P, N, C) contents, biogenic-silica content, basal peat dates (wetland initiation), and stable isotopes (δ 13C, δ 15N). The sediment proxies record both broad- and fine-scale (millennial and sub-millennial) climate change. We find indirect evidence for a cool and dry post-glacial period from 9,000 to 6,500 cal yr BP, a warm and moist mid-Holocene period from 6,500 to 2,500 cal yr BP, and a cool and moist late-Holocene period from 2,500 cal yr BP to present. High-resolution geochemical data suggests 300- to 500-year-long dry periods at ~6,500-6,100, 5,300-5,000, 3,300-2,800, and 400-0 cal yr BP. These results suggest that terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem dynamics in the western Hudson Bay region are sensitive to past climate change and are likely to respond to future changes in temperature and precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arctic
  • Diatom
  • Fire
  • Geochemistry
  • Holocene
  • Hudson Bay
  • Lake
  • Paleoclimate
  • Peat
  • Pollen
  • Proxy
  • XRF

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