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A multiproxy record of Holocene environmental changes from the northern Kuril Islands (Russian Far East)
- Anderson, Patricia, Minyuk, Pavel, Lozhkin, Anatoly, Cherepanova, Marina, Borkhodoev, Vladimir, Finney, Bruce
- Journal of paleolimnology 2015 v.54 no.4 pp. 379-393
- Bacillariophyceae, Pinus, carbon, freshwater, islands, lakes, landscapes, limnology, lowlands, meadows, paleontology, palynology, sea level, sediments, shrubs, snowpack, summer, temperature, transgressive segregation, tundra, Okhotsk Sea, Russia
- Diatom, rock magnetic, geochemical, and lithological studies of a sediment core from Paramushir Island (northern Kuril Archipelago) trace environmental shifts from bog to salt-water lagoon to freshwater lake over the past 10,000 ¹⁴C BP. Organic-rich mesic landscapes dominated the southern island until ~8200 ¹⁴C BP. Transgression of the Sea of Okhotsk onto the island began sometime after 8200 ¹⁴C BP, resulting in the formation first of a salty (~8200–5700 ¹⁴C BP) then a brackish (~5700–5200 ¹⁴C BP) lagoon. With lowering of sea level after 5200 ¹⁴C BP, a freshwater lake formed, which has remained to the present day. This history parallels regional trends in the Russian Far East, where maximum sea levels occurred between ~8000 and 4600 ¹⁴C BP, peaking at ~6400 ¹⁴C BP. Sandy levels within the lake core suggest four intervals of aeolian activity (~4900–4800 ¹⁴C BP; 4300–3800 ¹⁴C BP; 3200–3000 ¹⁴C BP; 1900–900 ¹⁴C BP), perhaps related to drier than present climates. Palynological data indicate a dominance of Pinus pumila–Duschekia kamtschatica shrub tundra in the lowlands ~8200–5800 ¹⁴C BP, marking the Holocene thermal maximum. This vegetation contrasts to modern, which established ~5800 ¹⁴C BP and is a mix of coastal meadow, Betula–Salix low shrub tundra, and scattered Pinus and Duschekia thickets. The palynological record shows little response to mid-to-late Holocene climatic fluctuations except for a decrease in Pinus shrubs perhaps caused by changes in snow cover and/or summer temperature during the Little Ice Age.