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North America--Alaska

Paleohydrology Across Central Alaska: A Multiproxy Approach to Lake-Level Records

Student Involvement

    Lesleigh Anderson, UMass, masters 2000 and Ph.D. 2005 now at the USGS

Project Summary

The primary objective of this project is to produce new multi-proxy paleoclimate records from Central Alaska to test hypotheses concerning the cause of shifts in the precipitation-evaporation balance from 18 ka to present.  Previous work suggests (i) a prolonged period of aridity from the Last Glacial Maximum to the glacial to interglacial transition, (ii) a two-stage increase in the moisture balance roughly correlative with the two-step rise in sea level, and (iii) a complicated history of water balance shifts during the Holocene, indicated by multiple transgression-regression sequences.  The research has two key goals (i) expand the network of sites with decadal to century-scale lake-level data to identify the spatial and temporal pattern of changes in the precipitation-evaporation balance from ~18 ka to present and (ii) identify fluctuations in the moisture balance for the past 2000 year at annual to decadal-scale.  These records are needed to understand the long-term atmospheric dynamics of the Arctic and to assess the significance of shifts in the precipitation-evaporation balance.

 

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