Paleohydrologic implications of 18O enriched Lake Agassiz water*

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Abstract

Lake Agassiz water oxygen isotopic compositions inferred from sediment core organics and pore waters provide some additional insight into the paleohydrology of the Great Lakes and their drainage into the North Atlantic during the late glacial and early Holocene. Isotopically enriched Lake Agassiz water supports the hypothesis that high Huron Basin lake (Mattawa) phases, during the early Holocene (9600–9300 and 9100–8100 years BP) resulted from an influx of Lake Agassiz water and suggests that low lake (Stanley) phases (9800–9600, 9300–9100, 8100–7400 years BP) were influenced more by regional influxes of isotopically depleted glacial melt water. Eastward drainage of enriched early Lake Agassiz water supports an active Port Huron outlet between 11000 and 10500 years BP and also helps to explain the absence of an 18O depleted interval in North Atlantic foram records. This may be the result of a balance between the opposing isotopic effects of depleted Lake Agassiz water and lower sea surface temperatures on carbonate precipitation between 11000 and 10000 years BP.

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