A diatom-inferred water depth reconstruction for an Upper Peninsula, Michigan, lake

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Transects of surface sediment samples were taken in 4 lakes from the Sylvania Wilderness Area, Upper Peninsula of Michigan. These surface samples were compared with diatom samples from a core taken in the Northwest basin of Crooked Lake, also from the Sylvania Wilderness Area. Weighted Averaging calibration was used to reconstruct lake depths in Crooked Lake using the diatom microfossils from the core and the surface samples to infer past lake depth. During the early Holocene the lake was dominated by planktonic species and diatom-inferred water depth was large – approx. 13 m. At about 6700 BP inferred water depth was 2 m and samples were dominated by Fragilaria construens var. venter– a species characteristic of shallow parts of the surface sample transects. From 6700 to 5000 BP reconstructed water level was at its shallowest. From 5000 to 3000 BP it increased. This rise in water level was marked by increasing abundances of Aulacoseira ambigua and occurred at the same time increasing percentages of hemlock pollen indicate increasing available moisture. Modern water depth was reached about 3000 BP. The water level changes at Crooked Lake are consistent with regional climate changes in the Upper Midwest during the Holocene. The lake was shallowest during the mid-Holocene warm period documented by other investigators. It deepened as the Midwestern climate became cooler and wetter during the late Holocene.

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