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A Chronology for glacial Lake Agassiz shorelines along Upham's namesake transect

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Kenneth Lepper
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 6050/Dept. 2745, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
Alex W. Buell
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 6050/Dept. 2745, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
Timothy G. Fisher
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Sciences, MS604, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
Thomas V. Lowell
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, 500 Geology/Physics Building, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0013, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Four traditionally recognized strandline complexes in the southern basin of glacial Lake Agassiz are the Herman, Norcross, Tintah and Campbell, whose names correspond to towns in west-central Minnesota that lie on a linear transect defined by the Great Northern railroad grade; the active corridor for commerce at the time when Warren Upham was mapping and naming the shorelines of Lake Agassiz (ca.1880–1895). Because shorelines represent static water planes, their extension around the lake margin establishes time-synchronous lake levels. Transitions between shoreline positions represent significant water-level fluctuations. However, geologic ages have never been obtained from sites near the namesake towns in the vicinity of the southern outlet. Here we report the first geologic ages for Lake Agassiz shorelines obtained at field sites along the namesake transect, and evaluate the emerging chronology in light of other paleoclimate records. Our current work from 11 sampling sites has yielded 16 independent ages. These results combined with a growing OSL age data set for Lake Agassiz's southern basin provide robust age constraints for the Herman, Norcross and Campbell strandlines with averages and standard deviations of 14.1 ± 0.3 ka, 13.6 ± 0.2 ka, and 10.5 ± 0.3 ka, respectively.

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Original Articles
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University of Washington

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