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The Fernbank interglacial site near Ithaca, New York, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Paul F. Karrow
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3G1
Arthur L. Bloom
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
Jean Nicolas Haas
Department of Botany, University of Innsbruck, Sternwartestrasse 15, Innsbruck A-6020, Austria
Andreas G. Heiss
Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) c/o Institute of Palaeontology, Althanstrasse 14 (Geozentrum), Wien A-1090, Austria
John H. McAndrews
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Geology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3B2 Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C6
Barry B. Miller
Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA
Alan V. Morgan
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3G1
Kevin L. Seymour
Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C6


The Fernbank interglacial site, on the west side of Cayuga Lake, New York, has been recently subjected to more detailed study. To a lengthened mollusc list are added ostracodes, insects, fish, pollen, and plant macrofossils. Of these, plants are well preserved and diverse, whereas other groups are poorly preserved and incomplete. Nevertheless, all support the interglacial assignment (Sangamon), which is further supported by minimum age radiocarbon dates (>50,000 14C yr BP) and a TL date of 81 ± 11 ka. In the plant record near the top of the sequence, abundant tree charcoal indicates forest fires. Like the Toronto interglacial record, the plants show a declining July mean temperature from 24 to 18°C (according to transfer functions) through the sequence, from mixed deciduous forest to boreal forest.

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University of Washington

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