Stratigraphic palynology and radiocarbon chronology of two bogs and a lake on the northwestern Olympic Peninsula serve to record the environmental sequence postdating the Fraser maximum of the Juan de Fuca lobe. Wastage of the lobe in the terminal area began before 14,460 ± 200 BP. Differential downwasting followed, and the last remnants of dead ice probably disappeared some time before 9,380 ± 180 BP. Ablation moraine became sufficiently thick in the course of wastage for a vegetation cover to become established. Arboreal remains of this cover, found buried in till, date between 12,020 ± 210 and 13,380 ± 250 BP.
Communities of Pinus contorta first succeeded on deglaciated surfaces during the Vashon Stade. Environmental conditions were comparable to those prevailing in the modern subalpine forest, and average July temperature stood near 12°C. Later, during the Everson Interstade (11,000–13,000 BP.), Alnus and Picea multiplied as temperature increased posibly to as much as 14°. During the Sumas Stade (10,000–11,000 BP.), temperature was again ca. 12°, the cooler climate halting wastage and the spread of Alnus and enabling communities of Picea, Tsuga heterophylla, and T. mertensiana to temporarily achieve stability.
Postglacial environments through the Hypsithermal (ca. 3,000 BP) were dominated principally by Alnus. Alnus, succeeded in turn by Picea, invaded the landscape, following the recession of alpine glaciers and the rise in elevation of the snowline. For a time, as suggested by a peak of Pseudotsuga, temperature may have reached close to 17° and annual precipitation less than 760 mm. Arboreal communities were relatively open while light-requiring Pteridium remained conspicuous in the record. After 3000 BP during Neoglaciation, climate became sufficiently cool and moist to favor the development of extensive, closed communities of Tsuga, Picea, Thuja, and other hygrophilous species.