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Twenty-four new optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon ages from sediment cores in nine lakes associated with the Shipshewana and Sturgis moraines in northern Indiana and southern Michigan estimate when recession of the Saginaw Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet was underway in the southern Great Lakes region, USA. Average OSL ages of 23.4 ± 2.2 ka for the Shipshewana Moraine and 19.7 ± 2.2 ka for the Sturgis Moraine are considered minimum limiting deglacial ages for these recessional moraines. The much younger radiocarbon ages are consistent with other regional radiocarbon ages from lakes, and record climate amelioration around ~16.5 cal ka BP. Early recession of the interlobate Saginaw Lobe was well underway by 23.4 ± 2.2 ka, when the adjacent Lake Michigan and Huron-Erie lobes were a few hundred kilometers farther south and near their maximum southerly limits. The results provide the first time constraints when sediment from the Lake Michigan and Huron-Erie lobes began filling the accommodation space left by the Saginaw Lobe. The difference between the oldest radiocarbon and OSL age is 7400 yr for the Shipshewana Moraine and 3400 yr for the Sturgis Moraine.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
A10Be inventory and14C ages of material from a core from northernmost Illinois support previous interpretations that this area was ice free from ca. 155,000 to 25,000 yr ago. During much of this period, from about 155,000 to 55,000 yr ago, 10Be accumulated in the argillic horizon of the Sangamon Geosol. Wisconsinan loess, containing inherited 10Be, was deposited above the Sangamon Geosol from ca. 55,000 to 25,000 yr ago and was subsequently buried by late Wisconsinan till deposited by the Lake Michigan Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The Sangamonian interglacial stage has been correlated narrowly to marine oxygen isotope substage 5e; our data indicate instead that the Sangamon Geosol developed during late stage 6, all of stages 5 and 4, and early stage 3.
Valleys tributary to the Mississippi River contain fossiliferous slackwater lake sediment (Equality Formation) deposited in response to aggradation of the Mississippi River valley during the last glaciation. In the St. Louis Metro East area, the lower part of the Equality Formation is primarily laminated, fossiliferous silt and clay deposited from about 44,150 to 24,310 14C yr B.P. The upper Equality Formation is primarily very fine sand to silt deposited from about 21,200 to 17,000 14C yr B.P. Among the four cores that sample this succession in the St. Louis Metro East area, core MNK-3 (38.64EN, 90.01EW) was selected for detailed study. Three sources are distinguished by the following characteristics: (1) gray smectite-quartz-Se-rich, feldspar-poor material of the Des Moines, Wadena, and James lobes; (2) reddish brown kaolinite–Cu–Fe-rich sediment of the Superior and Rainy lobes; and (3) brown illite–dolomite–Sr-rich sediment of the Lake Michigan and Green Bay lobes. The earliest sediments (44,150 to 41,700 14C yr B.P.) were derived from the central and western provenances and are chronocorrelative with the lower Roxana Silt. A hiatus occurred from about 41,700 to 29,030 14C yr B.P. when much of the middle Roxana Silt (Meadow Member) was deposited on adjacent uplands. The youngest sediment includes evidence of heightened activity of the Superior Lobe at about 29,000 14C yr B.P., the Lake Michigan and Green Bay lobes from about 25,000 to 24,000 14C yr B.P., and the Wadena-Des Moines-James lobes at about 21,000 14C yr B.P.
Matrix-supported diamicton and uniform to laminated, silty, fine-grained sediment deposited from about 42,500 to 27,600 cal yr B.P. under slackwater conditions nearly filled two caves in southwestern Illinois. At some point, most of the sediment was flushed from the caves and from about 22,700 to 4000 cal yr B.P. floods deposited a drape of sandy and silty sediment on remnant slackwater successions, cobbly alluvium, and bedrock (especially from 7700 to 4000 cal yr B.P.). Clay mineral analyses of the slackwater cave sediment reveal a provenance of chiefly Petersburg Silt, a smectite- and illite-rich proglacial lacustrine unit present in the overlying Illinois Episode glacial succession. Today, remnants of the ancient subterranean slackwater deposits nearly fill several secondary passages and in at least two locations, cover a cobble-mantled strath terrace 1.3 to 1.5 m above active stream channels. Slumping and sinkhole formation appear to have been important mechanisms for deposition of the ancient subterranean deposits. Slumping of these surficial deposits and associated vegetation can occur along the flanks of sinkholes (in addition to sinkhole formation) and enter caves; however, the finer organics, some of them comminuted during transport into the caves, become part of the cave alluvium. This finer organic fraction is the modern analog of the humified organic matter disseminated in slackwater sediment dated in this investigation by radiocarbon methods. Twenty-four 14C ages on humified organic matter provide chronologic control. The δ13C values of the organic matter reflect the proportion of C4-type to C3-type vegetation growing in and around swallets and sinkholes at the time of redeposition. Drought-tolerant C4-type vegetation was more prevalent relative to C3-type vegetation from 42,500 to 31,200 cal yr B.P. compared to conditions from 28,800 cal yr B.P. to the present. The δ13C values are consistent with the results from other investigations of speleothems and organic matter from loessial paleosols.
During the last deglaciation temperatures over midcontinental North America warmed dramatically through the Bølling-Allerød, underwent a cool period associated with the Younger-Dryas and then reverted to warmer, near modern temperatures during the early Holocene. However, paleo proxy records of the hydroclimate of this period have presented divergent evidence. We reconstruct summer relative humidity (RH) across the last deglacial period using a mechanistic model of cellulose and leaf water δ18O and δD combined with a pollen-based temperature proxy to interpret stable isotopes of sub-fossil wood. Midcontinental RH was similar to modern conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum, progressively increased during the Bølling-Allerød, peaked during the Younger-Dryas, and declined sharply during the early Holocene. This RH record suggests deglacial summers were cooler and characterized by greater advection of moisture-laden air-masses from the Gulf of Mexico and subsequent entrainment over the mid-continent by a high-pressure system over the Laurentide ice sheet. These patterns help explain the formation of dark-colored cumulic horizons in many Great Plains paleosol sequences and the development of no-analog vegetation types common to the Midwest during the last deglacial period. Likewise, reduced early Holocene RH and precipitation correspond with a diminished glacial high-pressure system during the latter stages of ice-sheet collapse.
An abrupt change in environment from a wetland to a deeper slackwater lake at 20,345 ± 85 yr B.P. occurred in a second-order valley tributary to the Mississippi River near Lomax, Illinois. The age of this shift is associated with the overflow of glacial Lake Milan and diversion of the Mississippi River from the Princeton Valley (Rock Island to Peoria) to its present course (Rock Island to St. Louis). The diversion occurred due to blockage of the Princeton Valley segment of the ancient Mississippi River by the Lake Michigan Lobe, impoundment of glacial Lake Milan, and eventual overflow of the lake southwest of Rock Island across a former drainage divide near Andalusia, Illinois. Fossil ostracode assemblages in the slackwater sediment at Lomax indicate changes in the post-diversion, full-glacial paleohydrology and based on multivariate analysis, hint at the area's paleoclimate. An older part of the succession at Lomax is consistent with glaciation in the upper Iowa River basin about 40,000 yr B.P. Aggradation of sediment rich in coarse silt is attributed to a response of the ancient Iowa River basin associated with deposition of the glacigenic Sheldon Creek Formation by the Des Moines Lobe.
The “type” DeKalb mounds of northeastern Illinois, USA (42.0°N, −88.7°W), are formed of basal sand and gravel overlain by rhythmically bedded fines, and weathered sand and gravel. Generally from 2 to 7 m thick, the fines include abundant fossils of ostracodes and uncommon leaves and stems of tundra plants. Rare chironomid head capsules, pillclam shells, and aquatic plant macrofossils also have been observed.
Radiocarbon ages on the tundra plant fossils from the “type” region range from 20,420 to 18,560 cal yr BP. Comparison of radiocarbon ages of terrestrial plants from type area ice-walled lake plains and adjacent kettle basins indicate that the topographic inversion to ice-free conditions occurred from 18,560 and 16,650 cal yr BP. Outside the “type” area, the oldest reliable age of tundra plant fossils in DeKalb mound sediment is 21,680 cal yr BP; the mound occurs on the northern arm of the Ransom Moraine (−88.5436°W, 41.5028°N). The youngest age, 16,250 cal yr BP, is associated with a mound on the Deerfield Moraine (−87.9102°W, 42.4260°N) located about 9 km east of Lake Michigan. The chronology of individual successions indicates the lakes persisted on the periglacial landscape for about 300 to 1500 yr.
Illinois was free of glacier ice from about 130,000 to 25,000 yr B.P. Deposits of this time interval in northeastern Illinois, represented by core samples from test-hole ISGS S-30, are composed of leached, nonglacigenic, stratified, or pedoturbated silty sediments that typically are organic-rich and pedogenically modified. These deposits overlie the Sangamon Soil, which is identified by its stratigraphic position, soil morphology, and distinct alteration products in the clay-mineral fraction, including a variably swelling vermiculite-like phase and a randomly interstratified kaolinite/10 Å phase. The regional extent of these deposits suggests that if Altonian ice existed in the Lake Michigan basin, it did not extend westward beyond the cuesta of Silurian dolomite that rims the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan.
Climatic effects on aquatic environments are an important factor in the ecology of ostracodes judging from their biogeography especially with respect to moisture balance and ecoregions (vegetation zones). The importance of climate in controlling ostracode distribution is underscored by major ecological changes indicated by co-stratigraphic changes in ostracode and pollen biozones throughout the Quaternary. Climatic interpretation of ostracode records are complicated, however, by several non-climatic factors, including basin shoaling, changes in water chemistry due to abrupt changes in the flux of groundwater, rivers, and streams to lakes and wetlands, and increasingly shortened water residence time in areas where precipitation exceeds evaporation due to erosion by basin overflow.
Although the majority of publications on extant nonmarine ostracode species in North America are concerned with lacustrine settings, many species that are potentially valuable as indicators of water quality changes live in non-lacustrine settings. Ostracode distributions in 157 springs, wetlands and streams in the United States are examined here in order to assess 1) species richness, 2) association with physical and chemical parameters of their habitats and 3) the presence of potentially useful biomonitors and environmental sentinels. The 157 non-lacustrine sites are a subset of a large database (North American Non-marine Ostracode Database: NANODe version 1) consisting of 611 mostly lacustrine sites with ostracode species, presence-absence data, hydrochemistry and climate data (Forester et al., in review). Of the 89 species represented in NANODe version 1, 51 species are found in springs, 59 species are found in wetlands and only 15 species are found in streams. Many species are found in at least two of these habitats and some in all three. Principal Components Analysis of these 157 sites indicates that 71% of the variance is explained by salinity (total ionic concentration), alkalinity and temperature, a result consistent with previously published analyses of natural water. Cluster analysis shows that spring species are most strongly tied to temperature, whereas wetlands and streams are most strongly tied to ionic composition. Three species are found to be potentially valuable biomonitors: Cavernocypris wardi in springs, Fabaeformiscandona rawsoni in wetlands and Physocypria globula in streams.
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