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Late-glacial and postglacial pollen stratigraphy and radiocarbon chronology of a marine core from the continental slope and a core from the western Olympic Peninsula, ca. 110 km apart, are compared. Divisible into four pollen assemblage zones (L, P-1, P-2, and P-3), the cores exhibit a succession of correlative zonal prominences: grass-sedge (L), pine (P-1), alder (P-1-P-2 boundary), and hemlock (P-3). Volcanic ash of Mt. Mazama provenance is also correlative in zone P-2. Quantitative relationships of the pollen in the cores (relative and absolute numbers and pollen influx) are dissimilar, however, and are attributed to the influence of the Columbia River pollen load reaching the locale of the continental slope core compared with the local pollen rain influencing the Olympic Peninsula core site.
Using modern pollen and radiolarian distributions in sediments from the northwest Pacific and seas adjacent to Japan to interpret floral and faunal changes in core RC14-103 (44°02′N, 152°56′E), we recognize two major responses of the biota of eastern Hokkaido and the northwest Pacific to climatic changes since the last interglaciation. Relatively stable glacial environments (∼80,000–20,000 yr B.P.) were basically cold and wet (<4°C and ∼1000 mm mean annual temperature and precipitation, respectively) with boreal conijers and tundra/park-tundra on Hokkaido, and cool (<16°C) summer and cold (<1.0°C) winter surface temperatures offshore. Contrasting nonglacial environments (∼10,000–4000 yr B.P.) were warm and humid (>8°C and >1200 mm mean annual temperature and precipitation, respectively), supporting climax broadleaf deciduous forest with Quercus and Ulmus/Zelkova, with surface waters in the northwest Pacific characterized by warm (>1.5°C) winter and cold (10.4°–14.3°C) summer temperatures. Climatic evidence from RC14-103 shows a high degree of local and regional variation within the context of global climatic change. Correlative ocean and land records provide the detailed input necessary to assess local/regional responses to variations in other key elements (i.e., solar radiation, monsoonal variations) of the northeast Asian climate system.
Late-glacial pollen time-series from high-sedimentation-rate marine cores KH79-3-C6, CH84-04, and CH84-14 show the rise of successional vegetation (typified by Betula) during the replacement of boreal forest types (Picea and Pinus) by thermophilous Quercus forests. Variations in these three marine pollen records replicate the trends and timing of pollen records from Japan and the structure and timing of vegetation and climatic changes on the Pacific coast of Japan since the last glacial maximum. In marine cores KH79-3-C6, CH84-04, and CH84-14, oxygen isotope and/or marine faunal data have been interpreted as evidence of a cooling event in the northwest Pacific Ocean which is coeval with the Younger Dryas chronozone. Pollen records from these northwest Pacific cores, like those from Japan, do not exhibit a regionally replicated, statistically robust, pollen assemblage which can be unambiguously interpreted as evidence of a late-glacial climatic reversal between ca. 11,000 and 10,000 yr B.P. The apparent disparity between the terrestrial (pollen) and marine evidence for a climatic oscillation during the Younger Dryas chron in northeast Asia further complicates the variable record of this brief late-glacial event.
Marine sediments from 3°37′S, 83°58′W yield a well-dated pollen record of equatorial Andean vegetation. Moderate development of Podocarpus -high montane rainforest (∼34,000-28,000 yr B.P.) and increase of high Andean grassland pollen (∼28,000-16,000 yr B.P.) imply an extended dry, cool glacial period following a brief interstade. Rapid stepwise expansion in coastal and montane forest pollen characterizes the deglacial interval. The general correspondence between pollen and oxygen isotope variations in Tri 163-31B suggests that tropical climatic variations in the northern Andes were basically coherent with northern hemisphere glacier variations.
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