Redrock Lake is situated at 3,095 m in the subalpine zone on the east flank of the Front Range, Boulder County, Colorado. The lake lies on Pinedale moraine, and it contains 170 cm of organic sediments that overlie 10 cm of silty clay. The oldest of seven 14C dates from the organic sediment is 9,490 ± 150 yr B.P., a minimum estimate of the time since Middle Pinedale ice receded from the lake basin.
A percentage pollen diagram and an absolute pollen diagram providing pollen deposition rates in grains/cm2/14C yr are compared and contrasted. Possible measurement errors are considered in detail, and for the first time confidence limits are assigned to all pollen data. A means of converting 14C years to calendar years is presented, and its effect on the diagram's deposition rates is discussed.
The silty clay contains a peculiar Artemisia-dominated pollen assemblage with very low pollen influx rates, which suggests the lake was receiving large volumes of glacial meltwater during its early history. The overlying organic sediments are characterized by pollen deposition rates of 4,000–6,000 grains/cm2/yr. With fluctuations, deposition rates of Pinus and total anemophilous pollen increase upward in the core; this evidence for a general upward shift in the region's vegetation zones during Postglacial time is supported by pollen trends from modern surface samples.