Holocene paleoenvironmental change at Mirror Lake, Colorado

Authors: Zachary Taylor*, Berry College
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Biogeography, Mountain Environments
Keywords: paleoenvironments, lake sediments, Colorado, particle size analysis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM
Room: Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Lake sediments are important archives of paleoenvironmental information including changes in depositional processes within lakes and their catchments. Here, I use a multiple proxy approach on a core sediment from Mirror Lake, Colorado to reconstruct depositional conditions throughout the Holocene. Mirror Lake (38°44'37.36"N, 106°25'56.07"W, 3,352m) is located immediately west of the Continental Divide in central Colorado near the town of Tin Cup. The lake sits in a small, glacial basin that was dammed by a recessional moraine. Using a gravity corer from a floating platform in approximately 29 m of water, I recovered a 150 cm core in the summer of 2017. This core is remarkable for a series of repeating units of darker and lighter colored sediments. Particle size data indicates that changes in sediment color correspond to changes in texture, with lighter material corresponding to increases in finer particles. Particle size analysis also indicates two layers of coarser material at 50 and 100 cm depth. Variations in particle size suggest a changing depositional environment in the lake and its catchment throughout the Holocene.

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