A 7,500-year record of environmental change from Clear Pond, South Carolina

Authors: Zachary Taylor*, Berry College, Elizabeth Yanuskiewicz, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Chelsea N Anderson, Berry College, Chad S Lane, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Biogeography, Physical Geography
Keywords: lake sediments, fire, charcoal, South Carolina, coastal plain, drought
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


We used compound-specific carbon and hydrogen isotope analyses of n-alkanes, macroscopic charcoal counts, and bulk sedimentary δ13C values to create a 7,500-year paleoenvironmental record from Clear Pond, South Carolina. Previous pollen analysis shows that Clear Pond has been surrounded by a pine forest for the duration of the record, but our new data indicate there are large changes in fire activity and moisture. High charcoal abundances and influx indicates frequent fire activity from 7,500 to 3,670 cal yr BP. Interestingly, bulk sedimentary δ13C values show limited C4 plant derived organic matter contributions to the lake and n-alkane δ2H data indicate that conditions were relatively wet. From 3,670 cal yr BP to present, charcoal influx is relatively low, indicating less frequent fires. Around 1,300 cal yr BP, there is a slight peak in charcoal and bulk sedimentary δ13C indicating an increase in C4 vegetation around the pond. At 1,090 cal yr BP, bulk density increases and n-alkane δ2H data indicate extremely arid conditions.

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