Efstadalsvatn – a multi-proxy study of a Holocene lacustrine sequence from NW Iceland

Caseldine, C.J., Geirsdo'ttir, A. and Langdon, P.G. (2003) Efstadalsvatn – a multi-proxy study of a Holocene lacustrine sequence from NW Iceland Journal of Paleolimnology, 30, (1), pp. 55-73. (doi:10.1023/A:1024781918181).


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Multi-proxy data, both lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic, are presented from Efstadalsvatn, a lake in NW 14 Iceland. The sequence covers the period 10,000 to 3500 C yr B.P. The biostratgraphic data include the first Icelandic chironomid-based reconstruction of Holocene mean July air temperatures, using a Norwegian training set in the absence of modern Icelandic data. The results show that deglaciation and ecosystem development 14 14 probably began before 10,000 C yr B.P. and that July temperatures were around 48C at ca. 9500 C yr B.P. 14 Temperatures then rose to ca. 88C at the time of the deposition of the Saksunarvatn tephra (9100 C yr B.P.), 14 reaching ca. 108C by 8500 C yr B.P., high enough for the growth of tree birch, although successful birch 14 colonisation did not take place until 6750 C yr B.P. There is some evidence for cooling immediately preceding 14 9100 C yr B.P. There is little firm biostratigraphic evidence for the 8200 cal. B.P. event, although this may be due to a relatively low resolution pollen sampling interval, but there are changes at this time in the total carbon (TC) and mass susceptibility (MS) data. Optimal temperatures and relative vegetation stability may have occurred 14 14 between 8000–6100 C yr B.P. but the chironomid assemblages indicate higher temperatures after 5000 C yr B.P. This latter interpretation may, however, reflect delayed colonisation of thermophilous taxa and requires 14 further investigation. There is evidence in the lithostratigraphy for greater local terrestrial instability after 6100 C yr B.P. but it seems unlikely that this led to the redevelopment of ice in the catchment. The biostratigraphic records appear to show a degree of resistence to climate forcing throughout the early and middle Holocene. The new chironomid-based temperature reconstruction needs to be refined by further studies in Iceland, particularly the development of an Icelandic training set, but has already demonstrated the problems of paleoclimatic interpretations based on pollen and/ or macrofossil evidence alone.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1023/A:1024781918181
ISSNs: 0921-2728 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: chironomids, holocene, Iceland, multi-proxy, paleolimnology, paleotemperature, pollen

ePrint ID: 55005
Date :
Date Event
6 July 2002Submitted
July 2003Published
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:45
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55005

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