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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Assessment of paleoclimate resources for studies of climate extremes

Project Leader:
Project Fellows:
Project Investigators:
Debra Willard, USGS, Reston
Tim Cook, Worcester State University
States:
Maine
New Hampshire
Vermont
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut
New York
Pennsylvania
New Jersey
Delaware
Maryland
Virginia
West Virginia
Ohio
Kentucky
Indiana
Michigan
Wisconsin
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
+19 more
Status:
Completed

Overview

This project focused on compiling existing paleo-limnological data from lakes throughout the Northeast. The goal of this project was to create an editable database of existing chronologies and proxy data. This resource can then be accessed and added to by any paleo-limnologists working in the region. Based on the existing information, researchers will be able to identify "high-reward" lakes that may be targeted for future high-resolution paleoclimate analysis and also pinpoint regions of the Northeast that may be currently lacking sufficient paleo-limnological data. This work also helps to place modern extreme weather events in perspective by creating a record of floods, droughts, etc., back in time beyond instrumental and historical records.  

As a first step, a sediment core was been recovered from Basin Pond, near Augusta Maine.  This record is thought to be annually laminated, and so could provide a high resolution record for the last 203 millennia.  Studies are in progress to examine the record for geochemical and sedimentological evidence ralated to floods, fire history and drought. Extreme events are likely to have the biggest impact on the region, and our research will place recent changes in a long-term perspective.

Presentations

DISCCRS Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Symposium, Seattle, Washington; Nov 2014