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Open Access

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Master of Science (M.S.)

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climate, holocene, lake sediments, sedimentology, geochemistry, biogenic silica


During the latter half of the 20th century until present day there has been an unprecedented rise in global annual mean temperatures accompanied by rising sea levels and a decrease in Northern Hemisphere snow cover, which if it continues will lead to widespread disruption of climate patterns, ecosystems, and present-day landscapes. It is therefore of critical importance to establish an expanded network of paleoclimate records across the globe in order to better assesses how the global climate system has changed in the past, that we may create a metric by which to address modern change. Herein is presented a7,700 years record of Holocene climatic and environmental variability in Sermilik Valley, located on Ammassalik Island, SE Greenland. This objective of this study is to determine the timing of major Holocene climate transitions as expressed in the physical, elemental, and geochemical parameters preserved in the 484 cm sediment record of Lower Sermilik Lake. Major transitions observed in this study include the deglaciation of Sermilik Valley, the onset and termination of the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the transition into neoglacial conditions, and the Little Ice Age.


First Advisor

Raymond S. Bradley