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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Holocene, Archaeology, Arctic


This thesis presents a multi-proxy paleoenvironmental reconstruction from the sedimentary archives of Lilandsvatnet, a small arctic lake on Vestvågøy, in the Lofoten Islands, Norway. Lofoten has a rich history of human settlements existing throughout the Holocene. The catchment of Lilandsvatnet was the location of a prominent Viking chieftain farm that existed throughout the Iron Age, and the sedimentary archive contains a strong signal of prehistoric and historic human settlements and land-use practices. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions in this thesis show evidence for Holocene environmental variability in response to both natural and anthropogenic forcing. Cryptotephra deposits from Icelandic eruptions further contrain sediment chronology in the study, allowing reconstructions of subtle changes in the landscape with excellent chronological control during the late Holocene period of settlement. Additionally, I attempt to improve existing methods for crypto-tephrochronology through the development of new techniques.


First Advisor

Raymond S. Bradley

Second Advisor

Nicholas L. Balascio