A 900-year New England temperature reconstruction from in situ seasonally produced branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs)

Daniel R. Miller, M. Helen Habicht, Benjamin A. Keisling, Isla S. Castañeda, Raymond S. Bradley
2018 Climate of the Past Discussions  
Paleotemperature reconstructions are essential for distinguishing anthropogenic climate change from natural variability. An emerging method in paleoclimatology is the use of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) in lacustrine sediments to reconstruct temperature, but their application is hindered by a limited understanding of their sources, seasonal production, and transport. We report seasonally resolved measurements of brGDGT production within the water column, in catchment
more » ... soils and in a sediment sequence from a small, deep inland lake in Maine, USA. BrGDGT distributions in the water column are distinct from catchment soils but similar to the distributions in lake sediments, suggesting that (1) brGDGTs are produced within the lake and (2) this in situ production dominates the downcore sedimentary signal. Seasonally, depth-resolved measurements indicate that the dominant production of brGDGTs occurs in late fall/early spring and at intermediate depths (18–30 meters) in the water column. We apply these observations to help interpret a 900-year-long brGDGT-based temperature reconstruction and find that it shows similar trends to a pollen record from the same site and to regional and global syntheses of terrestrial temperatures over the last millennium. However, the record also shows higher-frequency variability than has previously been captured by such an archive in the Northeastern United States, potentially attributed to the North Atlantic Oscillation and volcanic/solar activity. This is the first brGDGT- based multi-centennial paleoreconstruction from this region and contributes to our understanding of the production and fate of brGDGTs in lacustrine systems.
doi:10.5194/cp-2018-40 fatcat:5ll3iarp6nakpdnn4s5wzyn33y