U.S. Geological Survey
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Climate Variability
In the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, most pollen and plant macrofossils records have focused on large-scale patterns of the last deglaciation (~20 ka - 11.5 ka) and the Holocene (11.5 ka to present). Although the broad changes tied to loss of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and mid-Holocene insolation changes have been well documented, few records have sufficient temporal resolution to document terrestrial response to decadal, multi-decadal, and centennial scale patterns of climate variability. This project uses sediment coring, pollen, microscopic charcoal, carbon accumulation and geochronology to examine the effects of abrupt climate events, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age, on terrestrial vegetation. Understanding the nature of these events serves as a baseline to interpret current and future landscape changes. Current research sites include the Waccamaw and Savannah Rivers, South Florida and Mobile Bay.
contact: Christopher Bernhardt