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1200 years of Upper Missouri River streamflow reconstructed from tree ringsPaleohydrologic records can provide unique, long-term perspectives on streamflow variability and hydroclimate for use in water resource planning. Such long-term records can also play a key role in placing both present day events and projected future conditions into a broader context than that offered by instrumental observations. However, relative to other major river basins across the western United States, a paucity of streamflow reconstructions has to date prevented the full application of such paleohydrologic information in the Upper Missouri River Basin. Here we utilize a set of naturalized streamflow records for the Upper Missouri and an expanded network of tree-ring records to reconstruct streamflow at thirty-one gaging locations across the major headwaters of the basin. The reconstructions explain an average of 68% of the variability in the observed streamflow records and extend available records of streamflow back to 886 CE on average. Basin-wide analyses suggest unprecedented hydroclimatic variability over the region during the Medieval period, similar to that observed in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and show considerable synchrony of persistent wet-dry phasing with the Colorado River over the last 1200 years. Streamflow estimates in individual sub-basins of the Upper Missouri demonstrate increased spatial variability in discharge during the Little Ice Age (similar to 1400-1850 CE) compared with the Medieval Climate Anomaly (similar to 800-1400 CE). The network of streamflow reconstructions presented here fills a major geographical void in paleohydrologic understanding and now allows for a long-term assessment of hydrological variability over the majority of the western U.S. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Late Quaternary paleohydrology of desert wetlands and pluvial lakes in the Soda Lake basin, central Mojave Desert, California (USA)Sediment cores taken near extant springs along the western margin of Soda Lake playa, as well as from the playa center, reveal dramatic hydrologic changes that occurred in the central Mojave Desert during the late Quaternary. Results of stratigraphic, chronologic, physical, chemical, and microfossil analyses of seven cores, ranging in length from 5 to 23 m, help refine the timing and character of the final stages of pluvial Lake Mojave during the late Pleistocene and define distinct periods of wetland development in the early and late Holocene. Evidence shows that an incipient lake occupied the central Soda Lake basin by at least 25.0 ka (ka = thousands of calibrated C-14 years before present), and a fully developed Lake Mojave was present between 20.5 and 12.8 ka, before receding and ultimately yielding to playa conditions by 11.0 ka. Organic-rich "black mats" appear in several cores along the playa margin between 10.7 and 9.0 ka, suggesting that spring-fed wetlands persisted in this area long after the lake had regressed. The basin remained relatively dry throughout most of the Holocene until wetland ecosystems expanded along the margins between 0.73 and 0.18 ka, coincident with part of the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age. Overall, our results demonstrate that buried sediments surrounding extant and extinct springs can be used to reconstruct past hydrologic conditions in desert environments on a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and provide important baseline information for effective management of limited desert resources. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Ranking of tree-ring based temperature reconstructions of the past millenniumTree-ring chronologies are widely used to reconstruct high-to low-frequency variations in growing season temperatures over centuries to millennia. The relevance of these timeseries in large-scale climate reconstructions is often determined by the strength of their correlation against instrumental temperature data. However, this single criterion ignores several important quantitative and qualitative characteristics of tree-ring chronologies. Those characteristics are (i) data homogeneity, (ii) sample replication, (iii) growth coherence, (iv) chronology development, and (v) climate signal including the correlation with instrumental data. Based on these 5 characteristics, a reconstruction-scoring scheme is proposed and applied to 39 published, millennial-length temperature reconstructions from Asia, Europe, North America, and the Southern Hemisphere. Results reveal no reconstruction scores highest in every category and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Reconstructions that perform better overall include N-Scan and Finland from Europe, E-Canada from North America, Yamal and Dzhelo from Asia. Reconstructions performing less well include W-Himalaya and Karakorum from Asia, Tatra and S-Finland from Europe, and Great Basin from North America. By providing a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate tree-ring chronologies we hope to improve the development of large-scale temperature reconstructions spanning the past millennium. All reconstructions and their corresponding scores are provided at www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb09climatology. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.