SE US lakes
Many Holocene paleoclimate records from the Southeastern United States (SE US) have limited chronological constraints and/or low sampling resolution; this presents challenges in discerning the relative importance of synoptic-scale drivers of past hydroclimate. In this study we summarize three lake sediment records that are uniquely located to test hypotheses regarding the importance of the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) over the last 5000 years. At Pigeon Marsh, Buck Pond, and Halls Pond, we used sedimentological (radiocarbon dating of transect cores), physical (grain size), geochemical (carbon and nitrogen ratios and isotopes), and biological (palynomorphs) proxies to reconstruct lake level and lake environment. Moderate lake and environmental changes occur around 2000 years BP at Buck and Halls Pond, which is regionally consistent with other paleorecords and may suggest that the NAO was an important control. However, our results generally indicate fairly stable hydroclimate conditions up until historical European settlement when land clearance caused vegetational and lake hydrologic balance changes that were unprecedented in both magnitude and rate compared to the middle/late Holocene.