Snapshots of a warmer North from ancient buried wood deposits in subarctic Canada and Alaska

Category: Time:
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 - 12:00 to 13:00
Room: URL: Speaker:
Alberto Reyes
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada | LTRR Haury Fellow
Kiyomi Morino

Buried wood in arctic and subarctic North America, preserved in diverse depositional settings, provide glimpses of past landscapes and environmental change. In the Yukon and Alaska, ancient forest remains exposed in mining cuts and river bluffs help us understand how permafrost behaved during persistent warming of the last interglaciation ~125,000 years ago. Well-preserved tree remains have been recovered from pre-Quaternary forest deposits, dating to warm periods of the late Pliocene (~3 million years ago) in Yukon/Alaska and even the Eocene (~48 million years ago) in central subarctic Canada. In this presentation, I will discuss the scientific challenges and opportunities of this buried wood, including the potential for annually resolved snapshots of past climate from tree-rings. The talk will focus on paleoclimate interpretation of stable oxygen isotope composition of cellulose extracted from the exceptionally well-preserved buried wood.