Fire History from Little Round Lake, Northwestern Wisconsin, USA

April 8th, 2010

Fire history recorded in charcoal in lake sediments can be used to determine different climate conditions and vegetation, as well as fire frequency.  The observation of different charcoal morphotypes has been suggested to reflect fuel sources and burn conditions present at the time of the fire. I classified and counted charcoal from Little Round Lake, located in a sand plain in northwestern Wisconsin, to determine whether a lake’s charcoal and pollen records support the hypotheses that lakes with different soil textures and degrees of protection from fire responded differently to Late Holocene climatic changes.  My results were consistent with the hypothesis that a lake on very coarse soil surrounded by many lakes will respond less to cooler/wetter conditions of the last 700 years than sites on more mesic soils.

Elizabeth Erickson, ’10 Colby, KS
Majors: Geology, Environmental Studies

Sponsor: Benjamin Greenstein

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