US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Paleolimnology 31: 129–138, 2004.


The subsiding Upper Klamath Lake Basin contains sediments that were continuously deposited in a shallow, freshwater lake for more than 40 000 years. Well dated by radiometric methods and containing volcanic ashes of known age, these sediments constitute a valuable paleoclimate record. Sediment constituents and properties that reflect past climatic conditions in the area include pollen, diatoms, sediment geochemistry, and sediment magnetic properties. Many of these proxy measurements are also useful for comparing natural conditions in the lake to conditions following human settlement. Because of its location, the paleoclimate record from Upper Klamath Lake is valuable for comparisons to offshore marine records and as part of latitudinal transects of paleoclimate records along the west coast of the Americas.