Holocene changes in atmospheric circulation patterns as shown by lake status changes in Northern Europe

GE YU*, SANDY P. HARRISON

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in lake status, a measure of relative water depth or lake level, have been reconstructed from geological and biological evidence for 87 sites in northern Europe. During the early Holocene. the lakes show conditions similar to or drier than present in a broad band across southern Britain, southern Scandinavia and into the eastern Baltic and wetter conditions along the west coast and in central Europe. This pattern is consistent with the effects of a glacial anticyclone over the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, namely enhanced southwesterly flow along the west coast and strengthened easterlies south of the ice. After c, 8000 BP a different lake status pattern was established. with conditions drier than present over much of northern Europe. Lakes higher than today were confined to the far north, the west coast, eastern Finland and western Russia. This pattern gradually attenuated after 4000 BP. Differences in lake status during the mid‐ to late Holocene are consistent with a strengthening of the blocking anticyclone over the Baltic Sea in summer. resulting in more meridional circulation than today. This strengthening of the blocking anticyclone during the mid‐Holocene is interpreted as a consequence of insolation changes, enhanced by the fact that the Baltic Sea was larger than present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-268
Number of pages9
JournalBoreas
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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