Paleobiology of the Sand Beneath the Valders Diamicton at Valders, Wisconsin

TitlePaleobiology of the Sand Beneath the Valders Diamicton at Valders, Wisconsin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMaher, LJ, Miller, NG, Baker, RG, Curry, BB, Mickelson, DM
JournalQuaternary Research
Keywordsglaciolacustrine deposit, molluscs, ostracodes, plant macrofossils, pollen, Valders, Wiscons

Previously undescribed pollen, plant macrofossils, molluscs, and ostracodes were recovered from a 2.5-m-thick glaciolacustrine unit of silty sand and clay at Valders, Wisconsin. The interstadial sediment was deposited about 12,20014C yr B.P. after retreat of the Green Bay lobe that deposited diamicton of the Horicon Formation, and before advance of the Lake Michigan lobe that deposited the red-brown diamicton of the Valders Member of the Kewaunee Formation. Fluctuations of abundance ofCandona subtriangulata, Cytherissa lacustris,and three other species define four ostracode biozones in the lower 1.7 m, suggesting an open lake environment that oscillated in depth and proximity to glacial ice. Pollen is dominated by Picea and Artemisia,but the low percentages of many other types of long-distance origin suggest that the terrestrial vegetation was open and far from the forest border. The upper part of the sediment, a massive sand deposited in either a shallow pond or a sluggish stream, contains a local concentration of plant macrofossils. The interpretation of a cold open environment is supported by the plant macrofossils of more than 20 species, dominated by those of open mineral soils (Arenaria rubella, Cerastium alpinumtype,Silene acaulis, Sibbaldia procumbens, Dryas integrifolia, Vaccinium uliginosumvar.alpinum, Armeria maritima,etc.) that in North America occur largely in the tundra and open tundra–forest ecotone of northern Canada. Ice-wedge casts occur in the sand.