Paleohydrologic Response of the Mississippi Headwater Watershed to Holocene Climate Change

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigators: Howard Mooers, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota-Duluth; and Philip C. Larson, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota-Duluth


USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration: 

March 2001 - February 2003


The Mississippi Headwaters watershed, a 7000 km2 area of north-central Minnesota is occupied in part my three large lakes: Cass, Leech, and Winnibigoshish. Mid-Holocene aeolian sediment is associated with Winnibigoshish, but not Cass or Leech Lakes, despite the fact that all three lakes lie within the same watershed, and have synchronously had essentially the same climate, vegetation, geology and topography throughout the Holocene. The synchronous differences in the sediment records between the Headwater Lakes promises to be a sensitive record of climate change in north-central Minnesota. In contrast to previous studies that focused on interpretation of sediment records of small lakes in small watersheds, the large lakes will dominantly record regional-scale changes.