Title

Mid Holocene lake level and shoreline behavior during the Nipissing phase of the upper Great Lakes at Alpena, Michigan, USA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

The Nipissing phase was the last pre-modern high-water stage of the upper Great Lakes. Represented as either a one- or two-peak highstand, the Nipissing occurred following a long-term lake-level rise. This transgression was primarily an erosional event with only the final stage of the transgression preserved as barriers, spits, and strandplains of beach ridges. South of Alpena, Michigan, mid to late Holocene coastal deposits occur as a strandplain between Devils Lake and Lake Huron. The landward part of this strandplain is a higher elevation platform that formed during the final stage of lake-level rise to the Nipissing peak. The pre-Nipissing shoreline transgressed over Devils Lake lagoonal deposits from 6.4 to 6.1 ka. The first beach ridge formed ~6 ka, and then the shoreline advanced toward Lake Huron, producing beach ridges about every 70 years. This depositional regression produced a slightly thickening wedge of sediment during a lake-level rise that formed 20 beach ridges. The rise ended at 4.5 ka at the Nipissing peak. This peak was short-lived, as lake level fell N4 m during the following 500 years. During this lake-level rise and subsequent fall, the shoreline underwent several forms of shoreline behavior, including erosional transgression, aggradation, depositional transgression, depositional regression, and forced regression. Other upper Great Lakes Nipissing platforms indicate that the lake-level change observed at Alpena of a rapid pre-Nipissing lake-level rise followed by a slower rise to the Nipissing peak, and a post-Nipissing rapid lake-level fall is representative of mid Holocene lake level in the upper Great Lakes.

Publisher Statement

© 2011 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2011.05.012

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