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      An Ice Patch Artifact and Paleobiological Specimen from the Teton Mountains, Wyoming, USA

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      Journal of Glacial Archaeology

      Equinox Publishing

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          Abstract

          During the 2014 field season of the Teton Archaeological Project (TAP), twelve permanent snowfields and ice patches in the Teton Mountains were investigated for thawing organic artifacts and paleobiological specimens. During this survey, the TAP team identified two ice patches that contained faunal remains, non-cultural Douglas Fir (c. 6,000 cal. BP), and a possibly modified fragment of Whitebark Pine (c. 2,700 cal. BP). The results of this project demonstrate that ice patches have remained preserved in the Teton Range for at least 6,000 years and that organic artifacts and paleobiological specimens are actively thawing due to increasing temperatures. Furthermore, the data acquired from the organic ice patch material offers fresh information regarding the prehistoric use of high elevations in northwestern Wyoming during harsh climatic periods, and provides an environmental context for interpreting middle Holocene occupations above modern day tree line in the Teton Range.

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          Postglacial Vegetation and Climate of Grand Teton and Southern Yellowstone National Parks

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            Spatial Variations of Holocene Climatic Change in the Yellowstone Region

            The paleoecologic record of the northern Rocky Mountains shows considerable spatial variability, which has been difficult to explain as a unified response to large-scale changes in effective moisture or temperature through time. Comparison of past and present climatic patterns suggests that the spatial heterogeneity in the fossil record arises from a local response to the effects of greater summer solar radiation during the early Holocene. Solar radiation directly determines evapotranspiration and indirectly controls the strength of the summer monsoon and the eastern Pacific subtropical high-pressure system. The Yellowstone region provides an example of an area where the indirect effects of solar radiation are manifest by the juxtaposition of two contrasting climatic regimes today and where these regimes were amplified during the early Holocene. Fossil-pollen data suggest that central and southern Yellowstone (the summer-dry area) became drier in the early Holocene, while northern Yellowstone (the summer-wet area) became wetter. The boundary between regimes, however, is controlled by topography and has not changed significantly in the Holocene. The spatial variations of Holocene vegetation and climatic changes in the northern Rocky Mountains may therefore be explained as a trade-off between strengthened monsoonal circulation and a stronger subtropical high in the early Holocene and the relative importance of these precipitation regimes on a topographically complex landscape.
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              Aboriginal Occupation at High Altitude: Alpine Villages in the White Mountains of Eastern California

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Glacial Archaeology
                JGA
                Equinox Publishing
                2050-3393
                2050-3407
                May 31 2016
                December 14 2015
                : 2
                : 0
                : 3-24
                Article
                10.1558/jga.v2i1.27649
                © 2016

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