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Abstract

In this study a 30 centimeter (cm) sediment core taken from the north basin of Lake George was analyzed for changes in diatom community structure. The chronology of these sediments was established using radioisotopic dating methods. A unique and interesting sedimentary profile was observed while retrieving cores throughout the north basin of the Lake. The nature of this sedimentary profile, along with supporting evidence from the diatom community, strongly suggests that a Low stand occurred in the Lake sometime between 200 and 350 before present (BP). The Low stand Likely predated heavy settlement of the watershed and would have resulted in a several meter drop in Lake Level. It is possible the Lake was rebounding from this Low stand as the watershed was being settled. Evidence of the recent onset of cultural eutrophication was also observed in the diatom community structure, and is probably related to development within the watershed. These findings highlight the importance of monitoring and predicting hydrological conditions in the Lake George watershed as human-driven climate change complicates the natural range of rainfall and drought variability in the region. They also provide a context for understanding the current state of the Lake and understanding the degree of anthropogenic impacts on the watershed.

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