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  1. Abstract. Annually laminated lake sediment can track paleoenvironmental change at high resolution where alternative archives are often not available. However,information about the chronology is often affected by indistinct and intermittent laminations. Traditional chronology building struggles with thesekinds of laminations, typically failing to adequately estimate uncertainty or discarding the information recorded in the laminations entirely,despite their potential to improve chronologies. We present an approach that overcomes the challenge of indistinct or intermediate laminations andother obstacles by using a quantitative lamination quality index combined with a multi-core, multi-observer Bayesian lamination sedimentation modelthat quantifies realistic under- and over-counting uncertainties while integrating information from radiometric measurements (210Pb,137Cs, and 14C) into the chronology. We demonstrate this approach on sediment of indistinct and intermittently laminatedsequences from alpine Columbine Lake, Colorado. The integrated model indicates 3137 (95 % highest probability density range: 2753–3375) varveyears with a cumulative posterior distribution of counting uncertainties of −13 % to +7 %, indicative of systematic observerunder-counting. Our novel approach provides a realistic constraint on sedimentation rates and quantifies uncertainty in the varve chronology byquantifying over- and under-counting uncertainties related to observer bias as well as the quality and variability of the sediment appearance. The approachpermits the construction of a chronology and sedimentation rates for sites with intermittent or indistinct laminations, which are likely moreprevalent than sequences with distinct laminations, especially when considering non-lacustrine sequences, and thus expands the possibilities ofreconstructing past environmental change with high resolution.

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  2. Abstract

    Abandoned river channels on alluvial floodplains represent areas where sediments, organic matter, and pollutants preferentially accumulate during overbank flooding. Theoretical models describing sedimentation in floodplain lakes recognize the different stages in their evolution, where the threshold for hydrological connectivity increases in older lakes as a plug‐bar develops. Sedimentary archives collected from floodplain lakes are widely used to reconstruct ecological and hydrological dynamics in riverine settings, but how floodplain lake evolution influences flow velocities and sedimentation patterns on an event scale remains poorly understood. Here we combine sediment samples collected in and around a floodplain lake with hydraulic modelling simulations to examine inundation, flow velocity, and sedimentation patterns in a floodplain lake along the Trinity River at Liberty, Texas. We focus our analyses on an extreme flood event associated with the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and develop a series of alternative lake bathymetries to examine the influence of floodplain lake evolution on flow velocity patterns during the flood. We find that sediments deposited in the lake after the Hurricane Harvey flood become thinner and finer with distance from the tie‐channel in accordance with simulated flow velocities that drop with distance from the tie‐channel. Flow velocity simulations from model runs with alternative plug‐bar geometries and lake depths imply that sedimentation patterns will shift as the lake evolves and infills. The integration of sediment sampling and hydraulic model simulations provides a method to understand the processes that govern sedimentation in floodplain lakes during flood events that will improve interpretations of individual events in sedimentary archives from these contexts.

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  3. <italic>Abstract</italic>

    Human impacts on freshwater ecosystems are pervasive, but the short and discontinuous nature of most datasets limits our ability to understand the controls on water quality and effectively manage freshwater resources. We examine change in Lake Mendota (Madison, Wisconsin) over the last two centuries by pairing analyses of a sedimentary archive with the site's > 100 yr limnological record. We show that eutrophication of the lake, evident as an abrupt shift in sediment composition, began in the late 19thcentury following the intensification of urban and agricultural land use in the watershed. Efforts to address deterioration of lake water quality, including the removal of point‐source pollutants and biomanipulation, have had a measurable influence on sediment composition and water clarity. Since the early 1980s, quasi‐seasonal cycles of phytoplankton blooms have induced calcite precipitation, leaving distinct laminations in the sedimentary record. These “whiting events” evidently did not accumulate in lake sediments until the late 20thcentury, indicating that efforts to remediate water quality have shifted the lake to a new ecosystem state. Calcite whitings can improve water quality in eutrophic lakes by coprecipitation with phosphate, increasing phosphorus (P) burial in lake sediments. Using long‐term limnological records, we report negative correlations between calcite saturation indices and P in lake surface waters and show that calcite whitings could partially explain recent P decline in Lake Mendota surface waters. Our study reveals a previously uncharacterized potential control on water quality in this eutrophic lake and demonstrates the benefit of coupling long‐term limnological data with sedimentary records.

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