Abandoned shorelines are an important archive used to constrain past fluctuations in the hydrological balance of lakes around the globe. Within Australia, the shorelines preserved at Lake George, NSW, form one of the few shoreline archives in the south-east of the continent that record palaeoenvironmental conditions throughout the late Quaternary. Here, we examined and tested the lake-level record for Lake George constructed in the 1970s by dating a well-preserved shoreline sequence at Luckdale, on the lake's eastern shore, using single-grain optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. Ten stratigraphic units were identified, and these suggest a late Quaternary highstand for Lake George in MIS 3, with fluctuations superimposed upon an overall drying trend throughout MIS 2 and into the present. At Luckdale, the highest four shoreline-associated units were deposited ~13 to 19 m above lake base and date to between 39 ± 2 and 29 ± 1 ka ago. Our study pushes back the timing of maximum lake depth at Lake George to at least MIS 3, rather than MIS 2. The overall drying trend is supported by similar reductions in both Riverine Plain fluvial activity and other associated lake-level records from within the Murray basin.
- Lake George
- Last Glacial Maximum