Limnological Research Center

Four researchers prepare for coring on a floating platform on a lake surrounded by high mountains.
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Limnological Research Center

The Limnological Research Center (LRC), founded in 1959, is a research group in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The LRC pursues a mission of interdisciplinary research in lakes with the goal of reconstructing continental paleorecords of regional and global environmental change. Lakes are studied as integrated systems to understand biological, ecological, chemical, geological, hydrological and biogeochemical processes and how these signals are recorded in lake sediments. Various techniques are combined to reconstruct the Earth-life system in aqueous and terrestrial environments including: a) the paleoecology of pollen, diatoms, ostracods, organic matter, and other microfossils, b) comprehensive sedimentological signatures, c) geochemistry and stable isotopes of organic and inorganic compounds, and d) high-resolution time-series chronologies. The over-arching goal behind this research is to reconstruct and understand patterns of past global climate change as archived in a worldwide network of lacustrine settings. 

The LRC is associated with the Continental Scientific Drilling (CSD) Facility, which includes a state of the art lab for core scanning and processing, an extensive array of field systems for collection of core samples, and a repository of core samples and associated data archive. Within the University of Minnesota, the LRC maintains close ties with the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) in Duluth and actively interacts and collaborates with the Institute for Rock Magnetism (IRM), the Minnesota Geological Survey, and the Departments of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Soil, Water and ClimateGeography, Environment & Society, and Anthropology.