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A Late Pleistocene Tephra Layer in the Southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau Derived from Mono Craters, California

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

David B. Madsen
Environmental Sciences, Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114
Andrei M. Sarna-Wojcicki
Western Region Earth Surface Processes Team, Tephrochronology Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, 94025
Robert S. Thompson
Central Region Earth Surface Processes Team, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado, 80225


A newly identified tephra in stratified deposits in southwestern Utah, dated ∼14,000 14C yr B.P., may aid in correlating late Pleistocene deposits across parts of the southern Great Basin and west-central Colorado Plateau. Geochemical analyses of the ash suggest the tephra originated from Mono Craters, California, and most probably correlates with Wilson Creek ash #3. Because the ash is 2 mm thick ∼550 km from its source, the event may have been larger than others correlated to Mono Craters eruptions.

Research Article
University of Washington

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