Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Paleoecology of a ciénega at the Mockingbird Gap Site, Chupadera Draw, New Mexico

  • Manuel R. Palacios-Fest (a1) and Vance T. Holliday (a2)

Abstract

The Mockingbird Gap Clovis site is a surface archaeological site located along Chupadera Draw in central New Mexico. Coring of the draw during archaeological investigation of the Clovis assemblage on the adjacent uplands revealed evidence for a regionally rare continuous, stratified depositional record beginning immediately before the Younger Dryas chronozone (YDC). Thirty sediment samples from the draw adjacent to the archaeological site were analyzed for microinvertebrates (ostracodes and mollusks) and gyrogonites (calcareous algae) to reconstruct its environmental history. Wet-dry cycles marked the presence/absence of microfossils. Based upon microfossils, this investigation highlights environmental change marked by the evolution from wetter/cooler to warmer/drier conditions at the Mockingbird Gap site and its response to climate change and groundwater fluctuations during and after the YDC. Four biofacies are recognized: the pre-Ciénega setting is sterile. Holarctic species near the base of core 08-1 indicate cooling conditions prior to 13,000 cal yr BP during the early Ciénega phase. Warmer, more saline conditions characterize the late-Ciénega biofacies between 11,000 and 10,000 cal yr BP. Presence of gypsum during formation of the post-Ciénega phase and the most salinity tolerant species after 10,000 cal yr BP is consistent with the aridification typifying the early Holocene.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author at: Terra Nostra Earth Sciences Research, LLC, Tucson, Arizona 85740, USA. E-mail address: mrpalacios@tnesr.com (M.R. Palacios).

References

Hide All
Adams, K.R., Smith, S.J., Palacios-Fest, M.R., 2002. Pollen and microinvertebrates from modern earthen canals and other fluvial environments along the Middle Gila River, Central Arizona: implications for archaeological interpretation. In Gila River Indian Community Anthropological Research Papers No. 1, Gila River Indian Community Cultural Resource Management Program, Sacaton, Arizona, pp. 1–76.
Allen, B.D., and Anderson, R.Y., 2000. A continuous, high-resolution record of late Pleistocene climate variability from the Estancia basin, New Mexico, GSA Bulletin 112: 1444–1458.
Allen, G.O., 1950. British Stoneworts (Charophyta): Arbroath. T. Buncle and Co. Ltd., Tintern, United Kingdom.
Anderson, D.H., Darring, S., Benke, A.C., 1998. Growth of crustacean meiofauna in a forested floodplain swamp: implications for biomass turnover. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 17, 2136.
Anderson, R.Y., Allen, B.D., Menking, K.M., 2002. Geomorphic expression of abrupt climate change in southwestern North America at the Glacial Termination. Quaternary Research 57, 371381.
Ballenger, J.A.M., Holliday, V.T., Kowler, A.L., Reitze, W.T., Prasciunas, M.M., Miller, D.S., Windingstad, J.D., 2011. Evidence for Younger Dryas global climate oscillation and human response in the American Southwest. Quaternary International 242, 502519.
Benson, L.V., Currey, D.R., Dorn, R.I., Lajoie, K.R., Oviatt, C.G., Robinson, S.W., Smith, G.I., Stine, S., 1990. Chronology of expansion and contraction of four Great Basin lake systems during the past 35,000 years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 78, 241286.
Benson, L.V., Currey, D.R., Lao, Y., Hostetler, S.W., 1992. Lake-size variations in the Lahontan and Bonneville basins between 13,000 and 9000 c-14 yr B.P. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology 95, 1932.
Benson, L.V., Burdett, J.W., Lund, S.P., Kashgarian, M., Mensing, S., 1997. Nearly synchronous climate change in the Northern Hemisphere during the last glacial termination. Nature 388, 263265.
Bequaert, J.C., Miller, W.B., 1973. The Mollusks of the Arid Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Cohen, A.S., 2003. Paleolimnology: The History and Evolution of Lake Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cohen, A.S., Palacios-Fest, M.R., Negrini, R.M., Wigand, P.E., Erbes, D., 2000. High resolution continental paleoclimate record for the middle–late Pleistocene from Summer Lake, Oregon, USA, II: evidence of paleoenvironmental change from sedimentology, paleontology and geochemistry. Journal of Paleolimnology 24, 151182.
Curry, B.B., 1999. An environmental tolerance index for ostracodes as indicators of physical and chemical factors in aquatic habitats. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 148, 5163.
Davis, O.K., 1989. The regionalization of climatic change in Western North America. In: Leinen, M., Sarnthein, M. (Eds.), Paleoclimatology and Paleometeorology: Modern and Past Patterns of Global Atmospheric Transport. Kluwer Academic Press, Boston, pp. 617636.
De Deckker, P., 1983. The limnological and climatic environment of modern ostracodes in Australia—a basis for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. In: Maddocks, R.F. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Ostracodae. University of Houston, Houston, pp. 250–254.
De Deckker, P., Forester, R.M., 1988. The use of ostracodes to reconstruct paleoenvironmental records. In: De Deckker, P., Colin, J.P., Peypouquet, J.P. (Eds.), Ostracoda in the Earth Sciences. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 175200.
De Francesco, C., Hassan, G.S., 2009. The significance of molluscs as paleoecological indicators of freshwater systems in central-western Argentina. Palaeogeography, Palaecology, Palaeoclimatology 274, 105113.
Delorme, L.D., 1969. Ostracodes as Quaternary paleoecological indicators. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 6, 14711476.
Delorme, L.D., 1989. Methods in Quaternary ecology #7: freshwater ostracodes. Geoscience Canada 16, 8590.
Delorme, L.D., Zoltai, S.C., 1984. Distribution of an arctic ostracode fauna in space and time. Quaternary Research 21, 6573.
Denton, G.H., Alley, R.B., Comer, G., Broecker, W.S., 2005. The role of seasonality in abrupt climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews 24, 11591182.
Dillon, R.T. Jr., 2000. The Ecology of Freshwater Molluscs. New York, Cambridge University Press.
Dillon, R.T. Jr., Stewart, T.W., 2003. The freshwater gastropods of South Carolina: Electronic document, http://www.cofc.edu/~FWGNA/FWGSC (accessed May 14, 2011).
Ellis, C.J., Carr, D.H., Loebel, T.J., 2011. The Younger Dryas and Late Pleistocene peoples of the Great Lakes region. Quaternary International 242, 534545.
Eugster, H.P., Hardie, L.A., 1978. Saline lakes. In: Lerman, A. (Ed.), Lakes: Chemistry, Geology, Physics. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 237293.
Fedje, D., Fedje, Q.M., Lacourse, T., McLaren, D., 2011. Younger Dryas environments and archaeology on the Northwest Coast of North America. Quaternary International 242, 452462.
Forester, R.M., 1983. Relationship of two lacustrine ostracode species to solute composition and salinity: implications for paleohydrochemistry. Geology 11, 435438.
Forester, R.M., 1986. Determination of the dissolved anion composition of ancient lakes from fossil ostracodes. Geology 14, 796799.
Forester, R.M., 1987. Late Quaternary paleoclimate records from lacustrine ostracodes. In: Ruddiman, W.F., Wright, H.E., Jr. (Eds.), The Geology Of North America, Vol. K-3, North America And Adjacent Oceans During The Last Deglaciation. The Geological Society of America, Boulder, pp. 261276.
Forester, R.M., 1988. Nonmarine calcareous microfossils sample preparation and data acquisition procedures. U.S. Geological Survey Technical Procedure HP-78, R1, pp. 1–9.
Forester, R.M., 1991. Ostracode assemblages from springs in the western United States: Implications for paleohydrology. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 155, 181201.
Forester, R.M., Smith, A.J., Palmer, D.F., Curry, B.B., 2005. North American Non-Marine Ostracode Database “NANODe” Version 1, December. http://www.kent.edu/NANODe (accessed April 1, 2011).
Goebel, T., Hockett, B., Adams, K.D., Rhode, D., Graf, K., 2011. Climate, environment, and humans in North America’s Great Basin during the Younger Dryas, 12,900B11,600 calendar years ago. Quaternary International 242, 479501.
Hall, S.A., Penner, W.L., Palacios-Fest, M.R., Metcalf, A.L., Smith, S.J., 2012. Cool, wet conditions late in the Younger Dryas in semi-arid New Mexico. Quaternary Research 77, 8795.
Hamilton, M.J., Buchanan, B., Huckell, B.B., Holliday, V.T., 2013. Clovis paleoecology and lithic technology in the Central Rio Grande Rift Region, New Mexico. American Antiquity 78, 248265.
Hawley, J.W. (Ed.), 1978. Guidebook to the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico and Colorado (Circular No. 163). New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico.
Hawley, J.W., 1993. Geomorphic setting and Late Quaternary history of pluvial-lake basins in the southern New Mexico region. Open-File Report No. 391. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico.
Hawley, J.W., 2005. Five million years of landscape evolution in New Mexico. In: Lucas, S.G., Morgan, G.S., Zeigler, K.E. (Eds.), New Mexico’s Ice Ages. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin No. 28, 9–93.
Haynes, C.V. Jr., 1991. Geoarchaeological and paleohydrological evidence for a Clovis age drought in North America and its bearing on extinction. Quaternary Research 35, 438450.
Haynes, C.V. Jr., 1995. Geochronology of paleoenvironmental change, Clovis type site, Blackwater Draw, New Mexico. Geoarchaeology 10, 317388.
Haynes, C.V. Jr., 2008. Younger Dryas “black mats” and the Rancholabrean termination in North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, 65206525.
Haynes, C.V. Jr., Huckell, B.B., 2007. Murray Springs, a Clovis Site with Multiple Activity Areas in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona, No. 71. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Haynes, C.V. Jr., Stanford, D.J., Jodry, M., Dickenson, J., Montgomery, J.L., Shelley, P.H., Rovner, I., Agogino, G.A., 1999. A Clovis well at the type site 11,500 BC: The oldest prehistoric well in North America. Geoarchaeology 14, 455470.
Hendrickson, D.A., Minckley, W.L., 1984. Ciénegas- Vanishing climax communities of the American Southwest. Desert Plants 6, 131175.
Hill, C.L., Wendorf, F., Sears, P.B., Papazian., E., 2008. Late glacial environments and paleoecology at Blackwater Draw, Near Clovis, New Mexico. In: Sulgostowska, Z., Tomaszewski, J. (Eds.), Man, Millenia, Environment: Studies in Honour of Romuald Schild. Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, pp. 7986.
Holliday, Vance T., 1985. Archaeological Geology of the Lubbock Lake Site, Southern High Plains of Texas. Geological Society of America Bulletin 96, 14831492.
Holliday, V.T., 1997. Paleoindian studies, geoarchaeology, and the Southern High Plains, Chapter 1. In: Holliday, V.T. (Ed.), Paleoindian Geoarchaeology of the Southern High Plains. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Holliday, V.T., 2000a. Folsom drought and episodic drying on the Southern High Plains from 10,900–10,200 14C yr B.P. Quaternary Research 53, 112.
Holliday, V.T., 2000b. The Evolution of Paleoindian Geochronology and Typology on the Great Plains. Geoarchaeology 15, 227290.
Holliday, V.T., 2001. Stratigraphy and geochronology of upper Quaternary eolian sand on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, United States. Geological Society of America Bulletin 113, 88108.
Holliday, V.T., Huckell, B.B., Weber, R.H., Hamilton, M.J., Reitze, W.T., Mayer, J.H., 2009. Geoarchaeology of the Mockingbird Gap (Clovis) Site, Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico. Geoarchaeology 24, 348370.
Holliday, V.T., Killick, M.G., 2013. An early Paleoindian bead from the Mockingbird Gap Site, New Mexico. Current Anthropology 54, 8595.
Holmes, J.A., Chivas, A.R., 2002. Ostracod shell chemistry–Overview. In: Holmes, J.A., Chivas, A.R. (Eds.), The Ostracoda: Applications in Quaternary Research. Geophysical Monograph 131. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 185204.
Holmgren, C.A., Peñalba, M.C., Rylander, K.A., Betancourt, J.L., 2003. A 16,000 yr. B.P. packrat midden series from the USA-Mexico Borderlands. Quaternary Research 60, 319329.
Horne, D.J., Cohen, A., Martens, K., 2002. Taxonomy, morphology and biology of Quaternary and living Ostracoda. In: Holmes, J.A., Chivas, A.R. (Eds.), The Ostracoda: Applications in the Quaternary Research. Geophysical Monograph 131. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 536.
Huckell, B.B., Holliday, V.T., Hamilton, M.J., Sinkovec, C., Merriman, C., Shackley, M.S., Weber, R.H., 2008. The Mockingbird Gap Clovis site: 2007 investigations. Current Research in the Pleistocene 25, 9597.
Irwin-Williams, C., Haynes, C.V., 1970. Climatic change and early population dynamics in the Southwestern United States. Quaternary Research 1, 5971.
Kaufman, D.S., O’Brien, G., Mead, J.I., Bright, J., Umhoefer, P., 2002. Late Quaternary spring-fed deposits of the Grand Canyon and their implication for deep lava-dammed lakes. Quaternary Research 58, 329340.
Kilby, D., Crawford, G., 2013. Current research and investigations at Blackwater Draw, NM. NewsMAC: Newsletter of the New Mexico Archaeology Council 2013-2, 16.
Kirkpatrick, D.T., Weber, R.H., 1996. Quaternary geology and archaeology of Lake Trinity Basin, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In: Duran, M.S., Kirkpatrick, D.T. (Eds.), La Jornada: Papers in Honor of William F. Turney. Archaeological Society of New Mexico, Las Cruces, pp. 109127.
Külköylüoğlu, O., 2009. Ecological succession of freshwater Ostracoda (Crustacea) in a newly developed rheocrene spring (Bolu, Turkey). Turkish Journal of Zoology 33, 115123.
Lothrop, J.C., Newby, P.E., Spiess, A.E., Bradley, J.W., 2011. Paleoindians and the Younger Dryas in the New England-Maritimes region. Quaternary International 242, 546569.
Martin, P.S., 1963. The Last 10,000 Years, a Fossil Pollen Record of the American Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Meeks, S.C., Anderson, D.G., 2012. Evaluating the effects of the Younger Dryas on human population histories in the Southeastern United States. In: Eren, M.I. (Ed.), Hunter-Gatherer Behavior: Human Response During the Younger Dryas. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California, pp. 111138.
Mehringer, P.S. Jr., Haynes, C.V. Jr., 1965. The pollen evidence for the environment of early man and extinct mammals at the Lehner mammoth site, southeastern Arizona. American Antiquity 31, 1723.
Meltzer, D.J., Holliday, V.T., 2010. Would North American Paleoindian have noticed Younger Dryas age climate change? Journal of World Prehistory 23, 141.
Mezquita, F., Tapia, G., Roca, J.R., 1999. Ostracoda from springs on the eastern Iberian Peninsula: Ecology, biogeography and paleolimnological implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 148, 6581.
Miksicek, C.H., 1989. Snails, seeds, and charcoal: macrofossils from Las Acequias Canals. In: Ackerly, N.W., Henderson, T.K. (Eds.), Prehistoric Agricultural Activities on the Lehi-Mesa Terrace: Perspectives on Hohokam Irrigation Cycles. Northland Research, Flagstaff, Arizona, pp. 235261.
Miller, D.S., Holliday, V.T., Bright, J., 2013. Clovis across the continent. In: Graf, K.E., Ketron, C.V., Waters, M.R. (Eds.), Paleoamerican Odyssey. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas, pp. 207220.
Palacios-Fest, M.R., 1994. Nonmarine ostracode shell chemistry from Hohokam irrigation canals in Central Arizona: a paleohydrochemical tool for the interpretation of prehistoric human occupation in the North American Southwest. Geoarchaeology 9, 129.
Palacios-Fest, M.R., 2002. Significance of ostracode studies in geoarchaeology: a way to analyze the physical environment where ancient civilizations developed. Kiva 68, 4966.
Palacios-Fest, M.R., Cohen, A.S., Anadón, P., 1994. Use of ostracodes as paleoenvironmental tools in the interpretation of ancient lacustrine records. Revista Española de Micropaleontología 9, 145164.
Palacios-Fest, M.R., Mabry, J.B., Nials, F., Holmlund, J.P., Miksa, E., Davis, O.K., 2001. Early irrigation systems in Southeastern Arizona: the ostracode perspective. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 14, 541555.
Pazzaglia, F.J., Hawley, J.W., 2004. Neogene (rift flank) and Quaternary geology and geomorphology. In: Mack, G.H., Giles, K.A. (Eds.), The Geology of New Mexico: A Geologic History. New Mexico Geological Society Special Publication No. 11. New Mexico Geological Society, Socorro, New Mexico, pp. 407–437.
Pokorný, V., 1978. Ostracodes. In: Haq, B.U., Boersma, A. (Eds.), Introduction to Marine Micropaleontology. Elsevier, New York, pp. 109149.
Quade, J., Forester, R.M., Pratt, W.L., Carter, C., 1998. Black mats, spring-fed streams, and late-glacial-age recharge in the southern Great Basin. Quaternary Research 49, 129148.
Rasmussen, S., Andersen, K., Svensson, A., Steffensen, J., Vinther, B., Clausen, H., Andersen, M., Johnsen, S., Larsen, L., Bigler, M., Röthlisberger, R., Fischer, H., Goto-Azuma, K., Hansson, M., Ruth, U., 2006. A new Greenland ice core chronology for the last glacial termination. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, 116.
Reeder, L.A., Erlandson, J.M., Rick, T.C., 2011. Younger Dryas environments and human adaptations on the West Coast of the United States and Baja California. Quaternary International 242, 463478.
Rutherford, J., 2000. Ecology Illustrated Field Guides. http://info.wlu.ca/~wwwbiol/bio305/Database (accessed July 10, 2011).
Sanchez, M.G., Holliday, V.T., Gaines, E., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Martínez-Tagüeña, N., Kowler, A., Lange, T., Hodgins, G., Mentzer, S., Sanchez-Morales, I., 2014. Human (Clovis)- gomphothere (Cuvieronius sp.) association ~13,390 caibrated yr BP in Sonora, Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, 1097210977.
Shane, L.C.K., Anderson, K.H., 1993. Intensity, gradients, and reversals in late glacial environmental change in east-central North America. Quaternary Science Reviews 12, 307320.
Sharpe, S., 2002. Solute composition: a parameter affecting the distribution of freshwater gastropods (Accessed July 7, 2011). http://wetlands.dri.edu.
Sharpe, S.E., 2009. Past elevations and ecosystems of Walker Lake provide a context for future management decisions. In: Collopy, M., Thomas, J. (Eds.), Restoration of a Desert Lake in an Agriculturally Dominated Watershed: The Walker Lake Basin. Dessert Research Institute and University of Nevada, Reno, Lake Tahoe, April 2009.
Stuiver, M., Groots, P.M., Braziunas, T.F., 1995. The GISP δ18O climate record of the past 16,000 years and the role of the sun, oceans, and volcanoes. Quaternary Research 44, 341354.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2003. Soils Survey Manual. University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu, pp. 207209.
Van Devender, T.R., 1990. Late Quaternary vegetation and climate of the Chihuahuan Desert, United States and Mexico. In: Betancourt, J.L., Van Devender, T.R., Martin, P.S. (Eds.), Packrat Middens: The Last 40,000 Years of Biotic Change. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 104133.
Vokes, A.W., Miksicek, C.H., 1987. Snails, clams, and canals: an analysis of nonmarine molluscan remains. In: Masse, W.B. (Ed.), Archaeological Investigations of Portions of the Las Acequias–Los Muertos Irrigation System: Testing and Partial Data Recovery Within the Tempe Section of the Outer Loop Freeway System, Maricopa County, Arizona. Archaeological Series No. 176. Arizona State Museum, Tucson, pp. 177–187.
Waters, M.R., Stafford, T.W., 2007. Redefining the age of Clovis: implications for the peopling of the New World. Science 315, 11221126.
Webb, W.F., 1942. United States Mollusca: A Descriptive Manual of Many of the Marine, Land and Fresh Water Shells of North America, North of Mexico. 1st ed. Bookcraft Press, New York.
Weber, R.H., 1997. Geology of Mockingbird Gap site in central New Mexico. In: Duran, M.S., Kirkpatrick, D.T. (Eds.), Layers of Time: Papers in Honor of Robert H. Weber. Archaeological Society of New Mexico, Las Cruces, pp. 115122.
Weber, R.H., Agogino, G.A., 1997. Mockingbird Gap Paleoindian site: excavations in 1967. In: Duran, M.S., Kirkpatrick, D.T. (Eds.), Layers of Time: Papers in Honor of Robert H. Weber. Archaeological Society of New Mexico, Las Cruces, pp. 123127.
Whatley, R., 1983. Some simple procedures for enhancing the use of Ostracoda in palaeoenvironmental analysis. NPD Bulletin 2, 129146.
Wigand, P.E., 2007. Southwestern North America Postglacial Pollen Records. In: Elias, S.A., Mock, C.J. (Eds.), Pollen Records, Postglacial Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. 2nd ed. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 142155.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Palacios-Fest and Holliday supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (83 KB)
83 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed