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Continuous Lake-Sediment Records of Glaciation in the Sierra Nevada between 52,600 and 12,50014C yr B.P

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Larry V. Benson
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado, 80303-1066
Howard M. May
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado, 80303-1066
Ronald C. Antweiler
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado, 80303-1066
Terry I. Brinton
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado, 80303-1066
Michaele Kashgarian
Affiliation:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, California, 94550
Joseph P. Smoot
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, MS 955, Reston, Virginia, 22092
Steve P. Lund
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 90089

Abstract

The chemistry of the carbonate-free clay-size fraction of Owens Lake sediments supports the use of total organic carbon and magnetic susceptibility as indicators of stadial–interstadial oscillations. Owens Lake records of total organic carbon, magnetic susceptibility, and chemical composition of the carbonate-free, clay-size fraction indicate that Tioga glaciation began ∼24,500 and ended by ∼13,60014C yr B.P. Many of the components of glacial rock flour (e.g., TiO2, MnO, BaO) found in Owens Lake sediments achieved maximum values during the Tioga glaciation when valley glaciers reached their greatest extent. Total organic carbon and SiO2(amorphous) concentrations reached minimum values during Tioga glaciation, resulting from decreases in productivity that accompanied the introduction of rock flour into the surface waters of Owens Lake. At least 20 stadial–interstadial oscillations occurred in the Sierra Nevada between 52,600 and 14,00014C yr B.P. Total organic carbon data from a Pyramid Lake sediment core also indicate oscillations in glacier activity between >39,500 and ∼13,60014C yr B.P. Alpine glacier oscillations occurred on a frequency of ≤1900 yr in both basins, suggesting that millennial-scale oscillations occurred in California and Nevada during most of the past 52,600 yr.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
University of Washington

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Continuous Lake-Sediment Records of Glaciation in the Sierra Nevada between 52,600 and 12,50014C yr B.P
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