Paleoclimatic Reconstruction's from Owens Lake Core OL-92, Southeastern California
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BOLLING AFB DC
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In 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey cored Owens Lake to obtain a continuous paleoclimate record for the Sierra Nevada region. Owens Lake heads a chain of closed-basin lakes which are separated by a series of bedrock sills, received their water primarily from Sierra Nevadan precipitation, and overflowed during wet periods. The core records the histories of cyclic glaciation of the Sierra Nevada and water-balance of Owens Lake over the past 800 kyrs. A variety of paleoclimatic proxies have been studied, details of which may be found in Smith and Bischoff 1993. In this thesis, I report the results and interpretations of 1 grain-size and clay-mineralogical analyses performed on 3.5-m-long channel samples 7500 years of sedimentation per sample and point samples, 2 grain size, carbonate content, and oxygen isotopic measurements on 70-cm-long channel samples 1500 years, and 3 a water-balance model used to infer the magnitude of runoff and evaporation changes necessary to fill the lakes in the Owens Lake system, and to determine the response time of the lake chain to climatic perturbations.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy