Thick ( ??? 35 m) loess deposits are present on ridges and high bluffs in the northern-half of the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV), U.S.A. Detailed descriptions of the loess sections and pedologic, physiochemical, and mineralogic analyses and TL, 14C, and 10Be age determinations, allow preliminary paleoclimatic reconstructions for the late Quaternary of central North America. No age data are available for the oldest (Fifth) loess. 10Be and TL age data suggest a 250-200 ka age for the Fourth or Crowleys Ridge(?) Loess, and indicate that the Loveland or Third Loess is time equivalent to oxygen isotope stage 6, ??? 190-120 ka. A weakly developed paleosol is present in the basal-half of the Loveland. The Sangamon Geosol is present in the upper 5 m and represents all of oxygen isotope stage 5, ??? 130-60 ka. It formed in a climate as warm as, but drier and (or) with greater variation in precipitation, than the present. The Roxana Silt (second loess) was deposited during oxygen isotope stages 4 and 3, ??? 65-26 ka. The early Wisconsinan interglacial-glacial transition, represented by the Sangamon Geosol and the unnamed paleosol in the basal Roxana Silt, was slow. The paleoclimate during the 35 k yr of Roxana deposition was cool to cold and wet. Age and pedologic data indicate that deposition of the Peoria Loess (the youngest) began around 25 ka when the area's climate changed abruptly from cool or cold and wet to cold and dry, with periods of sustained high winds.
Additional Publication Details
Paleopedology plus TL, 10Be, and14C dating as tools in stratigraphic and paleoclimatic investigations, Mississippi River Valley, U.S.A.