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The chronology for the d18O record from Devils Hole, Nevada, extended into the Mid-Holocene

Open-File Report 2011-1082

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Abstract

This report presents the numeric values for the chronology of the paleoclimatically relevant mid-to-late Pleistocene record of the ratios of stable oxygen isotope (delta18O) in vein calcite from Devils Hole, Nev., which recently had been extended into the mid-Holocene. Dating was obtained using 230Th-234U-238U thermal ionization mass spectrometry. Devils Hole is a subaqueous cave of tectonic origin, which developed in the discharge zone of a regional aquifer in south-central Nevada. The primary groundwater recharge source area is the Spring Mountains, the highest mountain range in southern Nevada [altitude 3,630 meters (m)], approximately 80 kilometers to the east of the cavern. The walls of the open fault zone comprising the cave system are coated with dense vein calcite precipitated from the through-flowing groundwater. The calcite, up to 40 centimeters (cm) thick, contains a continuous record of the sequential variation of the composition of stable oxygen isotopes in the ground water over time. The vein calcite has also proven to be a suitable material for precise uranium-series dating via thermal ionization mass spectrometry utilizing the 230Th-234U-238U decay clock. Earlier work has presented data from the Devils Hole core DH-11, a 36-cm-long core of vein calcite recovered from a depth of about 30 m below the water table (about 45 m beneath the ground surface). The DH-11 core provided a continuous record of isotopic oxygen variation from 567,700 to 59,800 years before present. Recent work has extended this record up to 4,500 years before present, into the mid-Holocene epoch.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The chronology for the d18O record from Devils Hole, Nevada, extended into the Mid-Holocene
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2011-1082
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2011
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Water Resources
Description:
iii, 5 p.; Download of Table
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
Y