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Preliminary assessment of climatic change during Late Wisconsin time, southern Great Basin and vicinity, Arizona, California, and Nevada

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4328

By:
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Abstract

Nine plant macrofossil assemblages from the Eleana Range-2 packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden span 6,500 radiocarbon years and record local vegetational changes in the southern Great Basin of Nevada during the last one-half of the Late Wisconsin glacial age. Climatic reconstructions were developed to account for these changes. During the late full glacial episode (17,000 to 15,000 radiocarbon years before the present), winter precipitation was about 70% greater than present winter precipitation, and summer rainfall was minimal. Average annual precipitation probably exceeded present annual precipitation by less than 40%. Annual temperatures were about 6 to 7 C lower than the present average, and evidence exists for winter temperatures much lower than those of the present. A major warming trend occurred between about 16,000 and 12,000 radiocarbon years before present. By the latest Wisconsin (12 ,000 to 10,000 radiocarbon years before present), annual temperatures were within 2 C of temperatures of the present. During the latest Wisconsin, precipitation was greater during the winter, relative to the present. The climate of this pluvial event was much different from that of the preceding full glacial episode and is consistent with current models of astronomically induced climatic changes. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Preliminary assessment of climatic change during Late Wisconsin time, southern Great Basin and vicinity, Arizona, California, and Nevada
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4328
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 40 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.