Chemical analyses of the acid-soluble and clay-size fractions of sediment samples (1500-yr resolution) reveal oscillations of lake salinity and of glacial advances in core OL-92 back to 155,000 yr B.P. Relatively saline conditions are indicated by the abundance of carbonate and smectite (both pedogenic and authigenic), reflected by Ca, Sr, and Mg in the acid-soluble suite, and by Cs2O, excess MgO, and LOI (loss on ignition) in the clay-size fraction. Rock flour produced during glacial advances is represented by the abundance of detrital plagioclase and biotite in the clay-size fraction, the ratio of which remains essentially constant over the entire time span. These phases are quantitatively represented by Na2O, TiO2, Ba, and Mn in the clay fraction. The rock-flour record indicates two major ice-advances during the penultimate glacial cycle corresponding to marine isotope stage (MIS) 6, no major advances during the last interglaciation (entire MIS 5), and three major advances during the last glacial cycle (MIS 2, 3, and 4). The ages of the latter three correspond rather well to 36Cl dates reported for Sierra Nevada moraines. The onset of the last interglaciation is shown by abrupt increases in authigenic CaCO3 and an abrupt decrease in rock flour, at about 118,000 yr B.P. according to our time scale. In contrast, the boundary appears to be gradual in the ??18O record in which the change from light to heavy values begins at about 140,000 yrs B.P. The exact position of the termination, therefore, may be proxy-dependent. Conditions of high carbonate and low rock flour prevailed during the entire period from 118,000 yr B.P. until the glacial advance at 53,000 yr B.P. signaled the end of this long interglaciation. ?? 1997 University of Washington.
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Climatic Oscillations 10,000-155,000 yr B.P. at Owens Lake, California Reflected in Glacial Rock Flour Abundance and Lake Salinity in Core OL-92