An abrupt change in environment from a wetland to a deeper slackwater lake at 20,345 ?? 85 yr B.P. occurred in a second-order valley tributary to the Mississippi River near Lomax, Illinois. The age of this shift is associated with the overflow of glacial Lake Milan and diversion of the Mississippi River from the Princeton Valley (Rock Island to Peoria) to its present course (Rock Island to St. Louis). The diversion occurred due to blockage of the Princeton Valley segment of the ancient Mississippi River by the Lake Michigan Lobe, impoundment of glacial Lake Milan, and eventual overflow of the lake southwest of Rock Island across a former drainage divide near Andalusia, Illinois. Fossil ostracode assemblages in the slackwater sediment at Lomax indicate changes in the post-diversion, full-glacial paleohydrology and, based on multivariate analysis, hint at the area's paleoclimate. An older part of the succession at Lomax is consistent with glaciation in the upper Iowa River basin about 40,000 yr B.P. Aggradation of sediment rich in coarse silt is attributed to a response of the ancient Iowa River basin associated with deposition of the glacigenic Sheldon Creek Formation by the Des Moines Lobe.
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Evidence at Lomax, Illinois, for mid-Wisconsin (~40,000 yr B.P.) position of the Des Moines Lobe and for diversion of the Mississippi River by the Lake Michigan Lobe (20,350 yr B.P.)