The Hansel Valley ash bed lies within 5 cm of the base of deposits of Lake Bonneville (???28 ka) in the vicinity of Great Salt Lake and provides a useful stratigraphic marker for this area of the lake basin. However, it has not been matched to an eruptive edifice, presumably because such an edifice was eroded by waves of Lake Bonneville. We present data for the chemical composition of the tephra and for possible matching lavas and tephras of the region, as well as grain size data for the tephra in an attempt to identify the location of the eruption. Matches with other tephras are negative, but lavas near the coarsest ash deposits match well with the distinctive high values of TiO2 and P2O5 of the ash. Neither chemistry nor grain size data points uniquely to a source area, but an area near the northwest shore of Great Salt Lake and within Curlew Valley is most likely. The Hansel Valley ash is an example of an ash that has no direct numerical date from proximal deposits, despite considerable study, yet nonetheless is useful for stratigraphic studies by virtue of its known stratigraphic position and approximate age. Basaltic tephras commonly are not as widespread as their rhyolitic counterparts, and in some cases apparently are produced by eruptive sources that are short lived and whose edifices are not persistent. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.
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Late Pleistocene Hansel Valley basaltic ash, northern Lake Bonneville, Utah, USA