Shorelines and surficial deposits (including buried forest-floor mats and organic-rich wetland sediments) show that Great Salt Lake did not rise higher than modern lake levels during the earliest Holocene (11.5–10.2 cal ka BP; 10–9 14C ka BP). During that period, finely laminated, organic-rich muds (sapropel) containing brine-shrimp cysts and pellets and interbedded sodium-sulfate salts were deposited on the lake floor. Sapropel deposition was probably caused by stratification of the water column — a freshwater cap possibly was formed by groundwater, which had been stored in upland aquifers during the immediately preceding late-Pleistocene deep-lake cycle (Lake Bonneville), and was actively discharging on the basin floor. A climate characterized by low precipitation and runoff, combined with local areas of groundwater discharge in piedmont settings, could explain the apparent conflict between evidence for a shallow lake (a dry climate) and previously published interpretations for a moist climate in the Great Salt Lake basin of the eastern Great Basin.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Early Holocene Great Salt Lake|
|Series title||Quaternary Research|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Contributing office(s)||Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Great Salt Lake|
|Google Analytics Metrics||Metrics page|