Early Holocene Great Salt Lake

Quaternary Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Early Holocene Great Salt Lake
Series title Quaternary Research
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2015.05.001
Volume 84
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 57
Last page 68
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Great Salt Lake
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