Stratigraphy and chronology of Provo shoreline deposits and lake-level implications, Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, eastern Great Basin, USA

Boreas
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Provo shoreline of Lake Bonneville formed following the Bonneville flood, and, based on previous dating, was formed during a period of overflow from about 17.5 to 15.0 cal. ka. In many places the Provo shoreline consists of a pair of distinct shorelines, one ∼3 m higher than the other. We present data from two cuts through double beaches to show that the upper beach is younger and represents sedimentation after a lake-level rise. In addition, the lower beach deposits are internally stratified by beds that suggest three more lake-level rises during its development. The Provo beach complex thus appears to have been built during rising lake levels, which can be explained by rises in the overflow threshold by sequential landslide deposition. Evaluation of beach altitudes demonstrates that the two beach crests throughout the Bonneville basin experienced equivalent rebound from removal of the lake load, and therefore they formed after the rebound associated with the Bonneville flood occurred in early Provo time. However, radiocarbon ages on gastropods collected within the beach deposits suggest both that the sequence of five beach deposits formed from c.18.1 to c. 17.0 cal. ka, and that the Bonneville flood occurred before 18 cal. ka. These ages are discordant with previous dates on shells within offshore sands, and raise questions about the validity of radiocarbon ages for shells in Lake Bonneville as well as about the age of the Bonneville flood and Provo shoreline. The timing for maximum Provo lake depths and its association with climate stages during deglaciation remain unresolved.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stratigraphy and chronology of Provo shoreline deposits and lake-level implications, Late Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, eastern Great Basin, USA
Series title Boreas
DOI 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2012.00297.x
Volume 42
Issue 2
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 20 p.
First page 342
Last page 361
Country United States
State Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming
Other Geospatial Lake Bonneville