Lake Andrei: A pliocene pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, Eastern California

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Abstract

We used geologic mapping, tephrochronology and 40Ar/39Ar dating to describe evidence of a ca. 3.5 Ma pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, eastern California, that we informally name herein Lake Andrei. We identified six different tuffs in the Eureka Valley drainage basin including two previously undescribed tuffs: the 3.509 ± 0.009 Ma tuff of Hanging Rock Canyon and the 3.506 ± 0.010 Ma tuff of Last Chance (informal names). We focused on four Pliocene stratigraphic sequences. Three sequences are composed of fluvial sandstone and conglomerate with basalt flows in two of these sequences. The fourth sequence, located about 1.5 km south of the Death Valley/Big Pine Road along the western piedmont of the Last Chance Range, included green, fine-grained, gypsiferous lacustrine deposits interbedded with the 3.506 Ma tuff of Last Chance that we interpret as evidence of a pluvial lake. Pluvial Lake Andrei is similar in age pluvial lakes in Searles Valley, Amargosa Valley, Fish Lake Valley and Death Valley of the western Great Basin. We interpret these simultaneous lakes in the region as indirect evidence of a significant glacial climate in western North America during Marine Isotope Stages MG5/M2 and a persistent Pacific jet stream south of 37°N.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Lake Andrei: A pliocene pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, Eastern California
DOI 10.1130/2018.2536(08)
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 18 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title From Saline to Freshwater: The Diversity of Western Lakes in Space and Time
Country United States
State California
County Inyo County
Other Geospatial Eureka Valley