Holocene stratigraphy and chronology of the Casper Dune Field, Casper, Wyoming, USA

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Activation chronologies of dune fields within the North American Great Plains are significant sources of paleoclimate information. Although many regional chronologies exist, several dune fields have been understudied, including the Casper Dune Field of central Wyoming. This study investigated aeolian dune sediment and buried soils of the Casper Dune Field. Complex parabolic and hairpin parabolic dunes dominate the eastern dune field, while simple parabolic and linear dunes dominate the western dune field. Buried soils are found throughout the dune field, though their distribution and degree of development varies. Buried soils in the eastern dune field are weakly developed with typical A-C profiles, whereas soils in the western dune field typically exhibit A-Bt-C profiles. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon ages were used to provide a chronology of dune field activation that spans most of the Holocene. At the onset of the Holocene, alluvium was deposited first, followed by widespread dune activity ~ 10.0—6.2 ka. Following activity, the dune field stabilized until about 4.1 ka. During this stabilization period, however, reactivation occurred in at least one locality within the dune field at 5.1 ka. Subsequent aeolian activity occurred at 4.1 ka and between 1.0 ka and 0.4 ka. The resulting activation chronology is compared with those obtained from elsewhere in Wyoming and from other west-central Great Plains dune fields.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Holocene stratigraphy and chronology of the Casper Dune Field, Casper, Wyoming, USA
Series title Holocene
DOI 10.1177/0959683610362812
Volume 20
Issue 5
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Sage
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 773
Last page 783
Country United States
State Wyoming
City Caspar
Other Geospatial Caspar Dune Field
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