This report presents the numeric values for the chronology of the paleoclimatically relevant mid-to-late Pleistocene record of the ratios of stable oxygen isotope (delta18O) in vein calcite from Devils Hole, Nev., which recently had been extended into the mid-Holocene. Dating was obtained using 230Th-234U-238U thermal ionization mass spectrometry.
Devils Hole is a subaqueous cave of tectonic origin, which developed in the discharge zone of a regional aquifer in south-central Nevada. The primary groundwater recharge source area is the Spring Mountains, the highest mountain range in southern Nevada [altitude 3,630 meters (m)], approximately 80 kilometers to the east of the cavern. The walls of the open fault zone comprising the cave system are coated with dense vein calcite precipitated from the through-flowing groundwater. The calcite, up to 40 centimeters (cm) thick, contains a continuous record of the sequential variation of the composition of stable oxygen isotopes in the ground water over time. The vein calcite has also proven to be a suitable material for precise uranium-series dating via thermal ionization mass spectrometry utilizing the 230Th-234U-238U decay clock.
Earlier work has presented data from the Devils Hole core DH-11, a 36-cm-long core of vein calcite recovered from a depth of about 30 m below the water table (about 45 m beneath the ground surface). The DH-11 core provided a continuous record of isotopic oxygen variation from 567,700 to 59,800 years before present. Recent work has extended this record up to 4,500 years before
present, into the mid-Holocene epoch.