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Radiocarbon and paleomagnetic chronology of the Searles Lake Formation, San Bernardino County, California, USA

By
Jeffrey R. Knott
Jeffrey R. Knott
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Fullerton, 800 N. State College Boulevard, Fullerton, California 92834-6850, USA
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Joseph C. Liddicoat
Joseph C. Liddicoat
Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College, Columbia University, 3009 Broadway, New York, New York 10027, USA
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Robert S. Coe
Robert S. Coe
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of California–Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
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Robert M. Negrini
Robert M. Negrini
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, California 93311, USA
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Publication history
04 May 201816 January 2019

ABSTRACT

The Searles Lake Formation in Searles Valley, southeastern California, represents deposition of the paleo–Owens River into a Pleistocene and Holocene pluvial terminal lake. A prior 32–10 ka estimated age for the upper part of the Searles Lake Formation relied on uncalibrated, conventional radiocarbon dates. We present accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon dates that indicate the base of the Searles Lake Formation at the Poison Canyon type section is 46 ka. That age is consistent with paleomagnetic data at Poison Canyon and the Tire Farm locality, which record high-latitude Southern Hemisphere virtual geomagnetic poles that we assign to the 41 ka Laschamp excursion. The presence of Searles Lake at 46–43 ka also is consistent with a Pacific storm track that extended south of 37.5°N at that time. At the head of Salt Wells Valley–Poison Canyon, sediments that we interpret as a Searles Lake highstand were radiocarbon dated at 14.1 ka.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

From Saline to Freshwater: The Diversity of Western Lakes in Space and Time

Geological Society of America
Volume
536
ISBN electronic:
9780813795362

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