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Lake Andrei: A Pliocene pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, eastern California

By
Jeffrey R. Knott
Jeffrey R. Knott
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Fullerton, Fullerton, California 92834, USA
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Elmira Wan
Elmira Wan
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS 975, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
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Alan L. Deino
Alan L. Deino
Berkeley Geochronology Center, 2455 Ridge Road, Berkeley, California 94709, USA
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Mitch Casteel
Mitch Casteel
Mitch Casteel Geologic Field Services, P.O. Box 20252, Reno, Nevada 89515, USA
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Marith C. Reheis
Marith C. Reheis
U.S. Geological Survey, Federal Center, Box 25046, MS 980, Lakewood, Colorado 80225-0046, USA
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Fred M. Phillips
Fred M. Phillips
Department of Earth & Environmental Science, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, USA
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Laura Walkup
Laura Walkup
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS 975, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
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Kyle McCarty
Kyle McCarty
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Fullerton, Fullerton, California 92834, USA
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David N. Manoukian
David N. Manoukian
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Fullerton, Fullerton, California 92834, USA
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Ernest Nunez, Jr.
Ernest Nunez, Jr.
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University–Fullerton, Fullerton, California 92834, USA
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Publication history
29 May 201831 January 2019

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 ~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 to 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 Mammoth/Gilbert 5 to Mammoth 2 (MIS MG5/M2) and a persistent Pacific jet stream south of 37°N.

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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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