Abstract

An elongate basin at the termination of the Mojave River contained pluvial Lake Mojave, now represented by Silver and Soda Lake playas near Baker, California. During overflow, water level was controlled by an outlet channel at the north end of Silver Lake. Geomorphic features, including wave-cut cliffs and beaches, and stratigraphic information from lacustrine deposits around the playa margin, indicate alternating periods of high and low water. Twenty-four radiocarbon dates on shell material and calcareous tufa from six locations allow correlation with other researchers conclusions from nearby areas to provide the following chronology. A major lacustral interval ended about 14,500 yrs ago, with water overflowing the outlet at the 941- to 943-ft level. The second lacustral, from about 13,750 to 12,000 yrs ago, caused extensive development of shoreline features at the same level. During the third high water period, from 11,000 to just before 9,000 yrs ago, cutting of the outlet to the 936-ft level occurred. A final lake from 8,500 to 7,500 yrs ago did not overflow the outlet. Early man was apparently in the area 10,000 yrs ago.

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