Presentation Title

Pluvial Lake Deposits of Deep Springs Valley, California

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-132

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Deep Springs Valley, located 35 km east of Bishop, California, is known for its terminal saline playa (elev. 1499 m). Observations and mapping from 1928 found Quaternary stratified and fossiliferous pluvial lake deposits. The elevation of the pluvial lake deposits (1646 m) is the same as the Soldier Pass wind gap (1648 m) between Deep Springs and Eureka Valleys. This observation led to the hypothesis that Deep Springs Lake once flowed into Eureka Valley. This study provided a more extensive description of Deep Springs Lake in order to document past climate of the immediate area. I examined Deep Springs Lake deposits mapped northeast of a hill called “The Elephant”. The deposits consisted of alternating beds of fine-grained, finely bedded, poorly cemented, fossiliferous sand to clayey sand and fine-to-medium-grained, coarse-bedded sand. Fossil freshwater gastropods Lymnaidae Stagnicola and Planorboidea Gyraulus were found in the upper clayey sands. Fossil ostracodes are dominated by Limnocythere ceriotuberosa and Fabaeformiscandona cf. caudata, which are found in freshwater to mildly saline environments. Gastropods are also consistent with a fresh to mildly saline lake depositional setting, rather than a spring or groundwater discharge environment. We interpret these data to indicate that Deep Springs Valley contained a freshwater lake that reached 1646 m that likely flowed through Soldier Pass and into Eureka Valley during a cooler, wetter climate. A radiocarbon date on a gastropod fossil was 39,930±590 14C years, which I interpret as an “infinite” radiocarbon age.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Pluvial Lake Deposits of Deep Springs Valley, California

HUB 302-132

Deep Springs Valley, located 35 km east of Bishop, California, is known for its terminal saline playa (elev. 1499 m). Observations and mapping from 1928 found Quaternary stratified and fossiliferous pluvial lake deposits. The elevation of the pluvial lake deposits (1646 m) is the same as the Soldier Pass wind gap (1648 m) between Deep Springs and Eureka Valleys. This observation led to the hypothesis that Deep Springs Lake once flowed into Eureka Valley. This study provided a more extensive description of Deep Springs Lake in order to document past climate of the immediate area. I examined Deep Springs Lake deposits mapped northeast of a hill called “The Elephant”. The deposits consisted of alternating beds of fine-grained, finely bedded, poorly cemented, fossiliferous sand to clayey sand and fine-to-medium-grained, coarse-bedded sand. Fossil freshwater gastropods Lymnaidae Stagnicola and Planorboidea Gyraulus were found in the upper clayey sands. Fossil ostracodes are dominated by Limnocythere ceriotuberosa and Fabaeformiscandona cf. caudata, which are found in freshwater to mildly saline environments. Gastropods are also consistent with a fresh to mildly saline lake depositional setting, rather than a spring or groundwater discharge environment. We interpret these data to indicate that Deep Springs Valley contained a freshwater lake that reached 1646 m that likely flowed through Soldier Pass and into Eureka Valley during a cooler, wetter climate. A radiocarbon date on a gastropod fossil was 39,930±590 14C years, which I interpret as an “infinite” radiocarbon age.