The Waucobi Lake Beds in Owens Valley, California contain two distinct facies representing saline-alkaline and fresh water environments. The potential cause for the change in lacustrine facies is examined through geomorphic, geochemical and sedimentological analyses. An age range for the lake beds was constrained with the dating and “fingerprinting” of 13 tuffs throughout the Waucobi Lake Bed exposures. 40Ar/39Ar dating completed for this study provides ages of 2.63 to 2.06 Ma for tuff layers found within the lake beds, with the transition from saline-alkaline facies to fresh water facies occurring around 2.5-2.4 Ma. Regional climate during the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene is reflected by the saline-alkaline environment within Waucobi. However, the Waucobi environment deviates from regional climate after 2.5 Ma, implying that the fresh water facies represents a change in lacustrine hydrology. Given the coincidence between a prominent seismite recorded in the lake beds with the facies change, tectonic activity rather than climate is postulated as the cause for the transition in the lake environment.
|Advisor:||Stevens, Lora R.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geology, Sedimentary Geology, Geochemistry|
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