Advertisement

Evidence for Climate Change From Desert Basin Palaeolakes

  • Dorothy Sack

Lakes have long been recognized as being rich storehouses of environmental information. A lake basin collects water, but also sediment, much of which has been weathered and transported via fluvial processes from the near and far reaches of its drainage basin. The amount of water held in a lake is recorded on the landscape in coastal erosional and depositional landforms created at the water’s edge. The sediments deposited on the bottom of the lake can be clastic, geochemical, or biogenic, and include materials derived within the standing water body itself, such as through coastal erosion, chemical precipitation, or biogenic concentration, as well as those delivered to the lake from the surrounding drainage basin. In most cases only a small percentage of a lake’s sediment load is delivered from outside of the drainage basin as aeolian fallout. Because, under natural conditions, climate is the main determinant of the amount of water in a lake and because it influences some important characteristics of the lacustrine sediments and biota, changing climatic conditions are represented in the suites of abandoned shorelines and accumulations of sediments left by the lake over time (Fig. 25.1). This archival property makes the geomorphic and sedimentologic evidence of present and past lakes valuable as environmental and palaeoenvironmental indicators. Such evidence from late Quaternary palaeolakes, in fact, ranks among of the most complete and accessible sources of palaeoclimatic proxy data currently available for the late Pleistocene and Holocene.

Keywords

Lake Level Late Pleistocene Great Salt Lake Geol Surv Desert Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams KD, Wesnousky SG (1999) The Lake Lahontan highstand: Age, surficial characteristics, soil development, and regional shoreline correlation. Geomorphology 30:357–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison IS (1982) Geology of pluvial Lake Chewaucan, Lake County, Oregon. Or State Univ Stud Geol No. 11Google Scholar
  3. Avouac J-P, Dobremez J-F, Bourjot L (1996) Palaeoclimatic interpretation of a topographic profile across middle Holocene regressive shorelines of Longmu Co (western Tibet). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 120:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balch DP, Cohen AS, Schnurrenberger DW, Haskell BJ, Valero Garces V, Beck JW, Cheng H, Edwards RL (2005) Ecosystem and paleohydrological response to Quaternary climate change in the Bonneville basin, Utah. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 221:99–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barber VA, Finney BP (2000) Late Quaternary paleoclimatic reconstructions for interior Alaska based on paleolake-level data and hydrologic models. J Paleolimn 24:29–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartov Y, Stein M, Enzel Y, Agnon A, Reches Z (2002) Lake levels and sequence stratigraphy of Lake Lisan, the late Pleistocene precursor of the Dead Sea. Quat Res 57:57–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Benson LV (1993) Factors affecting 14C ages of lacustrine carbonates: Timing and duration of the last highstand lake in the Lahontan basin. Quat Res 39:39–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Benson LV, Paillet FL (1989) The use of total lake-surface area as an indicator of climatic change: Examples from the Lahontan basin. Quat Res 32:32–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benson LV, Thompson RS (1987) Lake-level variation in the Lahontan basin for the past 50,000 years. Quat Res 28:28–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benson LV, Currey DR, Dorn RI, Lajoie KR, Oviatt CG, Robinson SW, Smith GI, Stine S (1990) Chronology of expansion and contraction of four Great Basin lake systems during the past 35,000 years. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 78:78–286Google Scholar
  11. Benson LV, Kashgarian M, Rubin M (1995) Carbonate deposition, Pyramid Lake subbasin, Nevada: 2. Lake levels and polar jet stream positions reconstructed from radiocarbon ages and elevations of carbonates (tufas) deposited in the Lahontan basin. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 117:1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benson LV, Lund SP, Burdett JW, Kashgarian M, Rose TP, Smoot JP, Schwartz M (1998) Correlation of Late-Pleistocene lake-level oscillations in Mono Lake, California, with North Atlantic climatic events. Quat Res 49:49–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bergonzini L, Chalié F, Gasse F (1997) Paleoevaporation and paleoprecipitation in the Tanganyika basin at 18,000 years B.P. inferred from hydrologic and vegetation proxies. Quat Res 47:47–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bookhagen B, Haselton K, Trauth MH (2001) Hydrological modelling of a Pleistocene landslide-dammed lake in the Santa Maria basin, NW Argentina. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 169:169–127Google Scholar
  15. Bouchard DP, Kaufman DS, Hochberg A, Quade J (1998) Quaternary history of the Thatcher basin, Idaho, reconstructed from the 87Sr/86SR and amino acid composition of lacustrine fossils: Implications for the diversion of the Bear River into the Bonneville basin. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 141:141–114Google Scholar
  16. Broecker WS, Orr PC (1958) Radiocarbon chronology of Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. Geol Soc Am Bull 69:69–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Broecker WS, Peteet D, Hajdas I, Lin J, Clark E (1998) Antiphasing between rainfall in Africa’s Rift Valley and North America’s Great Basin. Quat Res 50:50–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brown ET, Bendick R, Bourlés DL, Gaur V, Molnar P, Raisbeck GM, Yiou F (2003) Early Holocene climate recorded in geomorphological features in western Tibet. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 199:199–151Google Scholar
  19. Burr TN, Currey DR (1988) The Stockton Bar. Utah Geol Miner Surv Misc Publ 88–1:1–73Google Scholar
  20. Croke J, Magee J, Price D (1998) Major episodes of Quaternary activity in the lower Neales River, northwest of Lake Eyre, central Australia. Quat Res 124:124–15Google Scholar
  21. Currey DR (1980) Coastal geomorphology of Great Salt Lake and vicinity. Utah Geol Miner Surv Bull 116:116–82Google Scholar
  22. Currey DR (1982) Lake Bonneville: Selected features of relevance to neotectonic analysis. US Geol Surv Open-File Rep 82–1070Google Scholar
  23. Currey DR (1990) Quaternary palaeolakes in the evolution of semidesert basins, with special emphasis on Lake Bonneville and the Great Basin, U.S.A. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 76:76–214Google Scholar
  24. Currey DR (1994) Hemiarid lake basins: Hydrographic patterns. In: Abrahmas AD, Parsons AJ (eds) Geomorphology of desert enviornments. London, Chapman and HallGoogle Scholar
  25. Currey DR, Oviatt CG (1985) Durations, average rates, and probable causes of Lake Bonneville expansions, stillstands, and contractions during the last deep-lake cycle, 32,000 to 10,000 years ago. In: Kay PA, Diaz HF (eds) Problems of and prospects for predicting Great Salt Lake levels. University of Utah, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  26. Currey DR, Oviatt CG, Plyler GB (1983) Lake Bonneville stratigraphy, geomorphology, and isostatic deformation in west-central Utah. Utah Geol Miner Surv Spec Stud 62:63–82Google Scholar
  27. D’Agostino K, Seltzer G, Baker P, Fritz S, Dunbar R (2002) Late-Quaternary lowstands of Lake Titicaca: Evidence from high-resolution seismic data. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 179:179–111Google Scholar
  28. Davies CP (2006) Holocene paleoclimates of southern Arabia from lacustrine deposits of the Dhamar highlands, Yemen. Quat Res 66:66–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Davis WM (1899) The geographical cycle. Geogr J 14:14–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dearing JA (1997) Sedimentary indicators of lake-level changes in the humid temperature zone: A critical review. J Paleolimn 18:18–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. DeVogel SB, Magee JW, Manley WF, Miller GH (2004) A GIS-based reconstruction of late Quaternary paleohydrology: Lake Eyre, arid central Australia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 204:204–13Google Scholar
  32. Dühnforth M, Bergner AGN, Trauth MH (2006) Early Holocene water budget of the Nakuru-Elementeita basin, central Kenya rift. J Paleolimn 36:36–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Eardley AJ, Gvosdetsky V, Marsell RE (1957) Hydrology of Lake Bonneville and sediments and soils of its basin. Geol Soc Am Bull 68:68–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Flower RJ, Stickley C, Rose NL, Peglar S, Fathi AA, Appleby PG (2006) Environmental changes at the desert margin: An assessment of recent paleolimnological records in Lake Qarun, middle Egypt. J Paleolimn 35:35–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fornari M, Risacher F, Féraud G (2001) Dating of paleolakes in the central Altiplano of Bolivia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 172:172–282Google Scholar
  36. Gao Q, Tao Z, Li B, Jin J, Zou X, Zhang Y, Dong G (2006) Palaeomonsoon variability in the southern fringe of the Badain Jaran Desert, China, since 130 ka BP. Earth Surf Process Landf 31:31–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Geyh MA, Grosjean M, Nùñez L, Schotterer U (1999) Radiocarbon reservoir effect and the timing of the late-glacial/early Holocene humid phase in the Atacama Desert (northern Chile). Quat Res 52:52–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ghoneim E, El Baz F (2007) The application of radar topographic data to mapping of a mega-paleodrainage in the eastern Sahara. J Arid Environ 69:69–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gilbert GK (1890) Lake Bonneville. US Geol Surv Monogr 1, 438pGoogle Scholar
  40. Godsey HS, Currey DR, Chan MA (2005) New evidence for an extended occupation of the Provo shoreline and implications for regional climate change, Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, Utah, USA. Quat Res 63:63–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Grosjean M, Cartajena I, Geyh MA, Nuñez L (2003) From proxy data to paleoclimatic interpretation: The mid-Holocene paradox of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 194:194–258Google Scholar
  42. Hart WS, Quade J, Madsen DB, Kaufman DS, Oviatt CG (2004) The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of lacustrine carbonates and lake-level history of the Bonneville paleolake system. Geol Soc Am Bull 116:116–1119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hazan N, Stein M, Agnon A, Marco S, Nadel D, Negendank JFW, Schwab MJ, Neev D (2005) The late Quaternary limnological history of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Israel. Quat Res 63:63–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hoelzmann P, Keding B, Berke H, Kröpelin S, Kruse H-J (2001) Environmental change and archaeology: Lake evolution and human occupation in the eastern Sahara during the Holocene. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 169:193–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hooke RLeB (1999) Lake Manly(?)shorelines in the eastern Mojave Desert, California. Quat Res 52:52–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hooke RLeB (2004) Letter to the editor. Quat Res 61:61–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hutchinson GE (1957) A treatise on limnology, vol 1, Geography, physics, and chemistry. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Jarrett RD, Malde HE (1987) Paleodischarge of the late Pleistocene Bonneville flood, Snake River, Idaho, computed from new evidence. Geol Soc Am Bull 99:99–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Jiang W, Guo Z, Xun X, Wu H, Chu G, Yuan B, Hatté C, Guiot J (2006) Reconstruction of climate and vegetation changes of Lake Bayanchagan (Inner Mongolia): Holocene variability of the East Asian monsoon. Quat Res 65:65–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Jones MD, Roberts CN, Leng MJ (2007) Quantifying climatic change through the last glacial-interglacial transition based on lake isotope palaeohydrology from central Turkey. Quat Res 67:67–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Knott JR, Tinsley III JC, Wells SG (2002) Are the benches at Mormon Point, Death Valley, California, USA, scarps or strandlines? Quat Res 58:58–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Komatsu G, Brantingham PJ, Olsen JW, Baker VR (2001) Paleoshoreline geomorphology of Böön Tsagaan Nuur, Tsagaan Nuur and Orog Nuur: The Valley of Lakes, Mongolia. Geomorphology 39:39–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kotwicki V, Allan R (1998) La Niña de Australia – Contemporary and palaeo-hydrology of Lake Eyre. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 144:144–280Google Scholar
  54. Krider PR (1998) Paleoclimatic significance of late Quaternary lacustrine and alluvial stratigraphy, Animas Valley, New Mexico. Quat Res 50:50–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lambert A, James TS, Thorleifson LH (1998) Combining geomorphological and geodetic data to determine postglacial tilting in Manitoba. J Paleolimn 19:19–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Langbein WB (1961) Salinity and hydrology of closed lakes. US Geol Surv Circ 52Google Scholar
  57. Leblanc M, Favreau G, Maley J, Nazoumou Y, Leduc C, Stagnitti F, van Oevelen PJ, Delclaux F, Lemoalle J (2006a) Reconstruction of Megalake Chad using shuttle radar topographic mission data. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 239:239–27Google Scholar
  58. Leblanc MJ, Leduc C, Stagnitti F, van Oevelen PJ, Jones C, Mofor LA, Razack M, Favreau G (2006b) Evidence for Megalake Chad, north-central Africa, during the late Quaternary from satellite data. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 230:230–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lin JC, Broecker WS, Hemming SR (1998) A reassessment of U-Th and 14C ages for late-glacial high-frequency hydrological events at Searles Lake, California. Quat Res 49:49–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Liu T, Broecker WS, Bell JW, Mandeville CW (2000) Terminal Pleistocene wet event recorded in rock varnish from Las Vegas Valley, southern Nevada. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 161:161–433Google Scholar
  61. Magee JW, Bowler JM, Miller GH, Williams DLG (1995) Stratigraphy, sedimentology, chronology and palaeohydrology of Quaternary lacustrine deposits at Madigan Gulf, Lake Eyre, South Australia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 113:113–42Google Scholar
  62. McCoy WD (1987) Quaternary aminostratigraphy of the Bonneville basin, western United States. Geol Soc Am Bull 98:98–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Menking KM, Anderson RY, Shafike NG, Syed KH, Allen BD (2004) Wetter or colder during the last glacial maximum? Revisiting the pluvial lake question in southwestern North America. Quat Res 62:62–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mensing S (2001) Late-glacial and early Holocene vegetation and climate change near Owens Lake, eastern California. Quat Res 55:55–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Mifflin MD, Wheat MM (1979) Pluvial lakes and estimated pluvial climates of Nevada. Nev Bur Mines Geol Bull 94, 57pGoogle Scholar
  66. Migowski C, Stein M, Prasad S, Negendank JFW, Agnon A (2006) Holocene climate variability and cultural evolution in the Near East from the Dead Sea sedimentary record. Quat Res 66:66–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Nanson GC, Callen RA, Price DM (1998) Hydroclimatic interpretation of Quaternary shorelines on South Australian playas. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 144:144–305Google Scholar
  68. Peck JA, Khosbayar P, Fowell SJ, Pearce RB, Ariunbileg A, Hansen BCS, Soninkhishig N (2002) Mid to late Holocene climate change in north central Mongolia as recorded in the sediments of Lake Telmen. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 183:183–153Google Scholar
  69. Pigati JS, Quade J, Shahanan TM, Haynes CV Jr (2004) Radiocarbon dating of minute gastropods and new constraints on the timing of late Quaternary spring-discharge deposits in southern Arizona, USA. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 204:204–45Google Scholar
  70. Qin B, Huang Q (1998) Evaluation of the climatic change impacts on the inland lake – A case study of Lake Qinghai, China. Clim Chang 39:39–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ricketts RD, Johnson TC, Brown ET, Rasmussen KA, Romanovsky VV (2001) The Holocene paleolimnology of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan: Trace element and stable isotope composition of ostracodes. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 176:176–227Google Scholar
  72. Russell IC (1885) Geologic history of Lake Lahontan. US Geol Surv Monogr 11Google Scholar
  73. Sack D (1990) Quaternary geology of Tule Valley, west-central Utah. Utah Geol Miner Surv Map 124, 26pGoogle Scholar
  74. Sack D (1995) The shoreline preservation index as a relative-age dating tool for late Pleistocene shorelines: An example from the Bonneville basin, U.S.A. Earth Surf Process Landf 20:20–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sack D (2002) Fluvial linkages in Lake Bonneville subbasin integration. Smithson Inst Contrib Earth Sci 33:33–144Google Scholar
  76. Schuster M, Duringer P, Ghienne J-F, Vignaud P, Beauvilain A, Mackaye HT, Brunet M (2003) Coastal conglomerates around the Hadjer El Khamis inselbergs (western Chad, central Africa): New evidence for Lake Mega-Chad episodes. Earth Surf Process Landf 28:28–1069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Smith GI, Street-Perrott FA (1983) Pluvial lakes of the western United States. In: Porter SC (ed) Late-Quaternary environments of the United States, vol 1, The late Pleistocene. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  78. Snyder CT, Langbein WB (1962) The Pleistocene lake in Spring Valley, Nevada, and its climatic implications. J Geophys Res 67:67–2394Google Scholar
  79. Stager JC, Mayewski PA, Meeker LD (2002) Cooling cycles, Heinrich event 1, and the desiccation of Lake Victoria. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 183:183–178Google Scholar
  80. Stein M (2001) The sedimentary and geochemical record of Neogene-Quaternary water bodies in the Dead Sea basin – Inferences for the regional paleoclimatic history. J Paleolimn 26:26–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Stone T (2006) Last glacial cycle hydrological change at Lake Tyrrell, southeast Autstralia. Quat Res 66:66–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Street FA, Grove AT (1979) Global maps of lake-level fluctuations since 30,000 yr B.P. Quat Res 12:12–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Street-Perrott FA, Harrison SP (1985) Lake levels and climate reconstruction. In: Hecht AD (ed) Paleoclimate analysis and modeling. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  84. Valero-Garcés B, Grosjean M, Schwalb A, Geyh MA, Messeli B, Kelts K (1996) Limnogeology of Laguna Miscanti: Evidence for mid to late Holocene moisture changes in the Atacama Altiplano. J Paleolimn 16:16–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Valero-Garcés BL, Grosjean M, Kelts K, Schreier H, Messerli B (1999) Holocene lacustrine deposition in the Atacama Altiplano: Facies models, climate and tectonic forcing. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 151:151–125Google Scholar
  86. Wilkins DE, Currey DR (1997) Timing and extent of late Quaternary paleolakes in the Trans-Pecos closed basin, west Texas and south-central New Mexico. Quat Res 47:47–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Williams TR, Bedinger MS (1984) Selected geologic and hydrologic characteristics of the Basin and Range province, western United States. US Geol Surv Misc Investig Map I-1522DGoogle Scholar
  88. Zhang H, Wünnemann B, Ma Y, Peng J, Pachur H-J, Li J, Qi Y, Chen G, Fang H, Feng Z (2002) Lake level and climate changes between 42,000 and 18,000 14C yr B.P. in the Tengger Desert, northwestern China. Quat Res 58:58–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Zhang HC, Peng JL, Ma YZ, Chen GJ, Feng Z-D, Li B, Fan HF, Chang FQ, Lei GL, Wünnemann B (2004) Late Quaternary palaeolake levels in Tengger Desert, NW China. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 211:211–58Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy Sack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyOhio UniversityAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations