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Core OL-92 from Owens Lake, southeast California


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2013-05-16 14:07:31


The drilling project at Owens Lake commenced in April,1991. This Open-File Report represents an effort to makeavailable to other researchers our preliminary datacollected during the first year of study followingcompletion of the core-drilling phase. Nineteen datacollections and preliminary interpretations are presentedin the following sections. They are the work of fifteenfirst-authors and their numerous co-authors. Broadly,their topics include a field log of the core(1 contribution), sedimentological analyses (1), clay-mineral identification (1), geochemical analyses (5),dating and age estimates of the cored sediments (4), andidentifications of fossil materials (7).


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An important element of the investigations supported bythe USGS through its Global Change and Climate HistoryProgram is the record of past changes in precipitation innow-arid parts of the United States. More than a centuryof geologic investigations has shown that major changes inprecipitation and runoff occurred throughout much of thisregion, as shown by the evidence of fluctuations in thelevels of lakes in the Great Basin. Although thesebasins--sometimes termed "nature's rain guages"--clearlydocument major changes in climate during the past fewhundred thousand years, there is an inadequate consensusabout those lakes' ages or the quantitative meaning andmeteorological significance of their fluctuations. Thetiming and intensities of these climatic changes poseimportant questions to earth and paleoclimatic scientists.

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