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Knowing depositional ages of alluvial fans is essential for many tectonic, paleoclimatic, and geomorphic studies in arid environments. The use of U–Pb dating on secondary silica to establish the age of Neogene-Quaternary clastic sediments was tested on samples of authigenic and detrital opal and chalcedony from depths of ∼25 to 53 m in boreholes at Midway Valley, Nevada. Dating of authigenic opal present as rinds on rock clasts and in calcite/silica cements establishes minimum ages of alluvium deposition; dating of detrital opal or chalcedony derived from the source volcanic rocks gives the maximum age of sediment deposition.Materials analyzed included 12 samples of authigenic opal, one sample of fracture-coating...
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The purpose of this study was to determine the history of paleosalinity over the past 6000+ years in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta), which is the innermost part of the San Francisco Estuary. We used a combination of Sr and U concentrations, d87Sr values, and 234U/238U activity ratios (AR) in peat as proxies for tracking paleosalinity. Peat cores were collected in marshes on Browns Island, Franks Wetland, and Bacon Channel Island in the Delta. Cores were dated using 137Cs, the onset of Pb and Hg contamination from hydraulic gold mining, and 14C. A proof of concept study showed that the dominant emergent macrophyte and major component of peat in the Delta, Schoenoplectus spp., incorporates Sr and U and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Applied Geochemistry
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Jurassic kimberlites in the southern Superior Province in northern Michigan contain a variety of possible lower-crustal xenoliths, including mafic garnet granulites, rare garnet-free granulites, amphibolites and eclogites. Whole-rock major-element data for the granulites suggest affinities with tholeiitic basalts. P–T estimates for granulites indicate peak temperatures of 690–730°C and pressures of 9–12 kbar, consistent with seismic estimates of crustal thickness in the region. The granulites can be divided into two groups based on trace-element characteristics. Group 1 granulites have trace-element signatures similar to average Archean lower crust; they are light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched, with high La/Nb...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Petrology
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The Weldona 7.5′ quadrangle is located on the semiarid plains of northeastern Colorado, along the South Platte River corridor where the river has incised into Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale. The Pierre Shale is largely covered by surficial deposits that formed from alluvial, eolian, and hillslope processes operating in concert with environmental changes from the Pleistocene to the present. The South Platte River, originating high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, has played a major role in shaping surficial geology in the map area, which is several tens of kilometers downstream from where headwater tributaries join the river. Recurrent glaciation (and deglaciation) of basin headwaters has affected river discharge...
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In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~ 140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Research
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Water analyses are reported for 66 samples collected from numerous thermal and non-thermal (rivers and streams) features in the southwestern areas of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) during 2009, 2017, and 2018. Water samples were collected from sources near Boundary Creek, Bechler River, Falls River, Mountain Ash Creek, Upper Snake River, Spirea Creek, and Lewis Lake. These water samples were collected and analyzed as part of research investigations on the chemistry of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal system and on the distribution of dissolved arsenic and mercury. Most samples were analyzed for major cations and anions, trace metals, redox species of arsenic, iron, nitrogen, and sulfur, and isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen....
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Three carbonate-rich spring deposits are present near the southern end of Crater Flat, NV, approximately 18 km southwest of the potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain. We have analyzed five samples of carbonate-rich material from two of the deposits for U and Th isotopic compositions. Resulting U-series disequilibrium ages indicate that springs were active at 18 ?? 1, 30 ?? 3, 45 ?? 4 and >70 ka. These ages are consistent with a crude internal stratigraphy at one site. Identical ages for two samples at two separate sites suggest that springs were contemporaneous, at least in part, and were most likely part of the same hydrodynamic system. In addition, initial U isotopic compositions range from 2.8...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Geologic archives show that the Earth was dustier during the last glacial period. One model suggests that increased gustiness (stronger, more frequent winds) enhanced dustiness. We tested this at Loveland, Iowa, one of the thickest deposits of last-glacial-age (Peoria) loess in the world. Based on K/Rb and Ba/Rb, loess was derived not only from glaciogenic sources of the Missouri River, but also distal loess from non-glacial sources in Nebraska. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages provide the first detailed chronology of Peoria Loess at Loveland. Deposition began after ~ 27 ka and continued until ~ 17 ka. OSL ages also indicate that mass accumulation rates (MARs) of loess were not constant. MARs were highest...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Research
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Haynes [2017 “The Cerutti Mastodon.” PaleoAmerica 3 (3): 196–199] criticizes numerous aspects of our analysis of the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site, but central among his points is the claim that heavy equipment broke the bones and stones that we interpret as evidence of ancient human activity. This notion can be discounted primarily because most of the relevant CM fragments were found coated in thick crusts of pedogenic carbonate clearly showing that breakage occurred thousands of years ago. Haynes also raises questions about site stratigraphy, radiometric dating, and absence of other artifactual evidence. The stratigraphic context of CM bones and rocks is well-defined, and the Pleistocene site stratigraphy remained...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PaleoAmerica
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The Mound Spring quadrangle, the southwestern-most 7.5' quadrangle of the area of the Las Vegas 1:100,000-scale quadrangle, is entirely within the Pahrump Valley, spanning the Nevada/California State line. New geologic mapping of the predominantly Quaternary materials is combined with new studies of gravity and geochronology in this quadrangle. Eleven predominantly fine-grained units are delineated, including playa sediment, dune sand, and deposits associated with several cycles of past groundwater discharge and distal fan sedimentation. These units are intercalated with 5 predominantly coarse-grained alluvial-fan and wash gravel units mainly derived from the Spring Mountains. The gravel units are distinguished...
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The Mound Spring quadrangle, the southwestern-most 7.5'quadrangle of the area of the Las Vegas 1:100,000-scalequadrangle, is entirely within the Pahrump Valley, spanning theNevada/California State line. New geologic mapping of thepredominantly Quaternary materials is combined with new studiesof gravity and geochronology in this quadrangle. Elevenpredominantly fine-grained units are delineated, including playasediment, dune sand, and deposits associated with several cyclesof past groundwater discharge and distal fan sedimentation.These units are intercalated with 5 predominantly coarse-grainedalluvial-fan and wash gravel units mainly derived from the SpringMountains. The gravel units are distinguished on the basis...
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The Ziegler Reservoir fossil site near Snowmass Village, Colorado, provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct high-altitude paleoenvironmental conditions in the Rocky Mountains during the last interglacial period. We used four different techniques to establish a chronological framework for the site. Radiocarbon dating of lake organics, bone collagen, and shell carbonate, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al ages on a boulder on the crest of a moraine that impounded the lake suggest that the ages of the sediments that hosted the fossils are between ~ 140 ka and > 45 ka. Uranium-series ages of vertebrate remains generally fall within these bounds, but extremely low uranium concentrations and evidence of open-system...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Research
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The Weldona 7.5' quadrangle is located on the semiarid plains of northeastern Colorado, along the South Platte River corridor where the river has incised into Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale. The Pierre Shale is largely covered by surficial deposits that formed from alluvial, eolian, and hillslope processes operating in concert with environmental changes from the Pleistocene to the present. The South Platte River, originating high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, has played a major role in shaping surficial geology in the map area, which is several tens of kilometers downstream from where headwater tributaries join the river. Recurrent glaciation (and deglaciation) of basin headwaters has affected river discharge...
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The Fort Morgan 7.5′ quadrangle is located on the semiarid plains of northeastern Colorado, along the South Platte River corridor where the river has incised into Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale. The Pierre Shale is largely covered by surficial deposits that formed from alluvial, eolian, and hillslope processes operating in concert with environmental changes from the late Pliocene to the present. The South Platte River, originating high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, has played a major role in shaping surficial geology in the map area, which is several tens of kilometers downstream from where headwater tributaries join the river. Recurrent glaciation (and deglaciation) of basin headwaters has affected river discharge...
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Ground water moving through permeable Paleozoic carbonate rocks represents the most likely pathway for migration of radioactive contaminants from nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The strontium isotopic composition (87Sr/86Sr) of ground water offers a useful means of testing hydrochemical models of regional flow involving advection and reaction. However, reaction models require knowledge of 87Sr/86Sr data for carbonate rock in the Nevada Test Site vicinity, which is scarce. To fill this data gap, samples of core or cuttings were selected from 22 boreholes at depth intervals from which water samples had been obtained previously around the Nevada Test Site at Yucca Flat, Frenchman...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Data Series
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This product represents a USGS Administrative Report that discusses samples and methods used to conduct uranium-series isotope analyses and resulting ages and initial 234U/238U activity ratios of pedogenic cements developed in several different surfaces in the Hanford area middle to late Pleistocene. Samples were collected and dated to provide calibration of soil development in surface deposits that are being used in the Hanford Site-Wide probabilistic seismic hazard analysis conducted by AMEC. The report includes description of sample locations and physical characteristics, sample preparation, chemical processing and mass spectrometry, analytical results, and calculated ages for individual sites. Ages of innermost...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Report
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In this paper, we provide the first record of millennial patterns of Pb and Hg concentrations on the west coast of the United States. Peat cores were collected from two micro-tidal marshes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California. Core samples were analyzed for Pb, Hg, and Ti concentrations and dated using radiocarbon, 210Pb, and 137Cs. Pre-anthropogenic concentrations of Pb and Hg in peat ranged from 0.60 to 13.0 µg g-1and from 6.9 to 71 ng g-1, respectively. For much of the past 6000+ years, the Delta was free from anthropogenic pollution, however, beginning in ~1425 CE, Hg and Pb concentrations, Pb/Ti ratios, Pb enrichment factors (EFs), and HgEFs all increased. Pb isotope compositions of the peat suggest...
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Hershkovitz et al. (Reports, 26 January 2018, p. 456) interpreted the Misliya-1 fossil maxilla as evidence of the earliest known anatomically modern human outside Africa. However, the fossil’s reported age of 177,000 to 194,000 years relies on flawed interpretations of uranium-series data. We contend that those data support a minimum age of no more than ~60,000 to 70,000 years.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Science
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The earliest dispersal of humans into North America is a contentious subject, and proposed early sites are required to meet the following criteria for acceptance: (1) archaeological evidence is found in a clearly defined and undisturbed geologic context; (2) age is determined by reliable radiometric dating; (3) multiple lines of evidence from interdisciplinary studies provide consistent results; and (4) unquestionable artefacts are found in primary context1,2. Here we describe the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site, an archaeological site from the early late Pleistocene epoch, where in situ hammerstones and stone anvils occur in spatio-temporal association with fragmentary remains of a single mastodon (Mammut americanum)....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The Masters 7.5' quadrangle is located along the South Platte River corridor on the semiarid plains of eastern Colorado and contains surficial deposits that record alluvial, eolian, and hillslope processes that have operated in concert with environmental changes from Pleistocene to present time. The South Platte River, originating high in the Colorado Front Range, has played a major role in shaping the surficial geology of the quadrangle, which is situated downstream of where the last of the major headwater tributaries (St. Vrain, Big Thompson, and Cache la Poudre) join the river. Recurrent glaciation (and deglaciation) of basin headwaters affected river discharge and sediment supply far downstream, influencing...


map background search result map search result map Lower-crustal xenoliths from Jurassic kimberlite diatremes, upper Michigan (USA): Evidence for Proterozoic orogenesis and plume magmatism in the lower crust of the southern Superior Province Geologic Map of the Mound Spring Quadrangle, Nye and ClarkCounties, Nevada, and Inyo County, California A geochronologic framework for the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado Data release for the geologic map of the Weldona 7.5' quadrangle, Morgan County, Colorado Water chemistry data for selected hot springs and rivers in Southwest Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A geochronologic framework for the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado Geologic Map of the Mound Spring Quadrangle, Nye and ClarkCounties, Nevada, and Inyo County, California Data release for the geologic map of the Weldona 7.5' quadrangle, Morgan County, Colorado Water chemistry data for selected hot springs and rivers in Southwest Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Lower-crustal xenoliths from Jurassic kimberlite diatremes, upper Michigan (USA): Evidence for Proterozoic orogenesis and plume magmatism in the lower crust of the southern Superior Province