Mid-to-Late Holocene Hydrologic Variability in the Southeastern Mojave Desert Using Sediments from Ford Lake
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The focal point of most lacustrine studies in the Mojave National Preserve (MNP) to date has been on lakes fed by the Mojave River. The source of the Mojave River is found on the northern flank of the San Bernardino Mountains. Consequently, the lakes that receive these waters are predominantly responding to the winter-only coastal southwest United States climate (e.g., Kirby et al., 2015 - Silver Lake); to a lesser degree, these lakes are also influenced by the Mojave’s bimodal winter/summer climate. Ford Lake, located in the southeastern Mojave Desert is a small closed basin lake with its drainage basin located exclusively within the Mojave Desert. Therefore, sediment collected from Ford Lake contains a 100% Mojave-only climate signal. A 2.18 m sediment core was collected from the lake’s depocenter in May 2015. Sediment analyses at 1 cm contiguous intervals include: magnetic susceptibility (MS), percent total organic matter, percent total carbonate content, and grain size analysis; C:N ratios, C and N isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses, and macrofossil counts are determined at 2 cm intervals. The site’s age model is based on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from discrete organic macrofossils or bulk organic carbon. To deconvolve the coastal climate, winter-only signal from the Mojave-only climate signal the data from Ford Lake will be compared to one Mojave River fed lake (Silver) and several southern California lakes (Lower Bear, Lake Elsinore, Dry Lake, and Zaca Lake). Our results will be analyzed in the context of climate forcings such as insolation and ocean – atmosphere dynamics.