Fish Lake, Utah – shallow seismic investigation of a lake-filled high-altitude graben
Monday, 14 December 2015: 11:50
2012 (Moscone West)
Fish Lake formed in a portion of the 20-km x 2.5-km wide NE-SW trending graben within the High Plateaus of Utah, on the border between the Basin and Range to the west and the Canyon Lands east. This presentation focuses on the shallow seismic stratigraphic architecture of the lake. Marchetti et al. (this meeting) focuses details of a shallow core collected in 2014. With a lake surface at 2700m, avg. depth of 27m (max 37m), the lake is flanked NW by a 15° slope up to a formerly glaciated Hightop plateau (3545m) and is bound to the SE by a 30° NW facing slope off the Mytoge crest (3050m). The drainage basin is 74 km2 with ~75% of the catchment draining the Hightop from four distinct streams. Pelican Canyon (glaciated) and Doctor Canyon (unglaciated) provide most drainage into the basin, with Bowery and Twin creeks draining only the slope. These streams flow through organic-rich meadows at the edge of the lake. Only one small stream drains NW into the lake from the small Crater Lakes graben (2850m) off the Mytoge. Bathymetric surveys in the lake highlight a submerged moraine to the NE, a gently sloping bottom that reaches maximum depth off the steep wall to the SE, and small delta-form features off each of the creeks on the NW edge. Chirp seismic surveys (2-16 kHz) consistently penetrate the upper 40-m (up to ~55m). The oldest visible reflectors rise into the submerged moraine to the NE, ending in a complex set of truncated and discontinuous beds eluding to soft sediment push at the front of the glacier. Along the edge near the creeks to the NW, multiple sets of downlapping reflectors, gas pockets, and chaotic beds with lobate tops define what we interpret as deltaic deposition, possible lower lake levels with marsh systems, and slope failures. The majority of the lake is underlain by flat-lying reflectors that bound sedimentary packages spanning the entirety of the basin interior. The uppermost layers have recently been cored where seismic reflectors are continuous, providing a good age model from the modern lakefloor, through the loose Holocene sediments, into the denser Pleistocene deposits. The next steps in this research are deeper seismic surveys and coring.