Geology Projects

Dr. Adam Guo

Tulare Lake Sediment Provenance Study: Constraints from Clay Mineralogy Analysis

The Tulare Lake is a natural laboratory for the study of late Quaternary paleoclimate change in the western North America. In last year’s REVUS UP study, we reconstructed the evolution of mineral assemblages of the bulk and clay-size fraction in Cores TL05-4A and TL05-1B retrieved from the Tulare Lake. Results indicate that the content ratio fluctuation of smectite versus illite+chlorite during post-glaciation may be useful as a proxy for the precipitation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And illite+chlorite-rich sediments might be sourced from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, whereas smectite-rich sediments were supplied from the regional recycled valley sediments. In order to test this hypothesis, we planned to conduct clay-size mineralogy analysis on a suite of ~ 40 lake sediment samples collected from the central valley, west foot-hills of the coastal range, and several fluvial systems, the Kern, Tule and Kaweah Rivers, southern distributaries of the Kings.