Preliminary Investigation into Paleoclimatic Changes at Ivanpah Dry

Preliminary Investigation into Paleoclimatic Changes at Ivanpah Dry Lake California
using Chemical Evidence of Obliterated Shorelines
Naomi Curiel, Michelle Fauber, Jose Garcia, Chelsea Linares, Yadira Martinez, Crisaly Santos,
Savannah Savoia, Douglas B Sims, Nyna Williams
Obliterated pluvial shorelines and their
associated habitation sites located along
Ivanpah Dry Lake contains untapped cultural
deposits. Chemical signatures were identified
at -30 too -40 cm below the existing dry lake
bed across six locations, from east to west.
Methods used by students by the NASA CoP
group included crustal and trace metals by
USEPA 3050B followed by USEPA 6010B;
2conductivity by 120; SO4 by 9038; Cl 9214; pH
by 150.1; and CaCO3 by gravimetric method
for estimating calcium carbonate in soils.
Nineteen core samples were collected from
across the eastern portion of Ivanpah Dry Lake.
This presentation only focuses on locations 1
through 6 of the 19 locations (Figure 2). Depth
of each sampling point was 60 cm below
ground surface (bgs).
Cores were divided into 10 cm levels with each
level analyzed for trace and crustal metals (Al,
2Ba, Ca, Cu, Cr, K, Li, Mn, Pb, Zn, Ti), SO4 , Cl ,
CaCO3, pH, and conductivity.
Additional tests pending further work.
There is a buried lakebed beneath the current lake
surface. Data indicates the buried lakebed sits at 40 cm below the surface near the center and -30
cm as it continues up the eastern alluvial fan. It is
likely that the buried lakebed is significantly older
than the present, possible dating to the early
This research focuses on obliterated shorelines
that are mechanically eroded by the life cycle
of lakes. Determining when, where, why, and
possibly how this areas desertification began is
important for understanding environmental
change over time.
- The NASA CoP Grant (NNX14AQ94A) proved funding to students at the College of Southern Nevada.
- College of Southern Nevada Department of Physical Sciences and Biology
Selected References
Rodrigues-Filho, S. and Müller, G, 1999. A Holocene Sedimentary Record from Lake Silvana, SE Brazil: Evidence for Paleoclimatic Changes from Mineral, Trace-Metal and
Pollen Data. Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, Vol. 88. Springer-Verlag. Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo. 96 pp.
Spaulding, W. G., 1990. Vegetation and Climatic Development of the Mojave Desert: The Last Glacial Maximum to the Present. Packrat Middens, University of Arizona
Press, Pages 166-199.