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Lake Andrei: A pliocene pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, Eastern California

August 27, 2019

We used geologic mapping, tephrochronology and 40Ar/39Ar dating to describe evidence of a ca. 3.5 Ma pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, eastern California, that we informally name herein Lake Andrei. We identified six different tuffs in the Eureka Valley drainage basin including two previously undescribed tuffs: the 3.509 ± 0.009 Ma tuff of Hanging Rock Canyon and the 3.506 ± 0.010 Ma tuff of Last Chance (informal names). We focused on four Pliocene stratigraphic sequences. Three sequences are composed of fluvial sandstone and conglomerate with basalt flows in two of these sequences. The fourth sequence, located about 1.5 km south of the Death Valley/Big Pine Road along the western piedmont of the Last Chance Range, included green, fine-grained, gypsiferous lacustrine deposits interbedded with the 3.506 Ma tuff of Last Chance that we interpret as evidence of a pluvial lake. Pluvial Lake Andrei is similar in age pluvial lakes in Searles Valley, Amargosa Valley, Fish Lake Valley and Death Valley of the western Great Basin. We interpret these simultaneous lakes in the region as indirect evidence of a significant glacial climate in western North America during Marine Isotope Stages MG5/M2 and a persistent Pacific jet stream south of 37°N.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Lake Andrei: A pliocene pluvial lake in Eureka Valley, Eastern California
DOI 10.1130/2018.2536(08)
Authors Jeffrey R. Knott, Elmira Wan, Alan L. Deino, Mitch Casteel, Marith C. Reheis, Fred Phillips, Laura Walkup, Kyle McCarty, David N. Manoukian, Ernest Nuñez
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70204951
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center