Application of Brillouin thermometry to latest Pleistocene and Holocene halite from Searles Lake, California, USA

Kristian J. Olson, Emmanuel Guillerm, Mark D. Peaple, Tim K. Lowenstein, Véronique Gardien, Frédéric Caupin, Sarah J. Feakins, Jessica E. Tierney, Justin Stroup, Steve Lund, David McGee

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Paleoclimate records from lakes of the southwestern USA have been limited by a lack of independent paleothermometers, resulting in conflicting characterizations of millennial-scale variability in temperature and moisture. Here a novel method called Brillouin thermometry is applied to halite-bearing dry intervals of the late Pleistocene/Holocene (45–0 ka) core record of Searles Lake, California. Temperatures during muddy wetter intervals are available from branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs). Halite from the sediment-water interface records lake bottom temperatures during dry, high salinity periods. Analysis of modern saline lakes of various chemistries, depths, climate zones, and mixing regimes shows that: 1) average bottom water temperature is approximately equal to mean annual air temperature, and 2) annual range of bottom water temperature is inversely proportional to lake depth. Brillouin temperatures for eight halite intervals 30.6 ka to 8.5 ka range from 11.8 ± 3.6 to 22.4 ± 3.2 °C. Bottom water temperature variability indicates paleolake depths of ∼10 m during halite precipitation. Temperatures from brGDGTs for mud intervals 44.7 ka to 3.6 ka range from 13.4 ± 2.8 to 23.9 ± 3.0 °C. Comparisons of Brillouin temperatures with predicted equilibrium temperatures of salt crystallization shed light on seasonal processes of evaporite deposition and diagenesis. The multiproxy temperature record of Searles Lake agrees with other regional records at glacial/interglacial timescales but displays a wider degree of millennial-scale variability, with temperatures during the last glacial ranging from 8.3 °C below modern mean annual temperatures to 3.8 °C above.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117913
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume602
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jade Brush and Searles Valley Minerals Inc. for access and support during recovery of core SLAPP-SRLS17. Sample material used in this project was provided by the Continental Scientific Drilling (CSD) Facility, University of Minnesota. This material is based upon research supported by the Chateaubriand Fellowship of the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States to KO, the Comer Family Foundation funding to TL and DM, US National Science Foundation Award NSF-EAR-1903659, 1903665, 1903519, and 1903544 respectively to TL, SF, JS, and DM, with additional support from GSA, AAPG, and SEG graduate student grants to KO. Part of this work was performed within the framework of the EUR H2O'Lyon (ANR-17-EURE-0018) of Université de Lyon (UdL), within the program “Investissements d'Avenir” operated by the French National Research Agency (ANR). We thank Patrick Murphy for assistance with GDGT analyses at U. Arizona, supported by Packard Foundation funding to JT.

Funding Information:
We thank Jade Brush and Searles Valley Minerals Inc. for access and support during recovery of core SLAPP-SRLS17. Sample material used in this project was provided by the Continental Scientific Drilling (CSD) Facility, University of Minnesota. This material is based upon research supported by the Chateaubriand Fellowship of the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States to KO, the Comer Family Foundation funding to TL and DM, US National Science Foundation Award NSF-EAR-1903659 , 1903665 , 1903519 , and 1903544 respectively to TL, SF, JS, and DM, with additional support from GSA , AAPG , and SEG graduate student grants to KO. Part of this work was performed within the framework of the EUR H2O'Lyon (ANR-17-EURE-0018) of Université de Lyon (UdL), within the program “Investissements d'Avenir” operated by the French National Research Agency (ANR). We thank Patrick Murphy for assistance with GDGT analyses at U. Arizona, supported by Packard Foundation funding to JT.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Brillouin thermometry
  • evaporites
  • fluid inclusions
  • GDGTs
  • Searles Lake

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • SLAPP

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