Evidence for a shallow early or middle Wisconsin-age lake in the Bonneville Basin, Utah

Charles G. Oviatt, William D. McCoy, Richard G. Reider

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Relatively complete stratigraphic records of the Bonneville cycle and of at least one and probably two earlier lacustrine are exposed along the Bear River below Cutler Dam in northern Utah between altitudes of 1290 and 1365 m. In most exposures the unconformity between the Bonneville Alloformation and the underlying unit, herein named the Cutler Dam Alloformation, is marked by slight erosional relief and by a weakly to moderately developed buried soil, herein named the Fielding Geosol. In truncated profiles, the Fielding Geosol reaches a maximum of stage II carbonate morphology. Wood from near the base of the Cutler Dam Alloformation yielded a 14C date of >36,000 yr B.P. (Beta-9845). Alloisoleucine/isoleucine (aIle/Ile) ratios of Sphaerium shells from the Cutler Dam beds average 0.15 ± 0.01 in the total hydrolysate, which is significantly greater than the average for Sphaerium shells of Bonneville age elsewhere in the basin. Therefore, the Cutler Dam Alloformation is older than 36,000 yr B.P., but much younger than deposits of the Little Valley lake cycle (140,000 yr B.P.?) which bear shells having significantly higher aIle/Ile ratios. The Cutler Dam Alloformation along the Bear River may be broadly correlative with marine oxygen-isotope stages 4 or 3. Fine-grained, fossiliferous, marginal-lacustrine facies of the Cutler Dam Alloformation are exposed at altitudes near 1340 m, and are probably the highest exposures of sediments deposited in the early or middle Wisconsin lake in the Bonneville basin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-262
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1987

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank B. J. Albee, A. J. Feduccia, R. M. Forester, J. H. Madsen, Jr., and G. R. Smith for the identification and interpretation of fossils, and D. R. Currey for helpful discussions in the field. G. Huckleberry analyzed soil samples. This work was partially supported by the Utah Geological and Mineral Survey as part of a geologic quadrangle mapping program (Oviatt, 1986a, 1986b), and by NSF Grants EAR-7913793 and ATM-8205341 to McCoy. D. R. Currey and W. E. Scott reviewed the manuscript and offered valuable suggestions for its improvement.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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