Pleistocene pluvial lakes of the Great Basin

kaufman basin 

The topographically closed basins of the Great Basin (Utah, Nevada, California) contain an outstanding geologic record of lakes that filled and drained during the Pleistocene.

Collaborative research with the U.S. Geological Survey is aimed at understanding the lake-level fluctuations in the Bear Lake/Bonneville and Mojave/Death Valley drainages.

Professor Darrell Kaufman's investigations focus on three research questions:

(1) the timing of lake-level changes

(2) the climate conditions that caused them, especially the relative contribution of temperature lowering versus precipitation increase (effective precipitation)

(3) the role of major river diversions in controlling lake-level changes, especially the history of the Bear River as it changed course from the Pacific Ocean into the Great Basin.

In addition, Dr. Kaufman is working with his colleagues and students on a continuous, carbonate-rich, 120-m-long sediment core from Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho that spans the last quarter-million years. (more)