2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 53
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


O'DELL, Carol1, CAUFMAN, Dave2, JAHN, Mike3, HEFFRON, Erin4, KNOPF, R.4, LIVINGSTON, Jack5 and BURKHART, Patrick4, (1)Geology, Geography, and the Environment, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057, (2)Slippery Rock, PA 12804, (3)Slippery Rock Univ, Slippery Rock, PA 16057, (4)Geography, Geology and the Environment, Slippery Rock Univeristy, 107 SWC, Slippery Rock, PA 16057, (5)Geography, Geology and the Environment, Slippery Rock Univ, Slippery Rock, PA 16057, cao1900@sru.edu

Magnetic susceptibility techniques have been widely used to confirm the presence of paleosols in loess sequences and as a means of interpreting paleoclimatic parameters but have been less widely used in other landscapes. This study examines the effectiveness of magnetic susceptibility techniques in pediment remnants (sod tables) in the White River Badlands. Sod table formations associated with the White River Badlands contain several buried soils that have been dated to the mid- to late Holocene. Paleosols found in the sod tables are interbedded with alluvial/colluvial sediments that show little or no pedogenesis. Fifteen soil profiles were sampled for magnetic susceptibility analysis on lower and upper prairie sod tables between 2003 and 2005. In each profile, paleosol horizons were radiocarbon dated. The number of paleosols present in profiles ranged from zero in proximal fan profiles to three distinct horizons in larger distal fans. Consecutive samples were recovered for susceptibility measurements along the full depth of a profile. Both low frequency (Klf) and frequency dependence susceptibility measurements (Kd) produced curves consistent with field identification of paleosol surfaces. Paleosol horizons dated in clusters around 790+ 70 RCYBP and around 1200+ 70 RCYBP indicated climates comparable to the surface horizons, while the older surfaces suggested a slightly wetter climate.

This adventure-based, discovery learning was supported by the NSF Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP-PA), NEGSA, Slippery Rock University, and the College of Health, Environment, and Science.