GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 109-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


GARRISON, Jessica A., Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101 and WULFF, Andrew H., Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd. #31066, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1066

Clay minerals are present in most sedimentological environments. They are often deposited in low-energy environments such as lacustrine or deep oceans. A large variety of elements can be incorporated into clay minerals developing a complex structure. Specific clays indicate very specific climates in which they are formed, making them paleoclimate indicators. This presentation will look at sediments of ancient Lake Tecopa in Southern California and analyses of the clay minerals present in the stratigraphy to develop a paleoclimate analysis. The minerals kaolinite, montmorillonite/smectite, and illite will be used specifically to represent including hot and arid, warm and humid, or temperate environments. Percentages of each clay mineral will be developed through bulk composition analysis and X-Ray Diffraction. Based on water analyses previously found, the climatic change of this lake is already known to have been a more temperate climate from the large glacial masses present and transitioned to a more dry and arid climate. These clay mineral results anticipate to find the same results, but with more detailed information on the timeline of this occurrence, as the water chemistry and erosion patterns changed along with the climate.