Paper No. 11-8
Presentation Time: 10:55 AM
TECTONIC AND CLIMATIC CONTROLS ON DESERT SEDIMENTATION AND SALINE PAN STABILITY: INSIGHTS FROM THE GREAT SALT LAKE DESERT AND BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS
The saline pans of the Great Salt Lake Desert vary significantly in scale, longevity, and depositional history. These saline pans include the perennial Bonneville Salt Flats, the ephemeral Pilot Valley pan, and the anthropogenic Newfoundland Basin pan. This research pairs satellite data with each pan’s climatic and tectonic context to evaluate the stability of these dynamic landscapes. It then places this data within the context of the depositional history of the Bonneville Salt Flats and Great Salt Lake Desert. This core data suite includes compositional, elemental, ostracode species, volcanic ash composition data. Optically stimulated luminescence is used for geochronology. Paleoenvironmental and geochronological data from cores show a strongly heterogenous depositional and erosional history within this basin. Preliminary results indicate that the depositional history of Wendover Graben, which contains the Bonneville Salt Flats, sharply differs from the greater Great Salt Lake Desert. These insights enhance our understanding of the depositional record and preservation potential of desert sedimentation.