Age model for a continuous, ca 250-ka Quaternary lacustrine record from Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho

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The Quaternary sediments sampled by continuous 120-m-long drill cores from Bear Lake (Utah-Idaho) comprise one of the longest lacustrine sequences recovered from an extant lake. The cores serve as a good case study for the construction of an age model for sequences that extend beyond the range of radiocarbon dating. From a variety of potential age indicators, we selected a combination of radiocarbon ages, one magnetic excursion (correlated to a standard sequence), and a single Uranium-series age to develop an initial data set. The reliability of the excursion and U-series data require consideration of their position with respect to sediments of inferred interglacial character, but not direct correlation with other paleoclimate records. Data omitted from the age model include amino acid age estimates, which have a large amount of scatter, and tephrochronology correlations, which have relatively large uncertainties. Because the initial data set was restricted to the upper half of the BL00-1 core, we inferred additional ages by direct correlation to the independently dated paleoclimate record from Devils Hole. We developed an age model for the entire core using statistical methods that consider both the uncertainties of the original data and that of the curve-fitting process, with a combination of our initial data set and the climate correlations as control points. This age model represents our best estimate of the chronology of deposition in Bear Lake. Because the age model contains assumptions about the correlation of Bear Lake to other climate records, the model cannot be used to address some paleoclimate questions, such as phase relationships with other areas. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Quaternary Science Reviews