+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Carbonate deposition, Pyramid Lake Subbasin, Nevada; 1, Sequence of formation and elevational distribution of carbonate deposits (tufas)



Carbonate deposition, Pyramid Lake Subbasin, Nevada; 1, Sequence of formation and elevational distribution of carbonate deposits (tufas)



Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 109(1): 55-87



During the late Quaternary, the elevation of terrace cutting and carbonate deposition in the Pyramid Lake subbasin were controlled by constancy of lake level imposed by spill to adjoining subbasins. Sill elevations are 1177-1183 m (Mud Lake Slough Sill), 1207 m (Emerson Pass Sill), and 1265 m (Darwin Pass Sill). Carbonate deposition was favored by: (1) hydrologic closure, (2) proximity to a source of calcium, (3) elevated water temperature, and (4) a solid substrate. The thickness and aspect of tufa are a function of lake-level dynamics. Relatively thin sheets and pendant sheets were deposited during a rising or falling lake. The upper parts of thick reef-form tufas have a horizontal aspect and were deposited in a lake which was stabilized by spill to the Carson Desert subbasin. The lower parts of the reef-form tufas are thinner and their outer surface has a vertical aspect, indicating that the lower part formed in a receding lake. The thickest and most complete sequences of tufa are mounds that border the Pyramid Lake shore. The tops of the tallest mounds reach the elevation of the Darwin Pass Sill and many mounds have been eroded to the elevations of the Mud Lake Slough Sill or the Emerson Pass Sill. The sequence of tufa formation (from oldest to youngest) displayed in these mounds is: (1) a beachrock containing carbonate-cemented volcanic cobbles, (2) broken and eroded oldspheroids that contain thinolitic tufa and an outer rind of dense laminated tufa, (3) large cylindrical (tubular) tufas capped by (4) coatings of old dense tufas, and (5) several generations of old branching tufa commonly associated with thin, platy tufas and coatings of thinolitic tufa, (6) young spheroids that contain poorly oriented young thinolitic tufa in the center and several generations of radially oriented young thinolitic tufas near the outer edge, (7) a transitional thinolite-to-branching tufa, (8) two or more layers of young branching tufa, (9) a 0.5-cm-thick layer of fine-grained dolomite, (10) a 2-cm-thick layer of young dense laminated tufa, (11) a 0.1-cm-thick layer of encrusting tufa that was covered by a beach deposit and (12) a 1.0-cm-thick layer of porous encrusting tufa that coated the beach deposit and the sides of tufa mounds. The elevational ranges of the principal varieties of tufa are not related to terrace or spill elevations. It seems likely that the distribution of tufa varieties is related to variation in the thermal structure or chemistry of Lake Lahontan. It is hypothesized that the thinolitic tufa (ikaite) formed in the near freezing hypolimnion and the branching tufa (calcite) formed in the seasonally warmer epiliminion of the lake.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 018513208

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/0031-0182(94)90118-x


Related references

Carbonate deposition, Pyramid Lake Subbasin, Nevada; 4, Comparison of the stable isotope values of carbonate deposits (tufas) and the Lahontan lake-level record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 122(1-4): 45-76, 1996

Carbonate deposition, Pyramid Lake subbasin, Nevada; 3, The use of (super 87) Sr values in carbonate deposits (tufas) to determine the hydrologic state of paleolake systems. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 119(3-4): 201-213, 1996

Calcium carbonate formation in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Abstracts of Papers American Chemical Society 209(1-2): ENVR 125, 1995

Uranium-series dating of carbonate (tufa) deposits associated with Quaternary fluctuations of Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Quaternary Research 45(3): 271-281, 1996

Sources and distribution of organic and carbonate carbon in surface sediments of Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Journal of Sedimentary Research: , Pages 884-890. 1997., 1997

Radiocarbon ages and environments of deposition of the Wono and Trego Hot Springs tephra layers in the Pyramid Lake subbasin, Nevada. Quaternary Research 47(3): 251-260, 1997

Calcium carbonate nucleation in an alkaline lake surface water, Pyramid Lake, Nevada, USA. Aquatic Geochemistry 18.2, 2012

Calcium Carbonate Nucleation in an Alkaline Lake Surface Water, Pyramid Lake, Nevada, USA. Aquatic Geochemistry 18(2): 95-113, 2012

The tufas of Pyramid Lake, Nevada. 2004

A superbly exposed late Miocene lake margin in the upper Horse Spring Formation of southern Nevada; paleoenvironmental controls on microbial carbonate deposition in a hypersaline lake system. Geological Society of America 43.5, 2011

Latest Pleistocene and Holocene lake level fluctuations, Pyramid Subbasin of Lake Lahontan, Nevada, USA. Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research 16(Pages 184, 2003

Late Pleistocene and late Holocene lake highstands in the Pyramid Lake subbasin of Lake Lahontan, Nevada, USA. Quaternary Research 64(2): 257-263, 2005

Tufas, travertines and allied carbonate deposits. Progress in Physical Geography 14(1): 19-41, 1990

Formation of carbonate cycles and stacking patterns in the Late Cambrian carbonate platform, central Nevada and western Utah. Geological Society of America 41.7, 2009

Isolated carbonate bodies composed of stacked debris-flow deposits on a fine-grained carbonate lower slope of Devonian age, Antelope Peak, Elko County, Nevada. 1993