National Research Program

Interface of Paleoclimatology and Aquifer Geochemistry

Reconstructions of continental paleoclimates of the Pleistocene Epoch have relied almost exclusively on packrat midden, lacustrine, and speleothem records. The isotopic (deuterium, oxygen-18, carbon-13) record of calcitic veins marking the sites of fossil ground-water discharge, have not been utilized. Preliminary work indicates that such veins contain continuous dateable records of Pleistocene paleoclimate and paleohydrology. The paleohydrologic interpretations should also be pertinent to selection of sites for the disposal and long term isolation of toxic wastes. Project objectives are: (1) infer paleoclimate and paleohydrology of selected regions based on variations in isotopic content of calcitic veins of ground water origin; (2) attempt correlation of inferred local variations in continental paleoclimate with global variations deduced from marine sediment and polar ice core studies; (3) differentiate between, and determine relative magnitude of, summer and winter recharge to major uplands. For a related web page, see A Devils Hole Primer


Landwehr, J.M. and Winograd, I.J., 2012, Devils Hole, Nevada—A Primer: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3021, 6 p. (on-line abstract or on-line fact sheet in pdf format, 1.88 MB)

Landwehr, J.M., Sharp, W.D., Coplen, T.B., Ludwig, K.R., and Winograd, I.J., 2011, The chronology for the δ18O record from Devils Hole, Nevada, extended into the Mid-Holocene: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1082, 5 p. (on-line abstract or on line-report in pdf format, 180 KB; see abstract to download data in excel format)

Winograd, I.J., 2009, Political Pressure’s Effect on Repository Sites: Science, v. 326, p. 1480.

Winograd, I.J. and Roseboom Jr., E.H., 2008, Yucca Mountain revisited: Science Magazine, v. 320, p. 1426-1427.

Winograd, I. J., Landwehr, J. M., Coplen, T.B., Sharp, W.D., Riggs, A.C., Ludwig, K.R., and Kolesar, P.T., 2006, Devils Hole, Nevada, δ18O Record Extended to the Mid-Holocene: Quaternary Research, v. 66, p. 202-212. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Winograd, I.J., Fridrich, C.J., Sweetkind, D., Belcher, W.R., and Thomas, J.M., 2005, Comment on "Testing the Interbasin Flow Hypothesis of Death Valley, California": EOS Transactions Americal Geophysical Union, v. 86, no. 2, p. 295-296.

Kolesar, P.T., and Riggs, A.C., 2004, Influence of depositional environment on Devils Hole calcite morphology and petrology, in Sasowsky, I.D., and Mylroie, J., eds., Studies of Cave Sediments -- Physical and Chemical Records of Paleoclimate: New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, p. 227-241.

Kukla, G.J., Bender, M.L., de Beaulieu, J.-L., Bond, G.C., Broecker, W.S., Cleveringa, P., Gavin, J.E., Herbert, T.D., Imbrie, J., Jouzel, J., Keigwin, L.D., Knudsen, K.-L., McManus, J.F., Merkt, J., Muhs, D.R., Mueller, H., Poore, R.Z., Porter, S.C., Seret, G., Shackleton, N.J., Turner, C., Tzedakis, P.C., and Winograd, I.J., 2002, Last interglacial climates: Quaternary Research, v. 58, no. 1, p. 2-13. (on-line abstract)

Winograd, I.J., 2002, Evidence from uranium-series-dated speleothems for the timing of the penultimate deglaciation of northwestern Europe: Quaternary Research, v. 58, no. 1, p. 60-61.

Winograd, I.J., T.D. Herbert, J.D., Schuffert, D. Andreasen, L. Heusser, M. Lyle, A. Mix, A.C. Ravelo, L.D. Stott, and J.C. Herguera, 2002, The California Current, Devils Hole, and Pleistocene Climate: Science, v. 296, p. 7a. (on-line discussion)

Isaac J. Winograd
U.S. Geological Survey, 432 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192
Telephone: 703-648-5849

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