Continuous Holocene Record of Diatom Stratigraphy, Paleohydrology, and Anthropogenic Activity in a Spring-Mound in Southwestern United States

Dean W. Blinn, Richard H. Hevly, Owen Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study presents the first continuous record of fossil diatoms taken from an open spring-mound in southwestern United States. Diatoms were analyzed from a radiocarbon-dated core taken from Montezuma Well, a near thermally constant spring in northcentral Arizona. Fluctuations in total diatom density, oscillations in the relative abundance of Anomoeoneis sphaerophora, and intermittent deposition of calcite suggest that water levels in Montezuma Well underwent dramatic fluctuations to the degree of being intermittently dry, or at least very shallow, during the middle Holocene (∼8000-5000 yr B.P.). The fluctuations in water level probably correspond to oscillations in regional temperature and precipitation, which regulate hydrologic input and evaporation rates. The dramatic fluctuations in water level during the middle Holocene suggest that the endemic biota of Montezuma Well underwent relatively rapid speciation within the past ∼5000 yr. The appearance of endemic species (Gomphonema montezumense and Cyclotella pseudostelligera f. parva ) at ∼5000-3000 yr B.P. supports this hypothesis. Diatom indicators for organic enrichment (Aulacoseira granulata and A. islandica) closely coincide with the prehistoric native occupation of Montezuma Well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

paleohydrology
stratigraphy
diatom
human activity
Holocene
water level
oscillation
endemic species
occupation
biota
relative abundance
calcite
evaporation
fossil
Diatoms
Fluctuations
Mounds
Stratigraphy
Water
temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Continuous Holocene Record of Diatom Stratigraphy, Paleohydrology, and Anthropogenic Activity in a Spring-Mound in Southwestern United States. / Blinn, Dean W.; Hevly, Richard H.; Davis, Owen.

In: Quaternary Research, Vol. 42, No. 2, 09.1994, p. 197-205.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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