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Forces driving late Pleistocene (ca. 77–12 ka) landscape evolution in the Cimarron River valley, southwestern Kansas

  • Anthony L. Layzell (a1), Rolfe D. Mandel (a1), Greg A. Ludvigson (a1), Tammy M. Rittenour (a2) and Jon J. Smith (a1)...
Abstract

This study presents stratigraphic, geomorphic, and paleoenvironmental (δ13C) data that provide insight into the late Pleistocene landscape evolution of the Cimarron River valley in the High Plains of southwestern Kansas. Two distinct valley fills (T-1 and T-2) were investigated. Three soils occur in the T-2 fill and five in the T-1 fill, all indicating periods of landscape stability or slow sedimentation. Of particular interest are two cumulic soils dating to ca. 48–28 and 13–12.5 ka. δ13C values are consistent with regional paleoenvironmental proxy data that indicate the prevalence of warm, dry conditions at these times. The Cimarron River is interpreted to have responded to these climatic changes and to local base level control. Specifically, aggradation occurred during cool, wet periods and slow sedimentation with cumulic soil formation occurred under warmer, drier climates. Significant valley incision (~ 25 m) by ca. 28 ka likely resulted from a lowering of local base level caused by deep-seated dissolution of Permian evaporite deposits.

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*Corresponding author.E-mail address: alayzell@ku.edu (A.L. Layzell).
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