The subsurface of Nevada harbors a very special site for the science of past climate evolution: Devils Hole. Calcite is very slowly precipitating from a regional groundwater system giving rise to thick subaqueous crusts coating the walls of fractures. Motre than two decades ago these deposits have been shown to provide an amazing record of climate change over the past 500,000 years. Our project takes a new, fresh look at this site and tries to push the record back to 800,000 years and possibly beyond one million years before present. This will allow for the first time to examine at least eight glacial-interglacial cycles in a terrestrial archive outside Antarctica. We shall also use these samples to reconstruct a history of fluctuations of the groundwater table on these long timescales, thus providing a record of humid episodes in this arid region.
FWF project no. P263050 p.i.: Christoph Spötl, co-p.i.: Yuri Dublyansky; duration 2014-2018
FWF project no. P327510 p.i.: Christoph Spötl, duration 2019-2022
Team: Gina Moseley (postdoc, 2014-2015), Katee Wendt (PhD student, 2015-2018; postdoc, 2019-2020)
Partners: Larry Edwards (University of Minnesota), Jon Woodhead (Melbourne University), Hagit Affek (Yale University, now Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Robert Scholger (Leoben University).
Wendt et al. (online first)
Wendt et al. (2018)
Moseley et al. (2016a)
Moseley et al. (2016b)
Dublyansky & Spötl (2015)
Kluge et al. (2014)
3d model of Devils Hole #2
Short research movie about our work at Devils Hole