Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics

First Advisor

Donald Sullivan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Kerwin

Third Advisor

Michael Daniels

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Muhs


Climate, Dust, Holocene, Paleowind, Rocky Mountains


Potential indications of long-term trends in paleoclimate, specifically winds, in the Southern Rocky Mountain region of the United States were tested using lacustrine sediment from South Blue Lake in the Wet Mountains of Colorado. This study builds upon existing eolian and lacustrine research, and investigates paleowind in a location not yet studied in this manner. Variability in sediment laminae, particle size, and mineralogy show similar patterns during the mid-Holocene warm period (ca. 5500 cal. yr BP - ca. 6000 cal. yr BP). These patterns indicate a warmer, drier, windier period that is contrasted by a less variable period in the recent Holocene. Windblown sediment dominates the South Blue Lake core and supports long-term, continuous eolian contribution to sediment of a sub-alpine lake. Results from this study support the hypothesis that dust is transported to the Southern Rocky Mountain region from a distal source (>400km ) to the west. Mega-drought conditions in the source region likely provide sediment supply and availability for transport to the Southern Rocky Mountain region.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Rebecca L. Brice


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

104 p.


Physical geography, Paleoclimate science