Core OL-92 from Owens Lake, southeast California

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What does this data set describe?

Title: Core OL-92 from Owens Lake, southeast California
The drilling project at Owens Lake commenced in April, 1991. This Open-File Report represents an effort to make available to other researchers our preliminary data collected during the first year of study following completion of the core-drilling phase. Nineteen data collections and preliminary interpretations are presented in the following sections. They are the work of fifteen first-authors and their numerous co-authors. Broadly, their topics include a field log of the core (1 contribution), sedimentological analyses (1), clay- mineral identification (1), geochemical analyses (5), dating and age estimates of the cored sediments (4), and identifications of fossil materials (7).
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Smith, George I., and Bischoff, James L., 1993, Core OL-92 from Owens Lake, southeast California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 93-683.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -117.9611
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -117.9611
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.38056
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.38056
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Calendar_Date: 1993
    publication date
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Point data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • Entity point (1)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.0028. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.0028. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.
      All listed depths are converted to "drill-pad datum depths" which are 0.94m above lake surface.
      Depth_Resolution: 0.01
      Depth_Distance_Units: meters
      Depth_Encoding_Method: Attribute values

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Lithologic descriptions of core sections
    Gravel weights in grams for -2.0 to -0.5 phi
    Cumulative percent by weight using settling tube for -1.0 to 4.5 phi
    Light transmission values using hydrophotometer for 4.5 to 14 phi
    Weight and percent by weight of gravel, sand, and silt+ clay fractions
    Statistical measures of grain size
    Peak areas of selected clay and non-clay minerals in counts per second determined through X-ray diffraction
    Percent by weight of carbon dioxide, organic carbon, magnesium, calcium, and strontium
    Major oxides, Cs2O, and ignition loss (LOI) as weight percent of dry sediment, determined by X-ray fluorescence, non-dispersive X-ray fluorescence, and gravimetry, respectively; major oxides are SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O, TiO2, P2O5, and MnO.
    Minor element composition (ppm) by semi-quantitative optical emission spectroscopy; minor elements are B, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Ga, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sc, V, Y, and Zr.
    Pore-water content and salinity (weight percent), Cl, total dissolved CO2, and SO4 in millimolal.
    Delta-C-13 and Delta-O-18 in per mil relative to PDB.
    Delta-D (per mil) and salinity (percent) of interstitial fluids.
    Sulfur and carbon concentration, sulfur isotopic compositions (per mil relative to CDT) broken down as sulfur in acid-volatile sulfides, in disulfides, in organosulfur, sulfates, and total sulfur.
    Magnetization J (in emu/cc), bulk susceptibility (in cgs system), J/chi, mean destructive field, high-stability component (C1) declination and inclination, low-stability component (C2) declination and inclination, intermediate- stability component (C3)declination and inclination, C1 grade, C2 grade, C3 grade, ARM (in emu/cc) acquired in a 1000 Oe AF field and 0.5 Oe DC field, and J/ARM.
    Pass-through bulk susceptibility measurements
    Detailed lithologic descriptions of tephra layers with comments on correlation to other tephra in the region
    Weight-percent of oxides by electron probe microanalysis; oxides are SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO, MnO, CaO, TiO2, Na2O, K2O
    Quantitative comparison of OL-92 tephra layers with others of the western US using a nearest-analog technique.
    Radiocarbon ages of oolite and humate materials, with estimated uncertainty in the age estimates.
    Estimated age as a function of depth based on data and sediment accumulation models.
    Counts of 58 species or other taxonomic categories of diatoms
    Counts of 12 species or other taxonomic categories of ostracodes
    Occurrence of 7 species or other taxonomic categories of molluscs
    Occurrence and identity of fish remains
    Occurrence and identity of macroscopic organic material
    Counts of 76 species or other taxonomic categories of pollen from the upper part of the core
    Counts of 42 genera or other taxonomic categories of pollen throughout the core
    Depths to tops of drives and slugs

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Smith, George I.
    • Bischoff, James L.
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
    This is a large multi-author volume with the following chapters: Introduction (G.I. Smith)
    Field log of Core OL-92 (G.I. Smith)
    Sediment Size Analyses of the Owens Lake Core (K.M. Menking, M. M. Hannah, J.P. Fitts, J.L. Bischoff, and R.S. Anderson)
    Clay Mineralogical Analyses of the Owens Lake Core (K.M. Menking, M.M Hannah, J.P. Fitts, J.L. Bischoff, and R.S. Anderson)
    Geochemistry of Sediments Owens Lake Drill Hole OL-92 (J.L. Bischoff, J.P. Fitts, J.A. Fitzpatrick, K.M. Menking, and B.W. King)
    Sediment pore-waters of Owens Lake Drill Hole OL-92 (J.L. Bischoff, J.P. Fitts, and K.M. Menking)
    Isotope Geochemistry of Owens Lake Drill Hole OL-92 (L. Benson, and J.L. Bischoff)
    Deuterium-Hydrogen Ratios of Interstitial Fluids from Owens Lake Core OL-92 (I. Friedman, C.A. Johnson, and J.P. Fitts)
    The distribution and isotopic composition of sulfur in Owens Lake Core OL-92 (M.L. Tuttle)
    Rock- and Paleo-Magnetic Results from Core OL-92, Owens Lake, CA (J.M. Glen, R.S. Coe, K.M. Menking, S.S. Boughn, and I. Altschul)
    Age and Correlation of Tephra Layers in Owens Lake Drill Core OL-92-1 and -2 (A. Sarna-Wojeicki, C.E. Meyer, E. Wan, and S. Soles)
    AMS radiocarbon dates on sediments from Owens Lake Drill Hole OL-92 (J.L. Bischoff, T.W. Stafford Jr., and M. Rubin)
    Age-Depth Relations for the Sediment Column at Owens Lake, California: OL-92 Drill Hole (J.L. Bischoff)
    Diatoms in sediments (J.P. Bradbury)
    Ostracodes present in sediments (C. Carter)
    Identification of Mollusca from Core OL-92-2, Owens Lake, California (J.R.Firby)
    Owens Lake Core OL92 Fish Remains (G.R. Smith)
    Macroscopic Organic Material from Owens Lake Core (W.G. Spaulding)
    Pollen present in Cores OL-92-1 and -3 (W.B. Woolfenden)
    Continental-marine correlation of Late Pleistocene climate change: Census of palynomorphs from core OL-92, Owens Lake, California (R.J. Litwin, N.O. Frederiksen, D.P. Adam, V.A.S. Andrle, and T.P. Sheehan)
    Supplemental data (G.I. Smith)
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: George I. Smith
    Mail Stop 902
    U.S. Geological Survey
    345 Middlefield Road
    Menlo Park, CA

    (415) 329-5188 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

An important element of the investigations supported by the USGS through its Global Change and Climate History Program is the record of past changes in precipitation in now-arid parts of the United States. More than a century of geologic investigations has shown that major changes in precipitation and runoff occurred throughout much of this region, as shown by the evidence of fluctuations in the levels of lakes in the Great Basin. Although these basins--sometimes termed "nature's rain guages"--clearly document major changes in climate during the past few hundred thousand years, there is an inadequate consensus about those lakes' ages or the quantitative meaning and meteorological significance of their fluctuations. The timing and intensities of these climatic changes pose important questions to earth and paleoclimatic scientists.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 09-Jun-1992 (process 1 of 1)
    The 323m core designated OL-92 was recovered between April 22 and June 9, 1992, from the south-central part of (now-dry) Owens Lake, Inyo County, California. The drill site is approximately 140m west and 420m north of the southeast corner of Section 9, T18S, R37E [MDBM]. Permission to drill the core hole was obtained by the U.S. Geological Survey from the California State Lands Commission which has jurisdiction of State lands that include the surface of Owens Lake. The drill site and a large amount of land around it is leased by the State of California to the Lake Minerals Corporation; they permitted our group to use their roads and were helpful in numerous other ways.
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Smith, George I., 1996, Core OL-92 from Owens Lake, southeast California: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin.

    USGS Open-File Report 93-683 will be superseded by this more formal publication, which is in preparation.

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Accuracy of the attributes is described in great detail in the text accompanying the data tables.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    The drill site is reported as approximately 140m west and 420m north of the southeast corner of Section 9, T18S, R37E [MDBM]. This suggests that the horizontal position is known to within five meters.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    Between 5.49 m and 61.37 m (total = 55.88 m), "no core" entries in log account for 8.50 m; thus, 85 percent of this interval was recovered as core (although some of it was suspected of being "cuttings, not core").
    Between 61.26 m and 322.86 m (total cored thickness = 261.60 m), "no core" entries in log account for 54.71m; thus, 79 percent of this interval was recovered as core (although some of it was suspected of being "cuttings, not core").
    From 0.94 m to 3.52 m, core was recovered as cuttings or short segments that were logged but not saved; from 3.52 m to 7.16 m, core recovery was 100 percent, all of which was logged and archived.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Core recovery for Core OL-92 was better than 80 percent. Because of drilling technicalities, Core OL-92 is actually three cores from essentially-adjacent sites; Cores OL-92-1 and -2 were recovered from the surface of a man-made drill- pad (which was used as the "core-depth datum" throughout the project, even though actually 0.94 m above the dry-lake bed), and Core OL-92-3 was recovered a few meters east of the drill pad. The depths of their cored intervals overlap slightly. Core OL-92-1 extends from 5.49 m to 61.37 m below the pad surface (85 percent core recovery), and OL-92-2 extends from 61.26 m to 322.86 m below that surface (79 percent recovery). Core OL-92-3 extends from 0.94 m (depth of the lake surface below the drill pad) to 7.16 m (100 percent recovery).
    Not all of the attribute data listed above are available in digital form. Specifically, the following items are not available online yet:
    Figure 4-1-2, -3, -4
    Text for section 4-3-2 (Friedman et al. Deuterium)
    Table 4-3-2-1
    Figure 4-3-2-1, -2, -3, -4 (can reproduce from table)
    Text for section 4-3-3 (Tuttle Sulfur)
    Table 4-3-3-1, -2
    Figure 4-3-3-1, -2a, -2b, -3a, -3b
    Text section 5-1 (Glen et al. Paleomag)
    Figures 5-1-1 through 5-1-22 (probably don't want these)
    Tables 5-1-1 through 5-1-4
    Figure 5-4-3, -5, -6
    Figure 6-1-1 through 6-1-22 (probably don't want these)
    Appendix 6-1-1 and 6-1-2
    Text for section 6-2 (Carter Ostracodes)
    Table 6-2-2
    Text for 6-6-1 (Woolfenden Pollen)
    Tables 6-6-1-1 and 6-6-1-2
    Figures 6-6-1-1a and 6-6-1-1b
    Figures 6-6-2-1a, 6-6-2-1b, 6-6-2-2, 6-6-2-3a, 6-6-2-3b,
    Table 6-6-2-1, 6-6-2-2a, 6-6-2-2b, 6-6-2-3
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    Each core segment was logged in the field in terms of its "drive" number (which represented the times the empty core barrel had re-entered the core hole) and "slug" designation (the letter representing each 1.5m-long core segment from that drive, with "A" at the top); starting and ending depths of each drive (in feet and inches) were based on the driller's log; they were later converted to meters to the nearest 0.01m. Unrecovered core, logged as "No core", was arbitrarily placed at the base of each drive.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: None
Use_Constraints: None
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    Peter N. Schweitzer
    Mail Stop 918 National Center
    U.S. Geological Survey
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    Reston, VA

    (703) 648-6533 (voice)
    (703) 648-6560 (FAX)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 93-683
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards (or with the North American Stratigraphic Code). Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 13-Jun-2016
Metadata author:
Peter N. Schweitzer
Collection manager, USGS Geoscience Data Clearinghouse,
Mail Stop 918
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA

(703) 648-6533 (voice)
(703) 648-6560 (FAX)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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