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Research in Mojave National Preserve

Jim Yount: Research in the Mojave Region

Jim’s research focuses on understanding the climate history of the Mojave region. While detailed work on reconstructing the climate history over the past 100 years is underway, Jim hopes to reach back 1000 to 2000 years using evidence recorded in Mojave’s dry lake (playa) beds and related alluvial fan deposits.

Jim’s group will take sediment cores from Silurian and Ivanpah lakes to add to the information collected by previous workers in nearby Silver and Soda Lakes. Centimeter by centimeter studies of these cores should yield information about how climate has changed through time. Information gained from this study will be added to similar studies undertaken in other desert lakes and with long-term ecosystem studies to develop an integrated picture of climate and environmental changes in the Mojave desert through time.

Studies such as Jim’s help us understand climate changes produced by natural processes and perhaps reveal how human influence may be affecting this fragile and unique environment.

Progress report:

Preliminary mapping of the Silurian Valley drainage area is in the final stages. Core collection is planned for Fall, 1998, with laboratory studies to follow. Geologic mapping and core collection in the Ivanpah Valley will probably be done in the winter of 1998 and spring of 1999.

Watch for updates twice a year!

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This page was last updated 3/24/99