Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Paleolimnology--Wyoming--Wind River Range; Lake sediments--Wyoming--Wind River Range--Analysis;


Sediment cores from two alpine lakes in Wyoming's Wind River Range were collected and analyzed to establish a record of depositional and mineralogical variability. Due to the hydrologic setting and isolation of Fiddlers and Louis lakes, these cores yielded the longest continuous limnological record in the region that extends back nearly 20,000 years to full-glacial conditions, a rarity for alpine lakes in the western United States.

To develop a paleolimnological record for Fiddlers and Louis lakes, the sediment cores were analyzed using four laboratory techniques. These techniques included particle size analysis, x-ray diffraction, heavy mineral analysis, and loss-on-ignition. Radiocarbon ages from Fiddlers Lake's sediment allowed the record of sedimentological changes to be numerically dated. Using this multi-proxy approach, a history of late-Quaternary depositional and mineralogical variability was established and compared with regional paleoclimate studies.

The results from the both lakes' cores showed similar responses to local and regional glacial/post-glacial environmental changes and revealed four distinct depositional phases: full-glacial, late-glacial, transitional and post-glacial. The timing of sedimentological responses in Fiddlers and Louis lakes corroborates previous research in the Wind River Range, most notably that of Fall, Zielinski and Davis (1995).

Paleoclimate records developed from this study enhance the present understanding of the region's climate history while the sedimentological data give insight into the depositional characteristics during climate transitions.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography

First Advisor

Dennis E. Dahms, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 227 pages)



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