Faculty Publications


Mid-Holocene Erosion of Soil Catenas on Moraines near the Type Pinedale Till, Wind River Range, Wyoming

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Quaternary Research





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Buried soils are described from the floors of four kettles on Pinedale piedmont moraines of the southwestern Wind River Range, Wyoming, near the type locality of the Pinedale Till. The buried soils indicate that a previously unreported episode of slope erosion has occurred along adjacent catenas on some of the moraines in this region. Radiocarbon ages of the buried soils indicate that slope erosion occurred during the middle Holocene from 8540 ± 190 to 4800 ± 60 14C yr B.P. The presence of buried soils in moraine kettles indicates that profiles on the crests and backslopes of some of the moraines in this region are not the products of continuous post-Pinedale soil formation. Rather, the crest and backslope soils on Pinedale moraines result from two periods of soil development separated by an interval of erosion. Thus, soils on crests and backslopes are considered to be welded profiles. Relative-age studies that use soil data to estimate the age of moraines in this region must take into account the possibility that a mid-Holocene erosion episode affected the genesis and morphology of soils on the moraines. This study corroborates results of previous work that suggests that data from complete catenas are more useful for estimating the characteristic soil development on Quaternary moraines than are data derived from crests alone. © 1994 by the University of Washington.

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