The Iceage in Utah

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Lake Bonneville, glacial formations, and other geologic reminders of the Ice Age in Utah

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  • During the most recent Ice Age in Utah, glaciers blanketed the mountains and Lake Bonneville covered most of Utah’s western valleys. Habitats suitable for mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses, muskoxen, long-horned bison, and saber-toothed cats, were restricted to the margins of Lake Bonneville and the periphery of mountain glaciers. Climate effects during the Ice Age became drastic by the end of the Pleistocene. There was a net loss of plant and animal diversity and ultimately mastodons, mammoths, camels, horses, ground sloths, and many other species became extinct. The extinction of these Pleistocene animals is not well understood. Two main theories are the “Pleistocene Overkill Theory”, which states that large animals were killed off by early humans, and the “Climate Theory” which holds that large animals failed to adjust to rapid climate changes.
  • The Iceage in Utah

    1. 1. Intro- The Ice Age in Utah The Ice Age in Utah The landscape and life in Utah during the most recent Ice Age in Utah 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. Lake Bonneville glaciers Salt Lake City 18,000 years ago . in Utah
    2. 2. Ice Ages Throughout Geologic Time Average Global Temperature ( 0 C) Figure modified after C.R. Scotese PALEOMAP Project (www.scotese.com) Quaternary 12° 22° 17° Ice Age Ice Age Ice Age Ice Age
    3. 3. Last Glacial Maximum 18,000 years ago <ul><li>C.R. Scotese, PALEOMAP Project, (www.scotese.com) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Milankovitch Cycles Eccentricity 90,000 to 100,000 years Precession 19,000 to 23,000 years Obliquity (Axial Tilt) 41,000 years Figures modified after Matt Beedle, Montana Sate University. ~5% ~0%
    5. 5. Lake Bonneville and Ice Coverage in Utah During the Late Pleistocene ~18,000 years ago Lake Bonneville Uinta Mountains Wasatch Range
    6. 6. Lake Bonneville ~18,000 years ago Utah Salt Lake Delta
    7. 7. The Rise and Fall of Lake Bonneville Bonneville Level 18,000 years ago Gilbert Level 12,000 years ago Provo Level 17,000 years ago Stansbury Level 24,000 years ago Hydrograph of Lake Bonneville Great Salt Lake today
    8. 8. Stansbury Shoreline Red Rock Pass ~24,000 years ago Stansbury Island Ogden Delta Nephi Provo Salt Lake UT ID NV
    9. 9. Bonneville Shoreline ~18,000 years ago Point of the Mountain Ogden Delta Nephi Provo Salt Lake UT ID NV Red Rock Pass
    10. 10. Provo Shoreline ~17,000 years ago Ogden Delta Nephi Provo Salt Lake UT ID NV Red Rock Pass
    11. 11. Gilbert Shoreline ~12,000 years ago Ogden Delta Nephi Provo Salt Lake UT ID NV Red Rock Pass
    12. 12. Great Salt Lake Today Ogden Delta Nephi Provo Salt Lake UT ID NV Red Rock Pass
    13. 13. Shorelines of Lake Bonneville at Antelope Island Provo Stansbury Gilbert Bonneville Unnamed shoreline Unnamed shoreline
    14. 14. Bonneville Shoreline at Point of the Mountain Paragliders
    15. 15. Bonneville Shoreline at Point of the Mountain Bonneville Shoreline at the “U”
    16. 16. Stockton Bar, Utah Modern Barrier Bar and Spit Lake Bonneville Barrier Bar and Spit Kiawah Island, South Carolina
    17. 17. Lake Bonneville Spits Older spit Younger spit Contact surface
    18. 18. Lake Bonneville Deep-Water Sediments Laminations
    19. 19. Tufa on the Provo Shoreline Tufa on Quartzite
    20. 20. Lake Bonneville Delta Sediment Transport Direction
    21. 21. Provo Shoreline Wave-Cut Platform Wave Direction
    22. 22. Bonneville Salt Flats Provo Shoreline Bonneville Shoreline Salt
    23. 23. Modern Glaciers Alaska Devil’s Desk Glacier Halo Glacier, Cook Inlet
    24. 24. Holgate Glacier, Alaska
    25. 25. Glacial Cirques Uinta Mountains Convict Lake, Sierra Nevada Mountains Glacial Cirque Glacial Cirque
    26. 26. U-shaped Glacial Canyons Little Cottonwood Canyon Yosemite Valley Glacier National Park
    27. 27. Mill Creek Canyon “V-shaped” Stream- eroded canyon Little Cottonwood Canyon “U-shaped” Glacier- eroded canyon
    28. 28. Glacial Scenery at Alta, Utah U-shaped Valley Arêtes
    29. 29. Moraines Chugach Mountains, Alaska Image by Michael Collier Medial Moraine Image by Bruce Molnia, Terra Photographics
    30. 30. Glacial Features at Little Cottonwood Canyon Fault Scarps Trimline Moraines U-Shaped Valley
    31. 31. Bells Canyon, Utah Lateral Moraine Fault Scarp
    32. 32. Glacial Erratics Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota Denali National Park, Alaska Person
    33. 33. Little Cottonwood Canyon Glacial Erratics
    34. 34. Glacial Polish and Grooves Grooves and polish on bedrock Glacier National Park, Montana Striations
    35. 35. Life in Utah During the Ice Age
    36. 36. Life in Utah at the end of the Ice Age
    37. 37. Assorted Lake Bonneville Mollusks
    38. 38. Hunting for Gastropods (Snails)
    39. 39. Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Known Distribution Today are isolated in streams that once drained into Lake Bonneville.
    40. 40. Utah’s Giant Ice Age Birds Teratornis- “ giant condor” Teratornis skeleton Endangered California Condor Teratornis skull
    41. 41. Ice Age Land Bridges and Mammal Migrations
    42. 42. Ice Age Elephants Mammoth Mastodon Detail from Joseph S. Venus mural, College of Eastern Utah (CEU) Prehistoric Museum, Price, Utah The Huntington Mammoth ( Mammathus columbi ) skeleton at the CEU Prehistoric Museum
    43. 43. Mammoth & Elephants vs. Mastodons Columbian Mammoth ( M. columbi ) American Mastodon ( Mammut americanum ) Elephants and mammoths have high skulls, while mastodons have low skulls. Elephants and mammoths have low, highly enfolded teeth for grazing, while mastodons have high crested teeth for browsing leaves . Elephants and mammoths are tall, while mastodons are shorter with more massive bodies .
    44. 44. Saber-toothed Cat Skeletal reconstruction and detail from Joseph S. Venus mural, CEU Prehistoric Museum, Price, Utah Smilodon fatalis
    45. 45. Giant Ground Sloth Skeletal reconstruction and detail from Joseph S. Venus mural, CEU Prehistoric Museum, Price, Utah
    46. 46. Other Extinct Ice Age Mammals Extinct Musk Ox Extinct Long-Horned Bison Camels, together with native horses, went extinct in North America at the end of the Ice Age
    47. 47. Mountain mammals that lived in Ice Age Lowlands The American pika, Ochotona princeps , The wolverine, Gulo gulo
    48. 48. Power Point Presentation (list of slides) <ul><li>1. Intro – the Ice Age in Utah </li></ul><ul><li>2. Ice Ages Throughout Geologic Time </li></ul><ul><li>3. Last Glacial Maximum 18,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>4. Milankovitch Cycles: Changes in Earth’s Orbit </li></ul><ul><li>5. Lake Bonneville and Ice Coverage in Utah ~ 18,000 yrs ago </li></ul><ul><li>6. Lake Bonneville ~ 18,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>7. The Rise and Fall of Lake Bonneville </li></ul><ul><li>8. Stansbury Shoreline ~ 24,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>9. Bonneville Shoreline ~ 18,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>10. Provo Shoreline ~ 18,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>11. Gilbert Shoreline ~ 12,600 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>12. Great Salt Lake - Today </li></ul><ul><li>13. Shorelines of Lake Bonneville on Antelope Island </li></ul><ul><li>14. Bonneville Shoreline at Point of the Mountain </li></ul><ul><li>15. Bonneville Shoreline at “U” and Point of the Mountain </li></ul><ul><li>16. Stockton Bar, Utah </li></ul><ul><li>17. Lake Bonneville Spits </li></ul><ul><li>18. Lake Bonneville Deep Water Sediments </li></ul><ul><li>19. Tufa on the Provo Shoreline </li></ul><ul><li>20. Lake Bonneville Delta </li></ul><ul><li>21. Provo Shoreline Wave Cut Platform </li></ul><ul><li>22. Bonneville Salt Flats </li></ul><ul><li>23. Modern Glaciers - Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>24. Holgate Galcier, Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>25. Glacial Cirques </li></ul><ul><li>26. U-shaped Glacial Canyons </li></ul><ul><li>27. “U-shaped” and “V-shaped” Canyons </li></ul><ul><li>28. Glacial Scenery at Alta, Utah </li></ul><ul><li>29. Moraines on the Juneau Icefield, Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>30. Glacial Features at Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah </li></ul><ul><li>31. Bells Canyon, Utah </li></ul><ul><li>32. Glacial Erratics </li></ul><ul><li>33. Little Cottonwood Canyon Glacial Erratics </li></ul><ul><li>34. Glacial Polish and Grooves </li></ul><ul><li>35. Life in Utah during the Ice Age </li></ul><ul><li>36. Life in Utah at the end of the Ice Age </li></ul><ul><li>37. Assorted Lake Bonneville Mollusks </li></ul><ul><li>38. Hunting for Gastropods (Snails) </li></ul><ul><li>39. Bonneville Cutthroat Trout </li></ul><ul><li>40. Utah’s Giant Ice Age Birds </li></ul><ul><li>41. Ice Age Land Bridges and Mammal Migrations </li></ul><ul><li>42. Ice Age Elephants </li></ul><ul><li>43. Mammoth and Elephants vs. Mastodons </li></ul><ul><li>44. Saber-toothed Cat </li></ul><ul><li>45. Giant Ground Sloth </li></ul><ul><li>46. Other Extinct Ice Age Mammals </li></ul><ul><li>47. Mountain Mammals that lived in Ice Age Lowlands </li></ul>

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