Evidence from Western North America for Rapid Shifts in Climate During the Last Glacial Maximum

Science  25 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5116, pp. 1920-1923
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5116.1920


The Estancia basin in southwestern United States contains evidence for strong and rapid pulsations in the supply of moisture brought into the region during the last ice age. The pulses were recorded during episodes of stream discharge that spread plumes of fresh water laden with quartz sand over the saline lake. The largest pulses in stream discharge lasted only a few decades, were organized into cycles that were spaced approximately 200 to 250 and 2000 years apart, and were of sufficient magnitude to freshen and maintain the lake at its maximum recorded elevation.