A Great Basin-wide dry episode during the first half of the Mystery Interval?

Wallace S. Broecker, David McGee, Kenneth D. Adams, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards, Charles G. Oviatt, Jay Quade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The existence of the Big Dry event from 14.9 to 13.8 14C kyrs in the Lake Estancia New Mexico record suggests that the deglacial Mystery Interval (14.5-12.4 14C kyrs) has two distinct hydrologic parts in the western USA. During the first, Great Basin Lake Estancia shrank in size and during the second, Great Basin Lake Lahontan reached its largest size. It is tempting to postulate that the transition between these two parts of the Mystery Interval were triggered by the IRD event recorded off Portugal at about 13.8 14C kyrs which post dates Heinrich event #1 by about 1.5 kyrs. This twofold division is consistent with the record from Hulu Cave, China, in which the initiation of the weak monsoon event occurs in the middle of the Mystery Interval at 16.1 kyrs (i.e., about 13.8 14C kyrs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2557-2563
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number25-26
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology


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