US Geological Survey


Document Type


Date of this Version



Quaternary Science Reviews 22 (2003) 2239–2251


We correlate oscillations in the hydrologic and/or cryologic balances of four Great Basin surface-water systems with Dansgaard– Oeschger (DO) events 2–12. This correlation is relatively strong at the location of the magnetic signature used to link the lake records, but becomes less well constrained with distance/time from the signature. Comparison of proxy glacial and hydrologic records from Owens and Pyramid lakes indicates that Sierran glacial advances occurred during times of relative dryness. If our hypothesized correlation between the lake-based records and the GISP2 δ18O record is correct, it suggests that North Atlantic D–O stades were associated with relatively cold and dry conditions and that interstades were associated with relatively warm and wet conditions throughout the Great Basin between 50,500 and 27,000 GISP2 yr B.P. The Great Basin lacustrine climate records reinforce the hypothesis that D–O events affected the climate throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere during marine isotope stages 2 and 3. However, the absolute phasing between lake-size and ice-core δ18O records remains difficult to determine.