Title

Magnetic Susceptibility of the Palouse Loess as a Paleoclimate Indicator

Abstract

Loess is silt-sized, windblown sediment that can form thick deposits such as the Palouse loess north of Walla Walla. The magnetic susceptibility of sediment in these loess deposits has been used to reconstruct past climate for hundreds of thousands of years of history. However, this technique has not been used in the Palouse loess. We measured the magnetic susceptibility of loess from a previously studied outcrop northwest of Walla Walla and compared it to published paleoclimate data. Magnetic susceptibility of the sediments changes consistently and measurably with time. We measured grain size to test the hypothesis that changes in grain size influence magnetic susceptibility. If these variables are correlated, grain size may be a useful proxy for paleoclimate in the Palouse.

Faculty Sponsor

Nick Bader

Tracks

Geology and Climate

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 159

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Magnetic Susceptibility of the Palouse Loess as a Paleoclimate Indicator

Science 159

Loess is silt-sized, windblown sediment that can form thick deposits such as the Palouse loess north of Walla Walla. The magnetic susceptibility of sediment in these loess deposits has been used to reconstruct past climate for hundreds of thousands of years of history. However, this technique has not been used in the Palouse loess. We measured the magnetic susceptibility of loess from a previously studied outcrop northwest of Walla Walla and compared it to published paleoclimate data. Magnetic susceptibility of the sediments changes consistently and measurably with time. We measured grain size to test the hypothesis that changes in grain size influence magnetic susceptibility. If these variables are correlated, grain size may be a useful proxy for paleoclimate in the Palouse.

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