Magnetic susceptibility of the Palouse loess as a paleoclimate indicator
Molly A. Coates
May 10, 2017
Department or Program
The Walla Walla valley is generally made up of two rock groups: basalt and loess. Loess is silt sized, windblown sediment that can form thick deposits. These deposits have been used to study paleoclimate, and some of which can represent hundreds of thousands of years of history. Climate records from terrestrial systems are lacking since there is more long term erosion than long term deposition, on average. The goal of this study is to determine if the magnetic susceptibility of loess collected from the Clyde outcrop can be correlated with existing global paleoclimate data. So far, we have found that magnetic susceptibility varies measurably as a function of depth, and susceptibility variations can be stratigraphically correlated at the outcrop scale.