Ancient lakes and lithium: connecting past warm-wet states to an emerging natural resource
Dr. Daniel Ibarra, Assistant Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences and Environment and Society, Brown University.
Abstract: The presence or absence of lakes in terminal basins provides an unequivocal measure of wetness. In this talk I will show that wetter conditions during both colder- and warmer-than-present periods in the past are recorded in shoreline and outcrop data from the latest Pleistocene and the middle-Pliocene. Using hydrologic scaling relationships, I demonstrate that: 1) Pleistocene lakes during glacial maxima in the northern Great Basin do not require substantial precipitation increases to explain many lake shoreline extents; and 2) middle-Pliocene lakes would have required up to a doubling of precipitation in the southwest. These inferences provide quantitative targets for assessing the performance of climate model simulations of the terrestrial water cycle. In the second half of this talk, I will show ongoing work associated with our hydroclimate work linking lithium accumulation in a lacustrine basin to past climate via changes in evapoconcentration and water balance.
The Earth Science Colloquium Series, sponsored by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES), provides a lively forum for discussing a wide variety of topics within the Earth sciences and related fields. Colloquia are attended by the full range of scientific and technical staff at LDEO. Colloquium attendance is required of all pre-orals DEES graduate students. The Colloquium Series supports the Lamont Seminar Diversity Initiative.