Conference Name: American Geophysical Union Fall 2011 Meeting
Lichenometry and cosmogenic surface exposure dating have been highly successful in deciphering landform evolution in tectonically active regions, but have not been widely applied in mid-continent settings. We propose to test the idea that many of the talus deposits in Devil's Lake State Park (DLSP) are ancient, fossil, periglacial deposits that have been frozen in space and time not moving since ~18,000 years ago. Our results may provide valuable information that could be applied to other settings and may also offer information on the effects of 2nd order climatic events such as the Little Ice Age of the 16th-19th centuries, and also help determine the relation between the last glacial maximum about 18ky ago and its related timing to major mass sediment movements. Our preliminary data was collected methodologically offering tight, unimodal peaks of lichen diameters/ages for Aspicilia cinerea and Dimelaena oreina most consistent with the idea that the deposits have not moved since the last ice age. A growth curve for Dimelaena oreina was established through the use of a neighboring cemetery giving a local growth rate of 67.13mm/100yr with R=68. Size-distribution results for DLSP peaked at only 65.2mm. This suggests that current talus block lichen cover is not a record of the first generation. We will pair our lichenometric results with the future use of 10Be cosmogenic surface exposure dating to determine the ages of the 3 major talus deposits themselves (as opposed to lichen initialization ages) which should allow us to test our initial hypothesis, enhance our lichenometry data set, and begin to develop a more robust sampling strategy for further work. Deciphering the landform evolution of this area would offer insight to past landslides and mass debris flows.