Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain research project
Soda Lake Interdisciplinary Project (SLIP)
The Carrizo Plain is the only closed basin in the southern Coast Ranges;
all the other valleys have drainage to the sea. Soda Lake receives the
water discharge from the Carrizo and accumulates sediment derived from the
basin. Geologic evidence suggests that the runoff from the plain and
flanking mountain ranges once joined San Juan Creek and reached the Pacific
through the Salinas River. Tectonic warping of the Carrizo cut off the
connection to San Juan Creek at some time after the last glacial maximum
(~10,000 years ago). Since then wind blown and water laid sediment have
accumulated in the basin; their type, chemistry, and amount directly
reflecting the prevailing climate. Cores of sediment taken from Soda Lake
can reveal this unique record of climatic and tectonic history.
--Dallas Rhodes, 1997
In collaboration with
Dallas D. Rhodes
Georgia Southern University
Lisa Rossbacher, Georgia Southern Polytechnic University
Jeffrey P. Kilpatrick, Whittier College
Lisa Pratt, Indiana University
Jennifer Eigenbrode, Pennsylvania State University
German Mora, Indiana University
GSA 1997 Annual Meeting Abstract
Climate Change Recorded by Sedimentary Organic Matter in Soda Lake,
GSA 1998 Annual Meeting Abstracts
CLAY DUNES AT SODA LAKE, CARRIZO PLAIN,
On Line Poster
BIOGEOCHEMICAL DYNAMICS AND EVOLUTION OF GYPSIFEROUS
SOILS IN THE CARRIZO PLAIN, CALIFORNIA
GSA 1999 Annual Meeting Abstract
Sedimentological and Carbon-Isotopic Records of Late Holocene
Climate in the Sediments of Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain,
Here are some images and analyses of lake levels.
I used the USGS 10 m National Elevation data set to do this.
First, I looked at the elevation of the top of the berm. It turns out to be exactly 600 m in those data. So, I make a lake that would fill to that level which is a couple of meters above the slickspot levels that I could see.
Here is the map of the lake: sodalakeGSA2005_600mlake.pdf.Note the sw-ne depth profile, consistent with our ideas of tilting to the SW.
Then, I pondered what it would take to breach the basin immediately to the southwest: sodalakeGSA2005Breachpossib.pdf. In that image, you see the 600 m lake and then the elevation band of 650-700 m which shows a couple of places where the drainage could get out if it were about 60 or so meters higher (or if the SW side weren't uplifted that much if it is). Here is a zoom: sodalakeGSA2005Breachpossib_zoom.pdf.
Here are some oblique views of the lake and the sw side with the BLM aerial photography draped on the dem.:
Then, I pondered things further and I wondered if that 660 or so meter breach height on the southwest weren't a bit high compared to the northwest end of the Carrizo Plain. It turns out that according to this calculation (and I think Dallas figured this out before), the natural spill elevation is 633 m at the NW end of the Carrizo Plain:
sodalakeGSA2005_633mlake.pdf. Again, note the depth profile from sw-ne. This time it is almost 50 m deep.
Here is a zoom to the NW end to see that spill: sodalakeGSA2005_633mlake_zoom.pdf.
Ok, and here are some obliques with the reconstructed lakes in there in tiff format:
Here is the 595 m lake:
Here are a couple of 595 m lake map views:
sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_airphoto.pdf (tiff: sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_airphoto.tif
sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_dpth.pdf (tiff: sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_dpth.tif
sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_rds.pdf (tiff: sodalakeGSA2005_595mlake_rds.tif
Files in tif format:
NEW, same viewpoint 3D views:
3d0new.tif Modern lake
3d585new.tif 585 m lake
3d595new.tif 595 m lake
600 m lake:
633 m lake:
Here is a geotiff airphoto of the central Carrizo Plain. Unfortunately I could only export it at 5 m ground resolution:
Here is a bunch of stuff from a Dibblee document that is worth looking at:
cpstuff.zip. Hopefully you can see it.
Images of Soda Lake
Map of Soda Lake prepared by Dallas
Interior main basin from a plane
The big berm from a plane
Pages maintained by
Prof. Ramón Arrowsmith
Last modified October 11, 2005