Team Nevada (L to R: Kurt Crandall, Ethan Conley, Penelope Vorster, and India Futterman) prepare to measure section and describe profiles at Mormon Mesa.
Team Nevada discovered two new soil-stratigraphic exposures with younger, presumably late-Pleistocene soil profiles inset into the older Miocene-Pliocene Mormon Mesa soil profile. Micromorphological and stable isotopic analysis of samples from these profiles may provide new resolution into the geomorphic and climatic history of the region. Team Nevada dutifully headed into the field at 5 am every morning, yet still braved temperatures of up to 114° by 2 pm, and had close encounters with a sidewinder and a Mojave green on their final day. In all, Team Nevada collected over 130 samples from profiles and soil surface survey transects. Student thesis research, now in the manuscript stage for peer-reviewed journal submission, has yielded new or revised models for the genesis of pedogenic ooids and pedogenic carbonate laminae. Geochemical data from surface transects, in tandem with data from external collaborators, may also help reconstruct the history of Pleistocene-Holocene dust flux and micro-playa development across the Mormon Mesa surface.