Peoria Loess Chronology and Provenance

Status Start Date End Date Locations
Active Nov 1, 2020 Nov 1, 2022 Morgan
Director: Henry Loope
Other Researchers: Jose Luis Antinao, Peter Jacobs, Elizabeth Moore Tom Lowell (University of Cincinnati), Bob Booth (Lehigh University), Julie Bowles (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Funding: Indiana University - Indiana Geological & Water Survey
Issue: Loess-derived soils are some of the most agriculturally productive in the Midwest and the physical and geochemical properties of loess are important factors in understanding their productivity. Additionally, the distribution, provenance, and chronology of loess deposits provide important indicators of past changes in surface processes and paleoclimate reconstructions.
Objective: This project will determine the provenance and chronology of deposition of Peoria Loess during the last glacial period in central Indiana.
Approach: This project will collect and analyze cores from a 5-ha, topographically closed basin situated just beyond the limit of Wisconsin glaciation, northeast of Martinsville, Indiana. The cores will be photographed and analyzed for total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, particle size, clay/silt mineralogy, bulk geochemistry (ICP-MS/XRF) and natural remnant magnetism (NRM). Organic material within the cores will be submitted for radiocarbon dating to determine a chronology of deposition.
Products: A manuscript, to be submitted to an international journal, will be prepared with the data collected from this project, coupled with data collected during the course of geologic mapping in central Indiana.
Benefits: This project improves our understanding of the paleoenvironmental conditions present in central Indiana during the Last Glacial Maximum (~26,000 to 19,000 years ago). Geochemistry and particle size data collected for this project will provide important information for the study of loess-derived soils and permit better estimates of elemental mass balance and weathering within modern soils.