Holocene Alluvial Stratigraphy of Kitchen Corral Wash, Southern Utah

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Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Geology of Utah's Far South: Utah Geological Association Publication




Utah Geological Association

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Kitchen Corral Wash (KCW), a tributary of the Paria River in southern Utah, has experienced episodes of historic and pre-historic (Holocene) arroyo cutting and filling. During the most recent arroyo-cutting event (about A.D. 1880–1920), KCW and other regional drainages were entrenched 5–30 meters into their fine-grained alluvial valley fills. While previous studies have attempted to constrain the timing of arroyo cut-fill events in KCW, poor age control has limited the results. In order to better understand the timing of arroyo cutting events, this study updates and improves the arroyo cut-fill chronostratigraphy from KCW by using alluvial stratigraphic descriptions and age control from optically stimulated luminescence and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating. Results are based on 11 study sites, each exposing a number of unconformity-bounded alluvial packages in the arroyo-wall stratigraphy, and suggest at least six arroyo cut-fill episodes over the last approximately 7000 years. From oldest to youngest, the six episodes of alluvial fill aggradation are: an older fill from Hereford (2002), Qf1, Qf2, Qf3, Qf4, and Qf5. Although not discussed here, these chronostratigraphic results were used by Huff (2013) to test hypotheses related to climatic forcing of arroyo dynamics by comparing the chronology from KCW to regional alluvial chronologies and paleoclimate records.

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