Sedimentology and depositional history of the Miocene-Pliocene southern Bouse Formation, Arizona and California
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The Miocene to Pliocene southern Bouse Formation preserves a record of depositional environments immediately prior to and during integration of the Colorado River to the Gulf of California. Uncertainty over Bouse paleoenvironments obscures our understanding of the timing and magnitude of regional uplift, as well as the conditions and processes that were active during integration and early evolution of the Colorado River. Prior studies over the past 20 years have concluded that the southern Bouse Formation accumulated in chain of lakes isolated from the ocean. Sedimentologic analyses presented here aid interpretation of depositional environments and provide evidence for a strong tidal influence on deposition, consistent with a marine interpretation of other prior studies. This interpretation places a critical constrain on the elevation of these deposits at ca. 5 Ma, and suggests post-Miocene uplift of the Lower Colorado River corridor. This thesis includes previously published coauthored material.