Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

    
Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home
ABOUT MODIS
MODIS Publications Link
MODIS Presentations Link
MODIS Biographies Link
MODIS Science Team Meetings Link
 

 

 

Scuderi, LA, Laudadio, CK, Fawcett, PJ (2010). Monitoring playa lake inundation in the western United States: Modern analogues to late-Holocene lake level change. QUATERNARY RESEARCH, 73(1), 48-58.

Abstract
Closed basin playas are among the most sensitive hydrologic systems globally and are excellent indicators of current and past climatic variability. This variability can significantly impact hydrologic regimes and biotic communities, and is often expressed in lake-bed deposits and shoreline features. We analyzed two playa basins in western North America that lie to either side of the current divide between monsoon and westerly precipitation regimes. Using a 23-year sequence of Landsat images at a 16-day time step, we determined the playa inundation response to varying precipitation inputs. Our results show that a strongly contrasting lake-inundation response occurs in lake basins separated by only 200 km. The Animas/Lordsburg Basin shows a marked lake-area increase in response to winter precipitation events, while the more southerly Palomas Basin shows a stronger response to monsoonal and El Nino-type events. This sensitivity to different input sources over short distances may explain some of the apparent asynchronous behavior of playa response found in lake records. Comprehensive regional-scale inundation records could be used to understand the dynamics of playa inundation events and how these events are linked to atmospheric circulation, and possibly to understand the observed asynchronous behavior of lake basins during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. (C) 2009 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI:
10.1016/j.yqres.2009.04.004

ISSN:
0033-5894

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page