Authors: Dorothy Sack*, Ohio University
Topics: History of Geography
Keywords: G.K. Gilbert, Lake Bonneville, Monograph 1, history of geomorphology
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Virginia C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
G.K. Gilbert (1843-1918) remains one of the most esteemed geomorphologists in the history of American earth science. He contributed a wealth of publications on an exceedingly wide range of research topics. One of his most respected works is U.S.G.S. Monograph 1, his comprehensive account of Lake Bonneville, a large late Pleistocene lake that occupied western Utah. Entitled simply Lake Bonneville, the monograph pulls together results of the decade of research that Gilbert conducted on the paleolake. Some of the many topics covered in Monograph 1 had been introduced by Gilbert in earlier articles and governmental reports. For example, the Topographic Features of Lake Shores (1885) is repeated verbatim as a chapter in the Lake Bonneville monograph. Most of Gilbert's pre-monograph publications on Lake Bonneville, however, provide some details not included in the 428-page summary monograph, thus are valuable resources in their own right. Eight years before Monograph 1, Gilbert authored a report which presages so much of the lacustrine chronology recounted in Monograph 1 that I refer to it as "Minigraph 1." Despite the impressive magnitude of Monograph 1, Gilbert left some critical evidence for his interpretation of the chronology of Lake Bonneville in Minigraph 1. Overshadowed by Monograph 1, revisiting Minigraph 1 has helped to correct a major twentieth century misinterpretation of elements of Gilbert's Lake Bonneville's chronology.