20,000 years of fire history from the West Desert, Utah

Authors: Andrea Brunelle*, University Of Utah, Kaylee Jones, University of Utah, Isaac Hart, University of Utah, Jennifer Degraffenried, Dugway Proving Ground
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Environment
Keywords: paleoenvironment, archaeology, fire history, western U.S.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In collaboration with archaeologists from Dugway Proving Ground, our team has collected multiple sediment cores from springs and playas across the West Desert region of Utah. These cores were collected to reconstruct the past environmental conditions for the last ~20,000 years to better understand the resources that may have been available to prehistoric inhabitants of the area. The focus was to understand the timing and geography of various archaeological sites in conjunction with the paleoenvironment. The research presented here examines the fire history records generated from the various cores across the basin. We present a summary of the fire history for the last 20,000 years as well as address the roles of humans, climate and vegetation on the fire regime in the West Desert region.

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