Updated chronology for Peoria Silt (loess) accumulation in Illinois and western Indiana from radiocarbon dating of terrestrial gastropod shells

David A. Grimley, Henry M. Loope, Peter M. Jacobs, T. Andrew Nash, Sarah N. Dendy, Jessica Conroy, B. Brandon Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Based on calibrated radiocarbon ages of terrestrial gastropod shells (Succineidae, Discus, Stenotrema, Webbhelix), the chronology of Peoria Silt (loess) deposition in the Central Lowlands is updated. These taxa provide reliable ages (within ∼0.2 ka), based on historical shell dating, shell-organic age comparisons, and stratigraphic consistency. A compilation of 53 new and 36 published Peoria Silt shell ages (calibrated), from 12 localities, date from 30.0 to 17.4 ka. Proximal (fossiliferous) loess from 10 sections had mean loess accumulation rates of 0.6-2.2 mm/yr. Study sites along the upper Mississippi, Illinois, to mid-Mississippi, and Ohio-Wabash Valleys suggest Peoria loess accumulated from ∼27 to 15 ka, ∼29 to 18 ka, and ∼30 to 18 ka, respectively. The cessation age for Peoria Silt, based on surface extrapolations, is ∼1-6 ka earlier than some prior Illinois estimates, even assuming slower loess accumulation in the modern solum. Younger loess in northwestern Illinois likely reflects, in part, Superior and Des Moines Lobe glacial-meltwater sediment, and Iowan Erosion Surface inputs to the upper Mississippi Valley, after the Lake Michigan Lobe receded. Furthermore, stronger winds, drier conditions, and reduced vegetation cover in valley deflation areas may have favored higher accumulation rates and later loess deposition in northwestern relative to southeastern areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQuaternary Research (United States)
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Chronology
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Last glacial
  • Loess
  • Peoria Silt
  • Radiocarbon
  • Succineidae
  • Wisconsin Episode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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