Beach ridges constructed by pluvial Lake Clover in Elko County, Nevada during the Late Pleistocene were investigated with ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The primary objective was to document the internal architecture of these shorelines and to evaluate whether they were constructed during lake rise or fall. GPR data were collected with a ground-coupled 400-Mhz antenna and SIR-3000 controller. To constrain the morphology of the ridges, detailed topographic surveys were collected with a Topcon GTS-235W total station referenced to a second class 0 vertical survey point. GPR transects crossed the beach ridge built by Lake Clover at its highstand of 1725 m, along with seven other ridges down to the lowest beach at 1712 m. An average dielectric permittivity of 5.0, typical for dry sand and gravel, was calculated from GPR surveys in the vicinity of hand-excavations that encountered prominent stratigraphic discontinuities at known depths. Assuming this value, consistent radar signals were returned to a depth of ~3 m. Beach ridges are resolvable as ~90 to 150-cm thick stratified packages of gravelly sand overlying a prominent lakeward-dipping reflector, interpreted as the pre-lake land surface. Many ridges contain a package of sediment resembling a buried berm at their core, typically offset in a landward direction from the geomorphic crest of the beach ridge. Sequences of lakeward-dipping reflectors are resolvable beneath the beach face of all ridges. No evidence was observed to indicate that beach ridges were submerged by higher water levels after their formation. Instead, the GPR data are consistent with a model of sequential ridge formation during a monotonic lake regression.
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