|dc.description.abstract||This thesis presents new data on aeolian geomorphology, geochronology, and site formation in the Goshute Valley, Nevada. Two dune fields were the focus of this study: the Hardy Creek Dune Field in the north and White Horse Dune Field in the south. This study provides an example of the significance of geomorphological, chronological, and geoarchaeological studies of aeolian settings in the eastern Great Basin.
Granulometric analysis determined the characteristics of the dunes from each field while aerial imagery and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) determined morphology. Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating determined the age of representative dunes from each field. Results indicate that the lunettes in the Hardy Creek Dune Field and the weathered linear dunes in the White Horse Dune Field range in age from the middle to late Holocene.
An archaeological survey in each dune field showed that people traversed the Goshute Valley throughout the Holocene. The survey also showed that people were most likely hunting seasonally in the dunes, since a considerable number of the sites were found in the dunes instead of the playa. Projectile points dating from the early to late Holocene also indicate that hunting was the primary activity within the dunes.
This research shows the importance of the geochronological and geoarchaeological results from the Hardy Creek and White Horse dune fields, demonstrating the Holocene paleoclimate and human interaction with aeolian environments.||en