In the Pleistocene period many large lakes were formed within the Great Basin; especially, by the fusion of small catchment basins, two great confluent bodies of water - Lake Lahontan (in the Nevada basin) and Lake Bonneville (in the Utah basin).
Gilbert's Lake Bonneville (U.S. Geological Survey, Monographs, No.
During Pleistocene times all these lacustrine basins were occupied by lakes of much greater depthand la~ger size; the outlines of the eastern (Lake Bonneville) and the western (Lake Lahontan) water bodies are well recorded by shore lines and deltas on the enclosing slopes, hundreds of feet above the present lake surfaces; the abandoned shore lines, as studied by G.
In the west the Quaternary deposits are not, in all cases, sharply separated from the late Tertiary, but the deposits of glacial drift, referable to two or more glacial epochs, are readily differentiated from the Tertiary; so, also, are certain lacustrine deposits, such as those of the extinct lakes Bonneville and Lahontan.
The Quaternary beds of lakes Bonneville and Lahontan have been faulted in a small way since they were deposited, and the old shore lines of these lakes have been deformed to the extent of hundreds of feet.
Bonneville was the first to cross the Rockies with wagons (1832),' and two years later Fort Laramie, near the mouth of the Laramie river, was established to control the fur trade of the Arapahoes, Cheyennes and Sioux.
The great 1 See Washington Irving, Adventures of Captain Bonneville (New York, 1860).
The "Bonneville Shore-line," about 1000 ft.
Deep, clearly prove the main facts as to lake Bonneville: a dry basin was first occupied by the shallow waters of a small lake; then, during a long period of excessive moisture (or cold), the waters rose and spread over an area nearly as large as lake Huron with a maximum depth of 1000 ft.; a period of great dryness followed, in which the lake disappeared; then came a second, shorter, but more intense period of moisture, and in this time the lake rose, covered a larger area than before, including W.
Captain Bonneville described the lake and named it after himself, but the name was transferred to the great Pleistocene lake.
Talmage, The Great Salt Lake, Present and Past (Salt Lake City, 1900); and Grove Karl Gilbert, Lake Bonneville, monograph i of United States Geological Survey (Washington, 1890), containing (pp. 12-19) references to the earlier literature.
Lake Bonneville is the name given to the most important of the much greater lakes of the glacial period, whose old shore-lines are plainly visible on many mountain slopes.
Gilbert, Lake Bonneville (ibid., 1890), Monograph I.