Van Houten cycle. Lacustrine strata in the Newark basin, such as this part of the Towaco Formation from the ACE cores, show cyclical changes in color, sediment fabrics, fossil preservation, and total organic carbon content. Shallow-water lacustrine and playa (dry-lake bed) deposits tend to be red and massive (from repeated bioturbation and mudcracking); very deep-water lacustrine deposits tend to be black and laminated or microlaminated. A Van Houten cycle, as defined by Olsen (1986), records a complete cycle of the lake-level rise (division 1), lake high-stand (division 2), and lake-level fall (division 3). Depth rank is a relative index of water level, with 0 being very shallow and 5 being deep. Modified from Olsen et al. (1996).