Geography and Environmental Studies, WLU
Isotopic characterization of periphyton algae and surface-sediments in the Old Crow Flats, Yukon Territory, for hydroecological monitoring and paleolimnology
Oxygen isotope analysis of aquatic cellulose in lake sediment cores is a useful tracer of lake water oxygen isotope composition although uncertainties remain regarding the seasonal timing of cellulose production in shallow northern lakes. This can have a marked influence on the isotopic signal that is incorporated because large isotopic changes in lake water can occur over the ice-free season. This isotope paleohydrological technique will be refined by measuring cellulose oxygen isotope composition in periphytic algae that accrue on artificial substrates and in organic remains in surface-sediments in lakes of the Old Crow Flats (OCF, Yukon Territory). I will compare oxygen isotope results from lake water, periphytic algae cellulose and surface-sediment cellulose to constrain paleohydrological reconstructions from lake sediment cores. Further development of this isotopic apporach will also contribute to the development of a hydroecological monitoring program for the OCF.