Spatial and temporal patterns of hydrogen isotope ratios descerned from n-alkanoic acids in plant leaf waxes

Harwood, Luke (2023) Spatial and temporal patterns of hydrogen isotope ratios descerned from n-alkanoic acids in plant leaf waxes. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Hydrogen isotope ratios in n-alkanoic acids derived from plant leaf waxes from 49 lakes across the Canadian Prairies were measured and correlated with a range of environmental variables. δD values are found to produce correlations with temperature, precipitation amount, precipitation δD, elevation, SPEI, latitude and longitude, after spatial separation based on geographic location. This has allowed a series of calibrations to be produced which can now be used downcore to estimate past environmental change. In addition, correlations produced between δD and the δD of precipitation have allowed conclusions to be drawn about the recharge mechanisms for lakes across the Canadian Prairies which may provide useful information about ENSO events. This study shows that environmental variables can be used to separate a large number of lakes in a methodical way which produces strong calibrations across a region. While many previous studies have utilised transects, this study selects lakes with no particular bias in order to analyse spatial patterns of hydrogen isotopes indiscriminately. A lack of research to date has resulted in some ambiguity around the success of using n-alkanoic acids as a moisture proxy, this study confirms that n-alkanoic acids are a viable moisture proxy and should be used in future studies.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Toney, Professor Jaime
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83719
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2023 08:07
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2023 08:21
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83719

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