Assessing environmental controls on the distribution of long-chain alkenones in the Canadian Prairies

Plancq, J. , Cavazzin, B., Juggins, S., Haig, H. A., Leavitt, P. R. and Toney, J. L. (2018) Assessing environmental controls on the distribution of long-chain alkenones in the Canadian Prairies. Organic Geochemistry, 117, pp. 43-55. (doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2017.12.005)

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Long-chain alkenones (LCAs) have been used for decades to reconstruct quantitative sea-surface temperature records, but they also have a great potential for paleotemperature reconstructions in lacustrine settings. Here, we investigated how the presence and abundance of LCAs in surface sediments from 106 lakes varied with environmental conditions in lakes of the northern Great Plains (Canadian Prairies) in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Consistent with preliminary research, we found LCAs in 55% of surveyed lakes, with mean concentrations of 143 μg/g dry sediment, but very high concentrations (up to 2.3 mg/g dry sediment) in 7% of lakes. Statistical analyses indicate that salinity and stratification play key roles in determining LCA presence and abundance supporting previous research in Spain and the northern Great Plains, USA. Overall, the alkenone unsaturation index (U37K) was not correlated significantly with average summer water temperature, probably because the timing of maximum LCA production occurs during the spring season. We conclude that improved seasonal sampling is required within the study lakes to better identify the timing and habitat of haptophyte production, and allow development of environmental temperature reconstruction tools.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was funded by the ERC Starting Grant 2014 (637776 ALKENoNE) to JLT, and by NSERC Canada, the Canada Research Chair, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Province of Saskatchewan, and University of Regina to PRL.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cavazzin, Dr Bianca and Plancq, Dr Julien and Toney, Professor Jaime
Authors: Plancq, J., Cavazzin, B., Juggins, S., Haig, H. A., Leavitt, P. R., and Toney, J. L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Organic Geochemistry
ISSN (Online):1873-5290
Published Online:20 December 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Organic Geochemistry 117:43-55
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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