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Investigating the maximum resolution of XRF core scanners: A 1800 year storminess reconstruction from the Outer Hebrides

Investigating the maximum resolution of XRF core scanners: A 1800 year storminess reconstruction from the Outer Hebrides
Investigating the maximum resolution of XRF core scanners: A 1800 year storminess reconstruction from the Outer Hebrides
Micro x-ray fluorescence (µXRF) core scanning is capable of measuring the elemental composition of lake sediment at sub-millimetre resolution, but bioturbation and physical mixing may degrade environmental signals at such fine scales. The aim of this research is to determine the maximum possible resolution at which meaningful environmental signals may be reconstructed from lake sediments using this method. Sediment from a coastal lake in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, has been analysed using calibrated element measurements to reconstruct storminess since AD 200. We find that a Ca/K ratio in lake-core sediments reflects the presence of fine calcium carbonate shell fragments, a constituent of sand in the catchment that is washed and blown into the lake. Variations in this ratio are significantly correlated with instrumental records of precipitation and low pressures, suggesting it is a proxy for storminess. Furthermore, identification of a c. 60-year cycle supports a climatic influence on Ca/K, as this cycle is frequently identified in reconstructions of the North Atlantic Oscillation and North Atlantic sea-surface temperature. Comparison with weather records at different resolutions and spectral analysis indicate that µXRF data from Loch Hosta can be interpreted at sub-decadal resolutions (equivalent to core depth intervals of 3–5?mm in this location). Therefore, we suggest that sub-centimetre sampling using µXRF core scanning could be beneficial in producing environmental reconstructions in many lake settings where sediments are not varved.
lake sediment, late Holocene, North Atlantic Oscillation, storminess, XRF core scanner
0959-6836
235-247
Orme, L.C.
23b764b4-e4d7-469d-8c68-df844a3e502f
Reinhardt, L.
e0ef4bd0-ef62-4dce-9843-551964ed8ff0
Jones, R.T.
ed4ffbaf-fea8-4f2d-bc26-ed708d734cab
Charman, D.J.
9acb79d7-199e-4f48-968e-ae72ed494267
Croudace, I.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Dawson, A.
3938e4c8-8d40-45db-88fa-72a3431df4fe
Ellis, M.
c8b8bfe7-48a0-4acf-abc3-94c7f19738e9
Barkwith, A.
05d2f13b-0eb1-4444-bac7-fd1aef922aa3
Orme, L.C.
23b764b4-e4d7-469d-8c68-df844a3e502f
Reinhardt, L.
e0ef4bd0-ef62-4dce-9843-551964ed8ff0
Jones, R.T.
ed4ffbaf-fea8-4f2d-bc26-ed708d734cab
Charman, D.J.
9acb79d7-199e-4f48-968e-ae72ed494267
Croudace, I.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Dawson, A.
3938e4c8-8d40-45db-88fa-72a3431df4fe
Ellis, M.
c8b8bfe7-48a0-4acf-abc3-94c7f19738e9
Barkwith, A.
05d2f13b-0eb1-4444-bac7-fd1aef922aa3

Orme, L.C., Reinhardt, L., Jones, R.T., Charman, D.J., Croudace, I., Dawson, A., Ellis, M. and Barkwith, A. (2016) Investigating the maximum resolution of XRF core scanners: A 1800 year storminess reconstruction from the Outer Hebrides. The Holocene, 26 (2), 235-247. (doi:10.1177/0959683615596819).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Micro x-ray fluorescence (µXRF) core scanning is capable of measuring the elemental composition of lake sediment at sub-millimetre resolution, but bioturbation and physical mixing may degrade environmental signals at such fine scales. The aim of this research is to determine the maximum possible resolution at which meaningful environmental signals may be reconstructed from lake sediments using this method. Sediment from a coastal lake in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, has been analysed using calibrated element measurements to reconstruct storminess since AD 200. We find that a Ca/K ratio in lake-core sediments reflects the presence of fine calcium carbonate shell fragments, a constituent of sand in the catchment that is washed and blown into the lake. Variations in this ratio are significantly correlated with instrumental records of precipitation and low pressures, suggesting it is a proxy for storminess. Furthermore, identification of a c. 60-year cycle supports a climatic influence on Ca/K, as this cycle is frequently identified in reconstructions of the North Atlantic Oscillation and North Atlantic sea-surface temperature. Comparison with weather records at different resolutions and spectral analysis indicate that µXRF data from Loch Hosta can be interpreted at sub-decadal resolutions (equivalent to core depth intervals of 3–5?mm in this location). Therefore, we suggest that sub-centimetre sampling using µXRF core scanning could be beneficial in producing environmental reconstructions in many lake settings where sediments are not varved.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 30 July 2015
Published date: February 2016
Keywords: lake sediment, late Holocene, North Atlantic Oscillation, storminess, XRF core scanner
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385261
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385261
ISSN: 0959-6836
PURE UUID: 721cfe7b-4a2a-42c0-ab95-b208abd5ee35

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Dec 2015 11:38
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:53

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