Palaeohydrological significance of Late Quaternary strontium isotope ratios in a tropical lake

Holmes, J.A.; Darbyshire, D.P.F.; Heaton, Timothy. 2007 Palaeohydrological significance of Late Quaternary strontium isotope ratios in a tropical lake. Chemical Geology, 236 (3-4). 281-290.

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Ostracods preserved in late Quaternary sediments of Wallywash Great Pond, a fresh coastal lake in SW Jamaica, record temporal variations in the strontium-isotope composition of lake water. Oxygen-isotope and Sr/Ca ratios in ostracods reveal temporal variations in the lake's hydrology, related to effective precipitation, and in its salinity related to varying marine-saline groundwater input from changes in relative sea level. Evaluation of isotopic and trace-element data indicates that the stratigraphic variations in 87Sr/86Sr ratios during the late Quaternary are best explained by climatically-controlled hydrological changes. During wetter periods, the lake's Sr budget was dominated by springwater input with relatively low 87Sr/86Sr ratio, whereas during drier times reduced springflow, possibly coupled with input of more-radiogenic Sr from other sources, such as sea-spray aerosols and perhaps Saharan dust, led to an increase in the Sr-isotope ratio of the lake water. Despite proximity of the lake to the sea and evidence for slight intrusion of marine saline groundwater in the past, however, the extent of marine input appears to have had limited influence on the lake's Sr-isotope ratios. Whereas the 87Sr/86Sr ratios cannot be used as a palaeosalinity proxy in this particular lake, they do provide valuable information about the mechanisms underlying hydrological change.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0009-3541
Additional Keywords: Strontium isotopes, Hydrology, Jamaica, Quaternary
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
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Date made live: 05 Aug 2009 10:48 +0 (UTC)

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