Isotopes in Palaeoenvironmental Research

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Melanie J. Leng
Springer Science & Business Media, Mar 9, 2006 - Science - 307 pages
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This volume is intended to show how stable isotopes can be applied to understanding the palaeoenvironment. There are chapters on the interpretation of isotopes in water, tree rings, bones and teeth, lake sediments, speleothems and marine sediments. Crucial to the understanding of the environmental signal contained within the isotope composition of different materials is to gain more information about how rainfall isotope compositions are determined by climate. Chapter 1 (Darling et al. ) describes O, H and C stable isotope compositions in the modern day water and aqueous carbon cycles to provide a framework for the interpretation of these isotopes in the past. The chapter on the water cycle divides naturally into a number of sections. The starting point, precipitation, is especially important because it is the precursor to which most O and H isotope proxy studies are attempting to relate. While much is understood about the isotope systematics of precipitation, largely owing to the existence of the IAEA– WMO Global Network for Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP), important questions remain to be answered in relation to the isotope-temperature gradients of past climatic conditions. The chapter describes the three reservoirs of water sustaining all terrestrial proxies; soil and vadose zone moisture, groundwater, and surface waters. In each reservoir isotope effects intervene to modify to a greater or lesser extent the isotope signature of antecedent precipitation; groundwaters are least affected and surface waters the most.
 

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Contents

1 ISOTOPES IN WATER
1
Oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes in precipitation
4
From precipitation to terrestrial water
17
Lake waters and mass balance modelling
27
Dissolved carbon
36
From proxy to climate constraints on interpretation
49
Summary
51
References
52
Introduction
148
Oxygen isotope systematics in inorganic materials
150
Carbon isotopes in lacustrine organic matter
166
Nitrogen isotopes in lacustrine organic matter
169
Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in lacustrine organic matter
173
Summary
175
References
176
5 ISOTOPES IN SPELEOTHEMS
185

2 ISOTOPES IN TREE RINGS
67
Isotope fractionation in trees
69
Sample selection and preparation
72
Mass spectrometry
83
Data analysis
93
Environmental signals
101
Multiproxy dendroclimatology
104
Summary
105
References
106
3 ISOTOPES IN BONES AND TEETH
117
Isotope incorporation into bone
118
Relationship of bone isotope composition to an animals diet
119
Preservation of the isotope signal in bone and tooth
122
Environmental influences on isotope transport through food chains
123
Application of isotope techniques to bone and teeth
127
Summary
138
4 ISOTOPES IN LAKE SEDIMENTS
147
Oxygen isotopes in speleothems
189
Carbon isotopes in speleothems
202
methodologies and some recent results
206
Summary
215
References
218
6 ISOTOPES IN MARINE SEDIMENTS
227
Oxygen isotopes in marine sediments
231
Carbon isotopes in marine sediments
245
Nitrogen isotopes in marine sediments
259
Silicon isotopes in marine sediments
264
Boron isotopes in marine sediments
268
Summary
272
References
273
GLOSSARY ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
291
INDEX
303
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Page 275 - Epstein, S., Buchsbaum, R., Lowenstam, HA and Urey, HC (1953) Revised Carbonatewater isotopic temperature scale. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 64, p.

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About the author (2006)

Melanie J. Leng (ed) is head of palaeoclimate research at the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory and Chair in Isotope Geoscience, University of Nottingham.