Graduation Year

2010

Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-11-2010

Major Department or Program

Geology

Advisor(s)

Kirsten Nicolaysen

Abstract

This study examines the paleoclimate from Middle to Late Holocene of southwest Wisconsin by analyzing the compositional and isotopic variation of a spring-deposited tufa mound consisting primarily of calcium carbonate. Two drill cores of 3.58 and 1.38 meters length were analyzed for trace elements and stable isotopes (δ 13C, δ 18O). Mg/Ca, Ba/Ca, Sr/Ca and δ13C values within the tufa reflect the wetness or dryness of the climate, with high ratios and δ13C values corresponding to dry periods. δ18O values reflect temperature, with high δ18O indicating high paleotemperature. Results show that southern Wisconsin was dry and warm prior to ~4,500 yr BP and has experienced a general increase in moisture and decrease in temperature for the past 6,000 years.

Page Count

33

Subject Headings

Isotope geology, Paleoclimatology --Holocene, Calcium carbonate, Isotopies (Topology), Tufas, Wisconsin -- Geology, Whitman College 2010 -- Dissertation collection -- Geology Department

Permanent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10349/892

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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Included in

Geology Commons

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