Molecular and isotopic stratigraphy in an ombrotrophic mire for paleoclimate reconstruction

Xie, Shucheng, Nott, Chris J, Avsejs, Luke A, Maddy, Darrel, Chambers, Frank M ORCID: 0000-0002-0998-2093 and Evershed, Richard P (2004) Molecular and isotopic stratigraphy in an ombrotrophic mire for paleoclimate reconstruction. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 68 (13). pp. 2849-2862. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2003.08.025

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A 40 cm deep Sphagnum-dominated peat monolith from Bolton Fell Moss in Northern England was systematically investigated by lipid molecular stratigraphy and compound-specific δ13C and δD analysis using gas chromatography (GC), GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), GC-combustion-isotope ratio-MS (GC-C-IRMS) and GC-thermal conversion-IRMS (GC-TC-IRMS) techniques. 210Pb dating showed the monolith accumulated during the last ca. 220 yr, a period encompassing the second part of Little Ice Age. While the distributions of lipids, including n-alkan-1-ols, n-alkan-2-ones, wax esters, sterols, n-alkanoic acids, α,ω-alkandioic acids and ω-hydroxy acids, display relatively minor changes with depth, the cooler climate event was recorded in the concentrations of n-alkanes and organic carbon, CPI values of n-alkanes and n-alkanoic acids, and the ratio of 5-n-alkylresorcinols/sterols. Superimposed on the fossil fuel effect, the relatively cooler climate event was also recorded by δ13C values of individual hydrocarbons, especially the C23n-alkane, a major compound in certain Sphagnum spp. The δD values of the C29 and C33n-alkanes correlated mainly with plant composition and were relatively insensitive to climatic change. In contrast the C23n-alkane displayed variation that correlated strongly with recorded temperature for the period represented by the monolith, agreeing with previously reported deuterium records in tree ring cellulose spanning the same period in Scotland, Germany and the USA, with more negative values occurring during the second part of Little Ice Age. These biomarker characteristics, including the compound-specific δ13C and δD records, provide a new set of proxies of climatic change, potentially independent of preserved macrofossils which will be of value in deeper sections of the bog where the documentary records of climate are unavailable and humification is well advanced.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2015 15:37
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:59

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