The use of principle component analyses in characterising trace and major elemental distribution in a 55 kyr peat deposit in tropical Australia: Implications to paleoclimate

Muller, Joanne, Kylander, Malin, Martinez-Cortizas, Antonio, Wust, Raphael AJ, Weiss, Dominik, Blake, Kevin, Coles, Barry, and Garcia-Sanchez, Raquel (2008) The use of principle component analyses in characterising trace and major elemental distribution in a 55 kyr peat deposit in tropical Australia: Implications to paleoclimate. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72 (2). pp. 449-463.

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Abstract

The Lynch's Crater peat deposit in NE-Australia is a sensitive environmental archive located in the tropical Southern Hemisphere. This unique deposit illustrates that local and regional changes had a profound effect on the local Australian ecosystem over the past 55 kyr. To obtain a proxy of past climate changes, trace and major element geochemistry analyses were applied to a 13 m peat core from the crater. Principle component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the main factors that control elemental distribution in the peat and to add interpretative strength to the geochemical behavior of selected major and trace elements. For example, Sc, Al, Cu, and Pb were found to be related to increased erosion of the basin soils, and from this, several periods of significant flux from atmospheric input and/or terrigenous run-off were identified. Geochemically mobile elements during rock weathering and pedogenesis, such as Mg, Ca, and Sr helped to identify the peat ombrotrophic–minerotrophic boundary at ∼1.5 m depth and offered important information about fluxes of these nutrients to the mire and their dynamics within the deposit. Arsenic and V comparisons between the peat record (high concentrations in some peat sections) and in local basin rocks (very low concentrations), suggested the presence of a long range, atmospheric dust source early in the formation of the mire. The Lynch’s Crater peat record presents a continuous record of environmental change in tropical Australia and contributes new understanding to geochemical processes in peatlands.

Item ID: 1852
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: peat, geochemistry
ISSN: 1872-9533
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040299 Geochemistry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0499 Other Earth Sciences > 049999 Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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