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Elemental composition of surface sediment as a sea/land-level indicator in Cascadia salt marshes

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
2023-12-05
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
This thesis explores the utility of elemental geochemistry obtained through x-ray fluorescence as a sea-level indicator. Elemental data of modern salt marsh sediment from Port Alberni, British Columbia and Willapa Bay, Washington reveals consistent relationships between elemental composition and tidal elevation. Lithogenic (Si, K, Ti, Fe) and biogenic (Sr) elements are most abundant at low elevations where clastic deposition dominates, while organic proxies (Br, incoherent coherent scattering ratio) are most prevalent at high elevations where marsh vegetation is most established. Cluster analysis shows that the vertical zonation patterns of elements within the salt marshes agree with previously determined foraminifera and diatom distributions at Port Alberni and Willapa Bay. This project establishes the first modern elemental training set relating elemental composition to tidal elevation and highlights the applications of elemental geochemistry as a new sea-level indicator.
Document
Extent
85 pages.
Identifier
etd22778
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Permissions
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Pilarczyk, Jessica
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd22778.pdf 2.18 MB

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