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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
October 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Nick Sidhu

MSc Candidate

Geography and Environmental Studies, WLU

Isotopic characterization of periphyton algae and surface-sediments in the Old Crow Flats, Yukon Territory, for hydroecological monitoring and paleolimnology

Oxygen isotope analysis of aquatic cellulose in lake sediment cores is a useful tracer of lake water oxygen isotope composition although uncertainties remain regarding the seasonal timing of cellulose production in shallow northern lakes.  This can have a marked influence on the isotopic signal that is incorporated because large isotopic changes in lake water can occur over the ice-free season.  This isotope paleohydrological technique will be refined by measuring cellulose oxygen isotope composition in periphytic algae that accrue on artificial substrates and in organic remains in surface-sediments in lakes of the Old Crow Flats (OCF, Yukon Territory).  I will compare oxygen isotope results from lake water, periphytic algae cellulose and surface-sediment cellulose to constrain paleohydrological reconstructions from lake sediment cores.  Further development of this isotopic apporach will also contribute to the development of a hydroecological monitoring program for the OCF.