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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stable isotopes of speleothems from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
by Ayers, Meredith, M.S., Northern Illinois University, 2010, 155; 1477111
Abstract (Summary)

Two stalagmites, SAN-H and TABI-I were collected from caves in the northern Yucatan Peninsula to analyze for the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen. The δ13C value can be used to determine whether C3 or C4/CAM vegetation was dominant and the δ 18O value can theoretically be used to determine whether the climate was wet or arid. Samples were cut, polished, dated using U/Th dating, and sampled using a micromill. SAN-H was dated as Early Classic (1650-1350 B.P.) to the Middle Preclassic 2850-2250 B.P) and the δ13C and δ18O appears to reinforce the interpretations from similar studies. The range of isotope values for δ18O and δ13C were -2.3 to -5.5‰ and -4.0 to -10.3‰, respectively. Although the U/Th dates for TABI-I range from Historical to Late Classic(1350-1050 B.P.), the early Late Classic date is almost certainly invalid, and is the result of presence of clastic material in the sample. TABI-I's range of isotope values for δ18O and δ 13C were –2.1 to -4.9‰ and –4.7 to -9.6‰, respectively. TABI-I's δ18O values appear to be supportive of interpretations found in the literature based on lakecore, stalagmite and sediment studies, and δ13C values could be informative about possible vegetation and land use in the immediate vicinity. Problems with dating reversal and dating accuracy prevented more detailed interpretations of the data.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Eugene
Commitee: Carroll, Monica, Creamer, Winifred, Lenczewski, Melissa
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Geology and Environmental Geosciences
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 48/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Paleoclimate Science, Geochemistry
Keywords: Maya, Paleoclimate, Speleothems, Stable isotopes, Stalagmites, Yucatan Peninsula
Publication Number: 1477111
ISBN: 978-1-124-02591-9
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