Paleoclimatology

One main application of the Itrax Corescanner is paleo-climatic reconstructions based on data from split sediment cores. Element information from XRF analyses offers proxies for a wide range of parameters, including seasonal changes, oxic/anoxic conditions, amount of shell/foraminifera, grain size related effects, tephra, shallow water aragonite source, sediment grading, redox related diagenesis, biogenic silica, etc. in marine as well as limnological environment.Furthermore, it includes provenance studies, laminations counting, reconstruction of past lake conductivity, and estimations of past productivity, weathering, cyclone frequency, leaching and erosion intensities.

In lakes, yearly and even seasonal changes including temperature estimates can be traced. Many research project, large and small, are currently running involving high resolution scanning of core material. These projects aim at tracing changes on a seasonal or yearly scale for every year from today and thousands of years back. Such projects include the Lake El´gygytgyn project, the SCOPSCO project of lake Ohrid, and many others where the Itrax XRF Corescanner is applied. More information on some of these projects can be found under Articles in the main menu .

The photo to the left shows a 90 millimeters long section of a sediment core. Overlaid in the center of the photo is a x-ray radiographic image of the corresponding sample section. Superimposed on the image are shown element profiles of Potassium (K, red) and Arsenic (Sr, blue). These element profiles serve as examples of the wide range of elements that can be registred with high precision, even at high resolution in only 1-3 seconds per point. All data were recorded with Itrax Corescanner. The element data have an analytical resolution of 200 micrometers. Please note the fine structures in this laminated samples. The radiographic image confirms the existance and position of each layer. The sample width is 100 millimeters, while the width of the radiographic image is 20 millimeters. Data by courtesy of professor Michale Strasser, University of Innsbruck.