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 165 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. Above the image are shown element profiles of Silica (Si, dark blue and green) and Strontium (Sr, light blue and red). These element profiles serve as examples of the wide range of elements that were registred. For each element is shown two profiles of different colors taken during two consecutive scans, together giving an idea of the level of reproducibility that can be achieved at a time for analysis of 1-3 seconds per point. Even better precision can be achieved by extending the time for analysis further. Element data, x-ray image and optical image were collected 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 position of each layer. The sample width is 80 millimeters, while the width of the radiographic image is 20 millimeters. The elements are determined along the center of the core with a width of the x-ray beam of 8 millimeters. The core is taken from lake Smygen in south of Sweden. Sample by courtesy of Dr. Ian Snowball of Lund university.