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Date of Award

2-2011

Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Geosciences

First Advisor

Raymond S. Bradley

Second Advisor

Pierre Francus

Third Advisor

R. Mark Leckie

Subject Categories

Geochemistry

Abstract

This thesis aims to combine long high-resolution sediment data with information on sedimentation processes in and around Saanich Inlet, to better understand the seasonal sedimentation mechanisms in Saanich Inlet from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene. These understandings are used to establish sediment provenance in Saanich Inlet with seasonal to sub-seasonal resolution, and to help understand paleoclimatic variations between 10700 and 2150 14 C calibrated (cal) a BP (= cal yr BP).

In Saanich Inlet, elemental variability within laminated sediments is largely controlled by mineralogical changes in the sediment caused by changes in sediment provenance and primary productivity. In particular, on Vancouver Island, gold and platinum group elements (PGE), occurring in soils as a result of weathering of metamorphic and igneous rocks during the process of pedogenesis, are only observed within a restricted area of naturally occurring minerals, which concentrate those elements in soil. Therefore, preferential deposition of such minor elements can be strongly related to a change in sediment provenance. Chalcophile elements, such as Cu, have successfully proven to be reliable indicators of heterogenic-origin and/or bottom water redox conditions. Furthermore, sediment provenance along the western slope basin near Bamberton are distinguished and identified by a strong expression of enriched excess CaCO 3 in both organic (high Ca/Ti and Sr/Ca) and inorganic (high Ca/Ti and low Sr/Ca) forms.

This dissertation is divided into five related and complementary parts. The first chapter introduces Saanich Inlet and provides an overview of climatic and oceanographic patterns. The second chapter explains the methodology used in this work, and the third and fourth chapters, which are intended for publication, examine paleoclimatic and oceanographic variability during selected intervals of the Holocene in sub-seasonal (third chapter) and multi-annual to decadal (fourth chapter) scales. The last chapter summarizes the conclusions. Because of this format, some repetition of the introductory material exists in the main chapters.

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