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The carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of organic matter in tropical lake as a record of environmental change


Research objectives and content
The project will examine the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of sedimentary organic matter from two African rift valley lakes: Lake Edward, Uganda, and Lake Bogoria, Kenya. Material for analysis will come from surface grab samples and sediment cores. The work outlined in this proposal will be integrated with two larger studies of the Edward and Bogoria basins, the former under the auspices of the IDEAL project, the latter in a multidisciplinary study of sedimentation and tectonics in the Bogoria-Baringo segment of the eastern rift.
The principal aims of the project are: (i)improved understanding of the primary controls on the isotopic composition of lacustrine o.m. (ii) the production of high resolution palaeoenvironmental records for the studied lakes, (iii) the identification of possible anthropogenically induced changes to the waterbodies. It is anticipated that results from the proposed research will provide specific information upon the influence of different carbon metabolic pathways and nitrogen cycling on the isotopic composition of phytoplankton organic matter, exceptionally high resolution records of change in the Edward and Bogoria waterbodies over at least the last 20 ka, and provide a historical perspective on the influence of land-use practices and other anthropogenic effects upon sedimentation in these lakes.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
In my Ph.D. study, I used stable isotopic analyses of inorganic and biogenic carbonates to reconstruct the post-glacial history of a variety of Swiss lakes. This work led to some important new insights into the Late Glacial and Holocene enviromnental history of western Switzerland. I wish now to extend my expertise in the application of stable isotope techniques to include analyses of organic matter. The Sedimentology/Petroleum Geology group of the Host Institution would be the ideal environment in which to improve my knowledge in stable isotope and organic geochemistry, Quaternary palaeoclimatology, and sedimentology/petroleum geology.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The Lake Bogoria project is funded by Elf Petroleum Nolway. The applicant would participate in project meetings and the production of relevant sections of project reports. Elf Norway have set no restrictions upon the ultimate publicaton of the results of this project.

Call for proposal

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Universitetet i Bergen
5007 Bergen

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EU contribution
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Participants (1)