Event Title

Carbonate Sedimentation in Ferruginous Lakes

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 3:30 PM

Student's Major

Chemistry and Geology

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Chad Wittkop

Mentor's Email Address

chad.wittkop@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Chemistry and Geology

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Ferruginous lakes provide a window through which geologists can study the geochemistry and biogeochemistry of Earth’s oceans prior to oxygenation by photosynthetic life. A lake is considered ferruginous if it has permanently anoxic deep waters and high iron concentrations. By studying the sediments of these lakes, it is possible to understand the development of microbialites that thrived when vast quantities of iron were deposited within Earth’s oceans. Two sites were selected for detailed analysis; Lake Malawi, Africa (MAL) and Otter Lake, Michigan (OL). Sediment core samples were obtained from the LacCore Facility based on iron carbonate (siderite) concentrations. X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) data are used to compare siderite compositions and X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) data are used to analyze elemental abundance. XRD and XRF data will be compared between OL and MAL, specifically comparing iron to aluminum (Fe:Al), iron to sulfur (Fe:S), and iron to phosphorous (Fe:P). Preliminary results show OL sediment are enriched in iron and manganese with generally low sulfur ratios. Continuing research will compare the results from OL analyses to that of MAL, which is known to contain siderite. If similarities are found this will indicate a common environment of formation between the lakes.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:30 PM

Carbonate Sedimentation in Ferruginous Lakes

CSU Ballroom

Ferruginous lakes provide a window through which geologists can study the geochemistry and biogeochemistry of Earth’s oceans prior to oxygenation by photosynthetic life. A lake is considered ferruginous if it has permanently anoxic deep waters and high iron concentrations. By studying the sediments of these lakes, it is possible to understand the development of microbialites that thrived when vast quantities of iron were deposited within Earth’s oceans. Two sites were selected for detailed analysis; Lake Malawi, Africa (MAL) and Otter Lake, Michigan (OL). Sediment core samples were obtained from the LacCore Facility based on iron carbonate (siderite) concentrations. X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) data are used to compare siderite compositions and X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) data are used to analyze elemental abundance. XRD and XRF data will be compared between OL and MAL, specifically comparing iron to aluminum (Fe:Al), iron to sulfur (Fe:S), and iron to phosphorous (Fe:P). Preliminary results show OL sediment are enriched in iron and manganese with generally low sulfur ratios. Continuing research will compare the results from OL analyses to that of MAL, which is known to contain siderite. If similarities are found this will indicate a common environment of formation between the lakes.

Recommended Citation

Torgeson, Joshua. "Carbonate Sedimentation in Ferruginous Lakes." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/poster_session_B/23