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Using geochemical proxies to trace sediment sources


This is a series of lecture slides on how sediment geochemistry is used to obtain information about surface processes. The student is introduced to geochemical proxies, some applications, and is shown an example using strontium isotope distribution in the Bay of Bengal.

Learning Goals

Students should come away with an understanding of a) what is a geochemical proxy, b) what type of information can be gleaned from geochemical proxies applied to marine sediment.

Context for Use

These slides can be incorporated into a middle to upper-level undergraduate course on geochemistry, paleoclimate, or sedimentary geology. Students should have basic knowledge of the rock cycle and sediment diagenesis. The activity adaptable and expandable to cover more complex topics, e.g., a) productivity proxies related to paleoceanography, and b) the relationship between precipitation, climate change, and sediment output at continental margins.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching materials are included in a Powerpoint presentation. Marine sediment data Excel file is uploaded with the mini-lesson or can be downloaded from SedDB
Lecture slides (PowerPoint 3.4MB Apr21 09)
SedDB Data (Excel file) (Excel 1.6MB Apr21 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources