Challenges in Interpreting Geochemical Data: An Appraisal of Analytical Techniques Applied to a Karstic Lake Sediment Record

Aritina Haliuc*, Alicja Bonk, Jack Longman, Simon M. Hutchinson, Michal Zak, Daniel Veres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes inferred from shifts in lake sediment geochemistry require reliable, efficient and cost-effective methods of analysis. The available geochemical techniques, however, suggest that different analytical approaches can influence data interpretation. X-ray fluorescence core scanner analyses (XRF-CS), field portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) were concurrently applied to provide a multi-method geochemical appraisal of a 6000-year-long karstic sediment record (Lake Ighiel, Romania). The comparison between techniques was based on a set of elements that are widely employed in environmental reconstructions (Ti, K, Fe, Ca). Descriptive and statistical approaches were used to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each method and assess their optimal use in karstic environments. Our data display similar downcore patterns, with strong to moderate correlations between the datasets. The discrepancies observed between method-specific downcore multi element behaviour are related to the preparation steps and sampling. To best capture the complexity of past environmental changes in karstic settings, a combination of quantitative and qualitative geochemical methods would be the most appropriate approach to reliable data acquisition and subsequent paleoenvironmental interpretation of lake sediment data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number806
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

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