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Absence of Saharan dust influence on the strontium isotope ratios on modern trees from the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands

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doi: 10.1017/qua.2018.8
Authors:Schulting, Rick; Richards, Mike; Pouncett, John; Manco, Bryan Naqqi; Freid, Ethan; Ostapkowicz, Joanna
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Oxford, School of Archaeology, Oxford, United Kingdom
Simon Fraser University, Canada
National Environmental Centre, Turks and Caicos Islands
Bahamas National Trust, Bahamas
Volume Title:Quaternary Research
Source:Quaternary Research, 89(2), p.394-412. Publisher: Elsevier, New York, NY, United States. ISSN: 0033-5894
Publication Date:2018
Note:In English. 106 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, sketch maps
Summary:We report on strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope results from 91 modern trees growing on the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. The average 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.709169±0.000010 is consistent with the late Quaternary limestone of the islands and with the modern ocean value. The absence of any detectable influence of 87Sr-enriched Saharan dust is notable, given the known contribution of this material to both past and recent soils of the Caribbean. Our results indicate that the impact of Saharan dust to the modern biosphere of the Bahamian archipelago is at least an order of magnitude less than modeled in currently available strontium isoscapes for the circum-Caribbean. We suggest that the bioavailability of Sr in Saharan dust may be considerably less than previously thought. Nevertheless, further work could usefully be carried out in the Bahamian archipelago on plants with different rooting depths, growing on different soil types and on limestone of different ages. Our results have particular relevance for the refinement of existing strontium isoscapes and the archaeological provenience of artifacts, animals, and people in the circum-Caribbean.
Subjects:Alkaline earth metals; Carbonate rocks; Cenozoic; Clastic sediments; Dust; Geochemistry; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Limestone; Metals; Pleistocene; Quaternary; Sedimentary rocks; Sediments; Soils; Sr-87/Sr-86; Stable isotopes; Strontium; Trees; Vegetation; Africa; Bahamas; Caribbean region; Sahara; West Indies; Codia sebestina; Guaiacum; Guaiacum officinale; Guaiacum sanctum; Lysiloma latisiliquum; Paleosols; Swietania; Swietenia mahagoni; Turks and Caicos Islands; Zanthoxylum flavum
Coordinates:N200000 N280000 W0700000 W0800000
Record ID:877762-9
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2021 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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