E) Paleoclimate research

1. U-Th dating in coral and/or dripstone

The work includes method development and application of U-Th dating on samples relevant for paleoclimatological studies. The student will need to develop methodology for U-Th dating by utilizing multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and different sampling, sample preparation and introduction techniques. Further on, application on relevant samples will be performed.

Mentors: dr. Marko Štrok (marko.strok@ijs.si), Leja Rovan (leja.rovan@ijs.si)

2. Transfer of isotopic and geochemical signals from drip water to speleothems: case study of Jama v Dovčku

The proposed study is a part of the national research project “Novel proxies of the Holocene climate variability in stalagmites in Slovenia”, where stable isotopes of Sr and Mg are used to better understand the transfer of climate signal from the surface through soil and epikarst to the karst cave in south-eastern Slovenia (Jama v Dovčku). The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the spatial and temporal variability of physicochemical parameters, dissolved macro- and trace elements and isotopic composition of O, H and dissolved metals (Sr, Mg) in drip water, to estimate the influence of the bedrock composition, amount of precipitation and hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer on the isotopic and geochemical signal of water, that is potentially transferred to speleothems. Monthly samples of local precipitation and drip water at several drips in the cave are collected and analysed for δ18O and δ2H, δ13C and concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon, concentrations of main and trace elements, as well as isotopic composition of Sr in drip water to assess the groundwater transit time and prior calcite precipitation in the aquifer.  Recent precipitates of carbonate in the cave will be analysed and compared to the water to evaluate the transfer of isotopic and geochemical fingerprints of water to the climate proxies in calcite.

 Mentor: dr. Sonja Lojen (sonja.lojen@ijs.si)