Announcement Re 'Posts on Hold' Status Update, Hiatus

Hello everybody. I truly hope that all readers have been keeping well and safe, and have found ways to enjoy the turn of the season.  Just w...

Monday, 20 August 2018

History in the Storeys of Sediments in an Ontario Lake

Hi guys, hope everything is having a great summer in the northern hemisphere/winter if you are in the south.

Just wanted to share some local news from Ontario on the research side of things, as the Weather Network reported that a team of researchers believes they may have found a treasure trove of environmental history at the bottom of a lake, which happens to be right here in Ontario!

What they're looking for is a way to examine what might have been a turning point due to human activity, changing the way our planet operates on a significant level.

Francine McCarthy, who is leading the research team, explained that Crawford Lake is an ideal place to be taking samples because nothing lives as the bottom, as the lake is 22 meters deep and anoxic, (anoxic meaning there is little to no oxygen).

If you have ever explored the Niagara escarpment, chances are the stones rocked your world. These are not only parts of the habitat beautiful to the eye, but over time they also can tell a story. McCarthy explained that over summers, pieces from the rocks bordering the escarpment will sink to the bottom. This creates layers of information-containing organic matter that can be analyzed like the rings of a tree.

The goal is to get some insight on just how much human activities have affected the environment, as these layers can help tell the story of what has happened globally through those years.

Specific information they are looking for includes amounts of materials related to human activities such as plutonium and microplastics. These can serve as something measurable to help with defining the start of the anthropocene, marking when humans really did take over the planet.


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