Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Hausmann, Sonja

Reader

Wolf, Duane C. (Duane Carl), 1946-

Second Reader

Scott, Thad J.

Abstract

There has been an increase in storm activity over the past 250 years in the Northeastern United States. In order to find the driving forces for the recent increase of wind activity, a lake sediment core was analyzed for diatoms. Lac du Sommet, in the boreal forest near Quebec, Canada, was used to help determine if either greenhouse gases or solar activity was the driving force for an increased abundance of diatoms. Diatom abundance and diatom productivity in Lac du Sommet is an indicator for previous turbulent water conditions. Prior research has shown that the diatom Fragilaria virescens is commonly seen in sediment samples when there were large amounts of lake circulation and windiness. Lac du Sommet had an increase in Fragilaria virescens populations over the past 250 years. However, a comparison with high temporal analysis of the diatoms, greenhouse gas changes, and solar activity (the cosmogenic isotopes 14-C and 10-Be) helped determine CO2 to most likely be the cause for recent storm increases at the study site.

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