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This volume is intended to show how stable isotopes can be applied to understanding the palaeoenvironment. There are chapters on the interpretation of isotopes in water, tree rings, bones and teeth, lake sediments, speleothems and marine sediments. Crucial to the understanding of the environmental signal contained within the isotope composition of different materials is to gain more information about how rainfall isotope compositions are determined by climate. Chapter 1 (Darling et al. ) describes O, H and C stable isotope compositions in the modern day water and aqueous carbon cycles to provide a framework for the interpretation of these isotopes in the past. The chapter on the water cycle divides naturally into a number of sections. The starting point, precipitation, is especially important because it is the precursor to which most O and H isotope proxy studies are attempting to relate. While much is understood about the isotope systematics of precipitation, largely owing to the existence of the IAEA– WMO Global Network for Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP), important questions remain to be answered in relation to the isotope-temperature gradients of past climatic conditions. The chapter describes the three reservoirs of water sustaining all terrestrial proxies; soil and vadose zone moisture, groundwater, and surface waters. In each reservoir isotope effects intervene to modify to a greater or lesser extent the isotope signature of antecedent precipitation; groundwaters are least affected and surface waters the most.
1. Isotopes in Water W. George Darling, Adrian H. Bath, John J. Gibson, Kazimierz Rozanski Introduction Oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes in precipitation From precipitation to terrestrial water Lake waters and mass balance modelling Dissolved carbon From proxy to climate — constraints on interpretation Summary References 2. Isotopes in tree rings Danny McCarroll, Neil J. Loader Introduction Tree ring archives Isotope fractionation in trees Sample selection and preparation Mass spectrometry Data analysis Environmental signals Multi-proxy dendroclimatology Summary References 3. Isotopes in bones and teeth Robert E.M. Hedges, Rhiannon E. Stevens, Paul L. Koch Introduction Isotope incorporation into bone Relationship of bone isotope composition to an animal's diet Preservation of the isotope signal in bone and tooth Environmental influences on isotope transport through food chains Application of isotope techniques to bone and teeth Summary References 4. Isotopes in lake sediments Melanie J. Leng, Angela L. Lamb, Timothy H.E. Heaton, James D. Marshall,Brent B. Wolfe, Matthew D. Jones, Jonathan A. Holmes, Carol Arrowsmith Introduction Oxygen isotope systematics in inorganic materials Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in bulk organic sediments and compound specific carbon Nitrogen isotopes in lacustrine organic matter Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in lacustrine organic matter Summary References 5. Isotopes in speleothems Frank McDermott, Henry Schwarcz, Peter J.Rowe Introduction Oxygen isotopes in speleothems Carbon isotopes in speleothems Fluid inclusions in speleothems: methodologies and some recent results Summary References 6. Isotopes in marine sediments Mark A. Maslin, George E. A. Swann Introduction Oxygen isotopes in marine sediments Carbon isotopes in marine sediments Nitrogen isotopes in marine sediments Silicon isotopes in marine sediments Boron isotopes in marine sediments Summary References Glossary, acronyms, abbreviations Index