Identifier

etd-11162010-175412

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geology and Geophysics

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Forty sediment samples taken from twenty-six vibracores collected from Holocene shoals (Tiger and Trinity) were processed for palynomorphs and analyzed to characterize the terrestrial and marine paleo-environments of southern Louisiana at the time of deposition of each shoal. Abundant and diverse pollen assemblages were recovered while marine microplankton were sparse (< 2% relative abundance). Pollen species were grouped by plants of similar environmental significances including arboreal, non-arboreal, aquatic, and shrub categories. Palynological signals were compared in detail between each core, as well as along strike and dip transects, to help determine whether or not these shoals were deposited coevally or in distinct depositional cycles. Evidence shows that Tiger and Trinity Shoals carry remarkably similar palynological profiles, indicating that sediments of these shoals areS from the same source, and that deposition extended over an interval of time such that climate change was not sufficient enough to alter the vegetation response (hence palynological signal). Pollen profiles show source sediments are predominantly from the lower Mississippi River drainage basin and exhibit species similar to those present in modern Louisiana coastal marshes and swamps (i.e., Taxodium distichum, Cyperaceae, Graminae, Chenopodiaceae, and Asteraceae), and coastal to upland hardwood forests of the Mississippi River alluvial valley (i.e., Pinus, Quercus, Carya, and Liquidambar styraciflua).

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Warny, Sophie

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