Dr Carol Cotterill explains:
Taking cores of the lake sediments will allow us to carry out a full suite of investigative work, looking into a number of different areas including:
- Detailed analysis of glacial / pro-glacial varves, enabling us to accurately track seasonal climate fluctuations such as winter ice freezing and summer thaws and glacier advance and retreat pulses.
- Detailed analysis of anthropogenic pollution signals, both in their distribution across the lake and whether the signals tie into specific catchment drainage areas, but also in the depth downcore. Dating of these upper sediments will help us establish when the pollution signals began to influence the lake.
- Pollen and diatom analysis – can we spot significant events such as Heinrich Events and the introduction of “exotic” plant species by the Victorian gardeners? We also hope to get a series of dates that will help us tie down these events.
- Paleomagnetic analysis including paleosecular and intensity values – what was the Earth’s geomagnetic field doing over the UK and can we use these cores to refine the UK master curve?
- pH, bulk carbon and deltaC13 analysis to help guide our understanding of reservoir effects in freshwater lakes.
- The micro and macro deformation observed within lake “flows” – how can flows be triggered; do they move as a cohesive de-coupled unit or as a mass flow; why are they often limited to a specific time period within Windermere – what triggered this mass behaviour across the lake?
- Does the pollution signal help explain why certain fish species are now under threat, and how their spawning behaviours have changed between the two sub-basins of Windermere?