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Hurri: Lake system response to Caribbean hurricane activity – a calibration study of ostracode (paleo-)biology and geochemistry (Lago Enriquillo, Dominican Republic)

13.03.2023 - 30.11.2024
Project coordinated by:
Prof. C. Wrozyna
Project manager (IOW):
Univ.-Prof. Dr.habil. Michael E. Böttcher
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
University of Greifswald
This research aims to provide the first integrated approach for the reconstruction of precipitation/evaporation and hurricane related precipitation extremes through the combination of stable isotope geochemistry of ostracode valves with changes in species assemblages and valve morphology. The proposed project is subdivided into an actualistic and an historical part. The base of any investigation requires the understanding of the lake hydrology, the inter calibration of modern δ18O and δ13C compositions of lake water, precipitation, and ostracode valves, as well as ecological studies of ostracode species which provide information about seasonal changes in species and population composition and morphological variability. These insights will be used to interpret fossil ostracode species assemblages and their δ18O and δ13C signatures from short lake sediment cores in order to reconstruct precipitation/evaporation and TCs during the past centuries. This allows assessments of future dynamics of the lake system including e.g., inundation of farmland, and salinity shifts. The major research questions are: (1) Are δ18O and δ13C signatures of ostracode carbonates reliable proxies for the hydrological system of the lake, precipitation/evaporation, and TCs? (2) Do ecological and morphological changes of ostracodes reflect seasonal patterns of the lake hydrology i.e., dry vs rainy season? (3) What are the main controls of the hydrochemical composition of Lago Enriquillo water? (4) Do lake level changes of Lago Enriquillo result from shifts in precipitation/evaporation and/or precipitation extremes? (5) To what degree did TCs impact Lago Enriquillo on multi-decadal to century-long periods?