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MS Thesis Defense, Scott Booth
November 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Determining carbon sequestration in reservoirs: A quantitative 210Pb-based approach
As carbon emissions continue to rise, much work has been done to properly quantify carbon sources and sinks to better understand the carbon cycle and how it responds to the atmosphere. Some major carbon sinks, like lakes and blue carbon environments, have seen massive efforts undergone to quantify their role in the global carbon cycle. Others, like reservoirs, have been chronically understudied and poorly accounted for as carbon sequestration environments. Though outwardly similar to natural lakes, the sedimentary and carbon dynamics of reservoirs are unique and require a level of detail to understand that is generally absent within the literature. To attempt to alleviate this, we underwent a highly accurate, quantitative study of the local reservoir Falls Lake. Using 210Pb geochronology and alpha spectrometry, we can precisely determine sediment and carbon accumulation rates at several points within the reservoir. This allowed us to create a holistic understanding of both sedimentation and carbon sequestration within the lake and will help us better comprehend the role reservoirs play in the global carbon cycle.