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Determining a Paleovegetation Proxy across a Forest to Grassland Transition in Central Texas

Nick Cestari
Baylor University

Organic compounds such as Alkanes and others have been used for a wide variety of studies involving developing proxies for past environments, and climates. Alkanes are common in high waxy leafy plants, but are also present in grasses so in previous studies they have been used to simply describe whether past environments were predominantly trees or grasses. To better understand n-alkanes significance as a biomarker we use a Forest to grassland transition area in Central Texas. In order to determine if alkanes will be effective in creating a proxy for the paleovegetation a quantitative description of the diagenetic alteration of alkanes as a function of soil depth will be developed. With each transect the n-alkane fraction will be evaluated to determine whether it represents a valid vegetation record for the area.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90164©2013 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Fredericksburg, Texas, April 6-10, 2013