Nan Crystal Arens , Hobart and William Smith Colleges
A palynofacies analysis was undertaken to assess the degree to which terrestrial sediment and organic matter dominated the basin. This would allow preliminary testing of the third hypothesis outlined above, in which nutrient runoff from terrestrial sources stimulated marine productivity and contributed to bottom water anoxia. Approximately 300 samples were processed for palynofacies analysis. Samples were demineralized with hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid to remove carbonate and siliciclastic grains, rinsed, and sieved to remove clays. No chemical oxidation treatment was applied. As palynodebris counts proceeded during 2011, it became clear that all samples were contaminated with modern algal and diatom material. A month-long review of our laboratory methods revealed that the filtration system at the front end of the system that supplies deionized water to all of the science buildings had failed in July 2010. Therefore, during the time in which our samples were processed, we were rinsing and filtering these samples with unpurified tap water. The remainder of 2011 was occupied with reprocessing these samples, which are now, once again, ready for palynodebris count analysis.