Just wanted to say a big thank you again to all of our backers, you have all helped start the ball rolling on what will hopefully be a very successful project! This past fall my PhD advisors and I submitted two large-scale proposals to the National Science Foundation to expand on the work this Experiment grant has begun.
A few notes about our ongoing research...
1. Radiocarbon dates from the best core we collected this past summer indicate we managed to fully capture the Norse period at high resolution! We have completed preliminary non-destructive analyses including measuring magnetic susceptibility, spectral properties, and elemental composition, and are preparing to start sub-sampling for biomarkers this semester.
2. We have some very exciting biomarker results from some other lakes in the region (originally cored by colleagues at the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon, France). We have found fecal sterols (Viking poo!) in at least two lakes during the Norse period (see below, coprostanol is a human fecal sterol, the other two are produced mainly by grazing livestock)! The preliminary temperature reconstructions also look very promising.
3. On a related note I'm happy to note that UMass undergraduate Tom Barrasso has been helping me out on this project in the lab. He recently presented some of these preliminary results at the Northeast Geological Society of America meeting in March and will hopefully be continuing to work on these samples for his senior honors thesis over the next year. Very exciting!