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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R.,1957-

Second Advisor

Sofield, Ruth M.

Third Advisor

Berseth, Polly


Biological structures that develop incremental growth patterns over time present a unique opportunity to study chronological aspects of the organism's chemical environment. Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi), an abundant shark species, develop two dorsal spines that exhibit this type of growth pattern. The growth patterns on these spines have been used extensively as indicators of age. However, the chronological patterns of trace metal deposits in these spines have yet to be assessed. The main goals of this study were to develop the methods for analyzing this chronology and to explore techniques to analyze these data. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is a recently developed analytical technique for studying spatially-distributed elemental compositions in solids. LA-ICP-MS was used to quantify the concentrations of zinc and strontium across the life histories of 18 Spiny Dogfish. Metal accumulation and size differed between sharks caught at two sampling locations. This method was able to chronologically relate metal deposition to age in individuals of this species.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Spiny dogfish--Effect of water pollution on; Spiny dogfish--Effect of heavy metals on; Heavy metals--Bioaccumulation; Laser ablation; Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry




masters theses




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