Past Ocean and Climate Change

The ocean plays a crucial role in the Earth’s climate system, yet the physical and chemical processes in the ocean and their link to climatic changes are still not entirely understood. The research group Marine Isotope Geochemistry utilizes radiogenic isotopes  (Nd, Sr, Pb) to study the provenance and transport pathways of water masses (Nd isotopes) and terrigenous material (Nd, Sr, Pb isotopes) in the ocean. The analysis of these isotopes in terrestrial sediments and sedimentary archives deposited at the seafloor allows the reconstruction of past changes in terrestrial input and ocean circulation in the course of climate variations.

Last glacial to Holocene deep water changes in the South Pacific

(Henning Fröllje, former PhD Student, Dr. Chandranath Basak, former Postdoc)

The South Pacific is thought to play a major role in the Earth’s climate system through its potential in sequestering and storing atmospheric CO2. In collaboration with scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany (Rainer Gersonde, Frank Lamy), we measured Nd isotopes on fossil fish teeth from sediment cores in the South Pacific (R/V Polarstern cruise PS75, Punta Arenas, Chile-Wellington, New Zealand). The results suggest major changes in the deep to abyssal water column structure during the last glacial maximum to the Late Holocene.

Dust provenance in the South Pacific

(Dr. Torben Struve, Postdoc)

- under construction -


Fe isotopes, ODP

(Dr. Philipp Böning)

- under construction -