Validation and application of environmental proxies

Sea-surface temperatures, ocean productivity, sea-ice extent, dust fluxes, and ocean circulation - these are key factors influencing and reflecting the state of the climate system. Chemical and biological reactions may record the state of the system, and these records serve as a proxy for the process of interest.

We study

  • organic proxies, reflecting the quality and quantity of various biological processes.
  • inorganic proxies, based on the ratios of natural radionuclides or elements.
  • how proxies are preserved or possibly affected by diagenetic processes.

Fluxes of lithogenic material to the seafloor [g/m2/yr], based on thorium isotopes (Geibert et al., map presented at the Annual Goldschmidt Conference, 2009). A comparison with organic proxies can reveal where the main source is continental dust.