FWF - Met-Proxies - Met-Proxies-Metal isotopes as environmental proxies

Project: Research project

Description

Our understanding on the evolution of Earth’s climate in the past relies on the chemical and isotopic signals recorded in geological archives. Indeed environmental conditions such as temperature, water pH, atmospheric CO2 content and biological activity, amongst others, are recorded in the chemical and isotopic composition of calcium carbonate minerals forming in water bodies like lakes or the ocean. In order to “read” these chemical signals however, the appropriate tools are required that correlate the composition of the geological archives with the prevailing environmental conditions.
In Met-Proxies project we are actually developing such tools. In order to provide precise information on the pH and the biological activity during the time of carbonate mineral formation in the geological past, state-of-the-art laboratory mineral formation and novel isotope techniques will be combined. More specifically in this project we examine the incorporation as well as the isotopic fractionation of copper and zinc during carbonate mineral formation. Moreover in order to validate the findings of the experimental work, a field study that includes chemical and isotopic analyses in the speleothems of Katerloch cave will be conducted.
The expected outcome of the Met-Proxies project is to provide the scientific community with new and more precise tools that estimate pH, atmospheric CO2 partial pressure and biological activity in natural waters. Moreover during this project a doctoral and two master students will have the opportunity to get training in geochemical techniques and field work.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/05/1930/04/22