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What’s the time? Using cosmogenic radionuclides to test and improve chronologies in paleoclimatology

08.03.2021, 13:15 Uhr
MARUM Research Seminar
via Zoom

Florian Adolphi

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Dur­ing the lim­ited mode of op­er­a­tion due to corona, the lec­tures are held vir­tu­ally via Zoom. Please re­gister by con­tact­ing Maximilian Vahlenkamp ([Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript]) to re­ceive the ac­cess link.

Chronology is a key-concern in basically all paleo-sciences. It allows us to compare records, infer dynamics, and elucidate mechanisms of past environmental changes. Yet, it is a major challenge to construct chronologies that are sufficiently precise to do so. Furthermore, not all archives can be dated using the same method, and hence, also the consistency between timescales (radiocarbon, ice core, U/Th..) becomes a concern when combining different records.

Cosmogenic radionuclides provide a unique opportunity to overcome some of these challenges. Their production rates are modulated by the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic field. Hence, they provide an extra-terrestrial, pulsating signal, that can be measured in a multitude of archives and allows their synchronization.

In this presentation, I will show examples of how we can use this tool to test and improve ice-core and radiocarbon timescales and, ultimately, improve our understanding of paleoclimate dynamics. I will discuss the advantages and challenges of this method and how to expand it to the marine realm.

Florian Adolphi
Florian Adolphi