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R A I N - Project 5

Marine Sediments: Documentation of Terrigenous Climate Variability

The inorganic, terrigenous fraction of marine sediments provides a variety of established proxy parameters for the study of climate change. As part of this project sedimentological and geochemical proxy parameters will be studied on coastal sediment cores in high temporal resolution. First investigations will be carried on sediment material, which could have been taken already from the mud belt off the South African west coast and its northern continuation during former expeditions. The recovery of additional cores, especially selected for this sub-project, is planned along the eastern and southern coasts of South Africa during two expeditions. The first is scheduled already in December 2013, the second has to be submitted and is planned for 2014/15.

Our primary objective is the documentation of temporal variations in both, the supply and the composition of terrigenous material. Together with the results of the other sub-projects our new data will provid us to derive a more detailed reconstruction of the regional climate evolution in the Late Quaternary. A key issue in this regard relates to potential alterations of primary signal carriers (mineral phases) during the transport from the source regions to the sites of final deposition.

In SP4, we focus on the application of the following analytical methods: radio carbon dating, grain size analysis, x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffractrometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX), geophysical investigations like magnetic susceptibility.