Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

High resolution dating of sediments

A new facility and powerful new tools for dating sedimentary archives have been developed with the help of an EU-funded initiative, enabling scientists to better understand climate and environmental changes.
High resolution dating of sediments
The aim of the HIRESDAT (High-resolution dating of sedimentary archives) project was to develop facilities that would enable the highest possible resolution for the dating of sedimentary archives of past climatic and environmental changes such as global warming, carbon dioxide levels, droughts and monsoons.

High resolution achieved allowed these results to be correlated with known variations in the global climate taken from marine records. By identify their precise age, scientists are now able to better understand the possible causes of environmental changes observed in sedimentary archives.

The new HIRESDAT dating tools have unlimited applications, making it possible for researchers to understand and identify climate forcing processes. These include continental erosion and global climate change, which are responsible for changes in the sedimentary archive.

Project researchers developed an automated system that uses magnetostratigraphy and cyclo-stratigraphy to measure the magnetisation of rocks. It is kept in a magnetically shielded room that was specially built to house this system. This was essential for the high-resolution study of continuous sediment record and has led to the facility's international recognition.

HIRESDAT has attracted scientists from around the world and is currently involved in a number of local and international research projects involving experts from the best Earth Science groups. This has yielded numerous publications in leading scientific journals.

Related information

Keywords

High resolution dating, sedimentary archives, HIRESDAT, environmental change, forcing process, magnetostratigraphy, cyclo-stratigraphy
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