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High-resolution dating of sedimentary archives

Final Report Summary - HIRESDAT (High-resolution dating of sedimentary archives)

The overall set objective of the original project was to build the facilities to enable dating with the highest possible resolution the sedimentary archives of past climate and environmental changes using the most accurate dating techniques at hand today.

The set expected results were to constrain in time past environmental changes (warming, CO2 levels, aridification, monsoons, sea retreat, mountain building…) with sufficiently high resolution to allow correlating them to known variations of global climate available from marine records. This precision in age is required to understand the possible causes of environmental changes observed in sedimentary archives. These new dating tools, have unlimited applications to understand and identify forcing processes (changes in continental relief, global climate change,…) responsible for the observed changes in sedimentary archives (aridity, monsoon extinctions species, ...). This approach takes its real potential as part of a multidisciplinary integration in collaboration with international specialists such as proposed here.

Most objectives have been successfully and largely implemented thanks to the new facilities developed with HIRESDAT and despite unexpected difficulties that were successfully overcome. These associate dprojects involve local and international research projects with the visit a students and researchers from the best Earth Sciences groups at the highest level (e.g. ERC, ITN EU project, NSF, ICDP, Agence National de la Recherche). The laboratory is now attracting researchers and students locally and from abroad (France, China, UK, US, Germany, Spain). The outcomes of HIRESDAT have already yielded numerous publications in the highest-ranking journals (Nature, Science, PNAS, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research…). HIRESDAT and associated projects have direct scientific implications for a wide range of disciplines in Geology as well as Biology and provides a reliable source of valuable data to our industrial partners.

HIRESDAT produced the following clearly significant results:

- State-of-the-art lab attracting top researchers and projects.
- ERC Consolidator MAGIC obtained 2015-2020.
- Nature article 2014 of discovery of unexpectedly old Asian Monsoons during greenhouse times.
- Science article 2015 of age of oldest Hominid tools.
- PNAS article on new age for the India-Asia collision.
- 2015 Van Straelen Prize for best PhD thesis from the French Geological Society granted top L. Bougeois.

Transfer of knowledge during HIRESDAT has been performed intensely through the formation of researchers and students, the large production of high-ranking publications and presentation at international meetings.

- The staff formed directly by the PI includes 2 Potsdocs, 7 PhDs and 5 Masters students.
- 36 publications were produced in relation to HIRESDAT in Nature, Science, PNAS etc…
- International meetings were attended by the staff and students every year.

The goal to integrate the fellow at his host institution (CNRS – University of Rennes 1) and internationally has been successfully achieved by building this state-of-the-art laboratory and associated applications that enabled to build up long-term collaboration and international recognition of the PI and the host institution. Notably the building of this lab has enabled and will be the main tool for an ERC consolidator project (MAGIC) granted to the researcher for 2015-2020.

Beyond the direct scientific gains, the new laboratory hosted in the shielded room has become a very popular place to visit at the host institution. Both for undergraduate and graduate classes taken at the Rennes University but also for visiting researchers as well as high-school classes. The planned addition of the designed robot will add to the attractiveness of this high-tech lab.

The address of the project public website: