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QUantitative paleoEnvironments from SpeleoThems

Objective

Speleothems (cave deposits, e.g. stalagmites) represent unique terrestrial archives that allow for accurately dated, high-resolution (often annual), continuous and long (many millennia) climate reconstructions. Such records are vital for understanding how climate varies and how our environments respond on seasonal to millennial timescales. However, current speleothem studies can only make qualitative inferences about climate parameters – i.e. they can tell us the direction of change (warmer, drier, etc.) but not the amount of change (how warm? how dry?). Quantitative information is crucial to make speleothem-based data more useful to climate modellers and policy makers.
QUEST (QUantitative palaeoEnvironments from SpeleoThems) will develop new techniques for extracting quantitative information from speleothems and link field and laboratory experiments on water/mineral chemistry with innovative physical and numerical analyses on speleothems. The combination of these techniques, based on physical and chemical properties and statistical methods, will allow us to deliver quantitative reconstructions of two key parameters: hydrology and temperature. We will test our methods using speleothems from Australasia, a region vulnerable to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability. At present, there is a relative dearth of millennial-scale palaeoclimate data from this region.
Our team members come from a variety of backgrounds including environmental chemistry, environmental mineral magnetism, and numerical data analysis. Each group within the team has already begun developing innovative methods for palaeoclimate reconstruction within their own subfield, but this project will be the first time these methods are combined and applied collectively to speleothems. Our combination of interdisciplinary expertise, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and novel techniques means that we are ideally placed to develop quantitative climate records from speleothems.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/mathematics/applied mathematics/numerical analysis
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes/el niño
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/hydrology
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data analysis
  • /social sciences/media and communications/library science/archives

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-RISE - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)

Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 18 000

Participants (3)

POTSDAM INSTITUT FUER KLIMAFOLGENFORSCHUNG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 45 000
Address
Telegrafenberg 31
14473 Potsdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 49 500
Address
Saarstrasse 21
55122 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
RUHR-UNIVERSITAET BOCHUM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 31 500
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 150
44801 Bochum
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

Partners (1)

UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO
New Zealand
Address
Hillcrest Road Block B
2020 Hamilton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments