Stable Isotopes + Trace Elements

Lecturers: Torsten Bickert


The principles of natural light stable isotopic fractionation processes are used to quantitatively reconstruct marine paleoenvironments from the isotopic composition of fossil shells, as well as bulk and compound specific organic matter. Minor and trace elements in biogenic carbonates are introduced as additional proxies for physicochemical parameters. Their applicability and reliability together with isotopic proxies are discussed in a number of examples from selected case studies and a variety of geological times in Earths history


to achieve an advanced knowledge of stable isotope fractionation and trace element discrimination in marine biogeochemical processes and to understand and critical assesmentof the application of isotopes and trace elements in paleoenvironmental research


Modul exam (written) on selected topics from all module courses

Exam Form:



Will be provided during the course.


1st SWS: Introduction, motivation
2nd SWS: Proxies for paleotemperature reconstruction
3rd SWS: hydrological cycle, salinity and ice volume
4th SWS: carbon cycle and ocean circulation
5th SWS: atmosphere-ocean interaction, pCO2
6th SWS: ocean carbonate production and burial
7th SWS: bioproductivity and nutrient utilisation
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