Terrigenous Signals

Lecturers: Enno Schefuß, Matthias Zabel


Marin sediments consists of material that is produced in the ocean and particulate matter of terrigenous origin. Beside information from microfossil tests (species abundances, carbon and oxygen isotopes in carbonates, etc.) and depending on the regional environmental conditions, the terrigenous fraction of marine sediments contains extremely useful information about regional and/or temporal variations in climate conditions. Inorganic as well as organic particulate matter can be used especially to reconstruct and understand the complex interrelations between solar radiation, hydrological cycle and large scale correlations (e.g. teleconnections).

This course gives an introduction to the very interesting field of the use and development of terrigenous proxies in marine sediments. Beside fundamental information on the major inorganic and organic parameters (e.g. mineral assemblages, element compositions, organic components), selected case studies will presented and discussed by all participants.


After successful participation in this course, student are able to assess and interprete simple records of terrigenous proxies in marine sediments. Furthermore, they have learned to recognize and consider complex interrelations between different factors forcing climate on Earth.


A seminar talk is mandatory for each student.


seminar talk


Chester, R. (2003) Marine Geochemistry, Blackwell Publ., 2nd Ed., 506 pp.
Wefer, G., Mulitza, S., Ratmeyer, V. (eds) (2004) The South Atlantic in the Late Quaternary: Reconstruction of Mass Budget and Current Systems, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 722 pp.

Key articles in international journals will be given during the course.

Home page Enno Schefuß
Home page Matthias Zabel