Climate modes and events of the Phanerozoic

Lecturers: Gerhard Fischer, Jürgen Pätzold, André Paul


The field-trip and lecture is focused on long-term climate variability (1- and 2-order cycles) in the Phanerozoic, with a major focus on the marine global carbon cycle.The field trip refers to important global events/crisis/mass extinctions in the Phanerozoic as well. Potential causes for important climate changes and events will be discussed in the field. A four-day geological field trip to Northern Germany (Rhenohercynian of the E-Sauerland, S-Harz, Subhercynian Basin) will show important global bio-events and examples for warm climate modes of the Middle and Late Paleozoic and the Mesozoic.

4-day field trip: 8.-11. July 2019

pre-field-trip meeting and essay themes:
Thursday, 13 June (13-15:00) in 5020

total costs field trip in total about 140.- Euro (incl. 37.- for FB). to be payed until 26. April 2019 at the latest.

Students have to prepare a 5-page essay which they should present in a preliminary version (with 1-2 figures) during the field trip. The themes of the essay will be given prior to the field trip in an introduction lecture.


to study the long-term climate changes/cycles and their causes,
to study global (bio-) events
to show examples of warm and cool modes and important events with a special focus on oceanic anoxic events (field trip)


writing of a 5-page essay with a compilated summarizing figure, discussion of a first version of the essay during the field trip (with grade), final submission 26. July 2019




recommended reading:

Archer, D. (2010). The Global Carbon Cycle. Princeton University Press, Oxford, 205p.
Berner, R.A. (2004). The Phanerozoic Carbon Cycle, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 150p.
Frakes, L.A., J.E. Francis and J.I. Syktus (1992). Climate Modes of the Phanerozoic. Cambridge University Press, 274 p.
Keller, G. and A.C. Kerr (2014 eds.). Volcanism, impacts and mass extinctions. The Geol. Soc. Amer. Special Paper 505, Boulder, Colorado, 455p.
Ruddiman, W.F. (2008). Earth’s Climate: Past and Future. Freeman and Company, New York, 2nd edition, 388 p.
Stanley, S.M. (2005). Earth System History. Freeman and C., New York, 567 p.

additional reading:

Bond, D.P.G. and S.E. Grasby (2017). On the causes of mass extinctions. Paleo3, 478, 3-29.
Kidder, D.L. and T.R. Worsley (2010). Phanerozoic LIPs, HEATT episodes and mass extinctions. Paleo3, 295, 162-191