All posts by patriciamar

Sponsorship for conferences – second 2018 call open

Since 2013, the AFEQ CNF-INQUA has been sponsoring the participation of MSc or PhD students and young post-doctoral researchers (members of the association), in scientific workshops or conferences dealing with climate and environment of the Quaternary.

For the next call, grant applications should be sent before December 20, 2018 (with up to date AFEQ CNF-INQUA membership for the year of the colloquium).

When glaciers become rain gauges: reconstructing major hydrological changes in the Andes during the last deglaciation

An international team(1) has reconstructed a paleoprecipitation map which occurred in the tropical Andes 15 500 years ago, allowing to understand atmospheric processes which produced abrupt changes in the water cycle in tropical South America.

In the Southern part of the tropical Andes, today’s climate is extremely dry in the largest salted desert of the world: the Salar Uyuni. However, 15 500 years ago, this region was covered by the huge Tauca lake, with a size comparable to the Michigan lake.

Present day landscapes of Salar Uyuni (3660 m) (© P.-H. Blard).15 500 years ago, the Tunapa volcano was an isolated island in the former lake Tauca.

In this study, researchers from CRPG and their colleagues used the glacial deposits on the Altiplano, together with a new methodology. A lake and a glacier have different sensitivities to precipitations and temperatures because more energy is needed to evaporate a lake than to melt a glacier. By reconstructing the simultaneous extents of Tauca lake and neighbouring glaciers, they quantified the temperature and precipitation conditions prevailing 15 500 years ago. They produced the first regional map of paleoprecipitations at the Altiplano scale.


Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers, CNRS

Lake Tauca highstand (Heinrich Stadial 1a) driven by a southward shift of the Bolivian High, L.C.P. Martin, P.-H. Blard, J. Lavé, T. Condom, M. Premaillon, V. Jomelli, D. Brunstein, M. Lupker, J. Charreau, V. Mariotti, B. Tibari, ASTER Team, E. Davy, Science Advances, 2018;4: eaar2514.


(1) Centre de recherches pétrographiques et géochimiques (CRPG, CNRS / Université de Lorraine), Institut des géosciences de l’environnement (IGE/OSUG, CNRS / IRD / UGA / Grenoble INP), Laboratoire de géographie physique : environnements quaternaires et actuels (LGP, CNRS / Université Panthéon-Sorbonne / Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne / INRAP), Centre européen de recherche et d’enseignement en géosciences de l’environnement (CEREGE/PYTHÉAS, CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université / IRD / Collège de France / INRA), Oslo University and Université Libre de Bruxelles

Reconstructed Arctic temperature changes over the last millenias

Reconstructing Arctic temperatures prior to the recent climate changes requires to use indirect indicators in paleoclimatic archives.

An international team including two French laboratories(1) constructed a high resolution database allowing to precisely reconstruct Arctic temperatures. Over the last centuries, the results are consistent with direct observations.

Temperature evolution over the last 2000 years in the Arctic-subarctic region based on the Arctic 2k PAGES database (modified using Nicolle et al., 2018). Photo credit: L. Chaumillon.


Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers, CNRS

Linderholm, H. W., Nicolle, M., Francus, P., Gajewski, K., Helama, S., Korhola, A., Solomina, O., Yu, Z., Zhang, P., D’Andrea, W. J., Debret, M., Divine, D. V., Gunnarson, B. E., Loader, N. J., Massei, N., Seftigen, K., Thomas, E. K., Werner, J., Andersson, S., Berntsson, A., Luoto, T. P., Nevalainen, L., Saarni, S., and Väliranta, M.: Arctic hydroclimate variability during the last 2000 years: current understanding and research challenges, Clim. Past, 14, 473-514,

Nicolle, M., Debret, M., Massei, N., Colin, C., deVernal, A., Divine, D., Werner, J. P., Hormes, A., Korhola, A., and Linderholm, H. W.: Climate variability in the subarctic area for the last 2 millennia, Clim. Past, 14, 101-116,


(1) Laboratoire Morphodynamique continentale et côtière (M2C, Université de Caen Normandie / Université de Rouen Normandie / CNRS) and Laboratoire Géosciences Paris-Sud (GEOPS/IPSL, CNRS / Université Paris-Sud)

Three open positions

Post-doc in Geoarcheology at Tromsø (Norway) within ERC program “Terrace Archaeology and Culture in Europe” (TerrACE):

Contract Research Engineer in Micromorphology and sedimentology at ArScAn laboratory (Paris):

Lecturer in Geosciences at Rouen University (URGENT): details at

Research Scientist position in geochronology at CENIEH

Research Scientist in Uranium Series Dating (Geochronology, CENIEH)

The CENIEH (National Research Centre for Human Evolution, in Burgos, Spain) is seeking applications to fill a tenure-track Research Scientist position to conduct research in the field of uranium-series Dating applied to archaeological and paleontological sites, and to develop new techniques in that field to enhance the institute’s analytical capabilities in geochronology. Duties will include overseeing, managing, and ensuring the efficient running of the ICP-MS laboratory at the CENIEH. The ICP-MS facility is equipped with a ThermoFinnigan Neptune MC-ICP-MS, with a CETAC autosampler, a NewWave UP213 nm laser ablation facility, a New Wave Instruments Micromill, and a clean room for sample preparation. The successful candidate will also develop new analytical protocols, ensure quality control, and support internal and external research projects of faculty and visiting scientists. The incumbent will take an active role in the communication of research results to the scientific ! community and play a significant role in grant and contract applications.

Qualifications include a Ph.D. in geosciences, or a closely allied field, a publication record, experience with ICP-MS, reagent and sample preparation, and clean room practices and protocols. The ability to interact effectively with a broad range of researchers will be considered a strong asset. Experience in stratigraphy and Quaternary geology is desirable.

To view the full job description, please go to: For questions about the position, please contact Prof. Pares (

AFEQ-CNF INQUA members are well represented at the next INQUA congress (Dublin 2019)!

Nine sessions chaired by AFEQ-CNF INQUA members were selected for the next INQUA congress to be held between 25th and 31st July 2019. The variety of subjects illustrates the diversity and dynamism of our association. Don’t forget the deadline for abstract submission: January 9, 2019.


Southern Hemisphere Assessment of PalaeoEnvironments (SHAPE)

Andrew Lorrey (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand)

Brian Chase* (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution-Montpellier, Université de Montpellier, France)

Maisa Rojas (Universidad de Chile)

Steven Phipps (University of Tasmania, Australia)

The research aligned to the PALCOM International Focus group SHAPE has sought to reconstruct atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns and climate dynamics through glacial-interglacial cycles using both proxy data and climate model simulations. Regional and intra-hemispheric collaborations that have started in SHAPE have gathered information from spatially-distributed climate reconstructions and revealed important patterns and dynamics in the global circulation system. In this session, we will focus particularly on work that has refined our understanding of the behaviour of key Southern Hemisphere climate modes and used integrative approaches and model simulations to understand regional observations, triggers of climate change, climate dynamics, and mechanisms of intra- and inter-hemispheric climate teleconnections from a holistic Southern Hemisphere or global perspective. This session welcomes all presentations regarding proxy development, tools and techniques, key findings, data syntheses and modelling results relating to Southern Hemisphere Quaternary climate change.

Orbital and millennial scale climate changes in ice, ocean and land: observations and model simulations

Maria Fernanda Sanchez Goñi* (EPHE, PSL University &UMR 5805 EPOC, University of Bordeaux, France)

André Bahr (Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany)

Nathaelle Bouttes (LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris – Saclay, France)

Integrating long paleoclimatic series from different Earth’s archives is crucial for understanding the mechanisms of climatic changes during the Quaternary. First, this integration documents the nature and timing of the different regional environmental responses to a given climate change; secondly, it provides an array of hypotheses against which to benchmark model experiments. In this session we invite presentations dealing with major and still-unresolved questions in Quaternary climates such as: a) what is the regional response of the different glacial-interglacial cycles?; b) what is the potential contribution of the different internal feedbacks in explaining the Middle Pleistocene Transition?; c) what are the mechanisms explaining the Mid-Brunhes Event in CO2 concentrations with lower values during interglacials before, compared to after, 430 ka?; or d) are the interactions between millennial and orbital climate variability the potential missing piece in the puzzle of Ice Age cycles?

Multiproxy studies on continental carbonates: palaeoclimates and palaeoenvironments

Julie Dabkowski* (Laboratoire de Géographie Physique – UMR CNRS 8591, Meudon, France)

Charlotte Prud’Homme* (Research Group of Terrestrial Palaeoclimates, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany)

Eric Verrecchia* (Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Continental carbonates have been extensively studied during the last few decades as supports for multidisciplinary palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental research. Most efforts have been concentrated on speleothems, but investigations on tufa, travertine, lacustrine, palustrine, soil, and biogenic (shells, earthworm granules, etc.) carbonates are also rapidly developing with improved and new technologies. Continental carbonates are highly suitable for combining geochemical approaches (e.g. stable isotopes) with direct dating on calcite (14C, U-Th series, ESR) or grains embedded in calcite (OSL). Additionally, in most cases, bioproxies (pollen, molluscs, leaf imprint, etc.) usually associated with these carbonates allow synergic and independent palaeoenvironmental investigations.

The present session aims to illustrate the wide diversity of climatic and environmental data obtained from carbonates in continental archives. Contributions presenting multidisciplinary approaches are highly welcome. Continental carbonates from any kind of crystallisation processes (physicochemical/biological) or environments (open-air, karst, soils, thermal or meteoric water, etc.) should be represented. Finally, we encourage authors to discuss their own data regarding other regional to globally significant records, which would highlight the important contribution of continental carbonate studies to the understanding of past climate and environment dynamics.

Are Heinrich Stadials cooling or warming events, or both?

Gordon Bromley (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Samuel Toucanne* (Ifremer, Centre Bretagne)

Stephen Barker (Cardiff University)

Heinrich stadials are an intrinsic feature of Earth’s climate system and are associated with large-scale, typically rapid shifts in temperature, precipitation, ocean circulation, and atmospheric chemistry. In the North Atlantic Ocean, these events are also characterised by the deposition of ice-rafted ‘Heinrich layers’. Thanks in large part to the methodologic refinement of palaeoclimate proxies, the last decade has seen a remarkable increase in the spatial coverage and quality of climate data pertaining to Heinrich stadials, particularly those during the last glacial maximum and termination. In the Southern Hemisphere, and potentially also the tropics, Heinrich stadials appear to have been distinct warming events marked by massive deglaciation and ocean-surface heating. In contrast, the prevailing view from the Northern Hemisphere is one of Heinrich stadial cooling, linked to weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Yet emerging data from both the marine and terrestrial realms hint at elements of boreal stadial warmth, raising the question of whether Heinrich stadials in these latitudes are also periods of amplified seasonality.

The goal of this session is to bring together the latest terrestrial and marine data from key sites in order to review, holistically, our understanding of Heinrich stadials as abrupt climate change events: how they are manifest, and the driving processes involved. Our particular emphasis is on the most recent stadial events, for which data are generally most abundant, but we stress the temporal and geographic scope of this session is broad. Ultimately, we aim to foster a new discussion on the impact and causes of Heinrich stadials, based around well-dated palaeoclimate records and taking into account both the marine and terrestrial contexts.

Following the meeting, it is our intention to publish a special volume based on this session in Quaternary International (or Paleoceanography & Paleoclimate?).

Earthquake Geology and Seismic Hazards: from Earthquake Mapping of historical and prehistoric earthquakes to paleoseismology

Ioannis Papanikolaou, Stéphane Baize*, Christoph Grützner

This session, supported by the IFG on Earthquake Geology and Seismic Hazards, encourages contributions dealing with multidisciplinary approaches (fault trenching, geophysics, remote sensing, dating, etc.) applied to earthquake geology, paleoseismology, and fault specific seismic hazard assessment. Geological approaches are very important because they provide insights on the long-term behavior of fault-networks, a keystone of seismic hazard studies. Quantitative assessments include geologically recorded slip rates, earthquake time history and magnitude of large paleo-events. Earthquake geology is also the key approach to analysis of surface faulting hazard that could threaten facilities or infrastructures. Recent techniques and developments allow the quantification of the overall surface deformation during historical and recent surface-breaking earthquakes, contributing to the improvement of future Fault Displacement Hazard analyses. This session will particularly examine: i) how to improve the capability of the recognition and characterization of Quaternary capable faults, ii) how to strengthen our knowledge of the relation between surface faulting produced by earthquakes vs earthquake sizes and earthquake fault parameters, both being key aspects in Ground Shaking estimation iii) upgrade the existing EEE (Earthquake Environmental Effects) database.

The European Loess Belt – a high-resolution archive of rapid environmental change

Pierre Antoine* (Laboratoire de Géographie Physique – UMR CNRS 8591, Meudon, France)

Ludwig Zöller* (Lehrstuhl Geomorphologie Universitaet Bayreuth, Germany)

Detecting rapid climate changes during the Last Glacial in Greenland ice cores (D-O cycles) has generated major research efforts during the last 20 years to evidence their impact on European environments using sedimentary archives and especially loess-palaeosol records. Indeed, the great European Loess Belt is ideally located with respect to the Ice sheets and the North Atlantic Ocean to record this impact in both loess and palaeosols. In this context it has been proposed in 2001 to focus on a transect through the northern branch of the European loess belt during the INQUA-SEQS meeting in Kyiv.

High-resolution pedostratigraphic approaches coupled with sedimentological analysis (especially particle grain-size), led to the discovery of millennial-scale cyclic loess-palaeosols alternations correlated to Greenland stadial-interstadials cycles. Moreover, several horizons of periglacial structures were observed within loess series testifying of at least four permafrost development and degradation phases between about 60 and 20 ka.

The session will gather presentations and posters focusing on:

1) High resolution stratigraphy and reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental conditions combining multi-proxy approaches of the best loess-palaeosol sequences: sedimentology, bio-indicators, soil geochemistry, organic biomarkers, environmental magnetism, periglacial features …

2) Updating the geochronological frame by coupling luminescence and 14C dating methods, focusing especially on new developments in dating techniques.

3) Developments in data-model (numerical) comparisons to test palaeoclimate configurations leading to stadial-interstadial successions and phases of permafrost development and decrease (ice-sheets, sea surface conditions, wind power and directions …).

4) Understanding the impact of climate change on Palaeolithic peopling of the great European loess plain.

Heinrich events in Terrestrial archives

Dominik Faust* (TU Dresden, Germany)

Hartmut Heinrich (10° E maritime consulting)

Pierre Antoine* (Laboratoire de Géographie Physique – UMR CNRS 8591, Meudon, France)

Heinrich events were catastrophic collapses of continental ice sheets during glacial periods. At that time, vast quantities of icebergs more or less periodically calved into the North Atlantic, causing an interruption of the oceanic heat conveyor belt leading to dramatic changes of the climate on a global scale for a period of several hundreds of years. They are not only an interesting paleo-climatological phenomenon but also a stratigraphic and diagnostic tool for climate and environmental reconstructions.

Linking evidences on rapid climate changes in terrestrial archives to similar marine phenomena such as Heinrich Events is challenging. The session aims to transfer knowledge obtained from marine records unto the land surface. We invite contributions that aim to bridge between disciplines. We especially ask young researchers to present their ideas.


The session will be opened by a keynote talk:

Heinrich events – sources of abrupt climatic changes by Hartmut Heinrich

The Future of Quaternary Geochronology
Paula Reimer Manfred Frechen, Geoff Duller, Mathieu Duval*, Kirsty Penkman, Gilles Rixhon, Katrin Lasberg, Yan Li

Many of the techniques utilised in Quaternary geochronology have evolved in recent years allowing higher precision, longer timescales or wider ranging applications. Intercomparison exercises and re-measurement of standards have enhanced the accuracy. In addition new methods for calculating ages from raw measurements have been developed, as well as the incorporation of associated information (e.g. stable isotopes, sediment properties, models of the underlying system, etc.) into statistical models to provide improved corrections or interpretation of results. This session will highlight current and potential advances in geochronological techniques over the entire range of the Quaternary as well as novel or complex applications and integration of records and timescales using these methods.

Quaternary data without frontiers: the International Quaternary Map of Europe 1 : 2.5 Million

Kristine Asch and Philip Gibbard*

The International Quaternary Map of Europe is an international cooperation project , coordinated by BGR, that began at 2011 at INQUA in Bern. There are by now 31 national geological surveys (including Russia) participating  together with a supporting board of academic advisors  contributing to this project.

This map is coordinated and compiled at BGR in international cooperation under the umbrella of CGMW and INQUA.

Subjects to be addressed encompass e.g. onshore/-off shore mapping, glacial extent, glaciated versus non-glaciated areas, regional characteristics, mountains and lowlands, standards and rationalization of terminology, active faults, critical palaeontological and Palaeolithic sites, permafrost distribution, isostacy, direction of ice movements, etc.