GEOTRACES session at PAGES OSM to start paleo-proxy synthesis

In order to start partnership with PAGES (Past Global Changes international project) on paleo-proxy synthesis, GEOTRACES will convene a session at the PAGES 5th Open Science Meeting (9 – 13 May, in Zaragoza, Spain).

Please find below the description of this session. We encourage submission of abstracts by anyone interested in the calibration and synthesis of geochemical proxies used in paleoceanography. Prior involvement with GEOTRACES is not required. Deadline to submit abstracts is 20 December 2016.

12. Trace elements and their isotopes as geochemical proxies of past ocean conditions

Co-conveners: Catherine Jeandel (, Robert Anderson (, Susan Little (, Thomas Marchitto ( and Daniel Sigman (

Trace elements and their isotopes archived in marine sediments, corals, microfossils, authigenic minerals and other media have been exploited widely to reconstruct past ocean conditions, including, but not limited to: temperature, nutrient concentrations, ocean circulation, biological productivity and export production, dissolved inorganic carbon system parameters, and external sources of material to the ocean, for example as dust or via boundary exchange. Despite this importance, most proxies of necessity have been calibrated in a rather ad hoc way. Most calibrations use samples that do not necessarily represent modern conditions, or they have been calibrated solely in the lab. Calibration is normally empirical and based on only partial understanding of the processes that relate the measurable proxy to the environmental variable that it encodes.

There is therefore an urgent need for more thorough assessment of geochemical proxies to fully understand the uses and limitation of present proxies, and to develop and reliably calibrate new proxies for environmental variables that are presently difficult to reconstruct. The wealth of new and high-resolution trace element and isotope data generated by GEOTRACES as well as by contemporary initiatives offers an unprecedented opportunity to assess our understanding of geochemical proxies. This session invites presentations that exploit modern ocean observations of trace elements and their isotopes to critically examine and improve the application of geochemical proxies of past ocean conditions.


To submit an abstract please follow the instructions available here: