EESC G9802 - Geochemistry Seminar
Toward an improved understanding of paleoceanographic proxies: combining models with data

Spring 2006

Seminar description

Geochemical ``proxy'' tracers archived in marine sediment cores are a potentially rich source of information on past ocean circulation and climate. Interpretation of these tracers is, however, fraught with considerable uncertainty, and there is an urgent need to better understand the various physical and biogeochemical factors controlling the distribution of these proxies. This seminar will attempt to address this issue by bringing together ocean modelers and geochemists. Our goal is to identify outstanding questions regarding tracers of ocean circulation, and discuss various approaches such as process oriented numerical modeling to addressing them in a quantitative manner. More ambitiously, we hope to make this seminar interactive by providing participants with ``hand on'' experience with building simple, yet useful, biogeochemical models. This process is anticipated to be iterative, and we hope that all will participate in the development. To keep the discussion concrete, we will focus on Nd isotopes, an especially promising but poorly understood paleoceanographic proxy. However, depending on the the interests of the participants, we may also examine other tracers.

Class meets Wednesdays, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM  in Geochemistry Seminar Room

Class Presentations:

March 27th: Introduction to radiogenic isotopes, Tina van de Flierdt (ppt)

April 5th: Introduction to biogeochemical modeling, Samar Khatiwala (pdf)

Readings: access files here (password protected)

1) Frank, M. (2002). Radiogenic Isotopes: Tracers of past ocean circulation and erosional input. Rev. Geophys.

2) Goldstein and Hemming (2004). Application of long-lived radiogenic isotopic tracers to paleoceanography.

3) Khatiwala et al. (2005). Accelerated simulation of passive tracers in ocean circulation models. Ocean Modeling.

4) Williams and Follows (2003). Physical transport of nutrients and the maintenance of biological production.
In Ocean Biogeochemistry: The Role of the Ocean Carbon Cycle in Global Change Series: Global Change -
The IGBP Series, Fasham, M. J. R. (Ed.), Springer.

5) Khatiwala and Visbeck (2000). An estimate of the eddy-induced circulation in the Labrador Sea. Geophys. Res. Lett.

6) OCMIP-2 "How to" documents:

7) OCMIP-2 Design document:

samar khatiwala