Paleoclimate Research

Microanalytical trace element studies on very small ostracods which originate from the Nam Co lake in Tibet. Picture: K. Jochum, MPI for Chemistry

Research Group Dr. Klaus P. Jochum

Group Members

Former Members

The main interest of this research group is the study of earlier regional and global climatic events. We are for example investigating carbonate samples such as stalagmites from caves, corals from the sea and tiny ostracods from lake sediments. We are also interested in silicate samples such as glass sponges from the deep sea. We use these samples as an archive of information on past environmental conditions, such as climate, vegetation, landscape and the influence of human activity. We can perform precise and sensitive analyses of trace elements and isotopes of these samples in our laboratory, using both a multi-collector(MC) and a single-collector(SC) ICP sector field mass spectrometer. Both instruments can be combined with a 200 nm femtosecond as well as a 213 nm Nd:YAG laser ablation(LA) system for in-situ microanalysis at high spatial resolution of a few micrometers. MC-ICP mass spectrometry is used for 230Th/U dating of chemically processed samples. Dating can also be performed directly by laser ablation.

We are also looking at the chemistry and the development of the Earth's crust/mantle/core system, reference materials of geological, biological and environmental interest. We produced and certified the internationally used MPI-DING reference glasses. The group has spent several years developing and maintaining the geochemical GeoReM database which is accessible to everybody on the Internet.