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Research and teaching centre
environmental geosciences
Research and teaching centre
environmental geosciences

PANISS applications


Isotopic analysis δ13C and δ18O carbonate samples (foraminifera, corals, ostracods, speleothems, fine fraction, etc.) by IRMS spectrometry and IRIS laser 

. Characterisation of climate change at high temporal resolution, mainly in tropical to sub-tropical areas (hydrological cycles, ocean conditions)

. Reconstruction of the past variability of certain climate modes (ENSO type)

. Evolution of the ocean carbonate system in relation to COatmospheric

Clumped isotopes carbonates

The ∆47 and ∆48 compositions of the carbonates provide information on the mineralization temperature of the minerals and provide a paleo-thermometer that will be used to :

  • Reconstructing past marine temperatures: measurements on the shells of carbonate microplankton (foraminifera, for example).
  • Reconstructing surface temperatures: measurements on continental carbonates (e.g. soil calcite or continental gastropods).
  • Reconstructing the history of basin burial or fault activity: measurements on secondary carbonates (i.e. formed during diagenesis processes).


The compositions in δ18O, δ17O and 17O-excess biogenic silicates (phytoliths, diatoms), authigenic minerals and oxides, meteorites and micrometeorites are analyzed at CEREGE for :

  • The development of new paleoclimatic tracers (e.g. continental relative atmospheric humidity).
  • Reconstitution of the past dynamics of the continental water cycle: origin and quantity of precipitation, relative atmospheric humidity, water balance of lakes, evapo-transpiration fluxes at the soil-plant-atmosphere interface.
  • The study of weathering and pedogenesis processes.
  • The characterisation of the parent bodies of meteorites and micro-meteorites and the determination of extraterrestrial material flows.


The compositions in δ18O, δ17O, 17O-excess and d-excess of water (precipitation, lakes, springs, etc..) and water vapour are used at CEREGE for :

  • Quantification of fractionations at the subsurface-surface (including vegetation) - atmosphere interface.
  • Tracing the water cycle at this same interface.

Organic compounds 

The compositions in δ13C and δ15N of powders and δD and δ13C of organic molecules are analysed at CEREGE for :

  • Tracing vegetation changes (δ13C on n-alkanes)
  • Tracing changes in the carbon cycle (δ13C on alkenones)
  • Reconstruction of past changes in the hydrological cycle in the continental domain (δD on n-alkanes, triterpenes, etc.)
  • Reconstruction of past hydrological cycle changes in the marine domain (δD on n-alkenones, sterols, etc.)
  • Measuring soil organic carbon turnover to feed carbon cycle models
  • Characterisation of organic matter stabilisation processes in soils
  • Characterisation of the impact of climate change on biodiversity and biodegradation of forest litter