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

Paleoceanography and paleocirculations

We are developing new methods for reconstructing past ocean circulation and oxygenation, based on a combination of geochemical approaches (isotopic compositions of neodymium and carbon in foraminifera) applied to the same ocean archive in order to minimise the biases associated with each approach. These approaches are at the heart of theANR MedSens (2020-2024) supported by Kazuyo Tachikawaproject, focusing on the study of Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. The project will ANR ITCH (2023-2027), supported by Clara BoltonThis project will capitalise on data from the French Oceanographic Fleet SCRATCH campaign (2021) to study the evolution of the Indian dipole and the co-evolution of oceanic plankton in the Mozambique Channel during the Pleistocene, and will complement our ongoing studies in the tropical Indian Ocean. The very precise 14C ages measured as part of theANR MARCARAsupported by Edouard Bard on benthic foraminifera will enable us to reconstruct deep ocean circulation.
The latest developments in automated micropalaeontology within the team have made it possible to initiate work on the past variability of surface hydrological conditions in the Indian Ocean, an important zone that contributes to climate variability on a global scale (ENSO, Indian Dipole, Monsoon). The application of our microfossil counting prototype (MiSo) to sediment samples taken from marine cores will make a significant contribution to this type of study. The development of this automatic sorting method will be continued over the next term with the A*Midex MicroTree project (2023-2025), supported by Thibault de Garidel for the development of a second very high-throughput sorter, and by the Equipex-+ IMAGINE2 (2021-2028) including a 3rd automaton associated with an X-ray sensor for microparticle screening (collaboration with the ED team).
This work is based on the numerous marine archives stored at CEREGE as part of projects supported by the supervisory bodies and internally. Our archives will soon be supplemented by a more complete spatial coverage of the tropical Indian Ocean (DipoMouss campaign, programmable P1) and by the TransPac federative campaign project aimed at obtaining a complete sub-equatorial zonal transect of Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary cores.


  • 2023-2027 : ITCH
    An Integrated Test of Climate Hypotheses: Paleoclimate Cycles and Plankton Evolution in the Pleistocene equatorial Indian Ocean
  • 2021-2025: ANR MARCARA
    MArine radioCArbon Reservoir Age variability and its implications in paleoceanography, paleoclimatology and geochronology
  • 2020-2023: ANR MedSens, Mediterranean thermohaline circulation sensitivity: lessons from the past for future
  • 2020-2023: CYCLOCARB, Oceanic Carbon Cycling Response to Global Temperature Changes
  • 2020-2022: INSU, LEFE, EC2CO Chemical, Past climate change in Central Africa and Central America - An isotopic and molecular approach "ANR iMonsoon- Clara Bolton
  • 2019-2021: CYBER, LEFE AURORE, Authigenic uranium precipitates on foraminiferal tests to reconstruct water oxygenation conditions: studies on proxy behaviour