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Ongoing research

Landscape and climate evolution in hyperarid environments – Atacama Desert - SFB/CRC 1211 - Earth Evolution at the Dry Limit (2020-2024), PI C04

Using terrestrial sediment archives in the Atacama Desert to reconstruct the paleoclimate evolution from semi-arid conditions towards recent hyperarid conditions. Identifying pluvial pulses in the hyperarid core of the Atacama, their impact and especially their forcing.

Climate gradient reconstruction with an N-S and E-W transect in the hyperarid Atacama Desert, using sedimentary basins mostly created by tectonic activity.

Interaction of CaSO4 (and other soluble salts) dynamics on surface activity and landscape evolution in the Atacama Desert and other hyperarid environments

Identification of pluvial pulses/events in the hyperarid Atacama Desert by dating inactive fluvial features, like channels, lake shorelines and alluvial fans

Picture: Pléiades 1B 3D Image

Determining the onset of hyperaridity in the Atacama Desert and localization of ancient preserved Miocene landscapes, using cosmogenic nuclies. 

Picture: ASTER GDEM Data

Dating tectonic activity of fault scarps between 19°S-22°S and their influences on local hydrology. Reconstruction of uplift histories and characterization of tectonic fault movements in the Coastal Cordillera. 

Cosmogenic nuclide developement

  • Determination of complex sediment surface and burial activity due to a combination of cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al and 21Ne.
  • Determination of erosion/denudation rates via cosmogenic nuclide system 10Be/26Al in combination with a GIS-based drainage density model to reconstruct and quantify incision history and pulses

Noble Gas Mass Spectroscopy

  • Establishment of the Cologne Noble Gas Mass Spectroscopy Lab
  • Routine application of 21Ne analysis
  • Implementation of 3/4He for cosmogenic nuclide analysis and geochemistry crust/mantle application
  • Liquid extraction for noble gases