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Ongoing research

Landscape and climate evolution in hyperarid environments – Atacama Desert

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.

  • Sedimentology (Grain-Size Analysis, End-Member Modelling (EMM)), anorganic geochemistry and organic geochemistry

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

Reconstruction of the impact of ENSO variations in the past, with special focus on the interglacial climate shift characterized by higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations and accompanied by significant changes in the paleo-oceanographic system in the SE Pacific and Antarctica

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. 

  • 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 

Cosmogenic nuclide developement

Modelling the effect of different uplift scenarios on the productionrate of cosmogenic nuclides, especially for ancient surfaces and significant uplift variations with erosional impact. 

Flood Frequency Reconstruction - Lake Torneträsk

Determining forcing factors and response of catchment thresholds induced by climate shifts during the Holocene. Reconstruction of atmospheric circulation patterns.

Cooperation with Dr. H. Vogel (University Bern), Organic Geochemistry Uni. of Cologne (Prof. J. Rethemeyer, PhD candidate M. Thienemann)