Goldschmidt Session 08e on diagenesis (including clumped isotopes!)

20 Mar 2018

Hi all,

Apologies as this is not strictly about clumped isotopes, but I'd like to draw your attention to Goldschmidt session 08e that may be of interest to a number of the members of this forum!

08e: What do Your Proxy Records Mean? Quantifying Fidelity and Uncertainty in Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions

Keynote: Rich Pancost (University of Bristol) 
Invited Speakers:  Sarah Greene (University of Birmingham) and Kristin Bergmann (MIT)

A key objective of paleoenvironmental research is the quantification of change within specific components of the Earth system – hydrology, temperature, ocean conditions, ecosystem functioning - in response to external, often global-scale, forcing. These data provide critical insights into links and feedbacks between key parameters of the Earth system, and facilitate opportunities to test conceptual and numerical models of climatic and environmental change. The range of geochemical proxies available to reconstruct paleoenvironments has never been greater. In particular, they are providing remarkable new insights into the functioning of the Earth system under past high CO2 and/or warm-climate conditions. However, all of these proxies are subject to calibration uncertainties and potential non-analogue behaviour between modern and past environments. Further, transport, temporal and spatial-averaging, and post-depositional diagenesis can all bias the proxy values recorded in the sedimentary archive away from original environmental signals. Evidence for warm oceans and continents, anoxic or acidic oceans, and CO2- and O2-rich (or poor) atmospheres, as well as drastic swings in the carbon cycle, will remain subject to doubt without a robust framework for identifying and quantifying proxy uncertainties and the fidelity of primary signal preservation. 

This session will examine approaches for evaluating preservation of original paleoenvironmental signals in chemical, isotopic, and organic proxies in marine and terrestrial sediments and fossils. We also seek to foster an open discussion of proxy uncertainties, and welcome submissions that propose new methods to quantify and reduce uncertainty in proxy data based on molecular, elemental, organic or isotopic methods. Examples could include new process-based understandings of empirical calibrations, statistical treatments of uncertainty, improved model fitting and methods for identifying and overcoming diagenetic bias. We further encourage submissions from researchers applying new and novel approaches that integrate chemical and/or textural techniques, examining diagenesis at the micro- and nano-scale.

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is 30 March 2018, 23:59 ESTTo see further information about abstract submission and formatting guidelines, please visit

Will Defliese and Yvette Eley, co-conveners