The ventilation and circulation of the southern Indian Ocean on glacial / interglacial timescales



Dr. Thomas Ronge
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Fachbereich Geowissenschaften
Meeresgeologie und Paläontologie


Project Description

With this project, we want to enhance our knowledge of the global carbon cycle on glacial/interglacial time-scales. To achieve this objective, it is of crucial importance to understand the role of the Southern Ocean on the release and uptake of greenhouse gases. As the southern Indian Ocean is currently fundamentally underrepresented in paleoceanographic reconstructions, it is the aim of this project to reconstruct the contribution of this ocean to the atmospheric pattern of CO2. Therefore, we plan to combine stable (d13C) and radiogenic (D14C) isotope reconstructions with Earth System Modelling of glacial freshwater fluxes on a sediment core depth transect of the Kerguelen Islands and the Conrad Rise. These analyses will provide a detailed insight into the history of water mass ventilation in the Indian Ocean on glacial/interglacial timescales. Ultimately, we want to combine the findings of this project with other water mass ventilation studies (e.g. Skinner et al., 2010; Sarnthein et al., 2013; Ronge et al., 2016). These findings, in combination with previous studies from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans will for the first time allow a comprehensive circumpolar reconstruction of CO2-enriched deep-water during the last glacial, the ventilation throughout the deglaciation and the contribution to the atmospheric CO2-level.


DFG Programme: Infrastructure Priority Programmes

International Connection: France

Co-Applicants: Dr. Gerhard Kuhn; Dr. Frank Lamy; Professor Dr. Ralf Tiedemann

Cooperation partners: Professor Dr. Gerrit Lohman; Dr. Matthias Prange

Term since 2015