BASE_LINE_Earth - Brachiopods As SEnsitive tracers of gLobal marINe Environment: Insights from alkaline, alkaline Earth metal, and metalloid trace element ratios and isotope systems

Project: Research project

Project Details


The knowledge about seawater’s dynamic chemical composition since the onset of the Phanerozoic eon 540 million years ago, provides a unique and societally important data baseline for understanding of global change over time for the evolution of life, atmosphere´s chemical composition, ecosystem adaptation during long term climate change and times of abrupt biological mass-extinctions, and geological processes such as mid-ocean ridge volcanism as well as the formation of submarine hydrocarbon resources. However, the interpretation of existing Phanerozoic seawater records are limited due to uncertainties regarding chemical alteration of suitable geological archives and determining primary seawater compositions, low age resolution, and analytical restrictions measuring certain trace element and isotope ratios. To overcome these problems we propose a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial crossing approach considering ecological, geological, mineralogical and physical studies to closely determine original trace element and isotope time series of the Phanerozoic Ocean from brachiopod shells being the most reliable proxy archive for such information. Following this approach “BASE-LiNE Earth” will train 15 ESRs to complete and extend the existing knowledge on the dynamic Phanerozoic seawater composition in a long-term and large-scale perspective through the use of “Laboratory Earth”. The programme ensures early stage researches (ESR) access to cutting edge science and technology in a multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary environment with comprehensive training in biology, ecology, geochemistry, chemical analytical methods and physical instrumentation. Linking basic biogeochemical research to sophisticated laboratory and culturing techniques, mathematics, engineering and instrumental analytics will help our ESRs to gain technical and scientific skills and knowledge that are highly demanded by the scientific community and enhance their career prospects in both, the academic and non-academic sectors. The ESRs will be exposed to three appropriately selected non-academic institutions, specifically two large companies (DEA and THERMO FISHER (TF)), and one museum (SM). In particular, the involvement of the two large companies is appropriate for training because they ensure direct application of scientific skills to industry; both are also possible employers when it comes to job applications. The most important deliverables will be timely refined and robust time series of past trace element and isotope cycling in the Phanerozoic Ocean and numerical models about oceanic trace element input and output fluxes. This important information will be disseminated in publications, reports and exhibitions for further public use and for industry. Information and lecturing material will be offered for education in general, and specifically for high school teachers. Through the collaboration with DEA “BASE-LiNE Earth” will contribute new approaches for the exploration and characterization of hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs. The development of innovative instrumentation in collaboration with TF will be directly converted into distinct new products and services for trace element and isotope measurement. In general, creating a certain surplus due to trans-disciplinary and sectorial crossing interaction all the ESRs, EU companies and the EU society will benefit from the “BASE-LiNE Earth” ETN network.
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/12/18


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