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Enabling new frontiers in radiocarbon and geochemical analysis

English title Enabling new frontiers in radiocarbon and geochemical analysis
Applicant Eglinton Timothy
Number 170761
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Departement Erdwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Start/End 01.09.2017 - 31.10.2019
Approved amount 404'779.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Oceanography

Keywords (8)

flow cytometry; geochemistry; radiocarbon; paleoceanography; sediments; proxy; paleoclimate; biogeochemistry

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Meeres- und Seesedimenten sind einzigartige Archive des vergangenen Klimas. Spezifische Sedimentbestandteile, wie z.B. kalkige Nanofossilien, können mittels Radiokohlenstoff (14C) präzise datiert werden. Das zugehörige biogeochemischen Signal macht sie zu wertvollen Klimaarchiven. Allerdings ist die 14C-Analyse vieler dieser Sedimentkomponenten nach wie vor schwierig, da genügend grosse Mengen isoliert und aufgereinigt werden müssen.
Lay summary

Forschungsziele

Unser übergeordnetes Ziel ist der Aufbau einer einzigartigen instrumentellen Forschungsplattform für verschiedenste komponentenselektive Studien zu C-Isotopen in biogeochemischen Kreisläufen. Mittels Durchflusszytometrie kann die gesuchte Komponenten anhand ihrer physischen und optischen Eigenschaften isoliert werden.  Parallele 14C- und 13C-Analysen ermöglichen unser Verständnis des Kohlenstoffkreislaufs zu vertiefen. Spezifische Forschungsziele umfassen i) die erste 14C-Datierung von aus der Sedimentmatrix isolierten kalkhaltigen Nanofossilien; ii) Erstellung der ersten unabhängigen, proxyspezifischen 14C-Chronologie für ein Pollenarchiv; iii) Isolierung und 14C-Datierung anderer Komponenten aus Sedimenten (z.B. Insekteneier); iv) Isolierung und Analyse (14C, 13C) «lebender» und «detritischer» Partikel von Meeres- und Seesedimenten, sowie aus Böden.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und sozialer Kontext des Forschungsvorhabens

Unsere Arbeit wird dazu beitragen unser Verständnis zu  biogeochemischen Prozessen in Ozeanen, Seen, Flüssen und Böden, sowie zu der Geschwindigkeit und den Ursachen der Klimaveränderungen der letzten 25 000 Jahre zu vertiefen. Diese Informationen sind essentiell für die Bestimmung der Randbedingungen in Klimamodellen und sind somit bei der Voraussage künftiger Klimaszenarien unabdingbar.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.11.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. David Hollander/Univ. South Florida United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Peter Raymond/Yale Univ. United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Jorien Vonk/Free Univ. Amsterdam Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Meixun Zhao/Ocean University China China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Niels Hovius/GFZ Potsdam Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Michi Strasser/Univ. Innsbruck Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Frank Hagedorn/WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Jeomshik Hwang/Seoul National Univ. Korean Republic (South Korea) (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Liu Zhifei/Tongji Univ. China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Robert Spencer/Florida State Univ. United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163162 Climate and Anthropogenic PerturbationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK2) 01.01.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This scientific equipment program proposal seeks to acquire instrumentation that will enable us to push the frontiers of carbon cycle investigations towards unprecedented methods for particle-selective radiocarbon (14C) and geochemical analysis. Objectives in realizing this goal are two-fold: (1) to acquire a flow cytometric cell/particle sorting system that will be dedicated to natural abundance-level 14C and biogeochemical investigations; (2) to equip a newly-constructed compact accelerator mass spectrometry system with a gas interface and elemental analyzer-isotope ratio mass spectrometer for parallel, high-sensitivity dual carbon isotopic (13C, 14C) measurement. These exceptional instrumental capabilities will pave the way for novel investigations of past and present biogeochemical processes. The proposed instrument acquisition and resulting program of research is timely from two perspectives: First, the emerging instrumental capabilities allowing high sample throughput, while requiring minimal sample material that now render particle-selective 14C measurements feasible. Second, the emerging understanding that underscores the importance of examining biogeochemical and sedimentary processes at the level of specific particle classes. Although ETH maintains state-of-the-art flow cytometry facilities, these instrumental capabilities are not compatible with the proposed applications as a consequence of limits on instrumental (re-)configuration for the different planned biogeochemical applications, and in particular due to constraints imposed for natural abundance 14C and trace-level geochemical measurements.Specific scientific goals that we plan to attain with the acquisition of this novel instrumental capability include:oThe first 14C measurements on coccoliths isolated from sedimentary matrices.oDevelopment of the first independent, proxy-specific 14C chronologies (foraminifera, alkenones, coccoliths) for marine sedimentary sequences. oEstablishment of a new research platform for diverse particle-selective investigations of biogeochemical processes. oConstruction of a versatile instrumental platform that will be uniquely equipped for comprehensive 14C (and 13C)-based studies of the carbon cycle.In addition to scientific advances that will accompany the implementation of these new technologies, the proposed constellation of instruments will serve to further promote synergies between groups within the Department of Earth Sciences and Department of Physics (LIP), as well as to enhance research interactions within D-ERDW.
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