Workshop on palaeoclimate time series analysis and statistics in Potsdam

Last week, representatives of all QUEST collaborators met on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam for the QUEST Workshop on palaeoclimate time series analysis and statistics to disseminate our results, first among ourselves, and then to a public audience. We would like to thank all participants for their contributions and lively discussions.
The workshop was very nicely organized by Bedartha and Norbert. Beth came all the way from New Zealand, while David came from Great Britain, Inken from Mainz, and Seb and Cinthya from Bochum. We started with a short summary of ongoing work and activities in the different laboratories. An important point raised and discussed were the planned secondments (Cinthya and Inken had aleady packed for their secondments to Waikato!) and under which conditions Thomas can actively participate to QUEST. We then got quick updates from the different laboratories, all make good progress with respect to quantification of proxy data. A cosy workshop dinner in Old Town Potsdam facilitated more discussions of ideas and thoughts.
On Thursday and Friday we had several lectures and hand-on sessions, open to the public. Colleagues from as far as Australia learned about agemodeling, recurrence analysis and other innovative statistical tools developed at PIK Potsdam. Hands-on sessions gave the opportunity to discuss the complexities of unpublished data and the subtilities hidden inside the obvious.
The workshop also served as a platform to strike new collaborations and to exchange ideas how to extract a wealth of information from multi-proxy data.
The next workshop will take us to the Antipodes.

Lab meeting at JGU Mainz

Adam is currently visiting the JGU Mainz lab, testing various fluid compositions (see proof in figure). Denis and (now Dr.) Max were very helpful in explaining the artificial cave and issues related with precipitating carbonates.

Seb and Matthias joined from RUB to discuss experiments that Matthias will conduct during his MSc thesis in Mainz and to plan the field and lab work in New Zealand later this year. Cinthya, Inken, and Max will visit Waikato in winter and perform experiments in Adam´s lab, take care of the monitoring and to take samples from speleothems.

A very long, but productive day was concluded with dinner and beer at the Main terraces.

Adam and Deniz during fluid testing.

Adam and Denis during fluid testing.

QUEST at EGU 2017

With several poster and oral presentations the QUEST team has presented its work at the general assembly of the European Geoscience Union in Vienna, April 24–28, 2017.


Sebastian explaining the poster “Quantitative Palaeoenvironments from Speleothems (QUEST): magnetic properties of two New Zealand speleothems” at the EGU conference 2017.

Meet QUEST at EGU 2017

We will present our work at the EGU conference in Vienna:

Monday, 24 April

  • D. Eroglu, N. Marwan: Multiplex Recurrence Networks
    17:30–19:00, Hall X4, Poster session NP4.1

Tuesday, 25 April

  • I. Heidke, S. A. Mischel, D. Scholz, T. Hoffmann: Analysis of lignin oxidation products in a stalagmite from the Herbstlabyrinth-Adventshöhle in Germany and comparison with δ13C and other vegetation proxies
    8:45-9:00, Room F2, Talk CL1.13

  • B. Fox, I. Lascu, S. Breitenbach, A. Hartland: Quantitative Palaeoenvironments from Speleothems (QUEST): magnetic properties of two New Zealand speleothems
    17:30-19:00, Hall X5, Poster session CL1.13
  • S. Riechelmann, S.F.M. Breitenbach, A. Schröder-Ritzrau,  A. Immenhauser: High resolution pCO2 monitoring reveals ventilation of Bunker Cave (NW Germany) and its impact on speleothem growth
    17:30-19:00, Hall X5, Poster session CL1.13

  • M. Magiera, A. M. Erhardt, A. Hartland, O. Kwiecien, H. Cheng, A. Immenhauser, A. Turchyn, S.F.M. Breitenbach: Indian Summer Monsoon dynamics during Termination II and MIS 5e
    17:30-19:00, Hall X5, Poster session CL1.13
  • C. Nehme, S. Verheyden, S. F. M. Breitenbach, D. P. Gillikin, A. Verheyden, H. Cheng, L. Edwards, J. Hellstrom, S. R. Noble, A. R. Farrant, D. Sahy, T. Goovaerts, G. Salem, P. Claeys: Climatic variability during the penultimate interglacial (MIS 7) and glacial (MIS 6) periods recorded in a speleothem from Kanaan cave, Lebanon (Central Levant)
    17:30-19:00, Hall X5, Poster session CL1.13
  • M. Weber, D. Scholz, J. A. Wassenburg, K. P. Jochum, S. Breitenbach: Application of LA-MC-ICP-MS for analysis of Sr isotope ratios in speleothems
    17:30-19:00, Hall X5, Poster session CL1.13

QUEST in the Arctic

Norbert contributed to the Sydney Chapman Chair Seminar series “Complex Systems Science Meets Arctic Science” at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, 28 Feb 2017 and 2 March 2017: One lecture on recurrence plot analyses for the scienific experts and one lecture on “Caves as scientific archives” for the non-expert audience, but both related to research performed within QUEST.

There was opportunity to visit the one and only permafrost tunnel of the world.

Ice wedge in the permafrost tunnel.

QUEST at the German Cavers Association Annual General Assembly (VdHK)

Seb presented QUEST in an invited public lecture on the 6th of May 2016 at the VdHK General Assembly in the Harz Mountains. The lecture on “Climate reconstructions from caves and the importance of climate monitoring in caves” appealed to the German speleologists to support scientific monitoring efforts in caves. A lively questioning-answering session helped to explain the importance of monitoring and the roles non-scientists can play in scientific projects. The talk and discussion got great feedback from the community.