Long Night of Science 2018

QUEST participated last year at the Long Night of Science – and it was a big success! This year we repeated and intensified our activities for the Long Night of Science in Potsdam and Berlin, and it was GREAT! As part of the “Climate Time Machine” exhibition Sebastian, Ola, and Norbert presented how we use stalagmites as palaeoclimate archives. To be better visible, we built a life-sized speleologist (cave researcher) and let him climb the stairways in the Michelson building (the main PIK building). We presented all the typical cave research stuff, caving gear, data loggers, surveying instruments, photographs of caves and active cave research, and selected stalagmite samples from our QUEST project. We received large interest, from interested researchers, parents and kids alike. The whole event was great fun and it was amazing to see that we can enthuse young pupils for our science. Science is much more than just numbers and computer models – and in our case really muddy, adventurous, and sportive.
Long Night of Science 2018

Long Night of Science 2018


Meet QUEST at EGU 2018

With the EGU General Assembly coming up next month, we have rounded up the first-author presentations from the people involved in QUEST. Most of the action takes place during Thursday and Friday (barring David Hodell’s presentation on Tuesday) and in Hall X5 and Room F2. Be sure to note this down in your calendar for the EGU week!

The topics are many, interesting, and diverse — they are sure to spark off interesting discussions and debate. Share this post with your colleagues and spread the word!

CL 1.11

Novel and quantitative methods for continental palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

Orals: Thu, 12 Apr, 10:30–12:00 / Room 0.14
Posters: Attendance Thu, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X5

13780Towards a quantitative proxy of cave dripwater hydrology
Adam Hartland, Beth Fox, Sebastian Breitenbach
Poster, X5.251
12744Local and distant Pacific climate signals in cave hydrochemistry: Waipuna cave, New Zealand
Cinthya Nava, Adam Hartland, Bethany Fox, Sebastian Breitenbach
Poster, X5.250
979335,000 years of hydrological variability in northern New Zealand from speleothem magnetism
Bethany Fox, Ioan Lascu, Sebastian Breitenbach, Adam Hartland
Poster, X5.246
9046Tracing past shifts of the boundary between maritime and continental climate over Central Europe
Sebastian Breitenbach, Norbert Marwan
Poster, X5.245
15956Is this an event? - Detecting abrupt changes in palaeoclimate records
Bedartha Goswami, Sebastian Breitenbach, Norbert Marwan
Poster, X5.244

NP 2.4

New model and data-based approaches to study climate behavior

Orals: Fri, 13 Apr, 08:30–12:00 / Room M1
Posters: Attendance Fri, 13 Apr, 13:30–15:00 / Hall X4

6190Detecting abrupt transitions during the Late Quaternary in southern Ethiopia using Recurrence Quantification Analyses
Hauke Krämer, Norbert Marwan
Oral, Room M1
15457Identifying sudden dynamical shifts in time series with uncertainties
Bedartha Goswami, Sebastian Breitenbach, Norbert Marwan
Poster, X4.277

 CL 1.17

The speleothem archive: understanding processes and interpreting Quaternary climate change

Orals: Thu, 12 Apr, 13:30–17:00 / Room 0.14
Posters:  Attendance Thu, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X5

16111Application of lignin analysis to flowstone, stalagmite and drip water samples – potentials of a new proxy
Inken Heidke, Denis Scholz, Thorsten Hoffmann
Poster, X5.286


Tackling past hydrological cycles – from local and regional to global scales (co-organized)

Orals: Fri, 13 Apr, 08:30–10:00 / Room F2
Posters:  Attendance Fri, 13 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X5

19020Last Glacial Period hydrology of Lake Peten Itza (Guatemala) constrained with triple oxygen and hydrogen isotopes
Thomas Bauska, David Hodell
Oral,Room F2

CL 1.31

Climate response to orbital forcing (including Milutin Milankovic Medal Lecture)

Orals: Tue, 10 Apr, 13:30–17:00 / Room F2
Posters:  Attendance Tue, 10 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X5

3858Integrating suborbital climate variability with classical Milanković theory
David Hodell
Oral, Room F2

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.

Public outreach at the 20th anniversary of the Speleo Club Berlin

The Speleo Club Berlin is a small caving club of cavers from Germany’s capital and surrounding region. At the 20th anniversary of this club in the assembly hall of the “Radfahrer-Kirche” in Kienitz at September 23rd 2017, Norbert gave a public talk on several scientific aspects of cave research, including speleothem based palaeoclimate studies as performed within QUEST. The audience, consisting not only of speleologists but also of the curious public, has been very interested and enquiring.

Norbert presenting at the 20th anniversary of the Speleo Club Berlin

Norbert presenting at the 20th anniversary of the Speleo Club Berlin.

Long Night of Science in Berlin & Potsdam

Together with students, Norbert has presented our work at the Long Night of Science in Berlin & Potsdam. The exhibition “The Climate Time Machine” at the Potsdam Insitute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was together with the modellers group of the PIK who presented a palaeoclimate model (analyzing the impact of a cretaceous meteorite impact and the dinosaurs extinction). The second part of the “Climate Time Machine” was on palaeoclimate archives, including lake sediments and stalagmites. The public interest was amazing. Instead of presenting only numbers and computer graphs, the palaeoclimate was for touching as we were presenting real samples of a stalagmite and lake sediments as well as caving equipment.

High interest at the “Climate Time Machine”.

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