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 Hands-on sessions gave the opportunity to discuss the complexities of unpublished data and the subtilities hidden inside the obvious.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.

Presenting research at the recurrence plot symposium

The Seventh International Symposium on Recurrence Plots took place this August in São Paulo, Brazil. Norbert was one of the organizers and had the opportunity to present (besides more theoretical work) also a study partly developed within QUEST: Multiplex Recurrence Networks. In this work, together with Deniz Eroglu (Imperial College, London, UK, now at Northwestern University, Evanston, US) and Martina Stebich (Senckenberg Museum, Weimar, Germany) the recurrence plot approach was combined with the multiplex network concept to investigate regime transitions in multivariate palaeoclimate proxy records.

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.

Hallo Welt!

The QUEST Team will soon be reinforced by our new PhD student at RUB – Cinthya. To prepare her for regional Pott-Communication she currently participates in a German Language course in Cologne (the wrong side of the Rhine river). The DAAD is doing an excellent job, not only providing the German training, but also offering get-togethers, excursions and much more. If this really helps to prepare Cinthya for the traditional Bochum “Currywurst”* – well, we´ll see…

*the true Currywurst is – of course – only available in Berlin!

A visit from the Antipodes!

Adam is on his way to visit the QUEST Team in Mainz!

To start work in the virtual cave and to organize oh so many details around the planned experiments with Denis and Max, as well as to have a good pint of German brew, Adam will be in Mainz this week. Seb joins together with Matthias Magiera, who will do his MSc study with us later this year, all related to the virtual cave. We also look forward planning the end of this year, when Inken and Cinthya are going to visit Waikato for field and lab work.

Stay tuned!

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