Trace element and isotope proxies in paleoceanography: A synthesis workshop

Aix-Marseille, France
Workshop report
Meeting Category

The joint GEOTRACES/PAGES workshop, titled "Trace element and isotope proxies in paleoceanography: A synthesis workshop" will be held from 3-5 December 2018 in Aix-Marseille, France.


The workshop will be held at the Hotel Mercure in Châteauneuf-le-Rouge at the foothill of the Sainte Victoire Mountain.

The organiser will book hotel rooms for funded participants during the workshop.


The workshop on the synthesis of geochemical proxies used in paleoceanography aims to establish the strength, limits and conditions of application of a given proxy.

There is a vital need for a synthesis of geochemical proxies used in paleoceanography to improve interpretation of commonly used proxies. This synthesis is timely in view of the wealth of new data coming from GEOTRACES and contemporary programs.

The workshop will bring together expertise from GEOTRACES, PAGES and the broader oceanographic community of observationalists and modelers that will exploit new data to provide a more rigorous calibration of proxies and interpretation of their records.

Working groups

All participants will choose 1 or 2 working groups:

Biological productivity
Oceanic circulation
Particle flux and sedimentation rate
Physical and/or biogeochemical modeling.

Travel support

Financial travel support will be available for about 60 participants in the form of subsidies for airfare and ground transportation (capped depending on travel origin). Hotel rooms and meals will be provided by the organizers: 2 nights for participants from Europe and 3 nights for participants from overseas (4 nights for US participants). Those who can cover their own travel expenses are encouraged to do so.

The planning committee will select participants to receive travel support based on a review of pre-registration information received by the deadline of 1 June 2018. The anticipated contribution to the workshop goals will be used as the basis for selection among the applicants.

Decisions will be communicated to participants in July. Selected participants will then be invited to finalize their registration for the workshop. The organizers will take care of the hotel booking for funded participants for the duration of the workshop.


The deadline for pre-registration is 1 June 2018.

You must pre-register for the workshop, as all participants will be chosen from those who have pre-registered. It is not possible to register to attend after the 1 June deadline.

Fill out the online form here:

Preliminary program

The workshop will start at noon (12:00) 3 December 2018 and finish at 5pm (17:00) 5 December 2018.

3 December: Lunch buffet, introduction, keynote presentations (plenary session)
4 December: Discussion divided by the working groups
5 December: Synthesis of working group discussion, final discussion and conclusions (plenary session)


PAGES, GEOTRACES, SCOR, US NSF, CNRS-INSU-LEFE and Aix-Marseille Université, Thermo Fischer Scientific and John Cantle Scientific Ltd.

Workshop planning committee

Robert Anderson - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA
Damien Cardinal - LOCEAN, Université Pierre et Marie Curie & Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace
Martin Frank - GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
Chris Hayes - University of Southern Mississippi, USA
Gideon Henderson - University of Oxford, UK
Tristan Horner - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Catherine Jeandel - Observatoire Midi Pyrenees, France
Susan Little - Imperial College, UK
Marie-France Loutre - PAGES International Project Office
Thomas Marchitto - University of Colorado, USA
Elena Masferrer Dodas - GEOTRACES International Project Office, France
Katharina Pahnke - University of Oldenburg, Germany
Kazuyo Tachikawa - CEREGE, France
Laurence Vidal - Aix-Marseille Université, France
Jimin Yu - Australian National University, Australia
Liping Zhou - Peking University, China

Further information

For any questions, please contact: Kazuyo Tachikawa ( or Laurence Vidal (

Go to the official workshop website:

Post-meeting material

Katharine Hendry and Allyson Tessin mention PAGES in their article for The Conversation "Why we’re looking for chemicals in the seabed to help predict climate change":

Susan Little wrote the blog article "The Present is the Key to the Past" for the Geochemistry Group of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Geological Society of London:

Read a short report about the joint workshop:

Costa K. M. et al. published the paper "230Th normalization: New insights on an essential tool for quantifying sedimentary fluxes in the modern and Quaternary ocean" in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology:

Heyes C.T. et al. published the paper "Global Ocean Sediment Composition and Burial Flux in the Deep Sea" in Global Biogeochemical Cycles:

Farmer J et al. published the paper "Assessment of C, N and Si isotopes as tracers of past ocean nutrient and carbon cycling" in Global Biogeochemical Cycles:

Horner T et al. published the paper "Bioactive trace metals and their isotopes as paleoproductivity proxies: An assessment using GEOTRACES-era data" in Global Biogeochemical Cycles: