The present volume is the first in a series of two books dedicated to the paleoceanography of the Late Cenozoic ocean. The need for an updated synthesis on paleoceanographic science is urgent, owing to the huge and very diversified progress made in this domain during the last decade. In addition, no comprehensive monography still exists in this domain. This is quite incomprehensible in view of the contribution of paleoceanographic research to our present understanding of the dynamics of the climate-ocean system. The focus on the Late Cenozoic ocean responds to two constraints. Firstly, most quantitative methods, notably those based on micropaleontological approaches, cannot be used back in time beyond a few million years at most. Secondly, the last few million years, with their strong climate oscillations, show specific high frequency changes of the ocean with a relatively reduced influcence of tectonics. The first volume addresses quantitative methodologies to reconstruct the dynamics of the ocean andthe second, major aspects of the ocean system (thermohaline circulation, carbon cycle, productivity, sea level etc.) and will also present regional synthesis about the paleoceanography of major the oceanic basins. In both cases, the focus is the “open ocean” leaving aside nearshore processes that depend too much onlocal conditions. In this first volume, we have gathered up-to-date methodologies for the measurement and quantitative interpretation of tracers and proxies in deep sea sediments that allow reconstruction of a few key past-properties of the ocean( temperature, salinity, sea-ice cover, seasonal gradients, pH, ventilation, oceanic currents, thermohaline circulation, and paleoproductivity). Chapters encompass physical methods (conventional grain-size studies, tomodensitometry, magnetic and mineralogical properties), most current biological proxies (planktic and benthic foraminifers, deep sea corals, diatoms, coccoliths, dinocysts and biomarkers) and key geoch

Key Features

* Presents updated techniques and methods in paleoceanography * Reviews the state-of-the-art interpretation of proxies used for quantitative reconstruction of the climate-ocean system * Acts as a supplement for undergraduate and graduate courses in paleoceanography and marine geology


Scientists and graduate students in paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, climate modeling, and undergraduate and graduate students in marine geology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Paleoceanography, tracers, proxies and methods (C. Hillaire-Marcel, A. de Vernal).
Part 1 : Deep Sea Sediment Properties.
1. Deep-sea sediment deposits and properties controlled by currents (I.N. McCave).
2. Continuous physical properties of cored marine sediments (G. St.Onge et al).
3. Magnetic stratigraphy in paleoceanography: reversals, excursions, paleointensity and secular variation (J. Stoner, G. St. Onge).
4. Clay minerals, deep circulation and climate (N. Fagel).
5. Radiocarbon dating of deep-sea sediments (K.A. Hughen).
Part 2: Biological tracers and biomarkers.
6. Planktonic foraminifera as tracers of past oceanic environments (M. Kucera).
7. Paleoceanographical proxies based on deep-sea benthic foraminiferal assemblage characteristics (F. Jorissen, C. Fontanier, R. Thomas).
8. Diatoms: From Micropaleontology to Isotope Geochemistry (X. Crosta, N. Koç).
9. Organic-walled Dinoflagellate Cysts: Tracers of sea-surface conditions (A. de Vernal, F. Marret).
10. Coccolithophores: From extant populations to fossil assemblages (J. Giraudeau, L. Beaufort).
11. Biomarkers as paleoceanographic proxies (A. Rosell-Melé, E. McClymont).
12. Deep-sea corals: New Insights to paleoceanography (O.A. Sherwood, M.J. Risk).
13. Transfer functions - Methods for quantitative paleoceanography based on microfossils (J. Guiot, A. de Vernal).
Part 3: Geochemical tracers.
14. Elemental Proxies for Palaeoclimatic and Palaeoceanographic Variability in Marine Sediments: Interpretation and Application (S. Calvert, T. Pedersen).
15. Isotopic tracers of water masses and deep currents (C. Claude, B. Hamelin).
16. Paleoflux and Paleocirculation from Sediment 230Th and 231Pa/230Th (R. Francois).
17. Boron Isotopes in Marine Carbonate Sediments and the pH of the Ocean (N.G. Hemming, B. Hönisch).
18. The Use of Oxy


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© 2007
Elsevier Science
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About the editors

C. Hillaire-Marcel

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada

Anne de Vernal

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada