Archived IFG

INQUA IFG 1608F Southern Hemisphere Assessment of Palaeo-Environments (SHAPE)

SHAPE is supporting international research collaborations aimed at investigating past environmental variability and change for Southern Hemisphere terrestrial, ocean and cryosphere regions using and integrating proxy data with model simulations.

Brian Chase

Institut Des Sciences De L'Evolution-Montpellier, UMR 5554, Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, Université De Montpellier, Bat.22, CC061, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier

Brian.Chase - replace w/character -

Andrew Lorrey

National Institute Of Water And Atmospheric Research, Auckland, New Zealand

[email protected]

Steven Phipps

Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) UNSW Australia, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia, University Of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

[email protected]

Maisa Rojas

Department Of Geophysics, Blanco Encalada 2002, Floor 4. Santiago, Chile, University Of Chile, Santiago, Chile

[email protected]

Four Projects are currently part of the SHAPE IFG:

INQUA IFG Virtual Seminar Series Advances in Stratigraphy and Geochronology Virtual Seminar Series

The Stratigraphy and Chronology Commission (SACCOM) of INQUA is organizing a series of virtual talks on a diverse range of geochronology and stratigraphy topics during the coming Spring. These will be held live on Thursdays at 9 am USA EST, 2 pm London, 3 pm Paris, and 10 pm Beijing time. Please see the Zoom link below and most of the talks will be recorded. Please see the full program below:


April 22

Konstantinos Panagiotopoulos (University of Cologne, Germany)

"Vegetation and climate dynamics in southeastern Europe since the Early Pleistocene: a chronostratigraphical approach"

 Flier for Talk 1:

April 29          

Sarah Finkelstein (University of Toronto, Canada)

“Biostratigraphy and chronology of sub-till organic-bearing deposits in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada”

Flier for Talk 2:

May 6 

Pinkey Bisht (Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, India)    

“Chronology and climatic implications of Late Quaternary glaciations in Central Himalaya with special focus in the upper Kali Ganga valley, Uttarakhand”

 Flier for Talk 3:

May 13

Leah Morgan (U.S. Geological Survey, USA)       

“Tephrochronology by Ar/Ar: methods and applications in paleoanthropology”

Flier for Talk 4:

May 20           

Matthew Kirby (California State University Fullerton, USA)    

“Re-visiting Lake Mojave Using a Basin Analysis Approach: Trying to Resolve a Complex History of Lake Level Change”

 Flier for Talk 5:

May 27

Tom Higham (University of Oxford, England)    

“Improving chronology building of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic of Eurasia”

Flier for Talk 6:

June 3 

Quentin Simon (CEREGE, France)          

“Atmospheric beryllium-10, a versatile cosmogenic nuclide for relative and radiometric dating”

 Flier for Talk 7:

June 10           

Bob Booth (Lehigh University, USA)        

“Wetland and forest responses to Holocene moisture variability: insights from the peatland paleoenvironmental archive”

 Flier for Talk 8:

June 17           

Kenneth Mertens (IFREMER, Concarneau, France)     

Never mind the dinosaurs, here's the dinoflagellates

 Flier for Talk 9:  

(Overseen by Lewis Owen on behalf of SACCOM)

INQUA IFG 2004F Terminations Five to Zero (T5-0)

Over the last ~450,000 years, the Earth went through five deglaciations, i.e. transitions from a glacial to an interglacial state, also termed “glacial terminations”. During these deglaciations, the concentration of atmospheric CO2, a powerful greenhouse gas, increased by 80 to 100 ppm and air temperature at high latitudes rose by 10 to 15 °C, leading to a melting of continental ice-sheets, thus raising global sea-level by 100 to 130 m. Deglaciations lasted about 10,000 years, but the changes did not occur gradually. Instead, they occurred in bursts lasting decades to centuries, and were usually associated with significant changes in oceanic circulation. While our understanding of these deglaciations has significantly improved over the last 20 years, the sequence of events that led to these deglaciations is still unclear. Particularly, there is a lack of information on the feedbacks linking the different components of the Earth’s system, i.e. the interaction between ice-sheets, climate, ocean circulation and carbon cycle. 

Due to anthropogenic emissions of carbon, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased to an unprecedented level of 415 ppm in 2019, from its “natural” interglacial level of 280ppm. This will undoubtedly have a large impact on the different components of the Earth System over the coming centuries, including melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and subsequent global sea-level rise. The knowledge gained from our understanding of the processes and feedbacks involved in the last five glacial terminations will help estimate the rate of future climate change. 

The goal of the IFG on Terminations 5-0 is to bring together scientists with different expertise (e.g. experts on marine and lake sediment records, ice core records, cave deposits, and sea-level with ice sheet, climate and carbon cycle modelers) to i) improve our understanding of the sequence of events occurring during the last five terminations, and ii) highlight key processes and feedbacks within the Earth system that lead to abrupt changes.

Contact: Ruza Ivanovic [email protected]

Project 2005P : Glacial terminations: processes and feedbacks

Project 2005P details

INQUA IFG 2112 The whole is not the sum of the parts: building a synthesis database of past human-environmental systems in the Global South (pSESYNTH)

This project is a community-driven effort resulting from the joint PAGES-INQUA early-career researcher workshop “ Past Socio-Environmental Systems” (PASES), and is led by Xavier Benito (IRTA, Spain), Charuta Kulkarni (UK) and Ignacio Jara (CEAZA, Chile). The team project is composed of more than 20 researchers from different parts of the world acting as regional coordinators of the Global South. pSESYNTH has the overarching objective to build the first ever multi-theme database of past socio-environmental systems from the Global South. A biased understanding of long-term human-environmental dynamics can mislead our responses to pressing environmental issues of similar magnitude and nature in the most developing countries. Therefore, our project will shed light into the multivariate relationships among climate, environment, and cultural evolution for testing multiple hypotheses of widespread cultural “stress” and human resilience to climate change. Our mission is to consolidate research collaborations among who should be the next-generation leaders in the field.


Timeline of activities

At the short term (January through June 2022), pSESYNTH will explore what processes, handed in by project participants through datasets, allow us to infer past drivers using a multiproxy approach, organized into three themes: paleoecological (e.g., pollen, charcoal, aquatic indicators), paleoclimatic (e.g., speleothems, lake sediments, tree-rings), and archaeological (e.g., radiocarbon dates, burial sites, material culture). Participants will explore how to link these three sources with special emphasis on trajectories of change of the human component: when, where and how past societies evolved. At the long-term (July 2022 through June 2023), pSESYNTH will capitalize on existing single- and multi-themed databases (e.g., Neotoma, NOAA, LinkedEarth, CARD, ArchaeoGlobe, HYDE 3.2) to ensure accessibility for data standards, usability, and comparability with the newly generated multi-thematic database. Furthermore, it will focus on software integration (relation al database) linked to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to provide users with an interactive web interface, allowing them to pinpoint what location and time period contain available datasets, thereby helping identify gaps for future studies and avenues for collaborations.


Contact and further information

Central to pSESYNTH is to reach out to the broader INQUA and PAGES to invite them to collaborate. Visit the website ( for further information and the registration form to sign up as a project member.