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Open Access Geochemical Compositions of Marine Fossils as Proxies for Reconstructing Ancient Environmental Conditions

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A brief summary is given here about some of the geochemical methodologies that are often used to obtain information from fossils and sediments about the past environment. Such methods are frequently applied in our project in which the formation of Paleogene phosphate sequences in North Africa is investigated. These layers were deposited in shallow marine seas during a period of extreme warm climate with a high CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Some of the characteristics of this greenhouse interval are similar to the modern anthropogenic situation hence it is intensively investigated from several aspects by many scientists. Here the geochemical compositions of fossils deposited during this time are discussed, focusing on how the data are obtained and how they could be evaluated in terms of palaeo-environmental conditions.

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Keywords: FOSSILS; PALAEO-ENVIRONMENT; PHOSPHATE; RARE EARTH ELEMENTS; STABLE ISOTOPES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research Fellow, Ambizione SNF, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement, Institut de Minéralogie et Géochimie, UNIL – Dorigny – Anthropole, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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