Course Identification


Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Yael Kiro

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Monday, 13:00 - 15:00, Sussman, Magaritz Rm

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Chemical Sciences: Guided Reading Course; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points
Life Sciences: Lecture; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points







Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type


Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



This is a seminar course. We will read a paper every week, one student will present it, and we will discuss it in class. The papers will be half classical and half from the past few years, indicating current advances in paleoceanography. Every student will present once or twice, depending on the number of students.

The preliminary reading list is:

Sea level


Dutton et al., 2012


Broecker et al., 1968, Milankovitch hypothesis supported by precise dating of coral reefs and deep-sea sediments, Science, 159, 297-300


Sr isotopes

Raymo et al., 1988, Influence of late Cenozoic mountain building on ocean geochemical cycles


Veizer et al., 1997, Strontium isotope statigraphy: potential resolution and event correlation, Paleogeography, paleoclimatology, paleoecology, 132 (1-4), 65-77.


Palmer and Edmond, 1989, The Strontium isotope budget of the modern ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 92, 11-26


Paytan et al., 2021, A 35-million-year record of seawater Sr isotopes reveals a fluctuating global carbon cycle, Science, 371(6536), 1346-1350


Seawater circulation

Piotrowski et al., 2005, Temporal Relationships of carbon cycling and ocean circulation at Glacial boundaries, Science, 307, 1933-1938


Raymo et al., 1992, Response of Deep Ocean Circulation to Initiation of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, Paleoceanography, 7(5), 645-672


Henry et al., 2016, North Atlantic ocean circulation and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation, Science, 353, 470-474


Ocean budgets

Palmer and Edmond, 1989, The Strontium isotope budget of the modern ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 92, 11-26


Jeandeal et al., 2011, Ocean Margins: The missing Term of Oceanic Element Budgets


Jeandel and Oelkers, 2015, The influence of Terrigenous particulate material dissolution on ocean chemistry and global element cycles.


Tipper et al., 2006, The Magnesium isotope budget of the modern Ocean:  constraints from riverine magnesium isotope ratios, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 250(1-2), 241-253


Howarth et al., 1996, Regional nitrogen budgets and riverine N & P fluxes for the drainages to the North Atlantic Ocean: Natural and human influences. In: Howarth R.W. (eds) Nitrogen Cycling in the North Atlantic Ocean and its Watersheds. Springer, Dordrecht.


Broecker, 2013, How to think about the evolution of the Mg to Ca in seawater, Journal of Science, 313, 776-789


Brenan et al., 2013, The major-ion composition of Cenozoic seawater: the past 36 million years from fluid inclusions in marine halite, Journal of science, 313, 713-775.


Horita et al., 2002, Chemical evolution of seawater during the Phanerozoic: Implications from the record of marine evaporites, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 66(21), 3733-3756



Past pH, pCO2

Honisch et al., 2012, The geological record of ocean acidification, Science, 335(6072), 1058-1063


Foster, 2008, Seawater pH, pCO2 and [CO2−3] variations in the Caribbean Sea over the last 130 kyr: A boron isotope and B/Ca study of planktic foraminifera, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 271(1-4), 254-266

Honisch and Hemming, 2005, Surface ocean pH response to variations in pCO2 through two full glacial cycles, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 236(1-2), 305-314.


Mid-Pleistocene Transition


Elderfield et al., 2012, Evolution of ocean temperature and ice volume through the mid-Pleistocene climate transition, Science,


Tziperman and Gildor, 2003


Honisch et al., 2009


Pena and Goldstein, 2014


Other papers


Broekcer et al., 2004, Ventilation of the Glacial Deep Pacific Ocean, Science, 306, 1169-1172


Bova et al., 2021, Seasonal origin of the thermal maxima at the Holocene and the last interglacial, Nature 589.7843, 548-553.


Adkins and Schrag, 2001, Pore fluid constraints on deep ocean temperature and salinity during the last glacial maximum, Geophysical Research Letters, 28(5), 771-774


Heinrich, 1988, Origin and consequences of cyclic ice rafting in the northeast Atlantic Ocean during the past 130,000 years, Quaternary Research, 29, 142-152


Paillard, 2001, Glacial cycles: toward a new paradigm, Review of Geophysics, 39(3), 325-346.








Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:

Students will gain knowledge about all the fundamental methods and proxies used in paleoceanography: reconstructing past sea level and ice sheet volume, ocean temperature, pCO2, pH, and ocean circulation.

Reading List