Paleoenvironmental investigations using a combination of terrestrial and marine sediments from South Africa: The RAIN (Regional Archives for Integrated iNvestigations) approach

Torsten Haberzettl, Jussi Baade, John Compton, Gerhard Daut, Lydie Dupont, Jemma Finch, Peter Frenzel, Andrew Green, Annette Hahn, Dierk Hebbeln, Jörg Helmschrot, Marc Humphries, Thomas Kasper, Kelly Kirsten, Roland Mäusbacher, Michael Meadows, Stephanie Meschner, Lynne J. Quick, Enno Schefuß, Michael WündschMatthias Zabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on closely integrated investigations of terrestrial and marine environmental archives in SouthAfrica, the project RAIN (RegionalArchives for Integrated iNvestigations) assesses the compatibility of marine and continental archives of past climate and ecosystem change and contributes to an enhanced knowledge of land-ocean interactions following transport pathways from source to sink. Previous studies have shown that combined analyses of multiple parameters in more than one environmental system contribute significantly to an improved understanding of climate system dynamics in southern Africa. Thus, RAIN integrates paleo-information obtained from paired terrestrial and marine archives in climatically contrasting areas. Methodologically, a set of complimentary methods ranging from standard analyses such as grain size distribution to advanced (in-)organic geochemical analyses will be applied in four strongly interlinked subject-oriented subprojects. A fifth focus will be on student education and training in a capacity building subproject. Considering different temporal and spatial scales, ranging from sub-continental to regional scales and decadal to millennial time frames, expected outcomes of each subproject are anticipated to provide information about a range of paleoenvironmental changes driven by Late Quaternary climate variations and the nature of anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem dynamics during the last 200 years in southern Africa. As part of the SPACES (Science Partnerships for the Assessment of Complex Earth System Processes) programme funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), RAIN focuses on the three major rainfall zones of South Africa. Thus, a further great potential for decoding the climate dynamics in southern Africa lies in the connection and comparison of data from its western and eastern boundary using a W-E transect utilising identical, state-of-the-art methods applied to all archives. Through this, RAIN aims to provide improved understanding of the impacts of complex interactions of atmospheric and oceanic driving forces on regional hydrological cycles and climate conditions in different climate regions of sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-73
Number of pages19
Journal Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie, Teil I
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • South Africa
  • coastal lake sediments
  • shelf deposits
  • diatoms
  • geochemistry
  • ostracods
  • palynomorphs
  • microcharcoal
  • lipid biomarkers
  • Late Quaternary climate dynamics
  • climate control
  • Südafrika
  • Küstenseesedimente
  • Schelfablagerungen
  • Diatomeen
  • Ostrakoden
  • Foraminiferen
  • Palynomorphe
  • Lipid-Biomarker
  • spätquartäre Klimavariabilität
  • Klimasteuerung


Dive into the research topics of 'Paleoenvironmental investigations using a combination of terrestrial and marine sediments from South Africa: The RAIN (Regional Archives for Integrated iNvestigations) approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this