A Special Research Opportunity project, headed by professor Pierre Francus from Centre Eau Terre Environnement (INRS – Québec city), received an important grant from NSERC for a total amount of $ 791 356. This grant supports the research of 10 research teams from 8 Canadian universities in the frame of the PASADO project (Potrok Aike Lake Sediment Archive Drilling Project) in Patagonia, Argentina.
This international project, sponsorized by ICDP ((International Continental Scientific Drilling Program), is coordinated by Professor Bernd Zolitschka from Bremen University in Germany. This large project intends to sample the 400 meters of accumulated sediments at the bottom of Laguna Potrok Aike aiming at the reconstruction of the last 700 000 years of climate history at the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. The analysis of the sediments will allow to determine the natural variability of the climate close to Antarctica and to study the evolution of a maar lake (crater due to volcanic explosion). The drilling operation is planned to start in fall 2008, and to recover about 1 kilometer of sediment cores. Its cost is estimated to $2 M.
The Canadian team will play an important role in the frame of this project, especially in the following subject areas: paleohydrology, sedimentology, paleomagnetism, paleoecology, paleolimnology, climate modeling, biogeochemistry and volcanology. Eight scientists, including graduate students will take part to the field and coring international parties.
Detailed information can be found on the project’s web site. Contact : CAN-PASADO@ete.inrs.ca