Varves WG scientific goals

The purpose of the Varves Working Group (VWG) was to organize some or all of the themes outlined hereafter, and to bridge the gap between the diverse communities dealing with various aspects of annually resolving records. This included non-sedimentary archives with annual structures, like tree rings, ice cores, corals and speleothems.

After all, varved sequences can be used to improve absolute dating techniques, to improve calibrations (e.g. for radiocarbon dating) and to serve as regional master curves. Finally, the issue of climatic and environmental signals contained in varved records and their respective interpretations was also tackled.

The following questions guided the workshop programs:

1. How to improve (automate?) varve counting and measuring by applying new methodological developments for the analysis of varves (e.g. advanced image analyses)?

2. Can scientists working with lacustrine varves learn from methods and concepts applied by marine geoscientists and vice versa?

3. How can robust varve chronologies be developed using other additional chronological tools (tephrochronology, 14C, 210Pb, 137Cs)?

4. How can we improve deciphering climatic and environmental signals contained in varved sediments by applying process-related complementary studies?

5. Can data processing by applying state of the art statistical applications improve our understanding of varve records?

6. What can we learn from other communities investigating non-sedimentary annually resolved records (tree rings, ice cores, corals, mollusks, speleothems) about methodology, data processing, environmental signals, data handling?

7. How can we set up a meta-database of varved records?

Finally, this working group aimed to promote good analytical and methodological practices within our own community in order to make varved records an integral part of syntheses of past climate change.

Publication plan

After each workshop:

- Report in PAGES Newsletters

- Report published on-line

After workshop 2010:

- Synthesis review paper (in a peer-reviewed journal)

- Preliminary varve meta-database

After workshops 2011 and 2012:

- Special issue/sections in peer-reviewed scientific journals

After workshop 2012:

- Publication of several review articles

- Publication of a varve handbook

- Meta-database of varve records

- Online access to the Varve Image Library hosted either at NOAA, PANGAEA or PAGES