IBiS: Isotopes in Biogenic Silica

Aims

The main aims of IBiS are:

  1. To promote the study of all forms of biogenic silica (phytoliths from higher plants, diatoms, chrysophytes, sponge spicules, radiolaria, etc) and their role in biogeochemical cycling at ecosystem to global scales.
  2. To advance the techniques for:
    • isolation;
    • quantification;
    • chemical analysis (including determination of Ge/Si ratios);
    • isotopic characterization (focussing initially on 18O, 30Si, and 13C in organic inclusions); and
    • dating (32Si, AMS 14C, OSL) of biogenic silica from Quaternary soils, sediments and archaeological deposits.
  3. To improve understanding of Si dynamics in accumulator organisms (plants, algae, sponges, etc) and the transport of biogenic silica by fluvial and aeolian processes, with emphasis on the application of stable and radiogenic isotopes as tracers.
  4. To exploit the results of these process studies for interpreting the stratigraphical record of biogenic silica in different archives (soils, peats, lake sediments, marine sediments, archaeological contexts, etc).
  5. To stimulate efforts to model the biogeochemical cycle of Si and its coupling with the carbon cycle during the Quaternary on a range of temporal and spatial scales.
  6. To widen access to existing equipment, knowledge and expertise.
  7. To promote interdisciplinary collaboration by identifying foci for future research initiatives.
  8. To establish a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.
  9. To encourage the wider dissemination and uptake of these ideas through a website, training, targeted workshops and publications.
SEM images showing diatom dissolution