The Earth's long and rich history is a key resource that enables us to investigate how the Earth system has responded to environmental change under conditions that might vary to a greater or lesser extent to those of the present day, and at a range of scales including those beyond direct observation.
At the BGS we are undertaking an active laboratory-based research programme aimed at understanding environmental change at key periods in Earth history, by studying the rich archive of fossil and geochemical environmental proxies locked up in sedimentary rock records.
For example, benthic foraminiferal stable isotopes and assemblage analyses are helping to constrain oceanographic change in the sub-Arctic North Pacific region during the Mid-Pleistocene transition; dinoflagellate cyst assemblages and bulk sediment stable isotope analyses are aiding towards a better understanding of the large environmental changes in the Jurassic; analysis of spore and pollen assemblages is being carried out over critical intervals of environmental change in the Carboniferous/Permian; and biodiversity and geochemical proxies are being analysed to understand changes to Earth's system during the Mid-Palaeozoic revolution.
Recent XRD mineralogy results reveal the metamorphic evolution of Palaeozoic rocks in Yorkshire.
Tracing Palaeocene-Eocene climate variations through investigations of North Sea rock cores.
Chemical, isotopic and micropalaeontological investigations of the Holocene history of the Irish Sea.
Timing glacial onset from stable-isotopic responses in Carboniferous sediments.
Evidence for Palaeozoic postglacial climate change.