Cryosphere UMR 8591

Department of geography
National Center for the Scientific Research

Cryosphere team focuses on two distinct aspects glacier evolution in different regions of the northern and southern Hemispheres over the last 40 000 years and mountain natural hazards such as snow avalanches, and debris flows. Studies are based on cosmogenic dating, statistical modeling, drone survey and GIS. They are supported by national and international programs.

The European Center for Research and Education in Environmental Geosciences CEREGE is under the supervision of several establishments and organizations: the National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS, ‘Aix-Marseille University – AMU, the Research Institute for Development – IRD and the Collège de France. It is currently managed by Mr Bellier until 2022. CEREGE is located on two sites separated by several tens of kilometers: the Technopôle de l’Arbois (Aix) and the Saint-Charles Campus (Marseille). It brings together 235 people, including 130 permanent staff who are divided into 45 teacher-researchers, 42 researchers (including 30 CNRS) and 43 ITA (including 19 CNRS). These CEREGE members are affiliated with two doctoral schools:
1) “Environmental Sciences” (ED n ° 251) whose direction was provided by two members of the laboratory;
2) “Spaces, Cultures and Societies” (ED n ° 355) concerns the few teacher-researchers attached to the department of geography of the UFR “Arts, Letters, Languages and Human Sciences” of Aix-Marseille University.
Its CNRS staff is attached to sections 18, 19 and 30 and 31 of the CNRS National Committee.

The CEREGE organization is based on four thematic teams: Climate; Sustainable Environment; Earth and Planets; Resources, Reservoirs, Hydrosystems. Our Climate research group (about 42 permanents) is focused on the interplay between external forcings and internal feedbacks of Earth’s climate system. Five topics are developed: (i) Climate forcings and carbon cycle, (ii) sea level ice sheets and glacier dynamics, (iii) water cycle and paleohydrology, (iv) paleo-monsoon, paleo-Enso, paleo-circulations, (v) environmental impacts, acidification biodiversity, vegetation, societies and man.

This interplay controls the evolution of marine and continental environments (ocean, continental surfaces, cryosphere) at a large range of spatial and temporal scales. Our group pionneers a wide range of techniques, using state of the art instruments, and by pioneering development at the forefront of geochemical, numerical and micropaleontological techniques. Techniques that we use to further understanding of the processes at play in the climate system are micropaleontology (diatoms, foraminifera, pollens, phytoliths, plants…), organic geochemistry, elemental geochemistry, isotopic geochemistry (stable, cosmogenic & radiogenics), statistics and models. Our research is focused on, but not limited to, one of the key regions investigated by CEREGE scientists since its creation, the intertropical zone. More recently, we have been expanding our field work into the high latitudes. Our research is built upon a set of 6 different laboratories, relies on both internal collaborations and a wide network of collaborations with french and worldwide laboratories.