S4 Online Programme

January, 24th

Elucidation of the scientific messages recorded in speleothems has required progress in many areas of science and technology leading to a rich literature created by a supportive community of scientists. Arduous fieldwork, painstaking  instrument  development, imaginative experimentation and deep theoretical modelling have all played important parts.

4:30 pm CET        Welcome

4:40 pm CET      Cave Conservation During and After the International Year of Caves and Karst - Dr. George Veni, President,                                                International Union of Speleology; Executive Director, US National Cave and Karst Research Institute





5:00 pm CET        Shining a light: episodes in the history of speleothem science -  Prof. Dr.  Ian Fairchild, University of Birmingham, UK




5:45 pm CET        Good practices in speleothem science: from sampling to post-research - Dr. Andrea Columbu, University of Parma, Italy




6:30 pm CET        Incorporation of stable isotope signals and their climatic significance - Prof. Dr. Matt Lachniet, University of Nevada, US

7:30 pm CET        Age modelling with R - Prof. Dr. Denis Scholz, University of Mainz, Germany

The lecture discusses the available methods for an environmental-friendly sampling in cave, and how to minimize the anthropic impact in this delicate environment. It also proposes different post-research approaches in order to valorize the stalagmites after their removal from their natural environment. 

The immediate purpose of the International Year of Caves and Karst is to educate the world about the importance of caves and karst. The theme of the International Year is “Explore, Understand, Protect” so how does it benefit cave conservation this year and especially in future years. This short talk will describe strategies to enhance cave conservation efforts and partnerships.

January, 31st


11:00 pm CET      Speleothem Growth - Prof. Dr. Nicolás Stríkis, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil 

11:45 pm CET      Speleothem petrography and incorporation of selected trace elements and its climatic relevance - Prof. Dr. Silvia Frisia,                                          University of Newcastle, Australia

12:30 am CET      Cave monitoring - Dr. Pauline Treble, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Australia





1.30 am CET        Phreeqci and its applications in speleothem science - Prof. Dr. Adam Hartland, University of Wakaito, New Zealand

This lecture will draw on my fourteen years of experience in monitoring Golgotha Cave, Western Australia, to suggest pragmatic approaches for early career researchers to consider when visiting caves in order to better understand the site-specific processes that influence a particular speleothem record and why it is important to do so. 

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This workshop introduces phreeqci, the interactive version of the well-known geochemical modelling code. The workshop will involve an overview of the code and its capabilities before diving into example problems that showcase some of phreeqc’s basic functionality. The potential applications of the code are discussed but we will focus on the most likely use cases involving equilibrium calculations.

February, 7th


5:00 pm CET       Clumped isotopes - Prof. Dr. Nele Meckler, University of Bergen, Norway

5:45 pm CET       Th/U-dating - Dr. Dirk Hoffmann, Max Planck Institute, Germany

6:30 pm CET       U/Pb-dating - Prof. Dr. Yemane Asmerom, University of New Mexico


7:30 pm CET        Improving speleothem oxygen isotope interpretation through analysis of modern observations and models -

                              Prof. Dr. Kathleen Johnson and Dr. Annabel Wolf, University of California, Irvine

This workshop will provide an overview of strategies for turning your speleothem oxygen isotope records in to robust records of past climate.  Topics will include methods for evaluating isotopic equilibrium, conducting ice volume corrections,  accessing and analyzing modern precipitation data from GNIP and isotope-enabled models, and investigating the role of moisture source changes on speleothem data through use of HYSPLIT/PYSPLIT.