Past environments

Geochronology and quaternary studies


Research focussed on the Quaternary geological period, spanning the last 2.5 millions years of Earth’s history, remains a core research theme of the GeoQuEST research centre. The Quaternary period marks a time of significant change to the Earth System with abrupt changes to all of the Earths spheres and evidenced by significant climatic variability, sea level change, biotic evolution, and changing ice extent. It also coincides with the evolution of humans and development of civilisation. GeoQuEST researchers study evidence of environmental change using a range of geochronological techniques including various dating and isotopic techniques (e.g. OSL, AAR, TL, radiocarbon, U series). This evidence is applied to understand earth system processes and to apply identified relationships to future scenarios.