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Dr Christian Ohneiser

Christian OhneiserMSc, PhD (Otago)
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Paleoclimate/ocean reconstructions
  • Antarctic climate evolution

Email: christian.ohneiser@otago.ac.nz

Phone: 64 3 479 7350
 
 
 
 

Research Interests

My research focuses on reconstructing the history of Earth’s climate system and magnetic field from sedimentary records on timescales of 10’s to millions of years. The research involves expeditions on research vessels around New Zealand and in the deep ocean (IODP Exp 320) and to remote field areas such as the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica.

I study sedimentary successions and apply paleomagnetic tools such as magnetic polarity startigraphy to understand accurately when sediments where deposited and how sedimentary records correlate with one another. We are actively developing the next generation of magnetic reference records that are based on changes in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field (relative paleointensity) over time. Recent paleoclimate studies demonstrate that past environmental changes have occurred quickly therefore we require techniques that can achieve centenial to millennial-scale correlations between sedimentary records separated by large distances and deposited millions of years ago. Relative paleointensity studies are a key tool that can achieve this level of precision.

In parallel, environmental magnetic studies can be used to reveal changes in sediment source, erosion rate, erosion type and changes in ocean circulation such as current strength and direction. Typically these environmental changes are rhythmic and driven by changes in orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Environmental magnetic techniques are a powerful tool that can reveal changes in the Earth’s orbit millions of years ago and can be used to build the precise, astronomically calibrated timescales needed to accurately reconstruct Earth’s history.

Postgraduate research opportunities

If you would like to pursue a post graduate degree in geology with a focus on sedimentary successions and paleoenvironmental reconstructions, we have several project opportunities waiting for you. The University of Otago offers scholarships to local and international students:

Sediment sampling At the Hogg Glacier, Antarctica.
Sediment sampling At the Hogg Glacier, Antarctica.

The RV Joides Resolution at night in Honolulu before departing on IODP Expedition 320.
The RV Joides Resolution at night in Honolulu before departing on IODP Expedition 320.

Current students

  • Emma Kluge (MSc) Using geophysical methods to study fluids in fault zones. (Primary supervisor: Virginia Toy)
  • Sam Maloney (MSc) Maar-diatreme volcanism in central Otago (Primary supervisor: James White)
  • Giuseppe Re (Peppe) (PhD) Maar diatreme system in Hopi Buttes, Navajo Nation, AZ, USA (Primary supervisor: James White)

Teaching

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Publications

Ohneiser, C., Florindo, F., Stocchi, P., Roberts, A. P., DeConto, R. M., & Pollard, D. (2015). Antarctic glacio-eustatic contributions to late Miocene Mediterranean desiccation and reflooding. Nature Communications, 6, 8765. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9765

Ohneiser, C., Acton, G., Channell, J. E. T., Wilson, G. S., Yamamoto, Y., & Yamazaki, T. (2013). A middle Miocene relative paleointensity record from the Equatorial Pacific. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 374, 227-238. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.038

Ohneiser, C., Wilson, G. S., & Cox, S. C. (2015). Characterisation of magnetic minerals from southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 58(1), 52-65. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2014.990044

Ohneiser, C., & Wilson, G. (2012). Revised magnetostratigraphic chronologies for New Harbour drill cores, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Global & Planetary Change, 82-83, 12-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.11.007

Pälike, H., Lyle, M. W., Nishi, H., Raffi, I., Ridgwell, A., Gamage, K., … Ohneiser, C., … Zeebe, R. E. (2012). A Cenozoic record of the equatorial Pacific carbonate compensation depth. Nature, 488(7413), 609-614. doi: 10.1038/nature11360

Journal - Research Article

Ohneiser, C., Wilson, G. S., & Cox, S. C. (2015). Characterisation of magnetic minerals from southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 58(1), 52-65. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2014.990044

Ohneiser, C., Florindo, F., Stocchi, P., Roberts, A. P., DeConto, R. M., & Pollard, D. (2015). Antarctic glacio-eustatic contributions to late Miocene Mediterranean desiccation and reflooding. Nature Communications, 6, 8765. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9765

Ohneiser, C., Acton, G., Channell, J. E. T., Wilson, G. S., Yamamoto, Y., & Yamazaki, T. (2013). A middle Miocene relative paleointensity record from the Equatorial Pacific. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 374, 227-238. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.038

Ohneiser, C., & Wilson, G. (2012). Revised magnetostratigraphic chronologies for New Harbour drill cores, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Global & Planetary Change, 82-83, 12-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.11.007

Pälike, H., Lyle, M. W., Nishi, H., Raffi, I., Ridgwell, A., Gamage, K., … Ohneiser, C., … Zeebe, R. E. (2012). A Cenozoic record of the equatorial Pacific carbonate compensation depth. Nature, 488(7413), 609-614. doi: 10.1038/nature11360

More publications...