Study group of Meso-Cenozoic Milankovitch cycles in the Basque-Cantabrian area: astrochronology and environmental impact of orbitally driven climate change (MeCeMiBaCa)


Department (s)

Knowledge area
Earth sciences
PI: Aitor Payros Co-PI: 


University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU): Aitor Payros, Luis Miguel Agirrezabala, Mikel Lopez-Horgue, Javier Arostegi, Naroa Martínez-Braceras, Victoriano Pujalte (emeritus).
Other institutions: Alejandro Robador (Instituto Geológico y Minero de España), Idoia Rosales (Instituto Geológico y Minero de España), Jaume Dinarès-Turell (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italia), Silvia Ortiz (PetroStrat, UK).


Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Basque-Cantabrian area, climate change, Milankovitch cyles, astrochronology, hyperthermal events, oceanic anoxic events


Today’s climate change is a consequence of natural causes (changes in the insolation rate due to astronomical cycles) plus anthropogenic forcing (greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere). Given that there are uncertainties about possible future scenarios, we aim to enlarge our knowledge of climatic-environmental relationships using the information obtained from the geological record, especially from the periods characterized by intense greenhouse conditions (such as the Paleogene, Cretaceous and Jurassic, 30-200 million years ago). The Basque-Cantabrian sedimentary successions of that age retain the paleoenvironmental signal produced by climate change episodes, including those of astronomical origin and those related to hyperthermal events produced by intensified greenhouse effect.

Lines of Research

Paleoclimatology, paleoenvironmental analysis, astrochronology, geological mapping, stratigraphy, sedimentology, petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, paleontology


  • Material for field work and sample collection. Laboratory infrastructure for automatic gauge calcimetry, geochemical elemental analysis, magnetic susceptibility measurements and colorimetry of rock samples. Facilities for (micro)paleontological and petrographic sample preparation and analysis. Mineralogical analysis by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Software for time-series analysis and multivariate statistical analysis.

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