Gideon Henderson

Gideon Henderson

Professor of Earth Sciences

Research Profile

I am a geochemist researching climate change and the carbon cycle.

Paleoclimate: I develop and refine geochemical proxies to understand the history of the past environment. These include radioactive isotopes to study rates of processes, and stable-isotopes to understand variables such as past rainfall or weathering. I also construct timescales for these proxy-records, and run a leading chronology lab using U-Th and U-Pb dating to assess the history of sea level and of climate records in stalagmites.  The unifying goal of this work is to use paleoclimate to better understand the processes controlling climate change.

Ocean chemistry: The oceans play such a critical role in driving climate via the carbon cycle. By making appropriate measurements in the water column and underlying core-top sediments, I assess the modern cycling of elements in the ocean, and calibrate paleoproxies  which enable reconstruction of the past ocean environment. I  research the iron cycle in the oceans – so important for its role as a limiting nutrient – assessing the fluxes of Fe into the ocean from atmosphere, land and sediment.  I also pursue work on the inorganic carbon system in the oceans, including the sensitivity of future ocean carbon uptake and the appropriateness of some ocean approaches for removal of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere.

Teaching Profile

I am on sabbatical during the 2017/18 academic year.  In other years, I teach:  The Carbon Cycle (2nd year); Climate (3rd year; co-taught with Ros Rickaby and Samar Khatiwala); Topics in Oceanography (4th year; co-taught with other oceanographers); the final year field trip to Bermuda.

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  • Hsieh, Y.T. and Henderson, G.M. (2017) Barium stable isotopes in the global ocean: Tracer of Ba inputs and utilization. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.06.024
  • Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E., Vaks, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Ayalon, A., Jacob, E. and Henderson, G.M. (2017) Lithium isotopes in speleothems: Temperature-controlled variation in silicate weathering during glacial cycles. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 469, 64-74.
  • Renforth, P. and Henderson, G. (2017) Assessing ocean alkalinity for carbon sequestration. Rev. Geophys.
  • Owen, R.A., Day, C.C., Hu, C.Y., Liu, Y.H., Pointing, M.D., Blättler, C.L. and Henderson, G.M. (2016) Calcium isotopes in caves as a proxy for aridity: Modern calibration and application to the 8.2 kyr event. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 443, 129-138.
  • Zheng, X.Y., Plancherel, Y., Saito, M.A., Scott, P.M. and Henderson, G.M. (2016) Rare earth elements (REEs) in the tropical South Atlantic and quantitative deconvolution of their non-conservative behavior. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 177, 217-237.
  • Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E. and Henderson, GM (2015) The Li isotope response to mountain uplift, Geology 43, 67-70.
  • Jonkers, L., Zahn, R., Thomas, A., Henderson, G., Abouchami, W., François, R., Masque, P., Hall, I.R. and Bickert, T. (2015) Deep circulation changes in the central South Atlantic during the past 145 kyrs reflected in a combined 231Pa/230Th, Neodymium isotope and benthic δC13 record. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 419, 14-21.
  • Browning, T.J., Bouman, H.A., Henderson, G.M., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M., Schlosser, C., Woodward, E.M.S. and Moore, C.M. (2014) Strong responses of Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities to volcanic ash. Geophys. Res. Lett. 41, 2851-2857.
  • Deng, F., Thomas, A.L., Rijkenberg, M.J.A. and Henderson, G.M. (2014) Controls on seawater 231Pa, 230Th and 232Th concentrations along the flow paths of deep waters in the Southwest Atlantic. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 390, 93-102.
  • Horner, TJ, Lee, RB, Henderson, GM, Rickaby, RE, (2013) ‘Nonspecific uptake and homeostasis drive the oceanic cadmium cycle.’, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. pp. 2500-2505 doi: 1073/pnas.1213857110
  • Vaks, A, Gutareva, OS, Breitenbach, SF, Avirmed, E, Mason, AJ, Thomas, AL, Osinzev, AV, Kononov, AM, Henderson, GM, (2013) ‘Speleothems reveal 500,000-year history of Siberian permafrost.’, Science. pp. 183-186 doi: 1126/science.1228729
  • Liu, Y-H, Henderson, GM, Hu, C-Y, Mason, AJ, Charnley, N, Johnson, KR, Xie, S-C, (2013) ‘Links between the East Asian monsoon and North Atlantic climate during the 8,200 year event’, NATURE GEOSCIENCE. pp. 117-120 doi: 1038/NGEO1708