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Par Pieter van Beek — Dernière modification 30/01/2014 10:55


 Pieter van Beek

Lecturer at the University of Toulouse

Researcher at LEGOS, Observatoire Midi Pyrénées

Head of the Underground laboratory of Ferrières
(LAFARA), French Pyrénées

Habilité à Diriger les Recherches (HDR) 

LEGOS, Laboratoire d'Etude en Géophysique et
Océanographie Spatiales
14 av. Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France

Phone : +33 5 61 33 30 51 - Fax. +33 5 61 25 32 05
vanbeek (at)




• 2012: Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (HDR), University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse

« Tracing the exchange of chemical elements at the continent-ocean interface, ocean circulation and mixing using radium isotopes » ;

Committee: J. Viers, K. Cochran, M. Condomines, F. Grousset, B. Hamelin, JL. Reyss, C. Jeandel

• 2001: phD Thesis (University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, France)

phD at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France 

Supervisor : JL. Reyss ; Fellowship from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)

« Use of sedimentary marine barite for the paleoceanographic studies of the Holocene period »,

Committee: A. Saliot, C. Jeandel, B. Hamelin, P. Tréguer, A. Mangini, JL. Reyss 


Background and mobility


  • Since sept. 2003: LEGOS, Toulouse, France. Lecturer at the University of Toulouse.
  • 2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Marie Curie Fellowship).
  • 2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA (Lavoisier Fellowship)
  • 1998-2001: PhD thesis at LSCE, Gif-sur-Yvette, France



- University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (All levels between Licence 1 and Master 2R/ Master 2Pro; 206h per year on average)

- Institut National Polytechnique, Toulouse (Classe Préparatoire Polytechnique)

- University of Abomey-Calavi/ UNESCO Chair of Mathematics, Cotonou, Benin, since 2007


Scientific Interests


Marine Geochemistry; Oceanography/ Paleoceanography; use of the disequilibria in the U-Th series and artificial radionuclides as tracers

• Radium isotopes :

226Ra & 228Ra : tracer of water masses; vertical and horizontal mixing in the ocean ; dating of marine sediments and oceanic processes

223Ra & 224Ra : groundwater discharge rates in coastal waters; mixing in the ocean

227Ac : tracer of water masses; transport rates in the deep-sea, upwelling velocities

• Other radionuclides : 210Pb, 7Be, 228Th, 234Th




• Radionuclides and trace element chemistry (seawater, marine particles and sediments).

• Gamma spectrometry (Low-background laboratory settled in the French Pyrénées)

• Radium Delayed Coincidence Counter (RaDeCC)


• Oceanographic sampling techniques (large volume in situ pumps, sediment traps…)


Peer Review Publications


26. Koch-Larrouy A., Atmadipoera A., van Beek P., Madec G., Aucan J., Lyard F., Grelet J., Souhaut M., Estimate of tidal mixing in the Indonesian archipelago from multidisciplinary data, Deep-Sea Research, under revision 

25. Rousseau  T.C.C., Sonke J.E., Chmeleff  J., van Beek  P., Souhaut  M., Boaventura G., Seyler P., Jeandel C., Rapid neodymium release to marine waters from lithogenic sediments in the Amazon estuary, Nature Communications, under revision

24. Sanial V., van Beek P., Lansard B., Souhaut M., Kestenare E., d’Ovidio F., Blain S., 2015. Use of Ra isotopes to deduce rapid transfer of sediment-derived inputs off Kerguelen, Biogeosciences, 12, 1415-1430, doi:10.5194/bg-12-1415-2015.

23. Sanial V., van Beek P., Lansard B., d'Ovidio F. , Kestenare E., Souhaut M., Zhou M., Blain S., Study of the phytoplankton plume dynamics off the Crozet Islands (Southern Ocean): A geochemical-physical coupled approach. Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research

22. Geibert W., Rodellas V., Annett A., van Beek P., Garcia-Orellana J., Hsieh Y.-T., Masque P., 2013. 226Ra determination via the rate of 222Rn ingrowth with the Radium Delayed Coincidence Counter (RaDeCC), Limnology and Oceanography : Methods 11, 2013, 594-603

21. Stieglitz T., van Beek P., Souhaut M., Cook P., 2013. Groundwater discharge Karstic groundwater discharge and seawater recirculation through sediments in shallow coastal Mediterranean lagoons, determined from water, salt and radon budgets, Marine Chemistry 156, 73-84

20. Hsieh, Y.-T., Geibert, W., van Beek, P., Stahl, H., Aleynik, D., and Henderson, G.M., 2013. Using the radium quartet (228Ra, 226Ra, 224Ra, and 223Ra) to estimate water mixing and radium inputs in Loch Etive, Scotland. Limnology and Oceanography 58: 1089-1102

19. Annett A., Henley S., van BeekP., Souhaut M., Ganeshram R., Venables H., Meredith M., Geibert W., 2013. Use of radium isotopes to estimate mixing rates and trace sediment inputs to surface waters in northern Marguerite Bay (Antarctic Peninsula), Antarctic Science 25(3), 445–456, doi:10.1017/S0954102012000892

18. van Beek P., Souhaut M., Lansard B., Bourquin M., Reyss J-L., Jean P., von Ballmoos P., 2013. LAFARA : A new underground laboratory in the French Pyrénées for low-background gamma spectrometry, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 116, 152-158

17. Subetto D.A., Shevchenko V.P., Ludikova A.V., Kuznetsov D.D., Sapelko T.V., Lisitsyn A.P., Evzerov V.Y., van Beek P., Souhaut M., Subetto G.D., 2013. Chronology of isolation of the Solovetskii archipelago lakes and current rates of lake sedimentation, Doklady Earth Sciences DOI:10.1134/S1028334X12090140

16. Evrard O., van Beek P., Gateuille D., Pont V., Lefèvre I., Lansard B., P. Bonté, 2012. Evidence of the radioactive fallout in France due to the Fukushima nuclear accident, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 114, Volume spécial Fukushima, 54-60

15. Venchiarutti C., Roy-BarmanM., Freydier R., van BeekP., SouhautM., JeandelC., 2011. Influence of intense scavenging on Pa-Th fractionation in the wake of Kerguelen Island (Southern Ocean), Biogeosciences 8, 3187–3201

14. Bourquin M., van Beek P., Reyss J.L., Riotte J. and Freydier R., 2011. Determination of 226Ra concentrations in seawater and suspended particles (NW Pacific) using MC-ICP-MS, Marine Chemistry 126, 132–138

13. Jeandel C., Venchiarutti C., Bourquin M., Pradoux C. Lacan F., van Beek P., Riotte, J., 2011. Single Column Sequential Extraction of Ra, Nd, Th, Pa and U from a Natural Sample, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, doi: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2010.00087.x

12. van Beek P., Souhaut M.,Reyss J-L., 2010. Measuring the radium quartet (226Ra, 228Ra, 224Ra, 223Ra) in water samples using gamma spectrometry, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 101, 521–529

11. van Beek P., Sternberg E., Reyss J.-L., Souhaut M., Robin, E., Jeandel C., 2009. 228Ra/226Ra and 226Ra/Ba ratios in the Western Mediterranean Sea: Barite formation and transport in the water column, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 73, 4720–4737

10. Bourquin M., van Beek P., Reyss J-L., Souhaut M., Charette M., Jeandel C., 2008. Testing methods to separate radium from large volumes of seawater, Marine Chemistry, 109, 226-237

9. van Beek P., Bourquin M., Reyss J-L., Souhaut M., M. Charrette, Jeandel C., 2008. Radium isotopes to investigate the water mass pathways on the Kerguelen plateau, Southern Ocean, Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 55, 622-637

8. Blain S., B. Quéguiner, L. Armand, S. Belviso, B. Bombled, L. Bopp, A. Bowie, C. Brunet, C. Brussaard, F. Carlotti, U. Christaki, A. Corbière, I. Durand, F. Ebersbach, J-L. Fuda, N. Garcia, L. Gerringa, B. Griffiths, C. Guigue, C. Guillerm, S. Jacquet, C. Jeandel, P. Laan, D. Lefèvre, C. Lo Monaco, A. Malits, J. Mosseri, I. Obernosterer, Y-H. Park, M. Picheral, P. Pondaven, T. Remenyi, V. Sandroni, G. Sarthou, N. Savoye, L. Scouarnec, M. Souhaut, D. Thuiller, K. Timmermans, T. Trull, J. Uitz, P. van Beek, M. Veldhuis, D. Vincent, E. Viollier, L. Vong, T. Wagener, 2007. Effect of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean, Nature 446, 1070 – 1074

7. van Beek P., François R., Conte M., Reyss J.-L., Souhaut M., Charette M., 2007. 228Raex/226Raex and 226Raex/Ba ratios to track barite formation and transport in the water column, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 71, 71-86

6. van Beek P., Reyss J-L., DeMaster D., Paterne M., 2004.226Ra-in marine barite : Relationship with carbonate dissolution and sediment focusing in the equatorial Pacific, Deep-Sea Research I 51, 235-261

5. Robin E, Rabouille C, Martinez G, Lefevre I, Reyss J-L, van Beek P, Jeandel C, 2003. Direct bio-Ba determination using SEM/EDS-ACC system : implication for barite preservation in marine sediments, Marine Chemistry 82 (3-4), 289-306.

4. van Beek P., Reyss J.-L., Bonte P., Schmidt S., 2003. Sr/Ba in barite : a proxy of barite preservation in marine sediments ?, Marine Geology 199, 205-220

3. Schmidt S, van Weering T.C.E., Reyss J-L & van Beek P, 2002. Rapid deposition and reworking at the sea bed/ water interface over the NW Iberian Margin; seasonal and spatial trends, Progress in Oceanography 52, 331-348

2. van Beek P, Reyss J-L, Gersonde R, Paterne M, Rutgers van der Loeff M, Kuhn G, 2002. 226Ra in barite : Absolute dating of Holocene Southern Ocean sediments and reconstruction of sea-surface reservoir ages, Geology 30 (8), 731-734

1. van Beek P, Reyss J-L, 2001. 226Ra in marine barite : new constraints on supported 226Ra, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 187, 147-161


Other :


Participation to the GEOTRACES intercalibration exercise (Radium isotopes)

Charette M., Dulaiova H., Gonneea M., Henderson P., Moore W., Scholten J., Pham M., 2012. GEOTRACES radium isotopes interlaboratory comparison experiment, Limnology and Oceanography : Methods 10, 2012, 451-463


Book chapter

C. Jeandel, P. van Beek, F. Lacan, Les éléments chimiques et isotopes, traceurs des échanges Terre-Mer. Collection Mer & Océan, vol.1, ch.5, p:181-208   


phD students

Virginie Sanial: KEOPS 2 project: Study of the natural iron fertilization off the Kerguelen and Crozet Islands (Southern Ocean); GEOTRACES

Michael Bourquin: KEOPS project : Study of the natural iron fertilization off the Kerguelen Islands (Southern Ocean)


Experience at Sea (268 d)


  • 2011 : 53 days on RV Marion Dufresne; KEOPS-2 cruise off Kerguelen Islands; water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps; analysis at sea of short half-life Ra isotopes.
  • 2010 : 13 jours sur le RV Marion Dufresne ; échantillonnage d’eau de mer au large de l’Indonésie (projet INDOMIX) : étude du mélange dans l’océan par les isotopes du radium (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra) et l’227Ac
  • 2008 : 10 days as Chief Scientist on RV ANTEA (IRD); Sampling of the Amazon river, off French Guyana; analysis of radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra); AMANDES project.
  • 2007 : 12 days on RV ANTEA (IRD); Sampling of the Amazon river, off French Guyana; analysis of radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra); AMANDES project
  • 2006 : 1 day on RV MINIBEX (COMEX); sampling in the Golfe of Lion; analysis of radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra) : intercomparison study LEGOS/LSCE/CEREGE
  • 2005 : 45 days on RV Marion Dufresne; KEOPS cruise off Kerguelen Islands (chief scientists : Bernard Quéguiner, Stéphane Blain); water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps; analysis at sea of short half-life Ra isotopes.
  • 2003 : 2 days on Théthys II (Dyfamed Time-Series; BARMED project) as chief scientist; water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps
  • 2003 : 2 Field trips on Loch Etive, Scotland; water sampling
  • 2002 : 30 days on R.V. Mirai (JPAC, north west Pacific, Alaska-Japan; chief scientists : Susumu Honjo & Makio Honda), water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps, mooring deployment
  • 2002 : 4 days on the R.V. KOK and 4 days on R.V. Wecoma (HOT Time series, Hawaii; chief scientist : Mike Bacon), water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps
  • 2002 : 5 days on the R.V. Weatherbird II (OFP time series, Bermuda; Chief scientist : Maureen Conte), water sampling, suspended matter sampling using large volume in situ pumps, mooring deployment
  • 2000 : 66 days on board of Polarstern, Germany (Cape Town – Antarctica - Cape Town; chief scientist : Gerd Kuhn)), coring
  • 1996 : 21 days on board of R.V. Pelagia, The Netherlands, along the spanish coast (Vigo-Texel, OMEX program; chief scientist : Tjeerd van Weering); Water sampling for 234Th, 228Ra and 226Ra measurements and coring




  • GEOVIDE (French contribution to the GEOTRACES program), 2014-16 (PIs: Géraldine Sarthou and Pascal Lherminier), section in the North Atlantic
  • KEOPS-2, ANR-LEFE 2011-2013 (PI: S. Blain), KErguelen compared study of the Ocean and the Plateau in Surface water 2
  • SOLWARA, ANR-LEFE (PI: S. Cravatte, A. Ganachaud)
  • RTRA CYMENT, SGD along the French Mediterranean coastline
  • AMANDES, ANR Blanc 2006-2008 (PI : C. Jeandel, P. Seyler) : Weathering and transport of elements at a crucial land-sea interface (Amazone estuary)
  • TARDHOL, EVE (PI : X. Crosta) : Variabilité climatique récente des hautes latitudes nord et sud : Focus sur le Tardi-Holocène et téléconnections inter-hémisphériques
  • BARNIC, 2004-05 (PI: P. van Beek) : Neodymium Isotopic Composition of Marine Barite as a Tracer of Past Oceanic Circulation
  • KEOPS, PROOF/CYBER 2005-2007 (PI: S. Blain), KErguelen compared study of the Ocean and the Plateau in Surface water
  • BARMED, PROOF, Mediterranean Sea, 2003-2006 (PI: C. Jeandel)
  • JPAC, North West Pacific, 2001-2011 (PIs: S. Honjo, M. Honda, R. François)

Diffusion of the scientific knowledge


Participations to Science en fête

Active Member of « Les Etoiles Brillent pour Tous » (


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