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Department of Earth Sciences



Dr Goursaud is a Post-doctoral Research Associate working on the WACSWAIN project, with a strong collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey. With a strong scientific general background acquired from a French engineering school, she then undertook a PhD in between the Laboratory of Climate Science and Environnement (LSCE, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)  and the Institute of Geology and Environment (Grenoble, France), co-supervised by Valérie Masson-Delmotte and Michel Legrand. She studied water stable isotope records from firn cores drilled in Adélie Land, coastal East Antarctic that she compared to atmospheric simulations for the last decades.


My main focus is the study water stable isotope signatures imprinted in the ice of Antarctica, in order to provide new information of past climates. Water stable isotope records are used to allowing the reconstruction of past temperatures at millennial time scales. However, the water stable isotope - temperature relies on a couple of hypotheses (e.g. no seasonal intermittency of the precipitations, no change in the atmospheric circulation) that might be considered regarding the region and the time scale of interest. To build my reflexion, I gather water stable isotopes that I compare against simulations from General Climate Models (GCM). I then use GCM that are fabulous based-process tools that help interpreting the data.

I am currently mainly involved in the WACSWAIN project (Warm Climate Stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the last interglacial, lead by Pr Eric Wolff. A 651 m ice core can have already been drilled in Skytrain ice rise. And I am bringing a modeling view of what water stable isotope record should look like, thanks to the use of climate simulations, and aims to explain the given outputs.

My main focus lead me to extent to the following topics:
- Water stable isotope records from all water phases, i.e. vapour, precipitation, surface snow and ice
- Comparison of water stable isotopes - enabled climate models
- Antarctic climate change at the current, last decades (ANR ASUMA), last millenia (2k through the PAGES2k project) and the last interglacial (WACSWAIN)


Key publications: 


Klein, F., Abram, N.J., Curran, M.a., Goosse, H., Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Moy, A., Neukom, R., Orsi, A., Sjolte, J., Steiger, N., Stenni, B., and Werner, M., Assessing the robustness of Antarctic temperature reconstructions over the past two millennia using pseudoproxy and data assimilation experiments, Climate of the Past15(2), 661-684.

Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Favier, V., Preunkert, S., Legrand, M.,Minster, B.,Werner, M., Challenges associated with the climatic interpretation of water stable isotope records from a highly resolved firn-ice core from Adélie Land, coastal Antarctica, The Cryosphere13(4), 1297-1324.

Bréant, C., Leroy Dos Santos, C., Casado, M., Fourré, E., Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Favier, V., Agosta, C., Cattani, O., Prié, F., Golly, B., Orsi, A., and Martinerie, P.: Coastal water vapor isotopic composition driven by katabatic wind variability in summer at Dumont d'Urville, coastal East Antarctica, Earth and Planetary Science Letters514, 37-47.


Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Favier, V., Orsi, A., and Werner, M.: Water stable isotope spatio-temporal variability in Antarctica in 1960–2013: observations and simulations from the ECHAM5-wiso atmospheric general circulation model, Clim. Past, 14, 923-946. 2018.


Landais, A., Casado, M., Prié, F., Magand, O., Arnaud, L., Ekaykin, A., Petit, J.-R., Picard, G., Fily, M., Minster, B., Touzeau, A., Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Jouzel, J., and Orsi, A.: Surface studies of water isotopes in Antarctica for quantitative interpretation of deep ice core data, Comptes Rendus Geoscience, 2017.

Stenni, B., Curran, M. A., Abram, N. J., Orsi, A., Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Neukom, R., Goosse, H., Divine, D., and Van Ommen, T.: Antarctic climate variability on regional and continental scales over the last 2000 years, Climate of the Past, 13, 1609, 2017.

Goursaud, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Favier, V., Preunkert, S., Fily, M., Gallée, H., Jourdain, B., Legrand, M., Magand, O., Minster, B., and Werner, M. (2017). A 60-year ice-core record of regional climate from Adélie Land, coastal Antarctica. The Cryosphere11(1), 343-362.


Goursaud, S., AguA.,Wojkiewicz, J.L., Redon, N., Lahcen Khouchaf, .-Enhanced metrological performances of organic electronic ammonia sensors using electro spinning techniques, Procedia Engineering, 87, 204-207, 2014.

Research Fellow

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 (0) 1223 333455


Collaborator profiles: 
Person keywords: 
Water stable isotopes
Climate modelling
Ice cores