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Areas of expertise

Environmental sedimentology , Arctic , Image analysis , Limnogeology , Paleoclimate , Paleolimnology

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 de la Couronne Street
Québec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9

See the research centre

Research interests

Professor Francus’s research interests lie in the study of present-day and past lake and marine sediments for the reconstruction of paleoclimates and paleoenvironments. His research is interdisciplinary in nature. His most recent projects focused on varved (annually laminated) sediments in the Arctic regions.

Varves offer the possibility of reconstructing variations of hydrological and climatic cycles on annual to secular scales. It is also important to understand the actual biological and sedimentary processes that lead to sediment formation to be able to reconstruct past environmental conditions.

Professor Francus’s research activities also contribute to the estimation of natural hazards (floods, earthquakes) and risks resulting from human activities (pollution, watershed modification).

To achieve these research objectives, Professor Francus’s team uses an original and unique technique based on image analysis of thin sections of soft sediments in the three laboratories mentioned above.


Gagnon-Poiré, Antoine; Brigode, Pierre; Francus, Pierre; Fortin, David; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Dorion, Hugues & Trottier, Annie-Pier (2021). Reconstructing past hydrology of eastern Canadian boreal catchments using clastic varved sediments and hydro-climatic modeling: 160 years of fluvial inflows. Clim. Past., 17: 653-673.

Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Koirala, Sujan; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Francus, Pierre; Ahrens, Bernhard; Brovkin, Victor; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Zolitschka, Bernd; Bader, Juergen & Carvalhais, Nuno (2020). Reply to Li & al.: Human societies began to play a significant role in global sediment transfer 4,000 years ago. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117 (11): 5571-5572.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1922723117

Lapointe, François; Bradley, Raymond S.; Francus, Pierre; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Abbott, Mark B.; Stoner, Joseph Stephen; St-Onge, Guillaume; De Coninck, Arnaud & Labarre, Thibault (2020). Annually resolved Atlantic sea surface temperature variability over the past 2,900 y. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117 (44): 27171-27178.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2014166117

Nasri, Bouchra; Boucher, É.; Perreault, L.; Rémillard, B. N.; Huard, D.; Nicault, A.; Arsenault, D.; Bégin, C.; Savard, M. M.; Bégin, Y.; Francus, P. & Lajeunesse, P. (2020). Modeling hydrological inflow persistence using paleoclimate reconstructions on the Québec-Labrador (Canada) Peninsula. Water Resour. Res., 56 (5): Art. e2019WR025122.
DOI: 10.1029/2019WR025122

Simmatis, Brigitte; Baud, Alexandre; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Francus, Pierre & Smol, John P. (2020). Subfossil Simuliidae track past river flow into an industrially contaminated lake. J. Paleolimnol., 64: 179-192.
DOI: 10.1007/s10933-020-00130-4

Treyvaud G, Francus P & Des Roches M (2020). La tomodensitométrie en archéologie. Les nouvelles de l’archéologie, 159: 68-74.
DOI: 10.4000/nda.9542

Trottier, Annie Pier; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Gagnon-Poiré, Antoine & Francus, Pierre (2020). Morphological signatures of deglaciation and postglacial sedimentary processes in a deep fjord-lake (Grand Lake, Labrador). Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 45 (4): 928-947.
DOI: 10.1002/esp.4786

Chassiot, Léo; Francus, Pierre; De Coninck, Arnaud; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Cloutier, Danielle & Labarre, Thibault (2019). Dataset for the assessment of metallic pollution in the Saint-Charles River sediments (Québec City, QC, Canada). Data in Brief, 26: Art. 104256.
DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2019.104256

Chassiot, Léo; Francus, Pierre; De Coninck, Arnaud; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Cloutier, Danielle & Labarre, Thibault (2019). Spatial and temporal patterns of metallic pollution in Québec City, Canada: Sources and hazard assessment from reservoir sediment records. Sci. Total Environ., 673: 136-147.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.021

Gagnon-Poiré, Antoine; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Normandeau, Alexandre; Francus, Pierre; St-Onge, Guillaume & Nzekwe, Obinna Peter (2019). Corrigendum to “Late-Quaternary glacial to postglacial sedimentation in three adjacent fjord-lakes of the Québec North Shore (eastern Canadian Shield)” [Quat. Sci. Rev. 186 (2018) 91–110]. Quatern. Sci. Rev., 220: 401-403.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.07.030

Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Koirala, Sujan; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Francus, Pierre; Niemann, Christoph; Ahrens, Bernhard; Brovkin, Victor; Baud, Alexandre; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Normandeau, Alexandre; Zolitschka, Bernd & Carvalhais, Nuno (2019). Human and climate global-scale imprint on sediment transfer during the Holocene. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 116 (46): 22972-22976.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1908179116

Jones, Anna F.; Turner, Jonathan N.; Daly, Stephen J.; Francus, Pierre & Edwards, Robin J. (2019). Signal-to-noise ratios, instrument parameters and repeatability of Itrax XRF core scan measurements of floodplain sediments. Quatern. Int., 514: 44-54.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2018.09.006

Khider, Deborah; Emile-Geay, Julien; McKay, Nicholas P.; Gil, Yolanda; Garijo, Daniel; Ratnakar, Varun; Alonso-Garcia, M.; Bertrand, Sébastien; Bothe, O.; Brewer, P.; Bunn, A.; Chevalier, Manuel; Comas-Bru, Laia; Csank, Adam; Dassié, Emilie; DeLong, Kristine; Felis, Thomas; Francus, Pierre; Frappier, A.; Gray, W.; Goring, S.; Jonkers, Lukas; Kahle, Michael; Kaufman, Darrell; Kehrwald, Natalie M.; Martrat, Belen; McGregor, Helen; Richey, J.; Schmittner, Andreas; Scroxton, N.; Sutherland, E.; Thirumalai, Kaustubh; Allen, Kathryn Jane; Arnaud, Fabien; Axford, Yarrow; Barrows, Timothy T.; Bazin, L.; Pilaar Birch, S. E.; Bradley, E.; Bregy, Josh; Capron, E.; Cartapanis, Olivier; Chiang, Hong-Wei; Cobb, Kim M.; Debret, M.; Dommain, René; Du, Jianghui; Dyez, Kelsey; Emerick, Suellyn; Erb, M. P.; Falster, G.; Finsinger, Walter; Fortier, Daniel; Gauthier, Nicolas; George, S.; Grimm, Eric Christopher; Hertzberg, Jennifer; Hibbert, Fiona D.; Hillman, A.; Hobbs, W.; Huber, M.; Hughes, A. L. C.; Jaccard, S.; Ruan, J.; Kienast, Markus; Konecky, Bronwen; Le Roux, Gaël; Lyubchich, Vyacheslav; Novello, Valdir Felipe; Olaka, Lydia; Partin, J. W.; Pearce, Christof; Phipps, Steven J.; Pignol, Cecile; Piotrowska, Natalia; Poli, M. S.; Prokopenko, A.; Schwanck, Fran; Stepanek, Christian; Swann, G. E. A.; Telford, Richard Telford; Thomas, Elizabeth R.; Thomas, Zoé A.; Truebe, S.; von Gunten, Lucien; Waite, A.; Weitzel, Nils; Wilhelm, Bruno; Williams, J.; Williams, J. J.; Winstrup, Mai; Zhao, Ning & Zhou, Yuxin (2019). PaCTS 1.0: A Crowdsourced Reporting Standard for Paleoclimate Data. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol., 34 (10): 1570-1596.
DOI: 10.1029/2019PA003632

Larmagnat, Stéphanie; Des Roches, Mathieu; Daigle, Louis-Frédéric; Francus, Pierre; Lavoie, Denis; Raymond, Jasmin; Malo, Michel & Aubiès-Trouilh, Alexandre (2019). Continuous porosity characterization: Metric-scale intervals in heterogeneous sedimentary rocks using medical CT-scanner. Mar. Petrol. Geol., 109: 361-380.
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.04.039

Lapointe, François; Francus, Pierre; Stoner, Joseph Stephen; Abbott, Mark B.; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Cook, Timothty L.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Forman, Steven L.; Besonen, Mark & St-Onge, Guillaume (2019). Chronology and sedimentology of a new 2.9 ka annually laminated record from South Sawtooth Lake, Ellesmere Island. Quatern. Sci. Rev., 222: Art. 105875.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105875

Lowemark, Ludvig; Bloemsma, Menno; Croudace, Ian; Daly, Stephen J.; Edwards, Robin J.; Francus, Pierre; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Gregory, Braden R. B.; Huang, Jyh-Jaan Steven; Jones, Anna F.; Kylander, Malin; Lowemark, Ludvig; Luo, Yangbing; Maclachlan, Suzanne; Ohlendorf, Christian; Patterson, Timothy R.; Pearce, Christof; Profe, Jorn; Reinhardt, Eduard G.; Stranne, Christian; Tjallingii, Rik & Turner, Jonathan N. (2019). Practical guidelines and recent advances in the Itrax XRF core-scanning procedure. Quatern. Int., 514: 16-29.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2018.10.044

Turney, Chris S. M.; McGregor, Helem V.; Francus, Pierre; Abram, Nerilie J.; Evans, Michael N.; Goosse, Hugues; Von Gunten, Lucien; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Linderholm, Hans W.; Loutre, Marie-France & Neukom, Raphael (2019). Introduction to the special issue “Climate of the past 2000 years: global and trans-regional syntheses”. Clim. Past., 15 (2): 611-615.
DOI: 10.5194/cp-15-611-2019

Dubois, Nathalie; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Mills, Keely; Gell, Peter; Battarbee, Rick; Bennion, Helen; Chawchai, Sakonvan; Dong, Xuhui; Francus, Pierre; Flower, Roger; Gomes, Doriedson F.; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Humane, Sumedh; Kattel, Giri; Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Langdon, Peter; Massaferro, Julieta; McGowan, Suzanne; Mikomägi, Annika; Ngoc, Nguyen Thi Minh; Sandaruwan Ratnayake, Amila; Reid, Michael; Rose, Neil; Saros, Jasmine; Schilereff, Daniel; Tolotti, Monica & Valero-Garcés, Blas (2018). First human impacts and responses of aquatic systems: A review of palaeolimnological records from around the worldAnthropocene Review, 5 (1): 26-68.
DOI: 10.1177/2053019617740365

Gagnon-Poiré, Antoine; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Normandeau, Alexandre; Francus, Pierre; St-Onge, Guillaume & Nzekwe, Obinna Peter (2018). Late-Quaternary glacial to postglacial sedimentation in three adjacent fjord-lakes of the Québec North Shore (eastern Canadian Shield)Quatern. Sci. Rev., 186: 91-110.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.02.013

Kaufman, Darrell S.; Abram, Nerilie J.; Evans, Michael N.; Francus, Pierre; Goosse, Hugues; Linderholm, Hans W.; Loutre, Marie-France; Martrat, Belen; McGregor, Helem V.; Neukom, Raphael; George, Scott St.; Turney, Chris S. M. & Von Gunten, Lucien (2018). Technical note: Open-paleo-data implementation pilot – the PAGES 2k special issueClim. Past., 14 (5): 593-600.
DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-593-2018

Linderholm HW, Nicolle M, Francus P, Gajewski K, Helama S, Korhola A, Solomina O, Yu Z, Zhang P, D’Andrea WJ, Debret M, Divine DV, Gunnason BE, Loader NJ, Massei N, Seftifgen K, Thomas EK & Werner JP (2018). Arctic hydroclimate variability during the last 2000 years: current understanding and research challengesClim. Past., 14: 473-514.
DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-473-2018

Nzekwe, Obinna Peter; Francus, Pierre; St-Onge, Guillaume; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Fortin, David; Gagnon-Poiré, Antoine; Philippe, Édouard G. H. & Normandeau, Alexandre (2018). Recent sedimentation in three adjacent fjord-lakes on the Québec North Shore (Eastern Canada): facies analysis, laminae preservation and potential for varve formationCan. J. Earth Sci. / Rev. Can. Sci. Terre, 55 (2): 138-153.
DOI: 10.1139/cjes-2017-0070

Vuillemin, Aurèle; Ariztegui, Daniel; Horn, Fabien; Kallmeyer, Jens; D’Orsi, William; Anselmetti, Flavio; Corbella, Hugo; Francus, Pierre; Lücke, Andreas; Maidana, Nora Irene; Ohlendorf, Christian; Schäbitz, Frank; Wastegard, Stefan & Bernd, Zolitschka (2018). Microbial community composition along a 50,000 year lacustrine sediment sequence. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 94 (4): Fiy029.

Werner, Johannes P.; Divine, Dmitry V.; Charpentier Ljungqvist, Fredrik; Nilsen, Tine & Francus, Pierre (2018). Spatio-temporal variability of Arctic summer temperatures over the past 2 millenniaClim. Past, 14: 527-557.
DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-527-2018

Emile-Geay, Julien; McKay, Nicholas P.; Kaufman, Darrell S.; von Gunten, Lucien; Wang, Jianghao; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Abram, Nerilie J.; Addison, Jason A.; Curran, Mark A. J.; Evans, Michael N.; PAGES2k Consortium & Francus, Pierre (2017). Data Descriptor: A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common EraScientific Data, 4: Art. 170088.
DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2017.88

Jouve, Guillaume; Lisé-Pronovost, Agathe; Francus, Pierre; De Coninck, Arnaud & PASADO science team (2017). Climatic influence of the latest Antarctic isotope maximum of the last glacial period (AIM4) on Southern PatagoniaPalaeogeogr. Palaeocl. Paleoecol., 472: 33-50.
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.02.020

Lapointe, François; Francus, Pierre; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Vuille, Mathias; Jenny, Jean-Philippe & Bradley, Raymond S. (2017). Influence of North Pacific decadal variability on the western Canadian Arctic over the past 700 yearsClim. Past., 13 (4): 411-420.
DOI: 10.5194/cp-13-411-2017

Normandeau, Alexandre; Dietrich, Pierre; Lajeunesse, Patrick; St-Onge, Guillaume; Ghienne, Jean-François; Duchesne, Mathieu J. & Francus, Pierre (2017). Timing and controls on the delivery of coarse sediment to deltas and submarine fans on a formerly glaciated coast and shelfGeol. Soc. Am. Bull., 129 (11-12): 1424-1441.
DOI: 10.1130/B31678.1

Beaudoin, Anne; Pienitz, Reinhard; Francus, Pierre; Zdanowicz, Christian & St-Onge, Guillaume (2016). Palaeoenvironmental history of the last six centuries in the Nettilling Lake area (Baffin Island, Canada): A multi-proxy analysisThe Holocene, 26 (11): 1835-1846.
DOI: 10.1177/0959683616645937

Briner, Jason P.; McKay, Nicholas P.; Axford, Yarrow; Bennike, Ole; Bradley, Raymond S.; De Vernal, Anne; Fisher, David; Francus, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Gajewski, Konrad; Jennings, Anne; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Miller, Gifford; Rouston, Cody & Wagner, Bernd (2016). Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and GreenlandQuatern. Sci. Rev., 147: 340-364.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.02.010

Crabeck, Odile; Galley, Ryan; Delisle, Bruno; Else, Brent; Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Lemes, Marcos; Des Roches, Mathieu; Francus, Pierre; Tison, Jean-Louis & Rysgaard, Soren (2016). Imaging air volume fraction in sea ice using non-destructive X-ray tomographyCryosphere, 10 (3): 1125-1145.
DOI: 10.5194/tc-10-1125-2016

Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Francus, Pierre; Normandeau, Alexandre; Lapointe, François; Perga, Marie-Élodie; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Schimmelmann, Arndt & Zolitschka, Bernd (2016). Global spread of hypoxia in freshwater ecosystems during the last three centuries is caused by rising local human pressureGlob. Change Biol., 22 (4): 1481-1489.
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13193

Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Normandeau, Alexandre; Francus, Pierre; Taranu, Zofia Ecaterina; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Lapointe, François; Jautzy, Josue; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Schimmelmann, Arndt & Zolitschka, Bernd (2016). Urban point sources of nutrients were the leading cause for the historical spread of hypoxia across European lakesProc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 113 (45): 12655-12660.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605480113

Narancic, Biljana; Pienitz, Reinhard; Chapligin, Bernhard; Meyer, Hanno; Francus, Pierre & Guilbault, Jean-Pierre (2016). Postglacial environmental succession of Nettilling Lake (Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic) inferred from biogeochemical and microfossil proxiesQuatern. Sci. Rev., 147: 391-405.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.12.022

Normandeau, Alexandre; Lajeunesse, Patrick; Poirer, Antoine G. & Francus, Pierre (2016). Morphological expression of bedforms formed by supercritical sediment density flows in four fjord-lake deltas of the south-eastern Canadian Shield (Eastern Canada)Sedimentology, 63 (7): 2106-2129.
DOI: 10.1111/sed.12298

Normandeau, Alexandre; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Lajeunesse, Patrick & Francus, Pierre (2016). Sediment dynamics in paired High Arctic lakes revealed from high-resolution swath bathymetry and acoustic stratigraphy surveysJ. Geophys. Res. – Earth Surface, 121 (9): 1676-1696.
DOI: 10.1002/2016JF003873

Schimmelmann, Arndt; Lange, Carina B.; Schieber, Juergen; Francus, Pierre; Ojala, Antti E. K. & Zolitschka, Bernd (2016). Varves in marine sediments: A reviewEarth-Sci. Rev., 159: 215-246.
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.04.009

Vuillemin, Aurèle; Aritztegui, Daniel; Leavitt, Peter R.; Bunting, Lynda; Anselmetti, Flavio; Corbella, Hugo; Francus, Pierre; Lücke, Andrea; Maidana, Nora Irene; Ohlendorf, Christian; Schäbitz, Frank; Wastegard, Stefan & Zolitschka, Bernd (2016). Recording of climate and diagenesis through sedimentary DNA and fossil pigments at Laguna Potrok Aike, ArgentinaBiogeosciences, 13 (8): 2475-2492.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-2475-2016

Balascio, N. L.; Francus, P.; Bradley, R. S.; Schupack, B. B.; Miller, G. H.; Kvisvik, B. C.; Bakke, J. & Thordarson, T. (2015). Investigating the use of scanning X-ray fluorescence to locate cryptotephra in minerogenic lacustrine sediment: Experimental results. In: Croudace, I. W. & Rothwell, R. G., (Eds). Micro-XRF studies of sediment cores. Applications of a non-destructive tool for the environmental sciences. pp. 305-324. Springer Science+Business.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9849-5

Cuven, S.; Francus, P.; Cremer, J. F. & Bérubé, B. (2015). Optimization of Itrax Core Scanner protocols for the micro X-ray fluorescence analysis of finely laminated sediment: A case study of lacustrine varved sediment from the high arctic. In: Croudace, I. W. & Rothwell, R. G., (Eds). Micro-XRF studies of sediment cores. Applications of a non-destructive tool for the environmental sciences. pp. 279-304. Springer Science+Business.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9849-5_10

Francus, P.; Kanamaru, K. & Fortin, D. (2015). Standardization and calibration of X-radiographs acquired with the ITRAX Core Scanner. In: Croudace, I. W. & Rothwell, R. G., (Eds). Micro-XRF studies of sediment cores. Applications of a non-destructive tool for the environmental sciences. pp. 491-506. Springer Science+Business.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9849-5

Lisé-Pronovost, A.; St-Onge, G.; Gogorza, C.; Haberzettl, T.; Jouve, G.; Francus, P.; Ohlendorf, C.; Gebhardt, C.; Zolitschka, B. & PASADO science team (2015). Rock-magnetic proxies of wind intensity and dust since 51,200 cal BP from lacustrine sediments of Laguna Potrok Aike, southeastern PatagoniaEarth Planet. Sci. Lett., 41: 72-86.
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.11.007

Zimmermann, C.; Jouve, G.; Pienitz, R.; Francus, P. & Maidana, N. I. (2015). Late glacial and early holocene cyclic changes in paleowind conditions and lake levels inferred from diatom assemblage shifts in Laguna Potrok Aike sediments (southern Patagonia, Argentina)Palaeogeogr. Palaeocl. Paleoecol., 427: 20-31.
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.03.006

Zolitschka, B.; Francus, P.; Ojala, A. E. K. & Schimmelmann, A. (2015). Varves in lake sediments – a reviewQuatern. Sci. Rev., 117: 1-41.
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.03.019