Wellcome to the webpage of the Sclerochronology Service of the IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), here you will find all the information about the different techniques that the Service applies to calcified tissues.


The Sclerochronology is the study of physical and chemical patterns in temporal accretionary growth registered in calcified structures of aquatic organisms (otoliths, vertebrae, scales, corals, bivalve shells, etc). The objective is the reconstruction of the life history and the relationship with ecological, anthropogenic and environmental processes.

Currently the sclerochornology is an interdisciplinary science with different applications: (i) reconstruction of the paleoclimate, (ii) climate and environmental change, (iii) physical and biological studies, (iv) presence of pollutants and their effects, and (v) applications in management studies and fishing resources conservation.


The Sclerochronology Service of the IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) specializes in the chronological datation of calcified tissues (age determination) using both seasonal and daily marks, the validation of the periodicity of these marks by direct and indirect methods, and the analysis of the elementary composition of these tissues (trace elements and isotopes).

This Service is the unique in the whole state that has been included in the Scientific-Technologic Catalogue of CSIC, their conditions and rates have been approved by the estatal agency.

The Service is developed by the Fish Ecology Lab of IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), led by Prof. Beatriz Morales Nin, expert in the study of calcified structures since the 90s. In addition, the group counts with a hired technician specialized in microchemistry and datation and staff that work in a coordinated manner. The group supports the transfer of knowledge through doctoral, master and degree programs and the formation of visitors.

Considering the specific objectives of each study, the type of Provison required will be determined. Two different Variants are offered for the Prestation Datation and 7 Variants for the Prestation Microchemistry, additionally a General Prestation with no cost of material is offered.


The Service is offered internally to all the researchers in IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) or from other centers belonging to CSIC, and externally to other General Administration centers, OPIs, Spanish universities, and private or foreign entities, with differenciated pricing.


Prior to the Prestation  we advise on the appropriate methodology (i.e. Variant) according to the objectives of the study to be performed.

The Sclerochronology Service of the IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) has standardized protocols for the processing of samples and for the data treatment. In the case of the microchemistry studies, ultra-clean methods are applied to guarantee the quality of the analyses.

Due to the great diversity of techniques and applicable methods, any request is studied individually in order to offer the most adjusted budget according to the stipulated rate. Each Prestation offers different Variants that involve differentiated techniques that cover the totality of the possible studies done on calcified tissues. It is important to note that microchemistry analysis can be performed by our Service or can be contracted directly with the SAI of the Universidade de A Coruña, in this case sample preparation must be done by the Sclerochronology Service of the IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB).


The price of all the Variants offered by the Sclerochronology Service is based on the daily cost of the work (€/day), it changes according to the material used and the number of samples processed per day.

Any Prestation ends with the submission of the data matrices generated and the redaction of reports that include technical and methodological aspects as well as descriptions of the results. The Service is opened to participate, if required, on the redaction of scientific articles related to the Prestation.