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Reitner J.M.,Geologische Bundesanstalt | Gruber W.,HOT Engineering | Romer A.,Geologische Bundesanstalt | Morawetz R.,Joanneum Research
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2010

We present a study of the inneralpine basin of Hopfgarten focused on the analysis of basin fill in order to reveal its formation in relation to paleo-ice flow and tectonics. The study is based on geological mapping as well as seismic (reflection and refraction) and geoelectrical surveys. The oldest sequence in the basin, identified by seismic stratigraphy at 400 m below surface, consists of coarse grained sediments of supposedly Oligocene to Miocene age, which subsided along faults linked to the Inn fault. Three superimposed sequences, each displaying baselaps in contact with a subglacially formed unconformity and sigmoid foresets, show pleniglacial conditions followed by a glaciolacustrine environment. The uppermost of these three sequences lies on top of last glacial maximum till (LGM; Würmian Pleniglacial; MIS 2) and represents Termination I. The middle sequence is classified as Termination II following the Rissian Pleniglacial (MIS 6). The oldest glacial sequence cannot be constrained chronostratigraphically but might correlate with Termination V following the major glaciation of MIS 12. Limited glacial erosion during the LGM occurred only during the ice build-up phase. Further overdeepening was impeded due to topographic barrier and mutual blockades of glaciers within this highly dissected landscape. The occurrence and relative timing of the impediment was controlled by the onset of transfluences and thus by the altitude of coles. The higher amount of overdeepening during older glacial periods is explained by longer phases of free ice advance in the ice build up phase due to higher transfluences routes at that time. Thus, the preservation of older Pleistocene sequences within the basin may be the result of the lowering of watersheds from one glaciation to the next. Our model of an inverse relationship between glacial shaping of the surface and the subsurface may apply to similar Alpine landscapes as well. © 2010 Swiss Geological Society.


Merchel S.,Aix - Marseille University | Merchel S.,Helmholtz Center Dresden | Braucher R.,Aix - Marseille University | Alfimov V.,ETH Zurich | And 3 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2013

Samples from three medieval rock avalanches from the French (Le Claps, Mont Granier) and Austrian Alps (Dobratsch) and a man-made structure, i.e. the Stephansdom in Vienna, have been analysed for in-situ produced 36Cl by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). All four sampling sites of independently known exposure duration turned out to be not appropriate as calibration sites for the determination of the 36Cl-production rate from Ca. Indeed, the determination of short exposure ages for dating rock avalanches and man-made structures by 36Cl is hindered dramatically by inheritance, especially for samples characterized by high natCl-concentrations. Generally, there are hints that the theoretical calculation of 36Cl-production from epithermal and thermal neutron-capture on 35Cl is highly underestimated in all existing models, thus, asking for particular precaution if working on high-Cl samples for any project. Hence, this work evidences that potential high inheritance, even for samples reasonably shielded before exhumation, has to be considered especially when dealing with recently exposed surfaces such as glacially polished rocks, alluvial terraces, fault scarps etc. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Merchel S.,Aix - Marseille University | Merchel S.,Helmholtz Center Dresden | Mrak I.,University of Ljubljana | Braucher R.,Aix - Marseille University | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2014

Over 30 samples from bedrock and boulders from the Veliki vrh rock avalanche have been collected for surface exposure dating. The limestone rocks have been radiochemically treated to isolate and determine long-lived 36Cl by accelerator mass spectrometry. It could be shown that the Veliki vrh rock avalanche from the Košuta Mountain (Slovenia) event can be very likely linked to one of the major historical earthquakes in Europe happening on the 25th of January 1348. Taken into account independently determined denudation rates, inherited 36Cl originating from pre-exposure at shallow depths (20-55m) could be calculated. The high amount of inherited 36Cl, i.e. 17-46% of the total 36Cl, makes this site not suitable for a precise determination of the 36Cl production rate as it was originally anticipated. Veliki vrh is a "classic" rock avalanche of high velocity. The slope failed in the upper part with a translational slide predominantly along the bedding planes, whereas dynamic fragmentation is the cause for further crushing of the material and the long runout. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Preusser F.,University of Bern | Reitner J.M.,Geologische Bundesanstalt | Schluchter C.,University of Bern
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2010

Overdeepened valleys and basins are commonly found below the present landscape surface in areas that were affected by Quaternary glaciations. Overdeepened troughs and their sedimentary fillings are important in applied geology, for example, for geotechnics of deep foundations and tunnelling, groundwater resource management, and radioactive waste disposal. This publication is an overview of the areal distribution and the geometry of overdeepened troughs in the Alps and their foreland, and summarises the present knowledge of the age and potential processes that may have caused deep erosion. It is shown that overdeepened features within the Alps concur mainly with tectonic structures and/or weak lithologies as well as with Pleistocene ice confluence and partly also diffluence situations. In the foreland, overdeepening is found as elongated buried valleys, mainly oriented in the direction of former ice flow, and glacially scoured basins in the ablation area of glaciers. Some buried deeply incised valleys were generated by fluvial down-cutting during the Messinian crisis but this mechanism of formation applies only for the southern side of the Alps. Lithostratigraphic records and dating evidence reveal that overdeepened valleys were repeatedly occupied and excavated by glaciers during past glaciations. However, the age of the original formation of (non-Messinian) overdeepened structures remains unknown. The mechanisms causing overdeepening also remain unidentified and it can only be speculated that pressurised meltwater played an important role in this context. © 2010 Swiss Geological Society.


Gebhardt H.,Geologische Bundesanstalt | Friedrich O.,UK National Oceanography Center | Friedrich O.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Schenk B.,University of Vienna | And 3 more authors.
Marine Micropaleontology | Year: 2010

The late Cenomanian-early Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE-2) represents major paleoceanographic and faunal perturbations. Samples from the northern Tethyan margin (Rehkogelgraben, Eastern Alps) were investigated in order to trace the paleoceanographic processes. Paleoecologic conditions were reconstructed by combining the results of assemblage counts of indicative microfossil groups (foraminifera, and radiolaria). Assemblages, size distributions and abundances show a tripartite subdivision for surface and bottom waters: 1) Oligotrophic surface conditions and oxic bottom waters with a reasonably high food supply for the late Cenomanian interval. 2) An OAE period with black shales characterized by very low numbers but high diversities and a lack of high-productivity indicators among planktic foraminifera. Low abundances of small sized benthic foraminifera indicate low oxic-dysoxic conditions at the seafloor. 3) Post-OAE assemblages are characterized by mesotrophic planktic species and benthic foraminifera suggest oxic bottom waters. It took about 300. ky to re-establish a pelagic carbonate-producing regime. The semi-enclosed basin situation of the Penninic Ocean is thought to be responsible for differences between the high productivity in the world ocean during the OAE-2 and the overall absence of high-productivity indicators and high foraminiferal diversities at Rehkogelgraben. The Penninic Ocean may have even served as a refuge during the environmental crisis. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.21M | Year: 2011

PanGeo is a service proposed in response to FP7 GMES Downstream Call 3 (released July 2009). The objective of PanGeo is to enable free and open access to geohazard information in support of GMES. This will be achieved by the generation of a validated Geohazard Data Layer supported by a Geohazard Summary for 52 of the largest towns listed in the GMES Land Themes Urban Atlas involving all 27 countries of the EU. Upon user enquiry, a PanGeo web-portal will automatically integrate the geohazard data with the Urban Atlas to highlight the polygons influenced. The datasets will be made discoverable, accessible and useable via a distributed web-map system as built and demonstrated by OneGeology Europe (www.onegeology-europe.eu). The key users of PanGeo are anticipated as: Local Authority planners and regulators who are concerned with managing development risk, National geological surveys and geoscience institutes who are obliged to collect geohazard data for public benefit, Policy-makers concerned with assessing and comparing European geological risk, much as the Urban Atlas data is used to compare the landcover/use status of European towns. Products will be made by integrating: a) interpreted InSAR terrain-motion data (derived from existing projects, e.g. ESA GSE Terrafirma plus new processing), b) geological information, and c) the landcover and landuse data contained within the Urban Atlas. The integration and interpretation, plus a validation of key features observed, will be made by the corresponding national Geological Survey for the towns concerned. It is planned to deliver the service for two Urban Atlas towns in each country of the EU (Luxembourg and Cyprus only 1), equalling fifty-two towns in total. The geological survey concerned will choose the towns for processing from the Urban Atlas list using their own knowledge as to where the information will be of most use, probably the largest towns, which, when extrapolated, would equal (13% of total EU urban population). User input to design will be facilitated by the Surveys contracted into the project and initiation of Local Authority Feedback Group. Terrafirma has shown the potential for the self-sustainability of services providing InSAR-derived terrain-motion data, as 30% of users have gone on to procure further product on a commercial basis. In PanGeo, it is anticipated that, by adding considerably more value as described above, and promoting the clear benefits of such key environmental information, that the local authorities of neighbouring towns will begin to demand similar.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: LCE-26-2016 | Award Amount: 31.30M | Year: 2017

The GeoERA proposal is put forward by the national and regional Geological Survey Organisations (GSO) of Europe. Its overall goal is to integrate the GSOs information and knowledge on subsurface energy, water and raw material resources, to support sustainable use of the subsurface in addressing Europes grand challenges. The GeoERA consortium will organise and co-fund together with the EC a joint call for transnational research projects that address the development of 1) interoperable, pan-European data and information services on the distribution of geo-energy, groundwater and raw material resources; 2) common assessment frameworks and methodologies supporting better understanding and management of the water-energy-raw materials nexus and potential impacts and risks of subsurface use; 3) knowledge and services aimed at European, national and regional policy makers, industry and other stakeholders to support a more integrated and efficient management and more responsible and publicly accepted exploitation and use of the subsurface. The transnational projects selected in the call will be implemented by the consortium partners themselves, who provide their co-funding in-kind. GeoERA will contribute to the overall EU objective of building the ERA through enhanced cooperation and coordination of national and regional Geological Survey research programmes. GeoERA will also include forward looking activities, including the creation of opportunities for future collaborative research, and the feasibility assessment of an Article 185 initiative in Applied Geoscience as follow-up to the GeoERA ERA-NET towards the development of the ultimate goal of delivering a Geological Service for Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENERGY.2010.5.2-2 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2010

The EU has made significant progress in CCS as a bridging technology for combating climate change, but this must now accelerate and be spread evenly throughout EU Member States and Associated Countries. In this context, CO2GeoNet, CO2NET EAST and ENeRG are joining forces, pooling their expertise and building on their Networking experience to form CGS Europe, a unique concerted European reference point on CO2 storage. The objective of CGS Europe is to build a credible, independent and representative pan-European scientific body of expertise on CO2 geological storage that will: (i) create a durable networking of research capacity on CO2 storage in Europe, (ii) liaise and coordinate its activities with other stakeholders, including the ZEP Technology Platform, (iii) facilitate the large-scale demonstration and industrial deployment of CCS, (iv) support the implementation of the EU Directive on the geological storage of CO2 and other regulatory regimes. This will be achieved by: (i) setting up coordination and integration mechanisms between the CO2GeoNet Association and the 23 other participants, thus covering most of Europe with 24 EU Member States and 4 Associated Countries, (ii) setting up links and cooperation with other initiatives at national, European and international levels, (iii) preparing a framework enabling the consortium to be independent from EC funding after the end of the project. CGS Europe will strive to compile and structure the existing research results, policy and regulations in a centralised knowledge repository to enable stakeholders to easily find pertinent information. Knowledge development will be ensured by the sharing of good practices, the assessment of research needs and the fostering of new research projects. A major effort will be dedicated to knowledge dissemination and capacity building, aiming at giving impartial and understandable information to the different stakeholders, according to their specific needs in each country.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: NMP.2013.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 2.78M | Year: 2013

The Minerals4EU project is designed to meet the recommendations of the Raw Materials Initiative and will develop an EU Mineral intelligence network structure delivering a web portal, a European Minerals Yearbook and foresight studies. The network will provide data, information and knowledge on mineral resources around Europe, based on an accepted business model, making a fundamental contribution to the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials (EIP RM), seen by the Competitiveness Council as key for the successful implementation of the major EU2020 policies.The Minerals4EU project will firstly establish the EU minerals intelligence network structure, comprising European minerals data providers and stakeholders, and transform this into a sustainable operational service. Minerals4EU will therefore contribute to and support decision making on the policy and adaptation strategies of the Commission, as well as supporting the security of EU resource and raw materials supply, by developing a network structure with mineral information data and products, based on authoritative of information sources.The Minerals4EU project is built around an INSPIRE compatible infrastructure that enables EU geological surveys and other partners to share mineral information and knowledge, and stakeholders to find, view and acquire standardized and harmonized georesource and related data. The target of the Minerals4EU project is to integrate the best available mineral expertise and information based on the knowledge base of member geological surveys and other relevant stakeholders, in support of public policy-making, industry, society, communication and education purposes at European and international levels. The Minerals4EU consortium possesses the skills and resources to make this the leading European mineral information network structure that will provide tools and expertise to enhance resource efficiency, minerals supply security and support sustainable mineral development for Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.3.3.1. | Award Amount: 8.77M | Year: 2009

SafeLand will develop generic quantitative risk assessment and management tools and strategies for landslides at local, regional, European and societal scales and establish the baseline for the risk associated with landslides in Europe, to improve our ability to forecast landslide hazard and detect hazard and risk zones. The scientific work packages in SafeLand are organised in five Areas: Area 1 focuses on improving the knowledge on triggering mechanisms, processes and thresholds, including climate-related and anthropogenic triggers, and on run-out models in landslide hazard assessment; Area 2 does an harmonisation of quantitative risk assessment methodologies for different spatial scales, looking into uncertainties, vulnerability, landslide susceptibility, landslide frequency, and identifying hotspots in Europe with higher landslide hazard and risk; Area 3 focuses on future climate change scenarios and changes in demography and infrastructure, resulting in the evolution of hazard and risk in Europe at selected hotspots; Area 4 addresses the technical and practical issues related to monitoring and early warning for landslides, and identifies the best technologies available both in the context of hazard assessment and in the context of design of early warning systems; Area 5 provides a toolbox of risk mitigation strategies and guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategy. Maintaining the database of case studies, dissemination of the project results, and project management and coordination are defined in work packages 6, 7 and 8.

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