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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Record of environmental change and human impact in Holocene sediments, Gulf of Trieste

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.08  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Environmental geology 

Code Science Field
P450  Natural sciences and mathematics  Stratigraphy 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Keywords
Holocene, Gulf of Trieste, environment, sediments
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (26)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  15249  PhD Barbara Čenčur Curk  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  513 
2.  13407  PhD Branko Čermelj  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  186 
3.  21372  PhD Matej Dolenec  Geology  Head  2019 - 2023  478 
4.  05249  PhD Jadran Faganeli  Control and care of the environment  Retired researcher  2019 - 2023  580 
5.  51329  David Gerčar  Geology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2022  31 
6.  11229  PhD Uroš Herlec  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  355 
7.  20407  Ema Hrovatin    Technical associate  2019 - 2023 
8.  18607  PhD Simona Jarc  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  75 
9.  21543  PhD Tjaša Kanduč  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  490 
10.  11600  PhD Nives Kovač  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  290 
11.  10807  PhD Sonja Lojen  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  516 
12.  51116  Primož Miklavc    Technical associate  2019 - 2023  16 
13.  38136  PhD Ana Novak  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  112 
14.  51975  PhD Andrej Novak  Geology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  61 
15.  22355  PhD Sašo Poglajen  Archaeology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  103 
16.  23971  PhD Tomislav Popit  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  205 
17.  26552  PhD Nastja Rogan Šmuc  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  176 
18.  23426  PhD Boštjan Rožič  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  379 
19.  20249  PhD Andrej Šmuc  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  409 
20.  39235  PhD Aleš Šoster  Geology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020  81 
21.  17146  Miran Udovč    Technical associate  2019 - 2023  108 
22.  24253  PhD Timotej Verbovšek  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  376 
23.  15900  PhD Marko Vrabec  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  324 
24.  22449  PhD Mirijam Vrabec  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  178 
25.  18290  PhD Polona Vreča  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  702 
26.  29632  PhD Petra Žvab Rožič  Geology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  385 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,933 
2.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,454 
3.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,855 
4.  3891  SIRIO, podjetje za navtiko, ribištvo in trgovino, d.o.o., Koper - izbrisana, dodana za namen oddaje PRU (Slovene)  Koper  5655170 
Abstract
The goal of the proposed project is a multidisciplinary research of the Holocene marine sediments in the Slovenian part the Gulf of Trieste, which represent a record of climatic, environmental and anthropogenic influences for the last 10,000 years. With a high resolution, acoustic recording and profiling we will gain highly accurate relief of the seabed and determine the deep structure of the Holocene sediments on the seabed. From geophysical data, we will reconstruct spatial geometry and stratigraphic structure of sedimentary bodies and interpret data in terms of the interaction between marine sedimentation, yield of terrigenous material and erosion in the underwater environment. We will determine the optimum locations for drilling in sediments and there with piston corer withdraw two leading cores of the entire column of Holocene sediments: one in the area with a dominant terrigenous influx and one in the area of dominant marine sedimentation. These samples will be supplemented with several shallow core drillings (up to 3 m) with gravity corer, with which we will acquire samples from the period of anthropogenic activity in the last few thousand years. All cores obtained will be analyzed by a multidisciplinary range of research methods, which will include a high-resolution description of sedimentological characteristics, grain size analysis, XRD and XRF investigation, analysis of clay minerals, analyze of trace and toxic content of elements by ICP-MS, analysis of the isotopic composition of nitrogen and carbon, and absolute dating by radiocarbon method. With the help of geophysical recording we will determine the locations of leaching fluids from the sedimentary column on the seabed, measure the physical and chemical parameters of fluids and take fluid samples and accompanying mineral forms which occur in places of overflowing fluids and analyze them with isotopic and geochemical analysis. We will analyze water with geochemical (major and trace elements) and isotopic (δ13CDIC, δ18O, δD and δ3H) methods for determining the composition and age of the water and the processes taking place in the aquatic environment (water-rock interaction). Geological and hydrogeological we will map the hinterland area to identify geological, soil and hydrological characteristics of the source area of sediments. Based on data and analyzes we will interpret the formation of sedimentary bodies and define the main processes in their formation. Based on the interpretation of changes in sedimentation and event stratigraphy we will identify Holocene events and identify pull factor in the in the Gulf of Trieste and its hinterland. With interpretation of the mineralogical, geochemical and physical analysis we will identified bioproduction and sources of organic matter in sediments, determined natural background and dynamics of influx of chemical elements. Based on absolute dating in sedimentary column we will specify time, identify and determine the speed of the identified environmental and climate changes.
Significance for science
Our proposed study area, the Gulf of Trieste, is a unique natural laboratory on a global scale for studying short-term and long-term processes of environmental change and anthropogenic influences during the Late Glacial – Holocene period: 1) long-term tectonic subsidence of the Gulf combined with Holocene eustatic sea-level rise facilitated excellent preservation of the complete Holocene sedimentary record.   2) The eastern Adriatic served as a Late Glacial refugium for humans, plants and animals. Our study area, positioned at the Adriatic-Alpine junction, is therefore uniquely positioned to record Holocene migration of biota and human populations to the Central Europe and the influence of these migrations on the environment. 3) Well-documented history of post-1000 B.C. evolution of human settlement and economic development in the immediate hinterland of the Gulf of Trieste will provide excellent control for interpreting indicators of anthropogenic influence in the marine sedimentary record. 4) The continental hinterland of our study area, which provided the terrigeneous input is small in extent and is homogeneous in terms of geological composition, vegetational cover and land use. Therefore, the connections between natural and anthropogenic processes on land and their record in marine sediments are expected to be relatively straightforward. 5) Exceptional amount of geophysical profiles available to the project team will provide full 3D understanding of stratigraphic architecture of the seafloor, which will facilitate optimal selection of sampling sites and interpreting the evolution of the area in unprecedented resolution both in time and space. The project is designed to address numerous outstanding questions and to provide new insights regarding the mechanisms and processes involved in the Holocene transgression, the environmental changes at the Late Glacial – Holocene transition, the human presence and anthropogenic impact in the Northern Adriatic, and the present-day sedimentological processes in the shallow marine environment. We will gain crucial understanding the of the dynamics of ongoing environmental developments, especially by discerning between the contributions of long-term natural processes and short-term impacts of human society. Our study will also help to predict and mitigate the effects of future environmental changes that will impact the region in the coming centuries. Moreover, the proposed project will be the first systematic study of the record of environmental change in the region. Unraveling the short-term and long-term history of the Holocene environmental change in the Gulf od Trieste its hinterland will contribute important new information about climatic fluctuations and perturbations, earthquake history, and advancement of human impact on the environment. The project will also provide a large amount of input parameters for further regional studies of direct societal importance, e.g. for modeling of climate change.
Significance for the country
Our proposed study area, the Gulf of Trieste, is a unique natural laboratory on a global scale for studying short-term and long-term processes of environmental change and anthropogenic influences during the Late Glacial – Holocene period: 1) long-term tectonic subsidence of the Gulf combined with Holocene eustatic sea-level rise facilitated excellent preservation of the complete Holocene sedimentary record.   2) The eastern Adriatic served as a Late Glacial refugium for humans, plants and animals. Our study area, positioned at the Adriatic-Alpine junction, is therefore uniquely positioned to record Holocene migration of biota and human populations to the Central Europe and the influence of these migrations on the environment. 3) Well-documented history of post-1000 B.C. evolution of human settlement and economic development in the immediate hinterland of the Gulf of Trieste will provide excellent control for interpreting indicators of anthropogenic influence in the marine sedimentary record. 4) The continental hinterland of our study area, which provided the terrigeneous input is small in extent and is homogeneous in terms of geological composition, vegetational cover and land use. Therefore, the connections between natural and anthropogenic processes on land and their record in marine sediments are expected to be relatively straightforward. 5) Exceptional amount of geophysical profiles available to the project team will provide full 3D understanding of stratigraphic architecture of the seafloor, which will facilitate optimal selection of sampling sites and interpreting the evolution of the area in unprecedented resolution both in time and space. The project is designed to address numerous outstanding questions and to provide new insights regarding the mechanisms and processes involved in the Holocene transgression, the environmental changes at the Late Glacial – Holocene transition, the human presence and anthropogenic impact in the Northern Adriatic, and the present-day sedimentological processes in the shallow marine environment. We will gain crucial understanding the of the dynamics of ongoing environmental developments, especially by discerning between the contributions of long-term natural processes and short-term impacts of human society. Our study will also help to predict and mitigate the effects of future environmental changes that will impact the region in the coming centuries. Moreover, the proposed project will be the first systematic study of the record of environmental change in the region. Unraveling the short-term and long-term history of the Holocene environmental change in the Gulf od Trieste its hinterland will contribute important new information about climatic fluctuations and perturbations, earthquake history, and advancement of human impact on the environment. The project will also provide a large amount of input parameters for further regional studies of direct societal importance, e.g. for modeling of climate change.
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