Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Novel proxies of the Holocene climate variability in stalagmites in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.04  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Geochemistry 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
climate change, paleoclimate, stable isotopes, precipitation, stalagmite
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 20, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  680  12,220  9,839  14.47 
Scopus  810  14,580  11,637  14.37 
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  33273  PhD Mateja Ferk  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2024  194 
2.  13179  PhD Mauro Hrvatin  Humanities  Researcher  2021 - 2024  363 
3.  21543  PhD Tjaša Kanduč  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  486 
4.  21464  PhD Blaž Komac  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2024  633 
5.  50215  PhD Matej Lipar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2024  161 
6.  10807  PhD Sonja Lojen  Geology  Head  2020 - 2024  512 
7.  52052  PhD Katarina Marković  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  40 
8.  12314  PhD Primož Pelicon  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2024  582 
9.  50508  PhD Leja Rovan  Energy engineering  Researcher  2020 - 2024  43 
10.  18359  PhD Janez Ščančar  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2020 - 2024  673 
11.  28486  PhD Marko Štrok  Energy engineering  Researcher  2020 - 2024  358 
12.  38267  PhD Jure Tičar  Geography  Researcher  2021 - 2024  220 
13.  18290  PhD Polona Vreča  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  692 
14.  22245  PhD Matija Zorn  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2024  1,226 
15.  25667  PhD Tea Zuliani  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2020 - 2024  310 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  89,948 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,715 
While models of global climate change focus mostly on climate itself, the solution to the humanity to adapt or prevent its consequences requires knowledge on how the landscape will respond when cooling or warming events occur. In light of predicted modern raise of global temperature, in particular at times when the climate seems to be close to the tipping point, the interdisciplinary analysis of paleoclimate and its environmental implications is as pertinent as ever. This applies not only for the prediction of the climate development in the future, but also on predicted change of local environments, ecology and, last but not least, human civilization. In the absence of instrumental or historic written records from the past, natural archives and contained proxies are used to reconstruct not only the temperature in the past, but also general environmental features, such as amount and distribution of precipitation and vegetation cover. Given the abundance and distribution of karst caves, the use of stalagmites for reconstruction of climate conditions in Slovenia seems to be obvious. Namely, because of virtually stable temperature and atmospheric conditions in caves, stalagmites shall provide an undisturbed and interconnected timeline of past environmental change. Records of contained climate proxies (?18O, ?13C, mineral and elemental composition, and thickness of laminae which respond to the ambient temperature, amount, chemical and isotopic composition of drip water, precipitation rate etc.) allow to predict how the climate, landscape and ecosystems change with time. The aim of the proposed study is to elucidate the climate and environmental conditions in Slovenian territory during Holocene, focusing on the 8.2, 4.2 and 2.8 ky events, which are poorly or not at all documented in this region. Isotopic and geochemical records in two stalagmites from southern Slovenia will be analysed using advanced analytical techniques for high resolution profiling. Advanced methods based on laser ablation coupled to the multicollector ICP-mass spectrometry or SIMS will be used for U/Th dating and Sr isotope analysis, while elemental profiling will be performed using LA-ICP-MS and microPIXE methods. Stable isotopes of C and O will be analysed using micromilling and isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Complementary to the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios, the ?88Sr will be used as a novel proxy for the prior calcite precipitation in the aquifer, which will be the main analytical challenge of the project and will have strong implications for the credibility of the interpretation of speleothem ?13C and elemental records. Analyses will be performed in collaboration with partner research institutions from Australia, Germany and France. The obtained records will be compared to existing paleoclimate profiles derived from stalagmites and other archives and proxies (aquatic sediments, peat) in the region and will provide information on how the environment in southern part of Slovenia reacted to climate change in periods of cyclic and rapid temperature fluctuations in Holocene (e.g. 8.2 ky event), events around the beginning of Meghalayan age (around 4.2 ky ago) and later until the beginning of the Common Era. Since unequivocal relationships of speleothem instrumental records with paleoclimate parameters have only rarely been attained, ample attention will be paid to the analysis of temporal trends in distribution and isotopic composition of local precipitation and drip water at both sites. So we will determine how the ?18O signal of precipitation is modulated by karst processes from infiltrated rain to the speleothem and how the temperature (?18O) and environmental (?13C, microstructure, detrital fraction) proxies relate to the external climate parameters, and whether the ?18O of speleothem is truly recording the ambient temperature variation and how it reflects the precipitation amount, which would be important to trace dry periods (e.g. 4.2 ky and 2.8 ky events).
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