Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Past climate change and glaciation at the Alps-Dinarides junction

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.06  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Regional geology 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
glaciers, climate change, numerical modelling, Alps, Dinarides, Last Glacial Cycle
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on April 1, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  146  1,679  1,305  8.94 
Scopus  215  2,444  1,844  8.58 
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29607  PhD Jure Atanackov  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  215 
2.  16309  PhD Miloš Bavec  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  409 
3.  26454  PhD Matjaž Depolli  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  95 
4.  33362  PhD Petra Gostinčar  Geography  Researcher  2022 - 2023  96 
5.  34379  PhD Kristina Ivančič  Geology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  52 
6.  32050  PhD Petra Jamšek Rupnik  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  180 
7.  52909  Mitja Jančič  Computer science and informatics  Technician  2022 - 2023  16 
8.  28457  PhD Jernej Jež  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  353 
9.  28366  PhD Gregor Kosec  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2020 - 2023  148 
10.  38184  PhD Eva Mencin Gale  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  41 
11.  27941  PhD Uroš Stepišnik  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  280 
12.  38099  PhD Manja Žebre  Geology  Principal Researcher  2020 - 2023  93 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  85,457 
2.  0215  Geological Survey of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051410000  10,363 
3.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  94,582 
Former mountain glaciers are important analogues for understanding contemporary ice masses and their future interactions with climate. Formerly glaciated mountain landscapes are also important archives for the study of climate change during the Quaternary. The European Alps are one of the regions where geological markers of past glaciations are most abundant and well-studied. The same is, however, not true for the south-eastern corner of the Alps and neighbouring northern Dinarides, despite the fact that here the glacial history has been studied since the late nineteenth century. Several discrepancies exist among palaeoglaciological maps generated by different authors. There are also large disagreements between these empirical reconstructions and numerically modelled simulations, which predict excessive ice cover over the entire south-eastern Alps. In this project, we will improve our understanding of past climate-glacier dynamics at the Alps-Dinarides junction by combining field and model-based approaches. In particular, we will explore the spatio-temporal patterns of glacier fluctuations during the Last Glacial Cycle, the influence of different bed geology on subglacial conditions and glacier dynamics, and the past climate conditions driving the growth and recession of glaciers. In Work Package 1, we will produce a palaeoglaciological map of glacier extensions for key time slices, which will rely on critically assessed geomorphological and geological information and new geochronological data from ice margin locations. All glacial data will be stored in an open access GIS database. In Work Package 2, we will use the open-source Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) to simulate glacier dynamics through the Last Glacial Cycle over the south-eastern Alps and northern Dinarides. Representative regional climate data will be used as an input to the model, whereas the chronologically well-constrained Tagliamento end moraine system in northeast Italy will be used as a benchmark area to test the model for palaeoclimate forcing. In addition, we will develop a new package to the existing model that will allow us to explore the influence of rock permeability on subglacial hydrology and glacier basal motion. This part of the study draws on new empirical results from glaciers demonstrating that vertical karstic outflow below the ice can effectively remove the seasonal speed variation of glaciers resting on well-karstified carbonate rock. The latter is the prevailing bedrock type over the modelled domain. In Work Package 3, we will quantify the degree of fit between empirical and numerical reconstructions of glaciers to find the optimum model simulation. Finally, we will infer past climate conditions both from the best-fit simulation and from independently reconstructed gridded equilibrium line altitudes. Overall, this project will deliver new findings about how Pleistocene and Holocene glaciers shaped the landscape and how they reacted to past climate variability. The results have potential implications for studies of present-day and future response of glaciers to global environmental change.
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