Geomorphological peculiarities of AEOLianite KARST and their palaeoclimatic significancefundamental research project
Project Executive on ZRCDr. Matej Lipar
Geomorfološke posebnosti krasa na eolskih kalkarenitih in njihova pomembnost za preučevanje paleoklime
Collaboratorsdr. Mateja Ferk, Dr. Matej Lipar
Durationsince 01. september 2020 to 31. august 2022
Matej Lipar, Ph.D.
Financial SourceSlovenian Research Agency
Over the past million years, Earth’s climate has oscillated between glacial and interglacial periods, marked by either colder or warmer temperatures. The present interglacial period will inevitably transition into a new glacial period. This change will be superimposed on the current trend of global warming; how these two opposite trends will interact is unclear. Climatic changes influence the landscape, and knowing the landscape response helps humanity to find solutions to adapt to or prevent the environmental changes. In terms to provide new robust interpretations of palaeoclimate development and subsequent landscape response, it is necessary to gain direct insights into each glacial/interglacial and the transitional period.
Aeolianites (cemented carbonate dunes) are a valuable tool to improve our understanding of climate-landscape interactions. This is because the combination of aeolianites’ stratigraphic sequence and post-depositional landscape modification (cementation, dissolution, karst formation) in Quaternary provide a reliable, undisturbed and interconnected timeline of past environmental changes and mirror the direct landscape response during interglacial-glacial climatic cycles.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the role of aeolianites in combination with karst geomorphology as a reliable palaeoenvironmental archives by elucidating current scientific gaps. This includes (1) defining of the large overall distribution and timing of aeolianite deposition in the Mediterranean setting with perspective of present environment that is not favourable of large dune deposition in general; (2) constraining the time-growth of one of the most apparent karst features in aeolianites – solution pipes; and (3) comparing karst development in aeolianites of different percentage of insoluble grains.
The research will fill an important gap in understanding how aeolianites indicate landscape response to major climate changes across different timescales.