Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Location: Wiwi 104a
Date: Monday, 04/Sept/2023
8:30am - 10:00am3.11-1 Triassic Revolution
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Emma Dunne, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
8:30am - 8:45am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

Prevailing deteriorated palaeoenvironments related to the hyperthermal Permian-Triassic mass extinction

Zhicai Zhu1,2,3, Yongqing Liu2, Hongwei Kuang2, Alex J. Farnsworth1, Andrew J. Newell4, Michael J. Benton1

1School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK; 2Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China; 3State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China; 4British Geological Survey, Maclean Building, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK

The Permian-Triassic mass extinction, one of the most severe biotic crises in Earth's history, has been attributed to sharp heating (nearly 15°C in low-latitude areas) initially triggered by massive volcanic eruptions of the Siberian Traps in the latest Permian. Drastic environmental changes have been identified worldwide, both in the sea and on land. However, the connections of global palaeoclimate changes, particularly their detection in complex terrestrial systems, remain debatable. Here, based on sedimentological and geochemical data and state-of-the-art modelling from North China, we emphasise the drastically deteriorated palaeoenvironments (e.g. unstable, drought and intermittent heavy precipitation) under a regime of sharp heating, mass wasting and acid rain on land may be significant causes of the mass killing events near the end-Permian and the subsequent Early Triassic long-lasting stressed terrestrial palaeoclimate that delayed the recovery of life. Understanding the Permian-Triassic hyperthermal crisis may also provide critical insight into similar events of different magnitudes in Earth's history, and could inform our near future, in the context of anthropogenic warming and our rapidly changing planet.

8:45am - 9:00am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

From the field to the synchrotron, investigating the early Triassic recovery fauna from Driefontein, South Africa

Kathleen Nina Dollman1, Chandele Montogomery2, Andy Heckert3, Vincent Fernandez1, John Hancox2

1European Synchrotron and Radiation Facility, France; 2Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; 3Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University

The Karoo Supergroup of South Africa contains extremely rich palaeontological record, including evidence of the largest mass extinction in history, the end-Permian extinction (±251.9 Ma). The recovery of terrestrial ecosystems from this mass extinction is an active area of research and one of South Africa’s most important contributions to the field of palaeontology. The farm Driefontein 11 in the Free State Province preserves an Early Triassic (upper Olenekian) fossil lagerstattë in the Burgersdorp Formation of the Karoo’s Beaufort Group . Driefontein yields tens of thousands of body and trace fossils. These fossils range in size from sub-mm scale teeth and invertebrates to bones of large temnospondyls and archosauromorphs. Despite the importance of these fossils, the fauna of Driefontein remains incompletely known – reflecting the sheer numbers of specimens (+- 30 000 coprolites alone) as well as the fragmentary and/or fragile nature and microscopic size of many of the remains. Here, we use a multiresolution (42µm to 1.14µm) approach with propagation phase contrast X-ray synchrotron micro computed tomography on the newly installed beamline, BM18, at the European Synchrotron and Radiation Facility, to investigate all trophic levels of Driefontein. We use this large dataset of high-resolution scans to investigate various aspects of organismal biology, including growth history, functional morphology, and comparative anatomy. This study contributes to our knowledge of the recovery of terrestrial ecosystems after the largest mass extinction in history, the end-Permian extinction, and highlights the importance of Driefontein 11 as a site for future research in the field of palaeontology

9:00am - 9:15am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution


Rainer R Schoch, Hans-Dieter Sues

Staatlichse Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany

Following the end-Permian biotic crisis, reptiles rapidly diversified and dispersed across the globe at the beginning of the Triassic Period. Non-mammalian synapsids became much less abundant and had massive losses in diversity during the end-Permian event. To date, the fossil record of continental tetrapods has largely been restricted to the Karoo of South Africa and European Russia. In the Central European Basin, Early and early Middle Triassic continental red beds are collectively referred to as the Buntsandstein Group. Whereas the strata of the Lower Buntsandstein are largely unfossiliferous, those of the Middle and Upper Buntsandstein have yielded many tracks and trackways representing a great diversity of tetrapods and occasionally skeletal remains of tetrapods. Temnospondyl stem-amphibians were common with a variety of ecomorphs. A sandstone quarry at Rotfelden in the Black Forest region (Germany) exposed a 6-to-8-m-thick section within the top of the Röt 4 Subformation. Tetrapod remains have been recovered from several horizons in this section. Previously, Amotosaurus rotfeldensis, a tanystropheid archosauromorph and the temnospondyl Eocyclotosaurus lehmani have been reported from this locality. New discoveries include a new Euparkeria-grade archosauriform and a rhynchosaur. The latter is documented by a group of three juvenile skeletons. The absence of unambiguous records of non-mammalian synapsids in the Buntsandstein is possibly related to environmental factors. The growing number of tetrapod taxa from the Buntsandstein suggests that assemblages of continental tetrapods had already recovered to a considerable extent 6-7 million years after the end-Permian extinction.

9:15am - 9:30am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

In a while it will be a crocodile: the early evolution of Crocodylomorpha in Europe

Stephan N.F. Spiekman

Naturkunde Museum Stuttgart, Germany

Crocodylomorpha, the crocodylian stem-lineage, is the only pseudosuchian clade that survived into the Jurassic. Its earliest members, the non-crocodyliform crocodylomorphs or ‘sphenosuchians’, were terrestrial and mostly small-bodied (<2 m long). A redescription of both known European ‘sphenosuchian’ taxa is provided, Terrestrisuchus gracilis from the Late Triassic (Norian-Rhaetian?) of southern Wales, and Saltoposuchus connectens from the Norian of southwestern Germany. Terrestrisuchus and Saltoposuchus can clearly be distinguished based on many character states, contrary to some previous hypotheses. A new phylogenetic analysis finds that both taxa form a clade of gracile, long-legged crocodylomorphs, identified as Saltoposuchidae, together with Litargosuchus leptorhynchus. Analysis of a µCT-scan provides a virtually complete threedimensional reconstruction of the Terrestrisuchus braincase. The quadrate only forms a small, unfused contact with the prootic, contrary to later crocodylomorphs in which the braincase is heavily fused to surrounding cranial elements. The posterior skull region is extensively pneumatised by, among others, large pre- and postcarotid recesses on the parabasisphenoid and a large pneumatic cavity within the articular of the mandible, revealing extensive braincase pneumatisation occurred early within Crocodylomorpha. Terrestrisuchus preserves an ossified basihyal and scleral ring, the latter representing the first occurrence among non-bird-line archosaurs. Based on phylogenetic flexible discriminant analysis (pFDA) of the relative dimensions of the sclerotic ring and orbit, Terrestrisuchus was likely active in a range of light levels. Histological long bone sections of both Terrestrisuchus and Saltoposuchus reveal highly vascularized fibrolamellar tissue, indicating sustained high growth rates and thus high resting metabolic rates and active lifestyles for saltoposuchids.

9:30am - 9:45am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

A new pachypleurosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of southwestern China and its phylogenetic and biogeographic implications

Yi-Wei Hu1, Qiang Li1,2, Jun Liu1

1School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China; 2Institute of Geosciences, University of Bonn, Bonn 53115, Germany

After the devastating Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction, several new groups of large predators invaded the sea in the early part of the Triassic, including sauropterygians, ichthyosauromorphs and thalattosaurs. Among these predators, sauropterygians are the most abundant group in terms of the generic/species diversity. Here we report a new species of Pachypleurosauria (Sauropterygia: Eosauropterygia) from a recently discovered Lagerstätten in the Upper Member of Anisian Guanling Formation. The only known specimen of the new species was collected from Muta village, Luxi County, Yunnan Province, South China. Our new phylogenetic analysis based on a novel data matrix recovered the new taxon as a sister group to Dianmeisaurus. The new phylogenetic analysis also collapsed the monophyly of traditionally recgonized Eusauropterygia. Pistosauridea, Majiashanosaurus, and Hanosaurus comprise the consecutive sister groups to a new clade including Pachypleurosauria and Nothosauroidea. A monophyletic Pachypleurosauria, of which the clade consisting of Dianmeisaurus and Panzhousaurus occupy the basal-most position, is recovered by this study. The clade consisting of Dawazisaurus and Dianopachysaurus forms the sister group to remaining pachypleurosaurs included in this study. Since Dianmeisaurus, Panzhousaurus, Dawazisaurus and Dianopachysaurus are all exclusively known from South China, we suggest that pachypleurosaurs had a paleobiogeographic origin in the eastern Tethys.

9:45am - 10:00am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

The Triassic Revolution on land

Michael J. Benton

University of Bristol, United Kingdom

The evolution of terrestrial life was as profoundly affected by the end-Permian mass extinction as life in the sea. The recovery of life in the Triassic represented much more than simply a return to pre-extinction conditions, but in fact an entirely new world was ushered in. The generalized replacement of synapsids by archosauromorph reptiles had long been recognized, together with the rise of the dinosaurs to ecological dominance and origins of many modern groups including lissamphibians, turtles, lizards, crocodilomorphs, and mammals. In addition, all the new larger tetrapods had switched from a sprawling posture before the crisis to an erect posture and parasagittal gait afterwards, and this hints at higher activity levels. This is confirmed by the more recent discovery that many of the Triassic archosauromorphs had indicators of endothermy (warm-bloodedness) in their bone histology, and that these Triassic tetrapods also had insulating dermal structures: hair in synapsids and feathers in dinosaurs, pterosaurs and their ancestors. All these indications of endothermy are debated and yet to be confirmed by further study, but they suggest an overall increase of energy in ecosystems, a general speeding up of life as competition and predation increased. Also, it means that these tetrapods were consuming more energy than their Permian forebears. In many ways, these discoveries suggest a macroevolutionary model equivalent to the Mesozoic Marine Revolution, in which Mesozoic marine life was more active and more meaty than much if Palaeozoic marine life.

3:30pm - 5:00pm3.11-2 Triassic Revolution
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Michael J. Benton, University of Bristol
3:30pm - 3:45pm
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

New insights into the Dinocephalosauridae, a recently recognised clade of Triassic marine archosauromorphs, including the identification of its first European member

Stephan N.F. Spiekman

Naturkunde Museum Stuttgart, Germany

The diversification of marine reptiles played a major part in the Triassic Revolution and represented the first large-scale return of tetrapods to an aquatic environment. Recently, a new marine archosauromorph clade, Dinocephalosauridae, was recognised, considerably increasing the known diversity of Triassic marine reptiles, particularly among the generally terrestrial Archosauromorpha. Its best-known member, Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, superficially resembles plesiosaurs, possessing a hyperelongate neck composed of many cervical vertebrae, an elongate torso, and flipper-like limbs. The osteology of Dinocephalosaurus is virtually completely described based on newly discovered specimens. Up to six metres long, it is characterised by its long tail and even longer neck. The appendicular skeleton exhibits a high degree of skeletal paedomorphosis recalling that of many sauropterygians, but the skull and neck are completely inconsistent with sauropterygian affinities. Its cranial morphology, including the presence of narial fossae, is very similar to that seen in another long-necked archosauromorph, Tanystropheus hydroides, which largely represents a convergence related to an aquatic piscivorous lifestyle. Chinese discoveries such as Dinocephalosaurus merit a re-evaluation of historical European collections. Based on such a revision, we also redescribe Trachelosaurus fischeri, known from a single, disarticulated specimen collected in the 1800s from the Solling Formation (Buntsandstein) of Bernburg, Germany. It possesses short, bifurcating cervical ribs, which are unique among archosauromorphs. Trachelosaurus is confidently recognised as the first European dinocephalosaurid based on a wide range of character states, including its highly presacral vertebral count, wide dorsal transverse processes, holocephalous dorsal ribs, an ilium lacking a preacetabular process, and a rod-like femur.

3:45pm - 4:00pm
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution



Hefei University of Technology

Sauropterygia was a taxonomically and ecomorphologically diverse clade of Mesozoic marine reptiles spanning the Early Triassic to the Late Cretaceous. Sauropterygians are traditionally divided into two groups representing two markedly different body plans – the short-necked, durophagous Placodontia and the long-necked Eosauropterygia – whereas Saurosphargidae, a small clade of armoured marine reptiles, is considered as the sauropterygian sister-group. However, the early evolutionary history of sauropterygians and their phylogenetic relationships with other groups within Diapsida are still incompletely understood. Here, we report a new saurosphargid from the Early Triassic of South China, representing the earliest known occurrence of the clade. An updated phylogenetic analysis focussing on the interrelationships within diapsid reptiles recovers saurosphargids as nested within sauropterygians, forming a clade with eosauropterygians to the exclusion of placodonts. Furthermore, a clade comprising Eusaurosphargis and Palatodonta is recovered as the sauropterygian sister-group. The phylogenetic position of several Early and Middle Triassic sauropterygians of previously uncertain phylogenetic affinity, such as Atopodentatus, Hanosaurus, Majiashanosaurus and Corosaurus, is also clarified, elucidating the early evolutionary assembly of the sauropterygian body plan. Finally, our phylogenetic analysis recovers Testudinata and Archosauromorpha within Archelosauria, a result strongly supported by molecular data, but until now rarely recovered by any phylogenetic analysis using a morphology-only data set. Our study provides evidence for the rapid diversification of sauropterygians in the aftermath of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction event and emphasises the importance of broad taxonomic sampling in reconstructing phylogenetic relationships among extinct taxa.

4:15pm - 4:30pm
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

Puberty in a Mesozoic reptile

Qiang Li1,2, Jun Liu1,2, Nicole Klein2, Yasuhisa Nakajima3, P. Martin Sander1,2,4

1Division of Geology, School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, 230009 Hefei, China; 2Section Paleontology, Institute of Geosciences, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany; 3Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Tokyo City University, 1588557 Tokyo, Japan; 4The Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, 90007 CA, USA

The histology of bone can be preserved virtually unaltered for hundreds of millions of years in fossils from all environments and all vertebrate taxa, giving rise to the flourishing field of paleohistology. The shafts of long bones are formed by the apposition of periosteal bone tissue, similar to the growth of wood, and preserve (an often cyclical) record of the growth of the individual and events in its life history. One such event is sexual maturation or puberty, during which hormonal changes transform the juvenile into a sexually mature adult. Puberty has been well studied in humans and some other living vertebrates. Here we describe puberty in Keichousaurus, a small sexually dimorphic and live-bearing marine reptile from Middle Triassic rocks of SW China, about 240 million years old. Using a combination of bone histology and morphology, we detected puberty as one of four life stages (the others being foetus, juvenile, and adult). Adult Keichousaurus males have a more robust humerus than females with pronounced muscle attachment sites and a triangular shaft cross section. Mid-shaft sections of the humeri of the males show the transition from the rounded juvenile cross section to the triangular adult cross section, as reflected in the contour of the growth marks. This shape change is produced by differential bone apposition of the periosteum, presumably triggered by sex hormones, as in humans, and influenced by changes in loading regime during puberty. This is the first report of puberty in a fossil amniote.

4:30pm - 5:00pm
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

Novel insights into the end-Triassic extinction from contemporaneous southern African sedimentary basins

Kimberley Chapelle

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

The end-Triassic Extinction Event (ETE) lead to the demise of ~76% of species, as well as major biotic transitions in terrestrial vertebrate faunas. These include the shift from a mainly synapsid- and pseudosuchian-dominated ecosystem in the Triassic (e.g. dicynodont and cynodont therapsids) to dinosaur-dominated ecosystem in the Jurassic. Our understanding of this crucial time in Earth’s history is hindered by the lack of sedimentary deposits that record the Triassic–Jurassic boundary and bear informative vertebrate fossils across this interval. Several southern African basins are infilled by uninterrupted Carnian–Pliensbachian sediments. These include the Stormberg Group of the main Karoo Basin of southern Africa, as well as the Mid-Zambezi and Tuli basins of Zimbabwe. Surprisingly, the paucity of the current known fossil record recovered from these southern African deposits limits their use in understanding the ETE. This is in part because, to date, the Late Triassic vertebrates known to pertain from these units are much less abundant and diverse than those from the Early Jurassic units. Over the last decade, increased field work targeting these areas, combining excavations with high-resolution dating and biostratigraphy, has yielded multiple new fossil-bearing localities that add crucial new data to our understanding of ETE faunal change. Here, I present an overview of these novel sites. One notable location includes the late Norian quarries from near the village of Qhemegha in the Eastern Cape of South Africa which preserve a diversity of vertebrates such as: large-bodied late-branching pseudosuchians; large- and small-bodied sauropodomorphs and theropods; non-dinosaurian avemetatarsalians; and synapsids.


Date: Tuesday, 05/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15am3.11-3 Triassic Revolution
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Stephan N.F. Spiekman, Naturkunde Museum Stuttgart
10:00am - 10:15am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

The Carnian Pluvial Episode in Tethys Realm: Insights from multiproxy paleoclimate data

Mina Mazaheri-Johari1, Jacopo Dal Corso2, Guido Roghi3, Evelyn Kustatscher4,5, Tamsin Mather6, Piero Gianolla1

1Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via G. Saragat 1, Block B, Ferrara 44100, Italy; 2State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China; 3Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources - CNR, Via Gradenigo 6, Padova 35131, Italy; 4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Paleontology & Geobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 München, Germany; 5SNSB-Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 München, Germany; 6Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK

The Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE, 234–232 Ma) was a major climate change event in the Triassic. The CPE brought substantial changes in ecological community structure and the appearance of many key groups dominating modern marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Here we present an interdisciplinary study of Upper Triassic strata in the Tethys realm to reconstruct the vegetation history and infer environmental changes during the Carnian. Furthermore, we applied Mercury (Hg) concentrations and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) to unwrap the role of volcanic activity as a major driver of this episode of climate warming and environmental perturbations. Palynological and paleobotanical data collected from the Northern Tethys (Kope-Dagh basin, NE Iran) show a shift towards hygrophytic elements reflecting the expansion of wet habitats on the continent during the latest early Carnian to late Carnian. The sedimentological and palynological patterns and plant fossil assemblages in the Northern Tethys closely resemble those observed in Western Tethys during CPE. This record represents the only clear record of the CPE in the Iranian plateau. Our geochemical data from Carnian marine sedimentary sequences of the Western Tethys demonstrate discrete spikes in Hg/TOC ratios during the CPE. The results suggest a direct link between the CPE and repeated pulses of the Wrangellia submarine Large Igneous Province that could have played a major role in the evolution of biota and the environment at that time. However, despite progress in understanding the CPE, significant uncertainty remains in addressing how the volcanic eruptions influenced different ecosystems/biotic communities, which deserves further studies.

10:15am - 10:30am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

The Lower Keuper (Erfurt Formation, Middle Triassic) fossillagerstätten from SW Germany: flourishing tetrapod ecosystems

Eudald Mujal1,3, Raphael Moreno1,2, Rainer R. Schoch1,2

1Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany; 2Universität Hohenheim, Germany; 3Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Spain

Even if the knowledge of Triassic tetrapod communities and their role in terrestrial ecosystems has increased in the recent decades, the paucity of fossil sites from this time interval has hindered their complete understanding. In order to shed light on how the Triassic tetrapod communities were, evolved and interacted in their habitats, we are carrying out a series of multidisciplinary studies on the Ladinian Lower Keuper successions (Erfurt Formation) of southwestern Germany. These facies were deposited in a vast epicontinental platform of the Central European Basin, influenced by the Tethys Sea. The Lower Keuper in the study areas consists of a 20–25 m thick succession of alternating siliciclastic and carbonate deposits, mostly grey to green mudstones and marlstones, and yellowish to blueish dolostones, as well as occasional sandstones. The succession is divided in more discrete units, some of which forming exceptional fossillagerstätten with thousands of tetrapod remains recovered and tens of new tetrapod taxa (including basal members of different lineages) described to date. Sedimentological, taphonomic and palaeoecological data show that ecosystems were complex, with several levels within the trophic chain and including at least two top predators: a pseudosuchian archosaur and a giant capitosaur temnospondyl. Of note, fish diversity is particularly high, with at least 14 taxa so far known. The occurrence of the same vertebrate taxa, but in different proportions and from different ontogenetic stages throughout the stratigraphic succession and in different localities corresponding to slightly different environmental settings, indicates stability of the ecosystems.

10:30am - 10:45am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

Reappraisal of the environmental setting and taphonomy of the Trossingen Plateosaurus bonebeds

Joep Schaeffer1, Eudald Mujal1,2, Rainer R. Schoch1,3

1Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany; 2Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain; 3Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

The Norian Trossingen Plateosaurus bonebeds have piqued the interest of many researchers over the past 100 years. Several investigations took place in the 1910’s to 1930’s excavating over 80 skeletons, but was then left to rest until 2007. In 2007, 2008 and 2010 small excavations took place, resulting in one and a half skeleton of Plateosaurus trossingensis. The depositional environment of the site has had a controversial history with several theories, ranging from a sandy desert to a catastrophic mudflow, to a watering hole with a muddy bottom. In the summer of 2022 an exploratory investigation was performed at the Trossingen site to prepare for large scale excavation in 2023, which will incorporate stratigraphical, sedimentological and taphonomic investigations to further dive into the evolution of the environment and its relation to the fossil remains. Here we present the first results of both the 2022 and 2023 field campaigns with a revised depositional history. The preliminary investigations in 2022 already showed the section is not as homogenous as previously thought and uncovered several structures, most of which not previously recognised, such as: (1) several small channel–like deposits likely of fluvial origin and (2) a carbonate layer with a possible lacustrine origin in the lower beds, (3) large pedogenetic carbonate nodules in the middle beds, and (4) large mudcracks in the upper beds. All these features, together with preliminary taphonomic data from the bones, suggest a potential upwards aridification trend across the entire section.

10:45am - 11:00am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

A taxonomic Gordian Knot - the sauropodomorph diversity in the Germanic Basin during the Late Triassic

Omar Rafael Regalado Fernández

Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany

The sauropodomorph-bearing localities from the Norian-Rhaetian of Europe have been traditionally interpreted as monospecific, attributing the morphological disparity in Plateosaurus to intraspecific variability. The Norian and Rhaetian stages are currently not chronostratigraphically defined, making comparisons between the different deposition environments cumbersome. However, from the base of the Norian to the Rhaetian, the sizes of sauropodomorphs increase, with small to medium-sized sauropodomorphs found in the oldest layers of the Löwenstein Formation, to larger and more robust-sized sauropodomorphs from the Tübingen Sandstone (Rhaetian). This contribution presents the results of a basin analysis to reconstruct the environmental changes in the Germanic Basin during the Late Triassic, integrating stratigraphy, fossil record and structural geology. The results of this are that during the Carnian, the opening of Meliata, Pindos and Maliac Oceans in Western Pangaea created rift zones on the carbonate platforms. Towards the Norian, the sea-spreading ceased as these southern oceans started to close just before the new rifting of the Neothetys began. The complex fault systems generated an epicontinental sea that separated portions of Europe as an archipelago that fully developed when the Rhaetian Sea occupied the Germanic Basin. Independently, several iterations of specimen-level phylogenetics of sauropodomorphs found that the three specimens that have been traditionally referred to as Plateosaurus are placed at the base of a comb-like arrangement that includes robust forms, such as Schleitheimia and Tuebingosaurus—two sauropodomorphs that have been previously nested within sauropodiformes. The phylogenetic patterns in a comb-like arrangement suggest a combination of vicariance and migration in the archipelago.

11:00am - 11:15am
Topics: 3.11 Triassic Revolution

Climatic controls on the ecological ascendancy of dinosaurs

Emma Dunne1, Lisa Schnetz2, Alexander Farnsworth3, Richard Butler2, Roger Benson4, Pedro Godoy5, Sarah Greene2, Paul Valdes3, Daniel Lunt3

1Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany; 2University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 3University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; 4University of Oxford, UK; 5Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The rise of dinosaurs during the Late Triassic was a pivotal event in the history of life on Earth, which led to them becoming dominant members of terrestrial ecosystems throughout the remainder of the Mesozoic. However, the drivers of this geographic expansion and explosion in biodiversity have been poorly understood. Early studies have hypothesized that the extinction of co-occurring vertebrate groups such as aetosaurs, rauisuchians, and therapsids at the end-Triassic mass extinction, provided early dinosaurs with the opportunity to diversify into new niches. However, this pattern could instead be a response to climatic changes during this interval, especially given the increasing evidence that climate played a key role in constraining Triassic dinosaur distributions. Our work is the first to quantitatively explore the opportunistic expansion model by examining changes in dinosaur and tetrapod ‘‘climatic niche space’’ across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. We found that Late Triassic sauropodomorph dinosaurs occupied more restricted climatic niche spaces than other dinosaurs, and were excluded from the hottest climate zones at low latitudes. The geographic expansion of sauropodomorphs after the mass extinction is linked to the expansion of their preferred climatic conditions. Evolutionary model-fitting analyses provide evidence for an important evolutionary shift from cooler to warmer climatic niches during the origin of Sauropoda, the clade that later in the Mesozoic became the iconic long-necked forms. Together, our results provide support for the key role of climate in the ascendancy of dinosaurs.

2:00pm - 3:30pm1.27 Young Scientist Session
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Joshua Sawall
Session Chair: Moritz Lang
Session Chair: Iris Arndt, Goethe University Frankfurt
Session Chair: Fiene Matthies
2:00pm - 2:15pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

An ecological assessment of southern Alaska through observations of floristic change, fire regime and volcanism.

Sophie Carter McSherry, Dr Lauren Jade Davies, Dr Matthew Adesanya Adeleye

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Defining patterns of environmental or ecological change on different spatio-temporal scales is key to tracking and addressing present and future biodiversity changes, which is particularly important considering the rapidly changing climate scenarios. Climate change in the arctic means shrinking glaciers, drying out of peatland and carbon release, more frequent forest and peatland fires, and thawing permafrost. Alaska hosts some of the largest Boreal peatlands and forests; however, little is known about the fine-scale dynamics of these ecosystems particularly over the last millennia, which is key to making effective management decisions into the uncertain future. In this presentation, I will be presenting the results so far from an ongoing work that employs different lines of evidence (pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, charcoal, and tephra) from two peatland sites in southern Alaska to reveal interactions between vegetation, fire and climate in the area during the last millennia, as well as the potential influence of humans and volcanic eruptions on these interactions.

2:15pm - 2:30pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

Salts as proxies for water-soil interaction in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

Felix Leo Arens1, Alessandro Airo2, Jenny Feige2, Christof Sager2, Uwe Wiechert3, Dirk Schulze-Makuch1,4,5,6

1Astrobiology Research Group, Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany; 2Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, 10115 Berlin, Germany; 3Department of Geochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, 12249 Berlin, Germany; 4Section Geomicrobiology, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), 14473 Potsdam, Germany; 5Department of Experimental Limnology, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), 12587 Stechlin, Germany; 6School of the Environment, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA

The Atacama Desert is the oldest and driest non-polar desert on Earth, where salts have accumulated through atmospheric deposition over millions of years of hyperaridity. These salts can serve as an indicator to provide an understanding of the interaction between water and soil in changing environmental conditions. Therefore, four soil profiles were studied for their mineralogy, abundance of salts, and stable isotopic composition of sulfate. In all soil profiles, sulfates are the predominant salts showing a downward transition from gypsum to anhydrite accompanied by an increase in highly soluble salts and a decrease in δ34S and δ18O values of sulfate. These trends are consistent with downward water infiltration during rare rain events causing salt dissolution and subsequent precipitation in the deeper soil column. This conclusion is also supported by our Rayleigh fractionation model. The presence of anhydrite at >40 cm depth is attributed to their association with nitrate and chloride salts, which reduces water activity during sulfate precipitation and thus stimulates anhydrite formation. Along the elevation transect, the total salt inventories of the individual profiles show a tendency for nitrate and chloride concentrations to decrease with elevation. This observation, together with the stable isotopes of sulfate, suggests a fog-independent source and points to the remobilization of soluble salts by enhanced erosion of the hillslopes. These findings are essential for understanding pedogenetic processes and long-term regional habitability of hyperarid environments.

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

In-situ hydrolysis rate constants of ATP as a function of p-T-X, exploring the limits of life

Christoph Moeller1, Christian Schmidt2, Denis Testemale3, Franoçois Guyot4, Maria Kokh1,5, Max Wilke1

1Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Potsdam, Germany; 2Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ; 3Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Institut Néel; 4IMPMC Muséum National d'Histoire; 5Institut für Mineralogie, Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität,

In recent decades varies extremophiles were found deep in the lithosphere. Experimental studies showed that life is possible at 121 °C (Takai et al. 2008) and the gigapascal range (Sharma et al. 2002), which is beyond the p-T-range of the investigated lithosphere. Knowledge on the kinetic stability of vital molecular compounds, like ATP, can help us constraining the conditions possible for life.

All metabolism relies on the exergonic enzymatic hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). At elevated temperatures, the enhanced kinetics of the non-enzymatic hydrolysis counteracts the enzymatic driven reaction; hence, it will limit the bioavailability of ATP.

We used an autoclave and a hydrothermal diamond anvil cell attached to a Raman spectrometer for in-situ investigation of the p-T-X-effects on the kinetics of the non-enzymatic ATP hydrolysis. At vapor pressure the half-lives were about 2-5 mins at 120 °C (Moeller et al. 2022). Up to 140 MPa, all results show an Arrhenian relationship in the T-range of 80-120 °C. The pressure effect can be best described by a power law; below 500 MPa the p-effect is vanishingly small, and above the rate constant increases exponentially. Addition of MgCl2 up too 4 wt% slows down the hydrolysis. A distinguished effect of NaCl and CaCl2 was not observed.

The proposed limit for ATP-based life of 195 °C by Moeller et al. (2022) is lowered by additional pressure or elevated by MgCl2, respectively. These observations strengthen the idea that life could exist far deeper in the lithosphere as discovered yet.

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

Geochronology and trace element composition of zircon in granitoids from the Indus Syntaxis, northern Pakistan: new evidence for Palaeoproterozoic A-type magmatism in the north-western part of the Indian plate

Tanveer Ahmad1, Mohammad Arif2, Kirsten Drüppel1, Muhammad Qasim3, Muhammad Sajid2

1Department of Petrology, Institute of Applied Geosciences, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; 2Department of Geology, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan; 3Department of Earth Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad, Pakistan

Two granitic plutons are exposed at Dubair and Shang in the vicinity of Besham, northern Pakistan, in the northwestern part of the Indian plate. Both granitoids mainly consist of perthitic feldspar, plagioclase, and quartz together with minor biotite, amphibole, and accessory ilmenite, apatite, titanite, and zircon. They are peraluminous and alkali-calcic to alkaline in composition, with strong A-type affinity (Ahmad et al., 2021). La-ICP-MS U-Pb dating and trace element analysis of zircon from both plutons were performed to elucidate their emplacement ages and temperatures. Most of the zircons are characterized by oscillatory zoning, depletion in light REE, and enrichment of heavy REE, with pronounced positive Ce and negative Eu anomalies. U–Pb zircon dating of the Shang and Dubair granitoid reveals similar concordant Palaeoproterozoic ages of 1871± 8.1 Ma and 1862 ± 7.5 Ma, respectively. The calculated Ti-in-zircon temperatures mainly range between 800°C and 900°C. The U-Pb ages, zircon compositions, and high magmatic temperatures suggest solidification of the granitoids from a crustal-derived magma emplaced during the Paleoproterozoic.


Ahmad, T., Arif, M., Qasim, M., & Sajid, M. (2021). Petrology of granitoids from Indus syntaxis, northern Pakistan: Implications for Paleo-Proterozoic A-type magmatism in north-western Indian Plate. Geochemistry, 81(1), 125693.

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

Extracting the source characteristics of the April 2022 Guanyuan landslide event from seismic signals recorded in the near-field

Rebeca Ursu1,2, Hui Tang1, Jens M. Turowski1, Ci-Jian Yang1, Jui-Ming Chang3

1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; 2School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 3Department of Civil Engineering, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan

The seismic signature of landslides preserves information of utmost importance in reconstructing the impact forces induced by landslides and, subsequently, the trajectory of motion and the dynamic properties of the sliding mass. Several studies focusing on large-scale events successfully inverted the source-time function and, therefore, the time-varying force exerted on the surface from the observed low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) seismic waves recorded in the far field. Nonetheless, most landslide events are small in terms of the displaced mass, which is more likely to excite rapidly attenuating seismic waves. With dominant frequencies above 1 Hz, these waves are noticeable only at the stations near the landslide. Analyzing the seismic signal generated by landslides in the near field is challenging. The proposed models would require a thorough description of the ground propagation medium, which is only available for some study cases. Here, we investigate using analytical solutions to Lamb’s problem to simulate the propagation history of the surface waves during the April 2022 Guanyuan landslide, Taiwan. This landslide mobilised more than 100,000 m3 of rock and stopped the traffic on the Taiwanese Central Cross-Island Highway for 43 days. The proximity of the landslide to a broadband station located about 6 km away allows the study of the near-field seismic signals. The duration and amplitude of the force retrieved in this fashion agree with qualitative observations, suggesting the potential of the model to extract source characteristics of landslides from seismic signals recorded in the near field.

3:15pm - 3:30pm
Topics: 1.27 Young Scientist Session

Analyzing the susceptibility for coastal and submarine landslides and their potential to trigger tsunami waves

Katrin Dohmen, Anika Braun, Tomás M. Fernandez-Steeger

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Tsunamis generated by submarine or coastal landslides are a growing area of scientific interest. Events like the 2018 tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, have highlighted their destructive potential. Landslides can generate extremely high tsunami waves, but typically have a limited propagation range beyond 100 km. Areas close to the landslide are most affected. Unfortunately, early warning systems are not effective for this type of tsunami due to the short warning time interval between wave initiation and coastal impact.

This study aims to analyze the coastal and submarine landslide susceptibility for coastal areas. Limited data availability, including high-resolution bathymetric data and historical landslide tsunami catalogs, poses a major challenge. A heuristic model is used, incorporating historical case studies to calibrate and weight the parameters. Geologic, morphologic, and geometric parameters of coastal areas are considered.

First results show a high correlation of landslides generated during the Palu earthquake with the size of catchment areas of rivers entering the ocean. This parameter is strongly related with the sediment load that is transported into the ocean. High sedimentation rates might lead to the formation of thick, unconsolidated sediment layers., which are susceptible to landslides. This correlation will be further analyzed.

The results of this susceptibility mapping can help raise the awareness of the risks associated with landslide tsunamis. Even minor earthquakes, not expected to trigger tsunamis, could induce submarine or nearshore landslides and generate a tsunami in vulnerable areas. Consequently, adapting tsunami evacuation strategies to account for landslide-induced tsunamis may be required in these areas.

4:00pm - 5:30pm-
Location: Wiwi 104a

Date: Wednesday, 06/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15am-
Location: Wiwi 104a
2:00pm - 3:30pm3.12-1 Past climates and environments inform our future
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Cécile Blanchet, GFZ Potsdam
Session Chair: Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr, Free University Berlin
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Sclerochronology: Reconstructing short-term climate variability from mollusk shells

N.J. Winter1,10, B. Goudsmit-Harzevoort2,3, N. Wichern4, A. Johnson5, S. Goolaerts6, F. Wesselingh7, G.J. Reichart8, L. de Nooijer8, W. Boer8, J. Vellekoop6,9, N. van Horebeek9, P. Claeys10, R. Witbaard2, M. Ziegler3

1Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2Estuarine and Delta Systems group, Royal Netherlands Institute for Marine Research, the Netherlands; 3Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; 4Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, WWU Münster, Germany; 5College of Science and Engineering, University of Derby, United Kingdom; 6Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium; 7Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; 8Ocean Sciences group, Royal Netherlands Institute for Marine Research, the Netherlands; 9Deptartment of Earth Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium; 10Analytical, Environmental and GeoChemistry group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

In the ongoing anthropogenic climate crisis, successful adaptation to future climate requires a detailed understanding of the response of Earth’s climate system to warming. Past warm climates constitute a valuable natural laboratory for studying this response, but reconstructions of past climate variability on human timescales (days to decades) remains challenging. Biogenic carbonates such as mollusk shells are uniquely suitable for these high-resolution climate reconstructions for three reasons:

Firstly, mollusk shells grow incrementally, depositing annual, daily, or even tidal laminae of carbonate marking time at unique detail.

Secondly, mollusks are diverse, abundant, and highly evolutionarily successful: Their fossil record spans the entire Phanerozoic and they produce shells of various shapes, sizes, mineral structures and compositions, making them versatile climate archives.

Thirdly, carbonate shells have a high preservation potential, retaining their original chemical composition, and the climate information locked therein, also on long geological timescales.

I will present some of the latest developments in sclerochronology, the study of reading the skeletal diaries of these fascinating invertebrates, and highlight how the information they reveal changes our understanding of past climate. A few case studies will showcase the full potential of fossil shells as climate archives. Finally, I will discuss some open questions in the field and the ongoing and future projects in which we hope to answer them. The goal is to demonstrate how collaborations between biology, marine science and (geo)chemistry enable us to unlock the full potential of these unique archives and contribute to understanding shallow marine ecosystems and climate.

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Seasonal geochemical and growth rate variabilities in a Miocene giant clam

Iris Arndt1,2, Douglas Coenen1,2, Maximilian Fursman1,2, David Evans3, Willem Renema4,5, Wolfgang Müller1,2

1Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany; 2Frankfurt Isotope and Element Research Center (FIERCE), Frankfurt, Germany; 3University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K.; 4Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; 5University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tridacna are important archives for (sub)tropical marine palaeoenvironmental conditions. Their longevity (up to 100 years), large aragonitic shells (up to 1m) and rapid shell accretion (mm-cm/year) make them ideal to give insights into region specific climate and environmental variability. Highly spatially-resolved analytical techniques such as LA-ICPMS mean that geochemical data can be retrieved at a high temporal resolution (subdaily). Tridacna, with their daily banding and growth rates of tens of µm/day, are ideal candidates for applying this methodology evaluating seasonality and extreme weather events in (sub-)tropical reefs since their appearance in the early Miocene. Studies of seasonal records and information on extreme weather events from past climate settings can help inform model assessment exercises regarding how seasonality might change in future climate scenarios. In this study we present a multiproxy record from a 250 mm large late Miocene Tridacna from East Borneo spanning several decades, with subseasonally resolved stable δ18O and δ13C data and sub-daily resolved elemental ratio data (B, Na, Mg, Sr, Ba to Ca). By applying Daydacna, a recently developed python script that enables daily cycle based internal age modelling, we can create an age model of the shell, which forms the basis for the temporal reassignment of the geochemical data. Displaying geochemical data against time rather than shell distance improves multi-annual as well as inter-organism comparisons for palaeoseasonality reconstructions. We reconstruct seasonal growth rate variability and compare it to the corresponding elemental and isotopic ratios to evaluate the relationships between geochemical signals, shell growth and environmental parameters.

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Tropical Climate Variability and Coral Reefs - A Past to Future Perspective on Current Rates of Change at Ultra-High Resolution (SPP 2299)

Thomas Felis1, Miriam Pfeiffer2, Jessica Hargreaves1, Eleni Anagnostou3, Sonia Bejarano4, Patrick Boyden1, Thomas Brachert5, Hana Camelia1, Diana Diers6, Juan Pablo D'Olivo7, Andrew Dolman8, Nicolas Duprey9, Jan Fietzke3, Martin Frank3, Norbert Frank10, Daniel Frick2, Dieter Garbe-Schönberg2, Eberhard Gischler6, Sahra Greve10, Ed Hathorne3, Michael Henehan11,12, Saori {Sally} Ito2, Oliver Knebel6, Laura Lehnhoff7, Donghao Li1, Alfredo Martinez-Garcia9, Luisa Meiritz3, Ute Merkel1, Regina Mertz13, Wyatt Million14, Phyllis Mono5, Manfred Mudelsee15, Alessio Rovere16, Marlen Schlotheuber17, Christian Voolstra17, Marlene Wall3, Sophie Warken10, Takaaki {Konabe} Watanabe2, Christian Wild18, Yang Yu3, Maren Ziegler14

1MARUM, University of Bremen, Germany; 2Kiel University (CAU), Germany; 3GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany; 4ZMT Bremen, Germany; 5Leipzig University, Germany; 6Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany; 7FU Berlin, Germany; 8AWI Potsdam, Germany; 9MPI for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany; 10Heidelberg University, Germany; 11University of Bristol, UK; 12GFZ Potsdam, Germany; 13Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany; 14Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany; 15University of Potsdam, Germany; 16Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy; 17University of Konstanz, Germany; 18University of Bremen, Germany

Climate change, in particular the rise in tropical sea surface temperatures, is the greatest threat to coral reef ecosystems today and causes climatic extremes affecting the livelihood of tropical societies. Assessing how future warming will change coral reef ecosystems and tropical climate variability is therefore of extreme urgency. Ultra-high resolution (monthly, weekly) coral geochemistry provides a tool (1) to understand the temporal response of corals and coral reefs to ongoing climate and environmental change, (2) to reconstruct past tropical climate and environmental variability, and (3) to use these data in conjunction with advanced statistical methods, earth system modelling and observed ecosystem responses for improved projections of future changes in tropical climate and coral reef ecosystems. The DFG Priority Programme “Tropical Climate Variability and Coral Reefs” (SPP 2299, aims to enhance our current understanding of tropical marine climate variability and its impact on coral reef ecosystems in a warming world, by quantifying climatic and environmental changes during both the ongoing warming and past warm periods on timescales relevant for society. The programme aims to provide an ultra-high resolution past to future perspective on current rates of change to project how tropical marine climate variability and coral reef ecosystems will change in a warming world. Information on the organisational structure, research topics and preliminary results of this collaborative programme, which involves more than 40 scientists from ten universities, three Helmholtz Centres, one Max-Planck Institute and one Leibniz Centre from all over Germany, will be provided.

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Molecular records of the Triassic-Jurassic and the early Toarcian climate events at the land-sea interface

Wolfgang Ruebsam, Tim Marten, Lorenz Schwark

University Kiel, Germany

The Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB) and the early Toarcian are characterized by greenhouse warming, caused by the emplacement of large volcanic provinces. Despite similar trigger mechanisms, the two events differ in their character. Most significantly, the early Toarcian records the genesis of an Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE), while the TJB event lacks robust evidence for widespread marine anoxia and organic matter (OM) accumulation.

Here, we present bulk, isotope, and molecular geochemical data from a continuous drill core, taken in the northeastern part of the North-German Basin that spans upmost Triassic and Lower Jurassic strata (Rhaetian-Toarcian). The sediment archive represents a near-shore environment, proximal to an estuary. This setting at the land-sea-interface was particularly susceptible to sealevel, climate, and environmental change and records the response of a shallow marine environment to major Late Triassic-Early Jurassic climate events.

In contrast to the predominantly OM-lean Triassic-Jurassic strata, the TJB interval and the T-OAE are characterized by increased OM contents, but their compositions differ significantly. At the TJB, increased abundances of soil and land plant OM accumulated under semi-arid conditions in mesosaline and well-oxygenated shallow marine setting. By contrast, during the T-OAE, OM-rich sediments accumulated under short-lived anoxic-euxinic conditions. Development of oxygen-deficient conditions was favored by a high sea level and persistent freshwater stratification caused by enhanced riverine discharge under humid climate conditions. Land plant wax lipid, algal molecular fossils, and wildfire combustion residues further revealed that the TJB and the T-OAE were accompanied by substantial changes in both the continental and marine ecosystems.

3:15pm - 3:30pm
Topics: 3.10 Constraining the rate of change in the Earth System through integrated stratigraphic approaches

Serravallian-Tortonian hydrological isolation of the Eastern Paratethys from the perspective of the Caspian Basin: Sarmatian s.l. integrated stratigraphy and biotic record of Karagiye, Kazakhstan.

Sergei Lazarev1,2, Oleg Mandic3, Marius Stoica4, Pavel Gol'din5, Wout Krijgsman6, Davit Vasilyan2,1

1Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; 2JURASSICA Museum, Switzerland; 3Geological-Paleontological Department, Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria; 4Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, University of Bucharest, Romania; 5Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine; 6Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

The Eastern Paratethys (EP) is a former epicontinental basin that unified the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and the Dacian Basin and played a crucial role in shaping of the west Eurasian paleoecosystems.

In the late Middle-Late Miocene, during Sarmatian sensu lato Stage, the EP underwent a gradual hydrological isolation from the global ocean. This process was accompanied by adaptation and radiation of endemic faunas in the early and middle Sarmatian s.l. (Volhynian and Bessarabian) and by the near complete extinction of marine life forms in the late Sarmatian s.l. (Khersonian). The drivers of this ecological crisis still remain ununderstood. We present our integrated stratigraphic study of 130-m-thick outcrop Karagiye, Caspian Basin. The preliminary data demonstrate:

  1. Incomplete Volhynian record (12.3–12.05 Ma). Proximal lagoon with molluscs Obsoletiformes and Ervilia, ostracod zones Cytheridea hungarica and Euxinocythere turpe, foraminfera zones Veridentella reussi and Elphidium reginum, rich marine vertebrate fauna;
  2. Bessarabian offshore to lagoon record (11.9–9.8 Ma) with molluscs Plicatiformes plicatofittoni, Sarmatimactra vitaliana, ostracod zones Euxinocuthere grave odessoensis and Loxoconcha subcrassula, foraminifera zones Dogielina sarmatica and Porosononion aragviensis, rich marine vertebrate fauna.
  3. Khersonian shallow water barrier island to foreshore (9.4–7.6 Ma) with molluscs Chersonimactra caspia and Ch. bulgarica, ostracod zones – Euxinocythere immutata and E.dilecta, foraminifera and marine vertebrate fauna missing.

Our ongoing study for the first time provides well-dated mollusc and microfauna zonations of the Sarmatian s.l. substages in the Caspian Basin.

4:00pm - 5:30pm3.12-2 Past climates and environments inform our future
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Cécile Blanchet, GFZ Potsdam
Session Chair: Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr, Free University Berlin
4:00pm - 4:15pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

New insights into Early Cretaceous continental environments and climate based on lignite-bearing strata from central Mongolia

Fritz-Lukas Stoepke1, Ralf Littke2, Laura Zieger2, Hitoshi Hasegawa3, Niiden Ichinnorov4, Ulrich Heimhofer1

1Leibniz University Hannover, Germany; 2RWTH Aachen University, Germany; 3Kochi University, Japan; 4Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Mongolia

The late Early Cretaceous (121.4 to 100.5 Ma) was characterized by a gradual warming trend superimposed on an already warm greenhouse climate. Whereas the evolution of ocean temperatures during this time interval is relatively well constrained, information on the response of continental interiors to such climatic extremes is limited. Here we report new data from the continental Choir-Nyalga Basin of central Mongolia, which contains thick, lignite-rich successions (Khukhteeg Fm.) bearing an exceptionally well-preserved fossil flora of various pine and redwood species as well as representatives of extinct seed plant lineages. The continuous and often long-lasting accumulation of plant remains results in continental high-resolution archives documenting the palaeoecological conditions prevailing during bog growth.

In order to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental conditions, a combined approach including brGDGT-based palaeothermometry, coal petrology and palynology is applied, complemented by geochemical measurements (TOC, TS, δ13Corg). Due to the limited biostratigraphic resolution of the continental Khukhteeg Fm., stratigraphic trends in δ13Corg will be applied for local and super-regional chemostratigraphic correlation. The carbon isotopic composition of the land plant-derived organic matter shows pronounced stratigraphic fluctuations and varies between -20.8 ‰ to -24.4 ‰ (average: -22.4 ‰). The brGDGT data represent the oldest analyses obtained from lignites so far. The new data indicate that the climatic conditions in central paleo-Asia (paleolatitude of ~38°N) during the late Early Cretaceous were characterised by high mean annual air temperatures (ranging between 8 ± 3°C and 10 ± 4°C).

4:15pm - 4:30pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

New insights into hyperthermal events during the late Paleocene to early Eocene

Bryan Niederbockstruck1, Heather Jones1, Kazutaka Yasukawa2, Erika Tanaka3,4, Isabella Raffi5, Thomas Westerhold1, Ursula Röhl1

1MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany; 2University of Tokyo; 3Kochi University; 4Chiba Institute of Technology; 5Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Geologia, Universita’ degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” di Chieti-Pescara

The late Paleocene and early Eocene climate was punctuated by several warming events known as hyperthermals. These events reflect perturbations in the carbon cycle, identified by the negative carbon isotope excursions, including the prominent Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Under the high carbon emission scenario of RCP8.5, the climate is predicted to most closely resemble early Eocene conditions within the next hundred years, making it a promising analog to study the possible long-term environmental changes that we have to face in the near future. High-resolution geochemical records from the Atlantic and Pacific provide astronomically calibrated age models of the early Paleogene. However, these sites are located in the equatorial- to subequatorial regions, so the high-latitude climate changes of the early Paleogene still remain elusive. IODP Expedition 378 recovered new Paleogene sediments at Site U1553 in the high-latitude Southwest Pacific.

Here, we present a novel late Paleocene to early Eocene age model spanning ~7 million years, which will be essential for future paleoceanographic studies of this site. To construct the age model, we used a combined chemostratigraphic and biostratigraphic approach. Our results show that the shape and pattern of the U1553 bulk sediment δ13C record generally match the orbitally-tuned records, which is reflective of a global trend. However, the nannofossil events at site U1553 exhibit a striking delay compared to lower latitude sites, suggesting that these commonly-used datums are not applicable at the high latitudes.

4:30pm - 4:45pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Environmental change at the Mid-Eocene Climate Optimum in Central Asia and potential relations with Eurasian paleoecological dispersals

Guillaume Dupont-Nivet1,2, Silke Voigt3, Alina Seufert3, Erwin Appel4, Saida Niglatova5, Nariman Jamikeshev1

1CNRS - université de rennes, France; 2GFZ Potsdam; 3Frankfurt university; 4Tuebingen university; 5Saptayev institute of geology, Kazakhstan

limatic optima and hyperthermals of the Paleogene period (66-34 Ma) open windows into the past to explore the Earth System under extreme conditions, beyond several tipping points. During this period Central Asia was intensely hot and arid and offered only a few corridors between Asian and European ecosystems that enabled significant dispersal events such as the "Grande Coupure". These events may have beentriggered by climatic and/or paleogeographical events including the fluctuations of the proto-Paratethysepicontinental sea and its progressive retreat. To date, it has been difficult to disentangle these various forcing factors.Sedimentary sections and associated climate tracers in this region and period are notoriously rare, and existing records suffer from poor age control that precludes robust correlations. We present here a high-resolution magnetostratigraphic dating of integrated environmental proxies from deposits of the Ili Basin, Kazakhstan, bearing rare Eocene mammal fossils. Preliminary results suggest the section encompasses a significantly wetter phase that can be precisely correlated to the Middle Eocene Climate Optimum, a globally recognized hyperthermal expressed by various extreme climate events from 40.5 to 40.1 Ma. In the studied Ili Basin record, Mammal fossils are reported to come precisely from this wet interval. This singular concentration of evidence suggests the MECO may have promoted Eurasian dispersal, however, further climate modelling and proxy data are required to identify potential controlling mechanisms.

4:45pm - 5:00pm
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Post-glacial climate amelioration recorded in the early Permian Aramac Coal Measures (Galilee Basin, Australia)

Alexander Thomas Wheeler1, Ulrich Heimhofer1, Joan Sharon Esterle2, Ralf Littke3, Laura Zieger3

1Institute for Geology, Leibniz University Hannover, Callinstraße 30, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; 2School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia; 3Energy and Mineral Resources Group (EMR), Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, Lochnerstr. 4-20, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany

The end of the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age (LPIA) was characterized by the development of widespread peat-forming mires across Gondwana concurrently with the evolution of the Glossopteris­-flora. The Aramac Coal Measures in the Galilee Basin of Australia represent some of the early phase of humic peat formation following the deglaciation in an ameliorating climate. This work aims to examine two boreholes using a multidisciplinary approach involving palynology, coal petrology, carbon isotope geochemistry and biomarkers to reconstruct the climate, environment and floras of this post-glacial period.

Palynostratigraphy suggests a late Artinskian to early Kungurian age for the Aramac Coal Measures separated from the overlying JK seams by an unconformity. Small-scale sedimentary dykes and cryostructured palaeosols suggest the peats would have formed under permafrost conditions. Palynological assemblages display a typical mix of early Permian elements and remnants of the Carboniferous floras with striate bisaccate pollen representing glossopterids, monosaccate pollen representing cordaitaleans, and spores representing herbaceous ferns, lycopsids and horsetails. Maceral analysis of the coals show high inertinite values, which, along with pristane/phytane ratios indicate an oxidative environment in which the peats were influenced by fire and/or fungi and bacteria. Stable carbon isotope values are typical for terrestrial environments (-22‰ to -26‰) but show an apparent cyclicity that may be related to climatic fluctuations following the end of the glaciation. This indicates the rise of the Glossopteris-flora was a gradual process which may have been influenced by warm and cool climatic phases well into the Permian.


Date: Thursday, 07/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15am3.12-3 Past climates and environments inform our future
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Cécile Blanchet, GFZ Potsdam
Session Chair: Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr, Free University Berlin
10:00am - 10:15am
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Effects of CO2 and Ocean Mixing on Miocene and Pliocene Temperature Gradients: Strongly reduced seasonality

Gerrit Lohmann, Gregor Knorr, Christian Stepanek

Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

Cenozoic climate changes have been linked to tectonic activity and variations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Here, we present Miocene and Pliocene sensitivity experiments performed with the climate model COSMOS. The experiments contain changes with respect to paleogeography, ocean gateway configuration, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, as well as a range of vertical mixing coefficients in the ocean. For the mid-Miocene, we show that the impact of ocean mixing on surface temperature is comparable to the effect of the possible range in reconstructed CO2 concentrations. In combination with stronger vertical mixing, relatively moderate CO2 concentrations of 450 ppmv enable global-mean surface, deep-water, and meridional temperature characteristics representative of mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO) reconstructions. The Miocene climate shows a reduced meridional temperature gradient and reduced seasonality. In the case of enhanced mixing, surface and deep ocean temperatures show significant warming of up to 5–10°C and an Arctic temperature anomaly of >12°C. In the Pliocene simulations, the impact of vertical mixing and CO2 is less important for the deep ocean, which we interpret as a different sensitivity dependence on the background state and mixed layer dynamics. We find a significant reduction in surface albedo and effective emissivity for either a high level of atmospheric CO2 or increased vertical mixing. Our mixing sensitivity experiments provide a warm deep ocean via ocean heat uptake. We propose that the mixing hypothesis can be tested by reconstructions of the thermocline and seasonal paleoclimate data indicating a lower seasonality relative to today.

10:15am - 10:30am
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Aquatic biomonitors and biomarkers reveal temperature and environmental changes during the Thirty Years' War: A case study from Bad Waldsee, Germany

Paula Echeverría-Galindo1, Thorsten Bauersachs2, Kim Krahn1, Antje Schwalb1, Matthias Hinderer3

1Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany; 2lnstitute of Earth Sciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 3Institute of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) had significant consequences for both human populations and natural ecosystems in Europe. To gain a better understanding of its impact on the local aquatic environment, we analyzed a sediment core from Stadtsee, a lake located in the city of Bad Waldsee, Upper Swabia, using a variety of aquatic biotic and abiotic proxies, including bioindicators, biomarkers, and sedimentological data. Through this multi-proxy approach, we infer changes in aquatic communities and their environment during this tumultuous period. Our findings indicate that this war had a marked impact on the lake ecosystem, as evidenced by changes in diatom assemblages, with declining diatom concentrations and progressively decreasing contributions of hypereutrophic species. These changes suggest a lowering in nutrient supply, possibly due to a reduced load of human and animal waste. This is supported by decreasing productivity (low Si/Ti) and declining δ13Corg values. It appears that the war led to a lake recovery and an improvement in water quality, as suggested by the presence of three bryozoans Plumatella species and the absence of Cristatella mucedo, indicating reduced nutrient levels and a well-oxygenated environment, in agreement with high Mn/Fe ratios. Additionally, the presence of chironomids, such as Corynoneura arctica-type and C. intersectus-type, point to a concomitant decline in temperature. This is consistent with preliminary results obtained by the lipid paleothermometer HDI26. Our study thus highlights the valuable insights provided by bioindicators, biomarkers and sediment geochemistry in a concerted approach about water quality and the health of the Stadtsee ecosystem during the Thirty Years' War.

10:45am - 11:00am
Topics: 3.12 Past climates and environments inform our future

Changes in precipitation during the last 420 kyr in northern Central America as recorded by Lake Petén Itzá, Guatemala

Rodrigo Martinez-Abarca1, Liseth Perez1, Thorsten Bauersachs2, Alex Correa-Metrio3, Steffen Kutterolf4, Frederik Schenk5, Antje Schwalb1

1Institut für Geosysteme und Bioindikation, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany; 2Institute of Earth Sciences, Organic Environmental Geochemistry Group, Heidelberg University, Germany; 3Centro de Geociencias Juriquilla, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico; 4GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany; 5Department of Geological Sciences and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Sweden

Lake Petén Itzá, Guatemala, is one of the oldest lakes in northern Central America. Its sedimentary record contains the signal in precipitation variability of the last four interglacial-glacial cycles (420-14 cal ka BP). Changes in rainfall during the last 80 kyr have been widely described in the lake’s record and associated with shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the Atlantic Meridional Oceanic Circulation (AMOC). However, there is limited knowledge regarding the hydrological responses of Petén Itzá prior to this time interval due to a poorly constrained chronology. Here, we provide a significantly improved chronology allowing a more detailed analysis of changes in runoff, evaporation, and vegetation throughout the last 420 kyr. Magnetic susceptibility, bulk density, elemental geochemistry and pollen data indicate that glacial periods were characterized by dry conditions, generally associated with low runoff, high evaporation and temperate environments. On the contrary, interglacial periods suggest wetter conditions with high runoff, low evaporation and dominance of tropical vegetation. Our results are consistent with other paleo-precipitation records in the region, such as the marine records ODP 1239 from the eastern equatorial Pacific and the ODP 1002 from Cariaco Basin, suggesting that the runoff variability at Petén Itzá may be associated with the long-term latitudinal migration of the ITCZ. Frequency analyses of our data show the presence of 100, 40 and 21 kyr periodicities and thus an orbital control. Our study serves as a first reference point in the transregional study of the late Quaternary climate in northern Central America.

1:30pm - 3:00pm4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology
Location: Wiwi 104a
Session Chair: Rafael Ferreiro Mählmann, Technische Universität Darmstadt
1:30pm - 2:00pm
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology

Investigating material culture (dis)continuities of Iron Age insular communities of Eastern Adriatic at the time of Greek settlement

Branimir Segvic1, Emily Doyle1, Marina Ugarkovic2

1Texas Tech University, Department of Geosciences, Lubbock TX 79409, United States of America; 2Institute of Archaeology, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

The Adriatic seascape, as the Mediterranean’s northernmost extension, has long been an important crossroad of cultural exchanges between the East and the West. Here, connectivity and insularity served to link diverse peoples and cultures, with regional connectivity reaching its peak during the Iron Age. Concurrently, the Greeks embarked on extensive overseas journeys and established numerous settlements across the Mediterranean. One fascinating example to explore the dynamics between the locals and Greek colonists is the island of Hvar in central Dalmatia, which offers valuable insights through the examination of ceramic material culture. Using a range of traditional and state-of-the-art microscopic and spectroscopic analyses, a wide range of Greek and local Iron Age coarseware from the Greek colony of Pharos and local indigenous settlements was examined, with a particular emphasis on the practices involved in raw materials selection. A novel method for collecting elemental concentration data was implemented, which concentrates exclusively on the clayey substrate. This approach effectively mitigates any potential bias arising from the tempering of clay paste. Additionally, we conducted a geological survey of the island to identify plausible raw material deposits, considering that coarseware was predominantly produced locally. The findings of our study provide fresh perspectives on the lives of protohistoric local communities and their interactions with Greek settlers for whom the island of Hvar served as a hub from which Hellenistic culture spread throughout the insular and coastal Adriatic regions and beyond.

2:00pm - 2:15pm
Topics: 4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology

Which tools did stonemasons from the Late Bronze Age use to carve stelae of hard rocks from the Iberian Peninsula?

Rafael Ferreiro Mählmann1, Ralph Araque Gonzalez2, Bastian Asmus3, Pablo Paniego Diaz4, Alexander Richter5, Giuseppe Vintrici2, Pedro Baptista2,6, Dirk Scheuvens1

1Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany; 2University of Freiburg , Germany; 3Labor für Archäometallurgie, Kenzingen, Germany; 4Instituto de Arqueología, Mérida; Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain; 5Fragua Fuirio, Sevilla, Spain; 6University of Coimbra, Portugal

This research will put emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to examine the Iberian stelae of the Late Bronze Age (c. 1200-800 BC) involving petrographic, geochemical, and metallurgic analyses, complemented by experimental archaeology. The petrographic determination of the rock composition of 16 stelae provided evidence that hard magmatic, sedimentary, and meta-sedimentary rocks were used. The rocks were classified as quartz rich granite, leucocratic syenogranite-aplite, meta-arkose, quarzitic wacke, and silicate quartz-sandstone. Regarding the magmatic rocks, the finest available grain size was preferred. The sedimentary and meta-sedimentary rocks were carved on surfaces with a hard ground, a silicate – ferruginous cemented bed or on a joint wall.

For the archaeological experiment, a variety of lithic tools and bronze chisels with various alloys were replicated, based on original Late Bronze Age tools from Portugal and Spain. Some lithic tools were completely inapplicable, while others, for example an amoeboid diablastic and equigranular quartzite (99 % quartz), provided acceptable results. The carving results with bronze chisels were disillusioning, regardless of the alloy composition. A long-ignored iron chisel from the Late Bronze Age site of Rocha do Vigio (Portugal) was studied with metallography. It revealed a medium-high carbon content steel and the replication of this chisel resulted as the only effective tool, provided the edge was hardened. This would establish the introduction of iron technology as a terminus post quem for the group of silicate quartz-sandstone stelae in Extremadura. Indeed, many of Europe´s earliest irons were found in nearby Portugal.

*(DFG-project AR 1305/2-1),

2:15pm - 2:30pm
Topics: 4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology

Petrographic, mineralogic, geochemical and geo-morphological provenience study on granite stelae from the Beira Alta (Beira Interior, Portugal)

Rafael Ferreiro Mählmann1, Ralph Araque Gonzalez2, Pedro Baptista2,3, Dirk Scheuvens1, Giuseppe Vintrici2, Marcos Osorio4

1Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany; 2University of Freiburg, Germany; 3University of Coimbra, Portugal; 4Museum of Sabugal, Portugal

Of twelve stelae from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1200-800 BC) that are exhibited in five museums in the Beira Interior (Portugal), ten are carved in granitoid rocks of mainly leucocratic composition. Between the Serra da Estrela and the river Tejo, 70 % of the area is covered by granitoid intrusions of pre-, syn- and post-orogenic Variscan age. Plutons intruded in metamorphic and meta-sedimentary rocks older than Late-Carboniferous. Only one stele each was extracted from the largest intrusions of the area, from the Guarda biotite-monzogranite, and one from the pre-orogenic Fundão hornblende bearing biotite-granodiorite to monzogranite. A precise provenience study is thus not possible.

Eight stelae where isotropic fine to medium grained granitoids with predominantly muscovite and rarely containing biotite. Microstructures, mineralogy, textural characteristics and geochemical analyses points to highly differentiated micro-plutonic rocks or dykes. Having realized that all twelve large granitoid intrusions in the Beira are less differentiated and porphyry, 16 aplite dykes and apophyses could be detected in a field study. Some aplite dykes in the northern part of the study area show the same composition variations as the Malhada Sorda pluton and its apophyses. But some dykes cannot be related with a late or post-orogenic intrusion. Seven syenogranite aplite rocks and apophyses could be related with a stelae rock type. Remarkably, all potential extraction sites are close to the place of stelae discovery, at the border of old communication routes, or near Late Bronze Age sites.

*(DFG-project AR 1305/2-1),

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Topics: 4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology

Metamorphic mapping and geo-morphologic considerations to locate the extraction sites of meta-psammite Late Bronze Age stelae from the Beira Interior (Portugal)

Timo Döbler1, Rafael Ferreiro Mählmann1, Dirk Scheuvens1, Vítor Clamote2, Francisco Henrique3, Marcos Osorio2, Pedro Baptista4,5, Sébastien Potel6, Lan Nguyen-Thanh1, Ralph Araque Gonzalez4

1Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany; 2Museum of Sabugal, Portugal; 3Vila Velha de Ródão, Portugal; 4University of Freiburg, Germany; 5University of Coimbra, Portugal; 6B2R Institut UniLaSalle Beauvais, France

A petrographic and geochemical provenience analysis of meta-psammite Iberian Stelae from the Final Bronze Age will be presented. A provenience analysis of archaeological objects is a Sisyphean task or impossible when dealing with uniform rock composition and structure along strike as they occur in sedimentary formations. If there are no observable singularities along vertical and horizontal inter-digitations of facies, the specification of a possible extraction site is like searching a needle in a haystack. Geo-morphologic consideration helps to enhance the probability to find the outcrop if strike of formation is perpendicular to valleys or mountain ranges. Furthermore, post metamorphic folding and tectonic dismembering reduces the possible areas, and increases the probability to find appropriate outcrops.

The Beira Interior was metamorphosed during the Variscan Orogeny showing a metamorphic field gradient from amphibolite to sub-greenschist facies. The orogenic tectono-metamorphic pattern is disturbed by pluton intrusions and by aplite dykes. Metamorphic aureole zonation crosscuts formation strike and the orogenic metamorphic facies zonation. Therefore, areas with the same sedimentary lithotype (educt) and transformed to meta-sedimentary and metamorphic rocks (product) of a specific contact-metamorphic grade often postdates orogenic metamorphism and deformation. All these observations allow to drastically reduce the potential raw-material areas and to find outcrops showing the same educt-product genetic history as found in the rock-types of stelae. The very first application of metamorphic mapping techniques in combination with geo-morphology will be presented to clarify the provenience of archaeological objects.

*(DFG-project AR 1305/2-1),

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Topics: 4.11 Geo-scientific methods in Archaeology, Archaeometry and Experimental Archaeology

Geophysical Prospection in Archaeology

Burkart Ullrich, Jochem Dorrestein, Annika Fediuk, Ronald Freibothe, Robert Kell, Rudolf Kniess, Jess Meyer, Martin Wetzel, Henning Zoellner


In recent decades, Applied Geophysics has become firmly established among geoscientific methods in archaeology for the non-destructive prospection of archaeological remains in the subsurface. Significant contributions have been made by technical developments towards mobile multi-channel platforms that can survey even very large areas of Hundreds of hectares with high spatial resolution and positioning accuracy in cm-range. Today, magnetometry and ground penetrating radar are not only used in research projects targeting known archaeological sites, but also as a professional commercial service in linear and urban planning projects. In the presentation an overview of the current state of the art will be given. The application of the available prospection techniques will be presented with examples, including archaeo-geophysical surveys done along the power lines SuedLink and SuedOstLink in Germany. An essential point in the presentation of the results arises from the interdisciplinary cooperation between geophysics and archaeology. A deeper understanding from the point of view of the user, in this case archaeology, is necessary to properly evaluate the geophysical data in terms of their archaeological significance.