Reconstruction of Romanian river channel changes in the last 11,700 years: the role climatical conditions and of human impact (RIVERS 11.7ka)

Period: 2011-2014

  The scientific framework of the project is given by the present scientific debate in fluvial geomorphology: how sensitive are river channels to natural and human induced controls and what is the magnitude of their spatial and temporal reactions during the Holocene (last 11,700 years). The expression “human impact” on different components of natural environment is extensively used, both in scientific debates and public space, often without a base of solid arguments. The aim of this project is to contribute with valuable informations to the above-mentioned debate, from an almost uncovered European region by studies about Holocene fluvial dynamics.

  Our team’s contribution is based on a rigorous quantitative approach on the styles and rates of spatial and temporal of river channels changes. The temporal threshold of 150 years (the date of the first precise topographic map in Romania - The Second Austro-Hungarian Military Survey), separates two distinct, but complementary, research approaches: 1) investigation of the historical and contemporary river channel behavior, based on successive cartographic materials, climatic and hydrologic instrumental measurements, and field and laboratory measurements on river channels morphology; 2) investigation of the Holocene rivers behavior, i.e., floodplains morphological and sedimentological characteristics, relative and absolute chronology in fluvial changes and integration of these changes in the regional context of palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental changes.