Project title: Lost Lake Landscapes of the Eastern Adriatic Shelf
Principal Investigator: Slobodan Miko
Duration of the project: 4 years
Begining of the project: July 2014.
Granting agency: Hrvatska zaklada za znanost (HRZZ)
Project web page: LoLADRIA (http://loladria.wordpress.com/ )
The LoLADRIA project represents a multidisciplinary, effort to recover, for the first time, long paleoenvironmental, and paleoclimate records from existing coastal karst lakes and submerged karstic lakes of the eastern Adriatic shelf in Croatia. At glacial low sea levels large areas of the continental shelf were exposed, making them available to early humans. The project will attempt to reconstruct the specific karst lake landscapes and their surroundings in view of environmental and climate change and human migration from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) through the Holocene. LoLADRIA will also provide long, high resolution, paleohydrological reconstructions from a region extremely sensitive to changes in effective moisture and atmospheric dynamics. When proxies are applied to the task of reconstructing palaeoenvironments it is possible compare of one dataset against another, allowing for the identification of erroneous or inaccurate results. Complement results, allow more weight ascribed to the synthesis of the final results, with an increased confidence in the reconstruction, which allows a better correlation between these data and other records of environmental change (e.g. lacustrine vs. marine records). The multiproxy-based reconstructed curves will provide new data to identify and date the main climate events, and to characterize the climate variability at century and millennium scale since the LGM. Pollen and ostracods offer the possibility to develop transfer functions in order to reconstruct quantitative changes in regional climate and hydrological conditions of the lakes. Foraminiferal assemblages will provide evidences of possible palaeoclimatic, geomorphic and hydrological changes in the past. LoLADRIA will offer an environmental context which enabled the human entrance to Europe along the eastern Adriatic shelf since this pathway is still widely unknown and the detailed framework of climatic and environmental conditions still requires extensive research. In combination with landscape reconstruction based on high resolution geophysical methods will allow the insight to the preserved changes in the landscapes at selected sites along the Eastern Adriatic and their habitability related to the Epigravettian/Mesolithic cultures that were present there. Submarine prehistoric sites in the Mediterranean show that the continental shelf was occupied by humans to a depth of at least -40m, and the lost (submarine) lakes and surrounding submerged landscapes of the eastern Adriatic have a potential for site discovery. LoLADRIA will attempt to tie environmental changes seen in lake settings with changes evidenced in the marine record. LoLADRIA will fundamentally build up the scientific capacity of the Croatian Geological Survey in the field of marine geology which started to develop only recently.
LoLADRIA sites, existing coastal karst lakes and submerged karstic lakes of the eastern Adriatic shelf in Croatia. Small map: Map of Europe and the Mediterranean, showing the extent of the continental shelf exposed at maximum sea level regression (shown in red) at the Last Glacial Maximum (Simon Fitch and Ben Geary, University of Birmingham. Image is derived from USGS NED and ETOPO2 ( www.splashcos.org).