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Quantifying human impact and recent climate change using clastic sediments from lacustrine records in western Switzerland

English title Quantifying human impact and recent climate change using clastic sediments from lacustrine records in western Switzerland
Applicant Girardclos Stéphanie
Number 121666
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.02.2010 - 31.05.2013
Approved amount 220'639.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geology
Geophysics

Keywords (10)

lacustrine sediment; seismic stratigraphy; turbidites; flood event; paleoclimatology; environmental change; paleoc-limatology; human impact; Holocene; extreme precipitations

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
LeadIn Switzerland, where all major rivers were naturally or artificially modified, the recent sedimentation linked to floods is not well-known. This research project aims to reconstruct recent past changes in clastic input from two large lakes with a focus on flood deposit analysis.RésuméFrom the mid-19th century, when the Northern Hemisphere climate ended a phase of cool temperatures ('Little Ice Age') and alpine glaciers started to retreat, most river systems in Switzerland were heavily modified by humans to artificially regulate lake-levels and river flows, with the aim to reduce flooding hazard. Overall, these infrastructures reached their goal but during the past two decades catastrophic floods occurred on a regular basis, bringing new questions on the frequency and magnitude of these events, as well as their related sedimentary processes. The research proposes a bipartite - geophysical and sedimentological - approach to investigate the clastic sediment and flood record from Lake Geneva and Lake Biel. Detailed sediment record of clastic input and flooding events will be linked to historic human impact and paleoclimatology, and analyzed along with available instrumental hydrologic and climatic data. These datasets will be used as time series of past environmental processes and together, will form an appropriate framework to study the sequence of floods generated by intense precipitations.ButThe characteristics of flood deposits will be analyzed and linked to historical large flood events and to instrumental meteorological and hydrological records. Special attention will be given to analysis and comparison of flood deposit record before and after the regional river management was put in place, which will reveal how human-made modifications of Rhône and Aare river systems changed the sedimentation and impacted on the formation of deltas in Lake Geneva and Lake Biel, respectively.SignificationIn August 2005, during a Europe-wide flood event, river flows and lake levels reached maxima which had never been recorded during the past century, showing the urgent need of new related knowledge. Lake sediments are genuine archives of human- or climate-induced environmental changes at local and regional scale. The study of flood deposits in Lake Geneva and Lake Biel allows the detailed reconstruction of the frequency of large flood events as well as the impact of Rhône and Aare river systems modification on lacustrine sedimentological processes.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Reconstructing 4000 years of mass movement and tsunami history in a deep peri-Alpine lake (Lake Geneva, France-Switzerland)
Kremer Katrina, Hilbe Michael, Simpson Guy, Decrouy Laurent, Wildi Walter, Girardclos S. (2015), Reconstructing 4000 years of mass movement and tsunami history in a deep peri-Alpine lake (Lake Geneva, France-Switzerland), in Sedimentology, 62(5), 1305-1327.
Lake dwellers occupation gap in Lake Geneva (France-Switzerland) possibly explained by an earthquake – mass movement – tsunami event during Early Bronze Age
Kremer Katrina, Marillier François, Hilbe Michael, Simpson Guy, Dupuy David, Yrro BleJ.F., Rachoud-Schneider Anne-Marie, Corboud Pierre, Bellwald Benjamin, Wildi Walter, Girardclos Stéphanie (2014), Lake dwellers occupation gap in Lake Geneva (France-Switzerland) possibly explained by an earthquake – mass movement – tsunami event during Early Bronze Age, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 385, 28-39.
Reconstructing 4000 years of event history in deep Lake Geneva (Switzerland – France): insights from the sedimentary record
Kremer Katrina (2014), Reconstructing 4000 years of event history in deep Lake Geneva (Switzerland – France): insights from the sedimentary record, Université de Genève, Genève.
Human impact on the transport of terrigenous and anthropogenic elements to peri-alpine lakes (Switzerland) over the last decades.
Thevenon Florian, Wirth Stefanie B., Fujak Marian, Poté John, Girardclos Stéphanie (2013), Human impact on the transport of terrigenous and anthropogenic elements to peri-alpine lakes (Switzerland) over the last decades., in Aquatic Sciences, 75(3), 413-424.
Ancient tsunami devastated Lake Geneva shoreline
Marshall Jessica (2012), Ancient tsunami devastated Lake Geneva shoreline, in Nature News, 1-1.
François Alphonse FOREL (1841-1912)
Slaveykova Vera, Girardclos Stéphanie, Corboud Pierre, Degli Agosti Robert (2012), François Alphonse FOREL (1841-1912), in Archives des Sciences, 65, 1-4.
Giant Lake Geneva tsunami in AD 563
Kremer Katrina, Simpson Guy, Girardclos Stéphanie (2012), Giant Lake Geneva tsunami in AD 563, in Nature Geoscience, 5(11), 756-757.
Letter to François Alphonse FOREL (1841-1912) from the Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2012. Archives Des Sciences
Girardclos Stéphanie, Gilli Adrian, Morellon Mario (2012), Letter to François Alphonse FOREL (1841-1912) from the Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2012. Archives Des Sciences, in Archives des Sciences, 65, 17-18.
Searching the Rhone delta channel in Lake Geneva since François-Alphonse Forel. Archives des Sciences 65: 103-118.
Girardclos Stéphanie, Hilbe Michael, Corella Juan Pablo, Loizeau Jean-Luc, Kremer Katrina, DelSontro Tonya, Arantegui Angel, Moscariello Andrea, Arlaud Frédéric, Akhtman Yosef, Anselmetti Flavio S., Lemmin Ulrich (2012), Searching the Rhone delta channel in Lake Geneva since François-Alphonse Forel. Archives des Sciences 65: 103-118., in Archives des Sciences, 65, 103-118.
Taux d’accumulation de sédiments récents et bilan de la matière particulaire dans le Léman (Suisse - France)
Loizeau Jean-Luc, Girardclos Stéphanie, Dominik Janusz (2012), Taux d’accumulation de sédiments récents et bilan de la matière particulaire dans le Léman (Suisse - France), in Archives des Sciences, 65, 81-92.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Université de Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
EPF Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Université de Savoie France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Pyrenean Institute of Ecology Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Eawag Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
PEDRR / UNEP Quartlerly seminar series. "Tsunamis in Lake Geneva ? Some lessons from Japan" Talk given at a conference Tsunamis in Lake Geneva ? 24.05.2013 Geneva (Switzerland), Switzerland Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
EGU meeting 2013 Poster Lake Biel sediment record during the last 7500 years and impact of the Aare river deviation in 1878 AD 07.04.2013 Vienna (Austria), Austria Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
EGU meeting 2013 Talk given at a conference Lake Geneva sediments: Archive for past environmental changes and human activity during the last 3000 years 07.04.2013 Vienna (Austria), Austria Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
EGU meeting 2013 Poster A catastrophic event in Lake Geneva region during the Early Bronze Age? 07.04.2013 Vienna (Austria), Austria Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
EGU meeting 2013 Poster Large mass movements, probably earthquake triggered, in Lake Geneva off the city of Lausanne revealed by seismic and sediment coring data 07.04.2013 Vienna (Austria), Austria Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
4th PAGES Open Science Meeting. The Past: A Compass for Future Earth Poster Lake Geneva sediments as archive for past environmental changes and human activity during the last 3000 years 13.02.2013 Goa (India), India Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
PAGES 2nd Young Scientists Meeting Poster Lake Geneva sediments as archive for past environmental changes and human activity during the last 3000 years 11.02.2013 Goa (India), India Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
9ème Colloque «Mémoire du Rhône» Le Rhône et ses riverains Talk given at a conference Morphologie et évolution du delta sous-lacustre du Rhône dans le Léman 07.12.2012 Aigle (Switzerland), Switzerland Girardclos Stéphanie;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2012 Poster Lake Geneva sediments as archive for past environmental changes and human activity during the last 3000 years 16.11.2012 Bern (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2012 Poster Lake Biel sediment record during the last 7500 years and impact of the Aare river deviation in 1878 AD 16.11.2012 Bern (Switzerland), Switzerland Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
Invited conference for the Sedimentology seminar at ETH Zurich Individual talk History of mass movements in Lake Geneva during the last 4000 years 03.10.2012 Zurich (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
ECORD Summer School 2012 "Submarine Landslides, Earthquakes and Tsunamis" Talk given at a conference Lake Geneva sediments as archive of mass movement history: The case study of the Tauredunum event 03.09.2012 Bremen (Germany), Germany Girardclos Stéphanie; Kremer Katrina;
EGU meeting 2012 Talk given at a conference Mass movement deposit and Tsunami in Lake Geneva (Switzerland-France) caused by a rockslide in 563 AD 22.04.2012 Vienna (Austria), Austria Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
Fourth and final meeting of COGEAR Talk given at a conference History of mass movements deposits in deep Lake Geneva during the last 3000 years 25.01.2012 Visp (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
AGU Conference 2011 Talk given at a conference Sedimentary records of trace elements from large European lakes (Switzerland) document historic to recent freshwater pollution and climate-induced runoff variations 05.12.2011 San Francisco (USA), United States of America Girardclos Stéphanie;
Conférence Journée Lémanique ELSTE 2011 (Ecole Lémaniques des Sciences de la Terre ELSTE) Talk given at a conference Lake Geneva sediments as an archive of mass movements and floods since the Holocene 02.12.2011 Lausanne (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2011 Poster History of mass movements deposits in deep Lake Geneva during the last 3000 years 11.11.2011 Zurich (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
8th Limnogeology Retreat Talk given at a conference Current limnogeological research in Lake Geneva and Lake Biel 03.11.2011 Toggenburg (Switzerland), Switzerland Girardclos Stéphanie;
5th International Limnogeology Congress - ILIC 2011 Poster Rhone glacier retreat in western Lake Geneva happened during Oldest Dryas with three stages 31.08.2011 Konstanz (Germany), Germany Girardclos Stéphanie;
19th SwissSed Meeting 2011. The Annual Meeting of Swiss Sedimentologists Talk given at a conference Mass movement deposit in Lake Geneva sediments caused by the Tauredunum rockslide (563 AD) 26.02.2011 Fribourg (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;
AGU Conference 2010 Poster Rhone glacier last deglaciation in western Lake Geneva from seismic reflection and sedimentary data. 13.12.2010 San Francisco (USA), United States of America Girardclos Stéphanie;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2010 Poster Giant sub-lacustrine mass movement in Lake Geneva sediment record 19.11.2010 Firbourg (Switzerland), Switzerland Kremer Katrina; Girardclos Stéphanie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
ILIC 2011 Session : 'Clastic lake sediments as paleoenvironmental archives' 31.08.2011 Konstanz (Germany), Germany
INQUA Bern 2011 Mid-congress Excursion in Geneva 24.07.2011 Geneva (Switzerland), Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Conférence Connaissance 3 "L'Université des seniors" Talk 22.02.2013 Aigle (Switzerland), Switzerland Girardclos Stéphanie;
Echanges avec collégiens de ESCR Sainte-Famille, La Roche sur Foron pour un exercice sur le thème : "Un tsunami dans le lac léman, mythe ou réalité?" Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 24.11.2011 Genève, France Kremer Katrina;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Le jour où le Léman s'est soulevé Campus (Journal de l'Université de Genève) Western Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Le scénario du tsunami sur le lac Léman est établi La Recherche International 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Stenskred utlöste tsunami i Genève Illustrerad Vetenskap International 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Gefahr durch Erdrutsche. Forscher warnen vor Tsunami im Genfer See Spiegel International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media L’explorateur des lacs Tribune de Genève Western Switzerland 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Water Ancient Tsunami Swept Through Swiss Lake Our Amazing Planet International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media 日內瓦湖或發「湖嘯」 Singtao Daily International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media 1.500 năm trước sóng thần từng xảy ra tại Thuy Si Vietman + International 2012
Media relations: radio, television 28 minutes. Le « Journal de la Science » s’intéresse ce soir au tsunami qui pourrait balayer le lac Arte International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media A tsunami in Switzerland ? Lake evidence says yes. New York Times International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Am Genfer See herrscht seit Jahrhunderten Tsunami-Gefahr Die Zeit International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Científicos alertan de riesgo de tsunami en Suiza Europa Press Espana International 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Des chercheurs reconstituent le tsunami du lac Léman de l’an 563 Le Monde : Blog Le Passeur de Sciences International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Des sédiments réduisent la profondeur du Léman 24 Heures Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: radio, television Ein Tsunami in Genf ORF International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Felssturz führte zu einem Tsunami am Genfer See Die Welt International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Gare aux risques de tsunami… en Suisse Europe 1 International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Genf im Jahr 563 von Riesen-Tsunami überschwemmt SF Schweizer Fernsehen German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Ikivanha uhka vaanii yhä Euroopan uumenissa: "Ihmiset eivät tiedä" Ilta Sanomat International 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Il était une fois le Léman Le Monde.fr - Blog Lémaneque International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Im Frühmittelalter fegte ein Tsunami über den Genfersee Der Standard International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media La Liberté Le Léman rapetisse Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: radio, television La Suisse a connu un tsunami en l'an 563, et le risque demeure RTBF International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Lake Geneva at risk of tsunami Cosmos International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Lake Geneva 'may face tsunami risk' The Telegraph International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Le lac Léman a perdu 86 cm de profondeur en 125 ans Radio Cité - Grand Format Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Le lac Léman a perdu 86 cm de profondeur Tribune de Genève Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Le lac Léman moins profond que prévu Le Messager International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Le Léman perd un peu de profondeur 20 Minutes Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: radio, television Le Léman sous la loupe RSR la 1ère - Impatience Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Le Léman toujours moins profond Le Journal - n.62 p.14 Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Les rives du Léman ne sont pas à l'abri d'un tsunami géant Le Figaro International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Les villages lacustres de l’Arc alpin classés à l’UNESCO. RSR La 1ère Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Lo "tsunami lacustre" che devastò Ginevra, nel 563 Ticino Online Italian-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Monster tsunami in Geneva was produced by rockfall, researchers say Los Angeles Times International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Muinaiset merkit kertovat tsunamivaarasta Euroopan sydämessä Yle Uutiset International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Naturkatastrophe vor 1450 Jahren. Tsunami am Genfersee Sueddeutsche International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Profondeur Léman Léman Bleu Télévision - Aujourd'hui Infos Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Quand un tsunami geant balayait le Leman Le Temps Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Svizzera: Nature, nel 563 'tsunami lacustre' devasto'Ginevra La Repubblica International 2012
Media relations: radio, television Swiss “underestimate” lake tsunami risks SwissInfo International Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Tsunami dans le Lac Léman en l'an 563 University of Geneva. Faculté des Sciences Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunami hit Geneva in 563 AD The New Zealand Herald International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunami hit Geneva in AD 563: scientists AFP International Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunami im Genfer See Wissenschaft Aktuell International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunami im Genfersee. Eine unterschätzte Schweizer Naturgefahr NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunami sur le Léman: quelles parades? Le Temps Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunamis in the Alps? National Geographic Daily news International 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Tsunamis on Lake Geneva. Lake monsters The Economist: Blog Babbage International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunamis on Lake Geneva. Lake Monsters The Economist International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Un peu de profondeur perdue Le Nouvelliste International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Ученые: Женеве может угрожать цунами Pravda International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media تسونامي تهدد سويسرا Alittihad International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media سويسرا ليست بمنأى عن خطر تسونامي Alsabaah International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media 제네바 호수에 고대 쓰나미 흔적 The Science Times (Corea) International 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) 瑞士科學家稱日內瓦湖可能將發生湖嘯 sina.com.hk International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Comics. Découverte scientifique au fond du lac 20 Minutes Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Découverte : Voici comment un tsunami a retourné le Léman en l’an 563 Tribune de Genève Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Genèse d’un croissant aux confins des Alpes Le Temps Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Le Léman raconté par les sciences (4/8) Le Temps Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Monsterwellen verwüsten Badeseen WunderWeltWissen International 2011
Media relations: radio, television Stéphanie Girardclos, Mir et les eaux lémaniques Radio Suisse Romande 1ère, Le 12h30 Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: radio, television Tsunami dans le Léman Radio Suisse Romande La 1ère, Impatience Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: radio, television Tsunami meurtrier sur le Léman en l’an 563 Radio Suisse Romande La 1ère, Le 12h30 Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Tsunamis dans les lacs suisses, un risque limité mais étudié Le Temps Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Voici comment un tsunami a retourné le Léman en l’an 563 24 Heures Western Switzerland 2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133790 A multibeam-bathymetric device to acquire high-resolution lake floor morphologic data 01.08.2011 R'EQUIP
144960 XRF Core Scanner and digital radiography 01.01.2013 R'EQUIP
146889 Quantifying human impact and recent climate change using clastic sediments from lacustrine records in Western Switzerland (Phase 2) 01.06.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
154263 'Pump priming' a historical database of extreme natural events in Lake Geneva region 01.02.2014 International short research visits
133481 DYNAMITE: Dynamic Nankai Trough (Japan) and Swiss Molasse Basin: Investigating NeoTectonics, Paleo-Earthquakes and associated Geohazards 01.10.2011 SNSF Professorships
147689 SEDFATE:Sediment fate in a changing watershed during the Anthropocene 01.02.2014 Sinergia

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