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European Federation of Geologists Geology and environmental change Peter Whiteside & Isabel Fernandez EFG- coordinator EIA panel of experts EFG office.

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Presentation on theme: "European Federation of Geologists Geology and environmental change Peter Whiteside & Isabel Fernandez EFG- coordinator EIA panel of experts EFG office."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Federation of Geologists Geology and environmental change Peter Whiteside & Isabel Fernandez EFG- coordinator EIA panel of experts EFG office director

2 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) The role of geology in predicting future climate change

3 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

4 European Federation of Geologists The EIA Process – main stages Screening Scoping Studies Monitoring & audit Is an EIA required ? What should the EIA cover ? Study of impacts Verification of predictions The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

5 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) Geological Processes Physical Environment Habitat - Ecosystem eg mountain building, erosion & deposition eg hillslopes, floodplains, rivers, estuaries, sea eg forests, grasslands, wetlands, beaches, seabed, coral reefs Geological perspective on the environment

6 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) Examples of geological information used in EIAs Geological maps Site inspection Records of mining and quarrying Records of groundwater extraction Existing borehole records Aerial photos Seismic records

7 European Federation of Geologists Examples of important geological factors in EIAs Risk to people and property Landslides, earthquakes, radon from bedrock, undermining, eroding coasts Soils Peat/Fens, beaches, cultivated topsoils Water Aquifers, karst areas, rivers, lakes, estuaries, seas Landscape features Mountains ranges, gorges / valleys, waterfalls, sea shore & cliffs, caves Natural materials Rock & minerals above and below ground, marine sand & gravel Cultural heritage Sites of special scientific interest, archaeological sites including mining

8 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) Examples of the role of geology in EIAs and related studies Sustainable use of groundwater – FINLAND Contamination in groundwater – ITALY Environmental geological map - HUNGARY

9 European Federation of Geologists Sustainable use of groundwater :- Computer modeling Planned extraction rate Aquifers can recharge Ecosystems not affected Monitor to check predictions FINLAND

10 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) Sustainable use of groundwater : Computer modeling Planned extraction rate Aquifers can recharge Ecosystems not affected Monitor to check predictions

11 European Federation of Geologists Groundwater flow model Modeling approach

12 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) ITALY Predicting contamination changes in groundwater Years of chemical pollution from industrial site Complex geology and hydrogeology Computer modeling of groundwater flow Predictions of contamination levels Remedial design

13 European Federation of Geologists ITALY Conceptual model of groundwater flow

14 European Federation of Geologists ITALY Groundwater flow model

15 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) Environmental geological map Collect field data, boreholes, etc Collect data on mining, waste disposal, groundwater Make digital maps with a GIS Land-use planning, for water supply, quarrying, etc

16 European Federation of Geologists Example of digital map data

17 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change

18 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Geological records of past climate Climate evidence preserved throughout the geological past Important to distinguish between natural and man-made changes Recent geological past helps understand natural climate changes Sea-level rose 120 metres during global warming from to 6000 years ago Climate relatively stable since 6000 years ago but natural changes in temperature continue to the present-day

19 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Examples of geological indicators of climate change Sediments and ice cores give indications of past climate : Pollen and organic content temperature and precipitation. Layered clays in lakes erosion & deposition precipitation & temperature. The remains of animal species climate. Ratio of oxygen isotopes continuous measure of temperature. Computer models help in predicting future changes.

20 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Examples of geological studies which record climate changes Evidence of sea-level changes from marine sediments – BELGIUM Reconstruction of past climates : Clues to the future – SWEDEN South Atlantic island sediments show details of past climate – SWEDEN Climate change in the alpine region - SWITZERLAND

21 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Seismic surveys show pattern of marine sediments Deposition & erosion linked to global sea-level changes Sediment deposited 120,000 years ago : sea-level like today Sediment eroded during ice age : sea-level lower than today Today, new sediments deposited and form tidal sandbanks.

22 European Federation of Geologists Seismic surveys to study the pattern of sediments below the seabed

23 European Federation of Geologists Present day water depth showing tidal sandbanks (Red is shallow and blue is deep)

24 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Sediment core information about the past Pollen & organic remains climate information Grasses & tree type temperature & precipitation

25 European Federation of Geologists Study of pollen reveals the type of environment and climate

26 European Federation of Geologists Lake sediments on island in south Atlantic analysed Sediments indicate major warm phase at 8700 years ago periods of higher temperature and rain since then Warm periods correspond to cool periods in north Atlantic Temperature contrasts due to changes of oceanic currents Computer models agree with the sediment data

27 European Federation of Geologists Model results for sea surface temperature about 8000 years ago South Atlantic was warmer

28 European Federation of Geologists Model results for precipitation about 8000 years ago South Atlantic was wetter

29 European Federation of Geologists The role of geology in predicting future climate change Climate warming documented in the Alpine region using magnitude and frequency of extreme rainfall mean elevation of zero temperature historical records Melting & freezing cycles and loss of permafrost zone cause Rock and debris flows which are a major threats Example : 30 million cubic metres event in Randa, 1991

30 European Federation of Geologists Change in the Rhone Glacier

31 European Federation of Geologists 30 million cubic metres rock debris flow in Randa in 1991

32 European Federation of Geologists Geology and environmental change The EFG would like to thank you for your attention


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