Project 1614P: Cross checking of stratigraphic data (CROSSTRAT ADVANCED)


The stratigraphy of terrestrial and coastal Quaternary deposits recently received a massive amount of chronological information due to the widespread use of dating methods that developed (i.e. ESR, OSL) or have been improved in the last decades (i.e. AMS, 14C, U/Th, etc.). However, not always the results of the application of different dating methods are congruent and sometimes only the dates that fit the schemes of the investigators are published. There are also cases where different research groups reached completely different conclusions. This is the case in Sardinia where different groups reached different chronologies of key deposits. In fact the idea is that Sardinia island is one of the few stable areas of the Mediterranean during the Quaternary and the existence of a Last Interglacial beach notch (and to a minor extent deposits) preserved for dozens of kilometers allow the specific sea level to be regarded as the reference for the rest of the basin. The coastal deposits contain marine shells that have been investigated with the 14 C method, the Isoleucine Ephimerization, corals dated with U/Th method. Sandy beach and aeolian colluviated sediments have been investigated with ESR and OSL. Organic horizon of coastal lagoon and soils found inside Aeolian dune deposits have also been investigated with the radiocarbon method. Despite the availability of sediments the conclusions reached by different groups were different and many uncertainties exist. The uncertainties depends not only from the contrasting results of the radiometric dating but also on the different interpretation of the stratigraphic position, the importance of unconformities, the nature of the deposits, etc.. Sardinia is therefore a key area where the results of the investigation carried out by the working group shall improve our knowledge on so many major problems that affect the investigation of Quaternary deposits from a litho-, morpho-, bio- and pedo-stratigraphic point of view as well as on the reliability and potential bugs in radiometric methods using a multidisciplinary approach. The research group shall benefit of the participation of senior scientists that worked in the area in the past with controversial results as well as a group of ECR that worked on this kind of deposits and/or are specialists of radiometric dating. The mutual collaboration will allow to reach the objectives that consist in a general improvement of the knowledge on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits as well as of the various techniques of radiometric dating.

Project Leaders

Sahra Talamo

Max Planck Institute For Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Mauro Coltorti

University Of Siena, Siena, Italy

Eva Mencin Gale

Geological Survey Of Slovenia, Dimičeva Ulica 14, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia