Ligurien (next date: Mar 03 - Mar 10, 2018)

Lecturers: Alessio Rovere

Contact: Alessio Rovere


**Please note change in Lecturer: Prof. Westphal will be substituted by Dr. Thomas Mann, Leibniz ZMT Bremen**

General description
The course will be organized around four main topics. Each topic is further subdivided into a subtopic, which will be the focus of a report from a single student. During the field course the teachers will give essential explanations in front of the outcrops / points of interest. After the explanation, students will be gather field material, notes and sketches for their own final report. Each report should aim first at providing a background of the general topic and on the subtopic using literature suggested by the teachers. Second, the student will have to put the elements observed in the field excursion in the literature context and extrapolate their significance in the regional and global context.
Before the field course, the teachers will share a folder with relevant papers related to each topic, both regarding the specific region and the general topic. Students are invited to print out the papers that are marked as more relevant by the teachers and bring them in the field to support note-taking.

Pleistocene sea level changes
We will visit several outcrops that carry information on Pleistocene sea level changes. On these outcrops, we will survey different kinds of RSL markers and measure their elevation above present sea level. We will draw geological sketches of the markers and try to put them in the context of past changes in sea level.
1.1 Different Pleistocene sea level indicators and their accuracy
1.2 Sea level changes in the Last Interglacial: Eustasy
1.3 Sea level changes in the Last Interglacial: post-depositional effects
1.4 Coastlines in a warmer world: differences and analogies with the modern one

Holocene sea level changes
We will visit outcrops and human elements that were connected with sea level during the Late Holocene. For each of these elements, we will survey the elevation and draw sketches of the main elements indicating former sea levels.
1.1 Holocene geological sea level indicators and their accuracy
1.2 Holocene archeological sea level indicators and their accuracy
1.3 Sea level changes in the early Holocene: the regional record of the NW Mediterranean
1.4 Reconciling the Holocene sea level changes with the tide gauge record

Human occupation, coastal hazards and coastal preservation along modern coastlines
Throughout the fieldtrip, we will visit coastal locations. Some of them are still pristine, some of them are being actively preserved from the cultural and geological heritage point of view and some of them are heavily affected by human activities. We will note the different aspects of the coastal landscape, the hazards they are facing and what actions have been taken for their preservation.
1.1 Conservation of the coastal heritage: geoheritage and cultural heritage
1.2 Coastal hazards: a regional perspective
1.3 The different faces of human occupation of the coast
1.4 The occupation and use of the Mediterranean coasts in the past

Modern coastal dynamics
During the excursion, we will work on different environments, from beaches to cliffed coasts, either natural or modified by humans. We will note the different aspects of the coasts, and we will work towards a set of definitions of coastal environments that can be applied at regional level and the different dynamics that can affect each environment. We will define different survey techniques that can be employed to survey coastal changes.
1.1 Different types of beaches
1.2 Different types of cliffed coasts
1.3 Survey techniques to monitor coastal changes
1.4 Human interventions on beach environments

Daily Program (preliminary)
Arrival in Milano Orio al Serio (BGY). Collection of Vans from the car rental agency, drive from BGY to Pietra Ligure (SV). Check in into Perla Marina Hotel and apartments. Address: Viale della Repubblica, 62, 17027 Pietra Ligure SV, Italy
Morning: visit to the marine cave of Bergeggi and surrounding late-quaternary outcrops. Afternoon: visit of the beaches near Bergeggi, and recognition of the different morphologies related to them. Visit to the Grotta del Treno cave and related karst morphologies.
Morning: Visit to the caves of Balzi Rossi, Ventimiglia and nearby late-quaternary outcrops. Visit to the Museo Preistorico Nazionale dei Balzi Rossi, Ventimiglia. Survey of the coastal morphologies along the coast of Balzi Rossi. Afternoon: visit to the Ospedaletti beach and assessment of the beach nourishment of the beach, and the coastal evolution through time. Methods of modern coastal monitoring.
Morning: Varigotti, Finale Ligure and Pietra Ligure. Modern coastal occupation and dynamics. Survey of the beachrock, a Holocene sea level marker. Afternoon: From Varigotti to Capo Noli hiking trail. Main geological features of the karst landscape, and aerial view of the beachrocks.
All day: drive to France to meet with French colleagues and visit to Roman Holocene relative sea level markers.
All day: Arenzano, Passeggiata Europa. Coastal geoheritage, and preservation of different coastal landforms in different lithological contexts. Survey of Pleistocene sea-level markers. Visit to the Beigua Geopark visitors center.
Check out and departure from Pietra Ligure to BGY (early morning).


The field excursion involves hiking and geologic fieldwork. We recommend to wear hiking shoes or, better, boots (access to some of the locations will not be possible without them) and comfortable outdoor clothing. It is recommended to bring a raincoat and a warm jacket. The weather in Liguria this time of the year varies a lot, and it might be either sunny and warm or cold, windy and rainy. Bring sunscreen if you normally use it.
It is recommended to bring your normal field geology gear, i.e. hammer, compass, notebook, etc. and be prepared to do some geologic fieldwork. If you have a handheld GPS, feel free to bring it to geocache locations that we will visit.


field trip report


Literature will be made available to students before the field excursion