ERE – Energy, Resources and the Environment

ERE1.1 – Energy, Resources and the Environment - Open session

EGU21-15574 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1 | Highlight

Impacts of COVID-19 induced energy demand changes on emissions and mitigation challenges 

Adriano Vinca, Jarmo S. Kikstra, Francesco Lovat, Benigna Boza-Kiss, Bas van Ruijven, Charlie Wilson, Joeri Rogelj, Behnam Zakeri, Oliver Fricko, and Keywan Riahi

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing radical temporary breaks with past energy use and GHG emissions trends. However, how a post-pandemic recovery will impact longer-term transformations to a low-carbon society is unclear. Here, we present different global COVID-19 shock-and-recovery scenarios that systematically explore economic uncertainty and the demand-side effect on emissions. We consider changes in the residential, industry and transport energy sub-sectors under diverging cases that might lead to a more carbon intensive and individualistic way of consumption, or to a policy-advised new future that supports the emission reduction opportunities seen during the pandemic. The resulting impact on cumulative CO2 emissions over the coming decade can range from 28 to 53 GtCO2 reduction depending on the depth and duration of the economic downturn and the extent and persistence of demand-side changes. Recovering from the pandemic with low energy demand practices - embedded in new patterns of travel, work, consumption, and production – reduces climate mitigation challenges in the long run. We show that a low energy demand recovery reduces carbon prices for a 1.5°C consistent pathway by 19%, saves energy supply investments until 2030 by 2.1 trillion USD, and lessens pressure on the upscaling of renewable energy technologies.  

How to cite: Vinca, A., Kikstra, J. S., Lovat, F., Boza-Kiss, B., van Ruijven, B., Wilson, C., Rogelj, J., Zakeri, B., Fricko, O., and Riahi, K.: Impacts of COVID-19 induced energy demand changes on emissions and mitigation challenges , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15574,, 2021.

EGU21-13802 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1 | Highlight

Visualizing the Energy Production, Imports and Exports for Countries

Luisa Vargas Suarez and Jason Donev

There are extensive conceptual difficulties in understanding a country’s energy story. Every country in the world uses some combination of energy production, imports, and exports energy to meet their society’s needs. Thermal inefficiencies converting primary energy into electricity further confuse the issues. A visualization using large, publicly available data can help illustrate these different energy perspectives. This data visualization helps clarify the following perspectives: Production, Imports, Exports, Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES), Total Final Consumption (TFC), and the conversion losses from turning TPES into TFC. TPES refers to the total amount of energy a country obtains directly from natural resources such as fossil fuels or wind. TFC refers to the addition of the all energy directly consumed by a user for an energy service such as electricity for lighting in a house. This paper discusses the interactive simulation that was built to allow users to explore the composition of a country’s energy production, imports and exports through the conversion into energy people consume. The simulation allows users to explore the energy stories for different countries, and how these change over the decades.

How to cite: Vargas Suarez, L. and Donev, J.: Visualizing the Energy Production, Imports and Exports for Countries, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13802,, 2021.

EGU21-900 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1 | Highlight

Environmental impacts of smart local energy systems

Samuel Robinson and Alona Armstrong

Energy systems around the world are rapidly transitioning towards decentralised and digitalised systems as countries aim to decarbonise their economies. However, broader environmental effects of the upscaling of these smart local energy systems (SLES) beyond reducing carbon emissions remain unclear. Land-use change associated with increased deployment of renewables, new infrastructures required for energy distribution and storage, and resource extraction for emerging energy technologies may have significant environmental impacts, including consequences for ecosystems within and beyond energy system project localities. This has major implications for biodiversity, natural capital stocks and provision of ecosystem services, the importance of which are increasingly recognised in development policy at local to international scales. This study assessed current understanding of the broader environmental impacts and potential co-benefits of SLES through a global Rapid Evidence Assessment of peer-reviewed academic literature, with a critical evaluation and synthesis of existing knowledge of effects of SLES on biodiversity, natural capital and ecosystem services. There was a striking overall lack of evidence of the environmental impacts of SLES. The vast majority of studies identified considered only energy technology CO2 emissions through simulation modelling; almost no studies made explicit reference to effects on ecosystems. This highlights an urgent need to improve whole system understanding of environmental impacts of SLES, crucial to avoid unintended ecosystem degradation as a result of climate change mitigation. This will also help to identify potential techno-ecological synergies and opportunities for improvement of degraded ecosystems alongside reaching decarbonisation goals.

How to cite: Robinson, S. and Armstrong, A.: Environmental impacts of smart local energy systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-900,, 2021.

EGU21-7040 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Potential synergy between solar energy and biodiversity 

Sacha de Rijk, Ruurd Noordhuis, Bas van den Boogaard, and Ineke Roell

Like other countries The Netherlands are facing several societal challenges. As space is very scarce in the Netherlands it is vital to find chances for synergy in solutions to the challenges. It is investigated whether an upgrade of natural values in a large Dutch freshwater lake could go together with installing solar panels on water and thus generate sustainable energy. Our first exploration shows that this kind of synergy has potential for both biodiversity and renewable energy. The presentation will show the design, requirements, uncertainties, chances and risks.

The area of interest is Lake IJssel, a freshwater lake covering an area of 1,100 km2 with an average depth of 5.5 m. Lake IJssel was constructed by the completion of a dam in 1932, transforming the former brackish water of the Zuiderzee into a lake. The water levels are precisely controlled, and the lake provides several ecosystem services. The present ecosystem is imbalanced with low productivity and low biodiversity.

To strengthen the delta nature in the Dutch waters a national Program for nature restoration has been launched. Goal for Lake IJssel is creating more natural transitions: from wet to dry and from fresh to salt. This is done by creating the missing habitats necessary for a healthy ecosystem like shallows with submerged vegetation and wetlands with a natural fluctuation of water levels. At the same time, the region surrounding Lake IJssel is trying to find opportunities for generation of renewable energy. Solar panels on the open water of the lake is one of the options. We have developed a design consisting of a cluster of artificial island modules.

The entire design consists of seven modules of which four modules provide space for solar panels. Each solar module consists of a constructed ring dike with an open connection to the lake providing a water surface where wave action is greatly reduced so thatsolar panels can be installed safely. In this exploration, we opted for a panel coverage percentage of 50% of the surface. If we decrease the water depth by one or two meters under the solar panels with local sediment, the light can penetrate to the lake floor. This creates a favorable environment for aquatic plants. Under the panels, a relatively open, structure-rich vegetation of mainly pondweeds is expected, which is interesting for growing young fish in the summer due to a combination of food supply and shelter. In winter, when the vegetation has disappeared, these waters are expected to be attractive for the wintering of (larger) fish. In addition, the mounting structures of the panels also contribute, providing a substrate for mussels and other invertebrates.

The idea has not yet been tested in practice. The possibility of multiple use of space for ecology and energy is so far based on the judgement of the best available experts and experiences. A pilot study and monitoring are required to gain more insights in the ecological impacts of solar panels in this ecosystem.

How to cite: de Rijk, S., Noordhuis, R., van den Boogaard, B., and Roell, I.: Potential synergy between solar energy and biodiversity , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7040,, 2021.

EGU21-2800 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Post-processing numerical weather prediction ensembles for probabilistic solar irradiance forecasting

Sebastian Lerch, Benedikt Schulz, Mehrez El Ayari, and Sándor Baran

In order to enable the transition towards renewable energy sources, probabilistic energy forecasting is of critical importance for incorporating volatile power sources such as solar energy into the electrical grid. Solar energy forecasting methods often aim to provide probabilistic predictions of solar irradiance. In particular, many hybrid approaches combine physical information from numerical weather prediction models with statistical methods. Even though the physical models can provide useful information at intra-day and day-ahead forecast horizons, ensemble weather forecasts from multiple model runs are often not calibrated and show systematic biases. We propose a post-processing model for ensemble weather predictions of solar irradiance at temporal resolutions between 30 minutes and 6 hours. The proposed models provide probabilistic forecasts in the form of a censored logistic probability distribution for lead times up to 5 days and are evaluated in two case studies covering distinct physical models, geographical regions, temporal resolutions, and types of solar irradiance. We find that post-processing consistently and significantly improves the forecast performance of the ensemble predictions for lead times up to at least 48 hours and is well able to correct the systematic lack of calibration.

How to cite: Lerch, S., Schulz, B., El Ayari, M., and Baran, S.: Post-processing numerical weather prediction ensembles for probabilistic solar irradiance forecasting, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2800,, 2021.

Solar and storage based microgrids offer a unique opportunity for both climate change mitigation by reducing CO2 emissions and for climate change adaptation by increasing infrastructure resiliency. In this work, we design a time-of-use (ToU) optimization algorithm to determine whether it would be economically viable to install microgrids within two school campuses in the Bay Area, California that have unique load profiles. Our algorithm, which combines machine learning for accurate site-level net load forecasts, examines three years of electricity consumption data to compute the school’s savings from peak demand charges, energy charges, and demand response revenue generated by providing ancillary services to the grid. Given the school’s unique load profile combined with SGIP and MACRS incentives available in the state of California, we determine that a 15-year battery installed at these two campuses with a cost of $600/kWh provides a net positive internal rate of return (IRR) of 11.9% and 18.3% respectively year-over-year. In addition, the battery provides backup power in case of a power outage and improves grid resilience by providing peak shaving when the power grid is stressed. We hope that our computational analysis can motivate other schools to examine the huge economic and climate benefits that a microgrid poses at their campus. 

How to cite: Narayan, Y.: Solar and Energy Storage Based Microgrids:  Data-Driven Optimization and Economic Analysis to Examine Energy Savings from a Microgrid within a School Campus, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6785,, 2021.

EGU21-8091 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Identification of the socio-technical factors within geothermal exploration based on Plays with examples from Central America 

Javiera Chocobar, Bernhardt Johst, Rolf Bracke, and Erik H. Saenger

     The development of geothermal exploration has benefited from the inclusion of exploration protocols based on geological Plays classically used in hydrocarbon exploration projects. Despite being a research topic in which many efforts have been devoted, it presents weaknesses when evaluating the role of the communities (the social dimension) during the exploration process. To address the lack of studies, a qualitative research has been carried out in Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panamá) to determine the necessary factors to be considered in the social dimension within the geothermal exploration based in Plays.

     We have identified the social factors within each social dimension (demand, infrastructure, land access) and from this, a catalogue of the necessary activities required in the social dimension during the geothermal exploration process based on plays is proposed. The results of our survey will greatly contribute to the implementation of the Play-based exploration in geothermal projects because it reduces the risks associated in the initial phase of the exploration process and offers a step-by-step methodology that, when adapted to the needs of each country, can improve the efficiency of the current geothermal exploration protocols.

How to cite: Chocobar, J., Johst, B., Bracke, R., and Saenger, E. H.: Identification of the socio-technical factors within geothermal exploration based on Plays with examples from Central America , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8091,, 2021.

EGU21-4301 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Benefit of poroelasticity for geothermal research

Bianca Kretz, Willi Freeden, and Volker Michel

For geothermal purposes (heat and electricity generation) it is necessary to have an aquifer from which the contained hot water can be lifted by drilling. The exchange of the hot water against some cooled off water has an effect on the surrounding material and displacement of the material has an influence on the pore pressure and the water. Poroelasticity can model these influencing effects by partial differential equations.

We want to apply poroelasticity in geothermal research by so-called multiscale modelling. Scaling functions and wavelets are constructed with the help of the fundamental solutions. A related method has been previously used for the Laplace, the Helmholtz and the d'Alembert equation (cf. [2],[4],[5]) as well as for the Cauchy-Navier equation, where the latter requires a tensor-valued ansatz (cf. [3]). We pursue this concept to develop such an approach for poroelasticity, where a fundamental solution tensor is known (cf. [1]).

The aim of this multiscale modelling is to convolve the constructed scaling functions with the data of the displacement $u$ and the pressure $p$. With this, we have the opportunity to visualize structures in the data that cannot be seen in the whole data. Especially, the difference of the convolution of two consecutive scaling functions is expected to reveal detail structures.

For the theoretical part, we can show that the scaling functions fulfill the property of an approximate identity. Furthermore, with numerical results we want to show the decomposition.


[1] M. Augustin: A method of fundamental solutions in poroelasticity to model the stress field in geothermal reservoirs, PhD Thesis, University of Kaiserslautern, 2015, Birkhäuser, New York, 2015.

[2] C. Blick, Multiscale potential methods in geothermal research: decorrelation reflected post-processing and locally based inversion, PhD Thesis, Geomathematics Group, Department of Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern, 2015.

[3] C. Blick, S. Eberle, Multiscale density decorrelation by Cauchy-Navier wavelets, Int. J. Geomath. 10, 2019, article 24.

[4] C. Blick, W. Freeden, H. Nutz: Feature extraction of geological signatures by multiscale gravimetry. Int. J. Geomath. 8: 57-83, 2017.

[5] W. Freeden, C. Blick: Signal decorrelation by means of multiscale methods, World of Mining, 65(5):304--317, 2013.

How to cite: Kretz, B., Freeden, W., and Michel, V.: Benefit of poroelasticity for geothermal research, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4301,, 2021.

EGU21-10951 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Evaluating river driftwood potential for energy storage applications 

Abdullah F Qatarneh, Capucine Dupont, Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, Julie Michel, Loic Simonin, Hervé Piégay, and Mário J. Franca

Around the world rivers transport large volumes of driftwood into lakes, seas and oceans. Recruited commonly during flooding events and transported by rivers, driftwood poses a hazard for the point of view of the safety of infrastructures and river dwellers. For that reason, it is many times extracted locally and stored; driftwood removal prevents sinking and protects the dam infrastructure. Collected driftwood is a neglected river resource that is generally combusted or landfilled. Génissiat dam on the Rhone River in France presents a case study where annually approximately 1300 tons of driftwood is intersected.


Among the different processes that are capable of converting driftwood, HydroThermal Carbonization (HTC) is of high interest due its ability to process biomass with high moisture content, such as driftwood. HTC of biomass leads to the production of a solid product referred to as hydrochar, which is a high added-value material that can be used in different applications, such as fuel cooking, soil amendment, water treatment and energy storage. The goal of the study was to characterize the driftwood collected upstream of the Génissiat dam and to investigate its potential for hydrochar production as precursor of anode in sodium-ion batteries. Sodium-ion batteries have received more interest lately as an alternative for the resource intensive and expensive lithium-ion batteries.  The study follows a novel approach in study driftwood by categorizing based on their genera. HTC of the different identified genera was conducted in a 2L batch reactor following a temperature of 200 °C for a residence time of 11.5 h. Results show that the impact of driftwood genera is not significant for processing of driftwood through HTC. Produced hydrochar had a high carbon content (from 55.4 to 57.0 %) and lower ash content (from 0.2 to 1.4 \% of dry biomass). Electrochemical results show that driftwood-based hydrochar is a promising precursor of hard carbon anodes in sodium-ion batteries due to its excellent electrochemical performance.


Key words: Driftwood, Hydrothermal carbonization, Hydrochar, Rhone river, Sodium-ion batteries

How to cite: Qatarneh, A. F., Dupont, C., Ruiz-Villanueva, V., Michel, J., Simonin, L., Piégay, H., and Franca, M. J.: Evaluating river driftwood potential for energy storage applications , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10951,, 2021.

EGU21-16061 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Maximising climate protection through minimising gas leakage – the Danish biogas measurement programme

Anders Fredenslund and Charlotte Scheutz

The Danish voluntary methane monitoring programme for agricultural biogas producing facilities was launched by the Danish Biogas Association in autumn, 2016. The Danish Biogas Association had set a san overall goal of reducing the total methane loss from Danish biogas and upgrading plants on a national level to less than 1% of production by 2020.

The Danish Government has allocated approximately 1.3 million € to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the biogas sector in the period 2019-2020, based on previous experiences. The funds are used to administer this new programme, method testing, validation of measurement service providers and to provide partial funding for the participation of biogas plants. Also, the project includes recommendations to the Danish Energy Agency regarding use of measurements in regulation based on the results of the programme. The programme includes agricultural biogas plants (both farm-scale and centralized plants), industrial biogas plants and biogas plants treating sludge from wastewater treatment. The biogas plants provide partial funding. Three levels of own-funding are used depending on the magnitude of gas production. Large biogas plants pay a larger fraction of expenses than smaller plants. This was chosen to ensure participation of smaller facilities.

At each biogas plant, two or more of the following actions are performed:

1. Initial agreement on services and expectations

2. Development of self-monitoring programme

3. Leakage search and mitigation recommendations

4. Quantification of methane loss using remote sensing

5. Draft project of emission reduction initiatives

Actions 1 and 4 are mandatory for the participating biogas plants. The leakage search (Action 3) is performed using Optical Gas Imaging (OGI). Here, a measurement technician uses OGI to identify leakages both outdoors on tanks, pipes etc., and indoors. The report lists and illustrates leakages (through video documentation) and provides advise on mitigation actions were applicable. Even though OGI is not used quantitatively, the leaks are categorized as low, medium and high emission rates based on the operator’s assessment from the OGI videos.

Quantification of the biogas plants total methane emission (Action 4) is done using a tracer gas dispersion method. This remote sensing method includes the controlled, continuous release of a tracer gas (C2H2 in this case) combined with downwind, cross-plume measurements of methane and tracer gas. This method is described in Scheutz and Fredenslund (2019). It has been used to quantify emissions from biogas plants in the previous voluntary programme as well as to measure fugitive emissions from other area sources such as landfills, composting facilities and wastewater treatment plants.

About 60 plants have signed up and measurement and consultation activities are currently ongoing. The plants include about 35 manure-based biogas plants, 2 industrial biogas plants and 22 wastewater treatment plants. All activities are to be completed by the end of February, 2021.

This presentation will include a short introduction to the programme, observed emission rates and emission factors, typical sources of methane emission, mitigation options, recommendations regarding regulation and economic factors such as expenses for the monitoring activities.


Scheutz, C., Fredenslund, A.M. 2019. Total methane emission rates and losses from 23 biogas plants. Waste Management, 97, 38-46.

How to cite: Fredenslund, A. and Scheutz, C.: Maximising climate protection through minimising gas leakage – the Danish biogas measurement programme, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16061,, 2021.

EGU21-12927 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Sustainable management of water environment in anthropopressure area for municipal purposes, water quality improvement and utilization of renewable energy sources

Artur Wilczynski, Barbara Namyslowska-Wilczynska, and Pawel Maslankiewicz

The Authors deal with the problems of management of post-industrial areas affected by high unemployment leading to prevailing frustration, increasing migration of the population and other socially and economically adverse phenomena. This is accompanied by the considerable degradation of the natural environment and the deterioration in the quality of life of the local population. The aim of the studies is showing the possibilities to create a model to manage the resources in order to achieve sustainable development, particularly to manage water and energy in the post-industrial areas. The studies have been carried out for a region heavily industrialized in the recent past with present closed down mines. In particular, the work relates to examine the possibility of: improving the quality of the surface and underground waters, using the water as a source of low-temperature heat, storing energy and producing energy in local renewable sources, ensuring proper water retention, developing post-industrial tourism through managing the post-industrial facilities and making them available. Innovation of work is to create an integrated model of resources and the environment management, in particular water resources and non-conventional energy.

The proposals constitute a contribution to the implementation of the principles of sustainable development by focusing on three of its dimensions - economic, environmental and social. At the same time it would be a way for the sustainable management of the water environment in the areas of anthropopressure, in industrial and post-industrial areas, for the purpose of collecting water, improving water quality and the use of local energy sources. The possibility of energy storage, which is extremely important in the area of an intensive development of unconventional sources of energy (wind farms, solar sources, hydroelectric, etc.), the characteristics of which are irregular, referred to simply as chimeric sources, also exists.

How to cite: Wilczynski, A., Namyslowska-Wilczynska, B., and Maslankiewicz, P.: Sustainable management of water environment in anthropopressure area for municipal purposes, water quality improvement and utilization of renewable energy sources, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12927,, 2021.

EGU21-9905 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Quantifying the mechanical response of the Izaña area (Tenerife) to sustained groundwater withdrawal 

Anthony Lamur, Silvio De Angelis, Rayco Marrero, Yan Lavallée, and Pablo J. Gonzalez

Surface water resources on volcanic islands with moderate rainfall and relatively high permeability are usually scarce or non-existent. As such, life and local economies of these islands mostly relies on groundwater exploitation. It is therefore important to characterise the sustainability of volcanic aquifer systems. In short, an aquifer is deemed in equilibrium when the recharge rate equals or exceeds the exploitation rate. The Izaña area in Tenerife Island (Canary Islands, Spain) has been exploited since the 1900s via a series of ~30 horizontal drilling or water galleries coming from both flanks of the NE-Ridge. Since exploitation began, the water table has dropped continuously, in some area even more than 200 m. Since the 2000s, aquifer dynamics (compaction) have been observed using InSAR indicating a subsidence rate of up to 2 cm per year.

Here, we investigate a suite of rock samples collected. The samples were collected at several water galleries aiming to be representative of the aquifer materials from the Izaña area. We first characterise the basic physical properties of each samples (porosity, permeability, solid density) before quantifying the elastic parameters (Young’s modulus, Poisson ratio) and uniaxial strength of the lithologies collected. We also measure Vp under dry and wet conditions (i.e. different saturation levels) to assess whether water saturation can alter the velocity of P-waves passing through those rocks.

Preliminary results show that connected porosities range from 0.16 to 45%, conferring a wide range of mechanical response to increasing effective pressure, with strength ranging from 18 – 315 MPa and Young’s moduli ranging from 3 – 57 GPa. In a similar fashion, results for Vp measurements also exhibit a range of values (~1.5 – 4.5 km/s). These data show that materials present in the aquifer are extremely varied, suggesting that both fluid flow and observed deformation are likely to be controlled by the weakest, most porous lithologies.

These results will further be integrated with the lithostratigraphic record of the aquifer in order to model the mechanical response of the aquifer to changes in effective pressures, and specifically pore pressure reduction with water extraction. Additionally, chemical and textural analysis will provide insights on the evolution of the porous network at different alteration levels, here serving as a proxy for time at saturation in the aquifer. Finally, we aim to compare the experimental results from laboratory measurements to those of hydro-geophysical measurements that will be collected in the field starting in mid-2021.

How to cite: Lamur, A., De Angelis, S., Marrero, R., Lavallée, Y., and Gonzalez, P. J.: Quantifying the mechanical response of the Izaña area (Tenerife) to sustained groundwater withdrawal , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9905,, 2021.

EGU21-9514 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Assessment of groundwater contamination by chlorpyrifos using the PWC model in Valencia Region (Spain)

Ricardo Pérez Indoval, Javier Rodrigo-Ilarri, and Eduardo Cassiraga

Chlorpyrifos is commoly used as an pesticide to control weeds and prevent nondesirable grow of algae, fungi and bacteria in many agricultural applications. Despite its highly negative effects on human health, environmental modeling of this kind of pesticide in the groundwater is not commonly done in real situations. Predicting the fate of pesticides released into the natural environment is necessary to anticipate and minimize adverse effects both at close and long distances from the contamination source. A number of models have been developed to predict the behavior, mobility, and persistence of pesticides. These models should account for key hydrological and agricultural processes, such as crop growth, pesticide application patterns, transformation processes and field management practices.

This work shows results obtained by the Pesticide Water Calculator (PWC) model to simulate the behavior of chlorpyrifos. PWC model is used as a standard pesticide simulation model in USA and in this work it has been used to  simulate the fate and transport of chlorpyrifos in the unsaturated zone of the aquifer. The model uses a whole set of parameters to solve a modified version of the mass transport equation considering the combined effect of advection, dispersion and reactive transport processes. PWC is used to estimate the daily concentrations of chlorpyrifos in the Buñol-Cheste aquifer in Valencia Region(Spain).

A whole set of simulation scenarios have been designed to perform a parameter sensitivity analysis. Results of the PWC model obtained in this study represents a crucial first step towards the development of a pesticide risk assessment in Valencia Region. Results show that numerical simulation is a valid tool for the analysis and prediction of the fate  and transport of pesticides in the groundwater.

How to cite: Pérez Indoval, R., Rodrigo-Ilarri, J., and Cassiraga, E.: Assessment of groundwater contamination by chlorpyrifos using the PWC model in Valencia Region (Spain), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9514,, 2021.

EGU21-2343 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Integrated geological-geophysical and UAS proximal sensing approach to the study of ground water movement between two open-pit pools in an abandoned mine area.

Stefano Cara, Silvana Fais, Paola Ligas, Carlo Matzuzzi, and Federica Podda

The aim of this work is to combine geological/geophysical techniques with proximal sensing based on Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for advanced 3D modeling, in a possible post-mining landscape recovery of abandoned mine sites. In this framework a test area in central Sardinia (Italy) was studied. In this area, several talc-chlorite-feldspar bodies have long been mined in open pit operation greatly modifying the original landscape. At present the rearrangement of the mining site and particularly the open pit works that have been occupied by newly formed pools filled with waters from aquifers can be considered an overall project of landscape recovery. The project team have focused on developing a UAS proximal sensing technique for the acquisition of high-definition digital images and by means of photogrammetric algorithms (CMPMVS) in order to generate a dense 3D point cloud and successively high-resolution digital models (DSM and DTM). The proximal sensing survey was performed at different flight heights to obtain a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) according to the scale of investigation. The availability of a detailed topographic dataset is fundamental to characterize a complex morphology and is a basic support for integration with the data resulting from the geological-geophysical survey conducted in the abandoned mine area. Based on this a geophysical investigation by the electromagnetic very low frequency (VLF) method was carefully planned and carried out to localize potential structural discontinuities that can guide groundwater circulation between the newly formed pools encased in the crystalline basement rocks. The VLF method has a high-resolution power in detecting lateral variations in the electrical properties (i.e., conductivity) of the rock formations related to the presence of underground geological structures. To facilitate the interpretation of the VLF-EM anomalies the Karous–Hjelt linear filter was applied on the EM data. Thanks to the application of this filtering procedure, it was possible to obtain the current density pseudosections along the profiles crossing the basement rocks. The pseudosections provide a representation of the various current concentrations in depth and hence the spatial arrangement of subsurface geological features such as faults, fracture zones and geological contacts. The VLF data were also quantitatively interpreted with a 2D code for the VLF data inversion. Both in the pseudosections and in the 2D resistivity models two main conductive zones are present. These conductive zones could be the signature of a preferential path of the water circulation between the newly formed pools encased in the basement rocks. The application of the integrated geological-geophysical and UAV photogrammetric survey approach proved successful in characterizing the basement rocks of the investigated area and allowed to localize structural discontinuities that can guide the groundwater circulation. The results of this study can represent the indispensable knowledge base to contribute to constraining the hydrogeology numerical model needed for the mine site rehabilitation and reasonable planning of the possible post-mining landscape recovery. The methodological sequence used in this study can be reproduced in other similar abandoned mining sites thus giving an important contribution to an efficient and cost-effective performance of the restoration project.

How to cite: Cara, S., Fais, S., Ligas, P., Matzuzzi, C., and Podda, F.: Integrated geological-geophysical and UAS proximal sensing approach to the study of ground water movement between two open-pit pools in an abandoned mine area., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2343,, 2021.

This geostatistical study investigates the variation in the basic geological parameters of the lithologically varied deposit in mining block R-1 in the west (W) part of the Rudna Mine (the region Lubin – Sieroszowice, SW part of Poland).

Data obtained from the sampling (sample size N = 708) of excavations in block R-1 were the input for the spatial analyses. The data are the results of chemical analyses of the Cu content in the (recoverable) deposit series, carried out on channel samples and drilled core samples, taken systematically at every 15-20 m in the headings.

The deposit profile comprises various rock formations, such as: mineralized Weissliegend sandstones, intensively mineralized upper Permian dolomitic-loamy and loamy copper-bearing schists and carbonate rocks: loamy dolomite, striped dolomite and limy dolomite, of various thickness. No schists formed in some parts of block R-1, which are referred to as the schistless area. The deposit series here is considerably less mineralized (comparing with other mining blocks) even though the mineralization thickness of the sandstone and carbonate rocks reaches as much as 20 m.

The variation in the Cu content and thickness of the recoverable deposit and the estimated averages Z* of the above parameters were modelled using the variogram function and the ordinary (block) kriging technique. The efficiency of the estimations was characterized.

As part of the further spatial analyses the Zs values of the analysed deposit parameters were simulated using the conditional turning bands simulation. Confidence intervals for the values of averages based on the estimated averages Z* and averages  based on the simulated values (realizations) Zs, showing the uncertainty of the estimations and simulations, were calculated.

The results of the analyses clearly indicate the shifting of the mineralized zone (the mineralizing solutions), sometimes into the sandstones while spreading throughout the floor of calcareous-dolomitic formations and sometimes into the carbonate rocks, partly entering the roof layers of sandstones. It can be concluded that the process of deposit formation and copper mineralization variation had a multiphase character and the lateral and vertical relocation of the valuable metal ores could play a significant role.

The combination of various geostatistical techniques - estimation and simulation - will allow for more effective management of natural resources of mineral resources, including copper ore deposits.

How to cite: Namysłowska-Wilczyńska, B.: Estimation of copper ore deposit parameters – case study of Rudna Mine mining block R-1 (SW part of Poland) using geostatistics, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12397,, 2021.

Surface ozone pollution has been proven to impose significant damages on crops. However, the quantification of the damages was extensively derived from chamber experiments, which is not representative of actual results in farm fields due to the limitations of spatial scale, time window, etc. In this work, we attempt to empirically fill this gap using county-level data in the United States from 1980 to 2015. We explore ozone impacts on corn, soybeans, spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, cotton, peanuts, rice, sorghum, and sunflower. We also incorporate a variety of climate variables to investigate potential ozone-climate interactions. More importantly, we shed light on future yield consequences of ozone and climate change individually and jointly under a moderate warming scenario. Our findings suggest significant negative impacts of ozone exposure for eight of the ten crops we examined, excepting barley and winter wheat, which contradicts experimental results. The average annual damages were estimated at $6.03 billion (in 2015 U.S. dollar) from 1980 to 2015. We also find rising temperatures tend to worsen ozone damages while water supply would mitigate that. Finally, elevated ozone driven by future climate change would cause much smaller damages than the direct effects of climate change itself.

How to cite: Da, Y., Xu, Y., and McCarl, B.: Effects of ozone and climate on historical (1980-2015) crop yields in the United States: Implication for mid-21st century projection, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-399,, 2021.

This work aims to identify means of analysing the gravimetric composition of solid waste retained in the fences of some operational units of the Insular sewage system in the municipality of Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Two sewage pumping stations (Beira-Mar Norte and Hospital Universitário-Trindade) units were chosen and the railing at the entrance to the sewage treatment station of the system (Insular). The following classes of solid waste were adopted: plastics, metals, styrofoam, civil construction material, dead animals, sanitary napkins, diapers, rags and cloths, organic matter, other or tailings. It is being identified the solid waste observed in greater quantities and in percentages in the sanitary sewage system, which may cause damage to the operational units. The intending action is to be able to propose to local government and the system operator, different ways to educate the population and try to prevent or reduce the appearance of these residues in the sewage systems.

How to cite: Bortolotto, N. L. and Poleto, C.: Gravimetric Analysis of Solid Waste from Sanitary Sewage Operating Units of the Insular System, Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6668,, 2021.

EGU21-1847 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Optical detection of alpha emitting radionuclides in the environment

Faton Krasniqi

Radiological emergencies involving accidental or deliberate dispersion of alpha emitting radionuclides in the environment can cause significant damage to humans and societies in general. A detection system to measure large-scale contamination of these radionuclides is currently not available. In case of a contamination, the only option is to evacuate the population from the affected areas and then run diagnostics by hand due to the short range of alpha particles in air, exposing thus the emergency teams to considerable risk. Even then, the results of emergency field applications are notoriously ambiguous, time consuming and tedious due to the centimetre range of the alpha particles in air. A novel detection approach which is capable of remote detection of alpha-emitting radionuclides in the environment will be reported. This approach will assist the on-site incident management and will enable detection of contamination threats without contact—from safe distances—avoiding thus contamination of operators and equipment.

How to cite: Krasniqi, F.: Optical detection of alpha emitting radionuclides in the environment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1847,, 2021.

EGU21-8003 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Comfort-energy nexus in naturally ventilated affordable mass housing with alternative constructions in the developing world

Roshmi Sen, Shankha Pratim Bhattacharya, and Subrata Chattopadhyay

There is a strong positive correlation between thermal comfort quality experienced inside a building and its energy efficiency. This is more obvious in case of mechanically ventilated spaces where the energy gains are directly related to the thermal load, as compared to free running or naturally ventilated spaces. Current state of arts assess the energy efficiency of building envelops in terms of the cumulative thermal load in the operating phase of the building that are catered by mechanical ventilations. Our study aims at addressing this gap of research in assessing the thermal comfort quality of naturally ventilated residential living spaces. Our study is designed in a warm-humid climate setting and in the context of affordable mass housing in the developing world where mechanical ventilation is unaffordable or affordable only for a definite period of the day and during peak summer seasons; such buildings are said to be operating in temporal mixed mode.

Affordable mass housing constitutes 95% housing demand in the residential sector in India. Various alternative materials and composite roofing and walling envelops have been envisioned in the past decade for such constructions, however, their effectiveness in terms of comfort quality has not been assessed for naturally ventilated envelops. Our study introduces a model to assess the thermal performance of naturally ventilated bedrooms constructed with alternate building envelop configurations. We attempt to review  and compare alternative walling technologies and the currently emerging mass housing construction systems in India with the base case housing envelop constructions commonly in practice in India that use ordinary burnt clay brick walls and reinforced concrete roofs. We compare the thermal comfort purveyed in the indoor bedroom spaces using the adaptive thermal comfort model in EN15251 as thermal neutrality temperature. We assess and compare alternative envelop performance using two measuring thermal comfort indices suited for naturally ventilated scenarios - the discomfort hours index and the cooling indoor degree hours index. Discomfort hours measures the number of hours of discomfort experienced during the summer solstice and spring equinox months whereas the cooling indoor degree hours measures the cumulative average temperature elevation from the comfort temperature in the hours marked as discomfort hours. In our study, light gauge steel framed structure with foam concrete filling records the minimum number of discomfort hours, however purveys maximum cooling indoor degree hours.

The above two comfort indices have not been compared in the past to assess the thermal comfort quality in naturally ventilated or temporal mixed mode buildings. Our study frames a thermal comfort assessment model for naturally ventilated envelops and thereby offers a paradigm shift from life cycle cooling load minimization models which are appropriate for mechanically conditioned spaces. Our observations are also important for mass housing envelop selection and in the context of the current policy frameworks in the developing world, aimed at minimizing the projected demand for residential space cooling and future energy footprints in the housing sector.

How to cite: Sen, R., Bhattacharya, S. P., and Chattopadhyay, S.: Comfort-energy nexus in naturally ventilated affordable mass housing with alternative constructions in the developing world, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8003,, 2021.

EGU21-14275 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Building’s Energy Consumption Pattern and Design-Built Parameters - Influence of Climate on Design Guidelines

Abdulrahman Almufarrej and Tohid Erfani

Increasing buildings energy efficiency is a challenging task. The two main contributing factors that control the overall buildings energy performance are the Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system and the building envelope design. Our research investigates how three main building envelop design factors (orientation, compactness and window to wall ratio) impact the overall building’s energy consumption. We focus on typical rectangular shaped buildings and vary the geometry between a square to a rectangular floor plan to provide a basis of energy performance in early stage building design guidance. We test the analysis on building’s energy performance specific to the Middle East’s Kuwait climate condition and environment, and discuss the least energy consumption patterns. This is of importance as most of the electricity consumption in Kuwait are due to HVAC use in residential buildings. The major energy consumption factors are broken down to show how the patterns are unique compared to the previously researched efforts and how a regional set of guidance is of need. The results of this study’s implication on energy and resource use in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is discussed, given the high proportion of GHG emission compared to the population within the region.

How to cite: Almufarrej, A. and Erfani, T.: Building’s Energy Consumption Pattern and Design-Built Parameters - Influence of Climate on Design Guidelines, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14275,, 2021.

EGU21-15362 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.1

Evaluating the Effect of Green Infrastructure in Mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect Using Remote Sensing

Sofia Fidani, Ioannis Daliakopoulos, Thrassyvoulos Manios, Manolis Grillakis, Vasiliki Charalampopoulou, and Panagiotis Nektarios

Urban green infrastructure in the form of green roofs and vertical gardens is gradually becoming a mainstream development option to mitigate the negative impacts of dense urbanization, and primarily those associated with the urban heat island effect and the consequent vulnerability due to climate change (Nektarios and Ntoulas, 2017). Nevertheless, the quantification of the effect of green infrastructure in comparison to conventional infrastructure as well as tree parks and gardens, can be a challenge in a rapidly changing urban environment, especially due to historical gaps in environmental parameter monitoring. Here we propose the use of land surface temperature (LST) [oC] produced using freely available LandSat imagery at 30 m resolution, to evaluate the effect of green infrastructure on urban surface temperature. The method relies on the comparison of historical LST timeseries of an area of interest which has undergone urban greening interventions with adjacent city blocks that have retained their conventional urban character. The method is applied to evaluate the impact of the recently constructed Eco Campus Orange (ECO) garden, which has resulted from the renovation of 4 city blocks in Paris, France. Within an area over 3 ha, ECO employs environmentally friendly materials and 100,000 plants to feature 2,300 m2 of green wall and “the largest green roof of Europe”. For the area of interest, over 250 LandSat 5, 7, and 8 multispectral images dating from 2010 to 2020, were analyzed after Ermida et al. (2020). Results show that, since its construction, LST at ECO quickly dropped by over 2 oC, reaching the LST levels of adjacent urban parks. The method is ideal for ambient temperature timeseries reconstruction where long-term monitoring is sparce and can be applied to evaluate drastic landscape changes such as urban greening or vegetation thinning.


Ermida, S.L., Soares, P., Mantas, V., Göttsche, F.M., Trigo, I.F., 2020. Google earth engine open-source code for land surface temperature estimation from the landsat series. Remote Sens.

Nektarios, P.A., Ntoulas, N., 2017. Designing green roofs for arid and semi-arid climates. The route towards the adaptive approach, in: Acta Horticulturae. International Society for Horticultural Science, pp. 197–202.


The research was co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program RIS3Crete (COMPOLIVE: ΚΡΗΡ3-0028773)

The research of MG was co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Human Resource Development, Education and Lifelong Learning", under the Act "STRENGTHENING post-doctoral fellows / researchers - B cycle" (MIS 5033021) implemented by the State Scholarship Foundation.

How to cite: Fidani, S., Daliakopoulos, I., Manios, T., Grillakis, M., Charalampopoulou, V., and Nektarios, P.: Evaluating the Effect of Green Infrastructure in Mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect Using Remote Sensing, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15362,, 2021.

ERE1.2 – GeoERA: Developing integrated geoscience services to address European resource supply and management challenges

EGU21-6407 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Susceptibility assessment of gas hydrate dissociation occurrence along European continental margins and adjacent areas. GARAH project (GeoERA)

Ricardo León, Christopher Rochelle, André Burnol, Carmen Julia Giménez- Moreno, Tove Nielsen, John Hopper, Isabel Reguera, Margaret Stewart, Miguel Llorente, Pilar Mata, and Silvia Cervel

The Pan-European gas-hydrate relate GIS database of GARAH project has allowed assessing the susceptibility of seafloor areas affected by hydrate dissociation. This study has been applied as a first step for the hydrate related risk assessment along the European continental margins. Several factors and variables have been taken into account. They have been defined by their relationship with the presence of hydrates below seafloor and weighted depending on the confidence of finding hydrates in this site. The maximum weight (or confidence) has been given to the recovered samples of gas hydrates or hydrate-dissociation evidences such as degassing or liquation structures observed in gravity cores. Seismic indicators of the presence of gas hydrate or hydrocarbon seabed fluid flow such as BSR, blanking acoustic, amplitude anomalies or the presence of geological structures of seabed fluid flow in the neighbouring of the GHSZ have been weighted with a lower value. The theoretical gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) for a standard composition for biogenic gas has been taken into account as another control factor and constrain feature. Seafloor areas out of the theoretical GSHZ have been excluded as potential likelihood to be affected by hydrate dissociation processes. The base of GHSZ has been classified as a critical area for these dissociation processes.

The proposed methodology analyses the geological hazard by means of the susceptibility assessment, defined by the likelihood of occurrence of hydrate dissociation, collapses, crater-like depressions or submarine landslides over seafloor. The baseline scenario is that gas hydrate occurrence is only possible in seafloor areas where pressure (bathymetry) and seafloor temperature conditions are inside the theoretical GHSZ. Inside GHSZ, the occurrence of gas hydrate is directly related to the presence of its evidences (direct samples of hydrates) or indicators (eg. pore water and velocity anomalies, BSR, gas chimneys, among others), as well as the occurrence of hydrocarbon fluid flow structures inside GHSZ. Finally, the likelihood of the seafloor to be affect gas hydrate dissociation processes will be major at the base of the GHSZ and in the neighbouring of the gas hydrate evidences and indicators. In order to proof this initial hypothesis, a susceptibility assessment has been carried out throughout map algebra in a GIS environment from a density map of evidences and indicators and the Pan-European map of the GHSZ over seafloor. Specifically, it has been conceived as a segmentation in three levels by quantiles resulting of the addition of the density map of evidences and indicators and the weighted map of the GHSZ over seafloor.



GARAH project. GeoERA - GeoE.171.002

How to cite: León, R., Rochelle, C., Burnol, A., Giménez- Moreno, C. J., Nielsen, T., Hopper, J., Reguera, I., Stewart, M., Llorente, M., Mata, P., and Cervel, S.: Susceptibility assessment of gas hydrate dissociation occurrence along European continental margins and adjacent areas. GARAH project (GeoERA), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6407,, 2021.

EGU21-7262 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

3D basin and petroleum system modelling in the North Sea Central Graben - a Dutch, German, Danish cross-border study

Rüdiger Lutz, Susanne Nelskamp, Anders Mathiesen, Niels Hemmingsen Schovsbo, Stefan Ladage, and Peter Britze

A Geological Analysis and Resource Assessment of selected Hydrocarbon Systems (GARAH) is carried out as part of the overarching GeoERA project. Here, we report results on the first public 3D basin and petroleum system model developed in a cross-border area of the Dutch, Danish and German North Sea Central Graben. This pilot study reconstructs the thermal history, maturity and petroleum generation of potential Lower, Middle and Upper Jurassic source rocks and assesses potential unconventional resources in a first phase. The 3D pilot study incorporates new aggregated and combined layers of the three countries. Results of the study feed back into the 3DGEO-EU project of GeoERA.

Eight key horizons covering the whole German Central Graben and parts of the Dutch and Danish North Sea Central Graben were selected for building the stratigraphic and geological framework of the 3D basin and petroleum system model. The model includes depth and thickness maps of important stratigraphic units as well as the main salt structures. Petrophysical parameters, generalized facies information and organic geochemical data from well reports are assigned to the different key geological layers. Further, the model is calibrated with temperature and maturity data from selected offshore wells as well as from publications. The time span from the Late Permian to the Present is represented by the model, including the most important erosional phases related to large-scale tectonic events during the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous. Additionally, salt movement through time expressed as diapirs and pillows is considered within the 3D basin and petroleum system model. Simulations depict that unconventional petroleum resources (oil and natural gas) are present in varying amounts in the source rocks across all three countries.

This is a part of an ongoing EU Horizon 2020 GeoERA project (The GARAH, H2020 grant #731166 lead by GEUS).

How to cite: Lutz, R., Nelskamp, S., Mathiesen, A., Schovsbo, N. H., Ladage, S., and Britze, P.: 3D basin and petroleum system modelling in the North Sea Central Graben - a Dutch, German, Danish cross-border study, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7262,, 2021.

EGU21-16232 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

A European Fault Database as a stepping stone towards improved subsurface evaluation of hazards and resources

Serge Van Gessel, Rob van Ede, Hans Doornenbal, Johan ten Veen, and Esther Hintersberger and the HIKE Team

Faults are prominent features in the subsurface that define the geological development and distribution of geological formations and resources therein. Faults can define resources themselves (e.g. minerals, thermal conduits), but more often they can pose a hazard to subsurface drilling, injection and extraction activities . Well-known examples are Basel – Switzerland (geothermal stimulation), Oklahoma – US (waste water injection) and Groningen – The Netherlands (conventional hydrocarbon extraction).

Despite that faults are a typical product of geological mapping, there was, until now, no consistent insight in these structures in a pan-European context. There are some examples focusing on the publication of seismogenic faults (e.g. GEM Global Active Faults Database, SHARE  European Database of Seismogenic Faults, USGS Quaternary faults database), yet deeply buried faults are under-represented here. With the European fault database, the GeoERA-HIKE project addresses the following objectives: i) develop a consistent and uniform repository for fault data and characteristics across Europe, ii) Implement an associated tectonic vocabulary which provides a framework for future interpretation, modelling and application of fault data, and iii) assess the applicability of fault data in case studies.

The current fault database is envisioned to be a major stepping stone for a sustained and uniform development and dissemination of tectonic data and knowledge which will be applicable to a broad spectrum of subsurface research challenges. The database contains data from Geological Survey Organizations and partners in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Italy, France, Ukraine, Portugal, Slovenia, Albania and various countries in the Pannonian Basin Area.

The GeoERA-HIKE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No. 731166

How to cite: Van Gessel, S., van Ede, R., Doornenbal, H., ten Veen, J., and Hintersberger, E. and the HIKE Team: A European Fault Database as a stepping stone towards improved subsurface evaluation of hazards and resources, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16232,, 2021.

EGU21-1218 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

GeoConnect³d: transforming geological data into a knowledge system in support of the clean energy transition

Renata Barros, Kris Piessens, and the GeoConnect³d team

The transition towards a clean and low carbon energy system in Europe will increasingly rely on the use of the subsurface. Despite the vastness of subsurface space, only a fraction of it is suitable for the exploitation of geo-resources. The distribution and fitting combination of required conditions is determined by geological processes. We are, therefore, constrained in where we can develop resources and capacities. Moreover, increased subsurface use in a restricted area will inevitably lead to high chances of interferences and conflicts of interest. This means that sound geological information is essential to optimise the subsurface contribution to a safe and efficient energy transition.

Within this scope, the main goal of the GeoConnect³d project is to convert existing geological data into an information system that can be used for various geo-applications, decision-making, and subsurface spatial planning. This is being accomplished through the innovative structural framework model, which reorganises, contextualises, and adds value to geological data. The model is primarily focused on geological limits, or broadly planar structures that separate a given geological unit from its neighbouring units. It also includes geomanifestations, highlighting any distinct local expression of ongoing or past geological processes. These manifestations, or anomalies, often point to specific geologic conditions and, therefore, can be important sources of information to improve geological understanding of an area.

Geological data in this model are composed of spatial data at different scales, with a one-to-one link between geometries and their specific attributes (including uncertainties), and of semantic data, with data organised conceptually and categorised and/or linked using SKOS hierarchical and generic schemes. Concepts and geometries are linked by a one-to-many relationship. The combination of these elements then results in a multi-scale, harmonised and robust model.

The structural framework-geomanifestations methodology has now been applied to different areas in Europe. The focus on geological limits brings various advantages, such as displaying geological information in an explicit, and therefore more understandable, way, and simplifying harmonisation efforts in large-scale geological structures crossing national borders. The link between spatial and semantic data is the essential step adding conceptual definitions and interpretations to geometries. Additionally, geomanifestation data successfully validates or points to inconsistencies in specific areas of the model, which can then be further investigated.

The model demonstrates it is possible to gather existing geological data into a comprehensive knowledge system. We consider this as the way forward towards pan-European integration and harmonisation of geological information. Moreover, we identify the great potential of the structural framework model as a toolbox to communicate geosciences beyond our specialised community. This is an important step to support subsurface spatial planning towards a clean energy transition by making geological information available to all stakeholders involved.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.

How to cite: Barros, R., Piessens, K., and team, T. G.: GeoConnect³d: transforming geological data into a knowledge system in support of the clean energy transition, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1218,, 2021.

EGU21-11944 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2 | Highlight

Introducing digital information products of the four GeoERA groundwater projects for assessment and sustainable use of water resources and the subsurface in a changing climate

Klaus Hinsby, Laurence Gourcy, Hans Peter Broers, Anker Lajer Højberg, Marco Bianchi, and Peter van der Keur

Sustainable evolution of groundwater quantity and quality is essential for sustainable development and protection of society and nature, globally, as acknowledged in the UN sustainable development goals and the European Green Deal. Too much? – too little? – and/or too polluted? are important questions to pose and answer in a changing climate with increasing pressures on water resources, severe loss of biodiversity, and a projected increase in extreme events resulting in an increasing risk of floods, droughts, landslides and land subsidence.   

Easy access to digital and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and reusable) data on groundwater quantity and quality is imperative for informed decision making and efficient climate change mitigation and adaptation to which sustainable groundwater management will contribute. Here we briefly present selected highlights and digital data products from the four GeoERA groundwater projects developed for and made available on the digital subsurface information platform of the European geological survey organizations. The ambition is to develop the digital information platform, EGDI (the European Geological Data Infrastructure) as the leading information platform for sustainable and integrated management of subsurface resources in Europe and one of the leading platforms, globally.

How to cite: Hinsby, K., Gourcy, L., Broers, H. P., Højberg, A. L., Bianchi, M., and van der Keur, P.: Introducing digital information products of the four GeoERA groundwater projects for assessment and sustainable use of water resources and the subsurface in a changing climate, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11944,, 2021.

EGU21-14289 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Towards a European denitrification concept for improved groundwater quality management and chemical status assessment

Laurence Gourcy, Klaus Hinsby, Laerke Thorling, Stephanie Pinson, Matthew Ascott, Hans-Peter Broers, Eline Malcuit, and Christos Christophi

Denitrification potential is an important parameter to know for adequate and efficient management and assessment of groundwater vulnerability and chemical status. Denitrification removes nitrate in groundwater, but the denitrification capacity is highly variable in space and time, and it may be used up with time. When linking pressure and impact the effect of partial or complete denitrification and denitrification capacity should be taken into account. In some areas, denitrification is seen as an advantage, allowing higher N release below soil without leading to a decrease of the groundwater quality and eventually concentrations in groundwater higher than the WFD and DWD threshold values, which EU member states have to establish to protect drinking water and groundwater dependent terrestrial and associated aquatic ecosystems.    

Within the GEOERA HOVER project, the aim was to assess the spatial extent and importance of denitrification. The studied cases permitted at a first step to highlight the heterogeneities of the approaches due to the variability of information obtained i.e. the likelihood of denitrification, depth and thickness of redox transition zone, complete denitrification status. The parameters used to define the denitrification vary also from one country to another based on a large set of redox sensitive ions (Eh, O2, NO3, NO2, Fe, Mn, SO4, CH4, δ18O-NO3 et δ15N-NO3, H2S or N2). Some of these parameters can be accessed by standard methods in most laboratories, used for groundwater quality monitoring, while others require specialized analysis and interpretations.

Considering groundwater and hydrogeological data available in most of the EU countries, a simple method is proposed in order to classify the monitoring points into three classes: oxic, anoxic and mixed. After being tested in different well-known areas the method will be applied in various lithologies and hydrogeological contexts The proposed method will enable the development of European maps supporting groundwater quality management across Europe.

How to cite: Gourcy, L., Hinsby, K., Thorling, L., Pinson, S., Ascott, M., Broers, H.-P., Malcuit, E., and Christophi, C.: Towards a European denitrification concept for improved groundwater quality management and chemical status assessment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14289,, 2021.

Work package 7 of the GeoERA HOVER project deals with groundwater vulnerability assessment to pollution of the shallow upper aquifer. We present vulnerability assessments across Europe applying the DRASTIC method in 11 pilot areas and the COP method for karst systems in 5 pilot areas. The presented assessments are carried out at multiple scales (between 1:1K and 1:250K), pilot areas sizes (catchment to national scale; 15 to 338 000 km²) and hydro-climatic contexts (ranging from extremely high and steady recharge to very low and seasonal recharge). The core item of this presentation is a detailed investigation and statistical assessment on respective data availability, data density and methodologies applied to retrieve input parameters for the assessment (e.g., groundwater recharge) and how this affects the final vulnerability assessments. We also focus on the definition (numerical ranges) of the individual vulnerability classes, which are valid across all pilots.

In an attempt to generate information summarizing affected aquifer volumes, a method based on a lumped index and 2D conceptual cross-sections is proposed. It was originally designed for sea-water intrusion assessments, and has been adapted and applied in some pilot areas to estimate aquifer volumes of each individual vulnerability class.

How to cite: Broda, S. and the HOVER WP7 Team: Multi-scale input data assessment for harmonized index-based aquifer vulnerability evaluations across Europe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14449,, 2021.

EGU21-16210 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Comparing methods to estimate chloride natural background levels to assess sea water intrusion

David Pulido-Velazquez, Leticia Baena-Ruiz, Denitza Voutchkova, Birgitte Hansen, Klaus Hinsby, Georgina Arnó, Victor Camps, Judite Fernandes, Inga Retike, Janis Bikse, Gualbet Oude Essink, Timo Kroon, Joost Delsman, Antonio-Juan Collados-Lara, Ignacio Morel, Juan Antonio Luque, and Juan Grima

In order to assess the anthropogenic impacts on groundwater quality we generally need to identify the natural conditions or Natural background levels (NBLs) within groundwater systems, which are used as references to assess the evolution of the contamination status. This information, in addition to the threshold values (TVs), which are derived from NBLs and based on specific criteria values for legitimate water uses and the environment (terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems), is required to appropriately assess of the chemical status of groundwater in accordance with the European Water Framework Directive and to analyse and propose potential measures where they are required.

In literature, different methodologies are available to assess NBLs and reference TVs for different geochemical substances based on the available measurements of groundwater salinity (e.g. based on probability plots). In this work we analyze and compare three previously proposed methods for derivation of chloride NBLs, which is a conservation solute and is closely related to salt water intrusion in inland and coastal aquifers. We discuss and compare their applicability in pilots located in different settings (southern /northern European / Mediteranean/ North Sea /Baltic Sea) covering different typologies (detrital, karstic, fissured aquifers) and management issues (overexploitation, land use and land cover changes, etc). We perform sensitivity analysis to different constraints applied to remove samples affected by human activity (Nitrate and the brackish saline constraints) in the assessment of NBLs. Finally, based on this analysis, we propose a general approach for derivation of NBLs that could be applied to any of the tested pilots as well as other similar settings in Europe.


This research has been partially supported by the SIGLO-AN project (RTI2018-101397-B-I00) from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad).

This work has been partially supported by the GeoE.171.008-TACTIC and GeoE.171.008-HOVER projects from GeoERA organization funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

How to cite: Pulido-Velazquez, D., Baena-Ruiz, L., Voutchkova, D., Hansen, B., Hinsby, K., Arnó, G., Camps, V., Fernandes, J., Retike, I., Bikse, J., Oude Essink, G., Kroon, T., Delsman, J., Collados-Lara, A.-J., Morel, I., Luque, J. A., and Grima, J.: Comparing methods to estimate chloride natural background levels to assess sea water intrusion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16210,, 2021.

EGU21-15519 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

REY contents in Fe-Mn crusts in Macaronesia: evidence of variation with depth and mineralogy

Egidio Marino, Francisco Javier González, Teresa Medialdea, Luis Somoza, Pedro Ferreira, Thomas Kuhn, Vitor Magalhaes, and Ana Lobato

Bulk mineralogy and geochemistry data of Fe-Mn crusts from seamounts of the Macaronesia region (Canary Islands and Madeira and Azores archipelagos) compiled for the MINDeSEA Database, have been analyzed using statistical tools and related with their location and sampling depth.
Results show that the predominant mineralogy is represented by hydrogenetic Fe-vernadite and goethite, with minor abundance of other Mn-oxides such as buserite, asbolane and todorokite in crusts influenced by early diagenesis. Bulk geochemistry is dominated by Fe and Mn (ranging from 7 to 29 wt. %) with low aluminum-silicate elements (10 wt. % in average) and with significant average contents of several strategic and critical metals like Co, Ni, V, Mo, Te and especially REYs (4700, 2300, 1000, 400, 50 and 2500 µg/g respectively).
Variation of REYs and energy critical element (Co, Mn and Te) contents as a function of water depth and mineralogy are clearly evident in this study. Geochemical and statistical studies (Pearson correlation and factorial analysis with Varimax) reveal that Fe-Mn crusts recovered at water depths just below the oxygen minimum zone (that in this area is located between 300 and 1000 m) at Tropic, Tore, Unicorn and Bimbache seamounts, show an enrichment of all REYs and especially LREEs (Ce is the most enriched element with up to 2900 µg/g). On the other hand, the crusts recollected from the deepest seamounts: Drago, Gaire and MTR (up to 4900 m water depth) show a slightly depletion in all the REYs, especially La and Ce (300 and 1800 µg/g in average respectively). A similar behavior can also be observed for the other energy critical elements where enrichment or depletion is clearly linked to water depth. Additionally, there is a correlation of REY abundance with the mineralogy.  High-resolution studies show that REY are concentrated up to an order of magnitude lower in the diagenetic Mn oxide minerals than in the hydrogenetic phases, possibly due to their high growth rates that don’t allow the concentration of these elements. This work is part of the investigation related to the metallogenetic models for marine minerals developed in the Geo-ERA MINDeSEA1 European project.

[1] This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166

How to cite: Marino, E., González, F. J., Medialdea, T., Somoza, L., Ferreira, P., Kuhn, T., Magalhaes, V., and Lobato, A.: REY contents in Fe-Mn crusts in Macaronesia: evidence of variation with depth and mineralogy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15519,, 2021.

EGU21-15563 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Predicting potential areas for the formation of Co-rich ferromanganese crusts in the Canary Islands Seamount Province using multi-criteria GIS analysis

Ana Lobato, Egidio Marino, Javier González, Teresa Medialdea, and Luis Somoza

Marine ferromanganese crusts are metal-rich chemical sediments showing an increasing economic interest as potential mineral resources for strategic and critical metals. Formation of Fe-Mn crusts is linked to a series of different factors that favor or limit their genesis on the seabed. The objective of this work is the search of areas for potential formation of these deposits, using data obtained in the Canary Islands Seamount Province. The study has been carried out based on multi-criteria analysis, using a Geographic Information System (ArcGis 10.5, Spatial Analysis and Statistical tools). For this purpose, it has been created a cartographic model, which considers data related to depth, seabed substrate nature and age, slope and exposure to marine bottom currents. This model has been applied to non-sampled areas, contrasting them with data derived from the analysis of samples taken in different oceanographic surveys, in order to establish the correct conclusions. This work has been carried out using bathymetric and geological data shared by the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) with the MINDeSEA [1] and EMODnet-Geology [2] European projects.

[1] This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.

[2] EMODNET-Geology project (EASME/EMFF/2018/ 1/SI2.811048).

How to cite: Lobato, A., Marino, E., González, J., Medialdea, T., and Somoza, L.: Predicting potential areas for the formation of Co-rich ferromanganese crusts in the Canary Islands Seamount Province using multi-criteria GIS analysis, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15563,, 2021.

The ROBOMINERS (Resilient Bio-inspired Modular Robotic Miner) project aims at developing new methods and technologies (prototype automation and robotics technology) to locate and exploit underground mineral deposits and is funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. The project targets mineral deposits that are generally considered “non-economical” either because they are not accessible anymore for conventional mining techniques, or they have been previously explored but exploitation was considered uneconomic due to the small size of the deposits or the difficulty to access them (abandoned, small, ultra-depth deposits).


The European Federation of Geologists (EFG) is part of the Robominers consortium and its role includes the collection of publicly available data at a national level on mineral deposits which are potential targets on the developed mining technology. The Association of Greek Geologists (AGG) is participating as an EFG Linked Third Party in the project aiming, among others, at the creation of a European database of potentially suitable ore deposits for the utilization of the Robominers technology.


The creation of an ore deposits’ European database is a crucial procedure for the best possible design of exploration and exploitation applying the Robominers innovative approach. The AGG has contributed in the building of a database at a national level (for Greece), of the major and most important mineral deposits, according to the project requirements. A number of ore deposits in which Robominers advanced technology may provide a unique solution to mineral extraction, include porphyry and epithermal deposits and especially vein-like types, but volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS-type) and lense-like or layered orthomagmatic deposits can also be of high importance. From the above mentioned ore deposits the most abundant in Greece are epithermal deposits, deposits in hydrothermal veins, porphyry copper, as well as chromites in ophiolite complexes. Regarding the spatial distribution vein-type or metasomatic deposits are located mostly in Northern Greece (Western Macedonia and Thrace regions) while significant variable-mineralization deposits are related with the Attico-Cycladic belt volcanism (mainly Lavrion, Evia, and islands in the Aegean Sea). Finally, PGE bearing chromite deposits and bauxite deposits, located mainly in Central Greece, may also be significant for the project.


The establishment of a joined European Robominers database is of great significance for the progress of the project since it will provide essential information on key outputs such as the deposit type and commodities, the host rock, and the spatial distribution of the project’s targeted ore deposits and will provide valuable knowledge regarding the future planning of the exploration and exploitation from the developed Robominers innovative technology approach.

Dr Eleni Koutsopoulou

Coordinator of the project

On Behalf of the:

Association of Greek Geologists

Didotou 26,10680, Athens, Greece

VAT ID: EL-999600130



How to cite: Koutsopoulou, E., Servou, A., and Aggelopoulos, G.: The ROBOMINERS project: a promising tool for the re-evaluation of “non-economical” deposits. Aiming at the development of a joined European database of potentially suitable ore deposits for the utilization of the Robominers technology., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13158,, 2021.

EGU21-14730 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Value assessment of ornamental stone resources

Tom Heldal and Kari Aslaksen Aasly

Throughout Europe, there are large industrial and cultural landscapes originating from the exploitation of ornamental stone through history. Such landscapes may contain a range of potential values; economic, such as future resources and reserves, and non-economic, such as cultural and industrial heritage, areas for recreation and tourism, and geological heritage. Based on case studies in two areas, we will explore different paths and methods for assessing values of ornamental stone resources.

The Iddefjord granite, SE Norway, has been exploited since the middle ages, but the main phase came with the industrial revolution. During the last half of the 19th Century, the granite industry here grew to a considerable size, culminating around the turn of the century when more than 5000 people worked in the quarries, producing paving and building stone. At present time, only one active natural stone quarry remains, but the quality of the granite should encourage further future developments. The study summarizes the geology and evolution of quarrying and quarry technology and provides a characterization of the quarry landscape: its resources that can provide economic values for the future and the anthropogenic morphology of the landscape created by exploitation through history. From the characterization, we propose a scheme for value assessment of the Iddefjord natural stone resource. In particular, we focus the non-economic values. For instance, the importance of the Iddefjord granite as a historic marker in world architecture may provide significant arguments for future designation of exploitation areas.

The Larvik monzonite (larvikite) in SE Norway is composed of varieties of monzonite with a distinct play of colour (chatoyancy), making the stone highly attractive in the global markets. Although use of larvikite goes back to the medieval period, industrial production started in the Late 19th Century and is still large scaled and increasing. This case study investigates the future resources, applying 3D modelling and UNFC. In addition, secondary value chains from the primary ornamental stone production are evaluated.

These case studies are parts of the Eurolithos and Mintel4EU Projects within the GeoEra umbrella, aimed at harmonizing and visualizing information about natural stone resources in Europe.

How to cite: Heldal, T. and Aasly, K. A.: Value assessment of ornamental stone resources, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14730,, 2021.

EGU21-15566 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

Testing UNFC as a harmonized supporting tool for resource management in Europe

Kari Aasly, Pasi Eil, Frands Schjøth, and Lisbeth Flindt-Jørgensen

With the global increase in raw material demand comes the need for harmonized supporting tools for sustainable resource management in Europe. Europe needs to assess their resource potential, but the European countries do not have a common tool to aggregate information for continent-wide resource inventories. The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is a system that may be used for this purpose.

One of the specific tasks in the MINTELL4EU project under the GeoERA programme is to test if the European geological surveys will be able to use UNFC as a tool to evaluate a country’s known and potential resources across variable levels of knowledge. The project will also show, if the application of UNFC can provide better harmonization of mineral resource data nationally and across Europe.

The work on UNFC in MINTELL4EU is based on case studies to gain experience. Based on the knowledge and lessons learned from the case studies, guidelines and recommendations for further work will be given. Preliminary results show that there is a need for a more harmonized system and that stricter guidelines are required. On top of this, there are different levels of experience in UNFC among the European geological surveys, and the approach and methods on UNFC varies between the countries.

How to cite: Aasly, K., Eil, P., Schjøth, F., and Flindt-Jørgensen, L.: Testing UNFC as a harmonized supporting tool for resource management in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15566,, 2021.

EGU21-14690 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2 | Highlight

Collecting, harmonizing and sharing data on European Raw Materials

Lisbeth Flindt Jørgensen, Špela Kumelj, and Teresa Brown

Geological raw materials cover a wide range of materials from sand and gravel over granites and marbles to precious or critical metals and minerals. Man has extracted these materials from the (sub)surface since prehistorical eras, and these indispensable substances have to a very large extent contributed to the evolution of humankind.

In the latest decades, raw materials of economically and strategically importance for society but with high-risks associated with their supply, referred to as Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). To a large extent they form the basis for modern society as they are essential in key industry sectors. In the latest years, access to CRMs is a strategic security question for Europe’s road towards the green transition.

In September 2020, The European Commission launched a new list of CRMs as well as a strategy to enhance Europe’s resilience as most of these substances are sourced from other continents, and as the global competitions is increasing (EC, 2020). Among others, one of the suggested actions in this strategy is to ‘strengthen the sustainable and responsible domestic sourcing ……. in the European Union’. Although Europe has a long tradition of mining and extractive activities, it is acknowledged that there are several challenges to reach a situation with European sourcing of a certain amount of CRMs. Challenges include lack of interest in investment, strict permitting procedures or low levels of public acceptance. Nevertheless, it is recognized that the European geological conditions carry significant potential for CRMs, but more harmonised knowledge across borders is needed. This is where the Geological Survey Organisations of Europe play an important role as they are key partners in collecting and storing information on raw materials at national levels, and in making these available for endusers as policy and decision makers.  

All European countries have a national geological survey organization, some in addition a number of regional surveys. Most host data on raw materials, however, data are typically organized in different ways from one country to another based on different geological traditions and legal commitments. In the GeoERA MINTELL4EU project we build on previous projects as Minerals4EU, ProSUM, SCRREEN, ORAMA, and cooperate with ongoing projects as RESEERVE to collect raw material data in central database and to visualize these data in harmonized way at the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI). Data includes, among other things, the location of individual mineral occurrences, mines, etc. stored in a central database called MIN4EU, and aggregated statistical data at national level on production, trade and reserves etc, compiled in what we know as the electronic Minerals Yearbook. The methods used for collecting (harvesting) and storing data will be discussed, and examples of harmonized visualizations will be shared.

MINTELL4EU is a part of the GeoERA programme supported by European Union's Horizon 2020, grant agreement no. 731166. 

How to cite: Flindt Jørgensen, L., Kumelj, Š., and Brown, T.: Collecting, harmonizing and sharing data on European Raw Materials, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14690,, 2021.

EGU21-15047 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2 | Highlight

GeoERA´s Contribution Towards Resilience in Europe’s Raw Materials Supply Chains

Antje Wittenberg, Daniel P. S. de Oliveira, F. Javier González Sanz, Lisbeth Flindt Jørgensen, and Tom Held

The well-being of society and the interdependencies of national economies depend heavily on reliably functioning supply chains as the COVID-19 pandemic proved this long-known statement in everyone's daily life. None of the supply chains can do without the mostly mineral raw materials. The United Nations sees raw materials as the key component for achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The European Green Deal (COM(2019) 640 final) of the European Union as well as the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without raw materials. The IPR Global Resources Outlook 2019 [1] foresees an increasing demand for raw materials worldwide regardless of all efforts to further close the raw material cycles. At the same time, the demand for responsible procurement under ethically, socially and ecologically sound conditions is becoming more and more stringent.

The four GeoERA Raw Materials projects EuroLITHOS, FRAME, MINDeSEA and Mintell4EU share expertise, information and focus on European on-shore and off-shore resources as a first step to take our share of responsibility to ensure responsible sourcing from domestic sources [2]. It is among the tasks of the GeoERA raw material projects to know and evaluate in a comparable way the raw materials of the geology under our feet and to visualize these results in accessible databases, maps and publications.

Results will be presented and discussed on the example of selected raw materials that are particularly important for the energy transition to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.



How to cite: Wittenberg, A., de Oliveira, D. P. S., González Sanz, F. J., Flindt Jørgensen, L., and Held, T.: GeoERA´s Contribution Towards Resilience in Europe’s Raw Materials Supply Chains, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15047,, 2021.

EGU21-14652 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.2

GeoERA Information Platform (GIP), geoscientific information from all over Europe in one place.

Jørgen Tulstrup, Andrej Vihtelič, Ángel Prieto Martín, Martin Schiegl, Dana Čápová, and Martin Hansen

ERE1.3 – Carbon emissions/removals estimates under Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector: field measurements, remote sensing and modelling

EGU21-277 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

 Implementation of mycorrhizal mechanism into a soil carbon model improves the prediction of long-term processes of plant litter decomposition

Weilin Huang, Peter van Bodegom, Toni Viskari, Jari Liski, and Nadejda Soudzilovskaia

Mycorrhizae, a plant-fungal symbiosis, is an important contributor to below ground-microbial interactions, and hypothesized to play a paramount role in soil carbon (C) sequestration. Ectomycorrhizae (EM) and arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) are the two dominant forms of mycorrhizae featured by nearly all Earth plant species. However, the difference in the nature of their contributions to the processes of plant litter decomposition is still understood poorly. Current soil carbon models treat mycorrhizal impacts on the processes of soil carbon transformation as a black box. This retards scientific progress in mechanistic understanding of soil C dynamics.

We examined four alternative conceptualizations of the mycorrhizal impact on plant litter C transformations, by integrating AM and EM fungal impacts on litter C pools of different recalcitrance into the soil carbon model Yasso15. The best performing concept featured differential impacts of EM and AM on a combined pool of labile C, being quantitatively distinct from impacts of AM and EM on a pool of recalcitrant C.

Analysis of time dynamics of mycorrhizal impacts on soil C transformations demonstrated that these impacts are larger at the long-term (>2.5yrs) litter decomposition processes, compared to the short-term processes. We detected that arbuscular mycorrhizae controls shorter term decomposition of labile carbon compounds, while ectomycorrhizae dominate the long term decomposition processes of highly recalcitrant carbon elements. Overall, adding our mycorrhizal module into the Yasso model greatly improved the accuracy of the temporal dynamics of carbon sequestration.

A sensitivity analysis of litter decomposition to climate and mycorrhizal factors indicated that ignoring the mycorrhizal impact on the decomposition leads to an overestimation of climate impacts. This suggests that being co-linear with climate impacts, mycorrhizal impacts could be partly hidden within climate factors in soil carbon models, reducing the capability of such models to mechanistically predict impacts of climate vs vegetation change on soil carbon dynamics.

Our results provide a benchmark to mechanistic modelling of microbial impacts on soil C dynamics. This work opens new pathways to examining the impacts of land-use change and climate change on plant-microbial interactions and their role in soil C dynamics, allowing the integration of microbial processes into global vegetation models used for policy decisions on terrestrial carbon monitoring.

How to cite: Huang, W., van Bodegom, P., Viskari, T., Liski, J., and Soudzilovskaia, N.:  Implementation of mycorrhizal mechanism into a soil carbon model improves the prediction of long-term processes of plant litter decomposition, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-277,, 2021.

EGU21-1833 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Enhancement of soil organic carbon storage and aggregation following cropland afforestation

Chih-Hsin Cheng, Pei-Chen Lee, and Xiao-Yi Fang

The cropland afforestation policy was initiated in 2002 in Taiwan and had been approaching the 20-year term. From the scientific perspective, it is a critical issue to understand the public welfare role and ecosystem services provided by the cropland afforestation. In this study, we investigated the changes of soil organic carbon (SOC) on plantations after 14 years conversion from the sugarcane fields. Soil samples were collected at 0-10 and 10-20 cm depth. Soil organic C concentration, bulk density, soil aggregation, and the stable isotopic 13C of the SOC and aggregates were determined. The results indicated the SOC stocks on the afforested plots were between 1000 and 1500 g m-2 significantly higher than those under the sugarcane plots (p < 0.05). The analyses of stable 13C indicated that the net increases in SOC stocks on the afforested plots were mainly attributed to the inputs of the forest-derived SOC that outweighed the loss of sugarcane-derived SOC. The afforestation also enhanced the aggregation with higher stability and SOC concentration. The comparatively depleted 13C values in the stable macroaggregates further suggested the ecological function from this new SOC source. Combining with the stand development and aboveground biomass accumulation, we expected the cropland afforestation would provide ecosystem services and functions.

How to cite: Cheng, C.-H., Lee, P.-C., and Fang, X.-Y.: Enhancement of soil organic carbon storage and aggregation following cropland afforestation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1833,, 2021.

EGU21-8483 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Greenhouse gas exchange of young rewetted swamp in northern Netherlands

Bart Kruijt, Hanne Berghuis, Jan Biermann, Wilma Jans, Wietse Franssen, Ed Nijhof, Ad Peltenburg, Rien Lettink, Cor Jacobs, Ronald Hutjes, and Jeroen Veraart

There are many initiatives to re-wet drained nature or former agricultural land. These young wetlands provide a natural habitat for a range of endangered species, while serving as a natural climate buffer by retaining water, regulating air temperature, and sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. However, wetlands may also emit CH4, which has a global warming potential (GWP) of about 30. Thus, all carbon fluxes need to be quantified in order to assess if, from a climate perspective, CO2 uptake outweighs CH4 emission.

To assess the net effect of young wetlands on Greenhouse Gas exchange, we study the CO2 and CH4 fluxes of two recently rewetted areas near Groningen, the Netherlands. The fluxes are measured directly using the Eddy Covariance (EC) technique on a moveable station, alternating between the two sites. Meteorological observations are performed at these stations as well, along with other supportive measurements such as soil/water temperature. The alternating time gaps are filled by interpolation based on observed ecosystem responses. Footprint analysis provides insight into the role of various vegetation types inside these swamps. The resulting carbon budgets provide insight into GHG exchange over typically small temporal and spatial scales.

The study also examines the feasibility of these moveable stations, as they may reduce the relatively high research costs of EC measurements. The data from moveable stations is reliable if the data is regular, as the time gaps are filled by interpolation. At this stage, the timeseries is too short to draw any conclusions upon the reliability of the data. However, the moveable stations appear to be feasible from a practical point of view, as the station can be relocated relatively easy within the time span of a day.

The first results suggest both substantial CO2 uptake and CH4 emissions but a full year of data was not collected yet. Observed exchange compares well to similar studies previously performed.  

Ultimately, annual budgets of the carbon exchange response will be correlated to weather conditions but also to hydrological measures such as water levels. This should allow extrapolation of the data, which may serve as a basis for policy makers to manage the carbon balance when re-wetting nature to achieve net mitigation of greenhouse warming potential.

How to cite: Kruijt, B., Berghuis, H., Biermann, J., Jans, W., Franssen, W., Nijhof, E., Peltenburg, A., Lettink, R., Jacobs, C., Hutjes, R., and Veraart, J.: Greenhouse gas exchange of young rewetted swamp in northern Netherlands, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8483,, 2021.

EGU21-10977 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Soil carbon balance in Hungarian crop rotation systems

Giulia De Luca, János Balogh, Krisztina Pintér, Szilvia Fóti, Meryem Bouteldja, Insaf Malek, and Zoltán Nagy

Although characteristics of the carbon balance and the organic carbon stock changes of arable lands have been the primary research focus of numerous studies, uncertainity is still a major factor in this area of research. Our aim is to determine the dynamics of carbon cycling in croplands in regards to a crop rotation consisting of different crop types and to clarify the factors driving the carbon fluxes between its main components.

A field-scale eddy covariance (EC) station was established in 2017 at a cropland site in Central Hungary in order to obtain the cropland’s annual net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE). Net ecosystem carbon budget (NECB) was calculated considering vertical and lateral C fluxes as well. Soil management is a conventional management with yearly deep ploughing and mineral fertilizer application.

During the three years of our experiment the crop rotation included winter wheat, winter rapeseed, sorghum and winter wheat. The largest net CO2 uptake was observed during the sorghum season (from sowing to harvest, -309 g C m-2 yr-1). However, extreme autumnal drought resulted in the incomplete germination of rapeseed in 2018, which led to carbon loss (108 g C m-2 yr-1) during this vegetation period. Results show a significant difference between the two winter wheat seasons – sown in 2017 and 2019 – which can be explained by the differing precipitation of the two periods. Despite the strong CO2 uptake of winter wheat and sorghum, NECB ranged between negligible C gain (-18.26 g C m-2 year-1, sorghum) to C losses of up to 108 g C m-2 year-1 (rapeseed). During three years the C loss was 420 g C m-2 as C export through harvest and fallow periods counterbalanced the crops’ CO2 uptake.

As a conclusion we can state this cropland could not sequester enough carbon to maintain the soil organic carbon pool and in order to reduce the risk of the depletion of soil carbon stock further efforts are needed in the field of soil management practices.

How to cite: De Luca, G., Balogh, J., Pintér, K., Fóti, S., Bouteldja, M., Malek, I., and Nagy, Z.: Soil carbon balance in Hungarian crop rotation systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10977,, 2021.

EGU21-15734 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Soil respiration under different agricultural land use types in Croatia

Darija Bilandžija, Marija Galić, and Željka Zgorelec

In order to mitigate climate change and reduce the anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Kyoto protocol has been adopted in 1997 and the Paris Agreement entered into force in 2016. The Paris Agreement have ratified 190 out of 197 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Croatia is one of them as well. Each Party has obliged regularly to submit the national inventory report (NIR) providing the information on the national anthropogenic GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks to the UNFCCC. Reporting under the NIR is divided into six categories / sectors, and one of them is land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector, where an issue of uncertainty estimates on carbon emissions and removals occurs. As soil respiration represents the second-largest terrestrial carbon flux, the national studies on soil respiration can reduce the uncertainty and improve the estimation of country-level carbon fluxes. Due to the omission of national data, the members of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Department of General Agronomy have started to study soil respiration rates in 2012, and since then many different studies on soil respiration under different agricultural land uses (i.e. annual crops, energy crop and vineyard), management practices (i.e. tillage and fertilization) and climate conditions (i.e. continental and mediterranean) in Croatia have been conducted. The obtained site specific results on field measurements of soil carbon dioxide concentrations by in situ closed static chamber method will be presented in this paper.

How to cite: Bilandžija, D., Galić, M., and Zgorelec, Ž.: Soil respiration under different agricultural land use types in Croatia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15734,, 2021.

Since an increasing number of global gross primary productivity (GPP) products have become available and been applied in climate change research, there is an urgent need to compare their performance in capturing spatial and temporal variability, especially in the regions where the number of training data is limited or model parameters are of relatively larger uncertainty. Here, we investigated the spatial patterns of interannual trends and variations, and seasonal-cycle amplitudes of GPP in the arctic and boreal zones, and explored the differences across various GPP products during the overlapping period (2000−2010). We compared three main types of state-of-the-art GPP products, including simulations derived from terrestrial biosphere models of the Multi-scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project using drivers under different scenarios, 3 datasets up-scaled from FLUXNET eddy covariance measurements based on machine-learning algorithms, and 2 semi-empirical or empirical remotely sensed products based on different satellite data. We also examined the differences of GPP variability across the main ecosystem types, mainly including tundra and taiga, and assessed the contributions of different ecosystems to the temporal variations of total GPP in this zone. The results showed all the products could capture the interannual and seasonal variability of GPP, but the spatial patterns varied largely, which was in-deep discussed. This study will benefit the usage of the GPP products in the carbon cycle research for the arctic and boreal ecosystems.

How to cite: Huang, Y., Yu, Z., Hu, L., and Yao, W.: Assessment of spatiotemporal patterns of gross primary productivity in the arctic and boreal ecosystems using multi-source products, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10824,, 2021.

EGU21-3641 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Modelling carbon fluxes from New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture

Elizabeth Keller, Scott Graham, John Hunt, Aaron Wall, Louis Schipper, Andrew McMillan, Dora Hidy, Zoltán Barcza, Beata Bukosa, and Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher

Grasslands cover half of New Zealand’s land area, with much of it consisting of pastoral agriculture systems of varying intensity. Carbon fluxes from grazed pasture are thus a crucial part of the national carbon budget. We have used Biome-BGCMuSo v6 to model national CO2 fluxes from grasslands, calibrated with eddy covariance measurements at grazed farms at various sites around the country. We discuss the challenges of scaling up site measurements to the national level and modelling the diversity of New Zealand's pastoral sector. Model outputs will subsequently be used as a prior estimate of CO2 fluxes in an atmospheric inversion to obtain a total carbon budget for New Zealand as part of the CarbonWatch-NZ project.

How to cite: Keller, E., Graham, S., Hunt, J., Wall, A., Schipper, L., McMillan, A., Hidy, D., Barcza, Z., Bukosa, B., and Mikaloff-Fletcher, S.: Modelling carbon fluxes from New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3641,, 2021.

EGU21-10889 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Can we reach a sensible balance between generality of model parameters and accuracy of simulations?

Katarina Merganicova, Laura Dobor, Roland Hollos, Ján Merganič, Zoltán Barcza, Daniel Kurjak, Jiri Novák, Zuzana Sitková, Peter Fleischer, Hrvoje Marjanovic, Dóra Hidy, Katarína Střelcová, and Tomáš Hlásny

Process-based ecosystem models are versatile tools providing profound insights into ecosystem processes and interactions between vegetation and environment. The ongoing development of the Biome-BGCMuSo model has delivered multiple improvements in model structure and parameters, and subsequently in simulated ecosystem dynamics. Since the number of parameters has increased during the model development, model parametrisation for biomes or tree species of interest is required to enable reliable model usage in the future.

Here we explore the issue of site-specific versus multi-site calibration of model parameters for the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along an extended environmental gradient across Central Europe, covering Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. First, thorough literature search for the plausible ranges of individual model parameters was conducted. This was followed by the sensitivity analysis to identify the most influential model parameters. Finally, model calibration was performed based on the generalised likelihood uncertainty estimation method and the data from long-term research plots located in the five countries. The calibration was conducted at levels of individual sites and the region as a whole to evaluate different aspects of site-specific and multi-site calibration approaches and to develop a generalised parameter set for the European beech in Central Europe.

How to cite: Merganicova, K., Dobor, L., Hollos, R., Merganič, J., Barcza, Z., Kurjak, D., Novák, J., Sitková, Z., Fleischer, P., Marjanovic, H., Hidy, D., Střelcová, K., and Hlásny, T.: Can we reach a sensible balance between generality of model parameters and accuracy of simulations?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10889,, 2021.

EGU21-9837 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Spatio-temporal comparison of different approaches to derive land use and land cover change emissions by models

Wolfgang Obermeier and the LASC task-force

The quantification of the net carbon flux from land use and land cover changes (fLULCC) is essential to understand the global carbon cycle, and consequently, to support climate change mitigation. However, large-scale fLULCC is not directly measurable, and can only be inferred by models, such as semi-empirical bookkeeping models, and process-based dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). By definition, fLULCC estimates between these two model types are not directly comparable. For example, transient DGVM-based fLULCC of the annual global carbon budget includes the so-called Loss of Additional Sink Capacity (LASC). The latter accounts for environmental impacts on the land carbon storage capacities of managed land compared to potential vegetation which is not included in bookkeeping models. Additionally, estimates of transient DGVM-based fLULCC differ from bookkeeping model estimates, since they depend on arbitrarily chosen simulation time periods and the timing of land use and land cover changes within the historic period (which includes different accumulation periods for legacy effects). However, DGVMs enable a fLULCC approximation independent of the timing of land use and land cover changes and their legacy effects by simulations run under constant pre-industrial or present-day environmental forcings.

In this study, we analyze these different DGVM-derived fLULCC definitions, under transiently changing environmental conditions and fixed pre-industrial and fixed present-day conditions, within 18 regions for twelve DGVMs and quantify their differences as well as climate- and CO2-induced components. The multi model mean under transient conditions reveals a global fLULCC of 2.0±0.6 PgC yr-1 for 2009-2018, with ~40% stemming from the LASC (0.8±0.3 PgC yr-1). Within the industrial period (1850 onward), cumulative fLULCC reached 189±56 PgC with 40±15 PgC from the LASC.

Regional hotspots of high LASC values exist in the USA, China, Brazil, Equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia, which we mainly relate to deforestation for cropland. Distinct negative LASC estimates were observed in Europe (early reforestation) and from 2000 onward in the Ukraine (recultivation of post-Soviet abandoned agricultural land). Negative LASC estimates indicate that fLULCC estimates in these regions are lower in transient DGVM simulations compared to bookkeeping-approaches. By unraveling the spatio-temporal variability of the different DGVM-derived fLULCC estimates, our study calls for a harmonized attribution of model-derived fLULCC. We propose an approach that bridges bookkeeping and DGVM approaches for fLULCC estimation by adopting a mean DGVM-ensemble LASC for a defined reference period.

How to cite: Obermeier, W. and the LASC task-force: Spatio-temporal comparison of different approaches to derive land use and land cover change emissions by models, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9837,, 2021.

EGU21-3065 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Assessment of land use and land cover datasets for Brazil and impact on C emissions

Thais M. Rosan, Kees Klein Goldewijk, Raphael Ganzenmüller, Michael O'Sullivan, Julia Pongratz, Lina M. Mercado, Luiz E. O. C. Aragao, Viola Heinrich, Celso Von Randow, Andrew Wiltshire, Francesco N. Tubiello, Ana Bastos, Pierre Friedlingstein, and Stephen Sitch

Brazil is responsible for about one third of the global land use and land cover change (LULCC) carbon dioxide emissions. However, there is a disagreement among different methodologies on the magnitude and trends in emissions and their geographic distribution. One of the main uncertainties is associated with different LULCC datatasets used as input in the different approaches. In this work we perform an evaluation of LULCC datasets for Brazil, including the global dataset (HYDE 3.2) used in the annual Global Carbon Budget (GCB), and national Brazilian dataset (MapBiomas) over the period 2000-2018. We also analyze the latest global HYDE 3.3 dataset based on new FAO inventory estimates and multi-annual ESA CCI satellite-based land cover maps. Results show that the new HYDE 3.3 can represent well the observed spatial variation in cropland and pastures areas over the last decades compared to national data (MapBiomas) and shows an improvement compared to HYDE 3.2 used in GCB. However, the magnitude of LULCC assessed with HYDE 3.3 is lower than national estimates from MapBiomas. Finally, we used HYDE 3.3 as input to two different approaches included in GCB, a global bookkeeping model (BLUE) and a process-based Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (JULES-ES) to determine the impact of the new version of HYDE dataset on Brazil’s land-use emissions trends over the period 2000-2017. Both JULES-ES and BLUE now simulate a negative land-use emissions trend for the last two decades. This negative trend is in agreement with Brazilian INPE-EM, global H&N bookkeeping models, FAO and as reported in National GHG inventories (NGHGI), although magnitudes differ among approaches. Overall, the inclusion of the multi-annual ESA CCI Land Cover dataset to allocate spatially the FAO statistical data has improved spatial representation of agricultural area change in Brazil in the last two decades, contributing to improve global model capability to simulate Brazil’s LULCC emissions in agreement with national trends estimates and spatial distribution.

How to cite: Rosan, T. M., Goldewijk, K. K., Ganzenmüller, R., O'Sullivan, M., Pongratz, J., Mercado, L. M., Aragao, L. E. O. C., Heinrich, V., Von Randow, C., Wiltshire, A., Tubiello, F. N., Bastos, A., Friedlingstein, P., and Sitch, S.: Assessment of land use and land cover datasets for Brazil and impact on C emissions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3065,, 2021.

EGU21-15126 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

A Bayesian data assimilation approach to estimating land-use change

Peter E. Levy

The aim of this work was to make improved estimates of land-use change in the UK, using multiple sources of data. We applied a method for estimating land-use change using a Bayesian data assimilation approach. This allows us to constrain estimates of gross land-use change with national-scale census data, whilst retaining the detailed information available from several other sources. We produced a time series of maps describing our best estimate of land-use change given the available data, as well as the full posterior distribution of this space-time data cube. This quantifies the joint probability distribution of the parameters, and properly propagates the uncertainty from input data to final output. The output data has been summarised in the form of land-use vectors. The results show that we can provide improved estimates of past land-use change using this method. The main advantage of the approach is that it provides a coherent, generalised framework for combining multiple disparate sources of data, and adding further sources of data in future is straightforward.

How to cite: Levy, P. E.: A Bayesian data assimilation approach to estimating land-use change, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15126,, 2021.

EGU21-16400 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Monitoring changes in carbon pools matched to land use and land-use change based on field sampling measurements

Hans Petersson, Johannes Breidenbach, David Ellison, Mattias Lundblad, and Alex Appiah Mensah

Changes in carbon pools, land use and land-use change can be monitored based on field inventoried sampling units without using maps or remote sensing products. One way is to use a sampling framework. The framework can be based on a map, but the map does not necessarily need to be used for improving the estimates. The map can consist of a Member state’s total land and freshwater area. The sampling units can be distributed using a systematic grid with randomized location in the framework. A permanent design (the same sample units are re-inventoried in a periodic cycle) has been proven efficient when estimating change. Stratification into assumed homogenous strata is another way to further improve the accuracy of estimates. The distribution of sampling units can be spatially explicit (geo-referenced) in the sense that their locations are identified using GPS. This, combined with the permanent design, makes it possible to estimate both gross and net land use transfers in order to provide a land use matrix. The area-based sampling combined with the Horvitz and Thompson-estimator, makes a sampling unit representative of a certain area and all sample units together comprise the total land and freshwater area. This design makes it possible to match changes in carbon pools to land use and land-use change and to trace them back in time. 

We present a monitoring design based on the Swedish NFI and adapted to reporting under the UNFCCC/KP frameworks or the EU-regulation. Pros and cons are discussed and we compare with alternative designs (combining ground truth with remote sensing). Finally, we assess the accuracy of estimates of selected variables (sample and model errors).

How to cite: Petersson, H., Breidenbach, J., Ellison, D., Lundblad, M., and Appiah Mensah, A.: Monitoring changes in carbon pools matched to land use and land-use change based on field sampling measurements, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16400,, 2021.

EGU21-11217 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

New estimate of growing stock volume and carbon sequestration of Russian forests based on national forest inventory and remote sensing data

Dmitry Schepaschenko, Elena Moltchanova, Stanislav Fedorov, Victor Karminov, Petr Ontikov, Maurizio Santoro, Linda See, Vladimir Kositsyn, Anatoly Shvidenko, Anna Romanovskaya, Vladimir Korotkov, Sergey Bartalev, Steffen Fritz, Maria Shchepashchenko, and Florian Kraxner

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and transition to a new forest inventory system, Russia has reported (FAO, 2014) almost no changes in growing stock (+1.8%) and biomass (+0.6%). Yet remote sensing products indicate increased vegetation productivity (Guay et al., 2014), tree cover (Song et al., 2018) and above-ground biomass (Liu et al., 2015). Here, we challenge the official national statistics with a combination of recent National Forest Inventory and remote sensing data products to provide an alternative estimate of the growing stock of Russian forests and assess the relative changes in the post-Soviet era. Our estimate for the year 2014 is 118.29±1.3 109 m3, which is 48% higher than the official value reported for the same year in the State Forest Register. The difference is explained by increased biomass density in forested areas (+39%) and larger forest area estimates (+9%). Using the last Soviet Union report (1988) as a reference, Russian forests have accumulated 1163×106 m3 yr-1 of growing stock between 1988–2014, which compensates for forest growing stock losses in tropical countries (FAO FRA, 2015). Our estimate of the growing stock of managed forests is 94.2 109 m3, which corresponds to sequestration of 354 Tg C yr-1 in live biomass over 1988–2014, or 47% higher than reported in the National Greenhouse Gases Inventory (National Inventory Report, 2020).

Acknowledgement: The research plots data collection was performed within the framework of the state assignment of the Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences (no. АААА-А18-118052590019-7), and the ground data pre-processing were financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project no. 19-77-30015).

How to cite: Schepaschenko, D., Moltchanova, E., Fedorov, S., Karminov, V., Ontikov, P., Santoro, M., See, L., Kositsyn, V., Shvidenko, A., Romanovskaya, A., Korotkov, V., Bartalev, S., Fritz, S., Shchepashchenko, M., and Kraxner, F.: New estimate of growing stock volume and carbon sequestration of Russian forests based on national forest inventory and remote sensing data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11217,, 2021.

EGU21-13243 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

No “Abrupt increase in harvested forest area over Europe after 2015” – How the misuse of a satellite-based map led to completely wrong conclusions

Johannes Breidenbach, David Ellison, Hans Petersson, Kari Korhonen, Helena Henttonen, Jörgen Wallerman, Jonas Fridman, Terje Gobakken, Rasmus Astrup, and Erik Næsset

In a recent Nature article, the satellite-based Global Forest Change (GFC) map was used to estimate the yearly harvest area in each of the EU26-states over the period 2004 to 2018 (Ceccherini et al. 2020). Finland and Sweden were identified as the countries with the largest harvest increases and the biggest effect on the EU’s climate policy strategy. Here, we employ more than 45,000 field observations from the Finnish and Swedish national forest inventories as reference observations to analyze the accuracy of GFC data. We find that harvested area increases only marginally, if at all, after 2015. What did increase abruptly after 2015, however, was GFC’s sensitivity to detect harvested areas and thinnings.

The results of the Nature article are therefore a consequence of an inconsistent time series in GFC due to a change in the mapping algorithm or the sensor system and are thus both incorrect and misleading. The article is thus a good example for how wrong results based on satellite data can be, if no adequate estimators utilizing reference data are used.



Ceccherini, G. et al. Abrupt increase in harvested forest area over Europe after 2015. Nature 583, 72-77 (2020).

How to cite: Breidenbach, J., Ellison, D., Petersson, H., Korhonen, K., Henttonen, H., Wallerman, J., Fridman, J., Gobakken, T., Astrup, R., and Næsset, E.: No “Abrupt increase in harvested forest area over Europe after 2015” – How the misuse of a satellite-based map led to completely wrong conclusions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13243,, 2021.

EGU21-16261 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

Reversing the European Trend Toward a Declining Land Carbon Sink?

David Ellison, Johannes Breidenbach, Hans Petersson, Kari T. Korhonen, Helena Henttonen, Jörgen Wallerman, Jonas Fridman, Alex Appiah Mensah, Terje Gobakken, and Erik Naesset

The announced goal of reversing the European trend toward a declining land carbon sink has garnered much ink. Words can, however, be misleading. Annual additions/contributions (sinks) to the land carbon sink (stocks) from growing forest and increasing forest cover have slowed marginally in recent years. However, the existing European land forest sink (stocks) has (have) expanded continuously across most or all of the 20th century and on into the 21st. More importantly perhaps, EU Member states with significant long-term investments in the forestry sector have historically witnessed strong forest expansion and notmerely with the initiation of international attention to climate change mitigation through the UNFCCC negotiating and climate commitment framework. In this context, frequent assaults on forestry from multiple directions are cause for some bewilderment. We first highlight weaknesses in claims of increased forest use intensity and illustrate that forestry in the Nordic countries has a remarkably small and stable footprint over the 20th and 21st centuries. Addressing the second problem, however, understanding why such attacks occur in the first place, is more complex. Methodologically speaking, challenges to forestry should presumably be balanced by an understanding of the many human welfare benefits forests and the practice of forestry currently provide, as well as the costs of relinquishing those practices. Perhaps due to strong preferences among NGO’s and in parts of the academic community for natural, untouched, biodiverse forests, the benefits of forestry and forest resource use are consistently under-appreciated. Striking a balance between the desire for natural and biodiverse-rich forest environments on the one hand, and the climate change mitigation (and adaptation) benefits of forestry, forest resource use and substitution on the other is presumably a political and socio-economic necessity. The real question may be to what extent bias in favor of the “natural” may ultimately disrupt real, measurable progress toward effective climate change mitigation? Continuous, positive mitigation-related contributions to the growing European land cover sink (stocks), as well as to the global carbon budget (through annual net removals and substitution), have been and should remain the norm. These goals ultimately require an aggressive EU LULUCF strategy capable of fully mobilizing forest and forest resource use in favor of the goal of climate change mitigation (and adaptation).

How to cite: Ellison, D., Breidenbach, J., Petersson, H., Korhonen, K. T., Henttonen, H., Wallerman, J., Fridman, J., Mensah, A. A., Gobakken, T., and Naesset, E.: Reversing the European Trend Toward a Declining Land Carbon Sink?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16261,, 2021.

EGU21-16472 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

On the Role of Forestry in Climate Change Mitigation

Alex Appiah Mensah, Hans Petersson, Göran Berndes, Gustaf Egnell, David Ellison, Mattias Lundblad, Tomas Lundmark, Anders Lundström, Johan Stendahl, and Per-Erik Wikberg

Long-standing debates over the benefits of forest conservation vs. those of substitution and forest resource use continue to occupy attention in Europe and beyond. Moreover, many argue the carbon sequestration benefits of standing forest are greater than those from forest resource use and replanting. To study this question, we generate long-term scenario analyses based on different forest management strategies in Sweden, in particular comparing increasing forest use and increasing land set-asides over 100, 200 and 500 year cycles. We find that the cost of increasing land set-asides is reflected in a significant loss of the carbon benefits created by forest use (substitution and carbon sequestration). We explain this outcome through the loss of additional growth that occurs as forest in land set-asides matures and eventually reaches a steady state. For the Swedish forest, these costs are significant and may amount to the loss (lost opportunity) of annually providing and additional -14 MtCO2e in net annual removals. The EU-based LULUCF carbon accounting framework, however, does not recognize this benefit and thus may effectively encourage land set-asides at the expense of real, measurable forest and forest resource-based climate change mitigation.

How to cite: Appiah Mensah, A., Petersson, H., Berndes, G., Egnell, G., Ellison, D., Lundblad, M., Lundmark, T., Lundström, A., Stendahl, J., and Wikberg, P.-E.: On the Role of Forestry in Climate Change Mitigation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16472,, 2021.

EGU21-13486 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.3

The effect of harvesting on national forest carbon sinks up to 2050 simulated by the CBM-CFS3 model: a case study from Slovenia

Bostjan Mali, Jernej Jevsenak, and Matija Klopcic

With the advent of global warming, forests are becoming an increasingly important carbon sink that can mitigate the negative effects of climate change. An understanding of the carbon dynamics of forests is, therefore, crucial to implement appropriate forest management strategies and to meet the expectations of the Paris Agreement with respect to international reporting schemes. One of the most frequently used models for simulating the dynamics of carbon stocks in forests is the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS3). We applied this model in our study to evaluate the effects of harvesting on the carbon sink dynamics in Slovenian forests. Five harvesting scenarios were defined: (1) business as usual (BAU), (2) harvesting in line with current forest management plans (PLAN), (3) more frequent natural hazards (HAZ), (4) high harvest (HH) and (5) low harvest (LH). The simulated forest carbon dynamics revealed important differences between the harvesting scenarios. Relative to the base year of 2014, by 2050 the carbon stock in above-ground biomass is projected to increase by 28.4% (LH), 19% (BAU), 10% (PLAN), 6.5% (HAZ) and 1.2% (HH). Slovenian forests can be expected to be a carbon sink until harvesting exceeds approximately 9 million m3 annually, which is close to the calculated total annual volume increase. Our results are also important in terms of Forest Reference Levels (FRL), which will take place in European Union (EU) member states in the period 2021-2025. For Slovenia, the FRL was set to –3270.2 Gg CO2 eq/year, meaning that the total timber harvested should not exceed 6 million m3 annually.

How to cite: Mali, B., Jevsenak, J., and Klopcic, M.: The effect of harvesting on national forest carbon sinks up to 2050 simulated by the CBM-CFS3 model: a case study from Slovenia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13486,, 2021.

ERE1.4 – Impacts and co-benefits of the energy transition on terrestrial ecosystems – implications and prospects for Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services

EGU21-13670 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Opportunities for renewable energy in regenerative development

Sarah Klain and Lauren Tango

Various philanthropic, development and agricultural organizations have begun to prioritize regenerative development, which aims to reverse ecological degradation while generating benefits, including ecosystem services, for people and biodiversity. These efforts aim to transcend sustainable development, which aims to minimize harm to the environment and human health. Here, we review the literature on ways in which renewable energy infrastructure could play important roles in regenerative development initiatives, e.g., offshore wind projects designed with artificial reef structures, photovoltaic (PV) projects accompanied with pollinator plantings, and agrivoltaics that combine crops with PV. We also identify anticipated challenges to such development, e.g., potentially larger land area requirements and higher costs than typical renewable energy development. Lastly, we provide recommendations on policies and practices that could strengthen the role of renewable energy in regenerative development.

How to cite: Klain, S. and Tango, L.: Opportunities for renewable energy in regenerative development, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13670,, 2021.

EGU21-6129 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

A life cycle perspective on the land use and ecosystem services of energy transitions

Sarah Jordaan

EGU21-13887 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Integrating wind energy forecasting and species population models to consider trade offs in a lower carbon future. 

Jay Diffendorfer, Anthony Lopez, Wayne Thogmartin, Trieu Mai, Bethany Straw, Brad Udell, and Asthon Wiens

Renewable energy has crossed key technological hurdles related to costs and energy system stability yet impacts to wildlife may present a long-term challenge to the development and operation of renewables.  We describe a number of approaches to address interdisciplinary questions related to enhancing renewable energy development while minimizing unintended consequences to wildlife and habitat.  These approaches range from relatively simple geospatial models and Monte Carlo simulations to more sophisticated integration of spatially explicit techno-economic/physics wind energy forecasting models with bat population models. We present results from demographic models estimating impacts from future wind energy development, how including geographic constraints related to conserving natural capitol and ecosystem services may impact wind energy development and costs, and early work on temporally dynamic integration of energy and population models. We then summarize a few broader ideas on integrated modelling related to ecosystem services and energy systems. 

How to cite: Diffendorfer, J., Lopez, A., Thogmartin, W., Mai, T., Straw, B., Udell, B., and Wiens, A.: Integrating wind energy forecasting and species population models to consider trade offs in a lower carbon future. , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13887,, 2021.

EGU21-768 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Wind turbine operation influences near surface air temperature and humidity

Gang Wang, Guoqing Li, and Alona Armstrong

Surface meteorology regulates ecosystem processes, with implications for the supply of important ecosystem services. Wind farms have been shown to alter the local climate, but there have been limited field measurements of the variability of impact in different directions relative to the find farm. In addition, the influence of land coverage variability on atmosphere temperature and humidity has not been eliminated, which will lead to the impact of wind turbines on atmosphere temperature and humidity may be over topped or underestimated. Here, we show the impact of Huitengliang wind power base, China, on air temperature and humidity using data from five automatic meteorological monitoring stations. After eliminating the influences of land surface coverage as much as possible, by comparing the variability of temperature and humidity inside the wind farm, and in the upwind, downwind and side wind directions, daily and seasonal variations in temperature and humidity were obtained. We found that wind turbines increase the temperature and decrease the humidity of the surface atmosphere, the influences are more obvious than the existing results. Particularly, these effects are most obvious in the upwind and downwind directions. The annual average temperature rise was 0.97 °C in the upwind direction and 1.25 °C in the downwind direction. On average throughout the year, humidity decreased by 3.71 % in the upwind direction and 5.66 % in the downwind direction. The magnitudes of these effects are sufficient to alter ecosystem processes, including greenhouse gas emissions, with implications for the carbon intensity of electricity generation. 

How to cite: Wang, G., Li, G., and Armstrong, A.: Wind turbine operation influences near surface air temperature and humidity, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-768,, 2021.

EGU21-6737 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Improved biodiversity from food to energy: Meta-analysis of land-use change to dedicated bioenergy crops

Caspar Donnison, Robert Holland, Zoe Harris, Felix Eigenbrod, and Gail Taylor

Whilst dedicated bioenergy crops with non-food uses are currently sparsely deployed across the world, most future energy pathways necessitate a sizeable scale-up of 100-500 million ha of land converted to these crops to provide both energy substitutes for fossil fuels and negative emissions through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). In the face of expected bioenergy expansion, understanding the environmental and societal impact of this land-use change is important in determining where and how bioenergy crops should be deployed, and the trade-offs and co-benefits to the environment and society. Here we review the existing literature on two difficult to measure impacts which could prove critical to the future wide-scale acceptability of global bioenergy cropping in the temperate environment: biodiversity and amenity value. We focus on agricultural landscapes, since this is where large-scale bioenergy planting may be required. A meta-analysis of 42 studies on the biodiversity impacts of land-use change from either arable and grassland to bioenergy crops found strong benefits for bird abundance (+ 109 % ± 24 %), bird species richness (+ 100 % ± 31 %), arthropod abundance (+ 299 % ± 76 %), microbial biomass (+ 77 % ± 24 %), and plant species richness (+ 25 % ± 22 %) and a non-significant upward trend in earthworm abundance. Land-use change from arable land led to particularly strong benefits, providing an insight into how future land-use change to bioenergy crops could support biodiversity. Evidence concerning the impact of bioenergy crops on landscape amenity value highlighted the importance of landscape context, planting strategies, and landowner motivations in determining amenity values, with few generalizable conclusions. In this first meta-analysis to quanitfy the impacts of land-use change to bioenergy on on biodiversity and amenity,  we have demonsrated  improved farm-scale biodiversity on agricultural land but also demonstrated the lack of knowledge concerning public response to bioenergy crops which could prove crucial to the political feasibility of bioenergy policies such as BECCS.

How to cite: Donnison, C., Holland, R., Harris, Z., Eigenbrod, F., and Taylor, G.: Improved biodiversity from food to energy: Meta-analysis of land-use change to dedicated bioenergy crops, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6737,, 2021.

EGU21-585 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Impacts of miscanthus growth on soil carbon and water deficit

Anita Shepherd and Astley Hastings

Miscanthus x giganteus thrives on poor soils, requiring little or no farm operations except annual harvest, efficiently recycles nutrients into the rhizome at senescence to be reused the following season and has a high water efficiency compared to other arable crops.  As such it is a popular choice for bioenergy crop growers, it can thrive on waste land, or poor agricultural soils that cannot give sufficient economic returns for food crops in many areas of the world.

We present work to better understand the global potential for M x giganteus yields and impacts as a bioenergy crop grown in the 21st century under IPCC climate RCP 8.5 and using the MiscanFor bioenergy model, showing how bioenergy crops compare across different countries for dry matter yield, water use, and soil carbon. We also show the uncertainty of projections inherent in choosing input data and the sensitivity of the model.

How to cite: Shepherd, A. and Hastings, A.: Impacts of miscanthus growth on soil carbon and water deficit, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-585,, 2021.

EGU21-13541 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4 | Highlight

Co-locating Food and Energy Production to Create Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Greg A Barron-Gafford, Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, Kai Lepley, and Andrea Gerlak

We have significant vulnerabilities across our food, water, and energy systems – any of which could undermine societal resilience in light of growing populations and climatic change. Rising average temperatures, extremes in precipitation, and more severe storms present increasing agricultural production risks – particularly across dryland regions. Land managers across the southwestern United States are already feeling the pressures of a changing climate. Between 11–21% of the total irrigated acreage experienced yield declines over the past 40 years due to irrigation interruptions — despite increased water usage. Food producers are experiencing increased uncertainties around production security from severe weather, interest rates to invest in climate adaptations, income support payments or incentives, and climate-related risks to pollinator abundance that affect crop yields and labor conditions and availability. Combined with trends towards increases in retirements from farming, these risks are leading to more land moving out of food production — often shifting to energy production. A growing demand for photovoltaic (PV) solar energy from ground-mounted systems, projected to require ~8,000 km2 by 2030, is resulting in an increase of land-use conflicts for these two primary needs — food and energy. Is it possible to improve both food and renewable energy production security sustainably? An ‘either-or’ discourse between food and PV solar energy production unnecessarily compounds issues related to allocating space, water, and capital for development of sustainable strategies.

We believe that a hybrid agricultural-PV solar ‘agrivoltaics’ can increase resilience in food and renewable energy production, water and soil conservation, and rural prosperity and economic development—critical sustainability metrics. However, successful adoption of this technology requires research from a socio-environmental systems perspective to optimize bio-technical trade-offs at the field scale, while also rigorously assessing the sociopolitical barriers and how to overcome them at both individual and societal levels. Our research design is centered on stakeholder engagement approaches with impactful, associated outreach activities to communicate and enhance the reach of potential benefits of agrivoltaics. An emerging trend in sustainability research has been to recognize that resource challenges need to be addressed as integrated and interconnected sets of issues, where outcomes result from interacting social (S), ecological (E), and technological (T) subsystems (SETS). Often, sustainability transitions are seen more as a governance challenge than an infrastructure or technological challenge. That is, while technological solutions such as agrivoltaics can be developed, the adoption and spread of innovations takes place through a myriad of social, political, and economic processes. This is further complicated across food and energy systems, where multiple stakeholders present different backgrounds, cultures, demographics, and decision making processes. We describe an evaluation of agrivoltaic systems from a holistic SETS perspective in order to develop implementation pathways for widespread adoption of agrivoltaics across the US.

How to cite: Barron-Gafford, G. A., Pavao-Zuckerman, M., Lepley, K., and Gerlak, A.: Co-locating Food and Energy Production to Create Sustainable Agricultural Systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13541,, 2021.

EGU21-2927 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Is it possible to embed the ecosystem impacts of solar parks into industry practice?

Lucy Treasure, Dr Alona Armstrong, Dr Stuart Sharp, Dr Simon Smart, and Dr Guy Parker

The energy sector is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore it is imperative that we take steps to de-carbonise energy supplies if we are to meet the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement.  Of the existing renewable energy technologies, Photovoltaic (PV) capacity has seen exponential growth in the past decade, with 508.1 GW of PV currently installed globally and predictions that it will become the dominant renewable energy source by 2050. A large proportion of this capacity is deployed as ground-mounted solar parks. Despite the rapid growth of solar parks, little research has been conducted into the ecosystem impacts. Here we use a systematic literature review of the available evidence to show that the main ecosystem impacts of solar parks can be grouped into five themes: microclimate, land-use change, soil and vegetation, wildlife impacts and pollution. Impacts can be positive or negative, and vary according to site location, former land use and management practices throughout the construction, operational and decommissioning phases of the solar park life cycle. The most widely reported impacts associated with the construction phase were habitat loss and fragmentation, with subsequent effects on fauna, flora, and soil. Commonly reported operational impacts included changes to local microclimate, pollution, mortality of wildlife and disturbance due to site maintenance. Decommissioning impacts depended largely on the site management objectives; sites continued to be managed to deliver ecosystem service co-benefits or returned to their original state prior to construction. The review also revealed significant knowledge gaps. Understanding the ecosystem impacts of solar parks is pivotal, both for informing site management that maximises ecosystem co-benefits and avoids detrimental impacts, and for quantifying the potential ecosystem costs and gains as required by policy, for example the upcoming mandatory biodiversity net gain requirement for UK planning applications.

How to cite: Treasure, L., Armstrong, D. A., Sharp, D. S., Smart, D. S., and Parker, D. G.: Is it possible to embed the ecosystem impacts of solar parks into industry practice?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2927,, 2021.

EGU21-8046 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Reduced ecosystem services of desert plants from ground-mounted solar energy development

Steven M. Grodsky and Rebecca R. Hernandez

Deserts are prioritized as recipient environments for solar energy development; however, the impacts of this development on desert plant communities are unknown. Desert plants represent long-standing ecological, economic and cultural resources for humans, especially indigenous peoples, but their role in supplying ecosystem services (ESs) remains understudied. We measured the effect of solar energy development decisions on desert plants at one of the world’s largest concentrating solar power plants (Ivanpah, California; capacity of 392 MW). We documented the negative effects of solar energy development on the desert scrub plant community. Perennial plant cover and structure are lower in bladed treatments than mowed treatments, which are, in turn, lower than the perennial plant cover and structure recorded in undeveloped controls. We determined that cacti species and Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) are particularly vulnerable to solar development (that is, blading, mowing), whereas Schismus spp.—invasive annual grasses—are facilitated by blading. The desert scrub community confers 188 instances of ESs, including cultural services to 18 Native American ethnic groups. Cultural, provisioning and regulating ESs of desert plants are lower in bladed and mowed treatments than in undeveloped controls. Our study demonstrates the potential for solar energy development in deserts to reduce biodiversity and socioecological resources, as well as the role that ESs play in informing energy transitions that are sustainable and just.

How to cite: Grodsky, S. M. and Hernandez, R. R.: Reduced ecosystem services of desert plants from ground-mounted solar energy development, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8046,, 2021.

EGU21-8257 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4 | Highlight

Economic benefits of establishing honeybee hives on solar parks in agricultural landscapes

Alona Armstrong, Lauren Brown, Gemma Davies, Duncan Whyatt, and Simon Potts

To mitigate climate change, land take for renewable energy is accelerating at a time of increasing land use pressure and environmental degradation. Given land use change is the dominant driver of nature decline, over and above that of climate change, inclusion of local ecosystem consequences of land take for renewable energy decisions is critical. However, consideration of ecosystem impacts is hindered by lack of understanding and robust quantification methodologies. Here, we quantify the economic benefits of installing honeybee hives in solar parks by estimating the potential contribution to crop yields. We estimated that if honeybee hives were installed in all existing solar parks within England, pollination service benefits for pollinator dependent field crops, top fruits and soft fruit would have been £5.9 million in 2017, grounded in honeybee pollination crop values of £4.81-£75.04 ha-1 for field crops and £635-£10,644 ha-1 for fruit. If crop distributions were optimised to maximise solar park honeybee pollination, economic benefits could reach up to £80 million per year. However, this indicative of the maximum possible return and is unlikely to be viable given the other factors that influence crop distribution. Quantification of ecosystem co-benefits and costs of land take for renewable energy could inform location and management decisions, with the potential to improve ecosystem health in addition to energy system decarbonisation.

How to cite: Armstrong, A., Brown, L., Davies, G., Whyatt, D., and Potts, S.: Economic benefits of establishing honeybee hives on solar parks in agricultural landscapes, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8257,, 2021.

EGU21-7838 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Evaluating the Ecosystem Service Benefits of Native Vegetation Management at Solar Energy Facilities

Leroy Walston and Heidi Hartmann

Concomitant with the increase in solar photovoltaic (PV) energy development over the past decade has been the increasing emphasis on land sharing strategies that maximize the land use efficiency of solar energy developments.  Many of these strategies focus on improving the compatibility of solar energy development with other co-located land uses (e.g., agriculture) and by improving several ecosystem services that could have natural, societal, and industrial benefits. One such land opportunity is the restoration and management of native grassland vegetation beneath ground-mounted PV solar energy facilities, which has the potential to restore native habitat to conserve biodiversity and restore previously altered ecosystem services (e.g., natural pollination services). This presentation will discuss various assessment and modeling approaches to evaluate the scale and magnitude of the ecosystem services provided by different vegetation management strategies at solar PV energy development sites. This work demonstrates how multifunctional land uses in energy systems represents a win-win solution for energy and the environment by optimizing energy-food-ecology synergies. This work was conducted by Argonne National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

How to cite: Walston, L. and Hartmann, H.: Evaluating the Ecosystem Service Benefits of Native Vegetation Management at Solar Energy Facilities, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7838,, 2021.

EGU21-7677 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Development of a Solar Park Carbon Calculator (SPCC) to assist deployment decisions

Ryan Holland, Alona Armstrong, and Fabio Carvalho

Following the Paris agreement, many nations have committed to targets of net zero emissions, resulting in a significant increase in low-carbon energy generation. Recent improvements in the cost and efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) technology have made their deployment cheaper than new coal and gas fired power stations in a number of regions, with the uptake of PV projected to surpass fossil fuels by 2035. Large-scale, ground-mounted systems are likely to constitute a considerable portion of this expansion, with the International Energy Agency suggesting that 69% of new capacity additions in 2021 will be utility scale deployments (although some of this may be building-mounted). Despite the expansion of ground-mounted solar parks and the knowledge that land use change is a greater threat to nature than climate change, there is very little understanding of the environmental implications. In particular, the effect on ecosystem carbon cycling, and thus the decarbonisation attraction of the technology, is unknown. Whilst the carbon impacts of the technological components have been relatively well resolved, the true carbon costs cannot be determined without quantifying the impacts on land carbon. Here, we present a solar park carbon calculator (SPCC) that quantifies the full suite of solar park carbon impacts.

The SPCC provides information on the technological and environmental carbon flows, drawing on established quantifications of carbon costs for system components, operation, and land management. Key components include the emissions factors for production of panels and mounts, machinery related emissions and the associated carbon flows of ground disturbances, before and after park construction. The SPCC is applied to a case-study solar park, providing insight into the dominant carbon flows and payback time in light of grid electricity carbon intensities. Ultimately, the SPCC can help inform solar park developer decisions in order to minimise carbon costs and maximise carbon sequestration.

How to cite: Holland, R., Armstrong, A., and Carvalho, F.: Development of a Solar Park Carbon Calculator (SPCC) to assist deployment decisions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7677,, 2021.

EGU21-122 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Decarbonising UK transport: Implications for electricity generation, land use and policy

Kathryn G. Logan, John D. Nelson, James D. Chapman, Jenny Milne, and Astley Hastings

Transitioning away from internal combustion engine private vehicles in favour of public transport, including electric and hydrogen alternatives, is recognised as an essential part of the solution to reduce the scale of climate change and meet net zero in the UK by 2050. This decarbonisation transition to low carbon transport will likely result in an increase in energy demand which will have impacts on both ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital (NC). Robust projections of societal energy demands post low carbon transition are therefore required to ensure adequate power generation is installed. In this study, we project the energy demand for electric and hydrogen cars, buses and trains between 2020 and 2050 based on the number of vehicles and distance travelled using the Transport Energy Air Pollution UK (TEAM-UK) model outputs. In this work, the spatial requirements of additional renewable energy (onshore/offshore wind and solar), nuclear and fossil fuels, on ES and NC was predicted by considering the expected electricity generation mix expected by 2050, the number of generation installations and energy density of each energy source. The outcomes of this analysis can assist policymakers in better understanding what energy types and transport networks need to be prioritised to efficiently meet net zero. Legislation requires increased low carbon electricity generation, though the impact on ES and NC are not currently quantified.

Energy demand was lower for electric transport (136,599 GWh) than hydrogen transport (425,532 GWh) for all vehicle types in 2050, however a combination of both power types will be needed to accommodate the full range of socioeconomic requirements. In addition, to power electrical transport, 1,515 km2 of land will be required for solar, 1,672 km2 for wind and 5 km2 for expansion of the average nuclear power station by 2050. This will be approximately doubled for hydrogen provision due to the additional energy and conversions required to generate hydrogen.

In reality the finer scale mix between hydrogen and electric transport types in the future will depend on geographical location and resource availability. Rural areas may favour hydrogen power due to range restrictions, with electric transport more readily suited to urban areas with greater installed infrastructure. To reduce the requirements for additional electricity and maximise carbon output decreases, minimising the impact on NC and ES, policymakers need to focus on encouraging a modal shift towards low carbon public transport from private vehicles and to ensure a more sustainable route to decarbonising transport.

How to cite: Logan, K. G., Nelson, J. D., Chapman, J. D., Milne, J., and Hastings, A.: Decarbonising UK transport: Implications for electricity generation, land use and policy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-122,, 2021.

EGU21-5654 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Investigation of Fluidized Backfill Materials for Optimized Bedding of Buried Power Cables

Maximilian Eckhardt, Hung Pham, Markus Schedel, and Ingo Sass

The transition towards renewable energy systems leads to increased loads on the electrical power grid. As a result, many transmission lines have to be extended or newly built. According to a government resolution, in Germany the preferred implementation of new high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission systems should be buried power cables.

When operating buried power cables, the mechanical and thermal properties of the cable bedding need to meet certain requirements. On the one hand, accurate positioning and protection of the cable and protection pipe from mechanical stress demand mechanical stability. On the other hand, electric losses during transmission result in thermal energy that needs to be dissipated. Since the ampacity of the cable depends on the maximum permissible temperature of the conductor, the potential load of the power line is directly connected to the thermal properties of the bedding.

To ensure both of these technical requirements, the pre-existing soil mostly is disposed and replaced by sand or artificial fluidized backfill materials with well-known material properties, resulting in potentially high logistical effort, environmental impact and costs. One way to address these effects could be the reuse of the excavated soils as a basic material for the on-site production of a fluidized backfill material, allowing for the adjustment of soil properties (within limits) by adding cement and other additives. By enhancing the thermal properties of the cable bedding, the ampacity of the cable route can be increased, potentially reducing land use due to smaller dimensions of the cable trench. Reusing excavated soils further reduces potential land use, since less material needs to be disposed in landfill sites. 

Within the scope of our research, the technical and economical possibilities and limits of reusing excavated soils for the production of fluidized backfill materials are explored. In addition, the stability of fluidized backfill materials under cyclic load scenarios is investigated to assess possible alterations of such materials during cable operation, which may affect the long-term efficiency of the transmission system.

How to cite: Eckhardt, M., Pham, H., Schedel, M., and Sass, I.: Investigation of Fluidized Backfill Materials for Optimized Bedding of Buried Power Cables, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5654,, 2021.

EGU21-16317 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.4

Predicting future energy and biodiversity trade-offs globally

Sebastian Dunnett, Robert A Holland, Gail Taylor, and Felix Eigenbrod

Protected areas and renewable energy generation are key tools to combat biodiversity loss and climate change respectively. Over the coming decades, very large-scale expansion of renewable energy infrastructure will be needed to meet climate change targets, while simultaneously large-scale expansion of the protected area network to meet conservation objectives is planned. However, renewable energy infrastructure has negative effects on wildlife, and co-occurrence may mean emissions targets are met at the expense of conservation objectives. However, data limitations mean that the degree of likely future conflict of these two key land management objectives has not been fully assessed. Here, we address this gap by examining current and projected future overlaps of wind and solar photovoltaic installations and important conservation areas globally using new spatially explicit wind and solar photovoltaic data, and new methods for predicting future renewable expansion. We show similar levels of co-occurrence of important conservation areas and wind and solar installations as previous studies but also show that once area is accounted for previous concerns about overlaps in Northern Hemisphere may be largely unfounded, though are high in some high-biodiversity countries (e.g. Brazil). Future projections of overlap between the two land uses are generally lower than previously predicted using new data, with regional correlation coefficients peaking at -0.3418 and 0.2053, suggesting a low risk of future conflict. Our results show that the current and future overlap of the two land uses may not be as severe as previously suggested. This is important, as global efforts to decarbonise energy systems are central to mitigating against climate change and against the strong negative impacts of projected climate change on biodiversity.

How to cite: Dunnett, S., A Holland, R., Taylor, G., and Eigenbrod, F.: Predicting future energy and biodiversity trade-offs globally, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16317,, 2021.

ERE1.5 – Land use dynamics, land degradation and insights for land sustainability in agriculture and forest landscapes

EGU21-14471 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.5 | Highlight

Spatiotemporal patterns of global land use change: Understanding processes and drivers

Karina Winkler, Richard Fuchs, Mark Rounsevell, and Martin Herold

Land use change is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss and, hence, a key topic for current sustainability debates and climate change mitigation. To understand its impacts, accurate data of global land use change and an assessment of its extent, dynamics, causes and interrelations are crucial. However, although numerous observational data is publicly available (e.g. from remote sensing), the processes and drivers of land use change are not yet fully understood. In particular, current global-scale land change assessments still lack either temporal consistency, spatial explicitness or thematic detail.
Here, we analyse the patterns of global land use change and its underlying drivers based on our novel high-resolution (~1x1 km) dataset of global land use/cover (LULC) change from 1960-2019, HILDA+ (Historic Land Dynamics Assessment+). The data harmonises multiple Earth Observation products and FAO land use statistics. It covers all transitions between six major LULC categories (urban areas, cropland, pasture/rangeland, forest, unmanaged grass-/shrubland and no/sparse vegetation).
On this basis, we show (1) a classification of global LULC transitions into major processes of land use change, (2) a quantification of their spatiotemporal patterns and (3) an identification of their major socioeconomic and environmental drivers across the globe. By using temporal cross-correlation, we study the influence of selected drivers on processes such as agricultural land abandonment, deforestation, forest degradation or urbanisation.
With this, we are able to map the patterns and drivers of global land use change at unprecedented resolution and compare them for different world regions. Giving new data-driven and quantitative insights into a largely untouched field, we identify tele-coupled globalisation patterns and climate change as important influencing factors for land use dynamics. Learning from the recent past, understanding how socio-economic and environmental factors affect the way humans use the land surface is essential for estimating future impacts of land use change and implementing measures of climate mitigation and sustainable land use policies.

How to cite: Winkler, K., Fuchs, R., Rounsevell, M., and Herold, M.: Spatiotemporal patterns of global land use change: Understanding processes and drivers, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14471,, 2021.

EGU21-16050 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.5

Global Deforestation Revisited: The Role of Political and Institutional Factors

Ianna Raissa Moreira Dantas and Mareike Söder

In times of international agreements and efforts to mitigate climate change and meet sustainable development, ecosystem management and forest conservation deserve special attention to promote human and environmental sustenance. Tropical forests have been declining worldwide, and biodiversity is under constant threat. Understanding the future potential of environmental services requires analysis of the relationship of socioeconomic drivers and anthropogenic land use change (LUC). Population and economic growth, agricultural production, and human capital have a dual relationship of cause and consequence with LUC. Likewise, changing patterns of land use, through agriculture and silviculture activities, is directly associated to market and technical progress, but also to political, institutional, and socioeconomic development. Studying such relationships enhances the analyses on the ability of institutional factors to promote environmental conservation, economic growth, and social welfare. Studies on LUC are historically based on physical variables; however, institutional and political drivers have shown to be core to forest degradation. The present paper aims at investigating the role of physical and institutional factor on global deforestation. This paper draws from recent global remote sensing data on land use from ESA Climate Change Initiative (ESA/CCI) from 1992 and 2015. To assess drivers of deforestation, we employ a logit model regression accounting for a global spatially explicit dataset on land use, regressed with physical, economic, and socioeconomic variables. We make use of the suitability indicators calculated by IIASA for different agricultural crops within the Global Agro-Ecological Zones modelling. As institutional factors we consider areas under protection based on spatial datasets provided by UNEP and wetland international, and include the country level corruption index of Transparency International. Our preliminary analysis shows that institutional instability is significantly related to LUC. In areas where land should be under protection due to non-market ecosystem services, political instability is likely to stimulate land use. Likewise, insecurity in land tenure might lead to a short-term maximization of profits, through full deforestation and exploitation of the soil fertility, instead of a long-term sustainable use.

How to cite: Moreira Dantas, I. R. and Söder, M.: Global Deforestation Revisited: The Role of Political and Institutional Factors, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16050,, 2021.

EGU21-10921 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.5

Detection and Mapping of Forest Disturbance in Eurasian Continent

Yusha Zhang, Yanchen Bo, Mei Sun, and Tongtong Sun

The global distribution and disturbance information of forest have strong impact on the change of Earth’s ecosystems. In the 1990s, the Eurasian continent forest cover an area of 182 million ha, accounting about 33.2% of the Eurasian continent land area. However, we lack a complete mapping of high-resolution forest disturbances in Eurasia. Remote sensing can regularly obtain forest cover data across expansive range. Therefore, a complete set of Landsat time-series-based forest disturbance detection method is constructed in this paper to map a 30-meter forest disturbance detection distribution map of Eurasian continent.

In the construction of Landsat time series(LTS) data, the Landsat TM, ETM +, and OLI images of forest growth season were selected and synthesized into inter-annual time series over 35 years from 1986 to 2020. And the appropriate indices, NBR and NDVI, were selected as the input data for time series analysis. In time series analysis, the adaptive threshold of model learning is effectively applied in the process of extracting potential disturbance points, and the rich temporal information of LTS is fully mined to optimize and filter the disturbances.

The LTS images and forest disturbance based on adaptive threshold model are used to map three decades of forest disturbances, including the characteristics of the disturbance, spatiotemporal distribution and disturbance frequency across Eurasian continent. The derived disturbance year maps revealed that the disturbed forest area is 237 million ha and 12.8% of Eurasia’s forest area. In order to validate the accuracy of the map, 10066 interpreted Landsat pixels, including 3932 disturbed samples and 6134 undisturbed samples, are selected as reference data. The overall accuracy of the disturbance map is 86.6%, with a commission error of 13.4% and an omission error of 9.4%. The results indicated that the LTS and adaptive threshold model can effectively support the mapping of forest disturbance in Eurasian continent.

How to cite: Zhang, Y., Bo, Y., Sun, M., and Sun, T.: Detection and Mapping of Forest Disturbance in Eurasian Continent, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10921,, 2021.

EGU21-10020 | vPICO presentations | ERE1.5

Understanding the relationship between environmental policies and deforestation activities in the Paraguayan Chaco

Monserrat Garcia Calabrese, Shirley Salinas Romero, Chynthya Cassacia Ibarrola, Luis Morinigo, Magali Alvarenga, and Emmanuel Da Ponte

Over the past 40 years, Paraguay has lost the majority of its natural forest cover, thus becoming one of the countries with the highest deforestation rates in the world. Uninterrupted deforestation practices in the Paraguayan Chaco between 1987 and 2012 resulted in the loss of 27% of its original cover, accounting for almost 44,000 km2 of forested areas depleted. The rapid expansion of the agricultural frontier, cattle ranching, and illegal logging has converted the last forest remnants into isolated patches, thus endangering their continuity and biodiversity within them. In response to these events, the Paraguayan government has implemented numerous environmental programs and regulations to amend the damage that had happened in the past. Although governmental agencies claim a reduction in deforestation activities in the region, proper scientific environmental data that analyze the long-term effect of such regulations/programs remain scarce. Within this context, the present research analyzes the impact of local governments on changes occurred in Paraguayan Chaco forest between the years 1986 and 2020. Remote sensing data acquired from Landsat 4, 5, 7 and 8 images were used to derive the extent of the forest cover and deforestation rates over 34 years. Dynamics of the forest cover was correlated with each of the 10 government terms within the timeframe of the study. By analyzing the forest cover data during and after each term (around five years per government term), we sought to understand the influence of local policies on deforestation activities in the eco-region, aiming to identify social, political, and institutional drivers of change. A comprehensive assessment of creation and effectivities of protected areas, land concession to indigenous communities, and development/implementation of local policies and environmental laws are part of this study. Preliminary results show a significative difference on forest cover loss among governments terms ranging between 1% (2,385 km2) and 9% (14,422 km2). The lack of clear regulations, sound law enforcement, financial support, and inappropriate governance were initially identified as key drivers of change. The use of multi-temporal information was demonstrated to be a key component for designing, supporting, and monitoring conservation strategies and policies. It is crucial to consider not only the outlook of laws and policies aiming to halt deforestation activities but their actual influence on the behavior of natural resources over time.

How to cite: Garcia Calabrese, M., Salinas Romero, S., Cassacia Ibarrola, C., Morinigo, L., Alvarenga, M., and Da Ponte, E.: Understanding the relationship between environmental policies and deforestation activities in the Paraguayan Chaco, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10020,, 2021.