ERE – Energy, Resources and the Environment

ERE1.2 – Changes in energy and material demand as drivers, outcomes and solutions of the climate and environmental crisis

EGU22-6603 | Presentations | ERE1.2 | Highlight

Mitigation and Adaptation Emissions Embedded in the Broader Climate Transition

Corey Lesk, Denes Csala, Robin Krekeler, Sgouris Sgouridis, Antoine Levesque, Katharine Mach, Daniel Horen Greenford, H. Damon Matthews, and Radley Horton

Climate change necessitates an immediate and sustained global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the increased climate risks caused by historical emissions. This broader climate transition will involve mass global interventions including renewable energy deployment, coastal protection and retreat, and enhanced space cooling, which will result in CO2 emissions from energy and materials use. Yet, the magnitude of these emissions remains largely unconstrained, leaving open the potential for under-accounting of emissions and conflicts or synergies between mitigation and adaptation goals. Here, we use a suite of models to estimate the CO2 emissions embedded in the broader climate transition. For a pathway limiting warming to 2°C, we estimate that selected adaptations will emit ~1.5GtCO2 through 2100. Emissions from energy used to deploy renewable capacity are much larger at ~95GtCO2, equivalent to over two years of current global emissions and ~8% of the remaining carbon budget for 2°C. These embedded transition emissions are reduced by 80% to 20GtCO2 under a rapid decarbonization scenario limiting warming to 1.5°C. However, they roughly double to 185GtCO2 under a low-ambition transition consistent with current policies (2.7°C warming by 2100), mainly because a slower transition relies more on fossil fuels. Under this status-quo, the emissions embedded in the transition total nearly half the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C. Our results provide the first holistic assessment of the carbon emissions embedded in the transition itself, and suggest that these emissions can be largely minimized through rapid energy decarbonization, an underappreciated benefit of enhanced climate ambition.  

How to cite: Lesk, C., Csala, D., Krekeler, R., Sgouridis, S., Levesque, A., Mach, K., Horen Greenford, D., Matthews, H. D., and Horton, R.: Mitigation and Adaptation Emissions Embedded in the Broader Climate Transition, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6603,, 2022.

EGU22-3119 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Distinguishing Capital Investment and Consumption of Material Footprint: A Comparative Analysis between Subnational China and Other Nations

Meng Jiang, Paul Behrens, Yongheng Yang, Zhipeng Tang, Dingjiang Chen, Yadong Yu, Lin Liu, Pu Gong, Shengjun Zhu, Wenji Zhou, Edgar Hertwich, Bing Zhu, and Arnold Tukker

Economic prosperity is vital to human development, but heavy reliance on material extraction leads to environmental degradation. To successfully decouple growth from degradation, the main drivers of material footprint (MF) must be identified. Here, we focus on MFs in Chinese provinces as well as emerging economies in a global context. We employ a local-global input-output model that considers trade and classified investment/consumption to evaluate the relationship between MF and the Human Development Index (HDI). The results show that China's growing MFs exhibit different development trajectories. While GDP and Human Development Index (HDI) are generally correlated with MFs, some low-income provinces in China have higher MFs per capita than some affluent provinces and advanced economies. We find that capital investments related to buildings, infrastructure, and equipment in China explain the complexity. To explain this further, we distinguish between consumption-driven and investment-driven MFs. We demonstrate the different roles of consumption and investment in the physical economy. An interesting finding is that consumption-driven MFs are generally associated with HDI across Chinese provinces and countries, but investment-driven MFs are not. Such trends are also observed in some developing economies. Capital investment shapes the different trajectories of MFs in rapidly industrializing economies. Given the large infrastructure gaps in emerging economies and post-pandemic investment plans, these underline the need to consider the broader sustainability implications of future investment plans. The concept that investigating different roles of investment- and consumption-associated footprint in input-output framework suggests that modeling future MFs, especially in rapidly industrializing countries, requires a more sophisticated framework. Taking capital investment and stocks formation into the general modeling is important. We conclude by asking two open questions: (1) Does the development of consumption-driven and investment-driven MFs across countries follow a paradigm where the early process of development is high-infrastructure MFs, and then shifts to higher consumption MFs as capital stocks build up? (2) How much investment does an economy need to maintain healthy and green growth?

How to cite: Jiang, M., Behrens, P., Yang, Y., Tang, Z., Chen, D., Yu, Y., Liu, L., Gong, P., Zhu, S., Zhou, W., Hertwich, E., Zhu, B., and Tukker, A.: Distinguishing Capital Investment and Consumption of Material Footprint: A Comparative Analysis between Subnational China and Other Nations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3119,, 2022.

Paris climate agreement has been a major step forward to limit the global mean temperature rise to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. For many countries, it has led to adopt Net-Zero GHG Emissions (NZE) targets by mid-century. Such objectives imply renewing much existing infrastructures and equipment through low-carbon investments in key sectors (buildings, transport, and power supply). However, there is a risk to overshoot the objectives due to base carbon-intensive materials (steel, cement, etc.). Indeed, material demand is already expected to double by mid-century following economic trends. Deploying intensively low-carbon infrastructure and technologies is expected to increase material demand even more. The size of this surplus is unclear as most energy prospects neglect the feedback between the low-carbon transition and material needs. In addition, most countries restrict their NZE targets to territorial emissions, whereas a carbon footprint approach is essential to account for carbon linkage and industrial relocation toward more carbon-intensive countries. Also, the potential for a fast transition to zero-carbon industrial processes and materials as required is still uncertain, all the more in developing countries producing most materials. The design of stringent climate policy needs a clearer vision of the role of materials in the low-carbon transition to prioritizing mitigation actions.

Our study aims to quantify the link between GHG emissions, low-carbon investments, and the demand for materials. We develop an Input-Output model called MatMat designed (i) to integrate various sets of expertise about low-carbon scenarios and (ii) to track the role of investment demand and material supply in the evolution of the carbon footprint. We apply our method to the french governmental NZE scenario and global mitigation scenarios until 2050. By disentangling key drivers impacting GHG emissions embodied in materials, we show that the carbon footprint of materials could offset national NZE targets due to (i) the indirect material demand embodied in imports and (ii) the potential delay in decarbonizing the material production compared to other sectors, especially abroad. To relieve the material bottleneck for the transition to NZE strategy, we recommend (i) developing material efficiency and circular economy policies, (ii) relocating low-carbon industrial productions, and (iii) supporting imports of clean industrial products at the national level.

How to cite: Teixeira, A. and Lefèvre, J.: The future carbon footprint of materials as a bottleneck for the transition to Net-Zero Emissions – case study on France, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11525,, 2022.

EGU22-755 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Potential for future reductions of global GHG and air pollutants from circular waste management systems

Adriana Gomez Sanabria, Gregor Kiesewetter, Zbigniew Klimont, Wolfgang Schoepp, and Helmut Haberl

The rapidly rising generation of municipal solid waste jeopardizes the environment and contributes to climate heating. Based on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, we here develop a global systematic approach for evaluating the potentials to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases and air pollutants from the implementation of circular municipal waste management systems. We contrast two sets of global scenarios until 2050, namely baseline and mitigation scenarios, and show that mitigation strategies in the sustainability-oriented
scenario yields earlier, and major, co-benefits compared to scenarios in which inequalities are reduced but that are focused solely on technical solutions. The sustainability-oriented scenario leaves 386 Tg CO2eq/yr of GHG (CH4 and CO2) to be released while air pollutants from
open burning can be eliminated, indicating that this source of ambient air pollution can be entirely eradicated before 2050.

How to cite: Gomez Sanabria, A., Kiesewetter, G., Klimont, Z., Schoepp, W., and Haberl, H.: Potential for future reductions of global GHG and air pollutants from circular waste management systems, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-755,, 2022.

EGU22-6801 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Representative models and energy and material efficiency strategies for residential buildings in urban India

Aishwarya Iyer, Mohamed Aly Etman, Edgar Hertwich, and Narasimha Rao

40% of global energy demand can be attributed to buildings, and 75% of this share is contributed by residential buildings. Developing countries are expected to be the hotspot for future growth in residential energy demand, as many of them expect significant growth in population and urbanization. For instance, 75% of the residential floorspace expected to exist in India in 2030 remained to be constructed in 2015. Thus, a lot of the new energy demand from residential buildings can still be controlled and mitigated. As the country expected to have the largest population in the world by 2025, India has a responsibility to grow sustainably, in a way that aids global climate change mitigation goals. Studying the residential building sector in India thus is a necessary step towards achieving these goals.

Indian residential buildings are diverse, and include informal slums,  low-quality formal buildings, mid-rise formal buildings, and high-rise skyscrapers. Global models for energy efficiency in the residential sector usually consider only one type of building from developing countries, the formal (cement-concrete) type. They create a generalized model, based on the assumption that appliances and thermal comfort standards are the same in most countries. These generalizations do not consider the diverse types of buildings, appliances and thermal comfort standards in India, or any developing country.

This project presents a life-cycle assessment representing all residential building types in India - formal, semi-formal and informal. The semi-formal typology is hitherto missing from building energy modeling literature.  We include and model embodied phase and use-phases separately. The embodied phase study helps understand the energy demand and material demand from the building materials and construction. In the use-phase study, we create detailed models of all residential building typologies, and simulate cooling energy demand results for the city of Mumbai. We study building clusters, to account for the heat transfer and shading effects from the crowded urban environment in India. We also model realistic cooling appliances commonly used in Indian households, like fans and water-based coolers, in addition to air conditioners, and more representative cooling behaviour.

For the first time in this Indian residential life-cycle assessment study, we define three representative typologies for Indian residential buildings. We study clusters and model real appliances used in these homes. We explore some simple material efficiency and energy efficiency strategies through different envelopes, appliances and usage. The goal of this study is to create a preliminary model of what buildings in India are like, and understand how their life-cycle energy demands differ, and some simple options to reduce this demand.

How to cite: Iyer, A., Aly Etman, M., Hertwich, E., and Rao, N.: Representative models and energy and material efficiency strategies for residential buildings in urban India, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6801,, 2022.

EGU22-12238 | Presentations | ERE1.2 | Highlight

Reducing the energy demand to achieve universal access to modern energy while ensuring women’s well-being: How much energy and carbon can be saved by fertility decline? 

Camille Belmin, Peter-Paul Pichler, Guillaume Marois, Shonali Pachauri, and Helga Weisz

In a climate-constrained world, understanding the energy needs to reach universal access to modern energy is critical. This requires making assumptions on future population trajectories, and developments in energy access can affect them. Yet, this feedback has never been accounted for in energy models. Access to modern energy enhances women’s ability to make reproductive choices and leads to fertility decline as it reduces child mortality, improves health, increases women’s access to information, education and employment. In this paper, we assess the household energy requirements to expand energy access while considering the relationship between energy access and fertility, using Zambia as a case study. To do so, we built a micro-simulation model of population projection in which fertility depends on access to modern energy and education level, and projected the electricity and cooking energy needs of the Zambian population to 2050, under different scenarios. Our preliminary results show that while electricity consumption is higher in the universal access scenario compared to the baseline scenario, total energy demand is 67% lower, partly due to strong decline in the use inefficient traditional cooking fuels. Reduced population growth due to expanded energy access and education accounts for 15% of this reduction in rural areas, and 8% overall. Although the challenge of achieving universal access to modern energy seems daunting, our results suggest that this goal could be co-beneficial to achieving climate goals. Our study also reveals that accounting for the energy-population nexus in energy models would scale down the currently assumed energy needs to ensure decent well-being for all.

How to cite: Belmin, C., Pichler, P.-P., Marois, G., Pachauri, S., and Weisz, H.: Reducing the energy demand to achieve universal access to modern energy while ensuring women’s well-being: How much energy and carbon can be saved by fertility decline? , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12238,, 2022.

We recently launched a citizen science project on household water-energy efficiency as part of the cross-border, interdisciplinary Dŵr Uisce research project on improving the energy performance and long-term sustainability of the water sectors in Ireland and Wales. Citizen science is emerging as a critically important means of democratising science by engaging the public to contribute to the creation of solutions to some of the most important topical global challenges like climate change.

The main aim of the citizen science project is to engage with and collaborate with the public to improve understanding of water-related energy use in Irish homes to help assess the most effective means of improving the efficiency and sustainability of household water-related energy use through water use efficiency.

The project consists of two key parts: a cross-sectional survey that assessed the current public perception of household water and water-related energy use, followed by a longitudinal study where participants record water use at home to assess the actual current household micro-component water use and associated water-related energy use. The findings of the project will be used to quantify the potential of climate action through household water-energy use efficiency in reducing emissions and costs, and to develop up-to-date best practice guidelines for climate action from household water use efficiency.

We will be presenting the results of the cross-sectional survey on current perception of household water and water-related energy use. The survey, open to all households in the Republic of Ireland, ran for 7 weeks in September and October 2021 and a prize draw was used to incentivise participation. We received a total of 265 responses of which 23 responses were partially completed responses (8.7%); however, data available for non-completed responses does not indicate any difference compared to completed responses, and it may well be possible some non-completed responders went on to restart the survey after it timed out. The survey consisted of 60 questions grouped by general questions on household water use (e.g., water provision, and water and energy metering) and household water use types (bathroom, kitchen, cleaning and laundry, and outdoor water use). Itwas designed to be disaggregated by the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) household demographic and socio-economic census as a segmentation framework: location, household type, household age, housing status, employment status, household income and household size (disaggregated by age). The responses are found to be generally representative compared with the most recent 2016 census data in terms of location, employment status, housing status, household income, household type, and household age.

How to cite: Bello-Dambatta, A., Bellini, R., and Williams, P.: Energy efficiency through household water use efficiency: a survey on public perception of household water and water-related energy use in Ireland, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3310,, 2022.

EGU22-3545 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Impact of climate change on Spanish electricity demand

Ricardo García-Herrera, Jose M Garrido-Pérez, David Barriopedro, and Carlos Ordóñez


The need to balance supply and demand has become an important policy concern in a context of a projected growth in global energy consumption. Based on the demand–temperature relationship and the ongoing global warming, climate change is expected to alter the regional patterns of electricity demand. This work evaluates the influence that climate change could exert on electricity demand patterns in Spain conditioned on the level of warming, with special attention to the seasonal occurrence of extreme demand days. For this purpose, assuming the currently observed electricity demand–temperature relationship holds in the future, we have generated daily time series of pseudo-electricity demand from the recent past until the late twenty-first century by using simulated temperatures from statistical downscaling of global climate model experiments.

We have found that, despite the minor warming effects on the median values of daily electricity demand, the mean values as well as the frequency and severity of extreme electricity demand days are expected to increase significantly in Spain, even for low levels of regional warming. Moreover, the occurrence of these extremes will experience a seasonal shift from winter to summer due to the projected temperature increases in both seasons. Under a high radiative forcing scenario of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5), the extended summer season (June–September) will concentrate more than 50% of extreme electricity demand days by mid-century, increasing to 90% before the end of the century. Since these events will often be related to extreme heat, there could also be side effects that jeopardize the electricity infrastructure. Thus, this result should be considered by energy planners to ensure power supply and improve the effectiveness of the energy system.

Finally, we have shown that future changes in electricity demand could have considerable spatial heterogeneity over the country, which has strong implications for the management of the electricity system. While Spain is warming up faster than the global mean, there are some regions that will be exposed to lower warming than others. In particular, northwestern Spain will experience the seasonal shift later than the rest of the country due to the relatively mild summer temperatures and lower projected warming there. 

How to cite: García-Herrera, R., Garrido-Pérez, J. M., Barriopedro, D., and Ordóñez, C.: Impact of climate change on Spanish electricity demand, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3545,, 2022.

EGU22-689 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Reducing aviation emissions: investigating time minimal and fixed time trajectories for transatlantic flights.

Cathie Wells, Paul Williams, Nancy Nichols, Dante Kalise, and Ian Poll

With full satellite coverage of transatlantic flight routes now a reality, situational awareness is no longer a limiting factor in planning trajectories. This extra freedom allows us to consider moving from the current Organised Track System to Trajectory Based Operations, in order to limit fuel use and thus reduce emissions.

In all parts of this research, flights between New York and London, from 1st December, 2019 to 29thFebruary, 2020 are considered. Average daily winds and temperatures are taken from a global atmospheric re-analysis dataset.


We first use optimal control theory to find the minimum time trajectories through daily wind fields. The aircraft is assumed to fly at Flight Level 340 with airspeeds ranging from 200 to 270 m s-1. Since fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions are directly proportional to the product of time of flight and airspeed, this quantity, air distance, is used as a measure of route fuel efficiency. Minimum time air distances are compared with actual Air Traffic Management tracks, giving potential savings ranging from 0.7 to 16.4%. 


However, minimum time routes are not always practical. Airlines and airports require trajectories that will minimize fuel burn and thus carbon dioxide emissions, whilst adhering to a rigid timetable. To address this we again apply optimal control theory, but this time to find minimum fuel routes through the same wind fields. 

The control variable is expressed as a set of position-dependent aircraft headings, with the optimal control problem solved through a reduced gradient approach.  A second formulation is considered, wherein both heading angle and airspeed are controlled.  By comparing fuel burn for each of these scenarios, the importance of airspeed in the control formulation is established. 


Thus large reductions in fuel consumption and emissions are possible immediately, by planning time or fuel minimal trajectories, without waiting decades for incremental improvements in fuel-efficiency through technological advances.

How to cite: Wells, C., Williams, P., Nichols, N., Kalise, D., and Poll, I.: Reducing aviation emissions: investigating time minimal and fixed time trajectories for transatlantic flights., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-689,, 2022.

EGU22-2917 | Presentations | ERE1.2

The opportunities and challenges of Green Hydrogen from Africa and Iceland to decarbonize the industries

Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe, David Finger, and Reinhold Lang

Green hydrogen has been identified as a key energy carrier to decarbonize the main emission sectors. In the industry sectors hydrogen can be used as a reducing agent in the metallurgy, in the transportation sector hydrogen can be used as a fuel and in the energy sector hydrogen can be used as an energy storage option. However, the production of hydrogen is energy intensive and can only lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions if the primary energy source is renewable, carbon-free, and has a low ecological footprint. Wind, geothermal, solar and hydropower have been identified as key sources for sustainable and green hydrogen production, especially if excess energy is used for the hydrogen production. Unfortunately, large scale renewable energy production is frequently located at distant location from main consumers. We assess the challenges and opportunities of two remote production hot spots for sustainable and green hydrogen, namely Iceland and northern Africa. We will present different methods, ranging from energy modelling, life cycle assessment, to stakeholder analysis to present a holistic picture of sustainable green hydrogen production. Based on our preliminary results, we conclude that Iceland as well as northern Africa have the potential to produce sustainable and green hydrogen.

How to cite: Egbe, D. A. M., Finger, D., and Lang, R.: The opportunities and challenges of Green Hydrogen from Africa and Iceland to decarbonize the industries, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2917,, 2022.

EGU22-6658 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Methane and Environmental Impacts of Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells in the North American Arctic-Boreal Region

Louise Anne Klotz, Oliver Sonnentag, and Mary Kang

Arctic and Boreal regions are experiencing major natural and anthropogenic disturbances, leading to significant changes in ecosystem composition, structure and functioning in recent decades. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the main drivers of change, as well as the ecosystem impacts on natural and cultural resources, human health and the climate system. Large numbers of oil and natural gas wells are being drilled in Arctic and Boreal regions; however, the number and distribution of wells drilled in these regions over time is not well documented and understood. Moreover methane emissions and relationship with land cover and land cover change have not been analyzed. Using oil and gas well databases from provincial, territorial and state agencies in Canada and the U.S., we analyze drilled oil and gas wells throughout the study period (1984-2014) and in relation to land cover distribution and change across the Arctic-Boreal region of western North America. We find 254,998 wells, mostly located in Alberta (211,747) and British Columbia (35,012), in Arctic and Boreal regions of Canada and the U.S. We characterize the wells, based on data provided in the database, according to well production type (gas or oil and gas) and well abandonment status (active, abandoned, abandoned and plugged) and find that annual well drilling has increased from 269 to 8599 from 1984 to 2014. We estimate emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells in the study domain to be 40 – 148% of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s national estimate for methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells in 2018. Finally, using the annual land cover maps for 1984-2014, we find the number of drilled wells in each land cover class throughout the years. We identify significant increases in number of wells drilled between 1984-1999 and 2000-2014 in evergreen forest, sparsely vegetated and barren land cover classes. 

How to cite: Klotz, L. A., Sonnentag, O., and Kang, M.: Methane and Environmental Impacts of Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells in the North American Arctic-Boreal Region, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6658,, 2022.

EGU22-12341 | Presentations | ERE1.2

Polish demand and supply of mineral raw materials  in the light of the European Green Deal

Alicja Kot-Niewiadomska and Krzysztof Galos

The European Green Deal (EGD) is a development strategy aimed at transforming the European Union into a the world's first climate-neutral area. The way to achieve this goal is a low-emission energy transformation, which should end in 2050, but the first milestones should be achieved already in 2030. Following the dynamically accelerating EU climate and energy trends will be a significant transformation challenge for Poland. The strategies proposed in the EGD will have a significant impact on key areas of the national economy (energy system, construction, industry, transport, households), including the level of supply and demand for many mineral raw materials. The most visible changes will be registered in the group of fossil fuels, but also regarding metallic raw materials, which will be associated with the development of advanced technologies for renewable energy sources.

A crucial breakthrough in the Polish energy transformation was the country's accession to the declaration of resignation from the coal exploitation, which Poland signed during the World Climate Summit in 2021. According to the social contract, the last hard coal mine in Poland will be closed by 2049. Thus, for the first time Poland was on the list of countries that officially confirm the withdrawal from coal. The resignation from this raw material is also included in the Polish Energy Policy 2040, according to which hard coal will be replaced by natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable energy. As a consequence, an increase in demand for both natural gas and nuclear fuels, should be expected. It should be noted that Poland does not have its own fossil nuclear fuel sources, and the domestic extraction of natural gas covers only 13% of the demand. In both cases an increasing demand for fuels should be assumed in the coming decades. Crude oil is also in the group of fuels sensitive to changes resulting from EGD. The main sector of the Polish economy in which petroleum products are consumed is transport. The development of electromobility, the use of biocomponents and alternative fuels will be the most important factors influencing changes in the level of demand for crude oil in the next 10-20 years.

The EGD strategy will play an important role in changing the structure of demand for metallic raw materials, both in terms of their quality and quantity. It should be emphasized that Poland has the largest copper ores deposits in Europe. In recent decades, the Polish production has accounted for nearly 50% of the total copper ore concentrates production and for more than 20% of the total refined copper production in the EU. Development of demand for this raw material is related to the scale of use of refined copper, among others in renewable energy (wind power and photovoltaics) and electromobility, which are the pillars of EGD. Unfortunately, practically all other metals important in development of renewable energy sources in Poland (e.g. cobalt, nickel, manganese, lithium, REEs, silicon) are completely deficit for the Polish economy due to lack economically feasible domestic sources. 

How to cite: Kot-Niewiadomska, A. and Galos, K.: Polish demand and supply of mineral raw materials  in the light of the European Green Deal, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12341,, 2022.

ERE1.4 – Climate change and cultural heritage: impact, vulnerability, adaptation

EGU22-1776 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Climate change impact on vernacular and archaeological cultural heritage building materials in Europe and Latin America

Oscar Julián Esteban Cantillo, Beatriz Menendez, and Benjamin Quesada

The analysis and interpretation of past climate data and simulations of climate models for future periods will allow us to know future climate conditions and their differences with past ones. One of the many applications of these analyzes is the study of the impacts of climate change on two types of cultural heritage that differ due to their geographical location and therefore their climatic conditions, as are vernacular cultural heritage in Europe and archaeological sites in Latin America, but they share a fundamental similarity in terms of the use of materials and construction techniques.

The first objective of our study is to review and quantify the impacts of combined climate (mean and extreme) and pollution on building materials of cultural heritage under future IPCC socioeconomic scenarios with high and low mitigation measures at years 2030, 2050 and 2070, using peer-reviewed dose-response equations.

We also focus on the degradation effects due to compound extreme events (heatwave, dry spells and extreme rainfall/flood) of each of the selected regions of our case study (European project SCORE: Sustainable COnservation and REstoration of built cultural heritage 2021-2024), in order to determine how future climatic conditions may affect the cultural heritage of some sites in Europe and Latin America. The foregoing by applying these climatic conditions in different models, based on scientific literature, that allow determining the consequences of these conditions on the materials in which these structures were built.

Finally, based on the literature review, we deliver preliminary results on a “cocktail of extreme events” experiment in laboratory specifically designed to quantify the damages and degradation of building materials due to a realistic series of adverse climate and pollution events.

How to cite: Esteban Cantillo, O. J., Menendez, B., and Quesada, B.: Climate change impact on vernacular and archaeological cultural heritage building materials in Europe and Latin America, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1776,, 2022.

EGU22-7880 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Analysis of Climate Change Impacts on the still existing 28 Norwegian Stave Churches 

Chiara Bertolin and Elena Sesana

Norway, nowadays, still preserves outstanding examples of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture called stavkirker (i.e., stave churches), these are typical Norwegian medieval churches built since 11th-12th Centuries with posts and staves as load bearing elements. This homogeneous group of immovable cultural heritage share similar architectural features, construction materials, as well as tangible and intangible values. They represent the highly developed tradition of wooden buildings that extended at these latitudes during Middle Ages and incorporate a large reuse of decorative and construction elements originating from other stave churches built in earlier centuries. Besides having similar use and maintenance requirements still today, the stave churches have similar vulnerability, as well as risk assessment and preservation needs.


For their protection it becomes fundamental to analyse and predict the impact of climate change in term of expected extreme temperature and rainfall events. In fact, modification of temperature (and consequently relative humidity) and/or of precipitation amount may cause rot to the Pine wood material constituting the churches or may enhance the mechanisms of biological and mechanical decay with an ultimate loss of valuable building assets.


This contribution focuses on the whole group of the still existing 28 stave churches spread over 6 regions in centre-south Norway with different climate, from temperate continental climate/humid continental climate (Dfb in the Köppen classification) to cool continental subarctic climate (Dfc) passing through the Tundra climate (ET). The work introduces an overview of the churches` architectural categorization, location, and flood vulnerability; then it focuses on climate change impacts. For the analysis of temperature and precipitation extreme events the modelled grid data from the Norwegian Climate Service Center (  over 1x1 km spatial resolution have been used. These forecasts have been produced using the regional climate model simulation COSMO-CLM1 (Consortium for small scale modelling in Climate Mode) considering the Representative Concentration Pathways RCP4.5 (i.e., slow increase of concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere until 2050 followed by emission reduction over time with, in addition, a human-induced radiative forcing at 4.5 W/m2). More than 100 Gb of data were elaborated to create a novel database with daily temporal resolution over two reference time periods i.e., the recent past (RP, 1991-2020) and the far future (FF, 2071-2100) for the location closest to each stave church. Further the analysis concentrates on extreme precipitation and temperature occurrences (e.g., > 99.99 percentile) investigated as cumulative distribution function (CDF) and complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF). Results highlight expected anomalies in extreme events for all the 28 locations and report the total extreme precipitation and temperature related hazards as indexes which easily allow to categorize the change in risk for each stave church.

References:1Rockel, B., Will, A., & Hense, A. (2008). The regional climate model CLM. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 17, 347–348

How to cite: Bertolin, C. and Sesana, E.: Analysis of Climate Change Impacts on the still existing 28 Norwegian Stave Churches , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7880,, 2022.

EGU22-11582 | Presentations | ERE1.4

A risk assessment tool for the protection of cultural heritage exposed to extreme climate events. 

Alessandro Sardella, Stefano Natali, Riccardo Cacciotti, Milos Drdácký, and Alessandra Bonazza

The risk to cultural heritage as a consequence of the impact of climate change is globally recognized, even though not exhaustively tackled with sustainable solutions and tools addressed to support policy and decision makers in the preparedness phase of risk reduction and management cycle.

This contribution aims at presenting the methodological approach applied and main results of the “Risk mapping tool for cultural heritage protection” specifically dedicated to the safeguarding of cultural heritage exposed to extreme climate changes, produced in the framework of the Interreg Central Europe STRENCH (2020 - 2022). STRENCH project is strongly based on a user-driven approach and the multidisciplinary collaboration among the scientific community, public authorities, rescue bodies and the private sector (

The presented tool provides hazard maps for Europe and in the Mediterranean Basin where cultural and natural heritage is exposed to heavy rain, flooding and prolonged drought. The tool enables assessing risk of cultural heritage assets based on:

  • the computation of extreme changes of precipitation and temperature performed using climate extreme indices defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection Indices (ETCCDI);
  • the exploitation of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), together with Earth Observation-based data and products;
  • the integration with outputs from Regional Climate Models from the Euro-CORDEX experiment under two different scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5);
  • a developed methodology for identifying the main critical elements determining the vulnerability of cultural heritage;
  • the ranking of the vulnerability taking into account 3 main aspects, namely the susceptibility, exposure and resilience of cultural heritage.

Preliminary results from the testing of the “risk mapping tool” at European case studies (Krems-Stein in Austria and Troja-Prague in Czech Republic) allow concluding on the feasibility and applicability of the tool presented in the perspective of optimizing preparedness strategies and mitigating the risk of cultural heritage subject to climate change related actions.

In conclusion, the STRENCH project, through the implementation of its outputs, is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of stakeholders and policymakers responsible for disaster mitigation and safeguarding of cultural heritage assets and to foster the active involvement of citizens and local communities in the decision-making process.

How to cite: Sardella, A., Natali, S., Cacciotti, R., Drdácký, M., and Bonazza, A.: A risk assessment tool for the protection of cultural heritage exposed to extreme climate events. , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11582,, 2022.

EGU22-2850 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Making use of climate information for protecting cultural heritage from extreme weather events in a warming world

Lola Kotova, Johanna Leissner, Matthias Winkler, Florian Antretter, Ralf Kilian, Jürgen Mossgraber, Jürgen Reuter, Tobias Hellmund, Anton Dolgov, Katharina Matheja Matheja, Michael Rohde Rhode, Uta Pollmer, and Uwe Mikolajewicz

The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in Europe are one of the most dangerous consequences of a warming climate. Some regions suffer more under heat waves and droughts, while others are experiencing extreme rainfalls. Thus, for example, a severe flood in July 2021 in several European countries caused widespread damages particularly in Belgium and Germany.

Which extreme weather events are to be expected in the future? How can the damage of irretrievable historical sites be avoided or, at least, limited or dealt with? All these questions are addressed in the three-year research project KERES, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is coordinated by the Fraunhofer ISC together with the Fraunhofer EU Office in Brussels.

As first step the regional relevance of future extreme weather events in Germany will be investigated.  This information will be further used to estimate the potential damages to buildings and outdoor facilities. The precautionary and responsive measures to manage potential or acute damage situations will be investigated as well. The designed methodologies will be tested for five case studies including World Heritage Sites (historical buildings and historical gardens)  in Germany.

The major tools of KERES include building component and indoor climate simulations and high-resolution urban climate models. The necessary input will be taken from the most recent ensemble of regional climate change projections of the EURO-CORDEX Initiative (  As a result, an ontology-based information system will be designed for managing the expected damage situations.

We will present first results from the KERES project. The discussion will be focused on how to access and visualize the robustness of projected changes of extreme weather events in a way oriented to individual cultural heritage sites.

How to cite: Kotova, L., Leissner, J., Winkler, M., Antretter, F., Kilian, R., Mossgraber, J., Reuter, J., Hellmund, T., Dolgov, A., Matheja, K. M., Rhode, M. R., Pollmer, U., and Mikolajewicz, U.: Making use of climate information for protecting cultural heritage from extreme weather events in a warming world, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2850,, 2022.

The climate of the city of Tønsberg in Norway is cold and humid. As a result, the brick-made historic buildings in this city are threatened by frost damage. Climate change is expected to affect the action of this degradation mechanism. In the current research, climate data resulting from the REMO2015 driven by the global model MPI-ESM-LR were used for periods 1960-69, 2010-2019, and 2060-69 representing the past, present, and future climate conditions. In addition, data from the ERA5 reanalysis for the present conditions, 2010-19, were used to assess the accuracy of the climate model data. Given the climate excitations, the freeze-thaw events were calculated according to two climate indices, i) the events of temperature decrease below 0oC and ii) by considering that freezing occurs below -3oC and thawing occurs above 1oC. Moreover, a material response-based index that takes into account the temperature and the moisture content of a 5mm layer in the exterior side of the wall assembly was calculated. Prior to its calculation proper hygrothermal simulations were performed. According to this index, the critical temperature and degree of saturation that characterize a freeze-thaw event are 0oC and 25%, respectively. From the climate model data and the first climate index, the 0oC crossings that were calculated are 400, 340, and 223 under the past, present, and future conditions, respectively. The respective number of the freeze-thaw events that were calculated by using the second climate index are 49, 31, and 27 which are significantly lower. From the data obtained from the ERA5 reanalysis, the number of freeze-thaw events that were calculated is 425 and 123 for the first and the second climate index, respectively. This difference is attributed to the underestimation of the air temperature in the climate model data, which results in a lower number of temperatures hovering around the examined thresholds during winter. The results of the material response-based index show a minor frost risk for the brick-made wall assemblies which is reduced through the years. The southeast-oriented walls were the ones with the highest exposure to driving rain and the greatest frost damage risk. For this orientation, the number of freeze-thaw events was 6, 3, and 2 under past, present, and future conditions, respectively. Moreover, according to the ERA5 reanalysis, only 1 freeze-thaw event was calculated. This is attributed to the fact that the climate model overestimates significantly the precipitation and the relative humidity compared to the ERA5 reanalysis. In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that both the climate-based and the material response-based indices define a decreasing trend of the frost damage risk of historic brick-made walls due to climate change. The use of the material response-based index is suggested for a more accurate assessment of the frost damage which can further support proper adaptation measures. Finally, the quality of the results can be improved by using climate data from more climate models and applying bias correction or morphing methodologies on the climate files to avoid systematic errors.

How to cite: Choidis, P. and Kraniotis, D.: Climate-based and material response-based approaches for the impact assessment of climate change on the frost damage of historic brick walls in Tønsberg, Norway., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12070,, 2022.

EGU22-107 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Climate change: a threat to underwater cultural heritage

Elena Pérez Álvaro

Predictions forecast changes in climate that may affect cultural heritage in the future. Not only the underwater cultural heritage will become exposed, but also our land tangible cultural heritage will be submerged: entire nations and their cultural heritage may disappear, losing their identity as nations, countries, and communities. In fact, climate change has the potential to increase the sea level enough by 2100 to inundate 136 sites considered by UNESCO as cultural and historical treasures.

This presentation will examine the specific climate changes that oceans will most likely suffer and how they will probably affect tangible underwater cultural heritage, analysing how the changes will affect every possible material that can be found in a submerged archaeological site. It will also explore cases of heritage that are already suffering the consequences examining two future scenarios: how climate change may disturb underwater cultural heritage, and how land cultural heritage may change its label and subsequently become underwater cultural heritage. Lastly, the presentation will propose a new partnership natural/cultural resources and the qualification of cultural heritage as a natural resource for its preservation, establishing the same common measures for both heritage against climate change.

How to cite: Pérez Álvaro, E.: Climate change: a threat to underwater cultural heritage, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-107,, 2022.

EGU22-5898 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Developing a new method for long-term monitoring of the weathering of historical building materials

Luigi Germinario, Chiara Coletti, Petros Choidis, Dimitrios Kraniotis, Lara Maritan, Raffaele Sassi, Laura Tositti, and Claudio Mazzoli

This contribution presents the work of research and technical development for designing a novel method for monitoring and predicting the weathering of cultural heritage, in particular of stones and timber used historically as building materials.
An apparatus for long-term field tests was designed in its hardware and software components with a twofold application:

  • Exposure of a set of selected stone and wood specimens to natural weathering, at different orientations (North, South, and horizontal plane) and environmental settings (Italy and Norway).
  • Non-stop acquisition of microclimate data series at different resolutions, down to the scale of the specimen surface, completed by datasets of regional stations of environmental monitoring.

Complementary laboratory analyses aim at setting a reference point for the state of conservation of each material before the exposure tests, and monitoring the changes of surface recession/topography (by 3D optical profilometry), thus reconstructing the relevant deterioration trends.
Within the framework of the EU-funded project HYPERION, this novel experimental approach is expected to help assessing the interaction of building materials with the environment and their weathering constrained by microclimate and climate variability; combining climate model simulations, the stresses brought about by climate change can also be assessed. The findings might represent a source of precious information for the activities and decision-making protocols of the stakeholders involved in the protection of cultural heritage.

How to cite: Germinario, L., Coletti, C., Choidis, P., Kraniotis, D., Maritan, L., Sassi, R., Tositti, L., and Mazzoli, C.: Developing a new method for long-term monitoring of the weathering of historical building materials, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5898,, 2022.

EGU22-2857 | Presentations | ERE1.4

The French monumental heritage in the face of global climate change: state of the art and research perspectives

Roger-Alexandre Lefèvre, Peter Brimblecombe, and Aurélie Verney-Carron

France's monumental heritage has been the subject of little theoretical research in the face of global climate change, although many applied studies have concerned its adaptation and resilience, especially at the local level. Furthermore, this heritage includes more than 44,000 monuments and classified sites, 48 of which being inscribed on the UNESCO List and therefore deserves to be taken into account in the context of the current climate unbalance.

The complexity lies in the diversity of materials making up the monuments (stones, glass, metals, wood...) and of phenomena that affect them (as well as other constructions). In order to assess the impact of these increasing slow or extreme events already at work, the tools and methodologies range from the description and inventory of the effects, their measurement, mapping and projection into the future using models such as dose-response functions (DRF) with input data from climate models and scenarios. Ancient data can also be used to complement the correlation between climate and heritage, such as dendroclimatology studies of the wood in monuments.

Results from research carried out in France will be presented concerning stone facades, ancient stained glass windows, metals, degradation of walls by salts and dendroclimatology. Further research should focus on the consequences on the monumental heritage of rising marine waters, river and urban flood and low waters, freeze-thaw, the stability of monuments on clay soils and the indoor climate of monuments and their carbon footprint.

In conclusion, much remains to be done in France: (1) complete the inventory and description of the phenomena, their impacts and their location at the national, regional, urban and monumental scales, (2) quantify these impacts in the future via empirical or geochemical models based on climate models outputs.

How to cite: Lefèvre, R.-A., Brimblecombe, P., and Verney-Carron, A.: The French monumental heritage in the face of global climate change: state of the art and research perspectives, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2857,, 2022.

Dust is one of the main pollutants that settle on historic structures and cause the blackening of stone surfaces. The stone facades of historic buildings became dark, and besides its aesthetic alteration, dust deposition and subsequent chemical reactions led to the deterioration of the construction material. The composition of dust changes in time due to climate change, clean air acts and changes in transportation, industrial activities and heat. The present study tries to detect the temporal changes in the composition of dust by using a stone buildings as dust traps in Budapest. The studied historic building is more than one hundred years old, and no façade cleaning was done in the past century. Visual inspection of the city centre building suggested that dust accumulation show a distinct pattern representing differences in the vertical profile in terms of thickness and colour. Dust samples were collected from layer to layer representing newly settled and historical dust. Scaffolds were made to reach the various elevations of the building facades. Besides the dust, host rock samples were also picked to detect textural and compositional changes of the porous oolitic limestone material. The textural-mineralogical analyses (XRD, SEM) and chemical compositional tests (XRF, LA-ICP-MS) provide evidence of changes in composition of dust with time. In all host rock samples, gypsum was detected but in various proportions. Good correlations were also found between water-soluble calcium and gypsum content and between sulphate and gypsum content both for black crusts and host rocks, forming two distinct fields in calcium vs gypsum and sulphate vs gypsum graphs. Gypsum was also found in the dust either as a primary or as a secondary mineral phase. Metals, transition metals and water-soluble ions also occur in various concentrations in different layers of dust. The detected elements primarily include  Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb, Ni. From soluble salts, chloride, nitrate and sulphate were also detected. The changes in elemental and ionic concentrations reflect temporal changes in dust composition and provide indirect evidence for air quality changes and air pollution levels.

How to cite: Török, Á.: Compositional changes of settling dust in time on buildings in Budapest: centennial evidence of air pollution trends, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12113,, 2022.

EGU22-2571 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Black crusts as past air pollution archives

Mathilde Ropiquet, Aurélie Verney-Carron, and Anne Chabas

Since the Industrial revolution, emissions of pollutant (gas, aerosols) due to human activities increased and modified the composition of the atmosphere, causing air pollution and climate change. However, pollution measurements are relatively recent. In order to know past air pollution and assess its impact on monuments, proxies need to be found and studied.

One of these potential local proxies is black crusts that are a chemical alteration pattern mainly found on limestone or marble monuments. They are forming a dark mineralogical layer composed of gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) that results from the sulfation reaction between the calcite (CaCO3) of the stone and the sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the atmosphere. As gypsum is easily soluble, this pattern particularly affects sheltered area from the rain where particulate matter is trapped and accumulates. Therefore, black crusts act as passive sampler and could be used as an archive of air pollution.

To validate black crusts nomination as a new proxy and to find the best pollution marker, samples were collected at Père Lachaise cemetery on ancient tombs (dated from the 1820’s). A specific protocol was applied to separate strata from each other. Then, multiple analyses were realised using SEM-EDS, ICP-AES, and ICP-MS. The results show a different particulate content as a function of the depth, with different contributions of fly-ash typical of coal and oil combustion. This is confirmed by the chemical analyses as the trace metal concentrations are in agreement with the pollution sources. This study demonstrates that laminar black crusts have an internal stratigraphy that can be crucial to reconstruct past air pollution and provides precious data on pollution sources.

How to cite: Ropiquet, M., Verney-Carron, A., and Chabas, A.: Black crusts as past air pollution archives, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2571,, 2022.

Historical buildings, which play a major role in shaping the urban fabric, are facing challenges due to climate change. Today the cultural values are considered among the main goals of sustainable development much like the social, economic and environmental values. Therefore it is important to discover the sustainable ways of conservation and maintenance practices on mitigating the impacts of climate change, so that the historical buildings can play an active role in achieving sustainable development goals without compromising their cultural and heritage values.

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are considered as sustainable and effective solutions on mitigating impacts of climate stressors. Exploring their compatibility to conservation practices can bring mutual opportunities to the urban fabric and to the historical buildings. However, nature has been considered as a threat amongst the conservation practices due to potential biodegradation of materials, obscuring the heritage structure and requiring an additional cost of maintenance. Nevertheless, many uses of nature-based solutions come across in history, e.g. in the form of turf or sod roofs that provide thermal insulation on extreme climate conditions. Today, there are some attempts to integrate NbS to heritage environments within the scope of retrofitting projects. Nevertheless, a comprehensive methodology of performance assessment on mitigating climate challenges without compromising the cultural and heritage values has not been developed yet.

This project aims to develop a decision making framework for heritage actors on evaluating the compatibility of NbS to conservation and maintenance practices of historical buildings that are exposed to adverse impacts of climate stressors in the urban context. For developing a general outline of the framework, various NbS will be evaluated and categorized based on quantitative data in the literature according to their aesthetic fit to historic buildings, their structural feasibility and their performance on mitigating the effects of climate stressors. Throughout the project, process and value based research will be conducted on carefully selected case studies. The selected case studies will be evaluated within the scope of determining the severity of the prevailing climate stressors in their context, their structural sensitivity and their adaptability capacity to the new interventions. Based on the results, the compatible NbS and design measures can be identified. In the later stages of the project, the feasibility of the proposed nature-based design for the case studies will be tested by monitoring and comparing the results before and after the implementation.

How to cite: Kale, E., De Groeve, M., and De Kock, T.: Developing a Decision Making Tool for Evaluating the Compatibility of Nature-Based Solutions to the Built Heritage, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5311,, 2022.

EGU22-3476 | Presentations | ERE1.4

A Communities Engagement Mobile Application for Assessing the Resilience and Deterioration of Cultural Heritage Monuments

Maria Krommyda, Nikos Mitro, Katerina Georgiou, Vassillis Nousis, and Angelos Amditis

Climate change has been proved to have negative impacts on historic areas hosting cultural heritage sites and monuments, which in turn yields significant adverse impacts on local economies, societies, and even politics. The first and necessary step of the process of confrontation of this challenge is the early detection and recording of the on-site inflicted damage by a monitoring tool. In order to achieve that, we developed a dedicated mobile application that aims to assist the assessment of the resilience and the deterioration of the historic areas and the potential impacts due to various hazards. Citizens and local authorities worldwide can directly use the developed application on their mobile phones to acquire photos of on-site damages and submit short reports based on them. This software component has been designed and developed in the context of the European project entitled “HYPERION”, which aims to deliver an integrated resilience assessment platform, addressing multi-hazard risk understanding, faster and efficient response, and sustainable reconstruction of historic areas.

With this application, we aim to create a user-friendly application with the latest user interface and usability issues/trends which is focused on museum enthusiasts and active citizens’ or travelers’ needs. It’s important to put the users of this targeted group at the center of our efforts and by understanding their needs to create an intuitive application for them and at the same time a useful tool for the local authorities.

Users download the application from the Google or Apple App store and they log in or create an account in the application through the PLUGGY platform, which was developed in the context of the “PLUGGY” European project. The main function of the application is to create and post an asset using PLUGGY’s REST API. An Asset is an elementary unit of content in PLUGGY, a media file with an identified owner, a title, a description, a set of tags, and a license, which specifies how this file can be reused. Initially, the user’s location is detected via GPS and corrected in case of miscalculation. The user is then prompted to select a photo (or directly to take a snapshot) that depicts the damage of a monument. To complete the creation of the asset, the user will also need to select a title that will accompany the photo, and some tags, not only for a better description of the event but also for correlation with other assets or exhibition points that already exist in PLUGGY.

The developed mobile application gives voice to citizens and encourages them to provide direct feedback to the relevant cultural authorities, in order to assist them in assessing the deterioration of the cultural heritage sites and determining the needed reconstruction actions. As a result, the communities can have a major role in the safeguard of their cultural heritage.

How to cite: Krommyda, M., Mitro, N., Georgiou, K., Nousis, V., and Amditis, A.: A Communities Engagement Mobile Application for Assessing the Resilience and Deterioration of Cultural Heritage Monuments, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3476,, 2022.

EGU22-5264 | Presentations | ERE1.4

A data-driven approach to understanding the equilibria behaviour of salt mixtures in built cultural heritage

Scott Allan Orr, Sebastiaan Godts, and Tim De Kock

Salt weathering is a complex and active area of research, with implications for tangible cultural heritage worldwide. A preventive conservation approach is often taken to limit salt crystallisation cycles, which requires an understanding of the relative risks of scenarios and their respective heritage characteristics, salts present, and the climate, including climate change. Equilibrium relative humidity is an important property that indicates this risk: typically, it is represented by specific RH% and temperature derived from a single salt. The behaviour of single salts does not accurately represent the behaviour of salt mixtures, which are far more common in cultural heritage contexts. To address this, 11412 salt mixtures present in the built environment have been analysed using the ECOS/Runsalt model to predict their mixture-based mutual relative humidity of crystallisation and deliquescence points, the salt mixture composition, as well as the relative humidity of crystallisation and deliquescence for individual salts in the mixtures. This dataset, although sampled primarily from Belgian cultural heritage sites, is representative of the general classes of salt mixtures found in the built environment globally. This analysis represents an important step in developing a generalised statistical method for parameterising environmental time series data for salt weathering risk within climate change scenarios, as well as progressing fundamental knowledge on the behaviour of salt mixtures in built cultural heritage.

How to cite: Orr, S. A., Godts, S., and De Kock, T.: A data-driven approach to understanding the equilibria behaviour of salt mixtures in built cultural heritage, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5264,, 2022.

EGU22-7085 | Presentations | ERE1.4

The effect of vertical urban greening on historical building materials

Marie De Groeve, Eda Kale, Scott Allan Orr, and Tim De Kock

Due to hard coverage and building infrastructures, cities experience higher temperatures and higher pollution levels in their city centre relative to their less dense surroundings. This urban heat island effect is receiving an increasing amount of attention and concern. In response, cities are implementing green initiatives to mitigate elevated temperature and pollution levels, improving the health and well-being of their residents. However, the urban heat island is typically the largest in the historical core of the city, where the abundance of built heritage can make the implementation of green initiatives difficult. The dense urban fabric and the rules of conservation make such an implementation inconvenient. A major concern is how green initiatives might affect the condition of the historical building materials.

Therefore we scope the compatibility of vertical greening with built heritage, in terms of microclimatic changes, and considering impacts of salt crystallization, frost events, biodeterioration and pollutant deposition. The vertical greening represents vegetation growing along exterior walls. Either plants, rooted on the ground, climb up the facade by attaching themselves on the vertical surfaces or plants hang down from the top of the facade. Monitoring case studies in Antwerp and laboratory studies will help us investigate key changes, beneficial or adverse, in the material condition of heritage buildings. This project will develop our understanding of the relationship between the green initiatives and the historical materials in an urban area.

How to cite: De Groeve, M., Kale, E., Orr, S. A., and De Kock, T.: The effect of vertical urban greening on historical building materials, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7085,, 2022.

Water plays a vital role in the deterioration and conservation of built heritage and management problems might be aggravated by climate change. However, there is as yet no overarching framework for understanding the processes and impacts of water interacting with building materials. The term 'Heritage Hydrology' is a holistic way of conceptualising the flows and stores of water involved in deterioration of built and rock-hewn heritage. We distinguish the following basic types: (a) stone-built buildings, (b) ruins and free-standing walls, and (c) rock-hewn sites which include carved rock art and large rock sculptures. We focus on a key knowledge gap: The spatial and temporal characteristics of water flows/stores and the challenges of using currently available techniques to provide information on these characteristics.

In our selective review we provide examples of spatio-temporal patterns of moisture in stonework at different scales. We raise six key points about the state of research on heritage hydrology, from which we develop a future research agenda. (1) Three characteristics of moisture regimes are important to deterioration, i.e. presence, fluctuations and saturation thresholds. (2) There is a wide range of different heritage hydrological settings ranging from masonry building walls to natural rock slopes, and as yet no clear understanding of the commonalities vs specificities of these different settings. (3) While there is now a wide array of techniques available to measure and monitor moisture regimes in lab and field settings, the understanding of how comparable different measurement approaches are is still lacking. (4) There are now many measurements of the spatial patterning of moisture, but lack of clarity about the causes of these patterns. (5) There has been less research focusing on the temporal dynamics of moisture on heritage walls than on spatial patterns. (6) Studies combining measurement and modelling have proved particularly useful.

A research agenda for the future for heritage hydrology should focus on addressing the following broad questions: What are the best combinations of methods available to measure and model spatio-temporal patterns in moisture on built and rock-hewn heritage? What are the major factors controlling spatio-temporal patterns in moisture, also considering climatic changes? Which spatio-temporal patterns in moisture are most important for driving deterioration, and how do their respective scales interact? Tackling these research questions requires a coordinated approach, linking different research teams and methodologies. It should be based on a combination of data collected through laboratory experiments, detailed studies of test walls, and instrumented sections of walls at heritage sites. It should explore the causes and consequences of moisture regimes which provide fundamental links between climate and the deterioration of built and rock-hewn heritage.

How to cite: Sass, O. and Viles, H.: Heritage hydrology: A conceptual framework for understanding water fluxes and storage in built and rock-hewn heritage , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10024,, 2022.

Weathering is a key component of the geomorphological process system and poses a major threat to cultural heritage, such as building structures and rock art sites. Since almost all rock decay is enhanced by the presence of water, research on moisture content and flow is crucial to understanding weathering processes. Nevertheless, measuring rock moisture and its fluctuations is difficult as there is no universally used sensor that meets the requirements of non-destructiveness, reliability, repeatability, and applicability at field sites. Therefore, this work aims to evaluate several moisture measurement techniques under different natural conditions and to provide recommendations for their use. We tested seven types of methods (1D resistivity, 2D resistivity, TDR, borehole humidity, microwave reflectance, IR thermography, and uranine probes) under controlled conditions in a sandstone block that was subject to a slow wetting and drying cycle and to a series of freeze-thaw cycles.

Overall, the methods measuring dielectric properties of the rock (TDR, microwave) can be generally recommended for their reliability, repeatability, and applicability at field sites. Precise observation of moisture dynamics in deeper subsurface however remains a challenge, especially when moisture contents are close to drier states. Therefore, to get reliable water content data, it is vital to drill inside the rock rather than to use surface sensors, which are particularly sensitive to surface moisture and surface roughness. Nonetheless, out of the non-destructive surface methods, dielectric sensors using the microwave spectrum with a greater penetration depth (>10 cm) should be considered as they have the advantage of interacting the transmitted signal into a larger volume of material, therefore making the influence of surface less pronounced. Furthermore, the use of electrical resistance methods is less recommended because of mainly two factors: they need to be calibrated for each sensor pair, and they are prone to erroneous measurements in the presence of salts. Concerning the other methods, probes using a reactive dye, and borehole humidity sensors can be used to determine the location of the subsurface evaporation front where salt crystallisation takes place, and the IR imaging for studying evaporation dynamics needs either highly controlled environment or continuous measurement. In conclusion, this work provides new insights into rock moisture measurements and further research should focus on subsurface moisture measurements and the improvement and calibration of available techniques.

How to cite: Weiss, T. and Sass, O.: The challenge of measuring rock moisture: A laboratory experiment using eight types of sensors, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8814,, 2022.

EGU22-5806 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Influence of rock pore structure on the protective coating against weathering

Chiaki Oguchi and Yukina Ikeda

Tuff is rich in color and is used as a stone material, and it is also a rock that forms a unique landscape in Japan, a volcanic country. However, since it is generally a fragile rock, it is susceptible to weathering and deterioration. The present study conducted an experiment to confirm the effectiveness of the surface protectant using tuff with different physical characteristics. Sodium sulfate aqueous solution was used to determine the effectiveness of protective agent application for 5 types of tuff (Oya stone, Nikka stone, Ashino stone, Tatsuyama stone, Towada stone) An experiment was conducted in which the lower 3 cm of a 5 cm × 5 cm × 15 cm specimen that had been oven-dried at 110 ° C was immersed in a salt solution, and 20 ° C-40 ° C was repeated for up to 20 cycles in a 48-hour cycle. When the weight and P-wave velocity of each specimen were measured every cycle, the solution reached the surface of the uncoated stone material for comparison, salt crystals were deposited. The surface of the specimen was peeled off, and the P-wave velocity gradually decreased.  On the other hand, in the stone material coated with the protective agent, salt crystallization was not observed even when the solution reached the top surface shortly after the start of the experiment.  The P wave velocity did not decrease, despite cracks occurred as the experiment progressed. As a result, the P-wave velocity began to decrease and the surface layer fell off. In Ashino and Tatsuyama stones, the coated specimens were more severely destroyed than the uncoated specimens. In Oya stone and Towada stone, which contain clay minerals (miso) in the form of patches, crushing proceeded from the miso part. This experiment suggests that the effect of the protective agent may depend on the rock structure and the pore diameter. In other words, for rocks containing miso, the use of a protective agent is likely to increase deterioration regardless of the pore structure. For rocks with a large proportion of micropores and low durability against salt weathering, the use of a protective agent is used. Therefore, the start time of surface exfoliation can be delayed. In addition, in rocks with a large proportion of large gaps (> 10-0.5 μm), even if crystallization occurs on the surface of the specimen. The  peeling does not occur for a while, but the protective agent penetrates deep into the thick protective agent penetration area. It is considered that the crystallization of the salt occurs more internally and the deterioration is more severe than it should be. 

How to cite: Oguchi, C. and Ikeda, Y.: Influence of rock pore structure on the protective coating against weathering, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5806,, 2022.

EGU22-8670 | Presentations | ERE1.4

Mn-rich Black Patina Formation on Built Heritage in Humid Areas

David Martin Freire-Lista, Rebeca Blanco-Rotea, Maria do Rosário Costa, and Jorge Sanjurjo-Sánchez

This study aims to characterise the decay due to black patinas of Santalla de Bóveda Monument (Lugo, Northwest of Galicia, Spain).

Manganese is one of the most abundant elements on Earth, and the granite on which Santalla de Bóveda Monument was built (used as building material of the monument) has considerable amounts of Manganese. This monument shows black patinas on the surface of its building materials (mortars and granites).

Mortars and granite with Mn-rich black patinas were analysed in their chemical, mineralogical and petrographical properties (polarizing and scanning electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence). In addition, the water from springs near the monument was analysed.

According to the experimental study results, it was observed that rich Mn-oxide crusts are presumably induced by bacteria. That is, the oxidation of Mn fuels the growth of chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms, which need water to live. These patinas of biogenic Mn-oxide minerals presented different shapes, nano-dimensions, with low degree of crystallinity, and appear to be composed of manganese oxides such as birnessite, ramsdellite and groutellite. They were associated with large amounts of extracellular polymeric substances exuded by filamentous bacterial communities, which serve as nuclei for preferential precipitation of manganese oxides on the extracellular sheaths, as seen in scanning electron microscope analyses.

Mn required for patina formation likely derives from the reductive dissolution in water of Mn-rich minerals, as suggested by the mineralogy and chemistry of Mn-rich phases present in the building granite and mortars. Mn migrates to the exposed surface of building materials, where they are re-oxidized via biological processes. Patinas developing over time result from the alternation of wetting-reducing and drying-oxidizing cycles.

Water absorption, dampness and black patinas are among the most common and critical problems when it comes to decay of both cultural heritage and modern buildings. The climate and specifically the humidity are determinant for the development of Mn-rich black patinas. Results revealed that chemical composition and porosity played a major role in the development of biological activity that generates the black patinas of manganese oxides on mortars and granite.

How to cite: Freire-Lista, D. M., Blanco-Rotea, R., Costa, M. D. R., and Sanjurjo-Sánchez, J.: Mn-rich Black Patina Formation on Built Heritage in Humid Areas, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8670,, 2022.

EGU22-5301 | Presentations | ERE1.4

The influence of biofouling on water transport inside porous stones

Laurenz Schröer, Tim De Kock, Sebastiaan Godts, Nico Boon, and Veerle Cnudde

During the 21st Century, climate change and improving air quality will alter biological communities and their influence on building stones. While air pollution used to be a principal factor of stone deterioration, it is diminishing in many parts of the world. These environmental changes affect the aesthetics of building stones, and fewer black gypsum crusts will form, while more biological-induced discolorations could occur. Within the British Isles, it resulted in the “greening” of monuments after increased algal growth. Besides aesthetical damage, the formation of biofilms could affect water transport and retention. Changes in the water-stone relationship should be studied in detail because moisture is the most significant facilitator of stone alteration, leading to physical, chemical and further biological weathering.

This topic was intensely studied on soils. However, knowledge of the effect of biofilms on water transport and retention of stones is limited. For this reason, three porous natural building stones: Ernzen, Euville and Savonnières, were biofouled at the outer surface with the cyanobacteria Phormidium autumnale. The colonization was estimated by spectrophotometry, and their relationship with the stones was studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Environmental SEM (ESEM) and optical microscopy on thin sections. Based on the European standards, the water transport properties were determined of biofouled and untreated samples.

Microscopy showed that the biofilms covered the surface while they spanned over and closed numerous pores. They had a measurable effect on water transport and retention and reduced the rate of capillary water absorption and drying in combination with higher moisture content after (vapor) sorption. Moreover, the biofilms changed the surface wettability and induced near hydrophobic conditions in a dry state while no effect was measured on the water vapor diffusion and air permeability. These changes can alter the material properties and other processes like salt weathering and freeze-thaw damage. As swelling and shrinkage were observed by ESEM, the properties and physical effects of biofilms are expected to change with fluctuating relative humidity.

How to cite: Schröer, L., De Kock, T., Godts, S., Boon, N., and Cnudde, V.: The influence of biofouling on water transport inside porous stones, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5301,, 2022.

ERE1.6 – Anthropogenic geomaterials for a sustainable future

EGU22-4137 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Iron and steel-making slags as an environmentally-beneficial resource; a UK perspective.

Alex Riley, Patrizia Onnis, Catherine Gandy, John MacDonald, Ian Burke, Phil Renforth, Adam Jarvis, Karen Hudson-Edwards, and William Mayes

The production of iron and steel has generated substantial volumes of slag as waste, with estimates of up to 384 million tonnes (Mt) of iron slag and 280 Mt of steel slag produced globally, to date. Whilst the majority of these by-products (approximately 70 %) have seen bulk re-use in a number of applications (e.g. as ballast in construction applications), a significant volume of slag has been disposed of in environmental settings, where the release of metal-rich alkaline leachates can cause enduring pollution. However, the mineralogical and physical properties of slags also offer opportunity for environmental benefits, namely; through sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, by acting as stockpiles of critical raw materials, and in certain situations performing as incidental coastal defences.

Findings are presented from national-scale field investigations, laboratory experiments, and spatial data analyses, which aim to explore the resource potential of iron and steel slags in the United Kingdom (UK). Within the 236 Mt of slags disposed of in the UK environment, projected carbonation rates revealed a potential for uptake of 138 Mt CO2 under enhanced weathering conditions. Notable masses of technologically-critical elements were also estimated within UK slags, with reserves in the region of 1.55 Mt of V2O5, 1.58 Mt of TiO2, and 1.26 Mt of Cr2O3 estimated. Further to acting as a resource, in areas of coastal deposition, slag banks were observed to offer tidal protection. At a number of sites this allowed the development of nationally-significant ecological communities, whilst laboratory leaching experiments reveal a very low risk of chemical leaching in saline conditions. The integration of spatial analyses with chemical composition and leaching data can help to inform decisions on maximising resource potential whilst minimising the potential environmental risks associated with slag reworking.

How to cite: Riley, A., Onnis, P., Gandy, C., MacDonald, J., Burke, I., Renforth, P., Jarvis, A., Hudson-Edwards, K., and Mayes, W.: Iron and steel-making slags as an environmentally-beneficial resource; a UK perspective., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4137,, 2022.

EGU22-4645 | Presentations | ERE1.6

The utilisation of X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography (XCT) for the quantification of carbon dioxide in passively carbonated steel slag.

Jose Porfirio Del Angel Lozano, Alice Macente, and John MacDonald

Mineral sequestration using solid alkaline by-products, such as steel slag, is a feasible technology to capture carbon dioxide. This silicate weathering reaction forms solid carbonates, mineralizing the atmospheric CO2 into calcite, which can occur passively under ambient environmental conditions over monthly to decadal timescales. The passive mineralization of carbon dioxide in steel slag is a not well-known reaction, particularly when climate factors influence the mineral carbonation. Non-destructive quantification of CO2 mineralization is necessary to set underpinning knowledge on capturing rates.

The utilisation of X-ray micro-Computed Tomography (XCT) allows the 3D spatial visualisation and quantification of carbon dioxide precipitated as calcite in steel slag pores. We used XCT to analyse samples of legacy steel slag collected in Mexico and Scotland, to determine the effects of environmental factors on mineral carbonation. The XCT data were analysed with image processing to classify the slag volume into three phases (slag, pores, and calcite). The classification of the data into different phases allows the determination of the volume of each phase in the sample as well as its 3D spatial extent, thus enabling the quantification of mineralized CO2 characterized as the calcite phase.

We will present a comparison between the volumes of carbon dioxide passively mineralized in the samples from the Mexican and Scottish collection sites, in the context of contrasting environmental factors. Preliminary results from one of the Scottish samples shows that calcite (mineralized CO2) accounts for  ~ 5 vol. % of the sample, and it is localised across the whole sample.  A comparison of these results between the Mexican and Scottish samples will provide a better understanding of how climatic factors influence the volumes of atmospheric CO2 mineralized by the samples. 

How to cite: Del Angel Lozano, J. P., Macente, A., and MacDonald, J.: The utilisation of X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography (XCT) for the quantification of carbon dioxide in passively carbonated steel slag., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4645,, 2022.

EGU22-790 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Lithification of slag-dominated artificial ground through atmospheric CO2 drawdown

John MacDonald and Connor Brolly

Legacy deposits of by-product slag from iron and steel making create significant volumes of artificial ground around the world. Composed mainly of calcium-silicate mineral phases, experimental studies have shown the potential of slag for capturing atmospheric CO2 by mineralisation (e.g. Huijgen et al. 2005). Renforth (2019) calculated that steel slag could capture ~370-400 kg CO2 per tonne of slag, depending on the type of slag. ~0.5 Gt of steelmaking slag is produced every year (USGS 2018) and this could potentially reach ~2 Gt yr-1 by the end of the century (Renforth 2019). In addition to new slag, there is an estimated 160 million m3 of legacy slag in the UK alone (Riley et al. 2020), stockpiled or dumped from historical steelmaking.

Artificial ground poses challenges around ground stability but slag-dominated artificial ground also offers opportunities for atmospheric CO2 drawdown. In this contribution, we document the lithification of legacy slag deposits – conversion of loose gravelly slag material into a rock-like mass through cementation of calcite via drawdown of atmospheric CO2.

Parts of slag heaps at our case study sites (Glengarnock and Warton, UK) have a lithified nature: gravel-to-cobble sized lumps of slag are visible but have been cemented together with a mineral cement, with an appearance not unlike a natural breccia rock. We present field, X-Ray Diffraction and δ13C data from these case study sites to document the lithification of slag-dominated artificial ground through mineralisation of atmospheric CO2 as a cementing phase; we present scanning electron microscope data to show the microstructural evolution of this lithification. This understanding has implications for artificial ground stabilisation and how atmospheric CO2 drawdown can be harnessed in this process.



Huijgen et al., 2005, ES&T, 39, 9676-9682

Renforth, 2019, Nat. Comms., 10, 1401

Riley et al., 2020, J. Geochem. Exp., 219, 106630

USGS, 2018, USGS Minerals Yearbook

How to cite: MacDonald, J. and Brolly, C.: Lithification of slag-dominated artificial ground through atmospheric CO2 drawdown, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-790,, 2022.

EGU22-6525 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Passive CO2 mineralisation in slag: evidence from a slag heap in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Faisal W. K. Khudhur, Alice Macente, John MacDonald, and Luke Daly

CO2 mineralization is a natural process that occurs during weathering of silicate materials that are calcium/magnesium-rich and aluminum-poor (Kelemen et al., 2020). During this process, silicates convert to carbonates, making silicate-rich materials such as ultramafic rocks and alkaline wastes suitable for CO2 removal from air.  Using slag to sequester CO2 is particularly attractive as it is a by-product of a key industry, and it can utilize CO2 from the emission source, therefore reducing the need for CO2 and slag transportation, or draw down of CO2 already in the atmosphere. It is estimated that steel slag has the potential to capture ~150-250 Mt CO2 yr-1 now, and ~320-870 Mt CO2 yr-1 by 2100 (Renforth, 2019).

Although the chemical composition of alkaline wastes shows that CO2 capture can significantly offset emissions from corresponding industries, recent observations reveal that the CO2 uptake in alkaline wastes in underutilized (Pullin et al., 2019). Here, we use image-based analysis to understand the microstructures of CO2 mineralization in slag. We use X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) to visualize slag internal structures and to calculate reactive surface area and pore connectivity. We then use scanning electron microscopy (SEM), coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to study the distribution of elements within the studied sample.

In our study, we use a slag sample collected from the former Ravenscraig Steelworks in Lanarkshire, Scotland, where steelmaking took place from 1950s until 1992 (Stewart, 2008), leaving behind a slag heap that has been weathering since then. Our analysis demonstrates that calcium carbonate precipitates as pore-lining. Surface passivation and low surface-connected porosity were identified as processes that can cause reduction in CO2 uptake.




Kelemen, P.B., McQueen, N., Wilcox, J., Renforth, P., Dipple, G., Vankeuren, A.P., 2020. Engineered carbon mineralization in ultramafic rocks for CO2 removal from air: Review and new insights. Chem. Geol. 550, 119628.

Pullin, H., Bray, A.W., Burke, I.T., Muir, D.D., Sapsford, D.J., Mayes, W.M., Renforth, P., 2019. Atmospheric Carbon Capture Performance of Legacy Iron and Steel Waste. Environ. Sci. Technol. 53, 9502–9511.

Renforth, P., 2019. The negative emission potential of alkaline materials. Nat. Commun. 10, 1401.

Stewart, D., 2008. Fighting for Survival: The 1980s Campaign to Save Ravenscraig Steelworks. J. Scottish Hist. Stud. 25, 40–57.

How to cite: Khudhur, F. W. K., Macente, A., MacDonald, J., and Daly, L.: Passive CO2 mineralisation in slag: evidence from a slag heap in Lanarkshire, Scotland., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6525,, 2022.

EGU22-4824 | Presentations | ERE1.6

An investigation of crushed returned concrete (CRC) as a soil amendment for atmospheric CO2 removal

Frank McDermott, Maurice Bryson, and David van Acken

Soils have high pCO2 because of the decay of organic matter and plant root respiration. Some of this CO2 dissolves to form carbonic acid in soil waters. Natural weathering partially neutralizes this carbonic acid, but in recent years there has been much interest in using soil mineral and rock amendments (e.g. added olivine and basalt) to accelerate weathering-driven atmospheric CO2 drawdown to counter rising atmospheric CO2.  To be effective, accelerated weathering should result in increased dissolved bicarbonate (the main dissolved inorganic carbon carrier at circum-neutral pH) in drainage waters, as well as enhanced land-to-ocean fluxes of divalent metal cations such as Ca and Mg, ultimately to lock up the soil-derived inorganic carbon in marine limestones. Here we present new results for field experiments that investigate a novel soil amendment to sequester CO2 from soil-gas via weathering; crushed returned concrete (CRC). Unlike previously investigated mafic and ultramafic materials for accelerated weathering approaches that generally require energy- and carbon-intensive mining, grinding and long-distance transport operations, CRC is a waste product that requires minimal crushing after post-return solidification at concrete plants to achieve high measured specific surface areas (c. 10 m2/g).  CRC is widely available globally because a few % of the >10Gt/year of concrete produced is typically returned unused to concrete ready-mix plants.  Engineering codes preclude the reincorporation of this waste as aggregate in new concrete in many jurisdictions. This results in the widescale availability of this highly weatherable alkaline waste product that is often landfilled or sold as a low-value construction fill.  Local availability of the material facilitates short haulage distances and relatively small energy and carbon footprints to transport the material to nearby field sites.  In this pilot study, CRC was added to the upper 15 cms of a one-hectare trial tillage field in SE Ireland at a rate of 10 tonnes/hectare. Soil-water solutions were extracted for analysis using suction-cup lysimeters at monthly intervals from the amended and adjacent non-amended control sites to determine the geochemical impact of CRC on soil waters and to calculate weathering and therefore CO2 uptake rates via carbonic acid neutralisation. Relative to adjacent control sites, concrete-amended sites exhibited significant increases in soil-water pH (by 0.2 to 0.5 pH units), a two- to three-fold increase in electrical conductivity (total ion load) and similar increases in soil-water Ca2+, reflecting the weathering of portlandite and calcium silicates in the concrete. Field experiments are ongoing to assess the long-term effects of the concrete amendment on soil-water chemistry, soil pH and nutrient status. No increases in detrimental heavy metals (e.g. Ni, Cr) often associated with the use of mafic and ultramafic materials as soil amendments have been detected. Weathering is attributable entirely to carbonic acid neutralization, with no evidence for weathering by strong acids. Methods for the calculation of likely rates of CO2 capture (tonnes CO2 per tonne of amendment) and their associated uncertainties based on alkalinity increases, divalent metal exports and enhanced soil-leachable Ca will be discussed. 

How to cite: McDermott, F., Bryson, M., and van Acken, D.: An investigation of crushed returned concrete (CRC) as a soil amendment for atmospheric CO2 removal, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4824,, 2022.

Clinker substitutes are frequently used in the cement and concrete industries to reduce CO2 emissions associated with production, improve physico-chemical properties and performance, and reduce costs. Pulversized Fly Ash (PFA), a fine waste residue produced in coal-fired power stations, is the commonly used partial clinker substitute in Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for cements for the immobilisation of low-level nuclear waste (LLW). Because of the global trend to shut-down coal-fired power stations, the production of PFA is decreasing and will eventually cease. Alternative sustainable clinker substitutes can be used must meet strict performance standards for the safe enclosure of LLW for the final disposal. These include physical, chemical, and mechanical properties; performance and suitability for use.

This study investigates the suitability of different materials (natural and anthropologic) as a substitute of PFA in OPC in LLW immobilisation, and compares the behaviour of these substituted cements to those of the current standard. The focus of the study is on the cementing and physico-chemical properties of the cement, and the interaction between groundwater, the cement, and the stored waste.

Here we present the characterisation the standard PFA+OPC (samples provided by Low-Level Waste Repository Ltd.) using X-ray computed tomography (XCT), and the latest data from the ongoing analysis elemental composition of the alternative materials and the leaching tests. Over the leaching period the samples undergo repeated XCT analysis to link structural changes to the chemical evolution. Future work will include studying the long-term leaching effects and the interaction of the LLW (usage mock waste formulation) with concrete.

These studies will allow us to identify changes to the cement microstructure and physico-chemical properties arising from the PFA substitutes, and the chemical and physical interaction of the cements, especially with groundwater Such understanding is critical for the adoption of clinker alternatives in LLW encapsulation.

How to cite: Kozlowski, A., Renshaw, J., and Dobson, K.: Replacing Pulversized Fly Ash in cement with natural and anthropogenic geomaterials identifying the corresponding physico-chemical properties used for the encapsulation of Low-Level Waste, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11448,, 2022.

EGU22-12781 | Presentations | ERE1.6

The compressive strength of earth-hemp blocks tested with different densities, earth types, and cementitious binders

Guilhem Amin Douillet, Nicolajs Toropovs, Wolfgang Jan Zucha, Ellina Bernard, Anja Kühnis, and Fritz Schlunegger

The building sector needs to shift toward the use of materials that have low-embodied energy, minimize operational-energy, and minimize the amount of waste upon disposal. Here, we report on a series of experiments on low-density earth-hemp blocks, which can be implemented as an insulation for buildings. Earth-hemp finds a similar usage to hempcrete/hemp-lime, yet the use of raw earth as a binder allows to dramatically decrease the embodied energy. The set presented here evidences that pure earth-hemp with high content in clay minerals reaches higher compressive strength (0,33 MPa) than equivalents with hydraulic binder, for similar thermal conductivity (0,07 W/m.K).

Earth-hemp samples were characterized in terms of compressive strength in order to test the influence of density, earth type, incorporation of mineral additives, and amount of water used for creating the blocks. Two types of natural earths were investigated, which differ in their clay content: a surficial loess with 25 wt.% clay minerals and a quarried paleosoil with high clay content (65 wt.%). For each earth type, 4 types of mineral additives were investigated in order to test whether they can have a stabilizing effect: Portland cement, aerial-lime, gypsum-plaster and a MgO-based cement. The binders (i.e. earth + additive) were created with replacement of earth by mineral additives at 0, 4, 8, and 20 wt. %. For each type of binder, 3 densities of the resulting earth-hemp samples were produced (250, 280, 340 kg/m3). Additionally, two series of this set of samples were produced using a low amount of added water (150 wt.% water/hemp) and high amount of added water (370 wt.% water/hemp).

Samples using the earth with high clay content have compressive strengths up to twice as high as those with low clay content. This result is expected since clay minerals are the main agent of binding in earth materials. Also expected was the increase in compressive strength with sample density, which is directly correlated to the amount of binder. More interestingly, the dataset also exhibits the negative effect of mineral additives: a trend of decreasing compressive strength with amount of incorporated mineral additive is visible, independently of the type of additive and earth type. In between additive types, the compressive strengths of samples mixed with MgO-based cement and gypsum-plaster are better than those mixed with Portland cement and aerial lime. Additionally, samples produced using a low amount of added water are much less resistant than those with a high amount of added water for every sample tested. Finally, samples using pure earth with high clay content and high amount of incorporated water are the most resistant, and reach compressive strengths of 0.33 MPa for a density of 340 kg/m3, which is slightly stronger than existing commercial lime-hemp blocks. 

How to cite: Douillet, G. A., Toropovs, N., Zucha, W. J., Bernard, E., Kühnis, A., and Schlunegger, F.: The compressive strength of earth-hemp blocks tested with different densities, earth types, and cementitious binders, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12781,, 2022.

EGU22-6308 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Carbonation and cementation of ultramafic mine wastes

Justin Lockhart, Ian Power, Carlos Paulo, Amanda Stubbs, and Duncan McDonald

Ultramafic (Mg-rich) mine wastes are produced in vast quantities, are of no economic value, and their storage impoundments can be susceptible to catastrophic failure.1 Carbon dioxide (CO2) mineralization of these wastes to form carbonate cement can reduce greenhouse gas emissions2 and assist in de-risking storage impoundments through physical stabilization.3 CO2 mineralization and cementation have been documented at asbestos,4 nickel,2 and diamond mines, occurring unintentionally over long periods (e.g., decades).2,4 This research aimed to 1) better understand carbonation and cementation processes by examining historic kimberlite mine wastes from diamond mines and 2) accelerate these processes in experiments using brucite-bearing serpentinite mine wastes. 

We collected physical, mineralogical, and geochemical data of cemented historic kimberlite wastes 70 to >110 years old. Analysis of cemented fine- and coarse-grained residues from the Voorspoed and Cullinan diamond mines (South Africa) revealed the presence of a fine-grained (<63 µm) cement matrix with greater total inorganic carbon (TIC; +0.08–0.34% relative to clasts), secondary clays (e.g., Mg-Al silicates), and some minor carbonates (e.g., calcite). Unconfined compressive strength varied considerably between fine- and coarse-grained wastes (UCS; 0.13–4.45 MPa). Furthermore, kimberlite clasts and cements were isotopically distinct, suggesting that mineral weathering by meteoric water drove cementation over decades after the deposition of these wastes. 

In experiments, coupling organic and inorganic carbon cycling accelerated carbonation of synthetic tailings that contained brucite [Mg(OH)2], a minor yet reactive mineral. In cylindrical test experiments (2.5 × 5 cm; 40 weeks), waste organics were either mixed (0–10 wt.%) or kept separate from brucite-bearing serpentinite mine wastes to provide an additional source of CO2. In the mixed cylinders, brucite consumption ranged from 3–30% and was limited by CO2 generation, as evidenced by minor increases in TIC (+0.02–0.22%). Compressive strengths amongst the cylinders reached 0.51 MPa with few cylinders becoming sufficiently stabilized; however, in experiments that exposed cylinders to CO2 generated from organics separate from cylinders, brucite carbonation (64–84% consumption) and compressive strengths were substantial (0.4–6.9 MPa).3 Our research demonstrates the role of long-term weathering for sequestering CO2 within ultramafic mine wastes, and how coupling organic and inorganic carbon cycling can accelerate CO2 sequestration and physically stabilize these wastes. 


1. Rourke and Luppnow (2015), Tailings Mine Waste Manag., 225–230. 
2. Wilson et al. (2014), Int. J. Greenh. Gas Control 25, 121–140. 
3. Power et al. (2021), Environ. Sci. Technol. 55, 10056–10066. 
4. Wilson et al. (2009), Econ. Geol. 104, 95–112.

How to cite: Lockhart, J., Power, I., Paulo, C., Stubbs, A., and McDonald, D.: Carbonation and cementation of ultramafic mine wastes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6308,, 2022.

Bauxite residue, the by-product produced in the alumina industry, is generated at an estimated global rate of approximately 150 million tonnes per annum. Currently, the reuse of bauxite residue is low (∼2%), and consequently the bulk is stored in land-based impoundments.

If not adequately managed, exposed residue may be prone to dusting, wind and water erosion and can contaminate surrounding areas. Establishing vegetation covers (rehabilitation) is viewed as an effective strategy for mitigating against pollution risk and approaches used can be broadly divided into capping with inert soil material or establishing vegetation in the tailings surface (revegetation). Revegetation provides a strategy where topsoil material is scarce and avoids the sourcing of large volumes from other sites.

While bauxite residue is typically alkaline (pH 10-12), saline and lacking in nutrients the implementation of effective rehabilitation strategies can promote favourable soil conditions for plant growth. Results also show establishment of soil microbial communities and soil faunal activity. These positive rehabilitation effects are maintained for several years and demonstrate that residue can be transformed to a soil-like medium capable of supporting ecosystem function.

How to cite: Courtney, R.: Technosols derived from bauxite residue tailings for effective revegetation and rehabilitation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2318,, 2022.

EGU22-1352 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Anthropogenic biodiversity and geodiversity – can legacy industrial waste help offset falling global biodiversity?

Savanna van Mesdag, John MacDonald, Iain Neill, and Alistair Jump

Anthropogenic substrates are produced as waste materials and/or by-products of various industries. Such substrates include: blast furnace/steel slag; colliery spoil; oil shale spoil; and paper mill sludge (Ash et al. 1994; Riley et al. 2020). Historically, in the UK, these substrates were dumped in or close to the sites where they were being produced (Riley et al. 2020). Many examples of anthropogenic substrate sites still exist in the UK, despite the fact that there has been much cultural motivation to restore these sites (Ash et al. 1994; Bradshaw, 1995; Riley et al. 2020). This often results in either the total removal of anthropogenic substrate, or the covering of anthropogenic substrate with a clay cap/similar natural substrate. However, if left undisturbed, such sites could potentially provide undisturbed spaces for wildlife.

Various studies have been carried out which demonstrate that wildlife, including unusual and/or important species communities, can colonise and live on anthropogenic substrate sites (Ash et al. 1994; Riley et al. 2020). It is important to note that because anthropogenic substrate often differs greatly from the natural substrate in the surrounding area, such sites can support species and communities which might not otherwise survive in that area. For example, plants that rely on calcareous substrates might settle on slag sites or on Solvay process waste sites, but might not otherwise settle in the area if natural calcareous substrate is absent (Ash et al. 1994). Anthropogenic substrate sites can, therefore, act as refugia for many species and communities.

This study investigates three important aspects of anthropogenic substrate sites: substrate chemistry and mineralogy; plant species and communities; and certain invertebrate species. The investigation of these aspects allows for a detailed study of both anthropogenic geodiversity and biodiversity. For the substrates, various analyses will be carried out to determine the minerals, elements and pH levels present, including X-ray Diffraction, ICP and pH analysis for the six study sites. Different plant communities, as well as the species within them, were recorded in 2021 using quadrats in the six study sites. Different invertebrate species were recorded in 2021, throughout three of the study sites. Due to the current biodiversity crisis, it is more important than ever before to record and assess the biodiversity of places, especially if such places are often overlooked in terms of biodiversity potential. Additionally, very few studies have investigated the relationships between plant species and the mineralogical and elemental composition of the substrates on which they are growing – this work helps us to investigate plant establishment, survival and growth on anthropogenic substrates in a novel manner.

Ash et al., 1994, J. Appl. Ecology, 71, 74-78

Riley et al., 2020, J. Geochem. Explor., 219, 106630

Bradshaw, 1995, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 53, 3-9

How to cite: van Mesdag, S., MacDonald, J., Neill, I., and Jump, A.: Anthropogenic biodiversity and geodiversity – can legacy industrial waste help offset falling global biodiversity?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1352,, 2022.

EGU22-8116 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Anthropogenic tufa at legacy industrial sites: Potential for metal capture

Marta Kalabová, Susan Cumberland, Joanna Renshaw, and John MacDonald

Uncontrolled leaching from legacy industrial waste may release toxic elements, which poses long-term risks of water and soil contamination. In some situations, secondary mineralisation from the leachates may occur downstream from waste sites, thus potentially limiting contaminant migration. An example is tufa, a surface freshwater CaCO3 (calcite) deposit which forms as a result of atmospheric CO2 absorption into Ca-rich hyperalkaline leachates. The tufa develops a range of morphologies and varies in hardness across the deposit. Moreover, it may also incorporate other elements into its mineral structure during precipitation. Understanding the processes of secondary mineralisation which are able to capture toxic metals would provide beneficial insights into controlling hazardous leaching.

This work characterises tufa occurring within anthropogenic contexts. Several tufas were found forming on or adjacent to anthropogenic sites (colliery spoil and steel slag heaps) in central Scotland, UK and studied for their geochemistry. A combination of direct field measurements of water physico-chemistry is complemented by alkalinity and elemental analyses of leachate source, water and tufa by ion chromatography (IC) and ICP-OES. The results from these analyses will help understand the processes involved in tufa formation and can be applied to the re-creation of tufa with the purpose of metal capture under controlled laboratory conditions. Early experiments have focused on CaCO3 precipitation onto different media by bubbling CO2 into CaCl2 solutions. The aim of these experiments is to create an engineered metal-capturing tufa system which can be applied across different post-industrial settings as a low-cost technique which beneficially captures CO2.

How to cite: Kalabová, M., Cumberland, S., Renshaw, J., and MacDonald, J.: Anthropogenic tufa at legacy industrial sites: Potential for metal capture, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8116,, 2022.

EGU22-4044 | Presentations | ERE1.6

Analysis of metal entrapment within anthropogenic tufa using synchrotron micro-XRF

Susan Cumberland, Kieran Tierney, Joanna Renshaw, Kalotina Geraki, and John MacDonald

The leaching of heavy metals from post-industrial slag and other anthropogenic waste sites is detrimental for human health and the wider environment. Remediation of these sites can be costly and sustainable low carbon solutions are preferably sought. Examining natural analogues which stabilize metals could provide valuable insights into low-cost solutions to the legacy problems of aquatic environments that are impacted by leaching. Calcareous tufa, sometimes known as travertine limestone, forms naturally when calcium-rich groundwater is exchanged with atmospheric CO2 at mid to hyperalkaline pH resulting in a calcite (CaCO3) precipitation. Tufa has also been observed to form at a small number of old industrial sites (e.g. mining, steel works, paper mills) across northern England and Scotland. One site of interest is at Consett, N.E England, UK. Here tufa precipitates in the Howden Burn stream, a tributary of the River Derwent, as it emerges from the slag heaps from old steel work’s. Bulk analysis shows lead, arsenic, vanadium and zinc are present in the Howden Burn up to several 100 ppm.  Analysis of the water downstream of the tufa shows metal concentrations are considerably reduced compared to concentrations upstream. High spatial resolution LA-ICP-MS analysis of the solid tufa sampled reveal metals present within the tufa structure. This leads to the hypothesis that the metals are precipitated together with the tufa during its formation. However, little is known about metal capture processes during tufa formation and the form that these metals are in.  Here we present synchrotron micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) element maps of the tufa in cross-section that show the distributions of the metal within the laminations of the tufa structure. Understanding and exploitation of artificial tufa for metal capture could have potential as a CO2 positive solution for sustainable in-stream remediation. 

How to cite: Cumberland, S., Tierney, K., Renshaw, J., Geraki, K., and MacDonald, J.: Analysis of metal entrapment within anthropogenic tufa using synchrotron micro-XRF, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4044,, 2022.

The development of civilization is accompanied by a continuous increase in the production of various types of waste, especially municipal solid waste (MSW). The problem of rational MSW management has become one of the most pressing global challenges [1].

The countries which joined the EU in the middle of the last century can serve as examples of establishing effective MSW management systems. Presently, the amount of recycled MSW in these countries is rather high: recycling constitutes – 30–40%; incineration – 30–50%; composting – 18–20%; the amount of MSW disposed of at a landfill has been reduced to 1–3%. All these factors made it possible to increase the MSW revenues in Germany 4.8 times over the last 25 years; in Sweden – 3.29 times; in Denmark – 2.76 times, and in the Netherlands – 3.06 times.

Based on the above data, a conclusion can be made about the expediency of implementing MSW management in Russia.  

Thus, if we consider the creation of such a system for Saint Petersburg generating 1.82 million tons of MSW annually and recycling 40% of MSW, incinerating 35%, composting 23% and landfilling 2%, then an estimated revenue from the implementation of secondary raw materials can be determined:


where: M1 – the mass of MSW realized by the allocation of secondary raw materials, M2 – incineration, M3 – composting, M4 – landfill,

C1 – specific revenue from the implementation of secondary raw materials, C1=1254  ruble/tonne [2],

C2 – МSW incineration, C2=850  ruble/tonne [3],

C3 – MSW composting, C3=400  ruble/tonne [2],

C4 – MSW disposal, C4=350  ruble/tonne [2].

The amount of MSW in Saint Petersburg (million tons): secondary raw materials – 0,72,  energy – 0,65, compost – 0,418, landfill – 0,032.

Then the revenue from the implementation of secondary raw materials per annual volume of MSW in Saint Petersburg will be:

C = 902,288 + 535,5 + 165,6 – 12,6 = 1,590,788 million rubles.

The specific revenue indicator for Saint Petersburg MSW per person is as follows:

Cp=1590,788/5,392992=294,9 ruble/person.

In order to implement the considered option of a city-wide program, it is necessary to establish the following enterprises:

– processing of secondary raw materials – four plants with a capacity of 180 thousand tons each;

– МSW incineration – four plants with a capacity of 160 thousand tons each;

– MSW composting – two plants with a capacity of 207 thousand tons each;

– MSW disposal – two landfills with a capacity of 18 thousand tons each.


  • The established systems of MSW management in European countries are highly economically efficient, processing 97–98% of the produced MSW.
  • The creation of a similar MSW management system in Saint Petersburg will significantly improve the environmental conditions of the city and generate 1,590,788 million rubles in revenue annually.


  • L.S. Ventsiulis, A.N. Chusov. Municipal Solid Waste is One of the Main Environmental Problems in Russia. Saint Petersburg: Polytechnic University Press, 2017. – page 208.
  • Program to improve the system of collection, transportation and disposal of waste in the Primorsky district of Saint Petersburg. Estimation of revenue from the processing of separately collected waste, 2011.
  • D.I. Kofman, M.M. Vostrikov. Thermal Destruction and Neutralization of Waste. Saint Petersburg, NPO Professional, 2013. – page 340.

How to cite: Voronov, N. and Ventsyulis, L.: Economic efficiency of sales of municipal solid waste based on the development of the regional market of certified secondary raw materials, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8727,, 2022.

ERE1.7 – Impacts and co-benefits of the energy transition on hosting ecosystems – implications and prospects for Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services

EGU22-1993 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Resolving land use conflicts between renewable energy, nature protection and food production

Gemma Delafield, Brett Day, Greg Smith, and Robert Holland

As countries transition to net zero emissions, the number of land use conflicts between energy generation, nature conservation and food production are expected to rise. Models typically restrict energy deployment from land deemed as providing high societal value (e.g. National Parks, peatland) when exploring future energy pathways to resolve these conflicts. This study applies the spatially explicit ADVENT-NEV model to Great Britain to determine the lower-bound of the implied value being placed on the land excluded. It compares the ‘optimal’ locations for new renewable energy when strict restrictions are applied against those identified when a natural capital approach is used.

When energy development is restricted from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks and high-grade agricultural land the cost of the energy system is shown to increase by approximately 10%. Even limited bioenergy crop expansion is unfeasible if strict restrictions are applied. In particular, results indicate that such restrictions would not be compatible with net zero emissions targets. These restrictions also result in an increase in the spatial footprint of solar farms, wind farms and bioenergy power stations by up to 13.4%, 79.6% and 15.8% respectively.

Incorporating the valuation of ecosystem services into renewable energy modelling provides a more nuanced approach than a binary exclusion, highlighting how strict restrictions may not always be best for society. The natural capital approach makes trade-offs between energy, nature conservation and food production more explicit for decision-makers allowing them to take a more holistic approach.

How to cite: Delafield, G., Day, B., Smith, G., and Holland, R.: Resolving land use conflicts between renewable energy, nature protection and food production, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1993,, 2022.

EGU22-170 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Comparing miscanthus hybrids – growth and environmental impacts

Anita Shepherd, Danny Awty-Carroll, Jason Kam, Chris Ashman, Elena Magenau, Enrico Martani, Mislav Kontek, Andrea Ferrarini, Stefano Amaducci, Chris Davey, Mohamad Al Hassan, Vanja Jurišić, Isabelle Lamy, Iris Lewandowski, Emmanuel de Maupeou, Jon McCalmont, Luisa Trindade, Andreas Kiesel, John Clifton-Brown, and Astley Hastings and the Anita Shepherd1

Our research is aligned to the expansion of energy crops with a view to future developments in greenhouse gas removal and we need to ensure that does not have a detrimental effect on the surrounding environment.

Miscanthus is a sustainable bioenergy crop which is wildlife-friendly and will grow on otherwise unproductive land. Mature crops do not require fertilizer thereby ensuring low nitrous oxide emissions. Miscanthus x giganteus (M x g) as a sterile clone, has been propagated vegetatively, with relatively high establishment costs and low multiplication rates. New seed-propagated hybrids, with the potential of upscaling the crop for greater provision, are being readied for market and in crop trials over Europe.

Projections are presented from research involving the international GRACE project and the Supergen SUMMER project. We determine the potential for miscanthus growth and environmental impact, using the hybrids under 21st century climate conditions. We show yield projections which have been modelled using crop trial data across different European countries together with simulations from the MiscanFor model for agricultural soil carbon sequestration and water deficit.

How to cite: Shepherd, A., Awty-Carroll, D., Kam, J., Ashman, C., Magenau, E., Martani, E., Kontek, M., Ferrarini, A., Amaducci, S., Davey, C., Al Hassan, M., Jurišić, V., Lamy, I., Lewandowski, I., de Maupeou, E., McCalmont, J., Trindade, L., Kiesel, A., Clifton-Brown, J., and Hastings, A. and the Anita Shepherd1: Comparing miscanthus hybrids – growth and environmental impacts, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-170,, 2022.

EGU22-8855 | Presentations | ERE1.7 | Highlight

Global implications of lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS for terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity

Steef Hanssen, Zoran Steinmann, Vassilis Daioglou, Mirza Cengic, Detlef van Vuuren, and Mark Huijbregts

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) based on purpose-grown lignocellulosic crops can provide negative CO2 emissions to mitigate climate change, but its land requirements present a threat to biodiversity. Here, we analyse the implications of crop-based BECCS for global terrestrial vertebrate species richness, considering both the land-use change (LUC) required for BECCS and the climate change prevented by BECCS. LUC impacts are determined using global-equivalent, species-area relationship-based loss factors. We find that sequestering 0.5–5 Gtonne of CO2 per year with lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS would require hundreds of Mha of land, and commit tens of terrestrial vertebrate species to extinction. Species loss per unit of negative emissions decreases with: i) longer lifetimes of BECCS systems, ii) less overall deployment of crop-based BECCS, and iii) optimal land allocation, i.e., prioritising locations with lowest species loss per negative emission potential, rather than minimising overall land use or prioritising locations with lowest biodiversity. The consequences of prevented climate change for biodiversity are based on existing climate response relationships. Our tentative comparison shows that for crop-based BECCS considered over 30 years, LUC impacts on vertebrate species richness may outweigh the positive effects of prevented climate change. Conversely, for BECCS considered over 80 years, the positive effects of climate change mitigation on biodiversity may outweigh the negative effects of LUC. However, both effects and their interaction are highly uncertain and require further understanding, along with analysis of additional species groups and biodiversity metrics. We conclude that factoring in biodiversity means lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS should be used early to achieve the required mitigation over longer time periods, on optimal biomass cultivation locations, and most importantly, as little as possible where conversion of natural land is involved, looking instead to sustainably grown or residual biomass-based feedstocks and alternative strategies for carbon dioxide removal.

How to cite: Hanssen, S., Steinmann, Z., Daioglou, V., Cengic, M., van Vuuren, D., and Huijbregts, M.: Global implications of lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS for terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8855,, 2022.

EGU22-10036 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Significant land-sparing potentials from implementing carbon capture and utilization for the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol industry

Luis Ramirez Camargo, Gabriel Castro, Katharina Gruber, Michael Klingler, Olga Turkovska, Elisabeth Wetterlund, and Johannes Schmidt

Brazil is the global frontrunner in the production of sugarcane ethanol. Strong national biofuels policies, a consolidated internal demand for ethanol for transportation purposes, and a global growing demand for sugar and ethanol have supported this development. The sugarcane ethanol industry has contributed to economic growth, technological progress, job creation and is among the key strategies for mitigating CO2 emissions in Brazil. However, the industry is also responsible for a wide range of undesirable impacts on land. Biodiversity loss, structural soil degradation, pollution, and depletion of water sources can result from the associated direct and indirect land-use change. We therefore assess the potential of a carbon capture and utilization pathway to increase the fuel production of this industry in a land-neutral way. 

The pathway combines the almost clear surplus CO2-stream from the ethanol fermentation process with H2 produced using wind and solar power to synthesize methanol. The change of use of land from sugarcane production to renewable electricity generation is an intensification step which allows to spare significant amounts of land.

To understand the implications of this pathway in terms of land-use and cost, we develop a spatio-temporal model to determine the cost-optimal system configuration, the resulting land effciency, and consequently the land sparing potential. The core of the model consists of a techno-economic optimization model that minimizes cost for a system that includes variable renewable electricity generation (wind and solar power), storage (electricity, CO2 and H2), electrolyzers and methanol synthesis installations for each one of the sugarcane ethanol production plants in the country. The optimization model relies crucially on two time-series which we derived specifically for each Brazilian ethanol plant based on a consolidated spatially explicit data set of sugarcane ethanol installations: first, individual time series of the CO2-streams from ethanol fermentation, and second multi-year time series of wind and solar power in hourly temporal resolution using ERA5 and ERA5-land reanalysis data. Furthermore, we extensively review costs of individual system components and derive footprints of Brazilian solar and wind power plants from satellite imagery.

The proposed pathway leads to a combined amount of ethanol and methanol that represents an increase of  43%-49% compared to the current output of the ethanol industry in energetic terms. This amounts to around 100 TWh of methanol that would be sufficient to cover the projected growth in Brazil biofuel demand until 2030. In contrast, if the same amount of energy would be provided by sugarcane ethanol, produced at the current average Brazilian sugarcane-to-ethanol land-use efficiency, an additional 23,000 km2 - 27,000 km2 of land would be required. This underlines the significant land sparing potential of the proposed pathway. 

How to cite: Ramirez Camargo, L., Castro, G., Gruber, K., Klingler, M., Turkovska, O., Wetterlund, E., and Schmidt, J.: Significant land-sparing potentials from implementing carbon capture and utilization for the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol industry, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10036,, 2022.

EGU22-1881 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Impact on native bees from utility-scale solar development in the Mojave and western Sonoran Deserts

Leslie Saul-Gershenz, Thomas Zavortink, Jenny Van Wyk, John S. Ascher, and Lynn Kimsey

We determined the bee species presence, abundance, and diversity at utility-scale ground-mounted solar development (USS) to assess the impact on desert pollinators and the services they provide to the plants in the communities in which they live, specifically, in the Mojave and Colorado Desert regions.  We used a matched transect control design to test whether pollinator populations have changed due to solar utility scale installations. Sixty to 90% of flowering plants require animal pollinators. The Mojave Desert represents a hotspot of bee biodiversity corresponding to its rich botanical diversity of 1512 species. Our study found 113 species in a severe drought year after five drought years (2011-2015). 42% were oligoleges, 10% were polylectic and 29% of the  lacked data on their floral diets. Included were 5 undescribed species in the families Apidae (Tetraloniella, Anthophora -Anthophoroides, Anthophorula,) and Halictidae (Lasioglossum [Dialictus]). In our transect study we found lower abundance, diversity and richness inside the solar installations. However, we did not find a significant effect of distance from solar installation at 2K for our one year study. The BVT traps represented 16% of the collected specimens and 58 species and cup traps represented 83% of traps, and captured 46.7% of the total specimens and 66 species.Of the total bees species captured and identified, 76% are ground-nesting species.

How to cite: Saul-Gershenz, L., Zavortink, T., Van Wyk, J., Ascher, J. S., and Kimsey, L.: Impact on native bees from utility-scale solar development in the Mojave and western Sonoran Deserts, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1881,, 2022.

EGU22-2180 | Presentations | ERE1.7

On-site floral resources and surrounding landscape characteristics impact pollinator biodiversity on solar parks

Hollie Blaydes, Simon Potts, Duncan Whyatt, and Alona Armstrong

As solar photovoltaic make a greater contribution to the energy mix, there will be increasing land use change for solar parks. Land use change can affect biodiversity across spatial scales and opportunities to incorporate biodiversity benefits into the energy transition are increasingly being recognised. For example, solar parks could support insect pollinators through providing critical resources such as flowering plants. However, understanding of pollinator response to solar park developments is currently limited and empirical data are lacking. To address this knowledge gap, we surveyed bumble bees, butterflies and flowering plants between July and September across 15 solar parks in the UK. We also investigated the composition and connectivity of the landscapes surrounding each solar park using landcover data and a GIS, allowing us to explore the impacts of on-site floral resources and surrounding landscape characteristics on bumble bee and butterfly abundance and diversity. We found that bumble bee and butterfly biodiversity varied across solar parks, but overall butterflies were more than five times more abundant than bumble bees. Pollinator biodiversity was impacted by both on-site resources and landscape characteristics. However, characteristics of the floral resources on site appeared to be the most important factors, with increases in floral diversity, floral cover and vegetation height associated with increases in pollinator abundance and diversity. Our findings suggest that local and landscape scale factors affect pollinator biodiversity on solar parks, but solar parks that provide diverse and abundant flowering plants may be best placed to support pollinators. Incorporating this knowledge into existing and future solar park developments could promote benefits to insect pollinators alongside the energy transition.

How to cite: Blaydes, H., Potts, S., Whyatt, D., and Armstrong, A.: On-site floral resources and surrounding landscape characteristics impact pollinator biodiversity on solar parks, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2180,, 2022.

EGU22-4958 | Presentations | ERE1.7 | Highlight

Long Term Ecological Monitoring of Large Scale Solar Parks in the UK

Hannah Montag and Tom Clarkson

There is currently a total of 750 large scale solar parks (>5MW) in the UK, with an installed capacity of approximately 7.3GW; this is likely to cover an area of land of around 14,500 ha. While the planning process for such developments is currently geared towards increasing biodiversity gain, there remains a large discrepancy between the way that solar farms are managed and the actual ecological enhancement achieved. With large scale solar parks being a critical part of meeting the targets within the Paris Agreement, it becomes increasingly important to understand how the construction of solar parks impacts local wildlife, where biodiversity net gain can be achieved and the obstacles in the way of maximising this biodiversity net gain.

This talk offers a perspective from a practitioner’s point of view; Clarkson & Woods have carried out ecological monitoring of over 100 operational solar farms since 2016, and have collated an extensive database of botanical data from operational solar arrays. We will present this botanical data based on over 2,000 recorded botanical quadrats and look at how various factors affect botanical diversity including land management approach, age of array and location of quadrat. A discussion of some of the obstacles and potential solutions to maximising biodiversity net gain will be presented based on our knowledge of solar farms in the UK.

How to cite: Montag, H. and Clarkson, T.: Long Term Ecological Monitoring of Large Scale Solar Parks in the UK, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4958,, 2022.

EGU22-7770 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Applying Biodiversity Net Gain to solar parks in the UK

Adèle Remazeilles, Hannah Montag, Fabio Carvalho, Guy Parker, and Belinda Howell

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is defined in the UK as ‘development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before’ and involves an approach where land developers work with local governments, wildlife groups, landowners and other stakeholders in order to support local priorities for nature conservation. The Environment Act 2021 will set out a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain to be mandatory for most land developments and the gain will need to be calculated using the Natural England Biodiversity Metric. The terrestrial habitats listed within the Biodiversity Metric are based on the UK Habitat Classification system (UK Hab).

Solar park developments usually achieve high gains in biodiversity as they commonly lead to intensive arable land or improved grassland being restored to permanent grassland; further enhancements may include sowing of wildflower seed and application of conservation grazing/cutting. However, debate remains regarding classification of proposed habitat within solar parks, in particular, the shaded habitat beneath the panels. We argue that rather than this area being regarded as “lost” habitat, our data show that a variety of plant species can thrive. However, this varies from site to site and is dependent on the vegetation management regime implemented within the site. Site management varies from conservation grazed to intensively grazed, to completely unmanaged, to cut throughout every month to once every three years or with occasional shade / access strips. This extends to treatment of injurious weeds with some non-chemical treatments to other sites which are blanket sprayed with a glyphosate herbicide.

A data set of 30 operational solar parks which were monitored in 2020 were selected and a total of 523 botanical quadrats analysed in order to characterise the vegetation within solar parks (including beneath the panels) in terms of species composition and other UK Habitat Classification criteria such as habitat condition.

These results will be used to provide formal guidance for calculating BNG on solar farms for the solar industry and planning authorities. The proposed approach is being developed with input from Natural England, UK Hab and Solar Energy UK.


How to cite: Remazeilles, A., Montag, H., Carvalho, F., Parker, G., and Howell, B.: Applying Biodiversity Net Gain to solar parks in the UK, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7770,, 2022.

EGU22-6272 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Floating solar interactions with water bodies under climate warming

Giles Exley, Trevor Page, Andrew M. Folkard, Stephen J. Thackeray, Rebecca R. Hernandez, and Alona Armstrong

Floating solar photovoltaics (FPV) are deployed on aquatic systems worldwide as an alternative to ground- and roof-mounted installations. FPV installations represent a considerable water surface transformation, and the consequent threats and opportunities for hosting aquatic systems are poorly understood. Moreover, we must consider any impacts within the context of a changing climate, given FPV operational lifetimes.

Impacts on aquatic systems may be significant given that FPV can perturb two key drivers of water body function - wind shear stress and solar radiation intensity. The potential impacts of changes on water body function are wide-ranging. For example, FPV may beneficially reduce the occurrence of nuisance algal blooms or could detrimentally lead to anoxic conditions, leading to the release of heavy metals from bed sediments. However, impacts are likely to be highly water body-specific, dependent on deployment configuration and be contingent on future climate conditions.

To better understand FPV effects on aquatic ecosystem processes, which underpin ecosystem services, we extended an existing lake model to simulate FPV installations under future climate scenarios on a UK reservoir. We examined plausible changes to a range of meteorological variables, water temperatures, reservoir inflow and depth. We found that FPV alters key water quality properties, including water temperature and phytoplankton community composition. Depending on the conditions, the implications are positive or negative. Our analysis shows that FPV can partially mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing water temperature. The extended lake model will help inform policymakers and practitioners on best practices for deploying FPV, minimising detrimental impacts and maximising co-benefits.

How to cite: Exley, G., Page, T., Folkard, A. M., Thackeray, S. J., Hernandez, R. R., and Armstrong, A.: Floating solar interactions with water bodies under climate warming, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6272,, 2022.

EGU22-8685 | Presentations | ERE1.7

Footprint of large scale expansion of wind power in productive boreal forests – forests under a zero-emission strategy

Wiebke Neumann, Therese Bjärstig, Camilla Thellbro, and Johan Svensson

The increasing demand of emission-free energy enhances the footprint of wind power on landscapes worldwide. Wind power establishments claim considerable areas given their establishment sites and connected infrastructure. Being a major (but late arriving) land-use actor, onshore wind power expands in a landscape context already shaped by other land uses, thereby becoming directly a competitor for area. Being at forefront within the European Union, Sweden in northern Europe has ratified ambitious environmental goals to meet net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045. This asks for substantial expansion in renewable energy sources nationwide, particularly of wind power. In practice, suggested future wind power establishments claim about 3.5% of the total national land surface in Sweden but higher shares in forest-dominated regions. Within the Swedish environmental strategy, forests, however, are key players to provide also other products and services to mitigate impacts of climate change as well as to preserve biodiversity. Notably, a land demand of about 3.5% by wind power is comparable to the share of all formally protected Swedish forestlands below the mountain forest border, which currently is heavily debated due to the experienced loss of forestland for wood biomass production. This makes wind power establishment in forest landscape a serious competitor for space and for meeting different forest goals.

Using Sweden as a case, we quantify the amount of forests in relation to their productivity, landownership (state, company or private) and nature conservation value that we expect to convert into wind power land following the recent national strategy for wind power expansion based on current wind power distribution in Sweden. Our preliminary results suggest a considerable conversion of productive forestland into wind power land, particularly in the southern boreal landscape. Preliminary findings also indicate landowner differ to which degree their productive forestland without conservational value likely become wind power land.  

Our results emphasized the need for regional context-specific landscape planning in order to allow for both forests development and utilization meeting different environmental goals, including wind power and other interests.

How to cite: Neumann, W., Bjärstig, T., Thellbro, C., and Svensson, J.: Footprint of large scale expansion of wind power in productive boreal forests – forests under a zero-emission strategy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8685,, 2022.

ERE1.8 – 'Geospatial analysis for sustainable development' combined with 'Carbon emissions/removals estimates under Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector'

EGU22-4378 * | Presentations | ERE1.8 | Highlight

From SDGs to IDGs: Translating global Sustainable Development Goals for water, food and energy to river basin specific Indus Development Goals

Arthur Lutz, Wouter Smolenaars, Sanita Dhaubanjar, Khalid Jamil, Hester Biemans, Fulco Ludwig, and Walter Immerzeel

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a powerful concept to drive action towards a more sustainable future. However, the SDGs are formulated in a qualitative and generic way whereas specific and quantitative definitions of targets are required to steer policy and practice.

The Indus river basin is a global hotspot for future climate change and socioeconomic development. The basin has the largest continuous irrigation scheme in the world, and hydropower is developing rapidly with a large hydropower potential still untapped. Therefore, water, food and energy are strongly interlinked in the basin’s water-food-energy nexus. The basin already faces insecurity of water, food and energy in the present situation, and with strong projected climate and socioeconomic change, achieving the SDGs for these three resources in the basin will be challenging.

Here we present a novel approach to translate the global SDGs for water, food and energy (SDGs 2, 6 and 7) to quantitative targets specified for the Indus river basin. Our approach is based on a resource accounting framework operating at sub-basin scale and monthly time step, combining models and geospatial data. The approach uses ensembles of downscaled projections for three climate change scenarios driving water availability and three sets of downscaled projections of socioeconomic drivers, including population and GDP, as main drivers for the demand for water, food and energy. The accounting framework considers dependencies between the three resources and represents scenario-specific exchange of resources between sub-basins in this transboundary river basin. The approach results in scenario-specific quantitative targets for water, food and energy to be realized to achieve the three related SDGs at the river basin scale.

How to cite: Lutz, A., Smolenaars, W., Dhaubanjar, S., Jamil, K., Biemans, H., Ludwig, F., and Immerzeel, W.: From SDGs to IDGs: Translating global Sustainable Development Goals for water, food and energy to river basin specific Indus Development Goals, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4378,, 2022.

Energy has been identified as an enabler for several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Globally, 759 million people (2019) still lack access to electricity. Energy planning is important to describe the pathway to achieve the nations goals, where energy systems models are important tools to explore scenarios and provide insight. Until recently, modelling energy access with low electrification rate was conducted either at low spatial (e.g. national) or temporal resolution (e.g. annual time slices).  The central grid is often modelled as a black box with approximate optimization methods. This is recognised as unsuitable for understanding integration of technological alternatives to a centralised grid, including distributed generation and mini-grids/renewables. However, methods to model national energy systems at very high spatial and temporal resolutions are data and computation intensive. At the same time increased transparency on the data and code behind these models and insight is important as energy infrastructure is both capital intensive and strategic for the nation.

In this paper we investigate the use of OSeMOSYS, an open-source energy systems model, and increase the spatial resolution while keeping a medium time resolution. OSeMOSYS is a linear programming model and conveniently finds the global optimum in contrast to approximate methods. The approach provides insights into the trade-offs across supply and demand. The model generation is available in an open-source repository where results can be reproduced.

For this paper we use Kenya as our case study where still 16 million people lack access to electricity (2019). We select the spatial resolution to 378 supply cells (40x40km square cells) which leads to 591 demand cells split between electrified and un-electrified. The modelled number of seasons are 12 and the day is split into 3 slices: day, evening, and night, leading to 36 time slices. Specific demand profiles for electrified and un-electrified are assessed in combination with location specific supply options (expansion from the grid, PV, wind, diesel gensets).

Our preliminary results show that the varying un-electrified demand profile, with a high evening peak and low night-time demand, hybrid solutions are preferred with more than one supply option to meet the demand. The expansion of the grid to cells located far away is not motivated due to the low expected consumption, therefore decentralized supply options are required to serve at a high service level.

The results highlight the need for further work to investigate the sensitivity of the spatial and temporal resolutions in combine in energy systems optimization models.

How to cite: Moksnes, N., Howells, M., and Usher, W.: Increasing spatial and temporal resolution in energy system optimization model for energy access – the case of Kenya, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12071,, 2022.

Excessive growth in the global human population and eventually urbanisation has become a serious threat to the environment. These situations arise especially in the rapidly developing nations, India being one of them. A higher population naturally poses a high pressure on the environment directly or indirectly, which is a threat for the sustainable development of the country. Most Indian cities face environmental sustainability challenges. Most cities in India are presently going through rapid urbanization and industrialization which leads to environmental degradation of the city. The objective of this study is to analyse the environmental quality of the selected developing cities and also compare the intensity to which they are affected by urbanisation. The study is performed using satellite-based remote sensing data. Initially, Landsat data is used for the years 2001 to 2021 and is utilized for studying the LULC (land use land cover) transformations. MODIS data products are used at 1 km resolution to extract the biophysical indicators (BI) such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). MODIS data for PM2.5 is also utilised and finally, an index is calculated to represent the comprehensive environmental quality of the selected cities (CEQI). The yearly and decadal changes in the values of this index is mapped. The LULC transformations depicted a phenomenal decay in the greenness and an increase in the urban built-up area of the city. The CEQI variations and temporal trends reveal the significant deterioration of the overall environmental conditions in most of the cities. This is due to the change in gentrification patterns and also the change in urbanization and the greenness of the city. The study suggests that emission control strategies and urban greening can significantly contribute to enhancing urban environmental quality, especially in rapidly developing cities. The measures suggested to improve the environmental quality can help the policy-makers in the sustainable planning of the city.

How to cite: Singh, S. and Jain, K.: A comparative analysis of urban environmental quality of developing cities of India: A geospatial approach, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13558,, 2022.

EGU22-7343 | Presentations | ERE1.8

Conceptualising the management of climate extreme events through the GIS-based digital twin system

Khurram Riaz, Marion McAfee, Iulia Anton, and Salem Gharbia

Climate change has been recognised for decades, and environmental risks related to it are expected to become more common over time as the world's population continues to grow. This tendency is compounded by people congregating in areas such as coastal regions, which are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to climate change. It is demonstrated that overpopulated regions need robust early warning systems representing the region's complex systems to allow all stakeholders to receive the correct information and respond appropriately and quickly under extreme climate events to avoid losing lives and property. The concept of a 'digital twin' is proposed as an accurate virtual representation of the effect of climate events on a specific region, which can be used as a tool to achieve better resilience of cities against extreme events. A digital twin can be created by combining data from various IoT sensors and artificial intelligence with a city model to represent a digital replica of the actual world. This paper presents an up-to-date picture of the GIS-based digital twin technology developed in the last decade for the early warning of extreme climate events worldwide and their integration with the smart city management systems. The findings suggest that GIS-based digital twin technology for severe climate hazard early warning is an emerging method. Yet, it has gained prominence in recent years due to developments in technology, software development, and communication technologies. However, much more research on digital twins is necessary to create a more effective early warning system approach. This paper highlights a potential framework for the development, implementation, and application of GIS-Based digital twins in climate resilience management in coastal regions.

How to cite: Riaz, K., McAfee, M., Anton, I., and Gharbia, S.: Conceptualising the management of climate extreme events through the GIS-based digital twin system, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7343,, 2022.

EGU22-343 | Presentations | ERE1.8

Geotourism assessment of the northwestern part of the Gerecse Mountains, Hungary

Edina Hajdú, Gáspár Albert, and Márton Pál

Geotourism is a relatively new sector in tourism, in which visitors are offered earth scientific knowledge when visiting spectacular locations (geosites or geotopes) and participating in various organized activities there. Areas and sites with high geological-geomorphological relevance are usually managed by national parks, geoparks or other types of nature reserves. For this reason, research into the assessment of these sites serves not only the purposes of geoscience but also those of these organisations and, through them, tourism.

The aim of our research was to carry out a quantitative geotourism assessment in the NW part of the Gerecse Mts, Hungary, on an area of 180 km2. As this type of assessment determining geotourism potential has not been made here before, the Gerecse Mountains are still undiscovered in terms of quantitative geotourism values. However, this area has great geodiversity due to its earth scientific richness (its various and spectacular geosites are mainly from the Mesozoic, but Eocene, Miocene and Quaternary sediments are also present). It has strong connections to culture and human activities: it is an important source of building stones since Roman times.

We used analogue geological and topographic maps, publications, and databases to identify potential geosites. The selected sites were ranked based on their types (e.g., cliff, quarry, break of slope) and distance from trails. They were visited on site – omitting the least important ones based on the preliminary categorization. Following the fieldwork, the potential geosites were evaluated based on quantitative assessment models that have been used in Hungary several times. We applied the Geosite Assessment Model (GAM, Vujičić et al., 2011) and the Modified Geosite Assessment Model (M-GAM, Tomič & Božić, 2014). Among objective aspects, the latter involves tourists (from other studies) into the evaluation process, thus giving a more realistic image of the geotourism potential of the given geosite. The final score of an object is built up by scientific, infrastructural and this visitor-based values. In the end of the work, each geosite got an analysis on its improvable characteristics, and a group of them were selected as suitable for later geotourism activities and development.

The results (more than 100 evaluated geotopes) contribute to the geosite cadastral of the Gerecse Mts – providing useful data for the management body – the Duna-Ipoly National Park Diretorate. Suitable protection and tourism activity measures of local earth science values can be planned using our results – these two factors are the base of a good balance between nature and society.

EH is supported by the ÚNKP-21-2 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology from the source of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund.


Tomić, N., & Božić, S. (2014). A modified Geosite Assessment Model (M-GAM) and its Application on the Lazar Canyon area (Serbia). International Journal of Environmental Research, 8(4), 1041-1052.

Vujičić, M., Vasiljević, D., Marković, S., Hose, T., Lukić, T., Hadžić, O., & Janićević, S. (2011). Preliminary geosite assessment model (GAM) and its application on Fruška Gora Mountain, potential geotourism destination of Serbia. Acta Geographica Slovenica, 51(2), 361-377.

How to cite: Hajdú, E., Albert, G., and Pál, M.: Geotourism assessment of the northwestern part of the Gerecse Mountains, Hungary, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-343,, 2022.

EGU22-3398 | Presentations | ERE1.8

A Study on the Selection of Biodiversity Offset Area in Korea - Focusing on Jeju Island

Dayong Jeong, Seungyeon Lee, Yujin Shin, and Seongwoo Jeon

Jeju island’s unique and diverse species of flora and fauna and well-preserved natural environment earned Jeju the designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in December 2002(World Heritage Office & Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 2016). To achieve no net loss and preferably a net gain of this outstanding biodiversity, ‘biodiversity offsets’ can be implemented(BBOP, 2009). Until now, there have been attempts in Korea to introduce the concept of offset, such as the establishment of the ‘Total Natural Resource Conservation’(Lee et al., 2020), but studies on the specific criteria or method of biodiversity offset area are insufficient. It is desirable not to prepare offset area whenever damage occurs, but to select them in consideration of ecological connectivity, environmental functional aspects, and socio-cultural continuity in the planning process(Lee et al., 2020). Therefore, we intend to select the offset area of Jeju Island using the methodology of Pilgrim et al (2012), which derives the relative offsetability in consideration of the biodiversity conservation concern, residual impact magnitude, theoretical offset opportunity, practical offset feasibility. Potential offset area derived from previous studies has already reflected the concept of biodiversity conservation concern, including vulnerability and irreplaceability. Through the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) of Jeju Island, the type of development that had a significant impact on biodiversity is selected as an example, and the impact magnitude of the development type is identified. In addition, offset opportunity is derived by considering functional area and natural distribution, and offset feasibility is derived by factors such as developer capacity and financing. Finally, the relative offsetability is evaluated and the offsetability map is established. The characteristics of offset areas are analyzed using the established offsetability map. For instance, the size and patterns of sites with high offsetability can be studied. As a result, the offsetability map is established by evaluating the relative offsetability of potential offset areas. Therefore, it is possible to specifically find where the biodiversity offset is available in Jeju Island, and to identify the offset priority through comparison of the relative offsetability between the selected offset sites. By analyzing the characteristics of the offset area, it is possible to identify what characteristics increase the offsetability, how large it should be to have high offsetability, and what patterns exist between the selected offset areas. This study shows the specific offset area selection process, and through this, it will help to create a roadmap for selecting a site for a biodiversity offset where the biodiversity offset concept was not introduced into the policy. This work was supported by the Korea Environment Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) through the Decision Support System Development Project for Environmental Impact Assessment, funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) (No. 2020002990009). This work was Supported by a Korea University Grant.

How to cite: Jeong, D., Lee, S., Shin, Y., and Jeon, S.: A Study on the Selection of Biodiversity Offset Area in Korea - Focusing on Jeju Island, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3398,, 2022.

EGU22-3421 | Presentations | ERE1.8

Mapping the Biodiversity Conservation Value for Potential Offset Area

Yu Jin Shin, Seungyeon Lee, Dayong Jeong, and Seongwoo Jeon

Jeju Island, the research area, has been registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and has high biodiversity and ecological value, such as designation as a global geopark and biosphere reserve. It also has a beautiful landscape, so it is not only necessary for conservation but also highly demanded as a landscape resource (Kim et al., 2015; Ko, 2011). Accordingly, it is necessary to prioritize the conservation area that can reconcile the conflict between indiscriminate development and nature protection, as well as to establish potential offset sites for ‘No Net Loss’ in order to respond to development impacts. Selecting conservation areas based on biodiversity value can be an effective offset decision-making tool on where and how to prioritize conservation policies (Li et al., 2021; SANBI & UNEP-WCMC, 2016). There have been many studies on biodiversity conservation between excellent ecological value and development pressure in Jeju Island, but there are almost no studies on the implementation conditions of the of