The climate of our planet is constantly evolving. In the context of the recent acceleration of climate change, it is particularly important to understand the factors that affect it, and in order to do so, scientists are studying surface karst structures known as solution pipes.
Solution pipes are formed as limestone rocks are dissolved by carbonic acid (water saturated with carbon dioxide) and humic acids produced through the decay of organic matter in the soil. An attempt to discover the relationship between the shape of solution pipes and the climate conditions under which they formed is at the heart of a project conducted by Prof. Dr hab. Piotr Aleksander Szymczak from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, entitled “Solution pipes as new paleoclimate proxies”. The project won more than 1.2 million PLN under the CEUS-UNISONO scheme.
The research will involve a team of Polish physicists and Slovenian geomorphologists. The former will use numerical simulations and lab experiments to try to identify relationships between different environmental factors and the features of solution pipes. The latter, on the other hand, will carry out field studies of existing structures of this kind so as to be able to draw conclusions about the paleoclimate. These will then be compared with the results of other paleoclimate reconstruction techniques. An important role in the research programme will be played by lab experiments, designed to test various theoretical models of the formation of solution pipes, which will also provide a benchmark for the validation of numerical simulations.
The CEUS programme is organized by the NCN in cooperation with research-funding agencies from many countries, based on the Lead Agency Procedure (LAP). Its purpose is to fund basic research projects in all disciplines of science, carried out by research teams from two or three CEUS-participating countries. More details about the CEUS-UNISONO call can be found HERE.