New INQUA funded project (SACCOM 1612F): A Database of Terrestrial European Stratigraphy (DATESTRA) (FG SEQS)

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SEQS (INQUA Section on European Quaternary Stratigraphy) for the 2016-2019 Intercongress period will aim to build a Database of Terrestrial European Stratigraphy (DATESTRA- This is seen as an European Geographic Stratigraphical Database that follows the activities and the projects carried out by SEQS during the previous Intra-Congress periods that allowed scientists from all over Europe and adjacent areas to visit, observe and discuss highly detailed sedimentary records and depositional sequences in different geodynamic contexts. The main aim of the past activities was to discuss the stratigraphic setting of the main successions and longer records and make correlations between applicable litho-stratigraphical subdivisions in use in different countries/regions.

In most Regions Quaternary stratigraphical schemes were developed often using complex litho-, chrono-, and bio-stratigraphical criteria that in many cases resulted in problematic cross-continental and global correlations in terrestrial Quaternary systems since these records are fragmentary and often lacking reliable dating techniques covering the full range of Quaternary time. In many cases even terminology defining the chrono-stratigraphical setting is based on local or old-fashioned schemes and the need for a common language/terminology/methodology is strongly necessary in order to share among European Quaternary scientists basic geoscientific information. In fact, cross-boundary correlations and knowledge is necessary in order to obtain a common and solid stratigraphical subdivisions functional to mapping, modeling and improving also for practical purposes that includes the prevention of geohazards and risks.


DATESTRA will focus on the creation of a common and shared geographic Database that should constitute the first step to create a common base for all the Quaternary scientists who want to have a concise overview of the main stratigraphical subdivisions across the boundaries of Europe. DATESTRA will critically summarize the main sites containing Terrestrial Quaternary deposits in Europe trying to bypass their fragmentary nature and giving rapid access to the sections, techniques and methods used for their study. Furthermore, it will also provide a rapid overview of reliable stratigraphical and geographic data set described with a common stratigraphic language.

In order to set the regional names and subdivisions avoiding as much as possible the problems due to local terminology, DATESTRA will focus on the main Quaternary stages as assessed by IGSC (Early-, Middle-, Late Pleistocene and Holocene) giving particular emphasis on the stage boundaries and transitions. This approach should give a summary and overview of the main characters of the subseries/stages across Europe providing to the Quaternary scientists a geographic-based compendium of the basic information for each stage and how much these proposed and/or formalized subdivisions actually have a common significance at a pan-European scale.


The main outcome expected by the activities of this IFG is a GIS-based Geographic Database (DATESTRA) containing the basic information about the key-sites of the Terrestrial Quaternary Stratigraphy of Europe. The definition, structuring and sharing of information by easy-to-use platforms (GIS based and Google Earth©) of a geographic stratigraphic Database is also a unique tool to provide a geographic based summary of the main knowledge about the significance of the Terrestrial Quaternary that can be compiled, shared and updated easily and at low costs.

The Database will be shared and made available to all the Quaternary audience on open GIS based Web platforms. The Database will also be made available as Google Earth © files or as web-GIS applications like “Story Maps” in order to give to the wider audience as possible, also at informative level, the chance to have an overview of the European Terrestrial Quaternary setting. During the IFG life a Web page will be designed and maintained in order to share and manage all the information regarding the IFG activities, special events and outcomes. It could also hosts a blog for ideas exchange and scientific discussion, including possible risks and solutions.

At the next INQUA Congress (2019 Dublin), SEQS will apply for a dedicated session for DATESTRA where the final results and outputs will be presented and shared among all the Quaternary audience. Finally, the database will be made available through a GIS based web platform containing services for visualization, management and commenting.


Pierluigi Pieruccini (SEQS secretary) Department of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8 53100 Siena, Italy –

Markus Fiebig (SEQS President) Department of Civil Engineering & Natural Hazards Institute of Applied Geology University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Peter-Jordan-Str. 70; A-1190 Wien, Austria –

Guzel Danukalova (SEQS vice President) Laboratory of the Cenozoic Geology, Institution of Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Geology of the Ufimian scientific centre, K.Marx str., 16/2, 450077, Ufa, Russia –

Published by

Katrin Lasberg

I am geologist from University of Tartu, Estonia and also a ECR representative of INQUA-SACCOM. The overriding interests of my research involve different dating methods (C-14, OSL, Be-10), chronology, Pleistocene glaciations, paleoclimate and sedimentology. I defended my PhD in the year 2014 and it focused on developing the chronology of Weichselian glaciation and deglaciation of Scandinavian Ice Sheet using different data sources and dates. I am really keen on mountains and glaciers and this reflects on my research interests as well. My goal is to find new challenges in the Quaternary research field and widen my ‘store of knowledge’. Outside work activities, I really love travelling, in spare time my hobbies are dancing and hiking and I am also very fond of photography.

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