[DOVE] DOVE - Drilling Overdeepened Alpine Valleys

Drilling Overdeepened Alpine Valleys (DOVE) - Timing and extent of past Alpine glaciations

Climate & Ecosystems

Year of Application: 2016

Expedition ID: 99999

Current Status: pending

european alps
glacial-interglacial cycles
landscape evolution
Master Data

Prof. Dr. Charlotte Krawczyk (PI)
Prof. Dr. Frank Preusser (PI)
Dr. Gerald Gabriel (PI)

Dr. Nicole Höbig (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Todd Ehlers (Scientific Participant)
Dr. David Tanner (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Henrike Baumgarten (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Thomas Burschil (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Dirk Scherler (Scientific Participant)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Reicherter (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Ulrike Wielandt-Schuster (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Anton Hermann Buness (Scientific Participant)
Dr. Thomas Günther (Workshop Participant)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Hinderer (Workshop Participant)
Dr. Thomas Wonik (Workshop Participant)

Projektstart: 1 January, 2017
Geologisches Alter: quarternary

Latitude: 45°28'26''N


Regionen & Städte:


Longitude: 6°3'16''E



soft sediment
hard rock

Drilling Data

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The sedimentary infill of glacially overdeepened valleys (i.e. excavated structures below the fluvial base level) are, together with glacial geomorphology, the best-preserved (but underexplored) direct archives of extents and ages of past glaciations in and around mountain ranges. DOVE intends to recover a number of sediment cores from glacially overdeepened structures at several complementing locations within the Alps and their foreland. While substantial matching funds have already been granted or are envisaged, we are here asking for financial support from ICDP for drilling seven sites in six different countries, spread over three fiscal years. One completed and four additional sites, which will be drilled independently from DOVE decisions, eventually will form a twelve-site DOVE backbone. The cores will be investigated with regard to several aspects of environmental dynamics during the Quaternary, with focus on the glaciation, vegetation, and landscape history. For example, the geometry of overdeepened structures will be investigated using different geophysical approaches (e.g. seismic surveys) and will help to better understand the process of overdeepening. Sedimentological analyses in combination with downhole logging, investigation of biological remains, thermochronometry and using state-of-the-art geochronological methods will allow to reconstruct the filling and erosion history of the troughs. We expect significant and novel data relating to the extent and timing of the past Alpine glaciations during the Middle-to-Late Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles. While we take advantage of the available geological information and infrastructure in the Alps, the results of this study will not be restricted to this area. The Alps provide the ideal area to study overdeepened structures, features also known from other mountain ranges and areas formerly covered by ice sheets, which are less studied than the Alps and more problematic with regards to logistics for drilling. The results of this study will serve as textbook examples for understanding a full suite of geological processes relevant for formerly glaciated areas all over the world. Moreover, DOVE will tie together scientist from several countries and set a turning point boosting international collaboration in the Alpine realm. Besides the scientific goals, this proposal also addresses a number of applied objectives such as groundwater resources, geothermal energy production, and seismic hazard assessment. By drilling in highly populated areas, this initiative will gain major attention by local authorities, communities and the media. Hence, DOVE fully considers the goals of the new science plan of ICDP, flagging societal relevance as major objective while offering numerous outreach opportunities.

Related Publications

Schwenk, Michael A, Schläfli, Patrick, Bandou, Dimitri, Gribenski, Natacha, Douillet, Guilhem A, Schlunegger, Fritz (2022). "From glacial erosion to basin overfill: a 240 m-thick overdeepening–fill sequence in Bern, Switzerland" Scientific Drilling 30 p17-42

Burschil, Thomas , Buness, Hermann , Tanner, Dave , Gabriel, Gerald (2019). "Seismic Imaging of Glacial Overdeepened Valleys using P- and S- waves" Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems 2019 p336-340

Burschil, Thomas, Tanner, David C., Reitner, Jürgen M., Buness, Hermann, Gabriel, Gerald (2019). "Unravelling the shape and stratigraphy of a glacially-overdeepened valley with reflection seismic: the Lienz Basin (Austria)" Swiss Journal of Geosciences online

Burschil, Thomas, Buness, Hermann, Tanner, David C., Wielandt-Schuster, Ulrike, Ellwanger, Dietrich, Gabriel, Gerald (2018). "High-resolution reflection seismics reveal the structure and the evolution of the Quaternary glacial Tannwald Basin" Near Surface Geophysics 16 p593-610