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Inproceedings Reference Critical analysis of the carnivoran mammal success in Europe during the Paleogene
Why are we surrounded by only one group of placental carnivorous mammals (Carnivora: the presentday lions, dogs, bears, and seals among others) today, while at least three other groups of placental mammals (Hyaenodonta, Mesonychia, Oxyaenidae) were in competition with carnivorans 50 million years ago? Since the 1990s, palaeontologists have investigated the success of carnivoraform mammals (including Carnivora) and their crucial adaptations in detail. Analysis of the taxonomic and morphological diversification of these groups in the North American fossil record clearly demonstrated that carnivoraforms outcompeted hyaenodonts and oxyaenids during the Eocene, specifically from around 50 Ma onwards. We document the evolutionary history of the taxonomic diversity as well as the evolution of the body mass of carnivorous mammals that lived in Europe during the Paleogene (66–23 Ma). The results suggest that this competition was diametrically opposed in North America and Europe. Carnivoraforms actually did not become diversified in Europe during the Eocene and thus were not as taxonomically successful in Europe as in North America during that period. Moreover, during the Eocene, European hyaenodonts varied more in body mass than carnivoraforms. The situation dramatically changed during the 'Grande Coupure' (around Eocene–Oligocene boundary; ca. 33.9 Ma). This transition corresponds to a major faunal turnover in Europe: during the earliest Oligocene global cooling event (Oi-1), the Eocene endemic carnivorous fauna was replaced by immigrant taxa (hyaenodonts and carnivorans), mainly from Asia. This abstract is a contribution to the Belspo Brain Pioneer project BR/175/PI/CARNAGES funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Inproceedings Reference Decision support under uncertainty for geothermal applications: case selection and concept development
In order to meet climate goals and provide energy security, geothermal energy can play an important part in Belgium’s energy production portfolio. The current implementation of geothermal energy in Belgium is very limited, making accurate forecasts about the economic potential difficult. In the DESIGNATE project, tools and workflows are developed to investigate the potential of deep geothermal energy and geothermal applications in abandoned mines in Belgium, considering uncertainties at reservoir, technology and economic level. The goal of this project is to make forecasts about the role of these geothermal applications in the Belgian energy portfolio and provide support for strategic planning of subsurface activities by: explicitly considering uncertainties in modelling non-standard geothermal resources; creating tools for integrated forecasts under uncertainty; setting up a methodological framework for territorial LCAs considering surface and subsurface impacts; and analysing interferences and their consequences for geothermal energy deployment in Belgium. These workflows will be developed for and applied to five real and theoretical case studies throughout Belgium, in different geological settings. A first case is the Balmatt deep geothermal project, a deep geothermal research project led by VITO in Mol, of which two wells are operational as a doublet. To allow for a realistic economic assessment, this case takes the basic structure and development of the Balmatt project, but as if it would be a commercial doublet project at the same location and in the same Carboniferous strata. A second case is a deep doublet system in NW Turnhout, currently under development by the geothermal development company HITA. This project allows supplying heat to part of the city of Turnhout’s residential and tertiary sector’s buildings. A third case involves the application of a novel single-well technology for geothermal heat extraction To compensate for the unknowns of the new technology, a more uniform and predictable reservoir type was chosen for this application: the Cretaceous deposits in the Campine Basin. The fourth case will investigate a new deep geothermal doublet in the Mons Basin, the Deep Mons project. At Porte de Nimy, close to a hospital, two wells of about 2.5km depth are planned to reach the Carboniferous. A fifth and last case is the application of an open geothermal system in former coal mine galleries. Preliminary, the Péronnes-lez-Binche coal mines were selected, as the structural separation of the galleries in a shallower colder part and a deeper warmer part allows for several applications such as seasonal use of heat and cold. Because a portfolio of methods will be developed to analyse different aspects of these projects, a solid common base is needed across all methods. These “project concepts” start from a decision tree, listing the major decision steps for each case, such as seismic exploration, well drilling, and the potential use cases. Additionally, options for waiting and abandoning the project are also included. Other data such as duration and cost are tied to this framework. Figure 1 shows a flow chart of such a decision tree for the Balmatt case. Because of their flexibility and speed, analytical solutions will be developed from numerical models for simulating the reservoir behavior and predict the evolution of temperature and pressure. The project uses an innovative approach by stepping away from simple well designs and homogeneous reservoirs, and introducing uncertainty. These analytical models will provide direct input for a geological techno-economic assessment (G-TEA), a territorial life cycle assessment (LCA), and a new version of the PSS simulator. Project development is simulated considering the analytical reservoir models as resource, the technical and economic aspects of project development, heat transport, energy demand, environmental impact, energy market and the policy framework. Acknowledgements This research is carried out under the DESIGNATE project, which receives funding from the BELSPO BRAIN-be 2.0 research programme under contract nr B2/191/P1/DESIGNATE.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference Deep Geothermal Energy Extraction, a Review on Environmental Hotspots with Focus on Geo-technical Site Conditions
Knowledge on the environmental impacts of geothermal energy is of major importance to understand the role this technology could play in the transition towards sustainable energy systems. Life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology is a widely used tool for assessing the environmental impacts of products and systems, which has been implemented numerous times on geothermal systems. Previous reviews on geothermal LCA studies identify large variability on the reported environmental impacts. In this work we aim to provide a more in-depth analysis to explain the variability across the different LCAs. We review 28 LCA studies on geothermal energy published between 2005 and 2020, following a four step reviewing sequence; in step 1 we identify the LCA methodological choices and the plant geo-technical characteristics, in step 2 we identify the LCA results and the LCI inputs, in step 3 we perform contribution analysis based on the reported results and in step 4 we investigate the sensitivity and scenario analysis performed in the studies. If the data is available we triangularly evaluate the reported impacts considering a) the plants’ geo-technical characteristics, b) the hotspot analyses results and c) the Life cycle inventory (LCI) inputs. We focus our analysis on the six most frequently assessed impact indicators (GWP, AP, HTP, FETP, CED, ADP)* and distinguish between the different energy conversion technologies used for geothermal energy exploitation. This way we aim to provide a more transparent picture on the variability of environmental impacts across the LCAs by focusing on the environmental hotspots and on the cause-effect relationships between geo-technical parameters and the environmental impacts. We also aim for drawing LCA guidelines for future LCA studies on geothermal systems and proposing methods for impact mitigation. The variability on the LCA results is caused by differences on the choices of the LCA practitioners, on the energy conversion technologies used, on geological parameters and on plant design parameters. Most studies focus on the GWP and AP impacts, while information for the rest of the impacts is much more limited. For flash and dry steam power plants the direct emissions of non-condensable gases (NCGs) emerging can cause high GWP, AP, FETP and HTP impacts depending on the geofluid’s composition. The CED and ADP impacts are dominated by the steel and diesel consumption during the development of the wells. Thus differences on the geo-technical parameters determining the power output and the total material and energy consumption cause the variability on the reported results. Direct emissions of NCGs do not emerge in plants utilizing binary technology. In these plants the development of the wells dominates the impacts and this phenomenon is more intense when EGS-binary plants are investigated due to the large depth drilled. Also the production of the working fluid used in the ORC and its annual leakage can highly affect the GWP impact in these plants depending on the type of working fluid used. In heating plants high amounts of grid-electricity are needed for the plant operation as no power is produced. Therefore differences in the fossil-fuel-intensity of the electricity mix supplying the plant can result in large variability. The choice of the LCA practitioner to include or not the heat distribution network in the boundaries of the system also affects the results, while a significant portion of the impacts is caused during the development of the wells. Combined heat and power plants using flash or binary technology present similar results. However the co-production of heat and power is expected to lead to some benefits. A direct correlation between the GHGs and the NH3/H2S direct emissions with the GWP and AC impacts, respectively, is observed for flash and dry steam power plants. Direct emissions are determined by the geofluid composition which highly varies between different reservoirs. For mitigating these impacts the installation of abatement systems shall be considered, while the identification of the geofluid composition and of the natural emissions emerging prior to the plant development is suggested for estimating the actual anthropogenic emissions. For plants utilizing binary technology and heating plants it is observed that higher capacity generally leads to lower GWP and AP impacts per functional unit. The capacity is a product function of the temperature and production flow. Similar observation can be extracted for the temperature while this is not the case for the flow. No clear correlation can be seen between the impacts and the depth. This is because larger depths lead –on the one hand– to higher impacts because of higher material and energy consumption which are compensated –on the other hand– to the increase on the fluid temperature and flow. For mitigating impacts caused during the construction phase the use of renewable energy sources for supplying the machinery used is suggested, while proper fluid re-injection should be designed for keeping the capacity constant during the operation. Also for binary plants the working fluid shall be selected such that its GWP impact is low, while for heating plants the installation of a small ORC unit shall be considered if the conditions are appropriate for meeting the pumping needs of the plant. The reviewed studies show that geothermal energy exploitation can lead to significant environmental benefits compared to fossil sources, as most of the times the impacts caused by geothermal plants are in the range of other renewable sources. Further research is needed on deep geothermal energy exploitation to better understand its environmental impacts. A significant portion of the impacts is caused during the operation of the plants regardless of the technology used (direct emissions, electricity consumption, working fluid losses, make-up well drilling). All of the LCA studies reviewed are static LCAs. Thus a dynamic LCA framework considering the time aspect is needed for better estimations of the environmental impacts. Also consequential LCAs on geothermal energy plants need to be conducted in order to assess how the global environmental impacts may change by the wider implementation of geothermal energy. In addition, future LCA studies shall also focus on environmental impacts other than the GWP as information regarding them is limited. Finally the sustainability of geothermal investments is to be further explored by investigating the social impacts of geothermal development and comparing them to other energy sources but also the financial aspect of such investments. Acknowledgments This research is carried out under the DESIGNATE project, which receives funding from the BELSPO BRAIN-be 2.0 research program under contract nr B2/191/P1/DESIGNATE. * GWP: Global Warming Potential, AP: Acidification Potential, HTP: Human Toxicity Potential, FETP: Freshwater EcoToxicity Potential, CED: Cumulative Energy Demand, ADP: Abiotic resources Depletion Potential
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference D source code Did Neanderthals visit the Mishin Kamik cave, western Stara Planina, Bulgaria, 200 000 years ago (MIS7)? in press
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference Domestication of the cat and reflections on the scarcity of finds in archaeological contexts
Located in Library / No RBINS Staff publications
Inbook Reference Draught cattle and its osteological indications: the example of Sagalassos
Located in Library / No RBINS Staff publications
Article Reference Economie de la pierre meulière sur la Meuse moyenne au tournant de notre ère (la Tène finale – haut-Empire romain) : les meules en poudingue de Burnot.
Introduction L’étude du mobilier en pierre fait désormais partie des analyses incontournables après toute opération de fouille. Elle apporte des informations sur l’approvisionnement en matières premières, sur leur usage et sur les modalités de leur mise en forme. Abordée de manière diachronique, elle permet de déceler les variations des pratiques techniques et économiques au cours du temps. L’étude des meules est devenue emblématique de cette discipline géo-archéologique puisqu’elle met en évidence des dynamiques économiques qui ont des répercussions sur le cadre social des populations. Au cours du temps, des roches spécifiques ont été sélectionnées pour répondre à des besoins précis, en lien avec l’un des secteurs les plus primordiaux qui soient : celui de l’alimentation. Un véritable système de recherche de la ressource, d’exploitation, de production, de transport et de commercialisation s’est établi pour approvisionner des populations plus ou moins proches des lieux de production et désireuses d’acquérir et d’utiliser des marchandises efficaces et parfois esthétiques. Au début du 5e siècle av. J.-C. dans le nord-est de la péninsule ibérique, les techniques de mouture bénéficient d’un progrès qui s’étend progressivement à toute l’Europe de l’ouest, à savoir le passage du mouvement alternatif (moulin va-et-vient) au mouvement rotatif. Le moulin rotatif arrive en Gaule du nord à partir de la seconde moitié du 3e siècle av. J.-C. (La Tène moyenne), mais le moulin reste encore domestique. Le saut technologique que l’on observe durant l’époque gauloise est donc plus qualitatif que quantitatif : les conditions de la préparation alimentaire s’améliorent nettement, dans un cadre socio-économique qui varie peu, celui du foyer familial. Ce n’est que dans la première moitié du 1er siècle de notre ère, avec le regroupement des populations dans les villes, les camps militaires et les grands établissements ruraux, que s’installent de grands moulins à eau ou à traction animale dont les meules commencent à être produites par les ateliers régionaux. Ces derniers s’étaient déjà adaptés au passage du moulin va-et-vient au moulin rotatif : malgré une courte période d’une à deux générations pendant laquelle ont été préférées des roches tendres , les matériaux durs exploités au moins depuis le Néolithique pour la confection de meules va-et-vient sont repris en main dès la fin de La Tène moyenne pour produire des meules rotatives. En Germanie inférieure et dans le Nord de la Gaule, la plupart des carrières de meules rotatives identifiées ont ainsi livré des ébauches de meules va-et-vient antérieures à la fin de l’époque gauloise : respectivement dans les coulées volcaniques de l’Eifel (HÖRTER, 1994 ; MANGARTZ, 2008), dans le secteur d’Hirson/Macquenoise (Aisne/Hainaut - PICAVET et al., 2018) et à Lustin (Namur) dont les gisements nous intéressent ici. Si toutes ces carrières ont produit des meules rotatives à La Tène finale (La Tène moyenne est mal appréhendée en Belgique), puis à l’époque romaine, les carrières elles-mêmes et leurs ratés de fabrication sont encore méconnus. Un travail de prospection de longue haleine en milieu forestier a pour objectif de les caractériser. Les carrières de Lustin, situées dans le Bois des Acremonts et dans le Bois de Nîmes (prov. Namur, Belgique), ont été parcourues par Dominique Daoust (fig. 1). Il a identifié plusieurs dizaines d’ébauches de meules rotatives manuelles dont les dimensions évoquent une datation gauloise et/ou romaine précoce (autour d’une quarantaine de centimètres, parfois moins). Le travail d’analyse de ces ébauches, toujours en cours, permet aujourd’hui de préciser les modalités de l’exploitation du conglomérat rouge dit « Poudingue de Burnot » autour de la moyenne vallée de la Meuse à ces périodes anciennes. Les productions de ces carrières sont essentiellement connues par leur diffusion sur les sites de consommation en Belgique et dans le Nord de la France. Leur reconnaissance est assurée par les descriptions pétrographiques des géologues Gilles Fronteau et Éric Goemaere, qui pointent la Formation de Burnot (unité lithostratigraphique autrefois appelée « Poudingue de Burnot » et d’âge burnotien, étage aujourd’hui tombé en désuétude : DEJONGHE et al., 2006) et nous autorisent à identifier les niveaux géologiques d’origine du matériau. Notons que la Formation de Rivière qui la surmonte directement peut apparaître dans les mêmes carrières et a pu fournir des meules ponctuellement. À la faveur d’une archéologie préventive dynamique et à l’issue de deux thèses de doctorat (RENIERE, 2018 ; PICAVET, 2019), l’enregistrement de nombreux produits finis géolocalisés dessine les contours de leur aire de répartition en Gaule du nord, tout en fournissant des appuis chronologiques solides. Recensées entre La Tène finale et le Haut-Empire romain, parfois jusqu’au début du 3e siècle, les meules en Poudingue de Burnot occupent ainsi une région située entre celle approvisionnée par les carrières dites de Macquenoise à l’ouest (Hirson/Macquenoise : PICAVET et al., 2018) et celle qui reçoit les productions l’Eifel à l’est (Mayen, Rhénanie-Palatinat : MANGARTZ, 2008), alors que les grès quartzitiques tertiaires sont majoritaires au nord et au nord-ouest chez les Ménapiens au Haut-Empire (RENIERE et al., 2016). Faisant le lien entre les carrières et les produits de consommation rejetés après usage, une cargaison de produits semi-finis draguée dans la Meuse au début du 20e siècle évoque enfin leur transport aval vers la ville romaine de Namur où l’on peut envisager la présence d’ateliers de finition et de redistribution (cf infra).
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference Effects of marine aggregate extraction on seafloor integrity and hydrographical conditions. New insights and developments
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference Enhanced rock weathering: the overlooked hydrodynamic trap
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a technique proposed to remove large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere (i.e. a negative emission technology) in which finely fragmented silicate rocks such as basalts (ground basalt) are distributed over agricultural or other land plots. The weathering process involves trapping CO2 but will also typically ameliorate soil properties (pH, soil moisture retention, cation exchange capacity, availability of Si), and can therefore be expected to positively affect plant and microbiological activity. This technique has been proposed in different modified forms over the past decades. In its current format, mainly its potential for near global application (e.g. Beerling et al. 2020) is stressed, and its acceptance is helped by the positive reception by e.g. nature organisations that already apply it as a technique for ecological restoration. Two main and largely separated processes result in trapping of CO2. The first is precipitation of carbonates, often as nodules, in the soil. The second is increased CO2 solubility in groundwater and eventually ocean water due to an increase of the pH value, referred to as the pH-trap. Most of the pH-trapping schemes are built on the assumption that CO2 is dissolved in infiltrating and shallow ground water, then discharged into surface water and consecutively transported to the seas and oceans. In that reservoir CO2 is expected to remain dissolved for centuries and possibly up to ten thousands of years, depending on surfacing times of deep oceanic currents. Another pathway that is systematically overlooked is that of groundwater fluxes that recharge deeper groundwater bodies. Depending on the regional geology, a significant fraction of infiltrating water will engage in deeper and long-term migration. For Belgium, the contribution of hydrodynamic trapping, depending on the hydrogeological setting, could be any part of the 15 to 25% of precipitation that infiltrates. Once infiltrating water enters these cycles, it will not come into contact with the atmosphere for possibly fifty thousand years. In this model, the long-term impact of ERW as a climate mitigation measure rests on a good understanding of the larger hydrogeological context, which encompasses infiltration and the deeper aquifers. Deep aquifers, as well as the migration paths towards them, are strictly isolated and residence times are much longer than for oceans. Recharge areas for deeper aquifer systems may therefore become preferential sites for ERW application, becoming an additional evaluation factor for siting ERW locations that is currently based on surface factors alone.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference Et le crapaud devint grenouille : Description ostéologique et réattribution taxonomique de Bufo servatus, une "momie" des Phosphorites du Quercy
Les Phosphorites du Quercy sont un ensemble de sites datant de l’Eocène et de l’Oligocène du Sud-Ouest de la France. Ils sont connus pour leurs nombreux restes fossiles, dont des amphibiens, majoritairement représentés sous forme d’ossements isolés. Cependant, en 1873, plusieurs spécimens d’amphibiens à préservation exceptionnelle furent découverts. Montrant l’aspect des tissus externes (peau, yeux...), ces spécimens furent dès l’origine considérés comme des momies naturelles. Durant le 19ème siècle, ils ont été décrits sans aucune connaissance de leur anatomie interne. Depuis 2012, nous avons commencé à tomographier ces momies, révélant des structures internes telles que des tissus mous internes et un squelette articulé. Un premier spécimen a été attribué en 2013 à Thaumastosaurus gezei et nous présentons ici les résultats de la tomographie d’un second anoure momifié, jusqu’ici identifié comme Bufo servatus. La tomographie a révélé un squelette articulé dont les caractéristiques ostéologiques sont similaires à celles du premier anoure momifié, bien qu’il représente un stade ontogénétique différent. Les deux momies sont attribuées à Thaumastosaurus servatus nov. comb. Les nouvelles informations anatomiques sont utilisées pour préciser les affinités phylogénétiques de Thaumastosaurus, qui serait placé au sein des Pyxicephalidés, un clade d’anoures africain. Thaumastosaurus représenterait dès lors à la fois la plus ancienne occurrence du clade dans le registre fossile mais aussi sa première occurrence hors d’Afrique. Sa présence en Europe souligne un potentiel échange faunique avec l’Afrique durant l’Eocène ou même dès le Paléocène. La présence de ce représentant d’un clade africain dans l’herpétofaune européenne est peut-être liée au climat chaud durant l’Eocène. Cependant, la plus grande partie de cette herpétofaune, dont Thaumastosaurus, disparait d’Europe durant le renouvellement faunique de la Grande Coupure, autour de la transition Eocène/Oligocène (~34 Ma).
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021