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INQUA–INTAV International Field Conference and Workshop

Crossing New Frontiers - Tephra Hunt in Transylvania 24-29 June 2018 in Romania, Europe

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Field Trips

Two field trips will be offered during the conference:

  • Intraconference fieldtrip to the Persani volcanic field
  • Postconference fieldtrip “Late Quaternary Carpathian volcanism and Lower Danube paleoclimate: implications for establishing an integrated tephrostratigraphic framework” (June 29 – July 1, 2018)

Intraconference fieldtrip to the Persani volcanic field

During June 26th, an intraconference fieldworkshop will take place with a visit and field lectures at the Quaternary trachybasaltic volcanic field of Persani, in central Romania. This small, but peculiar intracontinental volcanic field forms a Na-alkali basaltic province extending only over 22 km2 and consisting of isolated edifices (eg., Racos volcano) as well as a complex volcanic structure with several eruptive centers in the Hoghiz-Bogata area (Seghedi and Szakacs, 1994). The volcanic structures are complex, with several superimposed eruptive events, ranging from an initial phreatomagmatic phase and formation of maars, to lava flows, phreatomagmatic events of vulcanian type with base surge deposits and plinian fallout deposits rich in mantle xenoliths, and strombolian scoria and spatter cones, consisting of agglutinates, agglomerates and lapilli deposits (Seghedi and Szakacs, 1994). Furthermore, a recent paleomagnetic and volcanological studies coupled with 40Ar/39Ar dating has better constrained the chronology of Persani volcanism (Panaiotu et al., 2013; Seghedi et al., 2016). 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages on groundmass indicate that two of the reversely magnetized lavas erupted at 1142 ± 41 ka and 800 ± 25 ka, four of the normally magnetized lavas erupted at 1060 ± 10, 1062 ± 24, 684 ± 21, and 683 ± 28 ka, and two transitionally magnetized lavas formed at 1221 ± 11 and 799 ± 21 ka. Both the new 40Ar/39Ar ages and the paleomagnetic data suggest at least five episodes of volcanic activity with the most active periods during the Jaramillo and Brunhes chrons. These results show that alkali volcanism in Persani was contemporaneous with calc-alkaline volcanism in South Harghita Mts, only 30 km apart (Panaiotu et al., 2013; Seghedi et al., 2016). 

We will visit several outcrops, including the isolated basaltic columns occurrences at Comana, the Hoghiz-Bogata area with maar structures and lava flows, bedrock fragments and plinian fallout deposits rich in mantle xenoliths, and the Racos Geopark, with well-preserved basaltic columns, and a scoria cone that has been quarried away, leaving the volcanic pipe standing – providing an unexpected glimpse into the anatomy of a small scoria cone volcano. I. Seghedi, C. Panaiotu and A. Szakacs will provide field lectures on different volcanological and geotectonic aspects, whereas U. Hambach will discuss the Quaternary environments and the Pleistocene fluvio-lacustrine deposits of Baraolt and Brasov Basins. 

Our day-trip includes also several cultural stops, such as

  • visit to Dracula’s Castle
  • visit to Rupea citadel
  • visit to Feldioara teutonic fortress
  • visit to Rasnov citadel and geopark

Cultural sites:

1. Dracula’s castle: situated in the village of Bran, close to our meeting venue, the castle dates back to 1377, and is one of Romania’s top touristic destinations due to its popularizing by Bram Stocker’s novel, ‘Count Dracula’. Situated on the former border between Transylvania and Wallachia, the castle was briefly held in the past by prince Vlad III ‘the Impaler’ of Walachia, nicknamed Vlad Dracula in the Romanian folktales, due to its family’s heraldic symbol representing a dragon (latin: Draco, with Dracul meaning ‘the devil’ in Romanian language). Today the castle is a museum, hosting art and furniture exhibition by Queen Marie of Romania.

2. Rupea citadel – standing on a basalt hill, Rupea fortress represents one of the oldest fortifications in Transylvania. The upper fortress (Cetatea de sus) was first built more than 2000 years ago as a Dacian fortress named Ramidava. After the Roman invasion of Dacia, it was turned into a Roman castra and renamed Rupes. Between the 10-15th centuries, the second fortification was completed – the middle fortress (Cetatea de mijloc), whereas by the 18th century the lower fortress was also erected (Cetatea de Jos).

Postconference fieldtrip “Late Quaternary Carpathian volcanism and Lower Danube paleoclimate: implications for establishing an integrated tephrostratigraphic framework” (June 29 – July 1, 2018)

1st day (June 29, 2018) – The first day of the excursion will focus on South Harghita volcanic field, concerning the most recent volcanic eruptions in the Carpathian range, whose chronological span is still hotly debated. Visits to Sf Ana and Mohos craters atop Ciomadul volcano, with on-site discussions of the paleoclimate potential and tephrostratigraphy of their sedimentary infill, the recent multi-method (and partly contrasting) dating results of tephra and volcanic edifices including a series of well-preserved lava domes around Ciomadul volcano. Several pyroclastic fall/flow outcrops will be visited, including occurrences of distal Carpathian tephra in loess and colluvium deposits, fluvial sequences remobilizing pyroclastic deposits, evidence of catastrophic lahar deposits, active mofettas and mineral springs. Overnight in the town of Baile Tusnad (Hotel O3zone), at the foothill of Ciomadul volcano.
Excursion leader David Karátson, Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary.

2nd day (June 30, 2018) – Crossing the Carpathians towards the Black Sea area, with on-site lecturing of geotectonic processes responsible for the peculiar bending of the main orogenic axis and the rapid rise of the Carpathians in this area, peculiarities of the Vrancea seismic zone, the famous and peculiar mud volcanoes of Berca, and the formation of flysch relief and the Quaternary evolution of the hydrographic network and surrounding sedimentary basins. Crossing of the Lower Danube Plain, a fine example of the westernmost extension of dry steppes in Europe, with many endorheic and highly mineralized lake basins. Overnight near or at the Black Sea coast.

3rd day (July 1, 2018) – Paleoclimate of the extensive loess fields of Lower Danube – Black Sea area and distal tephra occurrences (Campanian Ignimbrite and other newly discovered tephra occurrences) in such deposits; lecturing on existing paleoclimate and geochronological data with a focus on tephra and millennial-scale climate variability as recorded in loess. End of fieldtrip in Bucharest in late afternoon.
Excursion leader Ulrich Hambach, University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Please note: The post conference fieldtrip has to be booked separately and the deadline for registering is April 30th, 2018. After this date, late registrations will be subject to availability and attract a surcharge of 100 euros per person.

The fee for the post-conference fieldtrip is 290 euro for single room option (single occupancy), or 240 euro for shared-room option (per person, two persons occupancy). The fee covers:

  • accommodation for two nights (June 29-30) and breakfast for two days (June 30 June, July 1)
  • travel by bus
  • lunches and morning and/or afternoon refreshments for three days (June 29-30, July 1)
  • fieldtrip guide book
  • entry fees to cultural stops

Evening meals for each night, and accommodation on the last day (July 1), will be the responsibility of the participant.

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