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See detailLandslides' mechanism and evolution in the western Rwanda
Draidia, Salah ULg; El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg; Dewitte, Olivier et al

Scientific conference (2016, January 27)

Landslides' mechanism and evolution in the western Rwanda Salah DRAIDIA1,*, Meriam EL OUAHABI1, Olivier DEWITTE2, Nathalie Fagel1, Hans Balder HAVENITH1 1 Institution 1 University of Liège Department of ... [more ▼]

Landslides' mechanism and evolution in the western Rwanda Salah DRAIDIA1,*, Meriam EL OUAHABI1, Olivier DEWITTE2, Nathalie Fagel1, Hans Balder HAVENITH1 1 Institution 1 University of Liège Department of Geology Street, n° 4000 Liège Belgium 2 Institution 2 Royal Museum of Central Africa Department of Geomogy Tervuren Belgium *Corresponding author: sdraidia@gmail.com, Département de Géologie, Quartier Agora, Allée du six Août, 14, B- 4000 LIEGE (Sart Tilman) Tel +32 0497351617 Keywords: mass movement, landslides, landscape evolution, geohazard,. Abstract The mass movement, and especially the instability of the soil and rocks, play a significant role in the changing aspect and the evolution of the landscape worldwide and particularly in tropical region. In Central Africa the landslides and others kind of instabilities are very frequent, important and represent a real threat for both population and economy. The case of Rwanda is remarkable, this country which is known as the country of thousand hills, is rich of various and very complex morphology caracterized by very steep slopes crossed by a dense network of watercourse, powered by a considerable amount of precipitation distributed in two wet seasons. The growing economy of the country brings a lot of project of infrastructures and mines and quarries exploitation (embankments and cuttings) which have a strong impact on the triggering of huge instabilities and so the modification of landscape. These instabilities and the intense activity of the rivers and streams could be considered as the engine who control the shaping and the remodeling of the landform. To understand the evolution process of these instabilities, and then the landscape change we started by the mapping of the instabilities using satellite images and then we went on the field to validate the inventory to identify the morphological aspect of the terrain, to refine our knowledge of the geological nature of the materials by sedimentological analyses on selected samples, and of course to try to better know the impact of the rock's weathering process leading to the constant modification of the landform. The computer-based quantitative analyses using GIS's data processing, were carried out to help to understand the distribution of the instabilities and the geomorphological phenomena observed to better connect and explain the whole information collected. The aim of the study is to bring in more than the mapping of instabilities a response about the process and the evolution of the instabilities and the factors impacting the phenomenon. [less ▲]

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See detailHolocene paleoenvironmental reconstructions from Belgian peatbog
Allan, Mohammed ULg; VERHEYDEN, sophie; Le roux, gael et al

Conference (2016, January 27)

Atmospheric deposition is an important part of the global climate system, and plays a key role in the marine and terrestrial biogeochemical cycles as a source for major and trace nutrient elements ... [more ▼]

Atmospheric deposition is an important part of the global climate system, and plays a key role in the marine and terrestrial biogeochemical cycles as a source for major and trace nutrient elements. Reconstruction of atmospheric deposition is crucial to understand the effects of the increased atmospheric depositions induced by humans on the environment and to help understanding Holocene climate variability. This study investigated potential paleoenvironmental proxies provided by major and trace elements and stable isotopes compositions of peat bogs. Peat bog cores were collected from Hautes-Fagnes plateau (Misten bog) (SE-Belgium). The analyses of Rare Earth Elements (REE) and lithogenic element concentrations as well as Nd isotopes were performed by HR-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS respectively, in a  7 m peat section representing 7300 years, dated by 210Pb and 14C methods. The Misten bog is highly affected by atmospheric supplies (natural and anthropogenic) and can be used to establish the changes in atmospheric dust during the Mid-Late Holocene. Dust fluxes show pronounced increase at 3200-2800BC, 600BC, AD600, 1000AD, 1200AD and from 1700 AD corresponding to local and regional human activities combined with climate change. Peat humification and testate amoebae were used to evaluate hydroclimatic conditions. The Nd values show large variability, between -5 and –13, identifying three major sources of dust: local soils, distal volcanic and desert particles. Our results provide evidence that climate forcing may be detected in ombrotrophic peat, even for the historical period that is characterised by a mixed climate-human control. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrences and genesis of palygorskite/ sepiolite and associated minerals in the Barzaman formation, United Arab Emirates
Draidia, Salah ULg; El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg; Daoudi, Lahcen et al

in Clay Minerals (2016), 51(763–779),

: The Barzaman Formation exposed in the United Arab Emirates was deposited as a series of fluvial sediment sequences lying along the western margin of the Hajar Mountains, part of the Oman–UAE ophiolite ... [more ▼]

: The Barzaman Formation exposed in the United Arab Emirates was deposited as a series of fluvial sediment sequences lying along the western margin of the Hajar Mountains, part of the Oman–UAE ophiolite. This formation consists of a sequence of rocks dominated by variably cemented and altered conglomerates comprising calcareous siltstones and calcareous clays deposited during the Miocene to Pliocene undera humid climate. The conglomerates are composed largelyof ultramafic and lesser-mafic clasts. The present study was undertaken in order to understand the occurrence and genesis of palygorskite and sepiolite in relation to the environmental changes including evaporitic and sabkha environments. Sediments were collected from two trenches and a drill hole of ∼22 m depth. Samples were analysed by optical petrograpy, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Pedogenesis occurred at the deeper level in well cemented conglomerate which constitutes the hard crust. Post-depositional erosion started in marine phreatic or vadose zones as shown by the neoformation of serpentine from the weathering of olivine as well as of calcite and dolomite. Neoformation of palygorskite, sepiolite, dolomite and halite occurred under evaporitic conditions on calcareous silty clay facies. Relatively hot, vadose and oxidizing environmental conditions affected the calcareous siltstone facies leading to the genesisof dolomite andpalygorskite by directprecipitation fromsolution rich inCa, Mg, Al,Feand Si ions. [less ▲]

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See detailFlaws linked to lime in pottery of Marrakech (Morocco)
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham; Daoudi, Lahcen; El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg et al

in Journal of Materials and Environmental Science (2016)

The studied clayey materials come from soil of Marrakech Haouz Plain. We discussed the influence of grain size, mineralogical and chemical composition of these raw materials on the lime behaviour in ... [more ▼]

The studied clayey materials come from soil of Marrakech Haouz Plain. We discussed the influence of grain size, mineralogical and chemical composition of these raw materials on the lime behaviour in pottery shards. In this paper we propose some recommendations to inhibit lime blowing and the efflorescences responsible for flaws. The application of such recommendations will improve the quality of produced pottery and the income of potters in the region. [less ▲]

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See detailSuitability of soils and river deposits from Marrakech for the manufacturing of earthenware
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham ULg; Daoudi, Lahcen; El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg et al

in Applied Clay Science (2016), 129

This paper investigates the suitability of clayey materials originating from semi-arid soil and river sediments, used by potters in the Agafay region for the manufacture of ceramic products. The clay ... [more ▼]

This paper investigates the suitability of clayey materials originating from semi-arid soil and river sediments, used by potters in the Agafay region for the manufacture of ceramic products. The clay samples were subjected to particle-size analysis, X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence to investigate their physical, mineralogical and chemical characteristics respectively. The physical behaviour of the intermediate products was studied at the shaping and drying stages of the ceramics manufacturing process through the Atterberg limits and the plot of the Bigot curve respectively. The final product characteristics were determined through porosity tests, flexural and compressive strengths tests. Based on results obtained, the raw materials turn out to be suitable characteristics for the manufacture of earthenware products. The application of the suggested recommendations is worthy for the improvement of the products based on such raw materials. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution of heavy and clay minerals in coastal sediment of jijel, East of Algeria: indicators of sediment sources and transport and deposition environments
KERMANI, S.; BOUTIBA, M.; BOUTALEB, A. et al

in Arabian Journal of Geosciences (2016)

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See detailTransformed mineral phases during clay ceramic firing
El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg; Daoudi, Lachen; Hatert, Frédéric ULg et al

in Clays and Clay Minerals (2015), 62(6), 470478

Ceramic clays are one of the most complicated ceramic systems because of the very complex relationship between the behavior of minerals during the ceramic processing and the transformations during heating ... [more ▼]

Ceramic clays are one of the most complicated ceramic systems because of the very complex relationship between the behavior of minerals during the ceramic processing and the transformations during heating. A major challenge is to predict the phase transformations in clay ceramics. The aims are to establish reference data of ceramics products that can be formed based on the mineralogical composition of the local raw materials. These data, in turn, can be compared with the archaeological ceramics in order to study their origins. The mineralogical compositions and transformations during the firing (550 to 1100ºC under oxidizing conditions) of seven clayey materials sampled from the main clay deposits of Northern Morocco were evaluated by X-ray powder diffraction. Two groups of clays were evidenced according to the type of neoformed high-temperature minerals: non-calcareous clays and calcareous clays. For the non-calcareous raw materials, spinel is produced at 950°C. Cristobalite and mullite were formed above 1000ºC from clays that contain illite, kaolinite and chlorite. In clays containing vermiculite and high amount of chlorite, hematite was formed from 950°C. Firing of calcareous clays at temperatures > 950ºC yielded Ca-silicates (diopside, gehlenite and wollastonite), spinel, cristobalite, hematite and feldspars. Mullite may also form in the calcareous clay products, when the carbonates content exceeds 10%. [less ▲]

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See detailPALEO-DELTA: Palaeoenvironment and geoarchaeology of the Medjerda delta (Tunisia)
Pleuger, Elisa ULg; Abichou, Hakim; Gadhoum, Ahmed et al

Poster (2015, October)

Phoenician Utica remains today largely unknown, as is its role in the Phoenician expansion in the western Mediterranean. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mention Utica as a maritime and port city and ... [more ▼]

Phoenician Utica remains today largely unknown, as is its role in the Phoenician expansion in the western Mediterranean. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mention Utica as a maritime and port city and estimate its origin around the 11th c. BC. However, in the present state of research, no archaeological evidence is earlier than the 9th c. BC, and the location of the Phoenician and Roman port infrastructures remains unknown. Today, the ancient city is located on a promontory in the heart of the Medjerda delta, 10 km inland. This project proposes an interdisciplinary effort to understand the Medjerda delta landscape changes during the Holocene. It starts from an archaeological problem and proposes the contribution of geoarchaeology to the understanding of the relationship between ancient societies and their environment. The fluvial palaeoenvironments and sedimentary processes are studied through the mechanical extraction of cores (15-20 m deep) to reach the early Holocene. Selected sediment samples are then studied in laboratory, using different and complementary approaches. The location of port infrastructures will bring initial answers to the question of the foundation of the city. The study of river palaeoenvironments of the Medjerda delta during the Holocene aim at a better understanding of the nature of the settlement, as well as the function of the city of Utica over time. This study will also assess the impact of the ancient city on the environment and understand how the city adapted to the mobility of this Mediterranean delta. Furthermore, the analysis of sedimentary processes causing the filling of the harbour basin will lead to speculation about the causes of the abandonment of the structures and more generally the decline of the city in favor of Carthage. It will also examine whether natural or anthropogenic factors have influenced this deltaic progradation over the centuries. [less ▲]

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See detailWhere is the ancient harbour of Utica ? Geoarchaeology and palaeoenvironment of the Medjerda delta (Tunisia)
Pleuger, Elisa ULg; Abichou, Hakim; Gadhoum, Ahmed et al

Poster (2015, October)

Ancient authors mention Utica as a maritime and port city and estimate its origin around the 11th c. BC. However, in the present state of research, no archaeological evidence is earlier than the 9th c. BC ... [more ▼]

Ancient authors mention Utica as a maritime and port city and estimate its origin around the 11th c. BC. However, in the present state of research, no archaeological evidence is earlier than the 9th c. BC, and the location of the Phoenician and Roman port infrastructures remains unknown. Today, the ancient city is located on a promontory in the heart of the Medjerda delta, 10 km inland. This project proposes an interdisciplinary effort to understand the Medjerda delta landscape changes during the Holocene. It starts from an archaeological problem and proposes the contribution of geoarchaeology to the understanding of the relationship between ancient societies and their environment. The fluvial palaeoenvironments and sedimentary processes are studied through the mechanical extraction of cores (15-20 m deep) to reach the early Holocene. Selected sediment samples are then studied in laboratory, using different and complementary approaches. First results permitted to draw an hypothesis of the coastline during Antiquity and to bring out the evidence of an intense sedimentation event post 10th c. BC. The location of port infrastructures will bring initial answers to the question of the foundation of the city. The study of river palaeoenvironments of the Medjerda delta during the Holocene aim at a better understanding of the nature of the settlement, as well as the function of the city of Utica over time. This study will also assess the impact of the ancient city on the environment and understand how the city adapted to the mobility of this Mediterranean delta. Furthermore, the analysis of sedimentary processes causing the filling of the harbour basin will lead to speculation about the causes of the abandonment of the structures and more generally the decline of the city in favor of Carthage. It will also examine whether natural or anthropogenic factors have influenced this deltaic progradation over the centuries. [less ▲]

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See detailAtmospheric metal pollution over the last 250 years inferred from speleothem geochemistry
Allan, Mohammed ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Verheyden, Sophie

Conference (2015, August 17)

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric ... [more ▼]

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric pollution. To address this aim we analyzed trace elemental Al and Pb compositions by LA-ICP-MS and ICP-MS as well as Pb isotopes by MC-ICP-MS. The results help to identify three Pb-enriched intervals: from 1880 to 1905 AD, from 1945 to 1965 AD, and from 1975 to 1990 AD. The speleothem record is consistent with the evolution of atmospheric pollution in Belgium. Lead isotope ratios confirm that coal and gasoline combustion, combined with regional metallurgical activities, were the predominant Pb pollution sources in the stalagmites during the last 250 years. This research underscores the importance of speleothems as a valuable tool for the discrimination between anthropogenic and natural lead contributions in the environment and consequently for quantifying the anthropogenic contribution or determining natural background values in continental settings. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of the main parameters controlling the plasticity of ceramic pastes: The case study of the Marrakech region (Morocco)
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham ULg; Daoudi, Lahcen; Fontaine, François ULg et al

Poster (2015, July)

Numerous traditional ceramic workshops occur within a range of 10 to 80 km around the city of Marrakech. Our study aims to identify the main parameters controlling the plasticity of pastes used by the ... [more ▼]

Numerous traditional ceramic workshops occur within a range of 10 to 80 km around the city of Marrakech. Our study aims to identify the main parameters controlling the plasticity of pastes used by the artisans. To reach this goal, we characterize by X-ray diffraction, granulometry and plasticity index (PI) the local raw clayey material. <br />The investigation of 26 whole pastes shows the dominance of quartz (20 to 50%) and clay minerals (25 to 60%) with K-feldspar (2 to 17%), plagioclase (2 to 25%), calcite (0 to 18%), dolomite (0 to 15%), goethite (0 to7%) and trace of hematite and anhydrite (< 3%). Amphibole occurs in trace (< 5%) but only in some samples. The clay minerals are diversified, including illite (10 to 40%), kaolinite (2 to 15%), mixed-layer (ML) (0 to 10%), smectite, vermiculite and chlorite (0 to 5%), and pyrophyllite-talc association (0 to 8%). Sepiolite (12%) is only present in one paste. The grain size is made by variable proportions of sand (5 to 65%), silt (12 to 53%) and clayey fraction (18 to 66%). <br />The Plasticity index (PI) indicates the presence of two principals groups of pastes. <br />(1) The first group is characterized by PI values ranging between 15 to 18. Their moderate plasticity behavior is related either to the low rate of clayey fraction and/or to the absence of plastic clays like smectites and mixed layer with smectitic sheets. <br />(2) The PI of second group ranges between 20 to 32. The high plasticity values are influenced by the presence of specific clayey minerals like talc-pyrophyllite or sepiolite, or by the high content of smectite plus smectitic mixed-layers within the clayey (< 2 micron) fraction. Only one sample without any of these plastic minerals but with a high content of clayey fraction is characterized by a high PI value (24). <br />We concluded that the workability of ceramic paste in Marrakech region is controlled by a combination of factors, dominated by the grain size distribution and the content in plastic clay minerals within the fine fraction. [less ▲]

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See detailLand erosion and associated evolution of clay minerals assemblages in Mediterranean region (Southern Turkey): Amik Lake
El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg; Hubert, Aurelia ULg; Lebeau, Helene et al

Poster (2015, July)

Under Mediterranean context, continuous human occupation is attested in the Amik Basin (southern Turkey) since 6000-7000 BC. The Basin also is crossed by The Dead Sea Fault (DSF), a major neotectonic ... [more ▼]

Under Mediterranean context, continuous human occupation is attested in the Amik Basin (southern Turkey) since 6000-7000 BC. The Basin also is crossed by The Dead Sea Fault (DSF), a major neotectonic structure in the Middle East extending from the Red Sea in the south to the East Anatolian Fault Zone in the north. The study focuses on the mineralogy and clay mineralogy record of the Amik Lake occupying the central part of the Basin. Our objective is to constrain major mineralogical and clay minerals evolution in the area over the last 4000 years and assess changes that would be related to the different land uses during the different Bronze, Roman, Ottoman and Modern civilizations. Sediments were collected at 1 to 2 cm intervals in core sediments up to a depth of 6 meters in the clay deposits. Geochemistry (XRF), mineralogy (XRD) and clay mineralogy are applied to study the sediment records. The age of the record is constrained combining radionuclide and radiocarbon dating. Chemical and mineralogical composition of sediments is quite diversified reflecting the significant geological variation of drainage basins. Abundant mixed-layer and partly disordered minerals characterize the different sedimentary levels recorded in those cores. Levels relatively rich in chlorite, illite and quartz are interpreted as corresponding to relatively dry periods, while more humid periods lead to more intensive weathering and consequently to the dominance of clay minerals more advanced in the relative stability scale, such as kaolinite. Smectite is taken to indicate a climate with contrasting seasons and a pronounced dry season. The sedimentary record clearly shows two periods indicating strong soil erosion in the Lake catchment. The most recent erosion phase is modern. The oldest one would have started during the late Bronze period and lasted until the late Roman Period. The first and older period is attributed to a strong aggradation linked to major increase in erosion. Our study shows that this episode has specific characteristics: mixed-layer clay mineral, high percent in Ni, Cr and Mg coupled with significant amount of organic matter of terrestrial origin. Ni and Mg most probably come from the Amanos Mountains an ophiolitic belt indicating an intensive upland cultivation and possible exploitation of its mineral resource. The second period is attributed to the modern period. The signature of the increase in erosion is different, because most of the soil cover has already been eroded. Only a patchy thin and unmature soil cover exists since the Late Roman time. Erosion is associated with a marked increase of smectite-illite interstratified clay, goethite and hematite found in deep soil horizons. Moreover, a marked increase in Cr is showed and is probably related to an enhanced exploitation of its mineral resource and to a renew land exploitation of the Amanos Mountain Range. [less ▲]

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See detailLANDSLIDES IN CENTRAL AFRICA: FROM DEFORMATION MECHANISMS TO EVOLUTION PROCESSES – CASES STUDIES FROM RWANDA AND BURUNDI
Draidia, Salah ULg; Ndahimana, Hamuli; Habimana, Christophe et al

Scientific conference (2015, July)

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See detailThe influence of lithology on the mechanical strength and porosity of terra-cotta, the case study of Marrakech region (Morocco).
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham ULg; Daoudi, Lahcen; Collin, Frédéric ULg et al

Poster (2015, May 19)

The ceramic pastes in Marrakech region are prepared on the base of six types of raw materials of different lithologies. Various products are manufactured. The production consists of cooking utensils ... [more ▼]

The ceramic pastes in Marrakech region are prepared on the base of six types of raw materials of different lithologies. Various products are manufactured. The production consists of cooking utensils (based on schist, colluviums, quartzose sand and silt), decoration products (based on argillite, washing residues and soil), vases and gourds products (based on schist and soil), tiles (based on silt decantation) and traditional dishes (based on soil and argillite). In this study we elaborate bricks from the different raw material and we evaluate some of their physical properties after firing at 1050°C. In particular we measure the porosity to water and the mechanical strength of all the fired bricks. The aim is to compare the final product quality according to the origin (lithology) of the clayey raw material of the ceramic pastes. Based on our experiments, the bricks of the lower compressive strength (CS) and of the lower flexural strength (FS) are those based on sand (CS = 39 MPa; FS = 7 MPa), on silt decantation (CS = 25 to 39 MPa; FS = 10 to 18 MPa), and on schist and colluviums (CS = 20 to 51 MPa; FS = 6 to 17 MPa). Those of the highest values are based on argillites (CS = 33 to 102 MPa; FS = 13 to 28 MPa). The other pastes are characterized by intermediate values. The porosity ranges between 5 to 27%. The bricks based on silt decantation have the greatest values (20 to 27%), whereas those based on argillite have the lower values (5 to 10%). Those physical properties are, in most cases, in agreement with the requested values of the bricks industry. We conclude that such raw materials have high perspective to manufacture structural products of high performance in mechanical strength and thermal insulation. [less ▲]

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See detailGeoarchaeology of the ancient city of Utica (Tunisia) and evolution of the palaeoenvironment of the Medjerda delta
Pleuger, Elisa ULg; Abichou, Hakim; Gadhoum, Ahmed et al

Poster (2015, May)

Phoenician Utica remains today largely unknown, as is its role in the Phoenician expansion in the western Mediterranean. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mention Utica as a maritime and port city and ... [more ▼]

Phoenician Utica remains today largely unknown, as is its role in the Phoenician expansion in the western Mediterranean. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mention Utica as a maritime and port city and estimate its origin around the 11th c. BC. However, in the present state of research, no archaeological evidence is earlier than the 9th c. BC, and the location of the Phoenician and Roman port infrastructures remains unknown. Today, the ancient city is located on a promontory in the heart of the Medjerda delta, 10 km inland. This project proposes an interdisciplinary effort to understand the Medjerda delta landscape changes during the Holocene. It starts from an archaeological problem and proposes the contribution of geoarchaeology to the understanding of the relationship between ancient societies and their environment. The fluvial palaeoenvironments and sedimentary processes are studied through the mechanical extraction of cores (15-20 m deep) to reach the early Holocene. Selected sediment samples are then studied in laboratory, using different and complementary approaches. The location of port infrastructures will bring initial answers to the question of the foundation of the city. The study of river palaeoenvironments of the Medjerda delta during the Holocene aim at a better understanding of the nature of the settlement, as well as the function of the city of Utica over time. This study will also assess the impact of the ancient city on the environment and understand how the city adapted to the mobility of this Mediterranean delta. Furthermore, the analysis of sedimentary processes causing the filling of the harbour basin will lead to speculation about the causes of the abandonment of the structures and more generally the decline of the city in favor of Carthage. It will also examine whether natural or anthropogenic factors have influenced this deltaic progradation over the centuries. [less ▲]

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See detailHolocene palaoenvironmental records in PN speleothem (Han-sur-Lesse cave, southern Belgium
Allan, Mohammed ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Verheyden, Sophie

Conference (2015, April 16)

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See detailLead concentrations and isotope ratios in speleothems as proxies for atmospheric metal pollution since the Industrial Revolution
Allan, Mohammed ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Van Rampelbergh, Maïte et al

in Chemical Geology (2015)

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric ... [more ▼]

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric pollution. To address this aim we analyzed trace elemental Al and Pb compositions by LA-ICP-MS and ICP-MS as well as Pb isotopes by MC-ICP-MS. The results help to identify three intervals characterized by particularly high enrichment of Pb: from 1880 to 1905 AD, from 1945 to 1965 AD, and from 1975 to 1990 AD. The speleothem record shows similar changes as the known historical atmospheric pollution level in Belgium. Lead isotope ratios discriminate between Pb sources and confirm that coal and gasoline combustion, combined with regional metallurgical activities, were the predominant Pb pollution sources in the stalagmites during the last 250 years. This study opens possibilities to determine anthropogenic versus natural metal sources in well-dated speleothem archives. [less ▲]

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See detailMineralogical and physico-chemical characteristics of Cameroonian smectitic clays after treatment with weakly sulfuric acid
Mache, Jacques Richard; Signing, P.; Mbey, J.A. et al

in Clay Minerals (2015), 50

Smectitic clays from the Sabga and Bana areas, western Cameroon were treated with sulfuric-acid solutions of various concentrations – 0.5, 0.7, 1.0 and 4.0 N – at 80°C for 2 h. The mineralogical ... [more ▼]

Smectitic clays from the Sabga and Bana areas, western Cameroon were treated with sulfuric-acid solutions of various concentrations – 0.5, 0.7, 1.0 and 4.0 N – at 80°C for 2 h. The mineralogical, physicochemical and morphological characteristics of the samples treated were analysed using several techniques. The sulfuric acid caused structural modification of the dioctahedral smectite. The accessory minerals such as cristobalite, quartz, feldspars and anatase remained unaltered by the acid attack. The supernatant solutions after acid treatment contain Mg, Ca, K, Na, Si, Al and Fe as a result of partial dissolution of octahedral and tetrahedral cations. The activated clay samples exhibited a smaller cation exchange capacity (CEC) and the specific surface area (SSA) increased with increasing concentration of sulfuric acid, ranging from 65 to 134 m2/g for the sample from Bana and from 74 to 84 m2/g for the sample from Sabga. The different SSA values were affected by the relative abundance of smectite and cristobalite (SiO2/Al2O3 = 2.2 and 6.5, respectively, from Bana and Sabga). The activated clays from Bana and Sabga displayed interesting physicochemical and textural properties and can be considered as promising adsorbents for the bleaching of vegetable oils. [less ▲]

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See detailSedimentary records of past earthquakes in Boraboy Lake during the last ca 600 years (North Anatolian Fault, Turkey).
Avsar, Ulas; Hubert, Aurélia ULg; De Batist, Marc et al

in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2015), (433), 1-9

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