Research is critical to Geoparks. The following research projects are ongoing in the Orígens Geopark.

Table Of Contents

Evolution of ecosystems during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition in Catalonia. 2018-2021

Paleontology, Geochronology, Paleoecology

The project devotes its efforts to the vertebrate faunas of the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic at a regional scale. The project aims to carry out numerous paleontological interventions (prospecting, excavation and sampling), as well as analysis from multiple outcrops from the Carboniferous to the Triassic, aiming to understand how the ecosystems of vertebrates and related fauna were like.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Josep Fortuny, Institut Catala de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont .

Paleoecological networks of dinosaur sites of the Catalan Cretaceous. CLT009/18/00067.  2018-2021

Paleontology, Geocronology, paleoecology

Study of the vertebrate faunas from the late Cretaceous in the Catalan Pyrenees. Area. The project includes numerous palaeontological interventions (prospecting, excavation, sampling), as well as analysis of outcrops to better understand the vertebrate ecosystems of the Late Cretaceous.

Principal Investigator: Angel Galobart, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont.

Paleonvironmental Dynamics of transitional Settings from The Cretaceous to the Eocene in the South-central Pyrenees. PGC2018-101575-B-I00. 2019 -2022

Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Geochronology

Study of the transitional media of the past (marine-continental) from the Cretaceous to the Eocene in the southern Pyrenean basin. Using sedimentological, paleontological and geochronological techniques, we aim improving the understanding of the processes that have conditioned the evolution of the Tremp and Àger depositional basins.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Oriol Oms, Department of Geology, Autonomous University of Barcelona.

The primates and other vertebrates of the Paleogene of Catalonia. CLT009/18/00069. 2018-2021

The objective of this research project is the recovery and study of new fossil remains from different groups (mainly primates, but also other vertebrates such as rodents, insectivorous, marsupial, perissodactyls, artiodactyls, carnivores, creodonts, reptiles, as well as remains of invertebrates and/or charophytes). This will be done through intensive sampling of known Paleogene sites and the localization of new fossiliferous levels.

Principal Investigator: Dra. Judit Marigó, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP).

The primates of the Cenozoic of the Iberian Peninsula: Evolution, paleoenvironmental and paleobiogeográfical aspects. CGL2017-82654-P. 2018-2020


Within the framework of this project, the different field campaigns focus on different regions, such as the Pyrenean basins, the Ebro river and the Vallès-Penedès. All these areas are previously studied large fossiliferous sites where findings of different ages have been made. The main objective of the project is to find new levels and recover new remains of primates in both classic and new sites. Detailed studies of all the recovered material may lead to the description of new taxa, and new interpretations of affinity between fossil and current species, as well as to interpret the locomotive behaviour and other paleobiological aspects of the different primate fossils.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Salvador Moyà-Solà, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) i Raef Minwer-Barakat, Universidad de Granada (UGR) i  ICP.

Monitoring, modeling and integration of methods for the control of active processes in mountains. CGL2017-84720-R. 2018 -2021

Geological hazard, Geomorphology, Seismology-Environmental

The main aim of the Project is to improve the knowledge of the following active mountain processes: snow avalanches, rock falls, large mass movements and flash floods by integrating monitoring, modelling and different methods.

Principal Investigator:   Dr.  Emma Suriñach, Department of Dynamics of the Earth and the Ocean, University of Barcelona.

Temporal evolution of hypoxia and anoxia in the lake of Montcortès in relation to global warming. CGL2017-85682-R. 2018-2020

Climate change, deoxygenation, bacteria, aquatic habitat loss, paleoecology, and paleoclimate

This project investigates the gradual deoxygenation of the Montcortès lake, as a consequences of climate change, and its effects on the aquatic ecosystem and water resource. The loss of dissolved oxygen can entail a major alteration in the metabolism of the pond, with increase in the production of toxic gases (H2S, CH4). It may also favour the massive proliferation of undesirable and potentially toxic microorganisms, such as cyanobacteria. On the other hand, the expansion of the volume of hypoxic water could damage a large part of the aquatic habitat currently available for the higher species, including protected species. The study period covers from 1700 to the present.  With the results that we obtain, we hope to be able to answer to current problems and provide a framework for the management of the pond in the face of global change.

Principal Investigator: Teresa Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona

FLOODARC: Understanding long-term FLOOD pattern variability in Western Mediterranean using natural ARChives (H2020-MSCA-IF-2017). 2019-2021

Geohazards, Paleoclimate, palynology

Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Pablo Corella, Rocasolano Chemistry-Physics Institute, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

Society is becoming more vulnerable to natural climate variability. Notably, floods are among the most destructive natural hazards causing widespread loss of life, damage to infrastructure and economic deprivation. This project aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the long-term variability of hazardous (high-impact) floods at different temporal and spatial scales, by developing a high-impact flood database in Western Mediterranean. This project will contribute will enhance our current understanding of the natural variability of floods and its trace in the sedimentary record and help to address major concerns in relation to flood hazards and adaptation strategies.

Neanderthals and carnivorous: a shared story.  CLT009/18/00055. 2018-2021

Archaeology, Human Paleoecology

The main objective of this project is to explore the influence of carnivores in the development of the behavior of Neanderthal communities in two sites located in the Erinyà gorge, namely, les Llenes Cave and Tritons Cave.

Principal Investigator:   Dr. Jordi Rosell, Institut Catala de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social.

Population and life forms during the final Pleistocene and Holocene in the Eastern Pre-Pyrenees. CLT009/18/00012. 2018-2021

Archaeology, Prehistory

This project includes the excavation and study of material from sites located in the Lleida Pre-Pyrenees, between the Roca dels Bous y Cova del tabac. We analyze aspects related to the Neanderthals and modern humans, way of life, as well as the emergence of the productive economy in the eastern pre-Pyrenees.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rafael Mora Torcal. Centre d’Estudis del Patrimoni Arqueològic de la Prehistòria, Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Dynamics of the city and the territory of Aeso (Pallars Jussà) during the Iberian and Roman periods. CLT009/1800025. 2018-2021

This work seeks to investigate the Iberian Eso, the boundaries of the republican Roman city of Aeso, its organization during the Roman Empire, its impact on the territory and its drift during the late antiquity. It is the study of a community between 500 and 800 AD involving twenty-one researchers affiliated to various centres.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ignasi Garcés Estallo, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Barcelona.

Living Mountain: settlements, resources and landscapes in medieval Catalonia (4th-13th centuries). CLT009/18/00041.  2018-2021

Archaeology, History

Archaeological interventions including: the Altimiris (St. Esteve de la Sarga), St. Martí de les Tombetas (St. Esteve de la Sarga), Vilavella del Castellet (Tremp), Espluga de Segur (Pobla de Segur), Pui de St. Miquel (Pobla de Segur) and prospections within the Orígens Geopark area.

Principal Investigator: Dr Marta Sancho, Laboratori d’Arqueologia Medieval, University of Barcelona.

El Cinglo Alt:  Archaeology of the Civil War at the Pallars front. CLT009/18/00033. 2018-2021

Archaeological intervention and historical analysis focused on the study of structures and materials of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) present in Gavet de la Conca (Pallars Jussà, Lleida), specifically in Cinglo Alt in Serra de la Casilla.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Queralt Solé, University of Barcelona.

Search and characterization of exo-Earths: the road to Ariel. PGC2018-098153-B-C33, 2019 – 2021

Astronomy, AstroPhysics, Cosmology Astro

The objective of the project is to find and study Earth-like planets, measuring the properties of their atmosphere and searching for biomarkers. The project roadmap is structured around various missions or instruments in which the research group is participating: spatial missions such as CHEOPS, PLATO and ARIEL (ESA), and spectroscopy instruments such as CARMENES. The Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec Joan Oró telescope also provides scientific data for about 25 projects yearly  (50% nationally and 50% in at international level).

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ignasi Ribas. Institut d’Estudis Espacial de Catalunya.

Pyrenees La Nuit: Pyrenean strategy for protecting and improving the quality of the night environment. EFA 233/16 PLN. POCTEFA, 2014-2020

Astronomy, Light Pollution

Pyrenees La Nuit aims to improve the quality of cross-border ecosystems by protecting and improving a very specific aspect: the Natural night Darkness. The rise in light pollution implies the loss of this natural value which is at the same time a determining factor in the state of biodiversity, ecosystems and people’s health. The final and main result is the development of a strategy for the protection and improvement of the night environment quality, which also serves as a reference and roadmap for other sites or areas that aim tackling this issue.

Research Institute: NICDO – Planetarium of Pamplona. Other Project associates: Consell Comarcal de la Noguera, Gestión Ambiental de Navarra S.A., Pic du Midi, Ciel Ouvert and CPIE 65.

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