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„Blank spots“ on the map – Research cooperation on mining landscapes

„Weiße Flecken“ auf der Landkarte – Forschungskooperation für Bergbaulandschaften (Foto: F. Ossing, GFZ)

04.07.2017: In cartography, each type of landscape is assigned to a symbol. Like this, woodlands, settlements, or swamplands for example are easily identified. The new research cluster „Signaturen stark gestörter Landschaften – am Fallbeispiel von Bergbaulandschaften“ at the Zentrum für Nachhaltige Landschaftsentwicklung (ZfNL) at the Brandenburgisch Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg BTU assumes that there are still „blank spots“ on the map: Mining landscapes and other heavily disturbed landscapes. Within the next three years the cluster, with the participation of the GFZ, aims at investigating the characteristics of these landscapes and at establishing a specific symbol for cartography.

Symbols stand for specific characteristics of landscapes. The new research cooperation aims at defining the characteristics of a “mining symbol” as well as the underlying ecosystem functions. Thereby the scientists expect to gain insights in optimized recultivation measures forthese anthropogenically overprinted landscapes.

Special emphasis is on the carbon balance of mining landscapes, from the water to the land. This is based on the assumption that the exchange of carbon in disturbed landscape, for example from soil to the atmosphere, is changing due to changes in metabolic processes. To test this hypothesis, the BTU as the project leader works together with the GFZ, and the Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB) in Berlin. The research project includes research positions for five PhD students at the three institutes. (ak)

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