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Jo Hilaire Agnes De Waele

Full Professor

Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Academic discipline: GEO/04 Physical Geography and Geomorphology


Keywords: Karst geomorphology geomorphological heritage hydrology palaeoclimate

The main research topics include geomorphology, hydrogeology and environmental geology in karst and coastal areas, especially in Sardinia but also in other geographical areas (Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia, Chile, ...). Among the most interesting studies we can mention those on geological and geomorphological heritage (geosites and geomorphosites), coasta (beach erosion, coastal geomorphology), the description of karst areas (surface and underground), minerogenesis in caves, environmental impact on karst areas (show caves, impact of various human activities on karst) and the study of the evolution of the landscape and on speleogenesis.

In the past years researches have been developed especially in Sardinia, but also in other coutries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Chile and Zambia, almost always in karst areas. For what concerns karst geomorphology studies have been carried out on sardinian coastal karst areas (Gulf of Orosei, Nurra Alghero) in in dismissed mining areas of Iglesiente-Sulcis. In coastal karst areas the submarine caves and the springs are of peculiar interest. In the Iglesiente mining district karst areas the so-called "mine caves" have been investigated and the subterranean morphologies related to more or less remote and more or less hyperkarstic processes have been studied. In these mines and caves peculiar minerals have also been discovered and studied. At the moment palaeoclimatic and paleoenvironmental studies are in course in coastal karst areas and in the mine caves using speleothems, sediments and chemical deposits, in order to reconstruct past climatic and environmental situations during their deposition. Another very interesting field of research is related to the geological heritage. Already since a few years researches have been carried out in Sardinia and in north african countries (Moroccon Middle Atlas, South West Tunisia). For what concerns environmental geology studies have been performed in mining areas of Sardinia and urban settlements as that of Lusaka in Zambia. A special referece is made to the geo-environmentla montoring of wild and show caves. The hydrogeological investigations have been carried out on important karst aquifers of Sardinia, especially Supramonte and the Gulf of Orosei. Here many tracer experiments are allowing to define in an increasing detail the underground drainage network.

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