Estonian Research Projects
Project Leader: Olle Hints
Deep-time climate reconstructions help to understand the functioning of the Earth systems and provide insights into the effects of climate changes on the biosphere. This project explores how the Earth transferred from extreme greenhouse climate to icehouse conditions during the Ordovician (443-487 My ago) and how this influenced the diversification of marine life in the Baltica palaeocontinent. We reconstruct regional palaeotemperature trends using oxygen isotope records from conodont phosphate and carbonate rocks, clumped isotope thermometry and sedimentological evidence based on well-preserved archives from the East Baltic. Combining paleotemperature trends with other proxy indicators and biodiversity dynamics of selected fossil groups allows testing the links between climate change and regional biotic turnovers in different ecospaces. The project will advance component-based and in-situ analytical techniques and provide new information on the mineral resources of Estonia.
Project Leader: Ursula Toom
Trace fossils (ichnofossils) are often the only evidence of ancient life representing the behaviour of long-extinct organisms and being valuable indicators of past environments. Bioeroding organisms can break down hard materials, their activity and diversity is recorded in sedimentary rocks as bioerosional trace fossils. These are especially widespread in shallow marine carbonate environments. It has been proposed that the Baltic region was probably the birthplace of bioerosion. Recent studies suggest that the association of bioeroding organisms was much more diverse than has been formally described. The proposed study aims to document and analyse the emergence and evolution of bioerosional behaviour on Baltica through the early Palaeozoic times, and link the changes with the evolution of body fossils and environments of the Baltic basin. The project will utilise large geological collections of Estonia and novel study techniques, including non-destructive 3D X-ray computed tomography.
Project Leader: Siim Veski
The climate is projected to change, with an especially high temperature rise expected for high latitudes. Terrestrial vegetation provides resources and habitat for other members of the ecosystem and any time-lags in vegetation response to climate change can potentially lead to severe losses of biodiversity. This project will use an inter-disciplinary approach combining state-of-the-art palaeoecological proxy-based reconstructions of past vegetation composition and independently determined climate dynamics with dynamic vegetation modelling, to identify the effects of natural biological processes (migration, competition) and abiotic factors (climate, nutrient availability, disturbance) in creating time-lags in vegetation dynamics during the late- and post-glacial time in Northern Europe. The results will enable us to assess the importance of individual factors and their interactions for species response to a changing climate forming a scientifically sound basis for future predictions.
Project Leader: Veiko Karu
ADMA3 promotes training of PhD students in academia and industry in the EIT RM field of Sustainable discovery and supply of mineral resources. It tackles challenges in mining industry caused by e.g., energy transition and climate change mitigation. ADMA3 educates experts to industry and academia, gives models and skills to establish enterprises, and helps to foster sustainable development (SD) and businesses, think up innovations, and handle ethics related problem-solving.
Project Leader: Veiko Karu
New environmental, economic and societal requirements in the EU’s transition to a low-carbon and digital economy call for innovative methods, technologies and techniques to be developed and applied in mineral exploration. To unlock the CRM potential in Europe, AGEMERA will conduct local state-of-art geological and geophysical surveys over a total of ~4,700 km2 in order to detailly map CRM resources in 6 EU countries and 1 third country (Zambia). The geophysical field trial surveys will demonstrate three novel non-invasive survey methods (at up to a TRL5) based on remote sensing and related data analysis: 1) passive seismic methods, 2) multi-sensing drone system combining magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic sensing, and 3) muon-based multidetector density detection system. The project will use data from open-access databases (e.g., European Geological Data Infrastructure, EGDI), the data collected from the field by project geoscientists, and various geophysical survey methods to refine and improve the genetic mineral system models of the various deposit types known to contain lithium, cobalt, molybdenum, vanadium, PGMs, niobium, tantalum, bauxite and REE. The project will introduce the existing guidance for the application of UNFC for mineral resources to the partner countries through stakeholders, courses and public events. The project will survey citizens in the project countries, create a CRM educational package targeting schools and universities, publish an online CRM serious game, organise public events, as well as online news flashes, with the aim to reach 5,000,000 citizens by 2030. The project will create an open-access SoftGIS analysis and database on people’s social, cultural, environmental and economic concerns related to mining and mineral exploration. These data enable the creation of socio-economic potential maps to be used in parallel with the geological potential maps, consequently ensuring a basis for socially accepted and sustainable exploration and mining.
Project Leader: Alla Shogenova
The overarching goal of CCUS ZEN is the accelerated deployment of CCUS throughout Europe, which will be achieved by:
• Sharing knowledge and disseminating information important for stakeholders to make informed decisions on CCUS;
• Developing specific and actionable plans for the development of CCUS value chains.
As CCUS developments around the North Sea (NS) region are relatively mature, CCUS ZEN will leverage these developments as best practices for the development of new CCUS value chains in the currently underdeveloped Baltic Sea (BS) and the Mediterranean Sea (MS) Regions. While CCUS value chains, i.e., the entire pathway from CO2 capture to transport to its eventual storage or utilization, can today be realized, the industry is still in its infancy and many issues must be addressed to achieve the rapid deployment required.
The consortium, consisting of 15 partners, including 2 associations with over 400 members in total, brings together entities with leading expertise on all aspects of CCUS value chains. 40 organisations, representing industry, RTOs, associations, clusters, ports and municipalities involved in the development and deployment of CCUS value chains, will contribute their expertise as networking partners. Starting from an analysis of the technical and non-technical state-of-play in the BS and MS regions, CCUS ZEN will select at least eight value chains (four in each region) for detailed study and comparison with successful value chains from the NS region. One value chain from each analysed region will then be selected as most promising, with a detailed plan for further development.
Through its knowledge-sharing activities and transfer of best practices from the NS region, CCUS ZEN will provide an information basis for the future CCUS value chains, including policy recommendations and a blueprint for CCUS value chain development, including easily accessible technology and CO2 source mapping, generic technical frameworks and business plan models.
Project Leader: Veiko Karu
More about the project: https://www.ris-internship.eu/
Overall objective of the project is to implement a Sustainable and structured RIS Internship Programme for East European (RIS) and EIT-RM- labelled MSc students, thus increasing students' entrepreneurial and business skills, broadening the University-Business Cooperation activities in the RIS region, boosting the employment of the RM graduates within the hosting organizations and leveraging the regional brain drain.
RIS Internship programme runs as an approved EIT RM KAVA project from the 1st of January 2022 until the end of 2024. The territorial coverage includes the initial pilot region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia) and the newcoming East European RIS countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Other RIS countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy (southern part), Ukraine, Turkey and Cyprus are eligible as well.
Project Leader: Rein Vaikmäe
EU-PolarNet 2 will provide a coordination platform to co-develop strategies to advance the European Polar Research action and its contribution to the policy-making processes. It will operate as such a platform for the 4-years of the project´s lifetime. Once EU-PolarNet 2 ends, the gained experience, the established network and the developed tools to facilitate better coordination and co-design of Polar research actions will be transferred to the European Polar Coordination Office to be sustained.
Participants from the Department of Geology: Rein Vaikmäe ja Enn Kaup.
Projekti juht: Rein Vaikmäe
Under the new IAEA 4-years IAEA Technical Cooperation project RER7013, 38 institutions from 27 countries in the Europe and Central Asia region grouped together into 7 case studies with different geographic and thematic focuses to enhance cooperation in the field of water and isotope hydrology in the region, support the development of new technical capacities and competencies, as well as help clarify persisting issues in the region related to the sustainable management of transboundary water resources.
These case studies cover several regional and transboundary problems, including the impact of climate change on karst aquifers and groundwater/surface water interactions in the Western Balkans, investigating groundwater nitrate contamination in Eastern Europe and Caucuses, reviewing the vulnerability of stratified transboundary aquifers to over-abstraction and pollution, as well as contamination problems of selected Europe’s coastal aquifers.
Project Leader: Erik Väli
The state and regional developers are seeking opportunities for the utilization and sustainable development of underground excavated areas. The development of a circular economy for mining waste and the reduction of environmental impact are also important. Finding safe solutions and reuse options for previously mined areas, which have been quasi-stable, is crucial for the state's environmental management activities. This project aims to systematise and update sector-specific information.