Neptune project started March 30th 2020 in the framework of INQUA CMP commission (https://www.inqua.org/commissions/cmp) activities for the purpose of creating an interdisciplinary working group of young scientists aimed to develop multidisciplinary techniques to analyse and reconstruct past landscapes, presently submerged due to the postglacial sea-level rise.
Special attention is paid to the technological content, considering that the recent technological innovation applied to geo-acoustic and remote sensing methods opened numerous new possibilities of high-resolution mapping of wide coastal areas, seabed morphologies and underwater archaeological structures. The project is placed in the context of regional and local scale studies on coastal landscape changes over the last 12 millennia, by reconstructing submerged landscapes both on- and offshore, from the nearshore zone to the continental shelf. Such information is crucial to assess the potential impact of relative sea-level rise and to prepare the adaptation of coastal communities threatened by the changing climate. We focus our attention on the Mediterranean basin, but we welcome researchers working in other geographic areas to provide a broader perspective on the open questions. In this project, we would to create a new platform to establish interdisciplinary trans-Mediterranean scientific collaborations between experts in archaeology, coastal geomorphology and geoarchaeology, as well as experts in marine surveying in order to provide an optimal integration among geological, archaeological and modelling methods.
The aims of NEPTUNE are to propose: i) a multidisciplinary approach to underwater paleo-landscape reconstruction by means of innovative technologies integrated with well-established methods; ii) a methodological protocol for optimal high-resolution surveying suited to different bathymetric ranges, often corresponding to different time scales.