Gian Battista Vai

Gian Battista Vai
University of Bologna | UNIBO · Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences BiGeA, Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini

Full Professor
G.B. Vai still works on history of geology and geology of Italy at the BiGeA dept of Bologna University

About

167
Publications
32,537
Reads
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3,387
Citations
Introduction
Stratigraphy, palaeogeography, geologic evolution of the circum-Mediterranean Palaeozoic. Standard stratigraphic principles and procedures. Evaporite facies (Messinian) and carbonate sedimentology. Palaeoseismicity. Fossil cold seeps. Carnic Alps, Northern Apennines, Tuscany, Sardinia, Calabria, Apennine, central Mediterranean geology. Pleistocene-Holocene stratigraphy and climate. History of geology, geological education, geologic hazard prevention, geosites, geoparks.
Additional affiliations
January 2002 - present
University of Bologna
Position
  • Director Capellini Geological Museum

Publications

Publications (167)
Article
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Anniversaries for the two founding fathers of geology occurring in the same year prompted a comparative evaluation of how the two contributed to establishing the basic principles of the discipline. To do so, passages from their publications, codices and manuscripts have been quoted directly. The Stenonian principles (‘original horizontality’, ‘orig...
Chapter
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Marsili's concern in correlating flat-lying, closely located rocky and earthy strata in Germany / Problema di Marsili nel correlare successioni stratificate piatte rocciose e terrose poste a breve distanza (BUB, FM, ms. 90, C, c. 94) (101 a matita) (foto Vai)
Chapter
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Aldrovandi's general printing contract 1594. General view of the Storie di Ulisse by Pellegrino Tibaldi (ca. 1550), frescoes on the ceiling of the Ulysses Hall, Accademia delle Scienze, Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Via Zamboni 31 / Visione d'insieme delle Storie di Ulisse di Pellegrino Tibaldi (intorno al 1550), con echi di Raffaello e Michelangelo nel...
Chapter
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History of the term "Geology" by Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in Bologna, and its early development in Italian Humanism, Renaissance, and early Baroque
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Paolo Scandone’s core vision about geological structure of the Apennines and their relation with adjoining seas and the Alps focused on the analysis of the intra Messinian tectonic phase and the overall chronology of the Apennine deformation applied to the Synthetic Structural-Kinematic Map of Italy 1:2.000.000 (1985-1989), the two different Apenni...
Book
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Questa guida vuole facilitare la lettura della Carta anche al fruitore interessato ma non specialista. A lui comunque sono consigliate intraprendenza e fiducia, per superare il primo impatto in un mondo nuovo, affascinante ma sconosciuto in gran parte. La guida è costituita in sostanza di due parti, precedute dalle motivazioni conoscitiva e didatti...
Article
Prehistoric archaeology had its first pioneers in France led by Boucher de Perthes (the Abbeville school), who excavated fossil bones and stone tools beginning in the late 1820s to early 1830. At about the same time a second group in Denmark led by Worsaae (the Copenhagen school) studied an archaeological interval prior to their historical record,...
Article
The lectotype of Ammonia beccarii (Linnaeus 1758) has been selected and described from Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari's original samples in order to clarify the taxonomic status of this species.
Article
Newly discovered sediment samples, manuscripts, and articles from the early eighteenth century, concerning the species we know today as Ammonia beccarii (Linnaeus), provide a good example of what is possibly the first micropaleontological analysis in the history of Earth Sciences. This was performed by Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari on fossil foraminife...
Article
Cimatti's Museum at Chofu, Japan, keeps a geological collection assembled by the Italian Roman Catholic priest Vuicenzo Cimatti (1879-1965), who spent the last forty years of his life in Japan, active as teacher and missionary. After graduation in both natural sciences (1903) and philosophy (1907), he was professor at the Valsalice Lyceum in Turin,...
Book
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Many crono-events of a scientist’s life may be useful to set in a wider frame his works. I tried to read all Selli’s articles, monographs, edited books in a continuous time sequence, placing them in the context where and when they have been produced. The most relevant require careful selection, basic characterization by priorities, innovation, and...
Article
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Did the Mediterranean ever become a desert during Messinian or was it a huge hyperhaline water body? According to Selli, the introduction of the concept and name of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in 1954, the second hypothesis was correct, but he did not succeed in preventing the rapid growth of popularity of the first hypothesis, triggered by the D...
Article
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C'è sempre stato, ricorrente, un connubio potenziale fra arte e scienza, ma quello fra pittura e geologia si è rivelato tanto efficace e fecondo durante il Rinascimento italiano da portare alla nascita stessa della parola geologia nel testamento olografo di Ulisse Aldrovandi nel 1603. Ne viene segnalata una prova esemplare nell'arredo pittorico di...
Article
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Improvements in the knowledge of Middle to Late Pleistocene terrestrial stratigraphy in the Romagna and Emilia Apennine foothills and new studies on the underlying marine yellow sand deposits have led to reconsider the taxonomy of a fossil bison neurocranium found in the “Sabbie gialle” layers of the Salita di Oriolo quarry, near Faenza in the late...
Article
Full-text available
Did the Mediterranean ever become a desert during Messinian or was it a huge hyperhaline water body? According to Selli, the introduction of the concept and name of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in 1954, the second hypothesis was correct, but he did not succeed in preventing the rapid growth of popularity of the first hypothesis, triggered by the D...
Article
Full-text available
We report new data regarding the environmental history of the Taranto Area since MIS 11, which possibly led to the peculiar sediment preservation characterizing the Fronte Section. This section is a very promising candidate for the Upper Pleistocene GSSP. Some preliminary results achieved after the multiple core drilling at the Fronte locality (Tar...
Article
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Although the popular map by William Smith “A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with Part of Scotland” is properly celebrated as the first complete geological map of an entire country, the basic principles used by the famous English canal surveyor were epistemologically founded and utilized by the Italian Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsili...
Article
We present new data collected at the Fronte composite section near Taranto, where the Upper Pleistocene marine sedimentary succession is continuously exposed. Above a fossiliferous calcarenite yielding the “Senegalese” fauna, and abundant Cladocora, the 230Th/U age of which is consistent with Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5, a 6.25 m thick pelitic uni...
Article
The Fronte Section, a well-exposed stratigraphic succession from southern Italy (Taranto area), provides an uninterrupted marine sedimentary record of MIS 5e. At this location, a highly expanded (8.5 m thick) stratigraphic succession, unconformably overlying Middle Pleistocene marine clay deposits, provides evidence for sea-level fluctuations durin...
Data
Litho-palaeoenvironmental Map of Italy during the Last Glacial Maximum (22 ±2 ka cal BP) scale 1: ,000,000 Data: bed rocks; glaciers; loess; vertebrates; Ostracods; lakes; vegetation; Po plain; marine bathymetry; shore lines; Alpine foothills; sea surface temperature; archeology and active faults
Data
Litho-palaeoenvironmental Map of Italy during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (8 ±1 ka cal BP) average surface air temperature of about 2°C higher than today; scale 1: ,000,000. Data: bed rocks; glaciers; loess; vertebrates; Ostracods; lakes; vegetation; Po plain; marine bathymetry; shore lines; Alpine foothills; sea surface temperature; archeology a...
Data
Full-text available
Litho-palaeoenvironmental Map of Italy during the Last Glacial Maximum (22 ±2 ka cal BP) average air temperature of about 4.5 °C lower than today. 1:1,000,000 scale. Data: bed rocks; glaciers; loess; vertebrates; Ostracods; lakes; vegetation; Po plain; marine bathymetry; shore lines; Alpine foothills; sea surface temeprature; archeology and active...
Chapter
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We present the results of detailed litho-, bio-, and magnetostratigraphic investigations along the Fronte section (Taranto, Italy), where the facies distribution is interpreted using a combined palaeoecological and sequence-stratigraphic approach. The data obtained so far suggest a continuous sedimentary record at the Fronte site, where the MIS 5e...
Chapter
We present the key features of the Valle di Manche section (Calabria, southern Italy) and discuss the pros and cons of this stratigraphic succession as a candidate section for the GSSP of the Ionian Stage (Middle Pleistocene Subseries).
Article
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We report few vertebrate remains from the Middle-Upper Pleistocene continental deposits of the Zannona quarry (Faenza, Italy), including two incomplete upper dental series of Stephanorhinus hemitoechus, a frontal with antlers of a cervid, and a fragmentary left scapula of an equid. This material provides additional information on the poorly known t...
Article
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The Russian diploma was found in the archive of Giovanni Capellini in Italy. The Italian geologist was decorated with the Russian Order of Saint Stanislaus (2nd class) to recognize his merits in international geological cooperation. G. Capellini had close relations with Russian institutions and geoscientists, and was elected as a honorary member of...
Article
Here we present the results of an integrated stratigraphic study performed in the Taranto area for the definition of the Tarentian stage for the Upper Pleistocene.
Conference Paper
Steno's life was punctuated by two conversions: (1) from anatomy and medicine to geology, and (2) from Lutheran to Roman Catholic confession. Why was Steno (1638-1686) motivated to solve geological problems soon after he entered the Tuscan region of Italy? Was there any link between his scientific conversion and the religious one, which occurred al...
Article
The stratigraphical approach and geological mapping of William Smith in England and Georges Cuvier in France gave birth to modern geology. However, before 1815 neither used the word 'geology', a term first coined by Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603. At the turn of the nineteenth century most leading geoscientists were based in France and Germany, but thos...
Article
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The name Calabrian was introduced in the geological liter-ature by the French stratigrapher Maurice Gignoux in 1910, and later described in his important monograph (633 pages) "Les formations marines pliocènes et quaternaires de l'Italie du sud et de la Sicile" published in 1913. Detailed data were provided on several sections (Santa Maria di Catan...
Article
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Palaeogeographic studies on western Romagna plain focus on the location of the ancient pattern of Santerno river, that nowadays joins Reno river before reaching the Adriatic sea near Ravenna. Several authors agree on locating this river in an eastern position during Roman Age and suggest an overlap of Santerno and Senio rivers in the Cotignola floo...
Article
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The Italian Commission on Stratigraphy of the SGI is seeking for a marine section suitable for defining the Upper Pleistocene GSSP. This Series has been usually identified with the Tyrrhenian Stage which in the wake of formalization received different meaning from stratigraphers and geomorphologits. Hence, the proposal of a new Upper Pleistocene St...
Article
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The proposal of using the Calabrian Stage to indicate the Lower Pleistocene has been accepted by international community of Quaternary scientists: The base of this stage is coincident with the GSSP in the Vrica section in Calabria, almost coincident with the top of Olduvai paleomagnetic event at 1.81 M.y. B.P. The top of the Calabrian Stage is conv...
Article
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Transfer of sediments from shallow shelf to basin usually implies vertical (stratigraphic) reworking of fossils, but in a few instances produces only lateral reworking (actually within the time span of a subzone). An Upper Devonian (Frasnian) pelagic carbonate sequence with allodapic intercalations and thick intraclast parabreccias triggered by sei...
Article
Primary sedimentary structures combined with the geometry of Devonian and Lower Palaeozoic lithosomes in the Southern Alps (Austria and Italy) suggest many doubts about the published environmental and bathymetric interpretation of some Lower to Middle Devonian pelagic nodular limestones as ‘deep-water’ abyssal deposits. Every graded bed is not nece...
Article
The Société Géologique de France (SGF) and the Geological Society of London (GSL) played an important role in fostering a foundation of the Società Geologica Italiana (SGI) which was delayed to the 1880s by the late origin and consolidation of Italy as a national state. A critical mass of Italian geologists was present much earlier operative within...
Article
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Chronostratigraphy has a "prehistory" beginning with Leonardo's and Steno's twofold relative geologic time division. It developed further with Marsili's (1728), Lehmann's (1756), Arduino's (1759-60) and Werner's (1787) threefold, fourfold, and fivefold divisions respectively. Meanwhile, the initial steps were being taken in understanding Earth's ch...
Article
The Messinian Vena del Gesso Basin in the Northern Apennines is filled by very thick (up to 35 m) beds of coarse crystalline gypsum (selenite) associated with thinner carbonate and shaly (euxinic) intercalations. The conventional Usiglio model of salt fractionation does not apply to this evaporitic sequence for the following reasons: carbonate whic...
Article
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The need to standardise stratigraphical subdivisions of continuous marine sedimentary successions that out-crop for hundreds metres, using clearly defined points fixed in the field is strongly felt. A proposal is presented here to formalize regional stages for the Lower Pleisto-cene (Calabrian) and for the Middle Pleistocene (Ion-ian) in Italy. The...
Article
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We describe a new palaeobotanical site at Bubano quarry on the easternmost Po plain, northern Italy. Pollen and macrofossils from river and marsh sediments demonstrate the occurrence of Picea in a Pinus sylvestris forest growing in a radius of some tens of kilometres south of the sedimentation place, at the beginning of the Late-glacial interstadia...
Article
Data supporting relevant Late Cretaceous–Early Eocene sinistral displacement along the Giudicarie fault zone and a minor Neogene dextral displacement along the Periadriatic lineament are discussed. The pre-Adamello structural belt is present only in the internal Lombardy zone, located W of the Adamello massif. This belt is unknown in the Dolomites...
Book
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Cited By (since 1996): 3, Export Date: 4 January 2013, Source: Scopus
Chapter
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The Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) - often reductively considered as a mere encyclopedist and avid collector of natural history curiosities - lived an adventurous youth and a long maturity rich of manuscripts, books, and outstanding achievements. He assembled the largest collections of animals, plants, minerals, and fossil remains...
Chapter
The polymath Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (1658-1730) is generally regarded as the founder of scientific oceanography and marine geology. He also founded the renowned Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna in 1711 (a successor to the Florentine Accademia del Cimento). Marsili's major scientific concern and unfulfilled ambition was a Treatise on the Structur...
Article
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The world geological community owes the 2nd Interna- tional Geological Congress (IGC) Bologna 1881 (i) the establishment of a common disciplinary language; (ii) agreement on the basic chronostratigraphical and chrono- logical classification and nomenclature; (iii) agreement on the basic principles for naming the fossil organisms fol- lowing the bin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Litho-palaeoenvironmental Map of Italy during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (8 ± 1 ka cal BP) scale 1: 1,000,000. Data: bed rocks; glaciers; loess; vertebrates; Ostracods; lakes; vegetation; Po plain; marine bathymetry; shore lines; Alpine foothills; sea surface temperature; archeology and active faults
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Litho-palaeoenvironmental Map of Italy during the Last Glacial Maximum (22 ±2 ka cal BP). scale 1: 1,000,000 Data: bed rocks; glaciers; loess; vertebrates; Ostracods; lakes; vegetation; Po plain; marine bathymetry; shore lines; Alpine foothills; sea surface temperature; archeology and active faults