The Anthropocene Surge

Photo of the Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) in Vienna, shot upwards from below ground level, heaps of dirt and some tools on the ground indicate that excavation works are in progress

Evolution, Expansion and Depth of Vienna’s urban Environment


Principal Investigators:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Wagreich (University of Vienna)
Katrin Hornek (University for Applied Arts, Vienna)

MMag. Kira Lappé
Maria Meszar, MSc

Funding: WWTF, 01/2018 - 12/2021 (Vienna Science and Technology Fund ESR17-040)

Cooperations with:
Christine Jawecki (Vienna Municipal Department MA29, Bridge Construction and Foundation Engineering)
Martin Mosser (Vienna Urban Archaeology)
Clemens Porpazcy (Austrian Geological Survey)
PD Dr. Erich Draganits (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)

This interdisciplinary research project funded by the WWTF (Vienna Science and Technology Fund) aims to explore the growth of the Anthropocene signal in the urban environments of Vienna. The Anthropocene Surge refers to the accelerating growth of urban deposits under cities such as Vienna from pre-historic and historic to recent times, caused by a combination of human and geological forces. Combining natural sciences, social sciences and art within this project, it is regarded as a unique chance for a holistic view on the Anthropocene and its stratigraphy.

The main methods are sedimentology and geochemistry, i.e. trace metal enrichment of urban anthropogenic strata, and stratigraphic methods. Animations and an essay film will accompany the research and digitization process of Vienna’s multilayered underground which aims to re-frame natural and human induced shaping-forces causing social and geological environments to materialize in forms and recording the scientific flow of material from strata to data.

 Related Material