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SC16/SSS0.4

Short course: Experiments in Geosciences (co-organized)
Convener: Nikolaus J. Kuhn  | Co-Conveners: Wolfgang Fister , Phil Greenwood , Manuel Seeger , Thomas Iserloh 
Mon, 18 Apr, 10:30–12:00  / Room 2.97
Experiments have a long tradition in geosciences, ranging from long-term observations of land surface areas subject to systematic changes to all out laboratory tests in climate chambers.
Over time, three different types of experiments have emerged:
1. A true experiment in the sense of the definition, studying the interaction between components of a system, for example relationships between flow hydraulics and erosion.
2. The measurement of a grey or black box system, e.g. a plot, to changing a determining factor, such as climate or land cover.
3. The collection of data used in a numerical model to predict events on a larger temporal or spatial scale.
All three types of experiments are by nature limited in their scope. In geosciences this limitation extends beyond the control intended by the researcher over the system to the components of the system itself, for example the differences between artificial and natural rainfall in erosion experiments. This limits the use of the results generated by the experiment. Finally, many practical limitation apply to conducting experiments, both in the field as well as the laboratory.
The short course on experiments in geosciences consists of three parts: first, the theoretical background of designing an experiment are presented. In a second part, the participants sketch out an present an experiment themselves, while in the final part the scope and limitations are discussed.