Side Events
Disciplinary Sessions
Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions

Session programme


GM – Geomorphology

Programme group chairs: Peter van der Beek, Marco Van De Wiel, Joanna Nield, Taylor Schildgen, Kristen Cook, Arjen Stroeven, Daniel Parsons

GM6 – Human - Landscape interaction


Geodiversity is an interest for all geosciences, where the natural environment for our science is recorded and assessed. Geoheritage is the appreciation, valuation, and sustainable exploitation of part of this geodiversity for the good of the environment, for society and for science. Geodiversity and geoheritage provide essential links to other disciplines in the natural and social sciences, and they give geosciences a voice to the greater public and to local to global governance.
The EGU geodiversity and geoheritage session has been a large and vibrant meeting spot for a large diverse assemblage of geoscientists and stakeholders for over 5 years, growing with the increasing appreciation of the central role these topics have.
This EGU 2019 session aims to highlight the hottest issues and challenges pending or emerging, as well as inviting a broad range of topics, to engage in a far reaching discussion. As in previous years, we will hold a Splinter Meeting to further discuss hot topics, and will animate the poster session with a special picnic session.

Five main themes to tackle have been identified for 2019:

1) Society, climate change and geodiversity: the problems related to economic and environmental dynamics affecting geodiversity under changing climate and global development conditions. This topic has implications for and links to the IUGS RFG (Resourcing Future Generations) initiative and is a central theme for UNESCO Global Geoparks and World Heritage, and concerns also the management of all types of natural risk.

2) Geo- to ecosystem services and geoheritage: this follows from the first theme in exploring the possibility of developing a holistic and integrated approach to geodiversity, by considering geosystem services, in a perspective of sustainable management of geoheritage to the benefit of the whole environment.

3) Geodiversity, geosites and geoheritage assessments at multiple spatial scales: integrating data from global to local: the present lack of integration between global, regional and local geological and geomorphological data can limit the validity of geodiversity assessment and prevent its applicability for enhancement and protection of geoheritage. This subject relates to practical issues on different spatial scales for geodiversity immediately applicable to the protection of geodiversity, geoheritage and has links with the problems raised in the first two themes.

4) Virtual and Augmented Reality and Geoheritage: the strong innovation potential for this research field due to enhanced application of geoinformation technologies (GIS and Semantic Web). This use of global platforms, such as Google Earth, to outcrops scale augmented reality is a powerful research and educational tool that is developing fast. This theme will draw together demonstrations of the ongoing development of such techniques and their practical implementation into geodiversity and geoheritage sites.

5) Towards a fruitful integration/collaboration of international designations; this is a topic that we invite discussion about, and which is being hotly discussed between the major geoscience unions, associations, programmes and global instances like the UNESCO’s International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme and Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the IUGS International Geoheritage Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, especially through the Geoheritage Specialist Group/WCPA. It will form a subject of the Splinter Meeting, where these major unions will be open to discuss the theme.

Geodiversity and Geoheritage attract a broad range of people from all sides of geosciences and therefore we invite all this diversity to participate in the session.

The session is co-sponsored by the Working Group on Geomorphosites and the Working Group on Landform Assessment for Geodiversity of the International Association of Geomorphologists; ProGEO, the European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage; the IUGS International Commission on Geoheritage; the Geoheritage Specialist Group of the World Commission on Protected Areas of the International Union of Conservation of Nature, the International Lithosphere Program, and the IAVCEI Commission on Volcanic Geoheritage and Protected Volcanic Landscape.
The session is closely linked to the those of Geoheritage Stones, and to Volcano Resources.

Co-organized as GM6.1/ERE7.4/GMPV7.15/SSS13.29
Convener: Marco Giardino | Co-conveners: Paola Coratza, Alicja Najwer, Karoly Nemeth, Benjamin van Wyk de Vries
| Thu, 11 Apr, 14:00–18:00
Room N1
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Hall X2

The originality of the session is to emphasize on the central position of human activities in environmental research (both terrestrial and atmospheric), as a driving factor and/or a response, by combining different spatio-temporal scales.
Continental environments (under various climatic conditions) experience profound societal and physical changes, which prompt scientists to investigate the complex interactions between environmental functioning and human activities.
The complexity originates from the multiplicity of factors involved and resulting spatial and temporal variabilities, of their multiple origins in time (historical integration) and/or legacy.
As a consequence, causal links in this societal-environmental relationship are difficult to establish but, it is fundamental to understand these causal links to adapt, conserve, protect, preserve and restore the functioning of the environment as well as human activities. From this point of view, the geographical approach highlights the relationships (or their absence) through the expression of the spatial and temporal trajectories of the processes studied by clarifying the observation of signals.
The ensuing issues on the relevance of indicators used in different supports of nowadays research (imagery, archives, models ...) are raised as a methodological open up.
In this context, oral and poster presentations dealing with any studies related to the following issue(s) are welcome:
- human forcing on the environments and environmental resilience
- response of socio-systems to environmental changes
- scenarios, prospective and retrospective models of the evolution of environments and human activities
- management modes (adaptive management) of anthropised continental environments, reciprocity, mutual benefits (ecosystem services), positive feedback

The session may include the following methodological aspects:
- in situ metrology,
- statistical and numerical modeling,
- spatio-temporal analysis,
- remote Sensing,
- surveys,
- landscape analysis,
- paleoenvironmental approach,
at various scales:
- spatial scales, from the station and site through watershed,
- time scales from the event to the Holocene.

Co-organized as GM6.2/BG1.46/CL2.28/ERE8.8/GI1.9/NH9.28/SSS13.27
Convener: Armelle Decaulne | Co-conveners: Anne-Julia Rollet, Olivier Planchon, Thorsteinn Saemundsson, Etienne Cossart
| Wed, 10 Apr, 10:45–12:30
Room N1
| Attendance Wed, 10 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Hall X2
GM6.3 Media

Documenting the diversity of human responses and adaptations to climate, landscapes, ecosystems, natural disasters and the changing natural resources availability in different regions of our planet, cross-disciplinary studies in Geoarchaeology provide valuable opportunities to learn from the past. Furthermore, human activity became a major player of global climatic and environmental change in the course of the late Quaternary, during the Anthropocene. Consequently, we must better understand the archaeological records and landscapes in context of human culture and the hydroclimate-environment nexus at different spatial and temporal scales. This session seeks related interdisciplinary papers and specific geoarchaeological case-studies that deploy various approaches and tools to address the reconstruction of former human-environmental interactions from the Palaeolithic period through the modern. Topics related to records of the Anthropocene from Earth and archaeological science perspectives are welcome. Furthermore, contributions may include (but are not limited to) insights about how people have coped with environmental disasters or abrupt changes in the past; defining sustainability thresholds for farming or resource exploitation; distinguishing the baseline natural and human contributions to environmental changes. Ultimately, we would like to understand how strategies of human resilience and innovation can inform our modern strategies for addressing the challenges of the emerging Anthropocene, a time frame dominated by human modulation of surface geomorphological processes and hydroclimate.

Co-organized as CL1.16/NH9.27
Convener: Andrea Zerboni | Co-conveners: André Kirchner, Kathleen Nicoll, Julia Meister, Hans von Suchodoletz
| Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Room G2
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X2
ITS5.2/OS4.13/EOS10.2/BG3.18/GM6.6/HS11.63 Media

Plastic contamination has been reported in all realms of the environment from the tropics to the polar oceans. The consequences of this contamination may be severe for ecosystems and could adversely affect ecosystem services such as fisheries and even human health. Our poor knowledge of plastics sources, their composition, sizes, pathways, hot spots of accumulation and ultimate fate prevents an assessment of environmental risks and the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. In order to understand current distributions of plastics and the way they evolve in space and time, much better observations and common consistent measuring methods are required but simultaneously, observations must be combined with computational models from their sources on land to rivers, estuaries, oceans and sea ice. This requires improved standardized accurate observations and the development of advanced modelling capabilities to quantify and predict contamination levels.

The session aims to set up a forum for multi-disciplinary discussions to create a global picture of plastic contamination in the environment and to suggest approaches for future research, monitoring and mitigation of plastic pollutions impacts. The session will provide a framework to advise legislators and industry on the best ways to reduce the risks of serious damage from this contaminant.

This session will draw together data on plastic contamination across all sizes of plastics, from nano- and micro-plastics to large plastic fragments, and across all environments and locations. It will combine observations with state-of-the-art computational modelling to promote the fast advance of research and improve our understanding of how plastic pollution affects environments worldwide. We invite contributions on new methods and field observations, laboratory experiments, novel modelling approaches, related scientific initiatives and projects. New ideas for citizen-science involvement and for mitigation strategies to reduce plastic contamination of the environment are especially welcome.

Invited speaker: Prof. Dr. Erik van Sebille

Co-organized as OS4.13/EOS10.2/BG3.18/GM6.6/HS11.63
Convener: Jörg-Olaf Wolff | Co-conveners: Richard Lampitt, Simon Dixon, Jessica Hickie, Alice Horton, Ilka Peeken, Anna Rubio, Stefanie Rynders
| Mon, 08 Apr, 08:30–12:30
Room N1
| Attendance Mon, 08 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Hall X4
ITS5.1/SSP2.1/CL3.01/GM6.7/SSS13.32 Media

The Anthropocene is a topic of broad and current interest that is being discussed across various disciplines, within Earth Sciences, but also in the humanities and in the media. Its significance and usefulness as the youngest epoch of the Geological Time Scale is examined by the Working Group of the Anthropocene of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, part of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. A multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach for investigating and discussing the Anthropocene is feasible, including not only various Earth Sciences disciplines such as stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochemistry and palaeontology, but also archaeology, geography, geomorphology and various disciplines of the humanities and the arts. This session invites transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions on the significance, usefulness and application of the term, as well as case studies including proposals on possible GSSPs (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point) for a definition of the Anthropocene as part of the Geological Time Scale. The session will foster transdisciplinary dialogue and interdisciplinary cooperation and understanding on the scale and reach of anthropogenic changes within the Earth System.

Co-organized as SSP2.1/CL3.01/GM6.7/SSS13.32
Convener: Michael Wagreich | Co-conveners: Katrin Hornek, Kira Lappé, Colin N. Waters, Jan Zalasiewicz
| Wed, 10 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Room N1
| Attendance Wed, 10 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X1
SSP1.3 Media

What role did climate dynamics play in human evolution, the dispersal of Homo sapiens within and beyond the African continent, and key cultural innovations? Were dry spells, stable humid conditions, or rapid climate fluctuations the main driver of human evolution and migration? In order to evaluate the impact that different timescales and magnitudes of climatic shifts might have had on the living conditions of prehistoric humans, we need reliable and continuous reconstructions of paleoenvironmental conditions and fluctuations from the vicinity of paleoanthropological and archaeological sites. The search for the environmental context of human evolution and mobility crucially depends on the interpretation of paleoclimate archives from outcrop geology, lacustrine and marine sediments. Linking archeological data to paleoenvironmental reconstructions and models becomes increasingly important.

As a contribution towards a better understanding of these human-climate interactions the conveners encourage submission of abstracts on their project’s research on (geo)archaeology, paleoecology, paleoclimate, stratigraphy, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. We especially welcome contributions offering new methods for dealing with difficult archive conditions and dating challenges. We hope this session will appeal to a broad audience by highlighting the latest research on paleoenvironmental reconstructions in the vicinity of key sites of human evolution, showcasing a wide variety of analytical methods, and encouraging collaboration between different research groups. Conceptual models, modelling results and model-data comparisons are warmly welcomed, as collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

Prof. Dr. Daniel M. Deocampo (Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta) will talk on 'Silicate diagenesis and environmental change in eastern Africa: Examples from key hominin localities'.

Dr. Alice Leplongeon (Institute of Advanced Studies & Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna) will talk about how technological variability, environmental change, and human dispersals may be linked, particularly in the Late Pleistocene in eastern Africa, north-eastern Africa and the Levant.

Co-organized as CL1.27/GM6.8
Convener: Verena E. Foerster | Co-conveners: Annett Junginger, Nicole Klasen, Frank Schäbitz, Christian Zeeden
| Fri, 12 Apr, 10:45–12:30
Room -2.32
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X1