Open session on stratigraphy, sedimentology and palaeontology (sponsored by IAS)
This PICO session offers stratigraphers, sedimentologists and palaeontologists an opportunity to present papers that do not fall within research areas covered by this year's special themes. The PICO format provides the maximum opportunity to present research on diverse themes to the widest possible audience.
Achievements and perspectives in scientific ocean and continental drilling
Scientific drilling through the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) continues to provide unique opportunities to investigate the workings of the interior of our planet, Earth’s cycles, natural hazards and the distribution of subsurface microbial life. The past and current scientific drilling programs have brought major advances in many multidisciplinary fields of socio-economic relevance, such as climate and ecosystem evolution, palaeoceanography, the deep biosphere, deep crustal and tectonic processes, geodynamics and geohazards. This session invites contributions that present and/or review recent scientific results from deep Earth sampling and monitoring through ocean and continental drilling projects. Furthermore, we encourage contributions that outline perspectives and visions for future drilling projects, in particular projects using a multi-platform approach.
Integrating stratigraphy, sedimentology, palaeontology and paleoclimate in human evolution and dispersal studies - from early hominins to the Holocene
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.
Novel Approaches in Geochronology: Quantifying Geomorphological Processes and Landscape Dynamics
Geochronological frameworks are essential for the study of landscape evolution. Over the last decades, geochronological techniques such as cosmogenic nuclides, thermochronology, radiocarbon and luminescence dating have improved in accuracy, precision, and temporal range. Recently, the development of new approaches, new isotopic/mineral systems, and the increasing combination of these techniques are expanding their range of applications. This session explores these advances and novel applications, which include the study of erosional rates and processes, sediment provenance, burial and transport times, bedrock exposure or cooling histories, landscape dynamics, and the examination of potential biases and discordances in geochronological data. We welcome contributions that use dating tools which are established or in development, particularly those that quantify geomorphological processes with novel approaches and/or generic implications. We encourage studies that combine different techniques (e.g. CRN, luminescence, thermochronology, etc.) or data sets (e.g. field, remote sensing, numerical modelling), and/or highlight the latest developments and open questions in the application of geochronometers to landscape evolution questions.
Invited speakers: Prof. Kristina Hippe and Prof. Todd Ehlers.
Scientific networks and COST Actions in geosciences: breakthrough ideas, research activities and results
The nature of science has changed: it has become more interconnected, collaborative, multidisciplinary, and data intensive. Accordingly, the main aim of this session is to create a common space for interdisciplinary scientific discussion, where EGU-GA delegates involved in geoscientific networks can share ideas and present the research activities carried out in their networks. The session represents an invaluable opportunity for different networks and their members to identify possible synergies and establish new collaborations, find novel links between disciplines, and design innovative research approaches.
Part of the session will be focused on COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Actions*. The first edition of the session (successfully held in 2018) was actually entirely dedicated to the COST networking programme and hosted scientific contributions stemming from 25 Actions, covering different areas of the geosciences (sky, earth and subsurface monitoring, terrestrial life and ecosystems, earth's changing climate and natural hazards, sustainable management of resources and urban development, environmental contaminants, and big data management). Inspiring and fruitful discussions took place; the session was very well attended. We are looking forward to continuing the dialogue this year and to receiving new contributions from COST Action Members.
Another part of the session will be dedicated to the activities of other national and international scientific networks, associations, as well teams of scientists who are carrying out collaborative research projects.
Finally, the session is of course open to everyone! Accordingly, abstracts authored by scientists not involved in wide scientific networks are most welcome, too! In fact, in 2018 we received a good number of such abstracts, submitted by individual scientists or small research teams who wished to disseminate the results of their studies in front of the multidisciplinary audience that characterizes this session, as an alternative to making a presentation in a thematic session. This may be a productive way to broaden the perspective and find new partners for future interdisciplinary research ventures. We hope to receive this kind of abstracts this year, as well.
-- Notes --
* COST (www.cost.eu) is a EU-funded programme that enables researchers to set up their interdisciplinary research networks (the “Actions”), in Europe and beyond. COST provides funds for organising conferences, workshops, meetings, training schools, short scientific exchanges and other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics. Academia, industry, public- and private-sector laboratories work together in Actions, sharing knowledge, leveraging diversity, and pulling resources. Every Action has a main objective, defined goals and clear deliverables. This session was started as a follow up initiative of COST Action TU1208 “Civil engineering applications of Ground Penetrating Radar” (2013-2017, www.GPRadar.eu).
Peak Geoscience? Uncertainty, unknowns and the future of geoscience
Geoscience witnessed a flurry of major breakthroughs in the 19th and 20th century, leading to major shifts in our understanding of the Earth system. Such breakthroughs included new concepts, such as plate tectonics and sequence stratigraphy, and new techniques, like radiometric dating and remote sensing. However, the pace of these discoveries has declined, raising the question of whether we have now made all of the key geoscience breakthroughs. Put another way, have we reached “Peak Geoscience” and are we now in a time of synthesis, incremental development and consolidation? Or are there new breakthroughs on the horizon? If so what will these developments be?
One key remaining challenge is the management of the inherent uncertainties in geoscience. Despite the importance of understanding uncertainty, it is often neglected by interpreters, geomodellers and experimentalists. With ever-more powerful computers and the advent of big data analytics and machine learning, our ability to quantify uncertainty in geological interpretation, models and experiments will be crucial.
This session aims to bring together those with an interest in the future of geoscience. We welcome contributions from any field of geoscience which either demonstrate a new, disruptive geoscience breakthrough or provide insights into where the next breakthrough will come. We encourage contributions associated with uncertainty in geoscience models and data, machine learning or big data analytics.