Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions AS–GM
Disciplinary sessions GMPV–TS

Session programme


SSS – Soil System Sciences

Programme group chair: Claudio Zaccone

SSS3 – Soils as Records in Time and Space

Programme group scientific officers: Daniela Sauer, Anna Schneider, Ian Simpson


Soil-forming processes can be observed at various spatial and temporal scales, including molecular - microscopic - pedon - landscape scales, and a similarly wide range of temporal scales. They are influenced not only by the “classical five” soil-forming factors, but also by the factor “humans”. This holds true not only for the industrial period and urbanized areas, but also for palaeopedological and archaeological contexts.
In this session, we seek abstracts on all of these aspects of “soils as records in time and space”:
- soil processes proceeding at different scales, incl. interactions across scales (both spatial and temporal)
- human-induced soil changes (incl. mechanical and chemical changes, as well as the introduction of artificial parent materials)
- advances in understanding weathering mechanisms and mineralogical changes in time and space
- linkages of spatial patterns and processes in soil landscapes over time
- processes taking place on short time scales, thereby contributing to long-term soil changes
- aeolian inputs to soils, implications for soil genesis and ecologically relevant soil properties
- palaeosols and geomorphic features as records of former environments and human activity
- use of soil classification and soil maps, and possibly links to digital soil mapping and novel soil survey techniques such as proximal sensing technologies and detailed digital elevation models.

Co-organized by CL1/SSP1
Convener: Florian HirschECSECS | Co-conveners: Daniela Sauer, Tiina TörmänenECSECS, Patrick Drohan, Markus Egli
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

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 human-landscape interaction provide valuable opportunities to learn from the past. This session is targeted at providing a platform for scientists with common interests in geomorphology and geoarchaeology and, in particular, the complex and integrated nature of the relationship between landforms, geomorphological processes and societies during the Anthropocene, and how this has developed over time at different spatial and temporal scales.

This session seeks related interdisciplinary papers and specific geomorphological or geoarchaeological case-studies that deploy various approaches and tools to address the reconstruction of former and present 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. We are inviting contributions that focus on the two-way interactions between geomorphological processes/landforms and human activity. These should show how the various factors of the physical environment interact with the Anthroposphere, and, in turn, how population and individuals may affect (and change) these factors. Furthermore, contributions may include (but are not limited to) insights about how people have coped with environmental disasters or abrupt changes; defining sustainability thresholds for farming or resource exploitation; distinguishing the baseline natural and human contributions to environmental changes. In this context, topics of different fields may be addressed in the session such as landform evolution, landscape sensitivity and resilience in the overall context of the interrelation between geomorphology and society, geohazards, geoheritage and conservation, geomorphological responses to (and evidence for) environmental change, and applied geomorphology. Moreover, issues of scale and hierarchies may be addressed, and methods and applications of dynamic rather than equilibrium ideas and metaphors. 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 by BG3/CL4/NH8/SSP1/SSS3
Convener: Julia MeisterECSECS | Co-conveners: André Kirchner, Guido Stefano MarianiECSECS, Kathleen Nicoll, Hans von Suchodoletz, Sanja Faivre, Sven Fuchs, Margreth Keiler
| Attendance Mon, 04 May, 14:00–18:00 (CEST)

During the Quaternary Period, the last 2.6 million years of Earth's history, changes in environments, and climate shaped human evolution. In particular, large-scale features of atmospheric circulation patterns varied significantly due to the dramatic changes in global boundary conditions that accompanied abrupt changes in climate. Reconstructing these environmental changes relies heavily on precise and accurate chronologies. Dependent on records, time range, and research questions, different methods can be applied, or a combination of various dating techniques.
Varve counting and dendrochronology allow for the construction of high-resolution chronologies, whereas radiometric methods (radiocarbon, cosmogenic in-situ, U-Th) and luminescence aim at longer time scales and often are complementary or supportive.
In this session, contributions are particularly welcome that aim to (1) reduce, quantify and express dating uncertainties in any dating method, including high-resolution radiocarbon approaches; (2) use established geochronological methods to answer new questions; (3) use new methods to address longstanding issues, or; (4) combine different chronometric techniques for improved results, including the analysis of chronological datasets with novel methods, e.g. Bayesian age-depth modelling. Applications may aim to understand long-term landscape evolution, quantify rates of geomorphological processes, or provide chronologies for records of climate change.

Co-organized by GM2/SSS3
Convener: Irka Hajdas | Co-conveners: Andreas Lang, Gina E. Moseley, Arne RamischECSECS
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)