ERE 2020/2021 Division Outstanding ECS Award Lectures
This session features outstanding early career scientists (ECS) lectures by our 2020 (Estanislao Pujades) and 2021 (Giorgia Dalla Santa) awardees. The current ERE president and vice president will intoduce the awardees and explain the context. Everyone is welcome to join these lectures, representing excellent research within the ERE domain!
Division meeting for Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE)
The ERE division meeting is open to the entire EGU community. Division presidents and officers will present about the various activities within ERE. Following the principle of a bottom-up institution, all EGU members (registered participants of vEGU21) are invited to engage, provide feedback and suggestions, or just learn how ERE and the entire EGU is functioning. The entire ERE team looks forward welcoming you in our division meeting!
If you are unable to attend, or you would like to leave a comment/suggestion before our meeting, you may do so using our ERE MIRO board at any time: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_lJ6Zns0=/
The ERE Early Career Scientists (ECS) event aims at providing an informal platform for networking opportunities. We're using Gather.town which allows everyone interested to get in touch face-to-face or in groups, among existing colleagues and new ones. ERE officials will be present to answer your questions. We are looking forward to this virtual meeting and have some fun!
The ERE event aims at connecting the ERE community in an informal and open fashion. Here, all members are invited top provide and discuss feedback, ideas and input for future General Assemblies. The entire ERE team is looking forward welcoming you to this networking event!
Energy, Resources and the Environment - Open session
This general session of the Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE) division provides an overview of its multi- and interdisciplinarity, which is needed to tackle challenges of the future. Beside others, this is to provide adequate and reliable supplies of affordable energy and other resources, obtained in environmentally sustainable ways, which will be essential to economic prosperity, environmental quality and political stability around the world. This session also features contributions of general interest within the ERE community, and which are not covered by other ERE sessions.
Besides this scientific session, you are invited to join the ERE award lectures, networking and feedback meetings. We are looking forward to meeting you:
- MAL7: ERE 2020/2021 Division Outstanding ECS Award lectures, Tue, 27 Apr, 15:30–16:35.
- NET4: ERE ECS-event, Tue, 27 Apr, 18:00–19:00.
- DM6: Division meeting for ERE, Thu, 29 Apr, 11:00–12:00.
- NET5: ERE-event for all division members, Thu, 29 Apr, 12:00–13:00.
Would you like to publish your scientific results? Please check these two options for an ERE special issue and join us for more informaton at the ERE Division Meeting:
1. ERE special issue 2021 in Advances in Geosciences: Submissions from 1 May to 30 Jun 2021
2. ERE special issue with a full paper in Applied Sciences: Submissions until 31 August 2021.
GeoERA: Developing integrated geoscience services to address European resource supply and management challenges
The European Union is required to adopt national energy and climate plans for the period 2021-2030, which will have an impact on a number of societal challenges linked to the environment as sustainable resourcing, secure and reliable access to raw materials, groundwater, energy efficiency and decarbonization of the energy sector, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The growing population and the consequent natural-resources pressures on resources and uses are decisive factors for a societal and technological transition considering the European Green Deal and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Mineral raw materials will play a crucial role to achieve the goals outlined by our society
The industrial transformation envisaged by the EU will increase the need for a coordinated and integrated approach in research and innovation, underpinned by reliable and easy access to data and new sources of raw materials to ensure European competitiveness and wellbeing. This coordinated approach is already being practiced by the Geological Surveys (GSO) of Europe, who aim to develop a common subsurface knowledge hub by developing and sharing new cross-thematic information services, resource evaluation methods, impact assessments and associated policy support tools. To this end, 45 GSO from 32 European countries have joined forces within the GeoERA Programme to improve and facilitate access to subsurface data and knowledge for a broad range of end-uses and can help to align transnational interests regarding management of resources and impacts. This pan-European collaboration develops interoperable, harmonized and seamless data, information and expertise for policy makers, industry and other stakeholders supporting them in the policy and decision-making process
This session will discuss the key results from the European geoscience services and illustrate how these outcomes provide advice and data in response to a more sustainable and efficient management of resources. It with a focus on geo-energy, groundwater and raw materials, and the cross-thematic online information platform required to provide open access. Finally, the session will include the presentation of activities continuously improving a Geological Service for Europe related to issues within the five mission areas of Horizon Europe and the four main themes for a Geological Service for Europe: Resourcing Europe, Climate Change and Decarbonisation, Europe’s Digital Twin and Safety, Security and Wellbeing
Carbon emissions/removals estimates under Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector: field measurements, remote sensing and modelling
Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector is the only sector in National green-house gas (GHG) Inventory that accounts for carbon (C) removals, therefore it has been recognized as important for reaching the long-term climate mitigation objectives. Recently, an issue of uncertainty of the LULUCF sector estimates is strongly being emphasized and scientific community is facing a growing need to facilitate national reporting regarding C emissions/removals under LULUCF sector.
National level estimates often require long-term and comprehensive datasets at national scale, like national forest inventories (NFI), but these data are not always available. To overcome this gap, multi-source data integration, remote-sensing and modelling approaches are commonly used, but all these methods carry many issues.
This session invites contributions on national and subnational carbon budget estimates (past, present and future) in different land uses (forests, crops, grasslands, urban areas) using multiple data sources and different calculation methods. NFI-based, remote sensing and modelling studies on C stocks and/or fluxes in different ecosystem pools (live biomass, dead wood, litter or soil) are encouraged.
Aim is to provide extensive overview of different methodological approaches that can be used for national scale estimates and highlight main issues regarding data integration and model calibration and validation process.
Impacts and co-benefits of the energy transition on terrestrial ecosystems – implications and prospects for Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services
Over the last decade, the transition towards low-carbon and renewable energy systems (RES) has accelerated significantly around the world. This has been in response to both national and international policies as well as incentives promoting the decarbonisation of energy systems to meet climate change targets. However, the low-carbon energy transition has precipitated expansive land use change, recognised by the IPBES as the greatest driver of ecosystem degradation. Subsequent impacts on biodiversity and related ecosystem processes have major implications for natural capital (NC) and ecosystem service (ES) provision within and beyond the hosting ecosystem.
The objective of this session is to pool ecological, technological and societal research and gather new evidence and insights from around the world on the effects of the low-carbon energy transition on terrestrial ecosystems relating to NC and ES. This session also aims to explore innovative methods to enhance the ecosystem sustainability of the low-carbon energy transition. Studies may (but are not limited to):
• Present the effects of different RES (e.g., solar energy, wind energy, biogas, smart and decentralised energy systems) on specific pools of NC (e.g., soil, atmosphere, habitat, biodiversity, biotic resources) and/or the provision of ES (e.g., nutrient cycling, local climate regulation, biomass production, pollination);
• Discuss the implications of the energy transition to the long-term sustainability of different hosting ecosystems (e.g., temperate grasslands, arid ecosystems) or human-made systems (e.g., arable land);
• Discuss the societal implications of increased RES (e.g., community acceptance of changing natural/semi-natural landscapes);
• Discuss the policy implications (at national or international level) and potential economic consequences of incorporating NC and ES in the land use decision-making process when planning for RES;
• Discuss the opportunities offered by different RES to enhance environmental co-benefits and ecological outcomes that support NC and ES;
• Present methods to maximise techno-ecological synergies that provide beneficial relationships between technological and ecological systems to increase the sustainability of RES.
We encourage abstracts based on empirical evidence or those that take a modelling or framework approach to present solutions to the sustainable integration of RES within local ecosystems.
This session will discuss the impacts and opportunities brought about by the transition to low-carbon energy for natural capital and ecosystem services of hosting ecosystems. Presentations will cover bioenergy, wind energy and solar energy, as well as potential impacts of land use change, grid infrastructure and natural resource extraction. Authors will showcase a variety of approaches to tackle these issues, including life cycle analyses, in situ collection of empirical data and literature review. Studies will cover a wide geographical area, from North America to Europe and Asia, and include a diverse range of terrestrial ecosystems, from temperate grasslands to deserts.
The session material attached below provides a brief introduction to the session topic. In addition, follow the link by clicking on 'Visit asset' (after clicking on 'Session materials') to watch a short film on the need and potential to embed positive ecological outcomes into energy systems decarbonisation, featuring industry and policy experts, as well as leading scientists in the field.
Land use dynamics, land degradation and insights for land sustainability in agriculture and forest landscapes
Land is a finite resource that is under competing uses and claims. With progressing global environmental change, claims on land and their suitability for human land uses are also likely to change. Conversions such as forests to croplands or changes in land use intensity both result in diverse patterns and trajectories of change with potentially different land use outcomes. Evidence also hints at critical underlying local processes whereas driving factors may be context dependent or global. Hence, a better understanding of what role land use dynamics can play for improving the land sustainability in agriculture, forestry and urbanizing landscapes is required. This understanding is necessary to identify relevant land management and governance options. This session examines the spectrum of land use dynamics landscapes face and insights to be gained for theory and promoting resilient landscapes that ensure ecosystem integrity, stop or reverse the degradation of ecosystems, and support human wellbeing in the light of achieving various Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome empirical papers that address land use dynamics and their impacts on ecosystem functions and services at local to regional scales in agriculture, forestry and urbanizing landscapes. Communications to be presented at this session will be considered for either a publication in a Special Issue or a synthesis paper to which we would invite session contributors.
Navigating the Anthropocene: Human agency in global society-environment interaction assessments and modelling approaches
The pressure of human activities on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental changes can no longer be excluded and gradual changes are accelerating at alarming rates. Simply continuing established political efforts to “decouple” GDP from resource use and GHG emissions will not suffice to achieve the absolute reductions required to avoid catastrophic climate change and reduce rising pressures on ecosystems. Hence, a socioecological transformation of resource use patterns is required that will imply significant non-linear deviations from past trajectories.
The question then arises, to what extent and how societies actually have agency to actively shape, accelerate and steer such a required transformation? Human agency refers to the ability to shape one’s life, or the collective ability to change the course of social action. Individual agency is reflected in individual choices and the ability to influence one’s life conditions and chances. Collective agency refers to situations in which individuals pool their knowledge, skills, and resources, and act in concert to shape their future.
Complex systems, such as our planet and human societies, cannot be fully controlled and their behaviour cannot be predicted. Nevertheless, some authors argue it possible to imperfectly navigate such systems. The questions that we are going to discuss in the session include:
i. How to navigate the humanity in the Anthropocene?
ii. What are the relevant dimensions of human agency to study human-environment system interactions?
iii. Which concepts and research methods are relevant for the research on human agency?
iv. How to operationalize human agency in global human-environmental system modelling efforts?
We are in particular interested in new approaches that would go beyond the rational choice and equilibrium paradigms. Such approaches should be able to explain and demonstrate system evolution pathways, system transitions, tipping points, and tipping interventions. They should be able to include human agents who operate under the conditions of resource scarcity and conflicting interests, and take decisions in the presence of high risk and uncertainty.
The second part of the session (16:00 - 17:00 CEST) will be run as a panel discussion.
Geochemical and isotopic methodologies for traceability and food security
Food traceability is an important issue in food security and quality control.
The possibility of tracing the origin of food stuff is assuming an increasingly important role at the legislative level, as a tool that may allow to prove on product authenticity and to control adulteration.
Establish geochemical and isotopic analytical approaches to trace food play a key role to ensure food safety.
Towards a net-zero world: remaining carbon budgets, climate response to different emission pathways, and implications for policy
Remaining carbon budgets specify the maximum amount of CO2 that may be emitted to stabilize warming at a particular level (such as the 1.5 °C target), and are thus of high interest to the public and policymakers. Yet, there are many sources of uncertainty which make it challenging to estimate the remaining carbon budget in real world conditions, especially for ambitious mitigation targets.
This session aims to further our understanding of the climate response under different emission scenarios, with particular interest in emission pathways towards net-zero targets, and to advance our knowledge of associated carbon budgets consistent with meeting various levels of warming. We invite contributions that use a variety of tools, including fully coupled Earth System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, or simple climate model emulators.
We welcome studies exploring different aspects of climate change in response to future emission scenarios, in addition to studies exploring carbon budgets and the TCRE framework, including: the governing mechanisms behind linearity of TCRE and its limitations, effects of different forcings and feedbacks (e.g. permafrost carbon feedback) and non-CO2 forcings (e.g. aerosols, and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases), estimates of the remaining carbon budget to reach a given temperature target (for example, the 1.5 °C warming level from the Paris Agreement), the role of pathway dependence and emission rate, the climate-carbon responses to different emission scenarios (e.g. SSP scenarios, idealized scenarios, or scenarios designed to reach net-zero emission level), and the behaviour of TCRE in response to artificial carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere (i.e. CDR or negative emissions). Contributions from the fields of climate policy and economics focused on applications of carbon budgets and benefits of early mitigation are also encouraged.
Wind and solar power are the predominant new sources of electrical power in recent years. Portugal’s renewable production in March 2018 was 104% of its electricity demand, while Scotland reached 109% in November. By their very nature, wind and solar power, as well as hydro, tidal, wave and other renewable forms of generation are dependent on weather and climate. Modelling and measurement for resource assessment, site selection, long-term and short term variability analysis and forecasting for horizons ranging from minutes to decades are important topics.
The success of wind power means that wind turbines are increasingly put in sites with complex terrain or forests, with towers extending beyond the strict logarithmic profile, and in offshore regions that are difficult to model and measure. Major challenges for solar power are accurate measurements and the short-term prediction of the spatiotemporal evolution of the effects of cloud field and aerosols. Planning and meteorology challenges in Smart Cities are common for both.
For both solar and wind power, the integration of large amounts of renewable energy into the grid is another critical research problem due to the uncertainties in their forecast and to their spatio-temporal variabilities.
We invite contributions on all aspects of weather dependent renewable power generation, e.g.:
• Wind conditions (both resources and loads) on short and long time scales for wind power development, especially in complex environments (e.g. mountains, forests, coastal or urban).
• Long term analysis of inter-annual variability of solar and wind resource
• Typical Meteorological Year and probability of exceedance for wind and solar power development,
• Wind and solar resource and atlases.
• Wake effect models and measurements, especially for large wind farms and offshore.
• Performance and uncertainties of forecasts of renewable power at different time horizons and in different external conditions.
• Forecast of extreme wind events and wind ramps.
• Local, regional and global impacts of renewable energy power plants or of large-scale integration.
• Dedicated wind measurement techniques (SODARS, LIDARS, UAVs etc.).
• Dedicated solar measurement techniques (pyranometric sensors, sun-photometer, ceilometer, fish-eye cameras, etc.) from ground-based and space-borne remote sensing.
• Tools for urban area renewable energy supply strategic planning and control.
Other related topics will be considered by the conveners.
Spatial and temporal modelling of renewable energy systems
This session addresses spatial and temporal modelling of renewable energy systems, both in a prospective as well as in a retrospective manner. Therefore, contributions which model the characteristics of future renewable energy systems are equally welcome as contributions which assess the characteristics of the past performance of renewable energies. Session contributions may reach from purely climate based assessments of simulated renewable generation time series, over assessments of land use to full energy system models used to better understand energy systems with high shares of renewables.
Studies may for instance
Improve our understanding of how climate data can be used to model renewables
Show the spatial and temporal variability of renewable energy sources
Assess the complementarity of different renewable energy sources or locations
Derive land availability scenarios for renewable energies based on climatic, technical, economic, or social criteria
Assess past spatial deployment patterns of renewables
Assess past impacts on land cover and land use change, including impacts on biodiversity and other environmental indicators
Derive integrated scenarios of energy systems with high shares of renewables (Including systems from the local scale e.g. in form of local Energy Communities to the national or continental scale).
The objective of the session is to provide an insight into recent advances in the field of renewable energy system modeling. The session welcomes papers dedicated to climatic and technical issues, environmental impact assessments, and policy-making, forecasting and real time applications concerning renewable energy systems.
Exploration, utilization and monitoring of conventional and unconventional geothermal resources
With an increasing demand for low-carbon energy solutions, the need of geothermal resources utilization is accelerating. Geothermal energy can be extracted from various, often complex geological settings, e.g. fractured crystalline rock, magmatic systems or sedimentary basins. Current advancements also target unconventional systems (e.g., Enhanced Geothermal Systems, super-hot, pressurized and co-produced, super-critical systems) besides conventional hydrothermal systems. Optimizing investments leads to the development of associated resources such as lithium, rare earths and hydrogen. This requires a joint effort for monitoring, understanding and modelling geological systems that are specific to each resource.
A sustainable use of geothermal resources requires advanced understanding of the properties of the entire system during exploration as well as monitoring, including geophysical properties, thermo-/petro-physical conditions, fluid composition; structural and hydrological features; and engineering challenges. Challenges faced are, among others, exploration of blind systems, reservoir stimulation, induced seismicity or related to multiphase fluid and scaling processes.
The integration of analogue field studies with real-life production data, from industrial as well as research sites, and their organization and the combination with numerical models, are a hot topic worldwide. With this session we aim to gather field, laboratory and numerical experts who focus their research on geothermal sites, to stimulate discussion in this multi-disciplinary applied research field. We seek for contributions from all disciplines, ranging from field data acquirements and analysis to laboratory experiments, e.g. geophysical surveys or geochemical experiments, and from the management and organization of information to numerical models as well as from (hydro)geologists, geochemists, (geo)physicists, surface and subsurface engineers.
Shallow geothermal systems for heating and cooling: geoscience and engineering approaches
The session welcomes contributions about shallow geothermal energy applications, including traditional closed- and open-loop borehole heat exchangers as well as so-called energy geostructures (e.g. thermo-active foundations, walls, tunnels).
Different types of analysis and approaches are relevant to this session, spanning from the evaluation of ground thermal properties to the mapping of shallow geothermal potential, from energy storage and district heating to sustainability issues and consequences of the geothermal energy use, from the design of new heat exchangers and installation techniques to the energy and thermo-(hydro-) mechanical performance of energy geostructures, from the local behaviour of a heat exchanger to the city scale implementation of energy geostructures. Contributions based on experimental, analytical and numerical modelling are welcome as well as interventions about legislative aspect.
Petroleum exploration and production and their impact on the environment
Recent decreases in the world oil/gas reserves imply that energy producers and consumers are facing a major challenge. Therefore, a thorough exploration and production strategy needs to be carried out to sustain the world energy production level. This session is devoted to present the newest advances in oil and gas exploration and production technologies as well as well as their associated environmental risks and economic benefits. It will be regarded new geophysical monitoring methods for intensify the oil exploration. They will be supported by new results in modelling and inverse problem solutions in a frame of block layer structures with hierarchic inclusions of different anomaly parameters features.
Secure subsurface storage for future energy systems
Storage of energy and carbon dioxide in subsurface geological formations is of key importance in the green shift: relying on renewables, zero carbon power and heat generation. The suitability of subsurface storage sites depends on the properties and integrity of the reservoir and its confining units under thermal, mechanical, hydraulic, biological, and chemical stress. Secure subsurface storage requires geological knowledge and sound risk evaluations, which in turn is essential for obtaining public acceptance of these technologies. This session offers a platform for inter-disciplinary scientific exchange between different branches of storage expertise. It addresses storage of fluids in geological reservoirs at all scales, from laboratory experiments to full-scale storage projects. Individual studies and active projects integrating elements of the storage chain as well as field projects focused on geological storage as pathways for a low carbon future are invited.
Relevant topics include but are not limited to:
• Regional and local characterization of storage formations, caprocks, and faults as well as their behaviour during injection and storage of various gases, including long-term response
• Evaluation of available infrastructure and injection strategies, physical and chemical reservoir response
• Geophysical and geochemical monitoring for safe and cost-efficient storage
• Coupling of different energy storage types in a carbon neutral power system
• Heat exchange systems, including geothermal energy utilization
• Public perception, funding, or regulation of subsurface storage in energy systems
Suitable contributions can address, but are not limited to:
• Field testing and experimental approaches aimed at characterizing the site, its key characteristics and the behaviour of the injected fluid
• Studies of natural analogue sites and lessons learnt for site characterisation and monitoring techniques
• Laboratory experiments investigating fluid-rock-interactions and gas diffusion through reservoir and caprocks
• Risk evaluations and storage capacity estimates
• Numerical modelling of injectivity, fluid migration, trapping efficiency and pressure response as well as simulations of geochemical and microbial reactions to geologic and mechanical systems
• Proposals or status reports of projects that integrate storage into existing infrastructure at any scale
• Reports from companies or consortia that are investigating storage construction or deployment
Please read the session materials for information on video chat rooms for the break out displays.
Towards a safe nuclear waste repository – assessment of barrier integrity, geoscientific, technological, societal and regulatory challenges and approaches
The successful implementation of safe deep geological disposal of spent fuel, high-level waste and other long-lived radioactive waste is one of the currently most pressing environmental challenges in several countries worldwide. Site investigation and selection are primarily geoscientific tasks that require interdisciplinary collaboration of different geoscientific disciplines, like geophysics, hydrogeology, (hydro-)geochemistry, mineralogy, geomechanics, material science, and geological as well as THMC modelling. Moreover, successful and socially accepted site selection and disposal implementation depend not only on geoscientific state-of-the-art results, sound engineering and R&D programs but to a large extent on well-designed public outreach and public involvement/participation activities as well as on suitable regulatory frameworks.
As for other subsurface technologies such as the storage of thermal energy and other energy carriers, or the deposition of chemotoxic waste or carbon dioxide, barrier integrity is a crucial aspect for the assessment of nuclear waste disposal. Numerical simulations, in conjunction with experimental studies are an integral part of safety and environmental-impact assessment concepts involving barrier integrity as a key component. Reliable comparative analyses of potential technological options require coupled THMC models capturing the particularities of each rock type and associated repository concept to a comparable level of sophistication. Structural as well as process complexity are often met by data scarcity and variability, necessitating the treatment of uncertainties and variability.
Aside from geoscientific and technological aspects this interdisciplinary session also addresses social and regulatory challenges by welcoming contributions from research and technical support organizations, waste management organizations, regulatory bodies, and NGOs. The session provides a platform for the exchange of i) geoscientific, geochemical, geotechnical and material science knowledge for assessing the integrity of multi-barrier systems considering equally conceptual, theoretical, computational and experimental aspects as well as ii) safety assessment strategies and tools, disposal concepts, national and transnational public outreach and involvement programs, siting approaches and relevant regulatory frameworks. Presentations related to other subsurface technologies that face comparable challenges are also welcome.
Global Heritage Stone Resource: The sustainable way forward
Ornamental and dimension stones have been part and parcel of the extinct and evolving civilizations world over. The evolution of civilizations can be easily witnessed through stone built sites which comprises both: grandiose stone built architectural historical monuments and the simple dwellings of a common man reflecting a sync between the extraordinary and the ordinary. In fact, all this forms an integral part of cultural heritage of humankind and reflect close cultural affiliation with varied societies.
Our session deals with Heritage Stones and we promote recognition of natural stones that have contributed to the evolution of human societies across the globe in consonance with the goals of IUGS-HSS and IGCP HerSTONES project (2020-2023). The session is open to discuss the use of heritage stones in different parts of the globe vis-à-vis impact on human culture, architectural heritage, sustainability, historical quarries, conservation, preservation and sustainable restoration of the urban and rural stone built heritage, promoting geotourism (tours to such sites) and familiarising the contemporary generation to the most revered heritage.
Global Heritage Stone Resource designation by IUGS-HSS, will promote public and policy-maker interest in stone built heritage and its upkeep. It will also assist in forming a broader understanding of how the usage of the most traditional building material has evolved over centuries and rekindled the interest of using the same in the contemporary architectural sites.
Selected contributions from our previous EGU sessions are published in high impact factor journals, such as: Geological Society of London Special Publications (SP407: Global Heritage Stone: Towards International Recognition of Building and Ornamental Stones), Episodes Special Issue on Heritage Stones (volume 38-2, June 2015), Geoscience Canada (volume 43(1), March 2016), Geoheritage (2018), Episodes (in process of publication March 2021). Selected contributions of EGU 2021 will be considered for publication in a special issue of a well rated journal.
Sustainability as a challenge to face and a goal to reach: interdisciplinary approach to support raw materials and energy supply
The Sustainable Development goals emphasise on the importance of equally balancing economic prosperity, environmental protection and social equity. Contemporary, the aim of the Circular Economy is to provide a new material and energy flow model that can achieve Sustainable Development, fundamental for future generations.
The present session will focus on the interdisciplinary approaches to guarantee a sustainable supply of raw materials (RM) and energy.
On the one side, as for RM supply, we have to highlight that the demand for RM and critical raw materials (CRM) is continuously growing, something which is highly connected to the development of climate-benefit technologies as well as high-technology applications. The primary source of RM is still guaranteed via ore deposit exploitation, as the recycling of critical elements is neither feasible nor economically convenient. Therefore, mining activities need to be increasingly improving at a global level, guaranteeing a sustainable mining future, together with a more efficient circular economy approach for processing and waste management. Waste management is often strictly connected to environmental impacts, but the huge volumes of waste can also represent an important source of RM, mainly through their efficient re-processing, with potential positive socio-economic-environmental impacts.
On the other side, as for energy supply, the session will investigate the challenges connected to hydropower. Hydropower is the largest renewable electricity sector with a low carbon footprint, a high cost-benefit efficiency, and variable social acceptance. Changing conditions, like climate, market, environment, social acceptance are unresolved challenges for the hydropower sector. According to the EU policy climate neutrality by 2050 is a major objective. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) established the joint programme “Hydropower” to facilitate research, promote hydropower and enable sustainable electricity production.
This session aims at giving the chance to investigate, in an interdisciplinary way, topics connected to sustainable mining, energy supply and circular economy, such as: “resource efficiency”, “environmental and human health risk”, “climate change adaptation”, “market challenges and social acceptance” and “legislation and political issues”. Analytical/numerical and/or experimental methods, as well as case studies, are equally appreciated.
The session is targeted to scientists, policy makers, and companies: the will of the conveners is to host a lively session concerning the main actions and needs to guarantee raw materials and energy supply, together with a greener and more sustainable society development.
Chance to publish on different special issues:
- Join the ERE special issue 2021 in Advances in Geosciences (ADGEO). Submissions are possible from 1 May until 30 June 2021.
- Join an ERE special issue with a full paper in Applied Sciences. Submissions are possible from now on until 31 August 2021.
- Join Sustainability Special Issue "New Environmental, Economic and Social Challenges for Raw Materials Supply: Sustainable Mining and Extractive Waste Exploitation" (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/Sustainable_Mining). Submissions are possible from on until 15 September 2021.
Mineral resources are the basis of our modern society and both base and critical metals are essential for modern technology industry and today’s society. To assure a safe and sustainable supply of minerals to meet foreseeable future industry and human demands requires innovative actions and novel technologies. The industry’s move towards deeper and more complex mineral systems brings significant exploration challenges; the sector needs time-saving, cost-effective, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable techniques to ensure sustainable access to mineral resources.
This session aims to bring together geoscientists from all sectors involved in mineral exploration for the 21st century, including geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geophysics, structural geology, remote sensing, modelling, etc. Abstracts for this session can include, but are not limited to, the following topics: new methods of exploration; imaging; conceptual modelling and quantification of deposits and mineral systems; cost reduction in exploration; non-invasive exploration; integration of multidisciplinary methodologies and datasets; machine learning and artificial intelligence; scale-up and replicability; and industry-academia synergies.
Mineral deposits represent principal sources of metallic and non-metallic raw materials for our society. The implementation of new climate policies and the rise of green energy production and use will trigger an unprecedented demand increase for such resources. Formation of economic commodities requires component sequestration from source region, transport and focusing to structural or chemical barriers. These enrichment processes typically involve magmatic, hydrothermal, weathering or metamorphic events, which operate in diverse geodynamic settings and over various time scales. The scope of this session is to collect insights from diverse areas of mineral exploration, field, analytical or experimental studies of mineral deposits as well as resource characterization and extraction. We invite contributions from fields of economic geology, mineralogy and geochemistry in order to advance our understanding of ore-forming systems.
Antimony and associated elements: from mineralisation to the environment.
Antimony is a critical element for European Union, due to its high interest and low availavility in Europe. However, it has been intensively mined in Europe during the 19th and 20th Centuries, leaving in many cases a legacy of unsolved affection to the environment.
The present session will focus in the present-day possibilities of antimony as an element to be properly exploited and processed. Possible contributions to this session will include research works related with the geological origin of Sb deposits and associated metals (Hg, As, Se, Au), metallogenetical models, mineralogy and geochemistry of Sb-ore deposits, typology of these, as well as environmental studies aimed to assess the possible affections of the mining of Sb deposits to the environment.
Towards an environmentally sustainable transformation of tailings and mine waste: circular economy and future vision
The increasing demand for raw materials, to supply the needs of both society and industry, imposes many environmental, societal, and technological challenges on the mining value chain. Mining, quarrying, and metallurgical industries are of course required to meet the increasing demand, but these activities are inevitably accompanied by the production of large volumes of residues through both exploitation and processing. Accompanying these challenges has been the development of innovative and technological processes that allow us to look at the past and start thinking about reducing, reusing and recycling such industrial residues, as well as more sustainable exploitation practices. Although residues, such as waste rock, tailings, slags and fly ashes, often hold impressive residual mineral values and have the potential to be converted to secondary raw materials and mineral resources, we face further challenges to characterize and model waste deposits to realistically assess the prospects for sustainable exploitation. Yet, in order to integrate the mining industry into the future circular economy, it must become the norm to maximize resource use, to reduce the volume for final disposal, and also to mitigate the risk of environmental damage that will be associated with the increasing global demand for raw materials and minerals resources.
The main topics to be discussed in this session address, but are not limited to:
● Characterization and modelling of industrial residue resources
● Environmental assessment of industrial residues
● Geometallurgy applied to industrial residues and secondary raw materials
● Circular economy concepts applied to primary and secondary raw material streams
● Policies in rehabilitation, remediation and management of tailings storage facilities and other industrial residues
● Life cycle Assessment – LCA
ERE6 – Process coupling and monitoring related to geoenergy applications
Induced/triggered seismicity in geo-energy applications: monitoring, modeling, mitigation, and forecasting
Numerous cases of induced/triggered seismicity resulting either directly or indirectly from injection/extraction associated with anthropogenic activity related to geo-resources exploration have been reported in the last decades. Induced earthquakes felt by the general public can often negatively affect public perception of geo-energies and may lead to the cancellation of important projects. Furthermore, large earthquakes may jeopardize wellbore stability and damage surface infrastructure. Thus, monitoring and modeling processes leading to fault slip, either seismic or aseismic, are critical to developing effective and reliable forecasting methodologies during deep underground exploitation. The complex interaction between injected fluids, subsurface geology, stress interactions, and resulting fault slip requires an interdisciplinary approach to understand the triggering mechanisms, and may require taking coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes into account.
In this session, we invite contributions from research aimed at investigating the interaction of the above processes during exploitation of underground resources, including hydrocarbon extraction, wastewater disposal, geothermal energy exploitation, hydraulic fracturing, gas storage and production, mining, and reservoir impoundment for hydro-energy. We particularly encourage novel contributions based on laboratory and underground near-fault experiments, numerical modeling, the spatio-temporal relationship between seismic properties, injection/extraction parameters, and/or geology, and fieldwork. Contributions covering both theoretical and experimental aspects of induced and triggered seismicity at multiple spatial and temporal scales are welcome.
Faults and fractures in geoenergy applications 1: Numerical modelling and simulation
Nonlinear behavior and anisotropic flow fields and transport are vital challenges for naturally fractured reservoir modelling and simulation. Naturally fractured reservoirs are of great importance in various disciplines such as hydrogeology, hydrocarbon reservoir management, nuclear waste repositories and geothermal reservoir engineering. This session addresses novel ideas as well as established concepts for the representation and numerical simulation of discontinuities and processes in fractured media.
The presence of fractures modifies the bulk physical properties of the original media by many orders of magnitudes, and they often introduce a strongly nonlinear behavior. Numerical modelling of such systems is especially challenging and often requires creative new ideas to solve, for example the use of stochastic models. This refers in particular to the mechanical properties via reduction of strength and stiffness.
Fractures also provide the main flow and transport pathways in the rock mass, dominating over the permeability of the rock matrix, as well as creating anisotropic flow fields and transport. Understanding the hydraulic and mechanical properties of fractures and fracture networks thus is crucial for predicting the movement of any fluid such as water, air, hydrocarbons, or CO2.
The geologist toolboxes for modelling fractured rocks and simulating processes in fractured media experiences constant extension and improvement. Contributions are welcome from the following topics:
• Deterministic or stochastic approaches for structural construction of fractured media,
• Continuous or discontinuous (DFN) modelling methods representing static hydraulic and/or mechanical characteristics of fractured media,
• Simulation of dynamic processes, hydraulic and/or mechanical behavior and THMC coupling in fractured media,
• Deterministic and stochastic inversion methods for calibrating numerical models of fractured media,
• Numerical modelling concepts of accounting for fractured properties specifically in groundwater, petroleum or geothermal management applications.
With field and laboratory studies from the same subjects please refer to the session: “Faults and fractures in geoenergy applications – monitoring, laboratory and field work results".
Faults and fractures in geoenergy applications 2: Monitoring, laboratory and field work results
Faults and fracture zones are fundamental features of geological reservoirs that control the physical properties of the rock. As such, understanding their role in in-situ fluid behaviour and fluid-rock interactions can generate considerable advantages during exploration and management of reservoirs and repositories.
Physical properties such as frictional strength, cohesion and permeability of the rock impact deformation processes, rock failure and fault/fracture (re-)activation. Faults and fractures create fluid pathways for fluid flow and allow for increased fluid-rock interaction.
The presence of fluids circulating within a fault or fracture network can expose the host rocks to significant alterations of the mechanical and transport properties. This in turn can either increase or decrease the transmissibility of a fracture network, which has implications on the viability and suitability of subsurface energy and storage projects. Thus, it is important to understand how fluid-rock interactions within faults and fractures may alter the physical properties of the system during the operation of such projects. This is of particular interest in the case of faults as the injection/ remobilisation of fluids may affect fault/fracture stability, and therefore increase the risk of induced seismicity and leakage.
Fieldwork observations, monitoring and laboratory measurements foster fundamental understanding of relevant properties, parameters and processes, which provide important inputs to numerical models (see session “Faults and fractures in geoenergy applications 1: Numerical modelling and simulation”) in order to simulate processes or upscale to the reservoir scale. A predictive knowledge of fault zone structures and transmissibility can have an enormous impact on the viability of geothermal, carbon capture, energy and waste storage projects.
We encourage researchers on applied or interdisciplinary energy studies associated with low carbon technologies to come forward for this session. We look forward to interdisciplinary studies which use a combination of methods to analyse rock deformation processes and the role of faults and fractures in subsurface energy systems, including but not restricted to outcrop studies, monitoring studies, subsurface data analysis and laboratory measurements. We are also interested in research across several different scales and addressing the knowledge gap between laboratory scale measurements and reservoir scale processes.
Advances in fibre-optic technologies for geophysical applications
The vast majority of all telecommunications data (99%) transit through submarine and land-based fibre-optic cables. Global networks of cables encircle the Earth and cover the most remote regions of the continents and oceans. At the same time fibre-optic cables are being used as distributed sensors to measure temperature or strain for a variety of objectives (e.g. fault detect) and environments (e.g. land, marine). Consequently, fibre technologies are becoming a standard tool for crustal exploration and seismic monitoring.
In recent years there have been significant breakthroughs in the use of fibre-optic sensing techniques developed to interrogate cables at very high precision over very large distances both on land and at sea, in boreholes and at the surface. For example, laser reflectometry using DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) on both dedicated experimental and commercial fiber optic cables have successfully detected a variety of signals including microseism, local and teleseismic earthquakes, volcanic events, ocean dynamics, etc. Other laser reflectometry techniques have long been used for the monitoring of large-scale engineering infrastructures (dams, tunnels, bridges, pipelines, etc.). Additionally, fibre-optic technologies have also been applied to natural hazard studies on land (for e.g. monitoring landslides or sinkholes), where in the case of cities, signals of cars can be exploited for exploration, allowing new approaches for urban seismic hazard characterisation.
We welcome contributions that involve the application of fiber-optic cables or sensors in seismology, geodesy, geophysics, natural hazards, oceanography, urban environment, geothermal application, etc. with an emphasis on laboratory studies, large-scale field tests and modelling.
Thermal energy applications and associated processes in porous and fractured aquifers
Thermal, hydraulic and mechanical processes in aquifers are of increasing interest for hydrogeological analysis for development of innovative field and laboratory experiments. Both in research and in practice, accurate characterization of subsurface flow and heat transport, observations of induced or natural variations of the thermal regime. The seasonal and long-term development of thermal and mechanical conditions in aquifers, and heat transfer across aquifer boundaries are focus points. This also includes the role of groundwater in the context of geothermal energy use for predicting the long-term performance of geothermal systems (storage and production of heat), and integration in urban planning. There are many ongoing research projects studying heat as a natural or anthropogenic tracer, and which try to improve thermal response testing in aquifers. Such techniques are of great potential for characterizing aquifers, flow conditions, and crucial transport processes, such as mechanical dispersion. Understanding the interaction of hydraulic, thermal and mechanical processes is a major challenge in modern hydrogeology. Deep underground constructions, tunnels, CO2 storage, hydro- and enhanced geothermal applications are prominent subjects. We invite contributions that deliver new insight into advances in experimental design, reports from new field observations, as well as demonstration of sequential or coupled modeling concepts. The session aims to provide an overview of the current and future research in the field, covering any temporal or spatial scale, and seeks to address both separate and coupled processes.
Reactive transport, mineral dissolution and precipitation in fractured and porous rock: experiments, models and field observations
Dissolution, precipitation and chemical reactions between infiltrating fluid and rock matrix alter the composition and structure of the rock, either creating or destroying flow paths. Strong, nonlinear couplings between the chemical reactions at mineral surfaces and fluid motion in the pores often leads to the formation of intricate patterns: networks of caves and sinkholes in karst area, wormholes induced by the acidization of petroleum wells, porous channels created during the ascent of magma through peridotite rocks. Dissolution and precipitation processes are also relevant in many industrial applications: dissolution of carbonate rocks by CO2-saturated water can reduce the efficiency of CO2 sequestration, mineral scaling reduces the effectiveness of heat extraction from thermal reservoirs, acid rain degrades carbonate-stone monuments and building materials.
With the advent of modern experimental techniques, these processes can now be studied at the microscale, with a direct visualization of the evolving pore geometry. On the other hand, the increase of computational power and algorithmic improvements now make it possible to simulate laboratory-scale flows while still resolving the flow and transport processes at the pore-scale.
We invite contributions that seek a deeper understanding of reactive flow processes through interdisciplinary work combining experiments or field observations with theoretical or computational modeling. We seek submissions covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales: from table-top experiments and pore-scale numerical models to the hydrological and geomorphological modelling at the field scale. We also invite contributions from related fields, including the processes involving coupling of the flow with phase transitions (evaporation, sublimation, melting and solidification).
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