EGU Awards and Medals 2015

14 Oct

x81a0617_egu_foto_pfluegl_140430.jpg__1280x99999_q85_subsampling-2Yesterday, the EGU announced the 35 recipients of next year’s Union Medals and Awards, Division Medals, and Division Outstanding Young Scientists Awards. The aim of the awards is to recognise the efforts of the awardees in furthering our understanding of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The prizes will be handed out during the EGU 2015 General Assembly in Vienna on 12-17 April. Head over to the EGU website for the list of awardees.

Twelve out of the total 35 awards went to young scientists who are recognised for the excellence of their work in the early stages of their career. Eight of the awards were given at Division level but four young scientists were recognised at Union level, highlighting the quality of the research being carried out by the early career researcher community within the EGU.

As a student (be it at undergraduate, masters, or PhD level), at the EGU 2014 General Assembly, you might have entered the Outstanding Student Poster (OSP). A total of 49 poster contributions by young researchers were bestowed with a OSP award this year recognising the valuable and important work carried out by bugging geoscientists. Judges took into account not only the quality of the research presented in the posters, but also how the findings were communicated both on paper and by the presenters. Follow this link for a full list of awardees.

Further information regarding how to nominate a candidate for a medal and details on the selection of candidates can be found on the EGU webpages. For details of how to enter the OSP Award see the procedure for application, all of which takes place during the General Assembly, so it really couldn’t be easier to put yourself forward!

Imaggeo on Mondays: The perfect overnight stop.

13 Oct

Field camp at a cave. (Credit: Simon Virgo,via imaggeo.egu.eu)

Field camp at a cave. (Credit: Simon Virgo,via imaggeo.egu.eu)

Being an Earth scientist has its perks and camping overnight in a cave under an absolutely stunning unpolluted night sky has to be up there with one of the best! Our Imaggeo on Mondays image is brought to you by Simon Virgo who took the photograph in 2008 during an advanced mapping field course in structural geology in the Batain region of northeastern Oman.

The Batain region extends over an area of approximately 4000 km and is cross cut by a number of east-west trending wadis (valleys that remain dry except during times of heavy rainfall). The Batain Group, consisting of a number of sedimentary and volcanic formations, ranges from Permian to Maastichtian in age. Itis thought to have been deposited in the former ‘Batain Basin’ off eastern Oman and was later destroyed during compressional tectonics from the Group, consisting of a number of sedimentary and volcanic formations, ranges from Permian to Maastichtian in age (299 to 66 million years ago. It is thought to have been deposited in the former ‘Batain Basin’ off eastern Oman and was later destroyed during compressional tectonics during the Cretacous/Paleogene, some 66 million years ago ( boundary (Immenhauser et al.,1998).

ʺThe area is a fantastic playground for structural geologists; it is full of folds (the little cave at which we camped has formed in the hinge of a saddle), small scale faults and large thrust, occasionally associated with megabreccias that show a block size of several meters” explains Simon.

Batain Radiolarites. (Credit: Simon Virgo, via imaggeo.egu.eu)

Batain Radiolarites. (Credit: Simon Virgo, via imaggeo.egu.eu)

The rocks exposed in the region are mostly radiolarites, seen in the picture above, also taken by Simon. Radiolarites are silica rich, chert-like rocks, formed in shallow or deep waters, which mainly consist of the microscopic remains of radiolarians. The units pictured here are 4–20cm thick alternating beds of red and white cherts. The colouring of the red layers results from organic pigments in the units.

The area is not only geologically rich, explains Simon, “other sights include prehistoric tombs with artefacts scattered on top the hills, a fantastic coast with lots of marine and terrestrial wildlife” and let’s not forget absolutely magnificent unpolluted night sky.

 

Some related Literature:

Schreurs, G. and Immenhauser, A. (1999), West-northwest directed obduction of the Batain Group on the eastern Oman continental margin at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, Tectonics, 18, doi: 10.1029/1998TC900020.

Immenhauser, A., et al. (1998), Stratigraphy, sedimentology and depositional environments of the Permian to uppermost Cretaceous Batain Group, eastern-Oman, Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, 91.2, 217-235.

DeWever and Baudin (1996). Palaeogeography of radiolarite and organic-rich deposits in Mesozoic Tethys, GR Geologische Rundschau, 85, 310-326.

Imaggeo is the EGU’s open access geosciences image repository. Photos uploaded to Imaggeo can be used by scientists, the press and the public provided the original author is credited. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. You can submit your photos here.

GeoCinema Online: What a difference technology can make.

8 Oct

Advances in technology mean research that was unthinkable some years ago is now possible. For instance, geographically remote areas which were once out of reach have become more accessible through better (not always easier) transportation, so what we understand by ‘remote areas’ has changed significantly over time. The films in this edition of GeoCinema online are fascinating because they showcase how progress in science know-how mean the advancement of our understanding of planet Earth.

A planetary perspective with Landsat and Google Earth engine

Since July 1972, NASA’s Landsat satellites have gathered images over the entire land surface of the Earth. These images, archived at USGS, reveal dynamic changes over time due to human activity (deforestation, urbanization) and natural processes (volcanic eruptions, wildfire). Now, Google Earth Engine allows scientists, researchers and the public to easily view and analyse this treasure trove of planetary data.

Down to the volcano

A team of scientists have set themselves the goal of building an advanced deep ocean laboratory – on the edge of an active submarine volcano, over a mile below the surface. This research certainly pushes the boundaries of what are considered remote areas!

Project Azolla

How a freshwater fern can provide food, feed & biofuel. This video presents the potential of aquatic farming with a special plant: the fresh-water fern Azolla. The new technology showcased in this video highlights how Azolla provides an innovative way of sustainable, renewable farming.

 

Have you experienced the trials and tribulations of field work? You aren’t alone! As showcased in our last GeoCinema post. If you missed any of the series so far why not catch up here?

Stay tuned to the blog for more films!

Credits

A planetary perspective with Landsat and Google Earth engine: Denise Zmekhol, http://www.zdfilms.com/A-PLANETARY-PERSPECTIVE

Down to the Volcano: Nancy Penrose and Anne Boucher, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIUKej4_XMU

Project Azolla, from floating fern to renewable resource: Dan Brinkhuis, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O34gTsxyDq8&feature=share&list=UU_-wRQieb9Tr5GFfJS8c84A

Imaggeo on Mondays: A mysterious shrinking lake

6 Oct

Air, Fire, Earth and Water. (Credit: Sabrina Matzger via imaggeo.egu.eu)

Air, Fire, Earth and Water. (Credit: Sabrina Matzger via imaggeo.egu.eu)

From this week’s Imaggeo on Mondays image it’s easy to see why Iceland is the setting of so many books, films and TV shows, inspiring and inciting writers and film crews alike. The picture was taken on the shores of Lake Kleifarvatn, in Reykjanes peninsula, approximately 30 km to the west of the country’s capital, Reykjavík.

“The Reykjanes peninsula is unique because it marks theboundary between the North American and Eurasian Plates“, explains Sabrina Metzger, who photographed this stunning landscape. Although her PhD thesis focused on the study of plate-boundary deformation in northern Iceland, Sabrina took the photograph on a rare day off in the south of the island, during a “touristic field trip”.

At 9.1 km² and 97m deep, Lake Kleifarvatn is one of the largest lakes on the Reykjanes peninsula, and one of the deepest in the whole country. It varies considerably in size during the year, controlled mostly by changes in groundwater levels, owing to a small catchment area and its lack of any visible surface drainage.

In the summer of 2001, southern Iceland, including the Reykjanes peninsula, was struck by a series of earthquakes, the largest of which was magnitude 6.6. The effects of the ground motion were widespread and affected the local infrastructure, in addition to the landscape. Following the earthquakes, the water levels in Lake Kleifarvatn began to drop; by 2001 the water level had diminished by 4m. A fissure, approximately 400m long and 30cm wide, observed in the vicinity of the lake, was seen to disappear below its waters. It is thought the fissure is responsible for the draining of the lake between 2000 and 2001. At present water levels have returned back to normal, following years of lake sedimentation which have infilled the fissure.

Kleifarvatn and the surrounding area remain a tourist hotspot, not least because of the incredible landscape but added to by the presence of mudspots, stream holes and other frequent geothermal activity. Perhaps the fact that the best-selling Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason used the shrinking of the lake caused by the earthquakes in 2001 as a back drop for his thriller The Draining Lake, adds to the appeal of Kleifarvatn.

Imaggeo is the EGU’s open access geosciences image repository. Photos uploaded to Imaggeo can be used by scientists, the press and the public provided the original author is credited. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. You can submit your photos here.

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