3rd Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Zurich 2005


SYMPOSIA SESSION, Saturday November 19th

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  1. The Alpine realm and its forelands in space and time
  2. The Andes: Past and present processes in an active margin orogen
  3. Modern airborne and space based observation techniques and their impact on geosciences
  4. Opportunities and limitations of GIS-based process modelling of subalpine and alpine landscapes
  5. Measuring and modeling of surface processes
  6. Karst records: Reconstruction of climate and landscape evolution from Pliocene to Anthropocene
  7. Human-environment interactions in the Holocene
  8. Fossils and evolution through time
  9. From polluted soil to man
  10. Biogeoscience:  Is there a future for genomics in geology?
  11. Natural hazards: forecasting and modeling
  12. Terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (and global change)
  13. Our dependence on the Earth - Geology concerns us all

 

 

Title:

The Alpine realm and its forelands in space and time

Conveners: N. Mancktelow, M. Engi, H.-G. Kahle
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Tectonic Studies Group (STSG), Swiss Geophysical Commission (SGK/CSG), Swiss Geodetic Commission (SGK/CGS), SwissSed and Swiss Mineralogical and Petrographical Society (SMPG/SSMP)

Description:

This symposium is very broad in scope and intends to bring together all disciplines interested in Alpine Tectonics. It provides a forum for integrating information from internal and external parts of the Alps, as well as inviting a comparison with other collisional orogens. Information from foreland sediments coeval with active tectonism can provide geometric and time constraints on deformation and metamorphism, whereas understanding the kinematics and dynamics of an orogen is critical for models of basin development. Presentations are invited that particularly consider the interrelationship between sedimentation and tectonics, as well as studies of the 4D history of the Alpine realm, from surface processes to lithospheric scale.

Title:

The Andes: Past and present processes in an active margin orogen

Conveners: A. Pfiffner, E. Kissling, U. Schaltegger, F. Schlunegger, H. Veit
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Mineralogical and Petrographical Society (SMPG/SSMP) and Swiss Geographical Association (ASG)

Description:

This symposium has the aim to assemble scientists, who work on a variety of aspects of this mountain range. Topics may include plate-tectonic setting and evolution, ore deposits, tectonics, magmatism, palaeoclimatology, and quaternary landscape development including surface processes. It will create an interdisciplinary platform which will stimulate discussions and contacts across working groups and disciplines.

Title:

Modern airborne and space based observation techniques and their impact on geosciences

Conveners: A. Geiger
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geodetic Commission (SGK/CGS), Interuniversitäre Partnerschaft für Erdbeobachtung und Geoinformatik (IPEG)

Description:

Airborne and space based techniques have proven their usefulness for earth observation. Techniques such as GPS, altimetry, radar, lidar and optoelectronics opened a wide range of applications in geoscience, allowing to gain insights in different scales of geo-processes. Local geologic surveys, hazard assessment, glacier monitoring, tectonic movements, sea surface and geoid determination, oceanography, earth rotation and global geodynamics are a few examples of the fields of impact. The symposium should give an overview of the present state of development and research in the field of these techniques and their applications.

Title:

Opportunities and limitations of GIS-based process modelling of subalpine and alpine landscapes

Conveners: M. Egli, R. Purves, R. Weibel
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Soil Science Society (BGS/SSP), National Research Project 48 (NFP 48/PNR 48), Interuniversitäre Partnerschaft für Erdbeobachtung und Geoinformatik (IPEG)

Description:

GIS is an essential technology for observing, modelling and anticipating slow to fast and potentially dramatic changes in landscape dynamics. The symposium will explore the opportunities of 3- and 4-dimensional analysis of landscape features such as vegetation, forest fire dynamics, glaciers, soils and others. GIS modelling is often confronted with unrealistic expectations. The limitations of 3- and 4-D GIS modelling, therefore, also need to be discussed. The symposium will explore the interface between pure GIS methodology and process modelling. It shall create an interdisciplinary platform to stimulate discussion between process modellers and GIS specialists.

Title:

Measuring and modeling of surface processes

Conveners: M. Maisch, R. Delaloye, H. Blatter (R. Lugon)
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGmG/SSGm), Swiss Glaciological Commission

Description:

New technologies have enabled the development of innovative geomorphological approaches within a multidisciplinary research environment. Innovations are present in various aspects of geomorphic research across different spatial and temporal scales, encompassing field techniques, modelling tools, and laboratory analysis. Especially in the field of natural hazard research, the increased understanding of complex processes has made major progress. This session aims to address advances and new challenges of measuring methods and modelling tools within the field of geomorphodynamics and glaciology (e.g. erosion, landsliding, debris flows, flood dynamics, permafrost creep, glaciers, snow).

Title:

Karst records: Reconstruction of climate and landscape evolution from Pliocene to Anthropocene

Conveners: M. Luetscher, P.-Y. Jeannin
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Society of Speleology (SGH/SSS), Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGmG/SSGm), Swiss Institute of Speleology and Karstology (SISKA/ISSKA), Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research (SKQ/CSQ)

Description:

Over the last decade, the study of karst records contributed significantly to a better documentation of the Swiss paleo-environmental context. Speleological and karstological studies provided new data for the description of glacier fluctuations, valley deepening and regional tectonic settings. Furthermore, the identification of numerous well-preserved paleontological remains in caves or surface landforms provided information about ecosystem evolutions, which are often hardly accessible in non-karstic environments.

This valuable archive is accessible only after a meticulous documentation of karst systems. Fundamental data for the reconstruction of our environment are provided by the systematic interpretation of speleogenesis from cave levels or tectonic observations, by the documentation and analysis of speleothems or by the study of surface landforms. This session intends to foster all types of contributions documenting records in karst environments.

Issues related to the conservation of this valuable archive will be discussed in relation with the increasing threat attributed to human activities.

Title:

Human-environment interactions in the Holocene

Conveners: P. Nagy, H.R. Graf
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research (SKQ/CSQ), Swiss Paleontological Society (SPG/SPS)

Description:

This symposium aims at integrating various aspects of archeology into Quaternary research. The focus will be on the influence of the environment and its change (climate, landscapes, ecology…) on humans and vice-versa during the Holocene in Switzerland. Additional themes to fit well into this symposium are holocene mass-movements, glacier evolution and more.

Title:

Fossils and evolution through time

Conveners: D. Becker, U. Menkveld-Gfeller
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Paleontological Society (SPG/SPS), Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS)

Description:

This symposium is planned to feature the activities of the paleontological community in Switzerland and adjacent countries. Although, considering the special topic of the 3rd SGM and urging our members to present papers focused on evolution and time, we welcome contributions on different aspects of paleontology such as evolution of environmental conditions or biodiversity. Providing the base for evolutionary concepts and time scales, contributions on biostratigraphy or radiometric dating in connection with paleontological data would also be highly appreciated.

Title:

From polluted soil to man

Conveners: P. Steinmann, E. Graf Pannatier, S. Häusler
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Soil Science Society (BGS/SSP), Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

Description:

Soils are at the interface between man and the geosphere. Pollutants from soils are, therefore, readily transferred to man, for example via the groundwater or the food-chain. The proposed symposium seeks contributions to discuss this "soil to man transfer". What is the potential of remobilisation of contaminants such as heavy metals, radionuclides, or organic compounds? What are the processes and rates of the transfers from soil to plant or from soil to soil solution and groundwater? What is the contaminants' spatial variability in concentration and "lability"? Finally the assessment of toxicity risks for the health of people, plants and animals is of particular relevance for establishing critical values in national environmental guidelines. Which type of damages may pollutants cause and what is the probability that they occur ?

Title:

Biogeoscience:  Is there a future for genomics in geology?

Conveners: D. Ariztegui, J. A. McKenzie, C. Vasconcelos
Supporting Organizations: Commission for Oceanography and Limnology (COL), Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)

Description:

Do geoscientists need phylogeny?  In the mid-1970’s, Carl Woese postulated a new classification of life using ribosomal RNA molecules.  He separated life into 3 domains (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya) and built phylogenetic trees, which can serve as DNA-derived widows into the past.  Our knowledge of Earth’s earliest life and the environment in which it evolved remain controversial subjects due to the lack of Precambrian fossil evidence.  Genomics offers a new tool for geoscientists to study evolution in deep time.  Using an evolutionary chronometer that relates modern prokaryotes to distant ancestors, geoscientists can define the distinct metabolism of these ancestors and obtain information which links the evolution of life and its influence on the evolution of the Earth’s environment. Further, increasing our knowledge of prokaryotic ancestors and their metabolisms may, in turn, tell us about the environment in which eukaryotes arose and the conditions which facilitated their evolution.

Invited keynote speakers will address the application of genomics to frontier research topics in the geosciences.  Poster presentations are welcome.

Title:

Natural hazards: forecasting and modeling

Conveners: M. Thüring, C. Hegg, S. Löw
Supporting Organizations: Fachleute Naturgefahren Schweiz (FAN), Swiss Ingeneering Geologists Group (SFIG/GSGI), Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGmG/SSGm)

Description:

Natural hazards are one of the central topics of applied earth sciences today. Earth scientists are called not only to describe and interpret past events but are asked also express themselves on the future reoccurrence of natural hazard events. This session focuses on the state of the art of natural hazard modeling and forecasting, mainly based on computer modeling, of geological natural hazards, such as avalanches, debris flows, landslides, rockfalls, earthquakes and flooding.

Title:

Terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (and global change)

Conveners: M.W.I. Schmidt, F. Hagedorn
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Soil Science Society (BGS/SSP)

Description:

Research of terrestrial biogeochemical cycles aims to develop an understanding of the earth system with all its ecological implications.

Processes on landscape, ecosystem and global levels are closely interrelated and mutually influence each other. This symposium focuses on:

  • » biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial systems, including soil, vegetation and atmosphere,
  • » how ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles interact with changes in climate, land use and diversity,
  • » experiments to reveal functional relationships,
  • » paleoclimatological and paleoecological methods, to draw conclusions about the adaptability of organisms in the past and future
  • » the application of a whole spectrum of techniques, including inorganic-chemical, biochemical, microscopic and mineralogical analysis, and the use of isotopes.

Title:

Our dependence on the Earth - Geology concerns us all.

Conveners: P. Mader, H.R. Graf
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Association of Geologists (CHGEOL), Swiss Geotechnical Commission (SGTK), Swiss Hydrogeological Society (SHG/SSH), Swiss Ingeneering Geologists Group (SFIG/GSGI), Groupe Suisse pour l'Etude des Matières Premières Minérales (SASTE)

Description:

Although it is often not well known, or frequently overseen, much that surrounds us is related to Earth Sciences. The aim of this symposium is to demonstrate the relevance of Earth Sciences to our daily lives, on the basis of concrete examples from the practice.

Possible examples include:

  • » Natural gas and oil, coal
  • » Hydraulic energy
  • » Water resource management (well-springs, Groundwater)
  • » Raw materials like kaolin and talc for cosmetics
  • » Ore for metallic materials or semi-conductors
  • » Building industry with stones, cement, concrete, bricks, ceramics, glass
  • » Valuable articles and money made out of silver, gold, platinum, jewels
  • » Safe waste diposal
  • » Dealing with natural hazards