4th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Bern 2006


SYMPOSIA SESSION, Saturday November 25th

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  1. Geological disposal of Switzerland's hazardous waste: the role of rock–water interaction
  2. Natural hazards and risks
  3. Trümpy Symposium: Stratigraphy, the measurement of geological time in the 21st century
  4. Tertiary and Quaternary paleoenvironments in the Western Alps and mammal paleontology: a tribute to Burkart Engesser
  5. Geochemical cycling
  6. Holocene climate swings
  7. Hydrological drought
  8. Open session "Mineralogy and Petrology"
  9. Open session "Paleontology"
  10. Open session "Swiss Tectonic Studies Group"
  11. From core to crust
  12. Bodeninformationssystem Schweiz - BICH
  13. Inventorying, assessing and mapping geotopes
  14. Terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (and global change)
  15. Economic Geography and its View on Regional Development
  16. Raumaneignung, politische und natürliche Grenzen: Kongruenzen und Konflikte
  17. Modeling the geosphere - its power, limits and risks (exploratory symposium)
  18. Geology and urban underground
  19. Changing Alpine Cryosphere: Facts, Impacts and Perspectives

 

 

 


Title:

Geological disposal of Switzerland's hazardous waste: the role of rock–water interaction

Conveners: M. Mazurek, U. Eggenberger, D. Hunkeler, U. Berner
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Society of Mineralogy Petrography (SMPG / SSMP)

Description:

The Swiss Geoscience Community has a clear mandate to guide environmentally-sound disposal of the nation's chemotoxic and radioactive wastes. Given the political responsibility to dispose of locally-generated wastes within national boundaries, the challenge is to find appropriate disposal sites in this small and densely populated country, and to demonstrate their reliability far into the future. The major geological threats to site integrity are the dissolution and transport of the hazardous materials in porewaters and mobile groundwaters. This symposium therefore focuses on the chemical and physical interaction between pore- and groundwaters and the "rock" component of sites (where "rock" includes the host geological formations, the solid waste itself and any engineered barriers). Because the problem varies with the kind of waste at hand, we have convened two symposium sessions: one on radioactive waste and the other on chemotoxic waste and contaminants. We solicit oral and poster contributions on these topics that are relevant to the Swiss scene, based on field, experimental or numerical simulation studies.

Session 1: Radioactive waste: Geological characterisation of potential repositories

Conveners: M. Mazurek and U. Berner

Deep geological disposal is the internationally preferred option for long-term isolation of spent nuclear fuel and vitrified radioactive waste, and, in many countries, it is also considered for lower-activity wastes. Key issues regarding the roles of a host-rock in safe long-term disposal include (1) physical isolation of the waste from the biosphere, (2) provision of a favourable mechanical and chemical environment for the waste and the engineered barriers, and (3) favourable confining properties that limit fluid transport of radioactive solutes to the surface. This session will present recent advances in geological, hydrogeological and geochemical studies towards deep geological disposal of radioactive waste in Switzerland, including work performed in underground rock laboratories, such as at Mont Terri and Grimsel.


Session 2. Chemotoxic waste disposal and remediation

Conveners: U. Eggenberger and D. Hunkeler

A large number of contaminated sites are present in Switzerland, owing to past industrial activities and near-surface disposal of waste, and these are a major source of contamination of groundwater and drinking water. While current disposal strategies aim at minimising both waste production and environmental impact, waste is still being produced and requires adequate treatment. In this context, geochemical understanding of waste-water interaction is essential for groundwater quality and monitoring. Key questions include: What is the potential for mobilisation of contaminants from waste materials or contaminated sites, such as heavy metals and organic compounds? What are the mechanisms and rates of transfer of hazardous substances to soil and groundwater? How do we characterise spatial variability in the waste form and in the concentration of contaminants? How can critical contaminant concentrations be assessed in national environmental guidelines in order to manage toxicity risks for the health of people, plants and animals? Contributions that address such problems are welcome in this session.


Title:

Natural hazards and risks

Conveners: H. Kienholz, B. McArdell, F. Schlunegger, M. Thüring
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Geographical Society (SGV), Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGGm/SSGm)

Description:

This symposium will address key issues related to research in hazard analysis and risk mitigation. Specifically we intend to discuss the following questions: What do we know about the magnitude-frequency distribution of hazards? Which tools are available for hazard quantification, and which methods are needed for the future? Which strategies for risk mitigation are in use and/or required? What information can we extract from landscapes to predict and quantify hazards and risks?


Title:

Trümpy Symposium: Stratigraphy, the measurement of geological time in the 21st century

Conveners: H. Weissert, D. Bernoulli, S. Schmid, A. Strasser
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Paleontological Society (SPG/SPS)

Description:

The symposium is organized in honour of Prof Rudolf Trümpy, who will celebrate his 85th birthday in 2006. Earth systems history including climate history and research concerning the co-evolution of life and the physical environment asks for improved time resolution in the geological archives. New methods in stratigraphy, including chemostratigaphy and astrochronology are combined with biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and geochronology in modern earth systems history. Abstracts are welcome from all fields of stratigraphy and earth systems history including areas as Quaternary geology, paleoceanography and micropaleontology, cyclostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy geochronology and magnetostratigraphy.

Swiss Commission of Palaeontology Prize for young researchers
for the best paper and presentation in palaeontology


Title:

Tertiary and Quaternary paleoenvironments in the Western Alps and mammal paleontology: a tribute to Burkart Engesser

Conveners: D. Becker and F. Preusser
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research (SKQ/CSQ), Swiss Paleontological Society (SPG/SPS)

Description:

The first part of this symposium is devoted to the reconstruction of the Cenozoic environmental history of the Western Alpine region and its forelands. Emphasis will be put on the different palaeontological and sedimentological data used for palaeoenvironmental, paleoclimatological and paleoecological reconstructions. The second part is a tribute to Dr. Burkart Engesser (Natural History Museum of Basle) and is devoted to mammal taxonomy and evolution.

Swiss Commission of Palaeontology Prize for young researchers
for the best paper and presentation in palaeontology


Title:

Geochemical cycling

Conveners: Th. Pettke, O. Müntener
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Society of Mineralogy Petrography (SMPG / SSMP)

Description:

Geochemical cycles may be one of the most important proxies to understand the long-term evolution of our planet and to help constrain fundamental processes from the deep mantle to the atmosphere. Mobile phases play a crucial role in mass transport between different subsystems and are especially important across various interfaces between sub-domains. We seek contributions on the interaction between sources and sinks and on the identification of mobility paths for geochemical tracers in Earth systems of all scales. Abstracts are welcome from a wide variety of research disciplines from the deep mantle to continents, to oceans and atmosphere as well as from anthropogenically affected systems.


Title:

Holocene climate swings

Conveners: H. Wanner, C. Schlüchter
Supporting Organizations: PAGES, ProClim-, Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research (SKQ/CSQ)

Description:

Glacial-Interglacial cycles are strongly determined by orbital forcing as well as ice-albedo feedbacks. On the millennial time scale those processes are also relevant during the Holocene. On the decadal to centennial scale several swings, cycles or oscillators (e.g. Bond cycles) are discussed in the literature. In the Alps this cycling behavior is particularly visible through remarkable glacier advances and retreats. Are these cycles or swings real and what drives them? All kinds of preliminary or matured studies are welcome.


Title:

Hydrological drought

Conveners: O. Overney, R. Weingartner
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Society for Hydrology and Limnology (SGHL), Hydrological Commission (CHy)

Description:

With the extremely hot and dry summer in 2003 and the relatively low rate of discharge during the winter half-year in 2005/2006, even the general public has become aware of issues regarding drought. This symposium is being organised to analyse the results obtained over recent years and to assess them in a larger temporal context. In addition, the consequences of drought for society as a whole will be discussed with the aim of obtaining answers to the question of whether society is prepared for the more frequent droughts that can be expected in the future, and in which areas work needs to be done.


Title:

Open session "Mineralogy and Petrology"

Conveners: C. Heinrich, A. Berger
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Society of Mineralogy Petrography (SMPG / SSMP)

Description:

With this symposium we want to offer the „hard rock community“ in Switzerland, and young geoscientists in particular, a platform to present recent work. Preliminary results as well as completed studies concerning mineralogy, magmatic and metamorphic petrology, and related themes are welcome.


Title:

Open session "Paleontology"

Conveners: U. Menkveld, A. Morard
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Paleontological Society (SPG/SPS), Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS)

Description:

With this symposium we want to offer the paleontological community in Switzerland, and young geoscientists in particular, a platform to present recent work. Preliminary results as well as completed studies concerning Paleozoic to Cenozoic fauna and flora, stratigraphy, systematics, evolution, paleoecology and related themes are welcome.

Swiss Commission of Palaeontology Prize for young researchers
for the best paper and presentation in palaeontology


Title:

Open session "Swiss Tectonic Studies Group"

Conveners: N. Mancktelow, S. Schmid
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS)

Description:

With this symposium we want to offer the „structural geology community“ in Switzerland, and young geoscientists in particular, a platform to present recent work. Preliminary results as well as completed studies concerning tectonics, folds, faults and fabrics, and related themes are welcome


Title:

From core to crust

Conveners: P. Tackley, ETH Zurich
Supporting Organizations:  

Description:

 


Title:

Bodeninformationssystem Schweiz - BICH

Conveners: P. Germann, M. Knecht
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Soil Science Society (BGS/SSP)

Description:

Boden, die oberste Schicht der Lithosphäre, ist Träger der terrestrischen Biosphäre und daher Grundlage unserer Nahrungsmittel. Er reguliert den Abfluss aus dem Niederschlag und filtert das Wasser. Er dient als Baugrund und in ihm werden Abfälle entsorgt. Durch Planung sollen die Konflikte um die multifunktionale Nutzung von Böden gering gehalten werden. Eine wesentliche Planungsgrundlage ist die Bodeninformation, die von traditionellen Karten über moderne Geographische Informationssysteme bis zur kleinflächigen Erfassung der aktuellen Nutzung durch Landwirte oder Gefährdung durch Erosion reicht. Am Symposium werden die aktuell angewandten Verfahren im Bodeninformationssystem Schweiz, BICH, vorgestellt sowie die Ansprüche der Nutzer und die Möglichkeiten der Entwickler diskutiert.


Title:

Inventorying, assessing and mapping geotopes

Conveners: E. Reynard, M. Felber
Supporting Organizations: Working Group for Geotopes in Switzerland, Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGGm/SSGm), Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research (SKQ/CSQ)

Description:

In 1998, the general assembly of the Swiss Academy of Sciences was concerned with the protection of geotopes. An informal list of about 400 geotopes of national significance was published. Since, several cantonal inventories have been carried out and various universities have worked on assessing and mapping methods. Recently, a revision of the national list of geotopes has been initiated. The symposium will make the state of the art concerning methods of inventories, assessment and cartography of geotopes.


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:

Economic Geography and its View on Regional Development

Conveners: H. Elsasser, P. Messerli
Supporting Organizations: Verband Geographie Schweiz (ASG)

Description:

The session is organized around invited papers. It represents some of the main research topics in the field at Universities where Economic Geography is a main subject. The session's perspective is a closer collaboration in Switzerland.
(This Symposium will be held on Saturday Morning)


Title:

Raumaneignung, politische und natürliche Grenzen: Kongruenzen und Konflikte

Conveners: U. Müller-Böker, D. Wastl-Walter
Supporting Organizations: Verband Geographie Schweiz (ASG)

Description:

Die Territorialität menschlicher Gruppen und Organisationen und Prozesse der gesellschaftlichen Raumaneignung sowie die räumliche Ausbreitung natürlicher Phänomene führen nicht nur zu einem permanenten Landschaftswandel, sondern sie bergen auch Risiken und Konflikte. Wie werden diese wahrgenommen und welche Bilder beeinflussen gesellschaftliche Aushandlungs- und Entscheidungsprozesse? In dieser Fachsitzung sollen Beiträge zum besseren Verständnis von räumlichen Entwicklungen und Fallstudien zur Lösung von raumbezogenen Konflikten vorgestellt werden.
(This Symposium will be held on Saturday Afternoon)


Title:

Modeling the geosphere - its power, limits and risks

Conveners: M. Roux, O. Smrekar, C. Ritz, H.-R. Egli, D. Vonder Mühll, C. Hegg, P. Brang
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF), ProClim, Swiss Geographic Society, Swiss Geological Society (SGG/SGS), Swiss Geomorphological  Society (SGGm/SSGm), Swiss Snow, Ice and Permafrost Society, Swiss Forest Association

Description:

We kindly invite experts in geosciences (inclusive of hydro- and atmospheric sciences) based computer modeling to work out outlines for an interdisciplinary symposia session to be held at the Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2007. At the preceding 4th Geoscience Meeting in Bern we will start with this 2-hour workshop to reflect the following theses: Simulation models are powerful tools to comprehend phenomena and processes in the system Earth. In addition, they provide a scientific framework to deal with global and regional change as well as with natural hazards. However, models are limited in terms of forecasting and support for decision makers. It is therefore crucial to apply, interpret and communicate model results including the inaccuracy ranges accordingly. Else, it might well contribute towards a bad reputation of science. Therefore, we will reflect on limits and risks and conclude in working out helpful guidelines.


Title:

Geology and urban underground

Conveners: F. Schenker, P. Mader
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Association of Geologists (CHGEOL), Swiss Geotechnical Commission (SGTK), Swiss Hydrogeological Society (SHG/SSH), Swiss Ingeneering Geologists Group (SFIG/GSGI)

Description:

Die Nutzung des Untergrundes vor allem in städtischen Gebieten wird immer intensiver. Immer öfter entstehen deshalb Konflikte zwischen unterschiedlichen und teilweise konkurrenzierenden Nutzungsansprüchen. Geologie spielt bei der Beurteilung solcher Konflikte eine zentrale Rolle und sollte deshalb vermehrt auch als Planungsinstrument eingesetzt werden, um eine nachhaltige Nutzung zu gewährleisten. Konkrete Beispiele aus der Praxis sollen die Arbeit des Geologen in diesem Umfeld zeigen und eine Diskussion bezüglich Recht und Regelungsbedarf für unterirdische Nutzungen anregen.


Title:

Changing Alpine Cryosphere: Facts, Impacts and Perspectives

Conveners: M. Hoelzle, A. Bauder, B. Krummenacher, C. Lambiel, M. Lüthi, M. Phillips, J. Schweizer, M. Schwikowski
Supporting Organizations: Swiss Snow, Ice and Permafrost Society and Swiss Geomorphological Society

Description:

This year the new Swiss Snow, Ice and Permafrost Society was founded.
One of the main goals of this society is to enhance and improve the distribution of glaciological research within the geoscience community. This session addresses all topics which are related to the Alpine Cryosphere and their current and future changes and impacts on the environment. We expect contributions covering the whole range of methods and models in the field of the Alpine snow, ice and permafrost research and practical applications.