1. Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geodynamics
  2. Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry
  3. Gemmology
  4. Palaeontology
  5. The Sedimentary Record of Tectonic, Climatic and Environmental Change From Deep to Modern Times
  6. Stratigraphy
  7. Timing of Earth Processes: from dates to rates
  8. Rock mechanics, Rock physics and Geophysics
  9. Subsurface Geology & Geo-Energy
  10. Open Session in Geomorphology
  11. Quaternary environments: landscapes, climate, ecosystems, human activity during the past 2.6 million years
  12. Cryospheric Sciences
  13. Hydrology, Limnology and Hydrogeology
  14. Environmental Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements
  15. Linking Trace Element and Carbon Biogeochemistry
  16. Trace elements in aquatic ecosystems: from legacy to emerging pollutants
  17. Atmospheric Processes and Interactions with the Biosphere
  18. Phenology and seasonality
  19. Earth Observation addressing key Earth System processes
  20. Geoscience and Geoinformation – From data acquisition to modelling and visualisation
  21. Development and governance of geo-energies. Insights from the social sciences
  22. Perspectives and challenges of mineral resource availability


1. Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geodynamics.

Guido Schreurs, Neil Mancktelow, Paul Tackley

Swiss Tectonics Studies Group of the Swiss Geological Society

Presentations are invited considering structural geology, tectonics, and geodynamics, including field, experimental and model studies of structures at all scales. The session should also provide a forum for interdisciplinary contributions studying the interplay between surface processes, topography and tectonics. Young researchers are particularly encouraged to participate and present their results.


2. Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry

Sébastien Pilet, Bernard Grobéty, Eric Reusser

Swiss Society of Mineralogy and Petrology (SSMP)

This session aims to provide a platform for research reports in all fields related to mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry that are not covered by other sessions (e.g. experimental petrology, volcanology, analytical approaches etc.). Furthermore, it provides a platform to young scientists that want to report about the results of their PhD/master projects. It is planned to have an accompanying poster session.


3. Gemmology

Michael S. Krzemnicki, Laurent E. Cartier

Swiss Gemmological Society (SGG),
Swiss Society of Mineralogy and Petrography (SSMP)

This session will cover all aspects related to coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls. We will cover the geological formation of different gemstone deposits and mining processes required to extract precious gemstones. Origin determination of gemstones and treatments of gemstones will be an important focus, along with the geochemical and spectroscopic techniques used to analyse these questions. Biomineralisation of organic gem materials such as corals and pearls will also be addressed.


4. Palaeontology

Christian Klug, Torsten Scheyer, Lionel Cavin

Schweizerische Paläontologische Gesellschaft,
Kommission des Schweizerischen Paläontologischen Abhandlungen (KSPA)

This session is dedicated to all subdisciplines of palaeontology in Switzerland and all other countries.

Presentations and posters may deal with macro- and microfossils, all major caldes including prokaryotes, eucaryotes, Metazoans, plants etc. Preferred topics are evolution, biostratigraphy, palaeobiogeography, palaeoecology including palaeoclimate, bio-events, evo-devo, but results from other fields may be presented as well.

Fossils provide essential data to document the history of life and evolution; index fossils provide important data for stratigraphic correlations; recently, fossils (especially of plants) have been widely used in research on palaeoclimate. Session language is English.


5. The Sedimentary Record of Tectonic, Climatic and Environmental Change From Deep to Modern Times

Sébastien Castelltort, Samuel Jaccard, Adrian Gilli, Karl Föllmi

The current observations of global climate perturbations raise numerous questions about related processes, their rates and their feedbacks in modifying our marine and continental environments. Similar questions also apply to the earth-surface response to major tectonic events that range temporally and spatially from earthquakes, glacio-isostatic adjustments, to the rise of mountain chains.

In addition, the recent deep Earth models of dynamic topography have challenged our views of the continental plates as stable platforms and have fostered new research avenues addressing the relationships between large-scale tectonics, sea level changes and climate. The carbonate and clastic sedimentary archives of basins contain rich records of Earth’s response to such perturbations (OAEs, PETM, K-T and P-T boundaries). Moreover, these archives have direct relevance towards societal challenges in the fields of adaptation to environmental change, hazard mitigation, natural resources and geo-energies.

In this session we invite a broad range of contributions addressing these aspects. We particularly encourage contributions of multidisciplinary studies covering all aspects of broad sedimentologic research.


6. Stratigraphy

Alain Morard, Reto Burkhalter, Oliver Kempf & Ursula Menkveld-Gfeller

Swiss Commitee for Stratigraphy (SKS/CSS),
Swiss Palaeontological Society (SPG/SPS),

This session is dedicated to the presentation and discussion of new results from all stratigraphic subdisciplines: lithostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy.

As concerns biostratigraphic contributions, a coordinated program will be established with the paleontology session (please submit your abstract there in this case).

Talks and posters on specific regional questions, broader scale correlations and reconstitutions, as well as on new methodological developments, are most welcome.


7. Timing of Earth Processes: from dates to rates

Urs Schaltegger, Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw

This session will focus onto the the determination of process rates in the geological past, directly related to the general theme of the meeting. The access to  precise and accurate absolute age information is essential to understand geological processes in a quantitative way. We invite all researchers dealing with time to contribute to this session, from climatology, paleobiology, magmatism, orogenic processes, landscape evolution, ore formation, and many more.


8. Rock mechanics, Rock physics and Geophysics

Marie Violay, Brice Lecampion, Claudio Madonna, Matteo Lupi, György Hetényi

This session provides the opportunity for contributions that fall within the broad spectrum of Rock Physics, Rock Mechanics and Geophysics. We solicit contributions on theory and simulations, instrumentation, laboratory experiments and field measurements, data analysis and interpretation, as well as inversion and modelling techniques.


9. Subsurface Geology & Geo-Energy

Andrea Moscariello, Anneleen Foubert, Lyesse Laloui, Alex Hürlimann

Swiss Association of Energy Geoscientists (SASEG)

The steadily increasing global energy demand, coupled with a heightened environmental awareness and the commitments by several countries to develop cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, requires a renewed effort to look at alternative subsurface geo-energy resources to fossil fuels. Geothermal energy and geological sequestration of CO2 or methane have in recent years represented important part of geo-energy academic research and industry efforts in several countries such as Switzerland whose development will bring the societies towards a new energy consumption portfolio. During this energy transition, the hydrocarbons industry will still play an important role, however the advances in exploration and production of subsurface geo-energy by the oil and gas industry will provide tools and best practices for the other geo-energy sectors.

This session aims to provide an occasion to the academic and industry community active in Switzerland on topics related to geo-energy exploration and reservoir characterization. Intends to bring together several different subsurface disciplines ranging from geology, geophysics, petrophysics and reservoir engineers engaged with quantitative description, characterization and modeling of subsurface systems varying from regional, reservoir to pore scale. Contributions from projects applied to hydrocarbon (conventional and unconventional), geothermal, subsurface geological storage (CO2, methane, nuclear waste) are envisaged to allow cross learning and cross fertilization from different geo-energy perspective.


10. Open Session in Geomorphology

C. Lambiel, C. Graf, I. Gärtner-Roer, N. Kuhn, R. Delaloye, M. KeilerC. Scapozza, C. Levy,  S. Castelltort, I. Regolini-Bissig, I. Kull

Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGS)
Swiss Association of Geographers (ASG)

Geomorphologists study processes, forms, materials and evolution of landscapes at Earth’s surface, often in close cooperation with practitioners and decision makers as well as with scientists from related disciplines. Especially in the context of global change, geomorphologists develop and promote the understanding of natural processes in geosystems, as well as the relationships between societies and geomorphological processes.

This open session on geomorphology at the 14th Swiss Geoscience Meeting encourages contributions from all areas of basic and applied geomorphology, including studies of the past and present processes and, for example, the implications for natural hazards, the influence on shaping the present landscape or landforms, or the influence of global change and how that may influence the processes, natural hazards, and resources in the future. Based on this year’s meeting theme “Time in Geosciences”, contributions focusing on this key-geomorphological issue will be preferred.

The Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGmS) invites people from science and practice to present their geomorphologic interests and results in oral or poster presentations. Especially young scientists are encouraged to take the opportunity of presenting their theses and fostering relationships with colleagues.


11. Quaternary environments: landscapes, climate, ecosystems, human activity during the past 2.6 million years

Irka HajdasChristine PümpinSusan Ivy Ochs, Naki Akçar, Gaudenz Deplazes, Jean Nicolas Haas, Stéphanie Girardclos

Swiss Society for Quaternary Research (CH-QUAT)

During the Quaternary Period, the last 2.6 million years of Earth’s history, changes in environments and climate shaped human evolution. Large-scale features of atmospheric circulation patterns varied significantly due to the dramatic changes in global boundary conditions, which accompanied abrupt changes in climate.

Past variations in the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and in climate were archived in Quaternary deposits and provide critical information for the interpretation of present and future environmental changes. Quaternary research focuses on understanding these changes in environmental conditions, and on assessing their impact on landscapes, ecosystems, and human societies.

Within this context, the session brings together scientists from diverse disciplines in Earth Science, Archaeology and Environmental Science. In addition to studies focusing on the reconstruction and impact of past environmental change, we also invite presentations focusing on human expansions and cultural development, and contributions to methodological improvements in climate proxy studies or in methods of age determination. Topics may include all aspects of Quaternary science and we strongly encourage students and young scientists to present the results of their ongoing research.


12. Cryospheric Sciences

M. Schwikowski, M. Heggli, M. HussJ. Nötzli, Daniel Tobler

Swiss Snow, Ice and Permafrost Society

This session addresses all topics, which are related to the Alpine and Polar Cryosphere. We expect contributions covering the whole range of Alpine and Polar snow, ice and permafrost research.

We encourage theoretical, experimental as well as practical contributions, especially from young researchers. Presentations that address the aspects of dynamics and thermodynamics of snow, ice and permafrost and impacts related to natural hazards are particularly welcomed.


13. Hydrology, Limnology and Hydrogeology

Pascal Blanc, Olivier Overney, Massimiliano Zappa, Michael Doering, Michael Sinreich

Swiss Society for Hydrology and Limnology SGHL,
Swiss Hydrological Commission CHy,
Swiss Hydrogeological Society SGH

The session is open to contributions dealing with hydrology, limnology and hydrogeology at all scales and especially contributions demonstrating interdisciplinary approaches. Additionally, this year particularly welcome are recent developments in urban hydrology or limnology and hydrogeology in regions with strong on-going socio-economic changes (population growth, land use change).

Oral and poster presentations will be scheduled. To ensure attractive oral sessions, the organizers will select a number of applications for oral presentations.

Key speakers will be invited.


14. Environmental Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements

Andreas Voegelin, Lenny Winkel

Trace elements play crucial roles in aquatic and terrestrial environments as growth-limiting nutrients or highly toxic compounds. Trace elements derived from both natural and anthropogenic sources may thus critically affect ecosystem productivity as well as human health. Due to their increasing use in high-technology applications and increasing emissions, a range of less-studied trace elements are also contaminants of emerging concern.

The environmental fate and impact of trace elements is controlled by their chemical speciation and the intimate coupling of abiotic and biotic transformation processes at different scales. To advance the knowledge on the biogeochemistry of trace elements, state-of-the-art analytical methods such as hyphenated techniques for trace-level speciation, isotope techniques, synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopies, electron microscopies and geochemical modeling can be combined to assess trace element behavior from the nanometer to the global scale.

For this session, we invite contributions on abiotic and biotic biogeochemical processes and their effects on trace element speciation, mobility, bioavailability, toxicity and distribution in natural and engineered environmental systems on different scales. In addition, we welcome contributions on new methodologies or new applications of state-of-the-art methods to environmental trace element research.


15. Linking Trace Element and Carbon Biogeochemistry

Vera I Slaveykova, Séverine Le Faucheur and Christel S. Hassler

The symposium has wide and interdisciplinary perspectives on the biogeochemistry of essential and toxic trace elements with specific emphasis on the interactions with the microorganisms and natural organic matter. Microorganisms and natural organic matter (NOM) are central in trace metal biogeochemistry.

Increasing evidences suggest that natural organic matter plays a critical role in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as trace element complexation, redox reactions, biomineralization, biouptake and toxicity to microorganisms. Unraveling the role of NOM in trace element biogeochemistry will allow to improve the basic knowledge on the link between the biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and carbon.

The symposium will focus on the new approaches in order to explore the role of NOM on the bioavailability, acquisition strategies, cellular metabolism and biological effects of the trace elements such as mercury, arsenic, chromium, uranium, iron, manganese, radionuclides, nanomaterials etc. in both aquatic and terrestrial environment.

Contributions at multiple scales of trace element-microorganism interactions are welcomed; including molecular-scale mechanistic studies in laboratory, biogeochemical cycle studies in the field, and modelling approaches.


16. Trace elements in aquatic ecosystems: from legacy to emerging pollutants

Montserrat Filella, Jean-Luc Loizeau

Commission of Limnology and Oceanography

Humans have impacted Earth’s surface environments and biogeochemical cycles for millennia. Many contaminants that are now highly regulated in Switzerland and developed countries are, on one hand, “legacy” pollutant from unadapted waste disposal, and, on the other hand still being used in large quantities by countries with economies in transition.

Moreover, a number of elements until now considered as chemical curiosities are increasingly being used in communication and green energy technologies. Global in nature, the anthropic mobilisation of chemical elements impacts natural waters with its conconmitant effects on ecosystem and human health.

This session aims to bring together studies on the presence and cycle of inorganic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, both emerging and of historical concern. All in a context of global change conditions with the corresponding modifications in hydrology, erosion rates, etc..


17. Atmospheric Processes and Interactions with the Biosphere

Christof Ammann, Stefan Brönnimann, Lutz Merbold, Peter Waldner

ACP – Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,
ProClim – Forum for Climate and Global Change,
IGBP- Swiss Committee

The aim of this session is to provide a platform for research reports from all fields related to climate science, atmospheric processes, and biosphere–atmosphere fluxes and interactions.

This session welcomes contributions that focus on relevant aspects of atmospheric, surface, or ecosystem processes, which influence atmospheric composition and climate or are influenced by them. Exchange and feedback processes are of key interest, but also case studies of specific chemical, physical or ecosystem processes are welcome, as well as insights from long-term monitoring and larger research infrastructures like e.g. ICOS-CH.

The session is suited to researchers working in the field of Climate Sciences, Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Physical Geography, Meteorology, Ecology and Agricultural Sciences. We encourage young scientists to present their Master theses or PhD projects, either orally or in the accompanying poster session.


18. Phenology and seasonality

Martine Rebetez, Christian Rixen, This Rutishauser

Swiss Commission for Phenology and Seasonality

The timing of the seasons is important to many bio-geoscientific systems. Across disciplines, data sources and methodological approaches, phenology often is a dominant factor for understanding underlying processes.

In this session, we welcome all studies related to the timing of biotic and abiotic events, in particular contributions directly related to Switzerland and the Alpine region. We are looking for contributions that present seasonality changes based on recent plant and animal phenological observations, historical documentary sources, or seasonality measurements using climate data, remote sensing, flux measurements or modelling studies. We invite contributions from students and senior scientist likewise to foster a lively discussion.

A few invited speakers will give a short overview on their research topic. These presentations will then lead to the main part of presentations, where we invite in particular young scientist to present their thesis and discuss it with colleagues.

The session also includes the award ceremony of the 5th «Schweizer Wettbewerb für Phänologie und Saisonalität».


19. Earth Observation addressing key Earth System processes

Stefan Wunderle, Mathias Kneubühler, Brigitte Buchmann, Alain Geiger

Swiss Commission for Remote Sensing,
Swiss Geodetic Commission

During the symposium we expect overviews and in-depth presentations on state-of-the-art Earth Observation methods used for measuring the spheres of the Earth. Recent advances in characterizing spheres and their interaction within the system Earth using remote sensing will be discussed and presented.

Emphasis will be on coupled systems, chemical, biological and physical constituents mapping on land, atmosphere, ocean, as well as the solid Earth.

Monitoring aspects such as Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), supporting missions and programs from national and international organizations and agencies are invited to be presented, too.


20. Geoscience and Geoinformation – From data acquisition to modelling and visualisation

Nils Oesterling, Adrian Wiget, Massimiliano Cannata, Michael Sinreich

Swiss Geodetic Commission,
Swiss Geotechnical Commission,
Swiss Geophysical Commission,
Swiss Hydrogeological Society

Digital data acquisition and 3D visualisation of geospatial objects and processes are already standard and are still gaining increasingly importance in geosciences. For instance geodetic data capture in combination with digital geological mapping constitutes an important basis for various tasks in engineering geology, natural hazard prevention and other geoscientific fields. Moreover, 3D modelling, GIS handling and visualisation of such data gives a better understanding of the respective problem setting.

In this symposium papers related to geospatial applications in all geosciences (geodesy, geophysics, geology, hydrogeology, engineering geology, geomorphology, etc.) will be presented. The focus will be on the following topics:

  • Development and application of digital tools for data capture
  • Transformation from field data to digital datasets and time series
  • Digital geological mapping and geoscientific information systems
  • 3D modelling, analysis of temporal variations and visualisation of geospatial objects and processes

Methodological papers as well as thematic case studies will be discussed. Contributions related to the topic of the 14th SGM Plenary Session «Time in Geology: Knowledge for a new beginning», e.g. time series, landscape changes, deformation monitoring, etc. are especially welcome this year.


21. Development and governance of geo-energies. Insights from the social sciences

Olivier Ejderyan, Michael Stauffacher

Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF),
Association Suisse de Géographie (ASG)

Geo-energies, as for instance deep geothermal energy (DGE), are presented as a potential technology to decarbonize energy production worldwide. The 2007 IPCC 4th assessment report indicated that in 2050 8,3% of world electricity production should be covered by DGE. In Switzerland, the Federal Energy Strategy plans a development potential of DGE of up 4.4 TWh/year by 2050. These projections rely for a large part on the development of DGE production in non-volcanic areas and the use of new technologies such as EGS (engineered/enhanced geothermal systems, that means relying on artificial heat exchangers, mining heat from hot rock, generally called “petrothermal” to distinguish from conventional geothermal called “hydrothermal” systems).

Despite those announcement, there is very little development of DGE with the exception of a few hotspots such as Southern-Germany. EGS power plants remain mainly at the level of pilot projects. In Switzerland there is no electricity produced by deep geothermal energy yet. Two major projects in Basel (2007) and St.Gallen (2013) triggered earthquakes, raising intense media attention and concern among local population and decision makers. Despite this but given the huge potential, there are still projects that are on their way in Switzerland, like for instance in Haute-Sorne, Jura. In Geneva, the Canton has launched a large program that aims to develop all forms of geothermal energy.

But DGE also suffers from its association with other forms of geo-energies. Fracking operations required for the stimulation of EGS sometimes lead to an amalgamation of DGE with shale gas extraction by some parts of the public. As a consequence, some groups start to oppose all drilling operations as it is the case in some Swiss Cantons.

This session aims to present results from social science research on the development of geo-energies in general, and discuss these in reference to DGE development in Switzerland. It strives to engage the debate with engineers, natural scientists and practitioners working in this field. It will tackle topics such as:

  • Social perceptions and representations of geo-energies and their influence on acceptance and acceptability;
  • Implications of the development of geo-energies at societal level as well as for local communities;
  • Planning, siting and conduct of geo-energies project;
  • Risk governance of geo-energies;
  • And more general: what role can, should or must not play social sciences with the respect to the development of geo-energies?

For this session we invite papers presenting results from empirical research on the social dimensions of geo-energies, as well as papers discussing these developments from a social and cultural theoretical perspective.


22. Perspectives and challenges of mineral resource availability

Lluis Fontboté, Christoph Heinrich, Larryn Diamond

Only invited speakers as possible complement to session 2