GeoLog

GeoLog

Imaggeo on Mondays: Three coloured pools

Imaggeo on Mondays: Three coloured pools

With the Imaggeo Photo Contest opening last week, what better than feature one of the 2015 competition finalists as this week’s Imaggeo on Mondays image. In this post, Irene Angeluccetti, author of the photograph, writes about the threatened ecosystem of Mono Lake. If you’ve been inspired by Irene’s photograph, why not entre the photo contest for your chance to win a free registration to the General Assembly in 2017? You can find out more by reading this blog post.

On a brief stop on the road from the Yosemite park to Las Vegas, we got hooked by some postcards depicting the nearby Mono Lake. We decided immediately to make a quick detour to visit the Natural Reserve surrounding the lake. Although noon wouldn’t provide the best light over the lake, we spent an hour wandering among the towers of the South Tufa area.

The alkaline Mono Lake waters, with a pH of 10 and far more salty than the ocean, are home to crowds of alkali flies and brine shrimps. These in turn are food for dozens of different waterbird species.

Mono Lake’s unique ecosystem has long been threatened by a constant decrease in water level due to water diversion. A dramatic water level drop has been observed since its tributaries started being diverted to meet the need of the Los Angeles growing water demand since 1941 on. By 1978 the lake water levels had dropped by almost half of its original volume, spurring the creation ofcitizens committee which started to take care of the future of the lake. The effort of the committee, in protecting Mono Lake, has led to the partial restoration of the original water volume. However periods of extreme drought still threaten this fragile ecosystem.

Western USA is facing one of the most severe droughts on record. In particular, California is entering the fourth year of a drought that is creating an extremely parched landscape. An effective drought monitoring is essential to plan response and recovery actions. This is especially true in the case of low-income countries prone to agricultural droughts and subsequent famine crisis.

By Irene Angeluccetti, researcher at ITHACA – Information Technology for Humanitarian Assistance, Cooperation and Action

If you pre-register for the 2016 General Assembly (Vienna, 17 – 22 April), you can take part in our annual photo competition! From 1 February up until 1 March, every participant pre-registered for the General Assembly can submit up three original photos and one moving image related to the Earth, planetary, and space sciences in competition for free registration to next year’s General Assembly!  These can include fantastic field photos, a stunning shot of your favourite thin section, what you’ve captured out on holiday or under the electron microscope – if it’s geoscientific, it fits the bill. Find out more about how to take part at http://imaggeo.egu.eu/photo-contest/information/.

Townhall and Splinter Meetings at EGU 2016

Townhall and Splinter Meetings at EGU 2016

In addition to the wealth of scientific sessions at the General Assembly (17–22 April 2016), there is also the option to attend other meetings during EGU 2016. These include Townhall and Splinter Meetings, which are organised by conference participants. 

Splinter Meetings

Splinter Meetings can also be organised by participants during the course of the conference and they can be public or by invitation only. To request a Splinter meeting, please complete the online Splinter Meeting Request Form. Splinter Meeting rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please see the Splinter Meeting Overview to determine room availability before submitting your request.

Please note that splinter meeting rooms are not available for session extensions. Additional information on Splinter Meetings is available on the EGU 2016 website.

Townhall Meetings

Townhall Meetings are meetings open for all participants in the conference. During these meetings new initiatives or decisions are announced to a larger audience following an open discussion on the matter. There are seven Townhall Meetings currently proposed in the provisional conference programme. For an idea of the content that will be covered during these, take a look at the EGU 2016 website.

Anyone may organise a Townhall Meeting, subject to approval by the Programme Committee chair. Townhall Meetings will be scheduled from Monday to Friday from 19:00 to 20:00 in the conference centre’s lecture rooms. You could propose your own Townhall Meeting for the 2017 General Assembly, just stay tuned to next year’s call for sessions if you are interested.

What is in your field rucksack? A trip to Chilean Patagonia

What is in your field rucksack? A trip to  Chilean Patagonia

Inspired by a post on Lifehacker on what your average geologist carries in their rucksack/backpack, we’ve put together a few blog posts showcasing what a range of our EGU members carry in their bags whilst in the field!

Of course, fieldwork in Northern Europe vs. research in Australia is very different, think only of the weather! The same is true if you’ve been embarked on research in the Arctic vs. the Amazon, for instance.

The second bag we take a peek into belongs to Alejandro Dussaillant-Jones, a hydrologic engineer affiliated with the Centro de Investigacion en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia, who, for the past five years has been carrying out research about glacial lake outburst flood, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology in the Chilean Patagonia. Compared to that Zoe Mildon carried in her bag for field work in the Italian Alps, the contents of their bags sure looks different!

This bag belongs to: Alejandro Dussaillant, engineering hydrologist (CIEP, VATF Ltd.)

Field Work location: Baker & Colonia Rivers, NPI, Chilean Patagonia

Duration of field work: 2 weeks (years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

What was the aim of the research?: To study outburst floods from Lake Cachet II to the Colonia and Baker Rivers, with a particular focus on outburst wave impacts on catastrophic flooding, sediment erosion/deposition, and floodplain vegetation. Lake Cachet II is particularly interesting as it has a habit of draining very rapidly; sometimes just overnight!

The one item I couldn’t live without: UVF radios to keep in contact with team surveying, monitoring or boating with me!

Alejandro describes the contents of his bag as ‘minimal’ since he usually also has to carry surveying kit, flow meter(s), sensors, tree-corer, auger, sun hat, rain gear, sun lotion, anti-bug spray, sat-phone, etc… when carrying out fieldwork in the Chilean Patagonia.

If you’ve been on field work recently and would like the contents of your bag to feature on the blog, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact the EGU’s Communication Officer, Laura Roberts (networking@egu.eu)

Imaggeo on Mondays: Emerald Moss

Imaggeo on Mondays: Emerald Moss

The high peaks of the Tien Shan Range, one of the biggest and largest mountain ranges of Central Asia, conjure up images of snowcapped peaks, rugged terrains and inhospitable conditions. Yet, if you are prepared to look a little further, the foothills of these towering peaks are a safe haven for life. Bulat Zubairov, a researcher at Humboldt University, takes us on a journey of discovery to the Ile-Alatau National Park in today’s Imaggeo on Mondays post.

This photo was taken in the Ile-Alatau National Park, approximately at this point: 43° 9’31.81″N, 77° 5’47.36″E. The National Park is located on the northern slopes of Ile Alatau (Zailiysky Alatau) mountain range, which is a part of the Tien Shan Range and it is a main recreation zone for people who live in Almaty (the biggest city in Kazakhstan).

The photo was taken in a small watershed – an area or ridge of land which separates two bodies of water – where a small river flows. The upstream section of the watershed dries up periodically over the summer periods.

Reflecting the rich fauna and flora of the Ile-Alatau National Park, more than 100 species of mosses can be found in this area in a wooded zone. They play a significant role in regulation of water balance of the region, preventing soil erosion, supporting special types of biocenosis and promoting biodiversity conservation. Being one of the indicators of ecosystem condition, mosses also play a key role in monitoring and assessment of current changes in ecology of the region, especially taking into account ever-growing anthropogenic pressures. All this shows the relevance of efforts aimed at researching of such a beautiful and such important part of nature as mosses.

By Bulat Zubairov, PhD student at Humboldt University in Berlin

If you pre-register for the 2016 General Assembly (Vienna, 17 – 22 April), you can take part in our annual photo competition! From 1 February up until 1 March, every participant pre-registered for the General Assembly can submit up three original photos and one moving image related to the Earth, planetary, and space sciences in competition for free registration to next year’s General Assembly!  These can include fantastic field photos, a stunning shot of your favourite thin section, what you’ve captured out on holiday or under the electron microscope – if it’s geoscientific, it fits the bill. Find out more about how to take part at http://imaggeo.egu.eu/photo-contest/information/.

 

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