ERE
Energy, Resources and the Environment

ERE matters

Earth Sciences: ‘Rocks for Jocks’, or hard science?

According to some Republicans in the US, Earth Sciences cannot be regarded as one of the ‘pure sciences’, or hard science. Is Earth Sciences simply Rocks for Jocks, or do the earth sciences actually encompass some fundamental work here? Suggestions have been made that NASA should steer its focus away from Earth Sciences and more onto space exploration and research. If NASA complies, it would most likely mean that will be redirected from Earth Sciences to Planetary Sciences, leaving less budget to study our own planet. A final vote still needs to be made, but what should the outcome be?

“Earth sciences are a fundamental part of science. They constitute hard sciences that help us understand the world we live in and provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability, among other concerns.”

– American Geophysical Union CEO Christine McEntee –

I wholeheartedly agree with Christine McEntee, without Earth Sciences we would definitely not be able to study and better understand some of the most challenging issues society is facing these days: climate change, earthquakes, and energy production, to name a few. Less money automatically will mean less research being done to know more about our own planet. Knowing more about Earth will also help us to understand those other far-away inhabitable planets we are after.

Read the whole article on Science Insider, as well as one of the replies at the AGU Blogoshere. How do you feel about Earth Sciences as a pure science? Do you agree? What research are you doing to help us forward in understanding the Earth (or other planets)? Let us know 🙂

Total Solar Eclipse from the Perspective of Space (by Maximilian Reuter, taken from ImagGeo)

Total Solar Eclipse from the Perspective of Space (by Maximilian Reuter, taken from ImagGeo)

ERE Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award: who would you nominate?

Every year the EGU rewards outstanding young or early career scientists with the Arne Richter Outstanding Young Scientist Award (OYSA), or one of the Division Outstanding Young Scientist Awards. These awards are granted for an outstanding research contribution in the Earth, planetary and space sciences, and are intended to identify the awardees as role models for the next generation of young scientists.

If you know an outstanding YS, who has made a significant contribution to Energy, Resources and the Environment, please consider nominating them for the ERE Division OYSA! 🙂

For more information on the awards and medals awarded by EGU, check here. Please be aware that all nominations must be submitted online by the 15th of June! Go to the EGU website for a checklist on what to do before you submit.

Award Ceremony at the EGU GA 2015. Will you be on stage next year?

Award Ceremony at the EGU GA 2015. Will you be on stage next year?

The Sound of Climate Change: ‘Planetary Bands, Warming World’ by Daniel Crawford

For scientists, it can often be challenging to convert all our numbers and figures into something that is understandable for laymen. How can you make all these findings and knowledge we have tangible, speaking to people’s emotions? Daniel Crawford from the University of Minnesota translated NASA‘s climate change data to a musical composition. Each of the four zones in the Northern Hemisphere, the equator, midlatitudes, high latitides and arctic, are represented by an instrument, while the relative temperature shift in each zone is represented by the pitch range of the instrument.

Read the whole article on EOS. Or watch the video below 🙂

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The Late Holocene Fever by Christian Massari (Winner in the EGU Photo Contest 2015; taken from ImagGeo)

The Late Holocene Fever by Christian Massari (Winner in the EGU Photo Contest 2015; taken from ImagGeo)

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Doesn’t the music of the world sound beautiful and scary at the same time? I can’t help but noticing the increasing pitch of the arctic, which means that temperature changes in this already delicate area are increasing faster than in any of the other regions…

Are we going to curb the trend? Tell us if you are working on any climate related research, or what your thoughts are on the issue of climate change.

Words on Wednesday: Flow-through experiments on water–rock interactions in a sandstone caused by CO2 injection at pressures and temperatures mimicking reservoir conditions

Words on Wednesday aims at promoting interesting/fun/exciting publications on topics related to Energy, Resources and the Environment. If you would like to be featured on WoW, please send us a link of the paper, or your own post, at ERE.Matters@gmail.com.

This week, we would like to share with you the latest manuscript of Farhana Huq, who was our guest-blogger on Monday! 🙂

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Huq, F., S.B. Haderlein, O.A. Cirpka, M. Nowak, P. Blum, P. Grathwohl, 2015. Flow-through experiments on water–rock interactions in a sandstone caused by CO2 injection at pressures and temperatures mimicking reservoir conditions. Applied Geochemistry, v58, 136–146.

Highlights:

  • Altmark sandstone showed CO2-induced fluid–rock interactions under in-situ conditions.
  • Dissolution of anhydrite and calcite cements was inferred from fluid analysis.
  • Sample permeability increased by a factor 2.

Abstract:

Flow-through experiments were performed in a newly designed experimental setup to study the water–rock interactions caused by CO2 injection in sandstones obtained from the Altmark natural gas reservoir under the simulated reservoir conditions of 125°C and 50 bar CO2 partial pressure. Two different sets of experiments were conducted using CO2-saturated millipore water and CO2-saturated brine (41.62 g L-1 NaCl and 31.98 g L-1 CaCl2·2H2O), mimicking the chemical composition of the reservoir formation water. The major components in the sandstone were quartz (clasts + cement), feldspars, clay minerals (illite and chlorite), and cements of carbonates and anhydrite. Fluid analysis suggested the predominant dissolution of anhydrite causing increased concentrations of calcium and sulfate at early time periods at non-equilibrium geochemical conditions. The Ca/SO4 molar ratio (>1) indicated the concurrent dissolution of both calcite and anhydrite. Dissolution of feldspar and minor amounts of clay (chlorite) was also evident during the flow-through experiments. The permeability of the sample increased by a factor of two mostly due to the dissolution of rock cements during brine injection. Geochemical modeling suggests calcite dissolution as the major buffering process in the system. The results may in future studies be used for numerical simulations predicting CO2 storage during injection in sandstone reservoirs.

Reaction vessel used in the CO2/brine/rock reaction experiments on the Altmark sandstone - courtesy Farhana Huq

Reaction vessel used in the CO2/brine/rock reaction experiments on the Altmark sandstone – courtesy Farhana Huq