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This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.

How can remote sensing and wavelet transform unravel natural and anthropogenic ground motion processes?

How can remote sensing and wavelet transform unravel natural and anthropogenic ground motion processes?

Underground energy storage and gas storage in aquifers

In the context of energy transition, massive energy storage is a key issue for the integration of renewable sources into the energy mix. Storing energy in the underground can lead to larger-scale, longer-term and safer solutions than above-ground energy storage technologies. In particular, natural gas storages are designed to address different needs, like a strategic natural gas reserve, the regulation of gas supply and the answer to a seasonal peak heating or electricity demand. Energy companies routinely store gas in underground reservoirs known as “gas aquifers”, which then become gigantic natural tanks for injecting and extracting gases for energy needs. The natural gas is compressed and injected through wells into selected reservoirs, usually constituted of sand layers containing water, which is automatically forced out. The gas is then extracted from the same wells and the water can naturally flow back into the sand, maintaining equilibrium. Natural gas is stored from May to September when the demand is lower and withdrawn from October to April when the demand is higher.

Figure 1 – Location map showing a Sentinel-1 acquisition (2016) in Southwestern France (Aquitaine Basin) (colour image), a 25 km cell used by SMOS satellite (black square) that contains the reservoir isobaths of a gas storage site (red lines).

Integrated monitoring of a gas storage site

For risk prevention and environmental protection purposes, it is essential to check the integrity of the natural reservoirs used for underground storage and how they respond to the annual natural gas injection and extraction cycles. [Read More]

Where science and communication meet: the editorial world of scientific journals.

Where science and communication meet: the editorial world of scientific journals.

The ultimate scope of scientists is to publish their research advancement and share it with the scientific community and civil society. Researchers, whether coming from academia or research institutes, publish their results in peer-reviewed journals, that are usually highly technical and often incomprehensible to anyone except the major experts in the field. In some subjects is inevitable given the nature of the research contents. 

The scientific editorial world is punctuated by thousands of different highly specialized journals, although some of the oldest, e.g. Nature (1869) publishes articles across a wide range of scientific fields being addressed not only to research scientists, the primary audience but also for the educated public in order to shorten the gap between the two worlds. In today’s interview, we talk with Dr Yang Xia, Associate Editor of the journal Nature Communications for the Earth team. Her expertise is focused on environmental social science, environmental policy, socio-economics, sustainability and climate-related health risks and she will give us some insights into the editors’ job as well as into the unsolved questions in the field of the socio-economic impact of natural hazards.

Hi Yang! Thanks for accepting being interviewed by NhET. Can you tell us something about you? What led you to be Associate Editor of Nature Communications?

After completing my PhD degree, I felt a great desire to stay in a broader frame of science rather than focusing on a niche point. In this respect, my current job facilitates my love for diversity and inclusion because I am now able to read papers on various subjects from a wide range of author groups. I am also interested in scientific communication. As editors, we work in a company, but we still have loads of opportunities to actively communicate with researchers via conferences, lab visits and masterclass

Being Associate Editor for Nature Communications is definitely challenging and inspiring for many Early Career Scientists (ECSs). Also, it might be a good career opportunity for some of them. What are the main duties and skills of your specific position?

[Read More]

NH10 Multi-Hazards: The Latest EGU Natural Hazards Sub-Division

NH10 Multi-Hazards: The Latest EGU Natural Hazards Sub-Division

Earlier this year, the EGU Natural Hazards Division approved the addition of a new sub-division focused on the theme of ‘multi-hazards’. The Science Officers representing this sub-division, Joel Gill (British Geological Survey) and Marleen de Ruiter (IVM-VU Amsterdam), reflect on why this sub-division is necessary and how you can get involved.

Many regions are affected by multiple natural hazards, with hazards and/or their impacts not always occurring independently. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, therefore, advocates for ‘multi-hazard’ approaches to disaster risk assessment and reduction. The UN defines ‘multi-hazard’ as follows: 

“Multi-hazard means (1) the selection of multiple major hazards that the country faces, and (2) the specific contexts where hazardous events may occur simultaneously, cascadingly or cumulatively over time, and taking into account the potential interrelated effects” (UNDRR Terminology, 2017).

[Read More]

Alpine rock instability events and mountain permafrost

Alpine rock instability events and mountain permafrost
Rockfalls, rock slides and rock avalanches in high mountains

The terms rockfall, rock avalanche and rockslide are often used interchangeably. Different authors have proposed definitions based on volume thresholds, but the establishment of fixed boundaries can be tricky. Rockfall can be defined as the detachment of a mass of rock from a steep rock-wall, along discontinuities and/or through rock bridge breakage, and its free or bounding downslope movement under the influence of gravity[1,2]. Usually, we use this term when the volume is limited, and there is little dynamic interaction between rock fragments, which interact mainly with the substrate. Rockslides involve a larger volume (up to 100,000 m3) and the blocks often break in smaller fragments as they travel down the slope. In both rockfall and rockslide, the blocks move downslope mainly by falling, bouncing and rolling. On the other hand, rock avalanches involve the disintegration of rock fragments to form a downslope rapidly flowing, granular mass demonstrating exceptionally high mobility[3]. The size of these rock failures can vary from single boulders to several million cubic meters (e.g. the catastrophic failures of Triolet, 1717, and Randa, 1991).

[Read More]