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What’s new for the 2019 General Assembly?

What’s new for the 2019 General Assembly?

Along with our conference organisers, Copernicus, we aim to improve the experience of General Assembly attendees with each passing year. Over the last few months we’ve introduced some changes that we hope will make the 2019 edition of our meeting even better! This post highlights the new rules for submitting an abstract and some changes that returning participants will notice at next year’s conference.

Abstract submission rules

An ever-growing number of participants means making sure that all participants at the EGU annual General Assembly are able to present their work in a comfortable manner in the years to come. One of the measures adopted to ensure all presentations (orals, posters and PICOs) find a place is the introduction of the one-abstract rule.

Authors are allowed as first author to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. A second regular abstract can be submitted to the Educational and Outreach Sessions (EOS) programme group (maximum number of abstracts, including solicited abstracts, remains two). Possible submissions for first authors are: 1 regular + 1 solicited abstract; or 2 solicited abstracts; or 1 regular or solicited abstract + 1 EOSabstract (regular or solicited). Note that authors will need to provide a transaction number (TAN) when submitting their additional solicited abstract. This TAN has to be provided by the convener. Participants can be co-authors on additional abstracts in which they are not first author.

Another change for the EGU General Assembly 2019 is that only 2019 EGU members will be able to submit an abstract as first authors (co-authors are not required to have a membership). You can become a member or renew your membership online on the EGU website (www.egu.eu/membership/) or while registering for the General Assembly. Students receive a 50% discount in their EGU membership rates, and all EGU members benefit from substantially reduced registration rates to the meeting, amongst other benefits. More information on these new abstract submission rules are available on EGU’s call-for-abstracts announcement.

The new changes to the conference programme schedule will provide a more comfortable meeting experience for all! (Credit: EGU/Keri McNamara)

Conference programme schedule

The scheduling of the conference programme will also see some changes at the upcoming General Assembly. The new schedule features posters, orals and PICOs throughout the day, uses time blocks of 105 minutes, and includes a dedicated networking slot. Note that posters and orals of the same session will not be scheduled at the same time. This schedule change will allow us to fit more oral presentations in the meeting, give more viewing time for posters and PICOs, and provide a more comfortable meeting experience for all. A dedicated networking slot will give attendees additional time to discuss and interact with colleagues, to view posters and to visit the exhibition.

As in the past, each day of the EGU General Assembly in 2019 will begin at 08:30 and end at 20:00, will be organised in time blocks (TBs), and have a number of breaks. However, most TBs will now be 15 minutes longer and will feature all presentations types, as follows:

  • 08:30–10:15 TB1: Posters, orals, PICOs
  • 10:15–10:45 Coffee break
  • 10:45–12:30 TB2: Posters, orals, PICOs
  • 12:30–14:00 Lunch break
  • 14:00–15:45 TB3: Posters, orals, PICOs
  • 15:45–16:15 Coffee break
  • 16:15–18:00 TB4: Posters, orals, PICOs
  • 18:00–19:00 TB5: Networking, meet EGU, exhibition, and extra poster viewing
  • 19:00–20:00 TB6: Townhalls, some medal lectures, some short courses, special events

More information and a detailed time schedule are in the EGU news item.

Offset your travel carbon footprint when registering

Finally, we are taking steps to make the General Assembly greener. Last year we implemented a number of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the meeting, including giving participants the opportunity to offset the CO2 emissions resulting from their travel to and from Vienna. People who used this option while registering contributed to a project to reduce deforestation in Brazil. As a result of this initiative we raised nearly €17,000 for the carbon offsetting scheme!

In 2019, conference registrants will be able to donate to one of three different carbon-offset projects by choosing the carbon-offsetting option when registering to the meeting. The money collected from you will then be forwarded to carbonfootprint.com to be invested in your selected project:

1) Wayang Windu Phase 2 Geothermal Power Project
Type: Geothermal
Location: Indonesia, Asia

2) Borehole Rehabilitation Project in Uganda
Type: Clean Drinking Water
Location: Uganda, Africa

3) Efficient Cookstove Programme
Type: Household Cookstoves
Location: Kenya, Africa

We’re striving to add further measures for 2019, so stay tuned to the EGU blog and website for further details on new green initiatives. We look forward to seeing you in Vienna!

EGU 2019 will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

EGU 2019: Registration open & townhall and splinter meeting requests

EGU 2019: Registration open & townhall and splinter meeting requests

The EGU General Assembly brings together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting that covers all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The conference is taking place in Vienna on 7–12 April 2019, providing an opportunity for both established scientists and early career researchers to present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of the geosciences.

Registration and abstract submission

Early registration for the conference is open until 28 February 2019. You can register online on the Register and Venue section of the General Assembly website.

Note that EGU members benefit from reduced registration rates! If you register to attend the conference before 28 February 2019 and you are an EGU member, your weekly ticket will cost €390. A similar early-bird discount is available to non-members, but weekly ticket costs are significantly higher: €530. Students and emeritus attendees enjoy reduced rates as well, and they face even lower ticket costs when registering both before the early-bird deadline as and EGU members.

Those registering after 28 February will no longer enjoy early registration discounts, regardless of their membership and career status. To become a member, or renew your EGU membership, go to www.egu.eu/membership/.

You can get a feel for the great geoscience that will be discussed at the meeting by browsing through the EGU 2019 sessions. Clicking on ‘please select’ allows you to search for sessions by Programme Group. You’ll then be able to view the sessions in more detail and submit an abstract to its relevant session.

As announced a few weeks ago, only one abstract as first author will be permitted, with a few exceptions. Authors are allowed as first author to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. A second regular abstract can be submitted to the Educational and Outreach Sessions (EOS) programme group.

In addition, only EGU members will be able to submit abstracts to the meeting. You can become a member or renew your membership online on the EGU website or while registering for the EGU General Assembly.

The deadline for abstract submission is 10 January 2019, 13:00 CET. The full meeting programme will be made available in late February 2019.

Submit your townhall and splinter meeting requests

Also available on the conference website are the request forms for townhall and splinter meetings.

Townhall meetings are meetings open to all conference participants. At townhall meetings, new initiatives or decisions are announced to a larger audience, followed by an open discussion on the matter raised. If you’d like to organise a townhall, be sure to submit your request before 18 January 2019.

During the conference, side meetings on non-commercial matters organized by participants can be reserved for two successive time blocks free of charge in the rooms mentioned below. Commercial meetings are subject to a charge dependent on the meeting size – for details check the website. Be sure to submit your splinter-meeting request before 22 March 2019.

More details about the short courses, splinter and townhall meetings at the conference will be given in an upcoming blog post.

For more information about the General Assembly, please see the EGU 2019 website.

EGU 2019 will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

November GeoRoundUp: the best of the Earth sciences from around the web

November GeoRoundUp: the best of the Earth sciences from around the web

Drawing inspiration from popular stories on our social media channels, major geoscience headlines, as well as unique and quirky research, this monthly column aims to bring you the latest Earth and planetary science news from around the web.

Major stories

Earth’s red and rocky neighbor has been grabbing a significant amount of attention from the geoscience media this month. We’ll give you the rundown on the latest news of Mars.

The NASA-led InSight lander, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, touched down on the Red Planet’s surface last week, causing the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) control room to erupt in applause, fist pumps, and cool victory handshakes.

The lander, equipped with a heat probe, a radio science instrument and a seismometer, will monitors the planet’s deep interior. Currently, no other planet besides our own has been analysed in this way.

While scientists know quite a bit about the atmosphere and soil level of Mars, their understanding of the planet’s innerworkings, figuratively and literally, only scratches the surface. “We don’t know very much about what goes on a mile below the surface, much less 2,000 miles below the surface down to the center,” explains Bruce Banerdt, a scientist at JPL, to the Atlantic.

By probing into Mars’ depths, researchers hope the mission gives insight into the evolution of our solar system’s rocky planets in their early stages and helps explain why Earth and Mars formed such different environments, despite originating from the same cloud of dust.

“Our measurements will help us turn back the clock and understand what produced a verdant Earth but a desolate Mars,” Banerdt said recently in a press release.

The InSight lander launched from Earth in May this year, making its way to Mars over the course of seven months. Once reaching the planet’s upper atmosphere, the spacecraft decelerated from about 5,500 to 2.4 metres per second, in just about six minutes. To safely slow down its descent, the lander had to use a heatshield, a parachute and retro rockets.

“Although we’ve done it before, landing on Mars is hard, and this mission is no different,” said Rob Manning, chief engineer at JPL, during a livestream. “It takes thousands of steps to go from the top of the atmosphere to the surface, and each one of them has to work perfectly to be a successful mission.”

This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The InSight lander is currently situated on Elysium Planitia, a plane near the planet’s equator also known by the mission team as the “biggest parking lot on Mars.” Since landing, the robot has taken its first photos, opened its solar panels, and taken preliminary data. It will spend the next few weeks prepping and unpacking the instruments onboard.

The devices will be used to carry out three experiments. The seismometers will listen for ‘marsquakes,’ which can offer clues into the location and composition of Mars’ rocky layers. The thermal probe will reveal how much heat flows out of the planet’s interior and hopefully show how alike (or unalike) Mars is to Earth. And finally, radio transmissions will demonstrate how the planet wobbles on its axis.

In other news, NASA has also chosen a landing site for the next Mars rover, which is expected to launch in 2020. The space agency has announced that the rover will explore and take rock samples from Jezero crater, one of the three locations shortlisted by scientists. The crater is 45 kilometres wide and at one point had been filled with water to a depth of 250 metres. The sediment and carbonate rocks left behind could offers clues on whether Mars had sustained life.

What you might have missed

By analysing radar scans and sediment samples, a team of scientists have discovered a massive crater, hidden underneath more than 900 metres of ice in northwest Greenland. After surveying the site, scientists say it’s likely that a meteorite created the sometime between 3 million and 12,000 years ago.

The depression under Hiawatha Glacier is 31 kilometres wide, big enough to hold the city of Paris. At this size, the crater is one of the top 25 largest craters on Earth; it’s also the first to be found under ice. An impact of this size significant mark on the Earth’s environment. “Such an impact would have been felt hundreds of miles away, would have warmed up that area of Greenland and may have rained rocky debris down on North America and Europe,” said Jason Daley from Smithsonian Magazine.

Links we liked

The EGU Story

This month, we have announced changes to the EGU General Assembly 2019 schedule, which aim to give more time for all presentation types. Check our news announcement for more information. In other news, we have opened applications to the EGU General Assembly 2019 mentoring programme, and are advertising a job opportunity for geoscientists with science communication experience to work at the meeting.

Also this month, we opened the call for applications for EGU Public Engagement Grants, and have announced the creation of the EGU Working Group on Diversity and Equality. Finally, we’ve published a press release on a new study that looked into whether data on seabird behavior could be used to track the ocean’s currents.

And don’t forget! To stay abreast of all the EGU’s events and activities, from highlighting papers published in our open access journals to providing news relating to EGU’s scientific divisions and meetings, including the General Assembly, subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter.

NASA’s InSight mission: detecting ‘earthquakes*’ on the surface of Mars

NASA’s InSight mission: detecting ‘earthquakes*’ on the surface of Mars

In three days’ time, NASA’s InSight Lander is expected to plunge through Mars’ atmosphere before parachuting down to a controlled landing on the flat plains of the Elysium Planitia.

Once the dust has settled, a solar powered robotic arm will painstakingly unload the precious instruments stored onboard onto the planet’s surface, carefully guided by scientists back on Earth.

This is an illustration showing a simulated view of NASA’s InSight about to land on the surface of Mars. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

These instruments are designed to penetrate further into Mars’ subterranean secrets than any mission before. While previous Martian landers have monitored the planet’s surface and atmosphere, the goal of InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is to explore Mars’ interior using three specialised tools.

These include a heat probe which will measure the heat flow near to the surface, a radio science instrument which will measure how Mars wobbles on its axis, and a seismometer which will tell us about Mars’ deep interior. Scientists hope this will lead to new information on the formation of the planets in our solar system, perhaps even illuminating more detail on how our own planet came about.

Seismometers detect seismic waves, vibrations that travel through the ground after an event such as fault movement or meteorite impact. The type of wave and the speed at which it travels can provide important details about the material through which it moves. On Earth, a global network of seismometers has provided vital information about the structure of the planet’s core and mantle.

Robert Myhill, a seismologist at the University of Bristol, is part of a large international team of scientists who have been preparing for data returned by InSight’s seismometers (known as SEIS). Until recently, Myhill has been investigating how SEIS will be affected by Mars’ regolith (its shallow soil surface)[1].

Now that SEIS is en route to its Martian home however, Myhill and colleagues are getting ready for the next phase: receiving the data. “We hope to be able to use the waveforms from marsquakes and/or impacts to image the interior structure of the planet for the first time, including the thickness and structure of the crust, and the composition of the mantle and core,” Myhill explains.

“We’ve also been investigating how we can combine the geophysical data returned by InSight with existing geochemical data to tell us about the history of Mars and the continuing evolution of the planet’s deep interior.”

The data they will receive comes from two different types of sensors, a ‘very-broad-band’ (known as ‘VBB’) seismometer and three tiny short-period seismic sensors which are about the size of a Euro coin. The different sensors can detect various types of seismic wave, depending on the size and location of the seismicity.

Animation of InSight deploying it’s seismometer. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Gathering the information needed to achieve the mission’s goals presents numerous challenges. For starters, unlike Earth, which has a network of seismometers that can be used together, InSight will be the only active geophysical station on the Red Planet. Two previous seismometers, mounted on NASA’s Viking Landers in the 1970s, experienced technical faults and design limitations and are no longer in action. As a result, researchers have had to come up with novel ways to gather information from the lone InSight lander [2] [3].

The mission’s designers have also developed new technology to reduce noise and ensure the equipment can operate in Mars’ harsh environment. The seismometer will be mounted on a levelling system close to the Martian surface to minimise tilt and reduce the effect of wind. Once levelled, the lander’s robotic arm will place a wind and thermal shield over the top of the instruments, sheltering the sensitive instruments from extreme temperatures and buffeting by the Martian winds.

Despite the increased protection afforded by the wind and thermal shield, there remain challenges for InSight. “We hope that during the lifetime of the mission, we don’t have a prolonged dust-storm. Although InSight would not be damaged by such an event, it does need solar energy for all its instruments and for data transmission,” said Myhill.

NASA’s InSight mission tests an engineering version of the spacecraft’s robotic arm in a Mars-like environment at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

From 26 November, he and the others involved must wait with bated breath to see their hard work come to fruition. “We should receive the first data from the instrument deck not long after landing, but full deployment of SEIS (including the wind and thermal shield) is not scheduled until early January 2019,” he explains.

“The timing of first results really depends on the level of seismicity, which is currently very poorly known. In fact, determining the rate of seismic energy generation is one of the primary goals of the InSight Mission. But of course, we’re all hoping to see something soon after deployment.”

For the most up to date information on the mission, as well as more details in the lander’s other exciting capabilities see NASA’s InSight website.

*Astute readers of this blog may have noticed the error in the title. There is no such thing as an earthquake on Mars… instead InSight will be monitoring ‘marsquakes’.

By Keri McNamara, freelance science writer

Keri McNamara is a freelance writer with a PhD in Volcanology from the University of Bristol. She is on twitter @KeriAMcNamara and www.kerimcnamara.com.

References

[1]                      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-018-0514-5

[2]                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001910351400582X

[3]                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031920116300875?via%3Dihub