Every April (or there abouts) Europe’s biggest conference for Geosciences takes place in Vienna. The EGU (European geosciences union general assembly) covers a wide range of topics, from atmospheric science over mantle dynamics to solar and planetary sciences and happens in the capital of Austria, Vienna. I have been to it last year and if you are a regular reader you probably remember this blog post. While Carbon Capture and Storage isn’t the key aspect of the conference I really enjoyed it last year due to various reasons and thanks to a travel fund I won last year from the UKCCSRC I am able to visit it again this year. This year I am going to give the whole modern media thingy a go and will be writing about it as it happens (if you are following my twitter account you probably have realised that already. ..).
I traveled with four other fellow Geoscientists from Edinburgh to Vienna and am sharing a beautiful flat with two of them. It is quite central so the subway ride to the conference venue does not take too long, yet the subway can be very crowded in the mornings, so going either very early to catch the first talks or a bit later is the best option. Yesterday (yep, there goes m big plan to write as it happens…) was the first day of the conference and I certainly was very eager to get involved in all the science. CCS session are only taking place on the last three days so I am spending Monday and Tuesday on broadening my horizons. On hindsight I saw too many talks already (around 15 on one day), but I learned a lot about sedimentary processes in gravity flows, sedimentary structures formed in upper flow regimes and on how you can use GPS and InSAR technology to monitor crustal deformation and faulting. Did you know that the current uplifting rate of the Sierra Nevada and some of the seasonal seimicity in California is related to the extensive usage of groundwater in the Central Valley? Some areas of the valley have subsided more than 8m in the last century and the human induced change in the hydrosphere leads to less stress on the basement which subsequently uplifts!
One of the highlights was a Keynote talk on the face of the earth which turned out to give an overview of the state of the art in geomorphology. Now, as you might know, my expertise in geomorphology is not the best, and I really enjoyed to talk. The speaker was one of the best I hear all day and his presentation was very good as well, something I can not say about all the presentations I have seen so far.
The poster sessions in the afternoon were a bit disappointing, I personally find it strange that so many posters had the potential to be much better than they were! It made me wonder if some of them were not checked by a person other than the author before they were printed. I will probably write another entry soonish on what I think a good poster should be like.