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Department of Geoscience

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5184
F. 403.284-0074

General Inquiries:
geoscience@ucalgary.ca

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News Archive - September 2013

Editor's Choice for 2013

The manuscript “Geothermobarometry of spinel peridotites from southern British Columbia: implications for the thermal conditions in the upper mantle” written by Annie Greenfield (senior author) and Dr Ed Ghent has been selected by Dr. Ali Polat as the next  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences Editor's Choice for 2013.  This new initiative of NRC Research Press and the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences is a means of highlighting articles of particularly high caliber and topical importance. The article will be mentioned on their website http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/journal/cjes.  


September 16, 2013

Computer simulation sheds light on how Earth’s continents were born

New research led by a University of Calgary geophysicist provides strong evidence against continent formation above a hot mantle plume, similar to an environment that presently exists beneath the Hawaiian Islands.

The analysis, published Sept. 15 in Nature Geoscience, indicates that the nuclei of Earth’s continents formed as a byproduct of mountain-building processes, by stacking up slabs of relatively cold oceanic crust. This process created thick, strong “keels” in the Earth’s mantle that supported the overlying crust and enabled continents to form.  Read more...


A successful day in Geoscience!

BBQ lunch: Charles Henderson and Maurice Shevalier managed to feed 500 people lunch on Friday in 1 hour!    

Great talks and the Tom Oliver reception made for a successful day in Geoscience!

Thank you to the organizing committee and all those who participated!

 


Annual 2013 Grads vs Faculty Softball Game

The Annual 2013 Grads vs Faculty Softball game will be held on Wednesday September 18th 2013. All new graduate students and faculty members are encouraged to participate in this event to mingle with other geoscience graduate students and faculty members.
Incentive: Meet great people. Free event. Equipment provided.
Time: 6:00PM to 9:00PM Location: Senator Patrick Burns Junior High (Charleswood Dr. & 24th St. N.W)

We look forward to seeing everyone Raymond V VP Events (GAGGS)


Special Events and Double Feature Talks

BBQ lunch: The first 500 people will be served in the grassy area between the Earth Sciences Building and the ICT building, everyone is welcome starting at 11:45 p.m., rain or shine!

Date: Friday - Sept 13, 2013 at 3:00pm in ES162
Speaker: Nick Austin
Topic: Optimizing Development of Canada's Resource Base Through Technology

Date: Friday - Sept 13, 2013 at 4:00pm in ES162
Speaker: Phil Simony, Ian Hutcheon, Deborak Spratt and Jerry Osborn
Topic:  Tom Oliver Lecture - History of Geoscience

Tom Oliver Reception will take place in the Gallagher Library at 5:00 p.m. after the lecture has ended.  Everyone is welcome to come and see the newly renovated library, explore some new and historical displays, and catch up with your friends and colleagues after a busy summer. 


Geoscience since 1963!

 title=The Geology Department was formed in 1963 with only four faculty members and a handful of students.  Over the past many years we have changed our name a few times, and have grown along with the times and technology, but one thing has not changed and that is our ability to celebrate our achievements and have a good time.

Friday September 13th is our day to celebrate the department of Geoscience.  Below are some of the activities we have planned for our day of celebration:

A BBQ lunch for the first 500 people will be served in the grassy area between the Earth Sciences Building and the ICT building, everyone is welcome starting at 11:45 p.m., rain or shine!  Lunch will consist of a 100% pure beef hotdog, chips, Pepsi drink and a chocolate cookie.

The Tom Oliver Lecture (named after our first department head) will be held at 4:00 p.m. in ES162.  This year the Lecture will be given by Drs. Phil Simony, Ian Hutcheon, Deborah Spratt, and Jerry Osborn.  The speakers will be examining various changes our department has undergone since 1963 including technology, the role of women and the student experience.  We hope that you will all enjoy this educational and sometimes light hearted retrospective look at ourselves.

The Tom Oliver Reception will take place in the Gallagher Library at 5:00 p.m. after the lecture has ended.  Everyone is welcome to come and see the newly renovated library, explore some new and historical displays, and catch up with your friends and colleagues after a busy summer.  A cash bar will be available.

We all look forward to seeing you on September 13th!!!

Laura Baird, Carmen Chinery, Maurice Shevalier and Deb Spratt Geoscience Celebration Committee


Special Lecture: GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Lecture
Date: Monday - Sept 9, 2013 in ES162
Speaker: Dani Orr, ETH Zurich
Topic:  Biophysical processes shaping bacterial life in soils – an unexplored universe under our feet

Abstract:

By some accounts exploring the microbial diversity found in soils represents an uncharted scientific frontier at a scope similar to that of space exploration. The immense diversity of soil microbial life is attributed to the complex and heterogeneous pore surfaces and spaces with highly dynamic aqueous and chemical microenvironments. In most unsaturated soils a flickering aqueous network defines nutrient diffusional pathways and shapes microbial dispersion patterns. We quantitatively explored effects of microscale hydration on biophysical interactions affecting microbial dispersion and controlling coexistence of competing bacterial species inhabiting unsaturated surfaces. The rapid fragmentation of the aqueous phase yields a surprisingly narrow range of hydration-enabled motility, and marks the onset of flux limiting and heterogeneous diffusion fields that promote coexistence. Conditions promoting coexistence occur under mild unsaturated conditions within matric potential values of a few kPa nearly independent of soil or rock type. The spontaneous spatial organization of interacting microbial populations and formation of consortia shaped by dynamic diffusion fields and trophic interactions offer a fascinating and robust level of self-organization that support high diversity found in soil. The resulting length scales for interactions offer new insights into biogeochemical function of soil microbes and could guide bioremediation activities of the subsurface.

Biography

Dani Or is a professor of Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics and Director of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems (ITES) in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in Switzerland. His research focuses on mass and energy transport in porous media, on mechanics of abrupt landslides and avalanches, and on linking physical processes and biological activity in soils. Dr. Or has authored over 170 refereed publications, co-authored a book, and over 270 proceeding papers and abstracts. Dr. Or is Editor in Chief of the Vadose Zone Journal, recipient of the Kirkham Soil Physics Award (2001), 2004 Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, chair of the 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Flow and Transport (Oxford, UK), and 2010 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. His 2013 Birdsall-Dreiss lectures will be based on recent work linking porous media properties and evaporation dynamics from terrestrial surfaces, and on micro-hydrology and biophysical processes controlling microbial life in the subsurface.