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Earth's Environments: past, present & future


Patrick De Deckker, Australian National University

Brad Opdyke, Australian National University

Lisa Worrall, Geoscience Australia

Neville Exon, Australian National University


There are five proposed symposia under the Environment ‘umbrella’, but papers on all aspects of the theme are most welcome.

1) High-resolution geological archives of past climate change.
There is an urgent need to gather high-resolution information from natural archives, especially for the Holocene, a period of time which saw significant climatic shifts, sometimes even very rapid ones. Marine as well as terrestrial archives that are well dated can thus be compared and thus inform us on past climatic phenomena of direct relevant to climate modellers and environmental managers

2) Water resources, viability and threats, with emphasis on groundwater
Water is arguably our most precious resource, and it is essential that we understand the distribution, movement and quality of groundwater and surface water. Groundwater is an integral component of the hydrologic cycle, and we need to understand recharge and transport rates, interactions with surface water, ages and the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic activities in rural and urban areas.

3) The Australian arid-semiarid zone: processes, changes and long-term history
With the current climatic scenarios of increasing drought over a large part of Australia, there is a need to define past climatic shifts that affected the boundary between the arid and semi-arid zones of this continent. We need to determine the shifts that occurred in the past, the rates of change and relevant amplitudes. Such information will be of great relevance for predicting future climatic shifts and trends that will affect vegetation, the nature of the regolith including groundwater and surficial water.

4) The IODP and the marine record in the Australian region
Australia has recently rejoined the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The meeting will take place soon after the IODP Expedition 325 (Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes) and papers on this expedition and other IODP expeditions are invited.

5) The Brian Logan Symposium
Brian Logan was an influential sedimentary geologist in WA over many years. This symposium is designed to give students and friends of Brian an opportunity to present research influenced by his work.

Abstract Deadline extended: 29 January 2010