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The Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research

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Upcoming Talks

Wed 28 Oct 16:00: Investigating Earth's deep mantle buoyancy and frequency dependent behavior using Earth tides

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 18, 2020.

Investigating Earth's deep mantle buoyancy and frequency dependent behavior using Earth tides

Earth’s mantle is a key component of the Earth system: its circulation drives plate tectonics, the long-term recycling of Earth’s volatiles, and as such, holds fundamental implications for the Earth’s surface environment. In order to understand this evolution, two aspects of the mantle must be known: its buoyancy and how it dissipates energy. For the former, I will discuss how Earth’s body tide can provide fresh and independent constraints on deep mantle buoyancy through a newly developed technique called Tidal Tomography. This comes at a time when other interesting and exciting data sets sensitive to deep mantle buoyancy, e.g., Stoneley modes, have been brought to bear, and we will explore our conclusions in the context of other recent finds.

As a complement to this, tidal data also stretch the frequency band across which we can analyze dissipation of the lower mantle. By combining a selection of normal mode and tidal attenuation data – while implementing the recent advances in anelastic theory relevant to phenomena – we can examine dissipation spanning six orders of magnitude in frequency (from 7 minutes to 18.6 years). We compare these observations with predictions from a laboratory-based model of intrinsic dissipation and our modeling approach incorporates mantle parameters inferred from mantle convection studies. We find our macroscopic result is consistent with experimental data and resolves a recent discord between wide band attenuation derived from seismic versus geodetic data. We discuss the implications of these results on grain-scale mechanisms of dissipation. To arrive at these conclusions, theoretical and observational insights from a wide range of spatio-temporal data (from the micro- and planetary-scale; from minutes to decades) and disciplines (rock physics, seismology, and geodynamics) have been combined.

Further Reading:

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature24452

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012821X18307180

This seminar will be held online. Zoom details will be sent to members of the Earth Sciences department via email. Please contact the organisers if you are outside the department and would like to attend

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Thu 03 Dec 15:00: Science and Justice in the Anthropocene

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 16, 2020.

Science and Justice in the Anthropocene

Geoscientists have proposed a new designation in the geologic time scale for our current time period to be called “the Anthropocene.” The designation reflects the fact that human beings are acting as geological agents, transforming the Earth on a global scale. In this seminar course we explore the possibilities of reconfiguring the actions of humans in the Anthropocene so as to lead to a flowering of a new Era once called ‘the Ecozoic’ by cultural historian Thomas Berry.

Zoom details will be sent to all members of the Department of Earth Sciences. The talk will be streamed live on the Geoscience in Context facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/286732905909190

By attending you are agreeing to the series code of conduct, which can be found here: https://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/about-us/geosciences-in-context

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Thu 05 Nov 16:00: Unique Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the U.S.

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 16, 2020.

Unique Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the U.S.

This presentation provides an overview of climate change impacts on tribal water resources and the subsequent cascading effects on livelihoods and cultures of American Indians and Alaska Natives living on tribal lands in the U.S. It first presents a hazards and vulnerability framework for understanding these impacts. Next the article provides context on the framework components including climate, hydrologic, and ecosystem changes (i.e. hazards) and tribe-specific vulnerability factors (socioeconomic, political, infrastructural, environmental, spiritual and cultural), which when combined with hazards lead to impacts. The article finishes with regional summaries of impacts around the U.S. Although each tribal community experiences their own impacts because of their individual history, culture, and geographic setting, many of the observed impacts are categorized as impacts on – 1) water supply and management (including water sources and infrastructure), 2) aquatic species important for culture and subsistence, 3) ranching and agriculture particularly from climate extremes (e.g. droughts, floods), 4) tribal sovereignty and rights associated with water resources, fishing, hunting, and gathering, and 5) soil quality (e.g. coastal and, in Alaska, riverine erosion, degradation) prompting tribal relocation.

Key Terms: climate change impacts, Native Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, tribes, water resources, vulnerability, climate variability, hazards.

Zoom details will be sent to all members of the Department of Earth Sciences. The talk will be streamed live on the Geoscience in Context facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/286732905909190

By attending you are agreeing to the series code of conduct, which can be found here: https://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/about-us/geosciences-in-context

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Mon 23 Nov 16:00: Culture and disasters

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Culture and disasters

It is increasingly recognised that culture plays a critical role in the way different groups prepare for, respond to, and recover from, disasters. Yet disaster policies still often overlook or misunderstand culture. This seminar will present case studies of the role of culture in disasters and will discuss the wider implications for research and policy.

Questions addressed will include:

  • What does culture mean in the context of disasters?
  • How do different cultural contexts influence response and recovery to disasters?
  • How can cultural context be used and understood to reduce disaster risk?
  • How should disaster risk reduction efforts balance cultural and other impacts?

To receive the link to the zoom meeting, please join the CDRN mailing list at: https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/ucam-cdrn

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Mon 26 Oct 16:00: Saving Lives

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Saving Lives

An intuitive definition of disasters involves mass casualties. The scale of the hazard event is one determinant of loss of life, but many other factors also play a role. This session will explore the value placed on human life in disaster preparedness and response, and how such losses can be reduced by both preparation and post-disaster response. Questions addressed will include:
  • What is the role of understanding likely casualties in mitigating or preventing disasters?
  • How can we educate at risk populations to minimise the casualties and psychological damage of disasters?
  • What measures can be taken in response to a disaster to reduce casualties?
  • How should disaster risk reduction efforts balance loss of life with other impacts?

To receive the link to the zoom meeting, please join the CDRN mailing list at: https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/ucam-cdrn

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Mon 09 Nov 16:00: Built Environment

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Built Environment

Imagery of post-disaster destruction often focuses on damage to the built environment. Such damage is crucial to controlling casualties resulting from natural hazards, but may also have a profound psychological impact on affected communities. This session will address the role of the built environment in creating disasters, as well as methods for using it to mitigate and respond to catastrophic events.

Questions addressed will include:

  • What is the role of the built environment in preventing disasters?
  • What is the role of the built environment in responding to and recovering from disasters?
  • How does the cultural and historical context of the disaster affect the role of the built environment and of specific structures?
  • How should disaster risk reduction efforts balance damage to the built environment with other impacts?

To receive the link to the zoom meeting, please join the CDRN mailing list at: https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/ucam-cdrn

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Mon 16 Nov 13:00: Double-Diffusive Convection in the Arctic Ocean

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Double-Diffusive Convection in the Arctic Ocean

Abstract not available

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Mon 30 Nov 13:00: Limitations of the Miles-Howard criterion

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Limitations of the Miles-Howard criterion

Abstract not available

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Mon 09 Nov 13:00: Jet Regimes and the Predictability of Euro-Atlantic Weather

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Jet Regimes and the Predictability of Euro-Atlantic Weather

In recent years, numerical weather prediction models have begun to show notable levels of skill at predicting the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) when initialised one month ahead. Because the NAO gives a good first-order approximation of European winter weather, this has garnered a lot of interest. At the same time, model predictions exhibit unusually low signal-to-noise ratios, in what has been dubbed a `signal-to-noise paradox’. We present a new framework for understanding this behaviour in terms of the regime dynamics of the trimodal, North Atlantic eddy-driven jet. It is shown that systematically weak persistence in models may be a key factor in producing the signal-to-noise paradox, and that this is likely in part due to weak transient eddy forcing in models. Sources of predictability in this regime system are also discussed.

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Mon 02 Nov 13:00: Dune-dune interactions: experiments and modelling

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Dune-dune interactions: experiments and modelling

Abstract not available

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Mon 26 Oct 13:00: From top to bottom: using surface velocity variations to look below glaciers

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

From top to bottom: using surface velocity variations to look below glaciers

Abstract not available

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Mon 26 Oct 18:00: Towards an inclusive and global Earth science: unravelling the legacies of empire

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Oct 05, 2020.

Towards an inclusive and global Earth science: unravelling the legacies of empire

Black Lives Matter activism has drawn new attention to the lack of racial diversity within our own discipline of Earth science, and has reinvigorated calls to address embedded inequalities and racism. Earth science remains the least racially diverse of science disciplines, with little or no progress in the last 40 years. In order to meaningfully address these inequalities we need to recognise how the history of geology is wrapped up in the history of European colonialism, and to understand how the colonial legacy impacts many aspects of our work, from geological mapping to the exploitation of natural resources. I’ll talk about some ways in which we can apply decolonising approaches to our work, helping us all to work towards an inclusive and global Earth science.

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Mon 08 Feb 18:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 30, 2020.

Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Mon 25 Jan 18:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 30, 2020.

Mon 30 Nov 18:00: The Stegosaurian Dinosaurs

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 30, 2020.

The Stegosaurian Dinosaurs

Stegosaurs are a group of dinosaurs characterized by the possession of two rows of plates and spines that extend from the neck to the end of the tail. They are known from Jurassic rocks and have been found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Stegosaurs are part of a larger group of armoured dinosaurs, which also includes the ankylosaurs. Two stegosaurs are known from North America: the iconic Stegosaurus, which is known from numerous skeletons from Colorado, Utah and southern Wyoming, and the less well-known Hesperosaurus, represented by just a few specimens from northern Wyoming and Montana. Both are known from the Morrison Formation, a suite of rocks laid down by rivers and on flood plains about 150 million years ago. In life, stegosaurs were four-legged plant-eaters that weighed about the same as a rhino. They were probably slow-moving, and not capable of running. They had very small teeth and do not appear to have chewed, but despite this, their bite forces indicate they could have eaten tough vegetation and small twigs. Several hypotheses have been put forward about the function of the plates of stegosaurs, but these have proven difficult to test. Different species appear to have had differently shaped plates, suggesting a role in display, and perhaps to deter predators.

Please contact James at jac293@cam.ac.uk for Zoom details

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Mon 23 Nov 18:00: Direct Dating of Hydrothermal Cu-Au Systems Using Calcite U-Pb Dating

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 30, 2020.

Direct Dating of Hydrothermal Cu-Au Systems Using Calcite U-Pb Dating

Metals concentrate in fluids and magmas within the Earth’s crust. For example, interaction between magmatic intrusions, fluids and the surrounding rocks causes enrichment of metals such as copper, gold and molybdenum in porphyry style deposits. In these settings, the metals are intimately associated with veins containing minerals such as quartz and calcite. In order to develop predictive models for mineralised systems it is imperative to understand the timing of emplacement of these veins. Dating of hydrothermal veins, however, has proved challenging due to lack of suitable ‘datable’ material. Here we use the newly-developed U-Pb calcite dating technique to test the capabilities of calcite dating for providing robust and critical timing constraints for ore-deposit models using the Yukon in NW Canada as an example. The results represent a significant contribution to tectonic and mineralisation models for the region and explore the role of major strike-slip faults for hosting and facilitating deposition of economic Cu-Au deposits. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the potential for calcite U-Pb dating to provide timing constraints for hydrothermal mineralisation processes in a variety of deposit-type settings.

Please contact James at jac293@cam.ac.uk for Zoom details

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Wed 04 Nov 16:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 29, 2020.

Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 26 Nov 15:00: tbd

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 17, 2020.

tbd

Abstract not available

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Thu 10 Dec 15:00: tbd

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 17, 2020.

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Thu 12 Nov 15:00: tbd

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 17, 2020.

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Thu 29 Oct 15:00: tbd

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 17, 2020.

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Abstract not available

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Wed 25 Nov 16:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 16, 2020.

Title to be confirmed

This seminar will be held online. Zoom details will be sent to members of the Earth Sciences department via email. Please contact the organisers if you are outside the department and would like to attend.

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Wed 11 Nov 16:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Sep 16, 2020.

Title to be confirmed

This seminar will be held online. Zoom details will be sent to members of the Earth Sciences department via email. Please contact the organisers if you are outside the department and would like to attend

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Wed 18 Nov 16:00: Title to be confirmed

From Department of Earth Sciences seminars. Published on Aug 17, 2020.

Title to be confirmed

This seminar will be held online. Zoom details will be sent to members of the Earth Sciences department via email. Please contact the organisers if you are outside the department and would like to attend

Add to your calendar or Include in your list