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Geo-colloquium programme

Programme of the summer semester 2022



16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Dr. Tim Lichtenberg
(University of Oxford)

Geophysical evolution during rocky planet formation

I will discuss how the geophysical evolution of accreting planetesimals and protoplanets during planetary formation alters the bulk composition and atmospheric diversity of forming terrestrial worlds, sub-dividing planetary populations into distinct regimes. This mechanism explains key constraints of Solar System accretion chronology and establishes testable predictions for the distribution of Earth-like exoplanets. I will outline how continued exploration of the exoplanet census in the upcoming years will offer novel insights into the evolutionary history of rocky worlds and extend planetary science beyond the Solar System.

Short bio: 
I am a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford, where I study the growth and evolution of rocky planets to embed the birth and life cycle of terrestrial worlds in an integrated picture. I completed my doctoral studies in planetary physics at the Department of Earth Sciences of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and before that studied Physics at the University of Göttingen, Germany, with a brief stint at Peking University, P.R. China.

Homepage: https://timlichtenberg.net

Invited by: Lena Noack & Harry Becker



16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Dr. Luca Malatesta
(GFZ Potsdam)

From shelf break to marine terraces: the morphological record of eustasy and interseismic deformation

Along active margins, the morphology of the near shore domain records the combined action of erosion from ocean waves and permanent tectonic deformation. I will start by establishing a link between the position of erosive shelf breaks and patterns of interseismic deformation. Then I will move onshore to discuss the sensitivity of marine terrace creation to rock uplift rate and argue that successive terraces need not reflect successive high-stands.

Short bio:
My group at GFZ currently focuses on 1) the development of landscape evolution models with a focus on sediment fluxes and 2) the record of crustal deformation and paleo sea levels in coastal landscapes. I studied fluvial dynamics in semi arid environments at Caltech (PhD) and moved to the coastal domain at UC Santa Cruz (postdoc).
Homepage: https://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/staff/luca.malatesta/sec47

Invited by: Anne Bernhardt




Prof. Dr. Véronique Dehant
(Royal Observatory of Belgium and Université catholique de Louvain)

The InSight results in relation to habitability

The habitability of planets is directly related to their evolution, which depends on the composition, structure, and thermal state of their interior. There is no direct access to planetary interiors but observations of their rotation provide indirect information on their interiors, in the same way as a raw (liquid) egg and a cooked (solid) egg rotate differently. To that aim, in 2018, NASA has sent the InSight mission, which includes a radioscience experiment RISE

Véronique Dehant works at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, where she is Responsible for the Operational Directorate “Reference Systems and Planetary Science”. She is also Extraordinary Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain. She is Academician since 2010. In 2015, she has obtained a European Research Council Advanced Grant and in 2020, a second Grant (Synergy), both for working on the Earth rotation and core.

Homepages: http://homepage.oma.be/veroniq or https://lara.oma.be

Invited by: Lena Noack

Live event
 starts on Thursday at 16:15: 
Live video conference: https://bbb.planet.fu-berlin.de/b/geo-gzn-j9j-yc4

We will open the video conference room for log-in at 16:00.

We will use BigBlueButton, an OpenSource video-conference solution, hosted at the FU Geosciences dept. by the section Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing
If you don’t know BigBlueButton yet, you may want to watch some introductory videos here: https://bigbluebutton.org/html5

Introduction and moderation: Lena Noack




16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Prof. Gretchen Früh-Green
(ETH Zürich)

Serpentinization and life: insights through ocean drilling

Serpentinization is a fundamental process that controls geophysical properties of the oceanic lithosphere and has major consequences for biogeochemical cycles in many tectonic settings. This talk provides an overview of tectonic and hydrothermal processes at slow-spreading ridges, focusing on the Lost City hydrothermal field and results of drilling the Atlantis Massif (Mid-Atlantic Ridge). IODP Expedition 357 used seabed drills for the first time in ocean drilling and successfully applied new technologies that provide insight into active serpentinizing systems.

Gretchen Früh-Green is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich. Her research focuses on serpentinization processes, highlighted by the discovery of Lost City, and aims at understanding the cycling of volatiles and carbon at slow-spreading ridges. She has been involved in many aspects of ocean drilling and oceanographic research and was co-chief scientist on IODP Expedition 357 at Atlantis Massif.

Homepage: http://www.lostcity.washington.edu

Invited by: Esther Schwarzenbach




16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Dr. Jenny Feige
(TU Berlin)

Traces from nearby supernovae on Earth

Within our solar neighbourhood (150-500 light years) tens of star
explosions, i.e., supernovae, occurred within the last ~10 Myr. Their
expanding shock fronts swept across our Solar System leaving traces of
freshly formed nucleosynthesis products on Earth. I will discuss how (1)
measurements of radioisotopes in deep-ocean deposits can reveal nearby
supernovae in the past and (2) how nearby stellar associations can be
analyzed for finding the timing and locations of these past supernovae.

I studied astronomy (Msc) and physics (PhD) at the University of Vienna,
Austria. Currently, I am a research scientist at the Department of
Astronomy and Astrophysics of the TU Berlin, Germany. My fields of
research include accelerator mass spectrometry measurements and modelling
of radioisotopes that are (1) ejected from nearby supernovae or (2)
produced by cosmic rays within interplanetary dust grains.

Invited by: Harry Becker



Prof. Dr. Daniela Schmidt
(U Bristol)

What - if anything - can palaeontology contribute to understanding our climate crisis

Climate change is impacting ecosystems across the world. Geological and historical records of climate change contribute to our understanding of environmental impacts on life on earth. I will draw on examples of links between environmental change and biotic response in the fossil record, the power and shortfalls of methodologies and challenging records. I will highlight the contribution the fossil record can make in quantifying ecosystem resilience and responses, and limits in the context of anthropogenic climate change.

Bio: I am a Professor for Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol. I studied Geology in Bremen/AWI and did my PhD at ETH Zurich. I am a CLA for the IPCC WGII 6th AR. My research focuses on the causes and effects of climate change on marine socio-ecological systems using novel techniques from a wide range of fields.

Link: https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/daniela-n-schmidt

Invited by: Anne Bernhardt



16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Prof. Dr. Aral Okay
(Istanbul Technical University)

Uplift of Anatolia – when and how?

Anatolia forms a high plateau ~1000 m above sea level. However, during most of the last 250 million years it was a region of marine sedimentation on the margins of the Tethyan oceans.  The uplift of the Anatolian Plateau, deduced from the ages of the last marine strata, from the ages of the continental sediments and from thermochronology, is episodic with the northern and central parts raising above sea level 30 million years before the southern part pointing to differing causes for the uplift.


Aral Okay has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and has been working in the Istanbul Technical University in Turkey.  He is interested in the geological evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region in particular, and in subduction zones in general.  His research is field based involving stratigraphy, petrology, structural geology and paleontology.

Invited by: Mark Handy




Dr. Yamirka Rojas-Agramonte
(Universität Kiel)

Zircon dates long-lived plume dynamics in oceanic islands

In this seminar I will show you the first systematic study of zircon geochronology and isotope geochemistry in the plume-related Galapagos and Easter Islands. While most of the dated zircon constrain the age of the magmatic systems in the islands (Pliocene, <4 Ma, Galapagos; Pleistocene, <2.5 Ma, Easter), plume activity can be dated back to, at least, Middle/Late Jurassic time (~164 Ma). The data define the Pacific Plume Array (PPA) defined by mantle εHf(t) and δ18O values in the range ~0-164 Ma. Given lithospheric plate motion, this result implies that PPA zircon predating the Galápagos and Easter lithosphere (i.e., >14 Ma) formed at asthenospheric depths. Thermo-mechanical numerical experiments of plume-lithosphere interaction show that old zircon grains can be stored within local stable asthenospheric domains to be later captured by subsequent rising plume magmas. 

Furthermore, the presence of older zircons (up to Archean in age) place questions on their provenance. The origin of such zircons is enigmatic due to the fact that both hotspots are very young and located adjacent to a mid-ocean ridge with no evidence of a hidden continental source below the volcanos. In order to identify the potential source several processes will be discussed.

I graduated as a geology engineer in Cuba (Pinar del Rio University) and obtained my Dr. re nat degree from Salzburg University. Since February 2020 I am based at Kiel University. My main research expertise is in the field of geochemistry and igneous processes. My research lines include understanding the recycling process in subduction zones and mantle compositional heterogeneities on the basis of isotope geochemistry and geochronology, mainly of recycled zircon. In addition, I combine detailed fieldwork and petrological observations with advanced geochemical techniques to study arc- and ocean island basalts through time.


Invited by: Elis Hoffmann



16:15, Lecture hall C.011

Dr. Astrid Holzheid
(Universität Kiel)

The fate of PGE during mantle melting

Opposing trends of the PGE pattern of primitive mantle melts and of peridotite-xenoliths are observed worldwide. The most likely processes of PGE fractionation during mantle melting will be discussed in due consideration of various physico-chemical interaction processes between coexisting silicate, solid sulfide and liquid sulfide phases. It is possible to link the distinct different PGE pattern of primitive mantle melts and of peridotite-xenoliths to ‘simple’ mantle melting processes

Prof. Holzheid did her PhD at the University of Cologne and post-docs at MIT, USA, and the University of Münster. Since November 2006 she is full professor (W3) at Kiel University. She applies experimental and theoretical petrology and geochemistry to mineralogical questions in planetary processes in the early solar system and during formation and evolution of terrestrial planets

Invited by: Ralf Milke





Dr. Egbert Jolie
(GFZ Potsdam)

Advanced soil gas analytics - Implication for geothermal resources and beyond

Degassing at the Earth’s surface is a natural process that occurs in most geothermal resources worldwide. Each system has its own specific gas fingerprint, which depends on the key geological controls. The gas flux is characterized by a dynamic, spatially and temporally heterogenous behavior. Based on the development of site-specific exploration concepts we are able to identify areas of increased permeability with a connection to the deep hydrothermal system. This information is of particular importance as it contributes to the overall understanding of the structural architecture of a system and to the identification of suitable areas for production field expansion and drilling.

Egbert Jolie (m) is a geologist at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (Germany) and co-founder of fluxtec, a start-up project for gas analytics in geothermal exploration and monitoring. He has worked as a project coordinator at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources BGR (Germany) and Iceland GeoSurvey ÍSOR. Egbert holds a degree in geology from the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg (2007) and received his PhD from the Technical University Berlin in 2014.

Homepages: www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/staff/egbert-jolie/www.linkedin.com/in/egbertjolie/www.fluxtec.org

Invited by: Michael Schneider


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