Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Location: Wiwi 108
Date: Tuesday, 05/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15am1.11-1 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Gesa Kuhlmann, BGR
Session Chair: Sebastian Bauer, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
10:00am - 10:30am
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Legal framework for CCS – Overview and first lessons learnt

Johanna Kemper

Wintershall Dea AG, Germany

The advancement of CCS-techniques is a significant tool to mitigate climate change and achieve net zero emissions. On European Level, the CCS-Directive (2009/31/EG) provides for a legal framework for, i.a., exploration and storage permits for storage sites, monitoring during and after the operational phase, requirements for closure and transfer of responsibility. The member states and associated countries have implemented these rules into national legislation. This contribution aims to, firstly, provide an overview over the regulatory framework in Europe and exemplary member states. It seeks to, secondly, outline first practical experiences from individual approval processes and to, thirdly, draw conclusions for further implementation. In this part, the focus will be on the evolving legal framework in Germany, i.p. the necessary legislative steps and possible accelerating tools.

Wintershall Dea is actively involved in developing CCS-solutions: The first Carbon Storage Project “Greensand” marks a milestone, demonstrating how CCS can move across borders through an international infrastructure that connects emissions sources with storage capacities. In the first quarter of 2023, the leading consortium partners INEOS and Wintershall Dea received the storage license from the Danish authorities and concluded the pilot phase with a first injection in the world’s first cross-border, offshore CO2 storage project. Wintershall Dea holds or has a applied for further storage licenses in Norway and the Netherlands. This allows to tackle the procedural law issues targeted in this contribution from a practical angle.

10:30am - 10:45am
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Exploring for CCS

Gesa Luise Netzeband, Susanne Kuchling

DGMK e.V., Germany

CCS has been identified as a key element for limiting global warming. The adoption of the EU Green Deal and other European regulation have made carbon capture and storage technologies an important part of the EU decarbonisation effort.

The technology has been established in a different contexts, but CCS is not yet a routine industry application and it requires upscaling, if subsurface storing of the hard-to-abate emissions and later on Carbon dioxide from DAC and BE are to make a difference in the emerging climate crisis.

Several studies assessing storage potential in Europe have been conducted identifying large potential storage volumes, while the decision-making process regarding the application of CCS is still ongoing in many countries.

Regardless of the outcome, for CCS to become a valid option in 2030, exploration has to start now, as thorough exploration and compiling nationwide portfolio of potential sites will take several years.

In this presentation, a possible route through the site development process is delinated, covering all aspects of safe and permanent CO2 injection from exploration execution to field development. Risk assessment and mitigation play a crucial role in this framework. In addition, project-specific parameters like reservoir parameters, drill sites and well paths and in addition to absolute storage volume, the storage capacity over time are discussed, providing key input for a comprehensive analysis leading to a balanced portfolio.

A systematic assessment of potential sites is the basis for selecting the optimal locations, constructing efficiently dimensioned plants and establishing a process of maximum safety.

11:00am - 11:15am
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

CO2 storage potential of the Middle Buntsandstein in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the German North Sea

Arne Fuhrmann, Stefan Knopf, Niklas Ahlrichs, Heidrun Stück, Felix Kästner, Hauke Thöle, Gesa Kuhlmann

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover

The storage of CO2 in deeply buried geological formations provides an important contribution to mitigate residual emissions from heavy industry in order to limit global warming below 2 °C. Robust geological models and storage capacity estimations are crucial for the successful planning and implementation of long-term storage projects. This study focuses on the CO2 storage potential of the Middle Buntsandstein within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the German North Sea. We mapped a total of 69 potential storage sites based on existing 3D models, seismic data and 39 exploration wells. Static CO2 volumes are calculated for each structure using a Monte-Carlo-Simulation with 10.000 iterations to account for uncertainties. All potential reservoirs are evaluated based on their volume, burial depth, top seal integrity (thickness, faults) and trap type (salt-pillow and -domes, fault, stratigraphic and combined types). The best storage conditions are associated with salt-controlled anticlines on the “West Schleswig Block” with moderate burial depths, large volumes, and limited lateral flow barriers. Poor conditions are encountered in small, deeply buried (down to 7500 m), and structurally complex parts of the Horn- and Central Grabens. We identified 39 potentially technical feasible storage sites with burial depths above 4500 meters and suitable reservoir volumes (P50 confidence level above 5 Mt CO2). The estimated total static storage capacity ranges between P90 =948 Mt, P50 = 2695 Mt and P10 =5794 Mt. This comprehensive overview about the static CO2 storage capacities highlights the most prolific reservoirs and indicates locations for further exploration.

2:00pm - 3:30pm1.11-2 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Gesa Kuhlmann, BGR
Session Chair: Sebastian Bauer, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
2:00pm - 2:15pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany


Astrid Schlieder-Kowitz, Felix Kästner, Arne Fuhrmann, Hauke Thöle, Gesa Kuhlmann, Heidrun Louise Stück, Frithjof Bense, Björn Zehner

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Germany

Carbon dioxide removal and storage is required for limiting global warming to the 2 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. One method is the storage of CO2 in deeply buried geological formations.

As part of the GEOSTOR project, we created static 3D models for two potential storage sites in the Middle Buntsandstein within the German North Sea Exclusive Economic Zone.

One 3D geological model (~1300 km2) located on the "West Schleswig Block" is based on 2D seismic data from various surveys and geophysical logs from four exploration wells. It encompasses a salt controlled anticline with 40-50 m thick Lower Volpriehausen Sandstones forming the primary reservoir target. The top seal consists of Upper Buntsandstein and unconformable Lower Cretaceous mudstones.

The other 3D geological model (~560 km2) is located within the “Entenschnabel” area and, in contrast, is based on several high-resolution 3D seismic data and geophysical logs from four exploration wells. The reservoir, which also consists of up to 65 m thick Lower Volpriehausen Sandstones, is located within the Mads Graben with erosional discordances at the top. The upper seal consists of Upper Jurassic clays and partly unconformable Lower Cretaceous mudstones.

For both models we conducted petrophysical analyses of all considered well data and calculated reservoir properties to determine the static reservoir capacity for these storage sites.

Finally, we parametrized both models in order to provide two complete reservoir models that are capable of further dynamic capacity simulations, geo-risk and infrastructural analyses aiming at an entire feasibility study within the project framework.

2:15pm - 2:30pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Injection strategy development for CO2 storage in a multi-trap storage site considering hydrodynamic and geomechanical restrictions

Firdovsi Gasanzade, Hendrawan Diandaru Bayu Aji, Frank Wuttke, Sebastian Bauer

Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Germany

Geological storage of CO2 contributes to mitigating climate change, but successful storage depends on many subsurface hydrodynamic and geomechanical factors. This study outlines the development of a CO2 injection strategy for a potential multi-trap storage site in the German North Sea by jointly honouring the geomechanics as well as hydrodynamic and geological constraints. The site comprises three structural closures, each covering an area of tens of km2. Based on site-specific geology and petrophysical data, static storage capacities of the individual closures as well as the closure combinations are estimated. Each closure has a distinct configuration and drainage area, resulting in different CO2 phase dynamics in the subsurface, due to a different interplay of gravity, capillary and viscous forces. A 3D reservoir model is developed and used to simulate CO2 injection with a rate of 10 Mt/a over 30 years, followed by a 100-year post-injection phase, while accounting for the regional hydraulic boundaries. The allowable pressure limit is derived using dedicated geomechanical simulations. The individual settings of each closure result in varying depths and injectivities, which lead to different numbers of injection wells and their placement due to well interaction. Furthermore, pressure accumulation occurs depending on the relative position of the closure to the hydraulic boundaries, reducing achievable capacity. Consequently, injection well planning and optimisation efforts should prioritise settings that demonstrate high injectivity, high achievable storage capacity and a high allowable pressure window.

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Geomechanical analyses of submarine CO2 injection in the geological formations in the German North Sea

Hendrawan D.B. Aji, Firdovsi Gasanzade, Frank Wuttke, Sebastian Bauer

Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Germany

CO2 storage potential in sandstone formations in the German North Sea is investigated by GEOSTOR consortium. This contribution discusses some of the results from the investigation of the geotechnical impact of the storage process. We examine the injection pressure window with respect to the hydro-fractural risk of the reservoir layer or caprock in the vicinity of the injection well by performing coupled hydro-mechanical fracture analyses. Different modelling scales, formulations, failure parameters, and in-situ present day stresses are considered. The results show that 2D- or thin 3D-models may underestimate the material integrity and lead to early fracture initiation. Meanwhile, a medium-scale model of the geoformation may be advantageous in reducing computational burden while maintaining high accuracy. The results also show a good correlation with field-derived fracture gradients and formation strength tests data from the Dutch-German border.

To assess the geotechnical risk of induced seismicity on the offshore infrastructure, we enhanced our boundary element-finite element method dynamic simulator with the formulation to compute arbitrary layered half-space and double-couple dynamic sources. Verification of the numerical method shows an excellent agreement with the analytical solution. The hybrid method is able to take into account the spatially complex geometry of the geological structure. The results show that the impact of the storage process on the formations’ mechanical integrity or offshore infrastructure remains relatively low or manageable for the considered period.

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

A benchmark gallery for hierarchical model verification of TH2M coupled process models: Examples for CO2 sequestration and nuclear waste disposal

Kata Kurgyis1, Aqeel Afzal Chaudhry1, Michael Pitz2,1, Norbert Grunwald3, Jörg Buchwald3, Dmitri Naumov3, Wenqing Wang3, Christoph Lehmann3, Olaf Kolditz3, Jobst Maßmann2, Thomas Nagel1

1Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany; 2Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, Germany; 3Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany

In this study, we introduce an open-source benchmark gallery for a systematic verification of numerical simulations of coupled multi-field processes in geological storage and sequestration. Here, the focus lies on assessing the integrity of a host rock and/or geological barrier, which requires understanding material failure and behavior under different thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) conditions. To support quality assurance of the simulation workflows, the gallery provides automated benchmarking and peer-reviewed code development.

Since closed-form solutions covering all aspects of non-isothermal two-phase flow in deformable media (TH2M) problems are not available, the verification procedure is subdivided into simpler conceptual models, up to single-variable processes (Grunwald et al., 2022). These reduced complexity problems can be described by semi- or fully analytical solutions. Extensive verification of very basic combinations (T/H/M/HM/TH etc.) was already conducted, therefore, focus lies on the investigation of more complex problems.

In the context of TH2M systems, the gallery includes three cases relevant to CCS:

  • THM problem: Thermally induced expansion of liquid and solid phases resulting in thermal strain in the surrounding solid matrix and fluid displacement. (Booker and Savvidou, 1985; Chaudhry et al., 2019)

  • TH2 problem: Phase change and heat transport in a thermal gradient (Udell and Fitch, 1985; Helmig et al. 1997)

  • TH2M: Heat loss to under- and overburden due to non-isothermal, supercritical CO2 injection into reservoir. (LaForce et al. 2014a and 2014b; Green at al. 2021)

The gallery consists of comprehensive browser-integrated problem descriptions, analytical solutions, and numerical simulations obtained with the open-source simulation tool OpenGeoSys (Bilke et al., 2022).

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Uncertainty Analysis of CO2 Storage Capacity Estimation in Saline Aquifers of the German North Sea

Jan Tecklenburg, Stefan Knopf, Franz May

Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany

The reliable estimation of the dynamic storage capacity for CO2 storage is a significant challenge due to the uncertainty of process parameters. In our study, we consider storage in the Triassic Bunter sandstone underneath the German sector of the North Sea.

We investigate CO2 injection into a saline aquifer, such as the Volpriehausen Sandstone by means of numerical simulations, to analyze the impact of parameter uncertainty on storage efficiency.

One of the main challenges for capacity estimations is the paucity of measurements regarding storage rock units like the Volpriehausen Sandstone for important process parameters such as relative permeabilities obtained from wells in the German North Sea. This requires the supplementation of measured parameters from the same storage rock units for instance from neighboring countries such as the Netherlands or Denmark.

We conduct flow simulations using TOUGH3 ECO2N and a self-developed framework for sensitivity analysis to investigate the parameter uncertainty of process parameters on storage efficiency.

Our results indicate that the level of uncertainty can significantly affect the estimation of storage capacity, and the accuracy of simulation results is highly dependent on certain input parameters.

This study provides insights into the impact of parameter uncertainty on the efficiency of CO2 storage. These findings are useful for future exploration, characterization, and operation of CO2 storage sites.

3:15pm - 3:30pm
Topics: 1.11 Unlocking CO2 storage potentials for Germany

Analysis of fluid migration pathways in the context of CO2 underground storage in the German North Sea using high-resolution 3D and 2D seismic data

Niklas Ahlrichs, Axel Ehrhardt, Michael Schnabel, Arne Fuhrmann, Heidrun Stück

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover, Germany

For successful and safe underground CO2 storage, a profound knowledge of the subsurface and its geological structures characterizing the selected reservoir is essential. Besides robust geological models and storage capacity estimations, seal integrity analysis and the identification of potential seal-bypass systems is crucial to ensure save long-term storage of CO2 in the deep subsurface. Within the framework of the GEOSTOR project, we assess potential Triassic and Jurassic CO2 reservoirs by analysing the integrity of overlying barrier formations below the German North Sea. For this purpose, we use recently acquired high-resolution 3D seismic data covering an area of 94 km² within the northwestern German North Sea (“Entenschnabel”) and high-resolution 2D seismic data from the central German North Sea (“West Schleswig Block”) covering a total length of about 1500 km. Seismic amplitude anomalies indicate the presence of fluids allowing the investigation of former fluid migration pathways and their connection to faults and salt structures. First results from the “Entenschnabel” show a highly resolved 3D image from the seafloor to the Zechstein covering the salt diapir Belinda. Bright spots indicate fluid migration along the crestal fault system. Direct fluid migration indicators are scarce within the West Schleswig Block. Locally, bright spots indicate fluid migration along crestal faults of salt structures. We compare and discuss the characteristics of identified fluid migration pathways near the salt diapir Belinda with fluid migration and its correlation with faults and salt structures from the central German North Sea in the context of barrier integrity for subsurface CO2 storage.

4:00pm - 5:30pm4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Mathias Knaak, Geologischer Dienst NRW
Session Chair: Gösta Hoffmann, Deutsche UNESCO Kommission
Session Chair: Edouard Grigowski, University of Bonn
Session Chair: Valeska Decker, RWTH Aachen University
4:00pm - 4:15pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

Mining rock salt – using a 3D model with respect to economic requirements

Anne Engler1, Thomas Kießling1, Marie-Luise Richter1, Anne Baum2

1ERCOSPLAN Ingenieurgesellschaft Geotechnik und Bergbau mbH; 2Glückauf Sondershausen Entwicklungs- und Sicherungsgesellschaft mbH

Intending to improve mining and exploration processes within a rock salt producing mine all available geological information were collected, evaluated and prepared to create a 3D subsurface model. Besides geological information the drifts were visualized in 3D, too. Amongst other data borehole information from above and subsurface were considered to create a block model showing the grade distribution within the deposit and the geological mining boundaries. One challenging aspect was to harmonize the borehole database that grew over several decades. The block sizes of the model were created due to the customers’ needs with respect to dimensioning issues.

Based on the results of the geological model drift planning and excavation processes can be optimized. With respect to the geological exploration program the targets can be outlined in a more distinct way using the 3D model. By precising mine design and exploration targets workflows for short and long term mine planning can be improved. Beyond that reserves and resources of the deposit can be described more precisely. By updating the model on a regular basis thickness, depth and distribution maps as well as profiles can be requested easily from the model considering all available information.

As the geological model was created with the help of SKUA-GOCAD (AspenTech®) and AutoCAD® data exchange can be realized using for example CAD-based formats as well as column-based files. Furthermore, the geological model can be implemented into a mine planning software to improve daily routine at the mine site.

4:15pm - 4:30pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

A Technical Approach to 3D Modelling of the Subsurface Geology in the South-Eastern Harz Foreland

Tilman J. Jeske, Melanie Siegburg, Alexander Malz, Olaf-Christian Müller, Ivo Rappsilber

Landesamt für Geologie und Bergwesen Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle (Saale), Germany

The digitization of geological data is becoming increasingly important in the assessment of the subsurface geology, and 3D visualization offers new possibilities. To extend the visualization of the subsurface geology of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, a 3D structural model of Permian to Quaternary stratigraphy of the South-Eastern Harz Foreland has been created. The model is based on pre-existing data consisting of maps from large-scale subsurface exploration, seismic profiles, and c. 5,660 stratigraphic profiles from the extensive borehole database from over 100 years of drilling exploration. Data preparation consisted of extracting borehole data, digitizing and vectorizing maps and seismic profiles, and subsequent processing with ArcGIS. Modelling of the surface mesh of stratigraphic boundaries and faults was performed using SKUA-GOCAD 22 in the 'Structure and Stratigraphy' workflow. In this iterative process, inconsistencies in the topology and geometry of the mesh have to be resolved manually in several steps in order to create a consistent model. Challenges arise from low data density in some areas and conflicting information in data from different sources. The resulting model shows the arrangement and relationship of stratigraphic units and major faults of the area in a refined level of detail. Within the requirements of publication and provision of state geological data by the Geological Survey of Saxony-Anhalt (LAGB), the model was prepared to be published via the GST (Geosciences in Space and Time) framework at the LAGB.

4:30pm - 4:45pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

3D geological modelling of the surficial aquitards in the German “Central Oder” sub-catchment.

Klaus Duscher

Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany

The „Central Oder“ sub-catchment in Germany is the first of three areas for which structural models of the surficial aquitards down to the latest Elsterian till are being constructed as part of the Geo3D-Oder project. All other areas are interpreted as undifferentiated aquifers. The data base is taken from the "Lithofacies map of the Quaternary 1 : 50,000" (LKQ 50).

The model consists of ten stratigraphic layers, each bounded by a top and base horizon, and the ground surface. The data combines polygons defining the extent of the strata and point data of elevations derived from contour lines and stratigraphic logs. The data was processed and transferred to the SKUA-GOCAD modelling platform.

The geological 3D model contains only a concordant sequence of horizons with no faults. The challenge in constructing 3D models of Quaternary glacial sediments lies in the variable and sometimes very small layer thickness. Especially in the case of unavailable information on the elevation of upper horizons, layers below cannot be correctly reproduced. A new method has been developed to avoid this. For each horizon, the uppermost proven elevations of all underlying strata were identified in search quadrants. This data was used to interpolate 'virtual horizons', which are constraints on the maximum depth for each horizon. The resulting horizons were finalised using automated routines and manual post-processing.

4:45pm - 5:00pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

Digital educational content in geosciences

Mandy Duda, Julia Godlewska, Marc Sören Ogan, Alexander-Dean Seiling, Tobias Backers

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Fieldwork represents a highlight for most students in geosciences but is associated with challenges related to diversity. Due to long periods of absence, high costs, remote destinations, and physical and mental stresses, not all students can equally benefit from the offer, for example, people with care obligations, challenges due to sociocultural status, insufficient financial resources, or illnesses. Some outcrops are generally inaccessible.

The Engineering Geology and Rock Mass Mechanics Group at Ruhr-University Bochum realizes projects towards a more diversity-friendly education in geosciences.

Within Digifit, the geological mapping course in the Bachelor’s curriculum was digitized. With 360° tours and 3D models of outcrops and rock samples, the course can be offered digitally and provides high-quality teaching material for the preparation and postprocessing of fieldwork.

DRAGON develops digital teaching material for geosciences and civil engineering. By content relating to climate change and geohazards, such as 3D models of outcrops in the Ahr valley, students are faced with the significance of their future roles.

As part of research-based learning projects, students are currently working on a comparison between manual mapping of discontinuity orientations and the derivation of orientations from digital models.

We highlight limitations of digital fieldwork and ways to counteract them. The resulting educational material offers a diversity-open access to fieldwork. The media competence of the graduates is strengthened and the attractiveness of geosciences is increased. In addition, digital teaching content offers great potential for interdisciplinary collaborations and can be used by third parties, for example in the context of ESD.

5:00pm - 5:15pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

Enabling virtual teaching with Unreal Engine 5 (3D/XR): The 30 Geotope³ virtual museum

Pascal Michael Woiton, Edouard Grigowski

University of Bonn, Germany

Fieldwork and outcrops are an essential component of geoscience education, providing students with a hands-on learning experience that enhances their understanding of geological processes. This is reflected by the importance personal field experience has in the teaching of geology. While classic fieldwork remains the best way to grasp the extent and underlying processes of geological structures, 3D and VR teaching applications offer a unique opportunity to explore and visualize geological features that may be difficult to access or too large from a human’s perspective. However, state-of-the-art virtualising technology is sparsely used in geoscientific education. The commonly used toolkits to handle three-dimensional geological data are not able to process large amounts of polygons, as well as their accompanying texture-sets, derived from detailed photogrammetry datasets in real-time or VR. Here we present our current digitising workflow within the 30 Geotope³ project and how we visualise highly detailed, large- and small-scale outcrops with the use of Unreal Engine 5s Nanite and Virtual Texturing technologies. This virtual museum enables students to experience a variety of geological features in an immersive and interactive way, bridging the gap between theory and practice and enabling collaborative and remote learning. We understand the virtual museum as a starting point for interactive educational environments covering outcrops from all around the world, thus making geoscience more accessible and preserving outcrops for future research.

5:15pm - 5:30pm
Topics: 4.09 3D models in education and outreach - synergy of research, geotourism, conservation and georisk assessment

Observing a century of volcanic morphodynamics using photogrammetric analysis of recent and archive data

Alina V. Shevchenko, Thomas R. Walter

GFZ, Germany

Volcanoes are the most dynamic landforms, capable of changing their shape and environment in a matter of minutes, posing a significant threat to the environment and populations. While modern monitoring approaches can detect short-term changes, the long-term evolution is not well understood. Through the collection and photogrammetric processing of optical data, we can now reconstruct the precise topographies of volcanic edifices during the last decades to study different stages of volcanic development. By comparing the obtained topographies, we calculate volume flows, including eruptive and eroded materials, and evaluate the resulting geomorphic changes. Recent advances in technology and algorithms have opened unique opportunities for the collection and processing of photogrammetric data, allowing quantitative analysis of aerial photographs from the mid-last century to modern satellite and drone data. Here, we present ultra-high-resolution point clouds and digital elevation models to study long-term morphological and structural changes at volcanoes. In particular, the availability of archive ground and aerial stereo imagery from the last century allows us to look into the past and reconstruct volcanic activity in glaciated regions, and explore the complex interactions and geomorphic changes these regions undergo. We illustrate volcano-cryosphere interactions in Kamchatka and Iceland, highlighting the use of the method by pioneers since the beginning of the last century. We describe the main features of the use of photogrammetry in volcanological research and discuss possible further developments in terms of improved visualization and virtual reality application for educational purposes.


Date: Wednesday, 06/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15am4.07 Data-driven digital twins of the subsurface and their applications
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Mikhail Tsypin, GFZ
Session Chair: Judith Bott, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Session Chair: Ajay Kumar, GFZ Potsdam
Session Chair: Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, GFZ Potsdam
10:00am - 10:30am
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 4.07 Data-driven digital twins of the subsurface and their applications

The LOOP Project: towards multi-scale digital twins of geology?

Laurent Ailleres1, Lachlan Grose1, Mark Jessell2, Fernanda Alvarado-Neves1, Angela Rodrigues1, Rabii Chaarani1, Vitaly Ogarko2

1Monash University, Australia; 2University of Western Australia, Australia

To support a socially-licensed greener future, one of the biggest challenges of the next decade is to improve our ability to predict subsurface geology. For example, the mine of the future must have a reduced footprint and economic, socially-accepted mineral resource discoveries will depend on how well we are able to characterise the subsurface geology. This requires the ability to probabilistically forecast sub-surface geology, allowing for rapid model updates.

We present the current state of the Loop project, an open-source interoperable, integrative, probabilistic 3D geological modelling platform. Map2loop is a library that automatically extracts geological information from maps and generates parameters for the modelling library. In LoopStructural, we have defined a parameterisation of 3D geological models in a forward modelling sense. LoopStructural is based on the concept of the structural frame: a coordinate system defined for each object (faults, intrusions) or geological events (folding). These coordinate systems consist of 3 perpendicular scalar fields that are interpolated and fitted to data in 3D and then combined according to the geological history. The structural frames are conformable conformable to layering throughout the models. We present the concept for LoopResources, our proposed property modelling library. Using this deformed cartesian coordinate system, we propose to adapt geostatistical and interpolation methods to curvilinear coordinate systems using classical XYZ-UVW transformations. This will ensure that lithological anisotropies are enforced during resource estimation and property modelling to provide better digital twins of the subsurface and characterise geological uncertainty throughout the entire workflow.

10:30am - 10:45am
Topics: 4.07 Data-driven digital twins of the subsurface and their applications

Using structural frames to build complex 3D geological models in LoopStructural

Lachlan Grose1, Laurent Ailleres1, Gautier Laurent2, Fernanda Alvarado-Neves1, Angela Afonso Rodrigues1

1Monash University, Australia; 2University of Orleans

In order to transition to more sustainable technologies, we as society need to improve our ability to find and manage natural resources. One of the biggest challenges for managing natural resources is our ability to characterise the subsurface distribution of geological objects including mineralisation, structures and stratigraphy. Standard approaches for quantifying the geometries of these objects interpolate these geometries using mathematical interpolation techniques which generally cannot incorporate geological rules and knowledge. Here we use a time aware modelling approach where the most recent geological feature is modelled first. The geometry of the first feature is then used to build a structural frame, a curvilinear coordinate system aligned the geometry of the feature for example capturing the fault surface and slip direction or fold axis and axial surface. The structural frame can then be used as a reference frame and combined with a conceptual model conditioned to geological observations to model the geometry of the older geological features. Using appropriate overprinting relationships and geological rules it is possible to combine multiple structural frames to characterise complicated geological objects for example refolded folds, overprinting fault networks and duplex faults. We demonstrate the application of structural frame to modelling folds, faults and intrusions with different case studies demonstrating how incorporating the structural frames allow for geologists to use models to test geological hypotheses to further understand subsurface geometries.

10:45am - 11:00am
Topics: 4.07 Data-driven digital twins of the subsurface and their applications

Linking Coseismic Groundwater Elevation Changes to Stress and Pore Pressure Evolution through 2D Hydro-Mechanical Coupled Dynamic Distinct Element Modelling

Anne Elizabeth Strader1, Jian Zhou2, Stefan Bredemeyer1, Jeoung Seok Yoon1, Soo-Gin Kim3, Hyun-Jin Cho3, Jae-Yeol Cheong3, Jeong-Hwan Lee3

1DynaFrax UG haftungsbeschränkt, Germany; 2Beijing University of Technology, China; 3Korea Radioactive Waste Agency, South Korea

Coseismic responses in groundwater level have often been observed following earthquakes worldwide. These responses have often been attributed to coseismic static and dynamic changes in volumetric strain and pore pressure, caused by slip on the ruptured fault. On 12. September 2016, the ML 5.8 Gyeongju earthquake ruptured a branch of the Yangsan fault network in southeastern Korea, triggering hydrological responses near the mainshock epicenter. To better understand the connection between volumetric strain, pore pressure and groundwater level (GWT) levels, we developed a hydro-mechanical coupled dynamic distinct element model (dyn-DEM) to simulate the Gyeongju earthquake rupture process and subsequent fluid pressure response, using 2D Particle Flow Code v7. The rock mass was modeled using an assembly of circular particles, bonded to each other by contacts with the potential to break, collectively simulating the hydro-mechanical effects of a seismic event upon application of an in-situ stress field. The hydraulic fracture process was represented by a pipe network model, where fluid flow was simulated through a network of flow channels which connected pore spaces storing fluid volume and pressure. During the simulation, the finite volume method was used to solve for the pore pressure evolution due to poroelastic effect. Overall, we observed a positive correlation between coseismic GWT level changes near the Gyeongju earthquake epicenter and modeled stress and pore pressure changes. This result supports the use of hydro-mechanical coupled dyn-DEM in reliably quantifying changes in the stress and pore pressure fields throughout the dynamic rupture process of a simulated seismic event.

2:00pm - 3:30pm4.03-1 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Kirsten Elger, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Session Chair: Daniel Nüst, Technische Universität Dresden
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

OneGeochemistry: Global Cooperation for FAIR Geoanalytical Data Policy and Practice

Kerstin Annette Lehnert1, Lesley Wyborn2, Marthe Klöcking3, Alexander Prent4, Dominik Hezel5, Kirsten Elger6, Lucia Profeta1, Rebecca Farrington4, Angus Nixon7

1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA; 2Australian National University, Australia; 3Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany; 4AuScope Ltd. Australia; 5Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Germany; 6Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany; 7AuScope Geochemistry Network, Australia

Geochemical data are pervasively acquired in the Earth, environmental, and planetary sciences, as they offer unique evidence for past and present processes in the natural world that advance scientific knowledge and enable solutions of societal relevance. But geochemical data today are difficult to reuse because of the heterogeneous and fragmented nature of the geochemical data landscape with incompatible data structures, inconsistent metadata, and disconnected databases. As new, data-driven and often interdisciplinary research approaches are rapidly expanding that promise to empower the next generation of scientific discoveries, the urgency for a new ecosystem of interoperable, machine-readable geochemical data is eminent. OneGeochemistry is an international initiative to promote data standards in geochemistry and advance a global network of geochemical data resources. OneGeochemistry has been pursuing a diverse array of strategic activities: engagement with data repositories, professional societies, science unions and associations, publishers and editors, funding agencies, government agencies, instrument manufacturers, and researchers; participation in the WorldFAIR project (; providing open access to existing standards or best practices; and establishing an international governance for the initiative. The geochemical databases GEOROC, EarthChem, the Astromaterials Data System, and MetBase that participate in the OneGeochemistry initiative, are actively cooperating to harmonize their data models and create FAIR vocabularies for metadata that will enable interoperability between the systems and can be adopted more broadly. This presentation will provide an update on the status of activities and outcomes that pertain to technical and policy aspects of geochemical data standards.

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Data-driven Energy Transition: Why is subsurface data so critical for success?

Jürgen Grötsch

Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany

The amount of digital subsurface and geoscience data has grown exponentially over the past few decades with many companies, researchers and government organizations dealing with rapidly growing Petabyte-scales of data. On the other hand, hardware, storage solutions, technical applications and data management utilities have not kept up with these developments. This has resulted in a big gap and hampers the use of AI and data-driven workflows in complex subsurface projects, be it in hydrocarbon exploration and development, geothermal energy projects, CCS, H2-exploration & storage and the search for nuclear waste sites, but also integrated scientific research programs.

The Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDUTM) project aims to address these critical challenges and has already resulted in fundamental changes to the way data is managed. OSDUTM is a consortium of over 230 companies and organizations that pool their expertise in geoscience, software development, data center management and associated services to address the challenges via an open-source and cloud-agnostic data platform. Government organizations, geological surveys and universities are also participating in the project. The main drivers behind geoscience data standardization and separating data from applications are the expected benefits for integration, simplification and automation of complex subsurface modelling and project workflows as well as the facilitation of AI/ML opportunities enabled via the data platform.

This talk will demonstrate why subsurface data and the OSDUTM data platform will play a critical role in the energy transition towards net zero emissions with the subsurface as a key component - even after the era of hydrocarbons.

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Why should researchers bother to use domain-specific data repositories?

Florian Ott, Kirsten Elger, Simone Frenzel

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany

Domain-specific research data repositories are digital archives that manage and preserve research data (and/or software) from specific scientific disciplines. These repositories are designed to meet the unique needs of researchers in that particular domain. They foster new scientific innovations and ideas by means of sharing, storing, and reusing research data. Furthermore, domain-specific repositories have a special emphasis on:

  • Metadata curation
  • Standardized, domain specific, rich metadata
  • Support of sharing and collaboration
  • Community engagement

The metadata curation processes and workflows implemented by domain-specific repositories ensure quality and metadata enrichment. As a consequence, scientists can rely on well-structured, high-quality data publications that have been verified by domain experts resulting in enhanced reproducibility and reliability of research results.

Domain-specific repositories support sharing and knowledge transfer among scientists within their particular field of research. This promotes transparency, collaboration, and the potential for interdisciplinary research. Scientists can also discover and explore datasets contributed by their peers, enabling new insights and discoveries.

Here we present the role of domain-specific data repositories, their role for Open Science. Introducing GFZ Data Services, a research data repository for the Earth System Sciences, we also highlight our metadata tools. In place since 2006, GFZ Data Services is embedded at the intersection between researchers and the modern digital data curation world. We consult researchers and make sure that data and metadata are ready to use for data-driven research. By publishing throughout us, scientists benefit from improved data accessibility, collaborative opportunities, long-term storage and subsequently an increased impact.

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

QuARUm – Quality assessment of analytical data in the field of resource and environmental sciences

Malte Mues1, David Ernst2, Falk Howar1, Michael Bau2

1TU Dortmund, Germany; 2Constructor University, Germany

QuARUm is a BMBF- and EU-funded research project that aims to develop a prototype for a low-code environment enabling the researchers to construct pipelines that objectively and automatically assesses the quality of analytical data. In geochemistry, increasing amounts of data become available via journal publications and in numerous data repositories. While current efforts are focused on improving the availability of data, verifying the quality of the published data is equally important. The latter one, however, is in most cases rather complicated or just impossible because important information is missing in the publication (e.g., limits of quantification, measurements of reference materials or precision and accuracy). The tool developed during QuARUm will assess data quality using available metadata, statistical methods, and sample-specific criteria. The prototype can be applied in-lab on self-produced data, data published in journal articles or directly to data repositories. Furthermore, the tool will be designed in a low-code environment as an open box, fully visible and modifiable by computer science laypeople.

We will present key aspects, application fields, a road map and the first results of our QuARUm project.

3:15pm - 3:30pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Improving Sample Metadata Descriptions in Earth and Environmental Sciences by using the FAIR SAMPLES Template

Alexander Brauser1, Mareike Wiezcorek2, Linda Baldewein3, Simone Frenzel1, Birgit Heim2, Ulrike Kleeberg3, Tim Leefmann3, Ben Norden1, Kirsten Elger1

1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; 2Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany; 3Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Geesthacht, Germany

Physical samples are key elements in the geosciences, providing tangible evidence of geologic and environmental phenomena and often represent the source for scientific findings. The International Generic Sample Number (IGSN) is a globally unique and resolvable persistent identifier (PID) for physical samples. It links the sample with its online description and enables the unambiguous identification, location, and citation of samples in digital research infrastructures.

The FAIR WISH project, funded by the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration HMC, aims to further standardise IGSN metadata and support scientists in describing their samples for IGSN registration via standardised metadata that are human- and machine actionable. The FAIR SAMPLES template enables the provision of rich sample descriptions for different Geo-Bio-Samples. The template is built as a modular Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to meet the practices of the broader research community. It includes controlled vocabularies to describe sample types, sampling methodology, material, etc., and integrates persistent identifiers (ORCID, ROR) to acknowledge the persons and organisations involved in the sampling process as well as links to text or data publications relevant for the samples. The template further represents the basis for semi-automated creation of metadata XML files that are required for IGSN registration.

Currently, the template is being tested by several heterogeneous projects in the field of Earth and environmental sciences. The data processing workflows and software developed in this project will be completed by the end of 2023 and may serve as a blueprint for other organisations aiming to implement standardised procedures for registering physical samples.

4:00pm - 5:30pm4.03-2 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Jürgen Grötsch, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany
Session Chair: Kirsten Elger, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
4:00pm - 4:15pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

FID GEO: library-based services that help establish Open Science practices.

Melanie Lorenz1, Malte Semmler2, Kirsten Elger1

1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany; 2Göttingen State and University Library

In the context of Open Science, data are just one, albeit important, part of the chain of scientific outputs, ranging from samples, to data, software, and research articles. The Specialized Information Service for Geosciences FID GEO has adopted this holistic view and considers the areas of text and data publications as two complementary components of Open Science.

Since 2016, FID GEO is offering information and publication services for the geoscientific community and is increasingly acknowledged as a competence center for the transformation of the publication culture in the geosciences. FID GEO’s services focus on electronic publishing of texts and research data, as well as digitization through the participating repositories GEO-LEOe-docs, hosted at the Göttingen State and University library (SUB), and GFZ Data Services, hosted at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, but also a comprehensive consulting portfolio.

FID GEO’s services were developed with the active participation of the geoscience community. The website, social media accounts and our newsletter are tools for actively connecting with the community. Informations on practical aspects of Open Science practices are regularly published in the journal “GMIT – Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen”, on the website and partner websites (e.g. Workshops and talks are successful tools to enable discussions, to address questions or uncertainties directly and to provide the appropriate framework to address specific requirements of individual research groups. FID GEO collaborates with strategic (inter)national initiatives (like NFDI4Earth), with several German Geosciences societies and other library-related projects to ensure the ongoing successful shift towards Open Science practices.

4:15pm - 4:30pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Promoting FAIR and open data publication at the Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin

Andreas Hübner, Heinz-Alexander Fütterer

Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

The Department of Earth Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin has recently established a concept and workflow for the promotion of research data and its publishing. The project, funded with seed money from central university administration, was developed in close cooperation with the research data management (RDM) team of the university library.

A key element in the project is the RDM-team proactively advertising support for data publishing to researchers of the department. This offer is very well received by the researchers, as they are often willing to publish data, but lack time as well as knowledge of best practice in data publication. Several data publishing projects have been kicked-off this way.

Another thrust of the project is to feature data publications on the department´s website. This fosters the recognition of data publications as important resarch output of the scientists of the Department of Earth Sciences. The data are presented on the website in an easily accessible and understandable context, to makes them available to potenially new user groups like lay persons, citizen scientists, or pupils. Before published on the website, researchers are asked by the RDM-team to proof-read short descriptive drafts about their data publications, and this opens up a great opportunity for researchers to engage with data publication specialists about best practices and standards of „FAIR and open“ data practices.

This project facilitates cultural change towards FAIR and open data publication at an university department and may be used as a blueprint for departments in other universities and research institutions.

4:30pm - 4:45pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices


Karla María Alvarenga Zaldívar, Alejandra Tatiana Menjívar Menjívar

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The Geothermal Heat Utilization in Industrial Processes in SICA Member Countries (GEO II) project, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for SICA, proposes a methodology for the elaboration of geothermal favorability maps for the member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The methodology is a spatial analysis tool, based on a simple weighted overlay model that assigns a favorability index in the range of 0 to 10, with the objective of locating suitable sites to initiate the geothermal exploration stage. It considers geoscientific evidence defined as input criteria of the model, assuming that they indicate the probable presence of volcanic geothermal systems typical of the region. It is performed in Geographic Information Systems (GIS): QGIS and ArcGIS, through the stages: definition, derivation, transformation, and superposition. The model combines the transformed data, applying a weighted overlay to the geological, geochemical, and geophysical criteria, resulting in a raster surface that represents the suitability index, indicating the geothermal favorability for each country, allowing a comparison between them according to their variation in the input criteria.

Finally, an analysis stage, based on the comparison of the favorability map with the location of geothermal projects in the region to ensure that the result is a starting point for the identification of favorable areas in the exploration stage for the development of geothermal projects through a platform and database accessible at the regional scale of SICA.

4:45pm - 5:00pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Automatic classification of benthic foraminifera for biomonitoring studies

Tobias Walla1,2, Christine Barras2, Emmanuelle Geslin2, Louis Lanoy2, Jean-Charles Mazur3, Camille Godbillot3, Ross Marchant3, Thibault de Garidel-Thoron3

1Institute of Geosciences, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; 2Université d'Angers, Nantes Université, Le Mans Université, CNRS, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences, LPG UMR 6112, 49000 Angers, France; 3CEREGE, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, INRAe, Technopôle de l'Arbois BP80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France

Living benthic foraminifera are used as environmental proxies to evaluate the quality of marine ecosystems. This evaluation is usually based on diversity indices and/or on a group of indicative species with specific ecological requirements (tolerant to sensitive species). For this purpose, sorting and identification of living benthic foraminifera are needed which is time-consuming and requires taxonomical expert knowledge. In this study, we present an approach to automatically identify living (Rose Bengal stained) benthic foraminifera using the "ParticleTrieur" software (Marchant et al. 2020) and test its applicability for biomonitoring purposes. Samples from the intertidal mudflat of the Atlantic coast and the French Mediterranean coast were photographed by an automated machine consisting of a 3D printer moving in X, Y, and Z space and a camera connected to an objective with a ring light. Focus stacked images were always taken with the same exposure, stack height, and stack step. Through initial manual segmentation in the "Computer Vision Annotation Tool" (CVAT) and later training in the segmentation by artificial intelligence, living benthic foraminifera are cropped as individual images from full-field images. Using "ParticleTrieur", foraminifera images are manually labelled at the species level and a model is trained to automatically classify future images of interest. Convolutional Neural Network training is performed using Tensorflow libraries. The trained models will be applied to unclassified datasets to compare human and artificial intelligence classification concerning different ecological indices in both contrasted study areas.

5:00pm - 5:15pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Applied Metadata - The Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration HMC

Andrea Pörsch1, Emanuel Söding2, Kirsten Elger3

1Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC) at GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; 2Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC) at GEOMAR Helmholtz Zentrum für Ozeanforschung, Kiel, Germany; 3GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

Metadata, i.e. 'data about data', are fundamental for making research data findable, usable and understandable by researchers and all interested parties now and in the future. Moreover, with the advent of new, data-driven technologies and instrumentation leading to constantly increasing data volumes, and scientific research becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, research data has to be inseparably linked to standardized, machine readable and complete metadata in order to foster data reuse and reproducibility of research results, e.g. by provenance metadata. Only by supporting standards and tools for metadata handling, interoperability with national and international research data infrastructures can be ensured.

The mission of the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC, is to facilitate the discovery, access, machine readability, and reuse of research data of the Helmholtz Association. Concepts and services are developed and established, allowing the enrichment of research data with standardized metadata in the various phases of their creation. The aim of HMC is to co-ordinate these services with the national and international scientific community in order to establish widely accepted practices in the handling of research data.

In this presentation we will introduce to the current HMC activities and outcome: working groups, recommendations on specific metadata elements (e.g. different persistent identifiers), and standards for sharing metadata and tools to do so. Both activities, our discussion and jointly agreed recommendations take place on a "Community Platform" website that is currently being developed.

5:15pm - 5:30pm
Topics: 4.03 Open Science and Data – challenges, opportunities and best practices

Harmonizing the use of PIDs in data repositories - What do we need to consider?

Emanuel Söding1, Andrea Pörsch2

1GEOMAR Helmholtz Zentrum für Ozeanforschung, Germany; 2Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are an integral element of the FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016) as they are recommended to refer to data sets and metadata. They are, however, also considered to be used to refer to other data entities, like people, organizations, projects, laboratories, repositories, publications, vocabularies, samples, instruments, licenses, methods and others. Consistently integrating these PIDs into data infrastructures can create a high level of interoperability allowing to build connections between data sets from different repositories according to common meta information.

For developers and maintainers of repositories it is very difficult to decide, which PID systems to integrate, and how to implement the PIDs into the repositories metadata schema. Many decisions have to be made, e.g. where is the reference information, in my repositories metadata or the PID metadata? Who is responsible for a PID record, who registers is and who maintains it, in case the meta-information changes?

In this presentation we will shed some light on selected PID systems we recommend to use within the Helmholtz Association, and how we envision to solve some of the mentioned challenges. We develop and outline procedures to implement PIDs in a harmonized way, in order to achieve a level of interoperability across data infrastructures, based on metadata of commonly referenced PIDs.


Date: Thursday, 07/Sept/2023
10:00am - 11:15amCANCELED: 1.31 Bergbau in Deutschland
Location: Wiwi 108
1:30pm - 3:00pm4.12 Geoethics – fostering ethical perspectives in the Geosciences
Location: Wiwi 108
Session Chair: Dominic Hildebrandt, ETH Zurich
Session Chair: Martin Bohle, Ronin Institute
Session Chair: Barbara Zambelli, TU Bergakademie Freiberg
1:30pm - 2:00pm
Invited Session Keynote
Topics: 4.12 Geoethics – fostering ethical perspectives in the Geosciences

Geoethics and Transgenerational Climate Crimes - four examples to hold States and corporations accountable

Angelica De Freitas

AIC Agencia de Iniciativas Cidadas, Brazil

Is it possible to hold States and corporations accountable for the extractive industry’s transgenerational climate crimes? Answering this question implies the definition of climate crimes in time and space and, for this reason, four case studies will be analyzed to substantiate the critical analysis proposed: the Coalbrook mine disaster in South Africa (1960), the Amoco Cadiz oil spill in France (1978), the Performance Coal Company explosion in the United States (2010), and the Vale-BHP tailing dam collapse in Brazil (2015). Actions that cause climate catastrophe affect individuals and ecosystems beyond jurisdictions in an uncontrolled and incalculable way. The real purpose of the extractive industry must be observed from a geoethical perspective, that is, the extractive industry’s capacity of producing and reproducing life. States and corporations have historically managed the extractive industrial complex regardless and to the detriment of the existence of life in explored territories. This means that States and corporations are accomplices in actions that not only cause the worsening of life conditions in the present time, but also prevent life on the planet to be fostered and preserved. By comparing the alleged benefits and the real harm arising from a geopolitical developmental agenda of global endless industrial extractivism, this paper develops the geoethical possibilities of definition of transgenerational climate crimes departing from four case scenarios and their devastating consequences.

2:00pm - 2:15pm
Topics: 4.12 Geoethics – fostering ethical perspectives in the Geosciences

Responsible Geosciences, or Geoscience Literacy for Urbanites

Martin Bohle1,2

1Ronin Institute, Montclair (NJ), USA; 2International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG), Rome, Italy

Urbanites, i.e., people living in urban environments, should be geoscience-literate. Them living under a ‘veil of geo-ignorance’ is not a valid option for responsible geosciences.

The urban realm is a social-ecological system on a planetary scale. Its complex-adaptive dynamics couple human practices and the geosphere1 2 (e.g., buildings, mines, shipping), causing massive fluxes (e.g., energy, water, materials), implies extensive civil-engineering works (e.g., housing, transport, infrastructure), and applies geoscience expertise. (e.g., foundations, drainage, position) A well-functioning urban realm requires professionals, who design, build and govern it, to apply geoscience expertise.

Urban environments emphasise socio-economic interactions of people sheltered from everyday geosphere phenomena (e.g., weather, climate, slope-stability) and many disasters (e.g. floods, storms, heatwaves). However, most people have little insight into how much urban lifestyles depend on geosphere functions. That ignorance is a systemic risk for modern societies, which geoscience professionals should mitigate3, and meteorology gives an example of ‘how’.

Modern meteorologists combine weather forecasts with information on meteorological phenomena, climate change, and impacts on economic and social activities. They show how forecasts determine people's work and life, demonstrating the wealth of geoscientific information and professional practices.

The yet-to-answere question: How to do alike?

1. Otto, I. M. et al. Human agency in the Anthropocene. Ecol. Econ. 167, 106463 (2020).

2. Rosol, C., Nelson, S. & Renn, J. Introduction: In the machine room of the Anthropocene. Anthr. Rev. 4, 2–8 (2017).

3. Bohle, M., Sibilla, A. & Casals I Graells, R. A Concept of Society-Earth-Centric Narratives. Ann. Geophys. 60, (2017).

2:15pm - 2:30pm
Topics: 4.12 Geoethics – fostering ethical perspectives in the Geosciences

Let us synchronize watches

Jonas Grutzpalk

HSPV NRW, Germany

“The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time,“ noted John Playfair after having been introduced to geology by James Hutton. Deep time is in fact one of the main intellectual tools one must be ready to work with when wanting to do geology. Marcia Bjornerud describes how tedious the communication between geologists and people who think that the earth was created after the domestication of the dog can be. But it is not only religious people – almost everyone else finds it hard to grasp a duration of a million, 100 Million or a billion years too.

This is because time is not only an objective parameter of the fourth dimension – it is also dependent on social factors. We all know that because time passes by more quickly when we a are older and / or in company and it goes slow when we are waiting for Father Christmas to show up or when we are bored.

This social dimension of time will be looked at in my presentation. I will make use of the writings of religious scientist Mircea Eliade on time and will – with the help of the writings of geologist Marcia Bjornerud – try to describe the social implications the geological vision of time has or could and should have. Bjornerud (and I with her) is sure that geological “deep time” is not only a specific way of thinking for geologists but also a tool for social integration.