Travelling the ECORD world as a Distinguished Lecturer

Gabriele.Uenzelmann-Neben [ at ]


The distinguished lecturer programme is an initiative to present the IODP programme and the role ECORD plays within the programme and its structure as well as to communicate science based on IODP drill results. The lecturer shall put IODP drill results into a wider perspective for an audience not very familiar with IODP. Thus, new groups are hopefully engaged into IODP work for the development of proposals, the collection of pre-site survey data, the participation in IODP expeditions, and the use of available IODP data and results. As a Geophysicist I mainly contribute to an IODP expedition by providing pre-site survey data in the form of seismic data. I may also participate in an IODP expedition as a physical properties specialist or stratigraphic correlator. But to aid the interpretation of my data, which is mainly seismic in origin, I make use of the results of IODP expeditions: physical properties measured at the core and discrete samples (seismic velocity, density, porosity, natural gamma ray), lithology, age-depth models, sedimentology (grain size), geochemistry (carbonate and organic carbon content), and palynology. I correlate this information with the seismic data to assign ages to prominent reflectors, to understand changes in reflection characteristics, and to learn about timing and the nature of environmental changes in the area I am investigating. So, to emphasize the significance of drill site information for the reconstruction of, e.g., the climatic development of a certain region via the study of seismic data I successfully applied to become an ECORD Distinguished Lecturer for two years. My talk was entitled ‘Reconstructing palaeo-circulation: Reading sediment drifts with the aid of IODP information’. I use the seismic imaging of sedimentary structures such as sediment drifts to reconstruct palaeo-circulation and hence modifications in climate. I used information from ODP Leg 105 to date changes identified via the seismic data and assign possible origins, e.g. erosion and relocation of depocentres, which point towards a changes in pathway of the most active bottom current. I thus extrapolated the information gathered at a single location into a larger area. The abstract of my talk attracted a large number of invitations from different ECORD member countries. Some of the institutes who invited me already had a strong link to IODP. Other institutions had not yet been involved. Although it was great to speak where there already appeared to be a good knowledge about what IODP was about and hence a kind of common ground, I was delighted to be invited by ‘non-IODP involved’ institutions. This showed the wish and interest to become involved in this exciting programme, to contribute new ideas to proposals, and to use the already available data. I was warmly welcomed at every place I visited, the organisation of my visit always was smooth from pick-up at the airport/ train station/hotel, the hotel itself, to sometimes a kind of side programme. I usually got a good overview of the institutions and the work carried out meeting plenty of people. The audiences to the talks were quite diverse, ranging from students to lecturers and teachers; often neighbouring institutions had been invited to listen as well. My impression was that especially the correlation of IODP results with seismic data caught the attention of the audience. Résumé On top of promoting IODP being a Distinguished Lecturer was a great way of advertising my own work and getting into touch with scientists I may later collaborate with. I liked it tremendously! And I hope the people I visited and presented my science enjoyed it as well.

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Uenzelmann-Neben, G. (2016): Travelling the ECORD world as a Distinguished Lecturer , ECORD newsletter, 27 , p. 18 .

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