Fragile Earth


General information

Workshops are held in the LMU Geology institute (Luisenstr. 37, Munich) unless otherwise indicated.

Registration for workshops closes 15 July 2011 (unless registration via the registration-page remains open). This deadline may be extended for individual workshops that are not yet full, so please check back even after the deadline if you are interested in joining a workshop.

The workshop fee is non-refundable with the exception of workshop cancellation by the organizers. Workshop registration fees will be debited to your credit card as soon as the workshop has reached the minimum number of participants, so you might not see a charge right away on your card statement.

Course Listing
  • W1:
    Free Software for Plate Reconstructions, Geodata Analysis and Map Making
    Thursday, 8 Sept., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (GPlates and QGIS)
    Friday, 9 Sept., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (GMT)
    Conveners: Christian Heine, Dietmar Müller, Paul Wessel
    Description  [ open/close ]
    90 €, includes morning/afternoon coffee breaks/refreshments, in-house lunch; maximum participants: 25.

    Christian Heine,
    Dietmar Müller,
    EarthByte Group, The University of Sydney, Australia
    Paul Wessel,
    University of Hawai'i at Manoa
    The workshop will focus on the complimentary open source geospatial software tools GPlates, QGIS and the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT, version 5) for plate tectonic modeling, geospatial data manipulation and map-making. Participants will learn:
    • [Day 1] To visualize and manipulate geospatial data in QGIS and GPlates
    • [Day 1] Prepare data for ingestion in time-dependent plate tectonic models
    • [Day 1] Generate plate tectonic reconstructions through time and visualize them.
    • [Day 2] Learn to use the powerful command-line programs of the Generic Mapping tools version 5 (GMT5) via shell scripting.
    • [Day 2] Manipulate geographic and Cartesian data using GMT5 and explore the improved integration of GMT5 with Google Earth and GIS packages.
    • [Day 2] Generate publication-ready, high-quality maps and images
    Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and Windows and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities. The course will cover the basic functions for loading and manipulating geospatial data in QGIS.

    GPlates is free desktop software running on Windows, Linux and MacOS X. It enables the interactive manipulation of plate-tectonic reconstructions and the visualization of geodata through geological time. Users can build regional or global plate models, import their own data and digitize features. Raster files images in a variety of formats can be loaded, assigned to tectonic plates, age-coded and reconstructed through geological time. The software also allows the exporting of image sequences for animations or for publication-quality figure generation as vector graphics files. Plates and plate boundaries through time can be visualized over mantle tomography image stacks. GPlates is also designed to enable the linking of plate tectonic models with mantle convection models. The software allows the construction of time-dependent plate boundary topologies as well as exporting plate polygons and velocity time-sequences. Mantle convection model output images can be imported and animated with plate tectonic reconstructions overlain. The course will cover most functions available in GPlates.

    The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) is open-source software running on Windows, Linux and MacOS X. GMT has been called the Swiss army knife of mapping and consists of ~75 command-line programs for manipulating geographic and Cartesian data sets (including filtering, trend fitting, gridding, imaging, projecting, etc.) and producing PostScript, raster image, or KML illustrations ranging from simple x-y plots via contour maps to artificially illuminated surfaces and 3-D perspective views. GMT supports ~30 map projections and transformations and comes with support data such as GSHHS coastlines, rivers, and political boundaries. The course will cover an introduction to GMT with emphasis on writing bash scripts and exploring new features in GMT5 aimed to improve integration with GIS packages and Google Earth.

    Participants requirements: Each participant must bring her/his own laptop with the software pre-installed as outlined below. The GPlates course requires participants to have the tutorial downloaded (see below).

    Pre-requisites: All participants are required to install the software before the workshop as outlined on the corresponding websites listed below. See the links below for information on OS requirements and what to install prior to the workshop. Participants are required to download the tutorial documents for GPlates before the workshop as outlined on the GPlates tutorial websites listed below. GMT course participants are required to have basic understanding of shell scripting and use of the command line.

    GMT instructions and OS requirements:
    QGIS instructions:
    GPlates instructions:
    GPlates tutorials:
  • W2:
    Geodetic Methods in Geology (GPS, InSAR, Lidar, 3D Laser scanner, Altimetry)
    8 and 9 September: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    10 September: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (afternoon: optional demo of 3D Laser scanner, differential GPS equipment and other digital surveying)
    Conveners: Amir Abolghasem; Detlef Angermann; Geoff Blewitt; Urs Hugentobler; Mahdi Motagh
    Description  [ open/close ]
    95 € (coffee breaks and lunch are included); maximum participants: 20

    The availability of high-quality space-geodetic measurements have revolutionized our understanding of quantitative active tectonic processes, such as translation and rotation of tectonic plates, slow earthquakes, strain accumulation, co- and post-seismic displacement fields. Tsunami warning systems are based on modern geodetic techniques. High-frequency Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations can now be used to monitor seismic waves and co-seismic ruptures of large earthquakes. In this workshop we discuss two types of geodetic data and discuss the applications

    Part I (by Dr. Mahdi Motagh, GFZ Potsdam) focuses on the applications of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) in studying surface deformation. An introduction to InSAR is followed by practicing to process a data set with software DORIS developed at the technical University of Delft.

    Part II (by Prof. Geoff Blewitt, UNR, Nevada, USA) covers the geologic applications of satellite positioning. Topics include GPS fieldwork, data collection, velocity fields, and strain rate analyses. Block models of rotation and translation, geologic constraints and space-time scaling factors. High-rate GPS and applications to seismology will conclude this part.

    Part III (Prof. Urs Hugentobler, TU Munich, Germany; Dr. Detlef Angermann, DGFI, Munich) covers specific issues of GNSS such as reference frames, effects of antennas, IGS (International GNSS Service) products, the European positioning system Galileo, etc.

    Part IV (by Dr. Amir Abolghasem, U of Munich, Germany) provides a hands-on overview of the use of differential GPS measurements with GPS instruments owned by the LMU Munich. Demonstration includes a real-time survey, procedures in data collection, data reduction, sources of measurement errors and other difficulties and pit falls.

    Participants requirements: Each participant must bring her/his own laptop with the software pre-installed as outlined below. Course participants are required to have a basic understanding of shell scripting and use of the command line.

    Pre-requisites: All participants are required to install the software before the workshop as outlined on the corresponding websites listed below. See the links below for information on OS requirements and what to install prior to the workshop. This workshop is targeted to geoscientists, MSc or higher levels. A basic understanding of surface deformation processes is helpful.

    GNSS: All participants need to read an introductory text in advance. Each participant will be assigned one extra paper. Workshop discussions will be based on the reading material. The material will be distributed to registered participants after the registration deadline on June 15.

    InSAR: DORIS instructions and OS requirements: upload the free software DORIS

    GMT instructions and OS requirements:

    Extras: Course material will be online before the conference.
  • W3:
    Neotectonics, Tectonic Geomorphology and Paleoseismology of Tectonically Active Regions
    31. Aug. to 3.Sept.; 9:00-17:00
    Conveners: Manfred Strecker; Eric Kirby; Taylor Schildgen, Daniel Melnick, Anke Friedrich
    Description  [ open/close ]
    Workshop W3
    Photo of the Ganzi fault in western most Sichuan province, China. The fault is visible as a v-shaped notch along the left-lateral moraine in the mid-ground (Photo E. Kirby).
    260 €; maximum 20 participants

    This course is designed to provide a survey of the rapidly advancing fields of neotectonics, tectonic geomorphology and paleoseismology. Examples of earthquake recurrence over time scales of hundreds to thousands of years from high-slip environments such as the Nazca-South American Plate subduction zone will be contrasted with slow active faults from continental interiors, such as central Europe. In addition, techniques of assessing recent crustal movements and past activity along faults with different or changing deformation styles will be presented. The course comprises 2 days of lectures and exercises by instructors. The lectures are accompanied by interpretation of aerial photography, satellite imagery and topographic data. Computer methods in tectonic geomorphology will be introduced, and hands-on materials from well-studied trenching sites will be provided. Subsequent to the lectures there will be a one-day field trip to seismically active regions in the Vienna Basin. Depending on availability, potential trenching sites will be evaluated using geomorphic, pedogenic, and geophysical information, and a trench site will be visited and analyzed.

    Included: coffee breaks, lunch and printed matter; costs relating to 1 day field trip to the Vienna Basin (transportation, hotel near Vienna, Austria)
    Not Included: The participants should bring rubber boots or hiking boots for the field trip to the Vienna basin.

    Prerequisite: Basic knowledge on the level of PhD and advanced MSc students in Geosciences: structural geology, sedimentology, tectonics, geochronology
  • W4:
    Analysis of Microfabrics in Metamorphic and Magmatic Rocks as a Tool for Understanding Deformation Processes on Various Scales
  • W5:
    Public Outreach: The best way to transfer geoscientific knowledge to the public
    Conveners: Lutz Geiβler, Monika Huch
    Description  [ open/close ]
    0 € (registering for the GeoMunich2011 -Fragile Earth- conference is requested);
    maximum 70 participants
    Languages: German and English
    Kontakt: Lutz Geiβler, ; Monika Huch,

    As a follow-up of the Workshop at the GeoDarmstadt2010, where we learned about manifold experiences in geoscientific public work in the field, this time we intent to focus on the elaboration of a white paper helping to find the best way of practicing a target group-related transfer of geoscientific knowledge to the interested public.

    The workshop addresses to all of those who work in geoscientific public affairs and invites them to bring their experience to this workshop. After a brief introductory talk, given by Dr. Roland Eichhorn of the Bavarian Environmental Agency, the participants will be encouraged to break into small groups to produce the draft of a white paper. The aim is to produce practical guidelines for geosceinces communication, not only via the common ways but also by incorporating new media and new ways of knowledge transfer.
  • W6:
    Klima und Mehr
    0 € (eine Anmeldung zur GeoMunich2011 -Fragile Earth- Konferenz wird vorausgesetzt);
    maximal 70 Teilnehmer
    Conveners: Ingrid Hemmer, Rainer Lehmann, Monika Huch
    Language: German
    [ klicken Sie hier für die Beschreibung ]
  • W7:
    Graduate Student Forum: Preparing graduate students to be effective teachers in the classroom, laboratory and the field; Field Safety
    Sponsored by the GSA International Section
    Sunday, 4. Sept., 9:30–16:30
    Conveners: Laurel Goodel, Jeff Rubin, Sara Carena, Anke Friedrich (logistics contact)
    All students are asked to confirm no later than 15 August whether they plan to attend the workshop ().
    Description  [ open/close ]
    No fees for students enrolled in degree programs (confirmation e-mail from advisor); meeting registration is required to attend this workshop.
    Maximum 30 participants.

    Part I by Laurel Goodell:
    Although faculty members deliver lectures and conduct seminars, graduate student Assistants in Instruction (AIs) typically teach the laboratory sections of undergraduate science courses.

    Twenty years ago, there were practically no preparation activities at most universities for graduate student AIs. Since then, preparing graduate students to be effective teachers has received increasing attention, with teaching seen not only as necessary for the financial support of some graduate students, but as a vital component of both the professional development of graduate students and the overall teaching mission of the University.

    We face several challenges in preparing graduate students to be excellent laboratory instructors: 1) effective teaching is not necessarily an instinctive skill, and needs to be nurtured and developed; 2) teaching, or working on effective teaching, is not always a high priority for graduate students due to the many demands on their time; 3) international graduate students may have language or cultural issues that inhibit interactions with undergraduates; and 4) AIs may be inexperienced in the curricula of the courses they are assigned to teach.

    Part II by Jeff Rubin:
    Progress in geological sciences depends on the ability of current and future practitioners to teach, learn, and perform research in remote environments, but few laws, standards, or even policies exist to provide safety guidelines for academic field trips, field classes, or field research in remote areas. As with lab safety, a systems approach is preferable, incorporating behavior and equipment. A comprehensive policy should include driving, awareness and planning, communications, equipment, training, and staffing for field trips and classes. Risks - and casualties - associated with driving are far greater than those associated with most laboratory research. Institutional driving policies should be extended to cover trips to, from, and in remote areas. Driving policies should include driver qualifications, number of drivers per vehicle, driver rest and rotation, and “no-drive” times. Effective risk assessment begins with hazard awareness and pre-trip planning, and should include physical, political, medical, and social hazards. Advances in telecommunication technology reduce the likelihood that participants will be isolated in event of emergency, and enhance speed and location of emergency response: groups should not be in remote areas without some means of emergency electronic communication. Although proper equipment varies with location, time of year, and planned trip duration, basic emergency supplies, such as first aid kits, tire-changing tools, potable water, and shelter should always be included. Appropriate training includes use and basic maintenance of emergency equipment, wilderness first aid, crisis management, and prevention. Equipment and training can be tailored to the needs of the end-users. Solitary field research should be discouraged, and field trips and classes should have adequate staffing to prevent and manage emergencies. Objective risk-benefit analysis is essential: decisions on field activities, as well as policies and procedures, must be based on objective analysis rather than convenience.

    Included: coffee break, lunch and printed matter

    Requirements: Course language is English. The course is designed for Master- and PhD level graduate students, but upper-level undergraduate student may also benefit. All participants should bring a poster of their current research project. The poster has the same dimensions as the posters for this meeting.

    Prerequisite: Interest in geosciences and the academic track (balancing a graduate student career in research, teaching, field work and life).