Newsletter 7 – July 2017

CREEPers at conferences

Wen checking the EAGE program

The EAGE conference in Paris
Wen Zhou (ESR 2) attended the annual EAGE Conference and Exhibition, held in Paris this year. It was the first time he attend a big conference, and it was a very nice experience. He presented his latest results with an extended abstract (which is published on-line) and also got the chance to give a talk. About the conference itself, Wen was very impressed by the fact that they take care of student participants and make them feel important . They organised a social evening that was free for students and several workshops and short courses specially designed for young students.


The DRT conference in Iverness
Giacomo Pozzi (ESR 4) attended the biennial Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics (DRT) conference this year. DRT offers an interesting opportunity of knowledge-sharing for those who study those branches of geology that describe a dynamic earth, qualitatively and quantitatively, from microstructures to large scale, from rock physics to structural geology to modelling. A multi-coloured community is gathered from all over the world every two years in this conference, which is hosted every time in a different place. This year, the 21st DRT took place in Inverness (Scotland), a good base for the organized pre-, mid- and post-conference fieldtrips in the stunning landscapes of Scotland.


The Clashach Fault at the Clashach Cove.

DRT presentations last the classic 15 minutes (including questions) and are divided in sessions, by topic, through three days. At the end of each session, an additional time slot is reserved for general discussion moderated by the conveners. This interesting format allows the audience and the speakers to interact actively, share ideas and maybe show disagreement. Discussing is always a healthy habit, especially when everyone is involved and can contribute.

Long coffee breaks let people wander between the different posters displayed every day. Here you can take the chance to meet and have a chat with well-known names of the community. Since DRT is relatively small compared to the more comprehensive international conferences, the chances to start collaborations or simply get yourself known are easy and aided by the informal environment. Some awards are granted at the end of the conference, like the one for the best student talk given to Giacomo for his oral presentation.

Attending the DRT conference is a great opportunity for everyone studying in these fields and who wishes to present his or her work to a responsive and variegate community.


Group (group 1) photo during the mid-conference fieldtrip.


CREEPy Secondments

Angelo visiting the universities of Yale and Montpellier
During the second half of May, Angelo Pisconti (ESR 11) flew to the US for collaborating with seismologists from the Yale University in New Haven (Connecticut). During his stay, he had the chance to improve his modelling and prediction of seismic anisotropy in the lowermost mantle. At Yale University, Angelo also gave a talk introducing the CREEP network and the contribution of such a network in understanding the complex rheology of Earth materials, mainly focusing on the lowermost mantle.

During June and July, he was also hosted at the Geosciences Department of Montpellier to further work on seismic anisotropy modelling with Andrea Tommasi. They considered several scenarios of deformation of different deep mantle minerals and their seismic detectability with the aim to explain the observed seismic data. In Montpellier, Angelo had also the opportunity to learn and extend his background on modelling the rock fabrics and their evolution by using VPSC (Visco-Plastic Self Consistent) calculations. Before heading back home in Münster, he gave a talk showing the progress of his PhD project and the work done with Andrea during his stay in Montpellier.


Left: Angelo happy to be hosted at Yale University (May 2017). Right: Angelo giving a talk in Montpellier (July 2017) and explaining shear wave splitting to the audience.


Beatriz visiting the university of Bristol
At this moment Beatriz (ESR 12) is in Bristol doing part of her CREEP secondments. The first goal of her project in CREEP is to develop new software to simulate hydrofracturing. With the code almost finished, she decided that now would be a good moment to leave the University of Mainz, where she is settled, and to go visit the University of Bristol for a few weeks.

Standing, Mike Kendall, BGS Professor of Geophysics.


The reason why the university of Bristol is one of her secondments is because one of the research subjects of their Geophysics group is hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, during her stay there, she is receiving feedback of her work in order to be able to simulate real geothermal projects. She is really taking advantage of the meetings with Mike Kendall and James Verdon, who are experts on such topics.

She is enjoying, together with Phillipp and Thomas (ESR 13 and 14), the good atmosphere in the Department of Earth Sciences, located in the beautiful Wills Memorial Building, and, in general, the lively city of Bristol.

Time for tea, time to meet the researchers there and visitors from other universities.

CREEP and Society

Science in the newspaper – How does it work?
Jana Schierjott (ESR 15) got approached by a science journalist who wanted to explain part of her work in the German newspaper ‘Spiegel’. The article can be found here, but unfortunately is only available in German. In this newsletter, Jana explains us about the process of converting your research into an article which is understandable by the general audience.

“Spiegel online is one of the biggest news provider in Germany and they publish articles on all sections such as politics, science, economics, society, culture, health and more. It is the online version of the newspaper ‘Spiegel’ which means mirror. They provide the standard news and additionally news on different categories which are usually not included in smaller newspapers.

Each week they publish several articles in the science-section which provide insight into current state-of-the-art research topics and provide the reader with breakthrough theories.

The author who wrote the article about my research studied geoscience and has been working as a science journalist for several newspapers. He was interested in how we can look into the Earth and wanted to give people the opportunity to learn about how research is done in parts of the Earth we cannot reach. He is always looking for topics which have the potential to fascinate everybody as well as for images and figures which catch the attention of the audience. The most difficult part was to explain in extremely simple words what I do. After an interview with him I also wrote an email in which I had to answer several questions and clarify some of the previously discussed topics. I had to remake the figures in a simplified way because the general audience requires a different type of figure than scientists do. The image should not show as much as possible but rather feature one aspect which is self-explanatory and doesn’t need any annotations or figure descriptions.”


New CREEPers

Nicolò Sgreva (ESR 8) started his PhD four months ago at the FAST laboratory in Orsay. During his first months he mostly worked on writing and running a model and some other simulations to understand the behaviour of Non-Newtonian yield stress fluids. He is trying to figure out what the importance of the first deformation stage (the elastic response) for an elasto-viscoplastic fluid subjected to a temperature difference. In addition, he took part in two-day lecture on dimensional analysis and fundamentals of Stokes flow, which was held by Neil Ribe. It was helpful to get the correct view on how physical phenomena could be interpreted through different scales.

Besides Nicolò, we have a brand new CREEPer who is filling up the position in Utrecht (ESR 3), starting in august. A warm welcome to Caspar Sinn in our CREEP community!


Edited by Beatriz Martinez Montesinos, Nicolò Sgreva and Elenora van Rijsingen


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