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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Quaternary Environments: Sedimentation and Landform Evolution

Pradeep Srivastava


Pankaj Srivastava


Rasmus C. Theide



Deserts: Past and Present

Deepak M. Maurya


Amal Kar


Drs. Deepak Maurya and Amal Kar have extensive experience in working on modern and paleo-desert systems in Thar Desert.

Arid land sedimentation, Chronology, paleoclimate, Desertification

Deserts are one of the most complex and fascinating ecosystems. Scientifically these are the ‘arid lands’, covering 20% of the global non-polar area, but accounting for only 6% of the world’s population. Yet, the high population growth rates in the arid areas, especially in the developing nations, have impacted the region’s scarce natural resources, especially soil and water, with risks of land degradation and atmospheric dust. This throws huge challenges to the geo-scientists for finding sustainable solutions to the emerging problems. Despite numerous in-depth studies during the last few decades, our geo-scientific knowledge on the desert’s past and present still needs improvement to address the emerging problems arising from excessive resource use. An understanding of the landscape response to past climates in quantitative terms may also be necessary to model the future landscape responses to climate change. This symposium inivites abstracts on various aspects of deserts including

  • Antiquity of the deserts processes.

  • Interpreting the legacies of water, evaporites and placers for sustainable use.

  • Patterns of human and cultural response to past environmental changes.

  • Quantification of the present-day landscape processes: aeolian, fluvial and others.

  • Desertification – causes, preventive measures, and future needs.

Soil-Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution

Pankaj Srivastava


Peter Kühn


Dr Pankaj Srivastava and Dr Peter Kuhn have worked and published extensively on evolution of Quaternary landscape using soil geomorphology in various type of climate and tectonic settings

Soil geomorphology, landscape evolution and Quaternary climate and tectonics

The intimate relationship of soils and landforms forms the sound basis for the use of soils in geological studies. The application of soils in geomorphic research is now a well-established approach because the history of any landscape evolution is intimately tied with the history of soil development. Increased application of this approach has brought a major change from the traditional historical approach to quantitative evaluation of the physical processes that act over different time scales ranging from 103 to 105 years. It is realized that the study of soil-chronosequences is the most valuable tool to infer the rates of soils and landscape evolution and to comprehend the soil-geomorphic processes that act over different time scales. In view of its tremendous application, soil-chronosequences developed across the landforms have become a potential tool for testing the pedological and geomorphic theories. This symposium intends to address soils, landforms, erosion, flooding, sedimentation, vegetation and land use to understand the soil-geomorphic in relation to changing climate during the Quaternary.

Mountain Landscape: Tectonics and Climate Feedbacks

Rasmus Theide (Germany)

Pradeep Srivastava


Manfred Strecker (Germany)

Bodo Bookhaagen


1. Drs Bodo Bookhagen and Rasmus Theide have worked extensively on exhumation, climate tectonic feedbacks and evolution of mountain chains like Himalaya.

2. Dr Pradeep Srivastava has developed model and chronology explaining climate forcing in widespread river valley aggradation and incision and evolution of riverine landscape of Himalaya.

Thrust fold belts, climate-tectonic feedbacks, exhumation, landscape evolution

The coupling between tectonics, surface processes and climate can fundamentally govern the dynamics of mountain belts and shapes it landscapes. A diverse range of geomorphic and sedimentary records, including longitudinal river profiles, fluvial terraces, downstream fining trends, growth strata, sediment provenance, sequence stratigraphy, and changing depositional environments provide first order constraints. The increasing integration of new methods for quantifying erosion rates and source-to-sink sediment transfer at a range of temporal and spatial scales with landscape evolution has significantly improved our understanding on rock exhumation, surface processes and erosion.

This symposium aims to attract contributions that explore the relationship between surficial geomorphology, sediment dynamics and from active tectonics to plate boundary processes, including studies that link upper plate processes to deeper crustal structure. In particular, we encourage coupled catchment-basin studies that take advantage of numerical/physical modelling, geochemical tools for quantifying rates of surface processes and high resolution digital topographic and subsurface data. We also invite contributions that address the role of surface processes in modulating rates of deformation and tectonic style including plate boundary processes.

Glaciers: Past and Present

Aparna Shukla,


Manish Mehta


Dirk Scherler


1. Dr Aparna Shukla and Dr Manish Mehta worked and published extensively on glacial processes, inventory and Paleoglaciation in NW and Garhwal Himalaya

2. Dr Dirk Scherler is modelling expert who has developed regional scenarios on glacial-climate responses in Himalaya and other places.

Glacier, Climate change, Cryosphere, Quaternary, and Hydrology

Mountain glaciers shape the Earth’s surface both at present and in the geological past. The extent and timing of Quaternary glaciations have an impact on the patterns of regional and global climate, which in turn affects carving mountainous topography. The linkages and interactions of varying climate and ice cover extents, with downstream fluvial systems, orogen-scale mass and force-balances is still poorly understood. Key challenges include the dating of glacial landforms and reconstructing glacial dynamics at 103-105-year timescales. New developments in the fields of Quaternary geochronologyhave provide unprecedented opportunities in upcoming years. At present, mountain glaciers across the world are important reservoirs of snow and ice that caters to the water demands of billions of people. Changing climate is resulting in widespread shrinkage of the cryosphere and climatic perturbations are significantly affecting the timing and magnitude of the water release. Precise quantification and monitoring of glacier changes are thus vital. Enhanced glacier melting is also promoting the formation of glacial lakes that, when catastrophically drain, pose significant risks to the downstream communities. This symposium invites abstracts on

  • Understanding glaciations across time and space.

  • Estimation of glacial ice reserves – methods and errors.

  • Glacier response to climate change and forcing factors.

  • Glacial and high altitude lakes – processes, status and hazard.

  • Glacial hydrology – climate change impacts

Extreme Hydrological Event -Present and Past

Alpa Sridhar,

Bruno Wilhem


Tao Liu


The proposer has worked extensively on the extreme flood sequences and their chronology of western and Central India and has been an important member of Fluvial archive group (FLAG) of PAGES

Extreme Floods, chronology, Climate change

Extreme hydrological events, those occur with significantly lower or higher magnitude and frequency than threshold values, pose severe risk to human safety, cause economic loss and are a threat to sustainable development. These events are unique or clustered in time and often change the landscape and related processes of a region. One important implication of climate change is the predicted increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events, namely, droughts and floods. This symposium solicits presentations on multi- archival and interdisciplinary investigations on understanding extreme events, past and present, in various global regions. Also invited are deliberations on the response of human societies to such large scale impactive events.