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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




Environmental Geosciences

Dr. J. K. Tripathi


Dr. C. V. Dharma Rao


Prof. Vijay P. Singh


Prof. Rohana Chandrajith

(Sri Lanka)


Human Activities and the Geoenvironment

Imasiku A Nyambe (Zambia)

Benjamin Mapani (Namibia)

Brian Marker


1. Nyambe – former member of IUGS Cogeoenvironment and IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management and proposed Chair for a proposed IUGS initiative on Human Activities and the Geoenvironment.

2. Mapani – current IUGS Councillor; former member of the IUGS Commission of Geoscience for Environmental Management.

3. Marker – past Chair of IUGS Urban Geology Working Group, Secretary of IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental & Chair of the IUGS Publications Committee.

In 2011 the World’s population exceeded 7 billion people, twice as many as in 1967. While the rate of increase is declining, the population is still expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Consequently, human impacts on the Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems are also growing dramatically. It has been estimated that deliberate global movement of rock and soil compounds, including toxic constituents, by human activity now exceeds that of transport by the World’s oceans by a factor of three and is likely to increase. Human activities have similarly affected the global nitrogen and carbon cycles. These enormous geological and geomorphological transformations are driven by population growth, urbanization and global industrialization. The release of technically enhanced geogenic contaminants (TECGs) from mining and hydrocarbon (especially non-conventional hydrocarbon) exploitation is also a growing issue. Population pressures have placed people at increasing risk to geological hazards or in closer proximity to past damage. The demand for natural resources is increasing with consequent environmental impacts. There are also important archaeological resources in anthropogenic deposits that can be threatened by insensitive and unsustainable development.

People are now a major factor in our “Dynamic Planet” and will increasingly be so. It is important to consider the future social economic and environmental changes (including climate change) that will exacerbate problems associated with anthropogenic deposits, including those containing geogenic contaminants.

There are many existing standards, specifications and protocols for dealing with technical and administrative issues in many parts of the World. There is a need to increase awareness of the best of these but also to make improvements to secure better protection of environmental and human health and protection of cultural and natural resources while exploiting essential resources. This symposium intends to dicuss all these issues.

Environmental Geochemistry

Jayant K. Tripathi (India)

Abhay Kumar Singh (India)

Sudesh Yadav


Archana Gattupalli (India)

David Smith


C V Dharma Rao (India)

1. Prof. Tripathi works on Rock weathering and Sediments geochemistry. He is a recipient of National Geoscience Award 2009.

2. Dr. Singh works on Hydrogeochemistry, Water and Sediments pollution, and Mining environment. He is a recipient of National Geoscience Award.

3. Dr. Yadav works on aerosol geochemistry, air pollution, and Fog and dew chemistry.

4. Prof. Archana works in the areas of Molecular microbial diversity, Microbial processes and activity in subsurface sediments and soil environments.

5. Dr. Dharma Rao is Joint Secretary and DDG, National Mission For Clean Ganga and Adviser, National Water Mission, Ministry of Water Resources, India.

Geochemical investigations help us in providing societal and economic needs, in the exploration of mineral deposits, sustainable mining, metallurgy of ores and solving related environmental issues. Geochemistry of rock weathering, soil formation and nutrient provisioning, heavy metal pollution, waste disposal, carbon sequestration and intervention of geomicrobiology are the key aspects that deal future sustainability of soil feritlity. Identification of aerosol source, understanding their dynamics and air pollution including smog are burning issues where geochemistry provides the solutions. Forensic and medical geology are other facets available for geochemical investigations and providing solutions. An important point for all these geochemical investigations is to mark the baseline level of elements, which help to recognize and understand the deviations from the natural background level. Therefore, developing systematic geochemical maps is essential for the basis for monitoring changes in the levels of chemical elements at the earth’s surface. Geochemical investigations of exposed rocks, regolith, soil horizons, sediments, groundwater, and streams not only help to develop geochemical maps but also in identifying potential mineral resources, understanding surface earth processes and other geological investigations. This symposium invites abstracts on uncontaminated surface earth and atmospheric geochemistry, geochemistry of degraded systems, biogeochemical facets of microbiology, forensic and medical geology.

Palaeosols and Palaeoweathering Profiles: Indicators of Palaeoclimates and Palaeoenvironments.

Mohammed Rafi G. Sayyed


Jayant K. Tripathi (India)

M.Sc., M. Phil, PhD. F.G.S. (India)

Working on the intrabasaltic bole beds (Palaeosols) for last 10 years. Successfully convened scientific sessions during the International meetings like International Geological congresses, Goldschmidt meetings, INQUA Congresses etc.

Climate change, Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment.

In unravelling the temporal and spatial characteristics of past climatic and environmental changes, the ancient stratigraphic records have been largely used. Although the climatically driven changes can be studied in detail from marine records, impacts on terrestrial climates during the same periods are poorly known. Hence there is an urgent need to improve our understanding about the mechanisms that influence geological data preservation in various terrestrial proxies which can be extrapolated to today’s fragile global environmental conditions. Continental environmental archives are often highly temporally resolved and may provide more direct information about atmospheric processes than the marine archives and hence can be effectively used in analyzing the mechanisms behind the abrupt changes in the geologic past by integrating the global palaeoclimate data. In the recent past proxy paleoclimate analysis by using geochemical, mineralogical, sedimentological, palaeontological etc. data have been successful in various terrestrial archives like palaeosols, lake and cave sediments, loess, travertines, evaporates etc. Inter-comparisons of proxy data-climate models at regional and global scales are most necessary which combine inorganic, biological and biogeochemical processes acting within the weathering regimes. The aim of this symposia aims at discussing research approaches and results on the interdisciplinary palaeoclimatic studies of the palaeosols and palaeoweathering profiles, involving various proxies such as geochemistry, environmental magnetism, fossil assemblages, mineralogy, clay mineralogy and micro-morphology of the fossil soils etc. This will help in increasing our knowledge of the least studied areas by developing proxies which are sensitive to different aspects of climate and environmental change like Mean Annual Temperature, Mean Annual precipitation, Biological activity, Geochemical environment etc.).

Water resources

C V Dharma Rao


Vijay P. Singh


Abhay Kumar Singh (India

1. Dr. Dharma Rao is Joint Secretary and DDG, National Mission for Clean Ganga and Adviser, National Water Mission, Ministry of Water Resources, India.

2. Prof. Singh

3. Prof. Tripathi works on Rock weathering, Sediments geochemistry, Rock-water interactions. He is a recipient of National Geoscience Award 2009.

4. Dr. Singh works on Hydrogeochemistry, Water and Sediments pollution, and Mining environment. He is a recipient of National Geoscience Award.

Water scarcity and misuse is posing a serious and growing threat to sustainable development and protection of the environment. Human health and welfare, food security, industrial development and the ecosystems on which they depend, are all at risk, unless water resources are managed more effectively in the present decade and beyond than they have been in the past. As countries continue to undergo dramatic shifts caused by climate change, a growing economy and population, competing demands for water coming from households, industry, and agriculture have wide-ranging implications for the country's future.

More importantly water scarcity risks holding back hard earned development and economic growth. Part of the solution can be found in more effective management of water resources and use of innovative technologies. New technologies and innovation exist but they rarely reach the developing countries like India. Techno-economic fixes do not address the underlying “zero-sum game” nature of water resource use. Ultimately, the water management problem is that of allocating the water available each year among users — both people and the ecosystem.

This symposium intends to discuss comprehensive water budgeting, simultaneously in each watershed and the river basin as a whole. Water budgets for the river basin will inform communities how much must be left for downstream users, ensuring that water resources are allocated between communities fairly and transparently.

Urban Geosciences

Daniel Schertzer   (France)

Klaus Fraedrich (Germany) 

Stefano Tinti (Italie)

Dr. Professor and Director of the Chair “Hydrology for Resilient Cities” at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. AGU Lorenz lecturer and Fellow, EGU Richardson medalist, Paris City Silver medal

Several recent disasters, in particular in Asia, recall us once again how vulnerable to extreme hazards are our urban systems. Conversely these systems play more and more a key role in climate change, e.g.: 80% of GGH production and about the same percentage of the energy production, the total growth of the world population expected in cities (by 2050, 80% and 60% of for developed and respectively emerging countries). Furthermore, most assets are already highly concentrated there and are facing a wide variety of risks, especially geophysical hazards.

Fortunately, there has been an impressive series of international agreements that call for qualitative improvements of urban systems and their interactions with their environment: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030, UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, COP21 “Paris Agreement”, UN-Habitat City Resilience Profiling Programme (CRPP) and the Urban Agenda for the EU (“Amsterdam Pact”). All these agreements put a strong emphasis on the question of urban resilience.

There has been also he development of large networks of cities to exchange best practices with respect to the aforementioned goals, e.g., 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40).

Overall, the present challenge is s to shift from a short-term mismanagement of resources and risks to a wise monitoring of the environment, to develop holistic responses to both ongoing geophysical changes and urbanisation processes and to increase urban resilience to geophysical extremes, water and climate change.

This Symposium will be focused on this challenge, in particular on the necessary involvement of geoscientist and geophysical societies.

This proposal of Symposium will be co-sponsored by EGU