More than five hundred geologists to attend international conference on sedimentology

Thursday 17 June 2021, 14:00 – Text: Šárka Chovancová

Over five hundred geologists will attend the 35th IAS Meeting of Sedimentology, which will be organised in the Czech Republic for the first time in the history of the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS). Foreign and Czech experts will meet on June 21–25 to deal with the processes of formation and development of sedimentary rocks, which are nature’s archive, capturing changes in climate, the environment, the chemical composition of the oceans, and the development of life in the geological past. The conference is organised by a team of geologists from many Czech institutions under the leadership of the Department of Geology, UP Faculty of Science.

“We have been preparing for this conference for about four years. It was supposed to take place in Prague last year, but due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation, in November 2020 we made a final decision on a virtual environment,” said Ondřej Bábek, head of the Department of Geology, who chairs the conference’s organising team.

In addition to the processes of formation and development of sedimentary rocks, part of the conference discussions will focus on the use of sediments as reservoirs of water and hydrocarbons, human interventions in the natural environment, and the issue of the Anthropocene. “Part of these sedimentological conferences are usually field trips, which are always of enormous interest. Eleven of them were originally planned, but due to the fact that the conference is held online, we cancelled them. However, participants can sign up for three short courses focused on detailed petrography of carbonates, application of magnetic methods in stratigraphy, and the issue of fossil traces,” added Bábek.

Among the important guests will be, for example, V. Paul Wright, from the National Museum of Wales, who deals with the sedimentology of carbonate rocks and paleosols; Elisabeth Hajek from Penn State, who is one of the leading researchers in the field of continental palaeoenvironment and  paleoclimatology; and Matthieu Cartigny from the University of Durham, who focuses on experimental sedimentology and deep-sea sediments in his scientific work.

The conference programme includes about 250 online lectures and the same number of posters and short oral presentations. Short courses, social events for doctoral students, and a virtual Early-Career Scientist party for young researchers are also on tap. In addition, the programme includes the presentation of important awards associated with the plenary lectures of the awarded scientists and three invited keynote lecturers. The collection of abstracts from the conference, which is being prepared by Palacký University Press, contains over 500 papers.

The International Association of Sedimentologists was founded at the International Geological Congress in Algiers on 11 September 1952. Its main mission is to support the study of sedimentology. It has about 2,000 members in some 100 countries. Its main activities are the publication of cutting-edge content, the organisation and sponsorship of conferences, and financial assistance to sedimentologists through a system of grants.